We specialise in helping people who are addicted to ‘painkillers’. By ‘painkillers’ we mean any opiate drug.

These include Heroin,opium,morphine(Statex, MS-Contin), codeine(Tylenol #1,2,3,4), hydromorphone, fentanyl(Duragesic), oxycodone(Percocet,Oxycontin,OxyNeo).

We offer Methadone or Suboxone(buprenorphine) to anyone who can’t stop opiates-or can’t stay away from them.

Methadone and Suboxone are both very effective.Each has its benefits and drawbacks. You really can’t go wrong with either.

Opioid Substitution Therapy

Opioid Substitution Therapy  means treating your narcotic problem with a prescription medication. There are two  options:  Methadone and Suboxone. They are both long-acting opioid drugs that fills-up the same receptors in your brain as do other narcotic drugs and your own endorphins.

Opioid Substitution Right Is right For YOU if you answer yes to ANY ONE of these questions:

  • Have you been using drugs like Oxycontin, codeine, Dilaudid, Percocet, Fentayl and others ?
  • Have you tried to quit using but you can’t seem to stop for more than a few hours, days , weeks, or months at a time?
  • Is you current use more about avoiding feeling sick / coping with cravings / feeling “normal” than it is about getting high?
  • Do you want to feel more in control of your life / work / home/  yourself?
  • Do you want to be able to offer more to the people you care about?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Do you have HIV or hepatitis C ?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, Opioid Replacement Therapy (Methadone or Suboxone) may be a good next step for you.

What is methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic type of narcotic. It is taken daily by mouth, dissolved in a liquid drink. Only specially trained and  licensed physicians are able to prescribe methadone. Each patient may only be registered with one methadone clinic.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone,also, is a synthetic type of narcotic The primary active ingredient in Suboxone is Buprenorphine.  Suboxone also contains Naloxone to prevent it from being diverted for illicit use (if Suboxone is injected, the naloxone is likely to put you into withdrawal).It is taken daily as a tablet,dissolved under your tongue.It is safer but more expensive than methadone.

 

Medication 

Pros

Cons

All Substitution Therapies Taken orally, which is safer than injecting, snorting or smoking

When prescribed by a doctor, opioid replacement therapies are legal and safe – no risk of arrest

You know what you’re getting – potency is known and it’s never cut with other substances

Can eliminate involvement in criminal activity to obtain drugs as you can access opioid replacement therapies regularly

Reduces the risk of getting HIV or Hepatitis C.- No need to use / share needles and more likely to practice safe sex as you can think straight

Makes life more stable and creates space for things other than drugs: family / relationships, work/study, activities that bring you joy

Puts you in contact with people who can support you and help you reach the goals that are most important to you

 

Not  a cure, they are part of treatments.  For them to work, you need to be motivated and determined.

If you miss a dose, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms.

Bias-Some professionals and people in society still have negative beliefs.Those who don’t understand these therapies may see you as “still addicted.”

Until you get take-home doses,travel may be restricted.

You will be asked to produce urine samples frequently for drug testing. You may need to provide samples with someone watching you to ensure that the urine is yours and that you haven’t tampered with it.

Opioid replacement therapies blocks opioid receptors in your brain which prevent you from feeling high when you use ANY opioid.  Using other opioids on top of these therapies increases your risk of overdose, even if you don’t feel high

 

NOTE:  Both methadone and Suboxone work best when they are combined with counselling and other supports as part of an individualized plan that helps you better understand both the physical and the emotional causes and consequences of opioid use.

 

METHADONE 

Pros

Cons

        Long lasting-up to 24 – 36 hours!

Methadone (at the right dose) keeps away physical drug cravings and doesn’t leave you high or ‘ nodding off’

Cheap!  $7-10 / day, or free if you have an Ontario Drug Benefit Card or a drug prescription plan

Safe for  pregnant women and breast-feeding..

Of all the treatments for Opioid dependence, Methadone Maintenance has the best record for helping clients not to use other opioid drugs

Methadone maintenance is a long-term treatment.  You can expect to be on it for at least a year or two, and possibly even longer.

For at least the first 8 weeks of treatment, you will need to go to the clinic or pharmacy every day.  After that, you will still need to visit the clinic / pharmacy most days of the week.After a year, you will need to visit the clinic / pharmacy at least once a week.

There are some side effects.  Most subside after stabilization (first 2 – 6 weeks).  Those most commonly reported are: drowsiness, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating and changes in sex drive.  Adjusting the dose can reduce most side effects.

SUBOXONE

Pros

Cons

         Long lasting-up to 24 – 36 hours!

At  the right dose keeps away physical drug cravings and doesn’t leave you high or ‘ nodding off’Therapeutic dose can usually be reached within the first week of treatment.

Less restrictive.

Offers an alternative for people who can not, or who do not wish to, take methadone.

Because Suboxone is a newer medication, there may be fewer negative beliefs / perceptions attached to its use

Lower risk of fatal overdose as Suboxone.

(NOTE:  This does not mean it’s safe to take more Suboxone than prescribed)

You MUST be experiencing mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms before your first dose.

Not as effective as Methadone for those with high tolerance / heavy of opioid use

Expensive

There are some side effects.  Those most commonly reported are: Nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, or headache may occur

Not indicated for use in pregnancy.

As Suboxone is  a new medication, there are no studies of the long-term effects or how effective it is over a long period of time