Is Methadone a Treatment Option for Amphetamine Addiction?
Traditionally, methadone has not been a possible treatment option for stimulant addiction. However, recent studies may suggest that it could one day be possible. If you have been abusing amphetamines or another type of stimulant drug, call 800-768-8728 now to find rehab centers that will cater to your needs.
Methadone for Substance Abuse Treatment
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Methadone is a medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates.”
The drug is utilized in this way because it is an opioid itself, meaning it can occupy the same receptors in the brain and body that have become dependent on other opioids and minimize issues associated with withdrawal from and cravings for these drugs.
Amphetamines are stimulants, which means they affect the body and brain differently than opioids. A person who is addicted to these drugs will experience different issues and often will require a different type of treatment program. This is why methadone is not currently approved to treat amphetamine addiction.
There have been a number of recent studies, though, that may suggest a possibility for the use of methadone as an option for amphetamine addiction treatment in the future.
Can Methadone Treat Amphetamine Addiction?
Amphetamines actually have many similarities to cocaine, not just because they are both stimulants but in their effects and the addiction syndromes they cause as well. The New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services cites two studies that have shown a number of benefits in the use of methadone treatment for cocaine dependence.
- “A comprehensive study of an urban methadone clinic… conducted over an 18 month period on 133 clinic patients showed that with effective methadone maintenance using adequate dosages, the majority of patients remain in treatment and reduce cocaine abuse as well as illicit opioid use.”
- Another study from 2008 researched the effects of methadone on cocaine-addicted rats and found the rats no longer experienced a high from cocaine after taking methadone. The brains of the rats also showed a resetting effect after the methadone had been administered in the places that had once been affected by cocaine; over time, these regions began to look how they had before the rats were ever exposed to cocaine.
Obviously, this is not yet enough evidence to prove methadone is a beneficial treatment option for amphetamine addiction. It is important to note that the effects being studied were on cocaine addicts, and while the drugs are similar, there have yet to be serious, controlled tests on human amphetamine addicts with methadone treatment.
Additionally, the first study cannot conclusively prove whether the methadone itself was the cause of the beneficial results or if the treatment program overall was merely beneficial to the patients.
At this time, methadone is still not an option for amphetamine addiction treatment, but in the future, it may very well be. The most important step is to seek help now for your addiction.