Alere is now Abbott



Methadone is a synthetic opioid used mainly as a maintenance treatment for former heroin addicts. Methadone reduces the cravings and harsh symptoms that are associated with withdrawal of heroin without creating the euphoric rush associated with abuse of heroin. Heroin users on methadone treatment programmes benefit from a single daily dose as its effects last for between 24 and 36 hours. Consumption of the oral solution is often supervised to prevent illicit use.

Methadone is also used for the relief of moderate to severe pain as an option for patients who are intolerant to morphine. It acts as a sedative, reduces anxiety and makes people feel relaxed. Methadone should be taken only when prescribed by a doctor. Variations in its strength when used illicitly can lead to toxic concentrations.



Taken by the mouth in liquid, tablet or powder form.



Injected directly under the skin, into a vein or into a muscle.

  • Sedative
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Relieves pain
  • Makes the user ¬†feel relaxed

Overdoses can lead to:

  • Coma
  • Circulatory collapse
  • Death through respiratory arrest
Methadone linctus


Molecular structure of methadone

Street Names

physeptone, mixture, linctus, dollies, meth

Legal Status

Class A Substance

Possession of the drug can lead to up to seven years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to life imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.

For more information about drug classifications and the associated penalties visit the Home Office website.