blank   Click to listen highlighted text! blank

Drug Abuse Treatment Case Study: Using Heroin Addiction to Avoid Negative Feelings

Posted on :  August 19th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug abuse case studies show how successful the right treatment program can be. Learning about the individual lives that have been affected by drug abuse is a good way to discover how to help people you know who are currently abusing drugs.

This case study is about a woman who turned to heroin as a way to manage difficult relationships with her ex-husband and her boyfriend. She first tried heroin when her boyfriend suggested that she try it so she could be in the right state of mind to talk to her ex-husband about their children and their child support payments. Unfortunately, she found heroin to be too good to stop using.

She did make a smart move by contacting a methadone clinic for help. She stopped her relationship with the boyfriend, so she could take care of herself and get things right. She walked into the clinic while shaking and wearing filthy clothes. She was given the option to start a methadone program or enter into an inpatient treatment program to detox without drugs. She chose the methadone program. She eventually transitioned into buprenorphine. She stayed off of heroin for five years, until a bad memory popped back into her life.

As a teen, she was raped by an uncle. Her parents found out about it and never got in contact with the family member again. She was living a satisfying life without heroin, until the uncle knocked on her door. All of the memories came back and she had no idea what to do. She called the police, but since no one ever contacted the police after the rape, there was nothing that could have been done when he stopped at her house. She slammed the door, locked it, and called her ex-husband. He took their children back to his apartment for safety purposes. But, this left her alone with her racing thoughts and anxiety.

She called the ex-boyfriend and got back into heroin. She knew this wasn’t the right thing to do, but she felt like she had no other option. She knew of no other way to get the memories out of her head. Her ex-husband ended up keeping the children for longer than they expected and she did not do anything to get them back. She stopped working and let the boyfriend move in with her. They did heroin as often as possible, and mixed the heroin with alcohol, too. She spent the majority of her time either high or drunk.

Even though her parents knew about the rape, they never did anything because they did not know what to do. So, she never received any psychological support. She stopped talking to her parents, because she always thought they did not care much about her. All of the negative, disturbing memories were too much for her to manage, so she contemplated suicide. Fortunately, her counselor at the methadone clinic contacted her after she did not check in for a scheduled appointment. This was a turning point in her life.

The counselor talked to her on the phone for what felt like an entire day – even though it was only about 20 minutes. The counselor talked her into coming to the methadone clinic, just so they could talk face-to-face and get her some support. Since she was high, the counselor had a taxi cab pick her up to bring her to the clinic. Upon her arrival at the clinic, the counselor had a car ready to take her to an inpatient clinic where she could get the help she needed both physically for the drug abuse and mentally for the psychological abuse.

She remained at the inpatient clinic for three weeks, while her children stayed with their father. She went back on methadone and is expecting to transition back to buprenorphine when the time is right. She recognizes that she has lost a significant portion of her life to drugs, but with her complete support, she feels that she can get back to work and live a successful life.

For more information on cases like this, contact Towards Recovery Clinics.


Drug Abuse Prevention: Ending the Need for Treatment

Posted on :  August 17th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Addictive drugs are easier than ever to find, so preventing drug abuse is just as important as treating people who are suffering from addiction. The most important time to begin a prevention program is before children become adolescents. Drug abuse is incredibly dangerous for young minds because illicit drugs affect the brain, which is how addiction occurs. When it comes to drugs like heroin or other opioids, the brain is permanently changed.

Watch for Transitions

The most common times that drug abuse begins is with transitions. Adults can be drawn to drugs when they lose a job or have marital issues. Adolescents can be drawn to drugs in more transitional moments. For example, students who switch schools can be enticed to do drugs as a way to meet new people. They can also be drawn to drugs as a way to deal with family issues like divorce or personal issues like depression or anxiety. Middle school and high school tend to be dangerous times because drugs are available, especially when young students meet the older ones who can drive, have jobs, and have more access to drugs. Teens will encounter drugs or will be asked about drugs when they are in school.

Risky Behavior Begins in the Teen Years

Another major danger for teens is the fact that they are naturally risk takers. They do not understand the potential dangers that come with abusing drugs. Teens might do drugs to try to fit in, especially if they are in situations where parents are not nearby. Teens might do drugs to improve their social status. Some might also be tricked into taking drugs. There are also teens who will sell their prescription drugs, like ADHD medicine. Some also will take drugs to cover up their psychological issues. There are plenty of reasons why teens will take drugs and they always think they are logical reasons, even though they really are not.

