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Private Methadone Programme

What is Methadone?


  • Methadone is a man-made opioid (also known as an opiate). Other opioids include codeine, morphine, fentanyl and diamorphine (heroin).

  • Methadone is used to help you stop taking heroin. It reduces your withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, shivering and other flu-like symptoms. It also helps stop cravings.

  • There are 2 main approaches to stopping heroin:

    • Maintenance therapy – where you switch from heroin to a heroin substitute like methadone, then stay on a stable dose of the substitute. You will usually take this long term

    • Detox (detoxification) – where you switch from heroin to a substitute like methadone, before gradually withdrawing from the substitute so you're completely free from both

  • Some people start taking methadone for maintenance therapy. However many of them go on to detox and become free of heroin and methadone.

How and when is methadone used?

  • Methadone is usually prescribed in liquid form, it is swallowed in one go and water can be consumed afterwards if desired


Dosage for heroin addiction

  • Doses vary from person to person. The starting dose is based on:

    • The amount of heroin you are using

    • Whether you are using other drugs or alcohol

    • A urine sample (to test for heroin and other drugs)

    • Your physical and mental health

    • Whether you have had treatment for drug addiction before

    • Patients usually start on 10mg to 30mg, taken once a day. This can be increased slowly, until  withdrawal symptoms are under control and your cravings stop.

    • Many people then take a regular dose of between 60mg and 120mg a day. However your dose may be different. 

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