In February of this year, Points, the blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, had an interesting post by Sam Roberts which explored the history of methadone treatment in the United States. Roberts looked at the history of a 1976 documentary, Methadone: An American Way of Dealing to explain the complicated history of addiction treatment.
I worked in a methadone treatment center for four years and thought that it was helpful for preventing some people from relapsing and going back to heroin use. Since the time I worked in the clinic, more treatments, especially buprenorphine, have become available. Buprenorphine has the advantage that a doctor, after training, can prescribe the medicine, freeing the patient from daily attendance at a clinic.
After my experience with Noom, which is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), I have mixed feelings about people seeking addiction treatment not having to attend a clinic daily. In my quest to lose weight, one of the most effective things I did was weigh myself daily. This helped me develop a habit of thinking consciously about my food choices, Attending a methadone clinic daily could have the same effect for some people.
Support while one is changing behavior is critical for success. How to provide and maintain that support is the open question in the area of opioid addiction.