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Treating Drug Addiction

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Describe how drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine are used to treat addiction. How do you feel about treating drug addiction with administering another drug? Explain your response.

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Solution Summary

The use of the listed drugs (see above) is discussed in relation to the treatment of addiction.

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Methadone is used to prevent withdrawal reactions and reduces the craving for heroin; it allows addicts to function normally in social and vocational activities although they are dependent on methadone. Buprenophrine is approved for the treatment of opioid addiction and it also reduces cravings.

In opioid maintenance therapy, a person addicted to heroin receives methadone instead of heroin. The methadone does not give the addict the "high" that the heroin would but they are both opioids. The dose of methadone may then be decreased over time so that the person can overcome his/her addiction without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, or after a person has received methadone for a period of time, he or she may choose to go through detoxification. The initial dosage of methadone is 40 milligrams daily administered in single or divided doses. After achieving initial dosing of about 40 milligrams daily the dose should then be increased since there is evidence that the relapse rate is significantly lower in patients on ...

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