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Methadone Treatment Programs

Methadone Treatment Programs

Methadone treatment programs offer medication based therapy for people addicted to opioid based substances, such as prescription painkillers and heroin. As a patient, you might receive methadone - or Dolophine, its brand name version - (an opioid analgesic) as a form of replacement therapy.

SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) reports that methadone might be administered in wafer, pill, or liquid forms. It is often used to block the adverse effects of such opiate pain medications like oxycodone, codeine, and morphine, as well as other semi-synthetic opioids.

About Methadone Treatment

Even though methadone must be prescribed by a physician, it is not typically provided to "cure" addiction. Nonetheless, it might can useful in the rehabilitation and treatment process of a more comprehensive addiction treatment program.

Every methadone clinic in the United States, where these programs are usually offered, is strictly regulated by federal and state laws. The treatments provide various effects and you might benefit from them in the following ways:

  • Avoidance or reduction of the withdrawal symptoms that come when you quit abusing opioids
  • Blocking the effects of other illicit opioids
  • Decrease in cravings for other opioids
  • Stopping your physical need for other opioids to ensure that you are finally able to function normally again

In 2011, SAMHSA also reported that close to quarter of a million Americans were admitted into an opiate treatment program, with more than half of them opting for detoxification and maintenance services. However, only about 22% of them were receiving maintenance treatment. For those undergoing treatment, methadone was one of the primarily medications prescribed.

As such, if you are addicted to any substance in the opiate class of drugs, you might check into one of these methadone treatment programs - but under the strict supervision and instruction of a doctor.

Who Needs Methadone Treatment?

Methadone is a legal medication used to suppress withdrawal symptoms from opiate drugs for 24 to 36 hours. That said, there are many reasons why you might want to get into a methadone treatment program. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Seeking relief from the daily struggles arising from opiate abuse and addiction
  • Fulfilling the basic requirements of ongoing drug treatment
  • Managing drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms

For most methadone treatment programs, the first time you visit the clinic you will have to undergo screening, during which you will talk about your problem to a nurse or counselor.

During the screening, you will be asked about your history. You might also be given urinalysis and/or blood tests and informed about the various treatment programs, their goals, and guidelines.

Your history of drug use, any co-occurring disorders, and well as the impact of your substance use disorder on your life may also be assessed through a clinical evaluation while a more comprehensive medical evaluation will review your health history, overall condition, present requirements for medication, and current health.

Additionally, many methadone treatment programs also offer counseling sessions. The therapy provided will help you:

  • Focus on prevent drug relapse
  • Repair and rebuild professional and personal relationships
  • Deal with stress

The sessions might be for families, groups, or individuals. Additionally, the format might vary depending on your particular needs, circumstances, and preferences because some people tend to stabilize faster than others.

Apart from the above, visiting a methadone clinic might enable you satisfy the guidelines required to receive a dose. In most cases, you will have to visit the clinic daily, although some programs allow you to manage your doses away from the clinic.

How Methadone Treatment Programs Work

In all methadone treatment programs, the medication must be administered by trained, registered, and licensed medical professionals. Clients are required to go to the clinic daily to receive their methadone dose, however in some special cases, some clients might receive take-home doses. This allows them visit the clinic less frequently than the usual daily visit.

Since every patient reacts to specific treatments and drugs differently, your care will be tailored to meet your unique needs and deal with the problems you are undergoing. The care will, however, not just be limited to your substance use disorder.

Instead, the program might also focus on your work and family life, the appropriate setting for treatment, your functioning in society, as well as what you need to continue being productive and functional. The other aspects of your methadone treatment protocol will include the duration and a variety of other needs.

In most cases, methadone treatment programs hardly ever just focus on the drug abuse problem only. This is because you might have legal, job related, medical, and social matters that also need addressing. For instance, you may have a co-occurring disorder - such as a psychological or mental health issue - that should also be controlled to ensure a healthier and more productive future for you.

After the evaluation of your health and history, the treatment will begin. Some of the basic treatment options recommended include:

a) MAT

Medication assisted treatment (or MAT) is usually used in most methadone treatment programs. Apart from the methadone, you might also receive naltrexone, buprenorphine, and Vivitrol to manage drug cravings, reduce withdrawal, and taper you off your addiction.

b) CBT

The program might also involve cognitive behavioral therapy to change the unique expectations and behaviors accompanying your addiction and help you develop better coping skills. CBT is also useful in dealing with drug cravings and offsetting stress factors that often cause you to abuse intoxicating substances.

Saftey Precautions For Methadone Treatment

Most methadone treatment programs will advise you to ensure that you:

  • Are careful while operating machinery or driving
  • Avoid consuming alcohol while on the medication
  • Get in touch with emergency medical services in case you overdose
  • Keep the methadone away from all sources of light
  • Store your medications at room temperature
  • Store your medications in a lock box

Methadone treatment programs are effective at treating opioid addiction. They are also more affordable than other alternative treatments since your pricing might be calculated based on your income. In case you develop tolerance for it, however, your dose can be increased to relieve withdrawal.

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Getting treatment is vital to your success at beating addiction. Let us help you make the right choice.

Our addiction treatment specialists can help you find the right treatment choice for your personal situation.

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