Methadone and Suboxone are drugs that are often used to treat someone with an opioid addiction.
Methadone is an opioid that activates the same brain, spinal cord and internal organs receptors as other opioids, but it does not create the same euphoric feeling and is longer-acting.
Suboxone, which is a mixture of the opioids buprenorphine and naloxone, is a newer treatment similar to methadone, except its effect on the body's opioid receptors is even more muted.
Opioid addiction is a complex health problem that needs to be treated carefully, over time. The intent with the use of a substitute drug is to help someone with an opioid addiction avoid the factors that are most likely to cause a relapse – withdrawal symptoms and cravings – as they stop using. The substitutes help a person transition out of physical dependence and when the person is ready the process of tapering off the substitute drug can begin.
Methadone comes in a powder form that is usually dissolved in juice or a fruit-flavoured drink and is taken orally.
Suboxone comes in pill form and is dissolved under the tongue (sublingually). Once dissolved the buprenorphine is absorbed into the blood stream, leaving the naloxone behind in the mouth to be swallowed or spit out.
When first starting to take take Suboxone, it is important to make sure that you present in a mild to moderate state of withdrawal, as using the drugs when you are under the influence of a more powerful opiate can cause "precipitated withdrawal" where a sudden, steep onset of withdrawal symptoms are experienced.
ASYR offers methadone and Suboxone treatment as part of our Community Opioid Treatment Program.
We take a holistic approach to treatment, which means that in additional to the medical assistance our treatment includes other programs and services to help our clients address the psychological, social and spiritual factors impacting their addiction.
 What is OATC’s Methadone Maintenance Program? http://www.oatc.ca/services/opioid-agonist-program/suboxone/