Drugs Damage Young Brains

Since teen brains are still developing, taking drugs can seriously affect their young brains by damaging the areas associated with import skills like learning, memory, and controlling behavior. Teens with history of drug abuse will have issues in school and after – many end up in the justice system with lengthy criminal records. Sadly, there are too many children between the ages of 12 and 13 who are using drugs.

Thoroughly Research Drug Prevention Programs Work

Because of the trends, prevention programs have been researched, tested, and retested. These scientifically researched programs have proven to be successful in teaching children, teens, and their parents about the dangers of drug abuse. Parents are taught about risk factors and signs to watch for in their children. Schools and communities are also involved in the prevention programs. The programs have reduced the numbers of young people who are getting involved in drug abuse.

The programs are designed for three different population groups. There are programs designed to work with an entire community or school. There are also programs designed for kids who have been identified as a potential risk – usually they were identified at school or in a community center. The last group is for teens who are using drugs. The programs are designed to meet the different needs of the identified groups.

Schools and community groups that use drug prevention programs as they are designed find that fewer students use drugs. Once students see that drugs are dangerous, they tend to avoid them.

Reducing the Reliance on Treatment Programs

Ideally, prevention programs will be so successful that eventually there will be no need for treatment programs. Even after students leave school and enter into the work world, prevention programs still occur. The general public is regularly exposed to images of drug abusers in commercials, movies, and reality television shows. Whether prevention programs are geared toward young children, teens, or the general public, the goal is still the same: to completely end drug abuse.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, our goal is to help addicts end their addiction to opioids, but we would be perfectly satisfied if drug abuse was ended through all of these prevention programs. If you have any questions about how prevention programs work or about treatment programs, we encourage you to call us, email us, or visit us.


How to Get Help for Loved Ones

Posted on :  August 15th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

If you have stumbled upon this blog post, then you have most likely been on the hunt for information about addiction treatment centre Toronto area. Whether you are the one who is need of help or someone you love needs to spend time in an addiction treatment centre Toronto, then you probably need to know a little about the recovery and intervention process.

Addiction treatment, whether to drugs or alcohol, is a process that takes time. It affects several aspects in life. In most cases, what happens during addiction recovery can be different for everyone. Here are some hints to help make the process of recovery easier to understand:

1. Knowledge is Power: Learn about the Signs of Addiction

Addiction has very clear signs and it is important for people to understand what they are seeing. When our loved ones are addicted, we might not notice the signs right away simply because we often think that addiction cannot happen to people we love, or to ourselves, for that matter. There are several online assessment tools that are designed for each type of addiction. They will tell you if it is time to get help.

There are also signs that you can visually see. One of them is, constantly needing the substance – think of some who smokes more than a pack of cigarettes each day. That is a sign of dependency. Another is feeling cravings for drugs – when someone cannot get their “hit” they might feel cranky, angry, and/or depressed. Insomnia and an increased appetite is another common sign of addiction. Some people might give up their favorite social activities and they might focus their lives on getting a good supply of their favorite substance. They also might start behaving in risky ways.

2. Talking Can Help: Stay Calm and Relaxed

If you suspect that someone is using, a conversation might be helpful. But, the conversation attempt needs to be held in private. It also needs to happen in a quiet, relaxed location. Talk calmly about what you are noticing, but do not blame your friend or loved one. Make it about you and how you have been affected. If the conversation goes well, it might be time to talk about addiction treatment centre Toronto. However, if the conversation does not go well, the next step might be an intervention. There is a chance that your friend might just need to think about the situation and might request help later.

3. How to Hold an Intervention: The Right Way Can Work

It is challenging to watch a loved one go through addiction. So, if an attempt at a conversation does not work, the intervention is next. Interventions can go terribly wrong if the addict sees the event as an attack rather than a plea to get help. At Towards Recovery Clinics, we can help you plan the intervention. It is key that the intervention does not judge or criticize the addict. So, the intervention needs to be held in a comfortable location and the addict needs to be able to leave the location. It is difficult to force an addict to get help, so if the intervention does not work, then you might have to try again.

4. Support is Key: It Might Last a Lifetime

Once an addict decides to get help, you can become a piece of his or her support system along with the addiction treatment centre Toronto. You cannot simply drop off your loved one and go. It is important to addicts that they have someone they know who cares. Family counseling, scheduled phone sessions, and other support opportunities makes it easier for friends and loved ones to understand what they can do to help.

5. Offer the Right Amount of Support: You Might Have to Let Go

Depending on the relationship between yourself and the addict, you might have to make some sacrifices to help the addict recover. Some people need space and need the special people in their lives to let them work on their recovery program. Know that this does not mean that you will no longer be welcome in your loved one’s life.

