Drug dependence continues to be a significant concern in the United States for people of all ages. In order to address this issue, a variety of treatment protocols have been developed and utilized. While some of these have varying degrees of success, others have proven to be effective.
Addiction to opiates such as prescription pain killers and heroin are both considered to be serious issues. Methadone, however, has been used to effectively treat heroin addiction in many individuals.
Drug Use Statistics for 2013 through 2015
A 2014 survey showed that during 2013, 2.7% of Americans 12 years of age and older were dependent on some type of illicit drug. In 2015, it was determined that approximately 591,000 teenagers and young adults were suffering with a heroin use disorder:
- Teenagers: 6,000
- Young adults: 155,000
Furthermore, it was estimated that 21,000 adolescents had used heroin within the past year and 5,000 were currently using this drug.
Heroin and Prescription Painkillers
There were 20.5 million people 12 and older with a substance abuse issue in 2015:
- Prescription pain relievers: 2 million
- Heroin: 591,000
Many individuals that currently use heroin began with misusing prescription painkillers. This was found to be the case for 4 in every 5 individuals that are considered to be new heroin users.
Heroin use tends to lead to the development of an opioid addition for approximately 23% of the people that use this drug.
The Effectiveness of Methadone Treatments for Opiate Addiction
While some individuals will attempt to abstain from using heroin and other opiates, the success rate for this is minimal. The success rate for abstinence-based, non-medical treatment is just 5% to 10%.
Methadone treatments, however, have been shown to be the most effective for over 50 years. The success rate for this treatment modality ranges from 60% to 90%. The treatment outcomes actually improve when a patients receives treatment for a longer duration.
After receiving a methadone treatment, the effects will last between 24 to 36 hours. As a result, these treatments assist with the management of opiate addiction.
Almost 270,000 individuals received methadone treatments during March 2011, according to SAMHSA;s 2011 “OTP Survey.” Currently, others are receiving heroin addiction treatment and pain pill addiction treatment at methadone clinics and rehab centers.