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Methadone is a synthetic narcotic drug similar to morphine but less habit-forming than that. It is frequently used in narcotic detoxification and heroin addiction rehab. The principal effects of methadone treatment are to relieve opioid craving, suppress the abstinence cravings, and block the euphoric effects associated with heroin. Heroin results in the release of an excess of dopamine neurotransmitter in the body which causes an urge to consume opiate continuously which can keep the opioid receptors in the brain occupied. Methadone occupies this receptor and suppresses that urge to consume heroin. This permits heroine addicts to change their behavior and to discontinue heroin use. Although Methadone reduces the cravings associated with heroin use and suppresses the urge to consume heroin, but it does not provide the same euphoria that heroin does. Consequently, the patient remains physically dependent on the Methadone or any opioid for that matter, but is freed from the uncontrolled, compulsive, and disruptive behavior seen in heroin addicts. So, a majority of patients may require Methadone maintenance for an indefinite period of time. There are many home based kits for testing for presence of methadone or any of its unique known metabolites in blood, urine or hair samples. These kits are often based on antibody based screening like ELISA. Lab based liquid chromatography may be performed along with MS for further validation purposes.

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