Methadone is the most widely known opiate agonist used to treat opioid dependence. It can help patients ween off opiates of abuse because it decreases drug cravings. Patients must go to licensed methadone clinics to receive their doses. Because it is a narcotic, methadone has the potential to cause dependence.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate drug and pain reliever. Additionally, it acts on the same receptors as heroin, morphine, and other opiates. While the drug does not produce the same high heroin, it is also highly addictive and has an increased risk of overdose. German scientists first developed it in 1937 by searching for a surgical painkiller named “Dolophine.” Later, exported to the U.S. and renamed methadone, the drug became the treatment for heroin addiction. Unfortunately, it proved to be even more addictive than heroin.