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Episode 20: Is Methadone an Effective Treatment Option?

What's On This Episode

Episode Highlights

[01:36] – What is Methadone?
[06:17] – Freedom vs Relief
[10:35] – Methadone Withdrawals


In this episode we explore the use of Methadone and Suboxone as form of treatment for addiction to opioids. Ben Bueno is a Heroin addict in recovery who went down this path and has very honest and amazing insights into what that experience was like.

What is Methadone and Saboxone?

Methadone is part of the opioid family of pain relievers. It's only available through prescription from a Medical Doctor.  It was originally invented during WWII to treat extreme pain. Today it's often used as a method of treatment for those with addictions to other opioids such as heroin because it is considered safer than those other drugs. Methadone also blocks the "high" feeling you can get when using opioids such as Heroin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and others. Suboxone as well as Subutex is very similar to Methadone and acts in the same way when used as a treatment for opioid addiction.

Will Methadone Keep You From Using Heroin?

As you hear in this episode, Methadone did nothing to keep Ben off of heroin. In fact, he shot heroin the entire time he was on Methadone. The entire time he was on the methadone program, he didn't have a clean urine analysis.

Ben also shares why he still was using Methadone and still getting high FROM the Methadone. Some people will tell you, Methadone suppresses the cravings for Heroin without giving you "high" you feel when you're on heroin. 

"Are you looking for freedom or are you looking for relief?" Methadone gives you relief but no freedom. 12 Steps will give you freedom AND relief.

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Methadone Gives You Relief and Not Freedom

If you're looking to simply escape the issues with law enforcement without actually getting freedom from your addiction, you can head to the local Methadone clinic instead of your dealer and you'll have no issues with the law. But you'll still be struggling with the same addiction you had before.

We don't actually gain freedom from our addictions until we've dealt with the issues inside which are compelling us to find a solution to our pain from a drug. Freedom is when you can live without that need for relief through heroin or other drugs. 

Withdrawals from Methadone Are Actually Worse Than Heroin

You're going to go through withdrawal a lot longer with both Methadone and Suboxone. The knick-name for Methadone is "Liquid Handcuffs" because it keeps you chained to the Methadone clinic because you can't get more than a week's worth in the best case situation. This means you're not free to leave the methadone clinic for any length of time. 

The other issue with the horrible withdrawals is when the pharmacy runs out of your prescription for a week or two. Now you're going to be dealing with being "Dope Sick" which Ben describes as feeling like you've got the flu, food poisoning, and drank a bunch of Red Bull, You want to throw up but at the same time you feel like running through the wall and stabbing yourself to death.

Who you'll hear in this episode

  • Tom Conrad
  • Ben Bueno
  • Adam Colling
  • Paul Adams

Paul Desmond Adams

Co-Dependent Dad

Paul discovered he was a co-dependent after several months of therapy session. He now realizes his co-dependency only prolonged his daughter's struggle with heroin addiction. Like most loving parents who are co-dependent, Paul thought he was helping his daughter get better.

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