Methadone is a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to treat opioid use disorder. MAT is an evidence-based treatment option that combines medication with outpatient therapy to treat the whole person. This type of therapy helps keep individuals in treatment and reduces the chances of relapse.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that is used to eliminate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Methadone slowly activates the opioid receptors. This is unlike other opioids like heroin or morphine, which quickly activate the opioid receptors. This medication is administered by a medical professional in a specialized treatment program.
Counseling or behavioral therapy is an equally important component of MAT. In fact, most programs require that clients participate in therapy; they cannot receive medications without therapy.