Methadone Maintenance

The Maintenance Programme at CASP

The Methadone Maintenance programme at CASP is run by the HSE
To join the methadone maintenance programme at CASP you must be;

  • A resident of North Clondalkin and
  • Over 18 years of age

All maintenance clients are assessed for the programme regarding their suitability.

Once a place on the programme has been allocated clients are assigned a Key Worker and a Counsellor to support them through their recovery. You will also have access to all services offered by CASP including holistics, primary health care etc.

If you would like to join our programme please contact 01 6166 750.

Information

About Methadone

Methadone is a synthetic opioid. It is prescribed to dependent users of heroin and other opioids as a substitute for these drugs over a prolonged period of time (can be indefinite), and can be used where detoxification has been unsuccessful and/or admittance to a substance abuse treatment facility requires complete abstinence.

In methadone maintenance treatment programs, methadone usually comes as a syrup that patients drink with fruit juice or cordial. “Methadone maintenance makes possible a first step toward social rehabilitation. . .” (Auerbach, 1976 p. 26) by fixing and maintaining the level of drugs in an addicts system thereby avoiding the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that abstinence from the substance of abuse initiates.

Effects of Methadone

Methadone has similar depressant and analgesic effects to other opioids. However, methadone’s effects last much longer (24 hours as opposed to a few hours). Methadone does not have the euphoric effects that heroin does.

If an excessively low dose of methadone is prescribed, effects similar to those of heroin withdrawal may be experienced (that is, flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhoea, aches, irritability and insomnia). On the contrary, an excessively high dose can cause similar effects to those associated with long-term heroin use (for example, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing, low body temperature, slow pulse, heart palpitations).

Side effects of methadone (not related to the dosage level) can include excessive sweating, constipation, aches, rashes, fluid retention, loss of appetite and stomach cramps. Long-term methadone use causes tooth decay. Taking methadone in combination with other depressants increases the risk of overdose. If someone who is not dependent on opioids takes methadone the effects are very strong and the risk of overdose is very high.

The Law

Methadone can only be legally obtained by prescription from a doctor who is a registered methadone prescriber. Injecting methadone, taking more than one dose at a time, or supplying one’s methadone to someone else is illegal. Stiff penalties apply to illicit possession or supply of methadone and to illicit prescription of methadone.

Working With CASP Staff When You Are On The Programme

Once you are offered a place on the Methadone programme you will mainly work with the following staff members;

  1. CASP Nurse
  2. GP
  3. Key Worker
  4. Counsellor

The CASP Clinic

The CASP Dispensing Clinic is open Monday to Friday (4:30pm-6:30pm) and Saturday/Sunday (10:00am-11:00am).

The Clinic is staffed by a Pharmacist and two GA’s from the Health Board, and supported by CASP staff.

Please contact CASP For Help on 01 6166750