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Maintenance Treatment

In maintenance treatment for heroin addicts, people in treatment are given an oral dose of a synthetic opiate, usually methadone hydrochloride or levo-alpha-acetyl methadol (LAAM), administered at a dosage sufficient to block the effects of heroin and yield a stable, noneuphoric state free from physiological craving for opiates.

In this stable state, the patient is able to disengage from drug-seeking and related criminal behavior and, with appropriate counseling and social services, become a productive member of his or her community.

Treatment Notes

This type of treatment is primarily used for heroin addiction, opiate addiction, and in general those addictions that produce the most severe withdrawal symptoms. There is growing concern that this continuation of drug usage, albeit legally prescribed, is in actual fact a continuation of addiction and other alternatives should be considered.