Northeast Life Skills Associates, Inc
Call Us At: 973-777-2962

The mission of Northeast Life Skills Associates, Inc. is to empower New Jersey residents who are chemically dependent in achieving a more productive and meaningful lifestyle.

First, Lets talk Opioids

• Opiates = derivative of opium / Opioids = synthetic Now used interchangeably
• We all have natural Opioid receptors in our brain called endorphins (endogenous)
• These receptors have many functions; one main function is our emotional health and production of dopamine.
• Our neurotransmitters help to inhibit too much dopamine release at once
• Opioids (such as heroin) introduced to brain from outside (exegenous) mimics the natural opioids thus binding to opioid receptor and releasing 
an excess of dopamine.
• As these outside opioids leave the receptors, pleasurable feelings subside leading to withdrawal
• Now the opioid receptors are virtually empty and we NEED these receptors
• Short Term use of opioids the endorphins regenerate
• Long Term use the change is permanent. 

What is Methadone?

• Long acting synthetic drug
• Used to suppress symptons of opioid withdrawal, decrease cravings, block effects of other opioid
• One of the most monitored and regulated medical treatments in the United States
• It is a legal medication with strict conditions and guidelines
• It does not impair cognitive functions, intelligence or ability to operate machinery
• People prescribed methadone will feel pain and experience emotions

Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse

• Statistics are non-medical use
• Most Commonly abused are opioids
• 2nd is CNS depressants (Xanax)
• 3rd most abused is stimulants (Adderall)
• Approximately 20$ of the US population
• High risk for addictions and overdose
• Many times used in combination with other drugs like alcohol


• Medical Doctors cannot prescribe methadone; only those certified in addictions treatment
• Cannot pick up prescription at a pharmacy
• Dose is contingent on individual needs
• Therapeutic dosage range is 80-120 mg; start at 30 mg and increase 5-10 mg 2x per week until person is comfortable and has achieved blocking effects
• It is taken once per day (effects begin in 30 minutes) and has a duration of action 24-36 hours; released into body through the liver (heroin is 2-8 hours of action with immediate effects)

Myth Versus Reality

• Myth - Replaces one addiction for another; methadone is just a “crutch” for a person who does not want to work at recovery

• Reality - Taking medication as prescribed by a doctor is not an addiction; brain biochemistry has changed as a result of opiate use; these changes result in cravings, depression and relapse; there is 
no way to fix brain biochemistry


• Sweating, constipation, drowsiness, libido changes, excessive sweating (usually last about 6 months)
• Patients may become physically dependent
• Withdrawal symptons if abruptly stopped
• Risk of abuse

Pregnancy and Methadone

• Methadone is not harmful to the fetus but detoxification and withdrawal can 
  be dangerous
• Treatment of choice for those addicted to opioids
• Prevents miscarriage, fetal distress and premature labor
• Babies will have methadone in their system but can be weaned safely without adverse effects
• Breast feeding is OK (unless also HIV +); methadone levels are very low in breast milk

Final Words

• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health Panel found that methadone treatment has the “highest probability of being effective” when combined with attention to other psychosocial needs
• Methadone is corrective; not curative; it is a form of treatment for opioid dependency
• Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease

Northeast Life Skills Associates, Inc Resources
The Mission of Northeast Life Skills Associates, Inc. (NLSA, Inc.) is to empower New Jersey 
residents who are chemically dependent in achieving a more productive and meaningful lifestyle.

​At Northeast Life Skills Associates Inc, we take care to provide our patients high quality services personalized for their unique needs. We are available to take your inquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our staff members are professional, courteous and efficient.