- Reduction in infectious disease due to stopping opiate abuse, particularly injection drug abuse
- Reduction in criminal activity due to stopping illicit drug use
- Overall improvement in quality of life
- Better chance at long-term recovery success
- Improved social functioning
- Better participation in addiction treatment since withdrawal symptoms aren’t a distraction
Oftentimes, methadone maintenance therapy can make stability possible in early recovery. People can give their full attention to therapy, allowing them to address the root issues that led to opiate use. They can find a job, and begin to find more balance in life. It also allows individuals to resume parenting their children in a stable home environment. In addition, if people are facing legal consequences related to addiction issues, they may receive a reduced sentence they are able to show a judge proof of participation in a methadone maintenance program.
According to the University of New Mexico Hospital, people who begin taking methadone are often able to reduce their use of alcohol and other drugs. Once people begin taking methadone, they will have to take it on a long-term basis. If their life circumstances change, requiring that they stop using methadone, they will have to be safely weaned from the drug, which must take place under medical supervision.
While some states require that individuals visit a methadone clinic daily to get dosages, some states allow take-home dosages. Individuals who are approved for take-home treatment receive a small supply of the medication. The program they are admitted to requires them to account for every dosage, keep the medication in a locked container, and comply with random audits to ensure compliance with their treatment program, according to the University of Missouri.
While other medication-assisted treatments are available for those addicted to opiates, such as buprenorphine, methadone is often viewed as the most effective option for those who are severely addicted to opiates. According to Harvard Medical School, approximately 25 percent of people admitted to a methadone maintenance program will become abstinent from methadone , over time. Another 25 percent will continue using methadone as a replacement medication, while the remainder will likely go on and off methadone as they leave and re-enter substance abuse treatment programs.