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Methadone Treatment Programs

Methadone clinics offer medication based therapy for people dependent on opioid based substances, such as prescription painkillers and heroin. As a patient, you may 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 provided in wafer, pill, or liquid forms. It is commonly used to block the negative symptoms of such opiate pain medications like oxycodone, codeine, and morphine, along with other semi-synthetic opioids.

About Methadone Clinics

Even though methadone must be prescribed by a doctor, it is not typically used to cure addiction. Nonetheless, it may be useful in the rehabilitation and treatment process of a more extensive dependence treatment program.

Every methadone clinic in America, where these facilities are usually provided, is legally regulated by federal and state laws. The treatments offer various outcomes and you may benefit from them as follows:

  • Avoidance or reduction of the withdrawal symptoms that come when you quit using opioids
  • Blocking the effects of other illegal opioids
  • Decrease in cravings for other opioids
  • Alleviating your physiological need for other opioids to ensure that you are finally able to function normally again

In 2011, SAMHSA also indicated that close to quarter of a million Americans were admitted into an opiate treatment program, with more than half of them choosing detox and maintenance therapies. Although, only about 22% of patients were receiving maintenance treatment. For those undergoing rehab, methadone was a primary medication utilized.

As such, if you are dependent on any substance in the opiate class of drugs, you may check into one of these methadone programs - but only under the supervision and direction of a physician.

Who Needs Methadone Rehab?

Methadone is a legal medication used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms from opiate drugs for 24 to 36 hours. Having said that, there are a lot of reasons why you may want to enroll in a methadone treatment program. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Seeking relief from the daily struggles stemming from opiate abuse and dependence
  • Meeting the basic requirements of your drug rehabilitation
  • Managing drug cravings and withdrawal effects

For a lot of methadone clinics, upon your initial visit will have to undergo testing, during which you will talk about your problem to a nurse or counselor.

During the screening, you will be questioned regarding your history. You might also be given urinalysis and/or blood tests and informed about the various treatment facilities, their goals, and ruled.

Your drug history, any dual diagnosis, along with the impact of your addiction on your life may also be questioned through a clinical evaluation while a more comprehensive health evaluation will review your health history, overall condition, present requirements for medication, and current physical health.

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

  • Prevention of drug relapse
  • Restore and rebuild professional and interpersonal relationships
  • Cope with stress

The sessions may be for families, groups, or individuals. Additionally, the forms of counseling vary depending on your particular needs, circumstances, and preferences because some people may stabilize faster than others.

How methadone programs Work

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

Because every patient reacts to specific treatments and drugs differently, your care will be tailored to meet your unique needs and deal with the issues you are undergoing. The care will, however, not only be limited to your addiction.

Instead, the treatment may also apply to your work and family life, the appropriate setting for rehab, your functioning in society, as well as what you need to continue being productive and functional. The other components of your methadone rehab protocol will address the duration and a variety of other needs.

In most instances, methadone programs hardly ever just focus on the drug abuse problem only. This is because you may have legal, work related, medical, and social issues that also need to be addressed. For example, you may have a co-occurring disorder - such as a psychological or mental health disorder - that also needs to be controlled to ensure a healthier and more productive future for you.

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

a) MAT

Medication assisted rehabilitation (or MAT) is typically used in most methadone treatment clinics. Apart from the methadone, you may also be administered naltrexone, buprenorphine, and Vivitrol to help with drug cravings, reduce withdrawal, and wean you off your dependence.

b) CBT

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

Safety Precautions For Methadone Rehabilitation

Most methadone treatment programs will advise you to:

  • 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 light sources
  • Store your medications at room temperature

Methadone treatment programs can be helpful to reduce the damage associated with opiate addiction, however, methadone is a potent narcotic opiate in itself and physical dependence will typically develop. Yet, by following the programs strict protocols and recommendations, many clients are able to restore normalcy in their lives. Methadone clinics are also more affordable than other alternative methods since your pricing may be calculated based on your income.

Find Resources

If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.

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