Medications Besides Methadone for Heroin Addiction Treatment

Medications are incredibly useful tools in treating numerous diseases, including heroin addiction. The most well-known and popular of these is methadone. However, methadone is not right for every addict or every situation.

It also has numerous possible side effects, including addiction, which may make it necessary for you to choose a different option. However, there are medications besides methadone for heroin addiction cure.


Naltrexone is a relatively new medication for treating heroin addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it blocks the pleasurable effects of heroin and other opiates making the abuse of them pointless. Early uses of this medication proved ineffective, but recent creation of an injectable version makes it much more effective.


Buprenorphine has been around far longer than Naltrexone, but it works much more like methadone. This medication replicates heroin in the brain, but does not cause users to get high. It also has a much lower rate of abuse because it does not have many of the same pleasurable effects of heroin. This makes buprenorphine the best option, other than methadone, for heroin maintenance treatment.


This more rare medication is a much different drug than either naltrexone or buprenorphine. Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. This makes it more likely to be prescribed to people in the late stages of recovery and those in outpatient programs that are deemed trustworthy enough to carry it for use in an emergency. However, the nature of this drug makes it very rare.


Suboxone is quickly becoming the most popular medication to treat heroin addiction. It is a combination of buprenorphine and low dose naloxone. This means that it has all of the maintenance and withdrawal mitigation benefits of buprenorphine, in addition to almost no chance of abuse or diversion because of the presence of naloxone.

While all of these medications may be useful in treating your heroin addiction, the most important thing is to seek some form of professional treatment and end your addiction. The sooner you do, the higher your chance of leading a long and healthy life.


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