The use of pharmacotherapies, or the treatment of an addiction with the use of
medication, has been prevalent in psychology during the past 50 years. Addiction
counselors and doctors work in conjunction by prescribing medication to assist users as
they wean off of their drug of choice, replacing one addictive substance with another.
In 1965, researchers began using methadone, a human-made chemical substance, to
block the effects of heroin and lessen the withdrawal symptoms of opiate addicts.
Methadone maintenance treatments are still used today, and researchers continue to
question its use in assisting addicts. For example, “Despite the [reported] effectiveness
of methadone in reducing heroin use and the associated medical co-morbidities . . .
there have been reports about patients using heroin while being in methadone
maintenance treatment (MMT)” (Fareed,Vayalapalli, Stout, Casarella, Drexler, & Bailey,
What do you consider the possible benefits and drawbacks may be of replacing one
addictive substance with another? How can researchers and addiction counselors be
sure these methods are helping addicts?
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review the articles “Effect of Methadone Maintenance Treatment on Heroin Craving, a
Literature Review” and “Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment: A Research-Based
Guide,” as well as Chapter 12 in your course text
Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of replacing one addictive substance with another.
Consider the possible drawbacks specific to the use of methadone maintenance for
Write an informed argument regarding the possible benefits and/or drawbacks of
pharmacotherapy. What are the drawbacks in using methadone maintenance for opiate
Recommended: Cheap Psychology Homework Writing Help Online
Walters, S. T., & Rotgers, F. (2013) Treating substance abuse: Theory and technique
(3rd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Chapter 12, “Integrating Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy in Substance Abuse
Fareed, A., Vayalapalli, S., Stout, S., Casarella, J., Drexler., & Bailey, S.P. (2011).
Effect of methadone maintenance treatment on heroin craving, a literature review.
Journal of Addictive Diseases. 30(1), 27-28
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2009). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A
Research-Based Guide: A research-based guide (2d ed.).
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