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One of the treatment modalities for detox from heroin abuse is methadone maintenance. This use as part of the recovery process has proven very controversial over the years. Since oxycotin, a commonly prescribed and abused pain killer, has very similar affects on the body to heroin, methadone maintenance programs have become a more popular form of treatment for oxycotin detox.
Professionally speaking, it is generally the thinking that without total abstinence from use, one does not recover from drug addiction over the long term. While methadone maintenance can certainly make the process of withdrawal less traumatic over the short term, methadone use can easily lead to another chemical dependency and, yet, another need for treatment over time.
Addiction and addict thinking are inherently "impatient." Addicts become dependent on a quick fix both chemically and emotionally. The problem from a clinical perspective with feeding into this quick fix mentality, is that the addict thinking and behavioral manifestations, then, are not adequately addressed, and the addictive tendencies, thus, permeate the user for the long term.
While short-term detox, coupled with behavioral therapy and some form of 12-step treatment take a lot of effort and time, the results tend to be more fruitful and successful over the long run.