Methadone Maintenance Program

Methadone is a long-acting opioid medication (lasting 24-36 hours per dose). It’s an effective and legal substitute for heroin or other narcotics (such as heroin, methadone, Oxycontin, opium, Percocet, Percodan, morphine, codeine, etc.) Methadone has been used in treatment programs since the 1960’s. It helps to stabilize the lives of people who are dependent on opiates and reduce the harm related to drug use. It also helps them return to a stable social, economic and home environment.

The program includes the following

  • An initial intake interview
  • Medical examination and laboratory tests, where appropriate
  • Supervised urine testing
  • A signed treatment contract and treatment plan
  • Addiction counselling
  • Regular medical follow up
  • Daily methadone dose
  • Post-methadone treatment (i.e., relapse prevention, and medication where appropriate)

We utilize a multidisciplinary treatment team approach including Addiction Physicians, Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses, Pharmacists and other allied health professionals.

How does methadone work?

The Methadone program is not a “quick fix”. Methadone is part of a long-term and comprehensive maintenance program for opiate dependent clients. The immediate goal is to stabilize you on your methadone dose, promote a sense of well-being and prevent physical withdrawal symptoms. Methadone will significantly decrease your drug cravings, and help you eliminate drug use. Methadone maintenance treatment works best when combined with other services and interventions. As part of our program, you will be able to freely access addiction counselling, crisis intervention and management, as well as various medical services. Methadone works by its effect on opiate receptors in the body. To allow it to work properly, you are best advised to abstain from the use of all other opiates. In the case that you choose to use other opiates with methadone, the effect of methadone will diminish. You will also fail to obtain the effect which you have been accustomed to after taking opiates (e.g., less or no euphoria), and you may put yourself in higher risk for overdose.

Remember, the goal of Methadone treatment is to stabilize your body physically so that you can make the desired changes in your life, and make the best of your new “drug-free” lifestyle.

How is methadone taken?

Methadone is taken orally and is diluted with orange juice. When you first start the program, you will be asked to drink your medication at the pharmacy daily. As you stabilize your dose, and your treatment program, you may be eligible for some “carries”, or take home doses. Carries should be refrigerated. It is your responsibility to store them safely to make sure the medication is not taken by anyone else, especially a child, or a non-opiate dependent person, for whom it may be lethal.

How is the program paid for?

All services are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP). Additional nominal fees may be applicable for non-OHIP covered services. Non-OHIP services may be covered in part, or in full, by your workplace extended health benefits plan, or other private insurance health care plans. The cost of Methadone is covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit Program for those patients who are covered by the plan (i.e., Family Benefits, Welfare Assistance, Disability, etc.)

Source: Supporting content for this website has been sourced from Canadian Addiction Treatment Centres

How do I access the program?

Please visit Monday through Friday (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., EST) and identify yourself as a patient who is interested in our Methadone maintenance program. Your family physician, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, addiction counselor, other allied health professional, or employer may also call on your behalf for further information.

You are the one making the changes. Northwood Recovery is here to support you improve the quality of your life.

We have a reputation for running a caring and non-judgemental atmosphere. Our goal is to help you lead a life without substance use. You may want to restart school and work, reconnect your family, and bring back hope. Northwood Recovery understands each person has a unique and personal goals. That means working hard to get you free of substances and safely off methadone or suboxone.

Need Assistance? We’re here to help.

Northwood Recovery is located at the BACK of 80 Elm Street in Downtown Sudbury.
We also have various Access Points in communities around Northern Ontario.