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Methadone Maintenance Treatment—Helpful or Harmful?

Replacement therapies tend to be the most controversial of all treatments for substance abuse and

dependence. In particular, methadone maintenance has been the focus of much controversy and


Mary was a chronic heroin user, but eventually she hit “rock bottom” and decided to get help. Mary

goes to a methadone clinic every day to get her methadone dose for the day. She is happy to be sober

from heroin. However, her family does not understand. They see that Mary is still taking a drug every

day and view her as still being dependent.

Using your textbook and the Argosy University online library resources, research the controversy of

methadone maintenance treatment for heroin users.

Answer the following:

In what ways is the treatment helpful or harmful?

Is this a successful treatment for heroin dependence? Why or why not?

Write your initial response in 150–200 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


Methadone Maintenance Treatment—Helpful or Harmful?

The substitution therapy used by employing agents like methadone and buprenorphine is helpful

and harmful too (The methadone fix, 2008). It is helpful because the agents reduce the effects of

other harmful opioids, such as heroin. The agents also have a stable non-toxicating effect and

cannot harm the patients severely. They are harmful because they produce similar effects like

opiates and in order to enjoy similar experiences, the patients may get dependent on the agents of

substitution therapy, and therefore the overall problem of drug abuse will not be solved. The

patients are pulled out of one drug, and they become dependent on the other drug. Thus,

psychological and physical dependence on the substituting opioids, such as methadone and

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