There is a common misconception and confusion surrounding two anti-opioid drugs. These two drugs are used to treat people who have an addiction to heroin and other opioids. If you are about to enter drug rehab because you, personally, have such an addiction, you may be wondering if you will be exposed to, or taking, either of these medications. You may also be wondering how effective they are. Here is more information that will help you understand and know much more about methadone and naloxone (Narcan):

Naloxone Is for Emergencies Only

Naloxone comes in the form of an epi-pen. It is carried in ambulances so that EMTs can administer this drug to people who have clearly overdosed on some type of drug. It is also given to people that have all the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, even if that may not be the case.

Regardless of what is happening to a patient, naloxone is an emergency only drug that very quickly reverses any opioid overdose or apparent opioid overdose and brings the patient to his/her senses. You will only experience or encounter it if you leave drug rehab and OD on painkillers or heroin. There is no way you will receive it when you are a drug rehab inpatient, as all drugs are safely locked up and out of sight. 

Methadone Is a Tapering Treatment

Methadone has long been the drug treatment for heroin addicts. However, it is used for those who have a chemical dependence on other opioids and painkillers. You will take this drug while you are in drug rehab for heroin/opioid addiction.

The chemical and psychological dependency of this class of drugs is so powerful that people going through withdrawal in rehab are in intense pain, and cannot get through it without help. It is often prescribed for the first week of treatment after you enter a rehab program, and then you are over the worst of things. After that, you will be cut off unless your doctor feels that you need to taper down even further with smaller and smaller doses of methadone.


Naloxone is effective for saving lives if the pen is injected within minutes of the overdose. It is not an ongoing treatment, and should not be used as such. Too much of this drug could kill you, especially if you take it without any opioids in your system at all.

Methadone is effective for weaning people off their drugs of choice. It should not be used as a crutch, or an ongoing treatment to avoid using and abusing opioids/heroin again. If you feel yourself slipping off the wagon after you leave your drug rehab program, do not go to a "meth clinic." Call your rehab sponsor instead.

Contact a company like Meridian Treatment for more information and assistance.