Let us answer your questions.

Q.

What is a Narcotic Treatment Program (NTP)?

A.

An NTP, or Narcotic Treatment Program, also known as an OTP, or Opioid Treatment Program, refers to a treatment program providing services for chronic heroin, opium, or other opioid addiction. Under a medical director’s supervision, the program dispenses medication either for detoxification purposes or for maintenance treatment.

Q.

What is methadone?

A.

Methadone is a drug commonly used to treat opiate addiction and relieve pain. It is not, however, used to treat non-opioid drug addictions to substances such as alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine. Methadone blocks the receptors in the brain that are affected by opiates, enabling users to experience a more gradual detox process rather than a more extreme and painful withdrawal process.

Q.

How does methadone work?

A.

Methadone reduces the drug cravings and harsh symptoms that are often associated with a patient's withdrawal, without creating the sense of euphoria associated with the abuse of heroin and other opiates. Methadone's effects last between 24 and 36 hours, and therefore most patients benefit from a single daily dose.

Q.

Is methadone safe?

A.

When used as prescribed, methadone can safely be taken continuously over a period of weeks, months, and even years without any harsh side effects. According to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, methadone is "a rigorously well-tested medication that is safe and efficacious for the treatment of narcotic withdrawal and dependence.” In addition, methadone does not impair mental function or interfere with daily activities. It is prescribed by a physician, and regulated under strict state and federal guidelines.