If you have any questions about what we at Towards Recovery Clinics in Toronto can do for you and your loved one, please call us at 905-546-0050 or email us at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Methadone Treatment Symptoms

Posted on :  July 22nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Being addicted to opioids is no picnic, but there are treatments that work. One of the most successful treatments for opioid addiction is methadone. But, like all prescription treatments, there are side effects that show up as different types of symptoms. Before you commit to a methadone treatment program, like the programs offered at Towards Recovery, it is important to understand what could happen to you while you are involved in a methadone treatment program.

Pain Relief and Maintenance with Detox

Methadone is actually used as a pain reliever to calm the symptoms that occur when opioid addicts go through withdrawal to help with detox and maintenance. There are several side effects that can occur while taking methadone. They include insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and general weakness.

Important Interactions to Know

When a physician prescribes methadone, he or she uses the patient’s age and physical condition. The physician also has to consider other medications that the patient might be taking. Methadone can have interactions with narcotics, muscle relaxers, and sedatives. Methadone will interact with other medications that slow breathing and affect the heart. It can also interact with HIV medication, antibiotics, diuretics, and seizure prescriptions, too. Because of the variety of interactions with so many different medications, it is wise for patients to be very clear with the therapists and physicians at methadone clinics before the drug is prescribed. It can also interact with supplements.

Pregnant Women and Opioids

Women who are pregnant should also inform their therapists and physicians if they are in need of a methadone treatment. Since all opioids can create addiction to a fetus, it is important for pregnant women to inform their physicians of their situation. Methadone is a drug that can pass to a baby through breast milk, too.

When to Get Immediate Attention

Methadone can create symptoms that require immediate medical attention. There have been cases where people have had allergic reactions that have created hives and swelling, like anaphylactic shock. Just like any other serious allergic reaction, it is important to call 911 immediately.

Other instances that should involve an immediate call to emergency include having hallucinations or confusion, shallow breathing, any type of chest pain or dizziness, and/or the feeling of light-headedness and difficulty breathing.

Less Serious Side Effects

The side-effects that are less serious, and more common include psychological problems, sleep-related problems, and sexual issues. Many people who take methadone report a sensation of nervousness or anxiety. They also have difficulty sleeping, but still feel drowsy. Many people also experience digestive issues ranging from dry mouth and vomiting to loss of appetite and constipation. Many people also have a decreased sex drive and may have difficulty orgasm-ing.

Issues with Tolerance

People who do not have a tolerance to opioids are in the highest risk for having adverse side effects. They can include systemic hypotension that can lead to death from respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, as well as shock. This is a danger that can occur when a person takes someone else’s prescription methadone. It is especially dangerous when children do this.

Proper Labeling with Methadone

Methadone should be properly labeled with the categorical side effects. It is important that the drug is labeled to show the problems that can come from addiction and misuse as well as the dangers of respiratory depression. The drug should also be labeled with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome – which is treatable, but can be painful for the baby and troubling for the mother. The drug should also be labeled with hypotensive effects and gastrointestinal effects. Methadone can also create seizures and it should be clearly labeled.

It is important that patients at methadone clinics know what to expect when they are prescribed the drug. They should also be sure to inform their therapist if any negative symptoms do occur.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Contact us at 905-527-2042 for more information.


The Effectiveness of Methadone Treatment: Common Myths Debunked

Posted on :  July 20th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

For several decades, methadone has been used as a treatment for heroin addiction. During that time, it has been considered highly effective. As with all medically approved treatments for drug addiction, there have been people who are out to find any problem they can. This is why there are numerous myths about methadone and the effects of this treatment method.

Methadone became a treatment method of choice for heroin addicts because a physician discovered that people who used methadone no longer wanted heroin. With the right dose of methadone, people could go about their daily lives without suffering from the debilitating withdrawal symptoms that make it so hard to quit heroin usage.

In North America, methadone was eventually delegated to treatment programs that became licensed and approved by the government. These treatment facilities need to not only provide methadone in a properly controlled system, but they also needed to provide a complete treatment program. Heroin addicts in the treatment program needed to be counseled on how to re-enter society so they needed psychiatric help, career counseling, and medical treatment. Some centers even get the families of the addicts involved in the treatment therapies.

With the government involvement in methadone clinics, the effectiveness of the treatment came into question. It was beneficial for patients to have access to a useful and effective treatment, but the patients and the clinics had to abide by the rules the government established. One of those rules was that patients could not have methadone sent home with them; they had to visit the clinic on a daily basis to receive their dosages. Trouble occurred when patients had to work around their schedules and in many cases the clinics were closed when patients got out of work or school for the day. Another big problem was the location of the clinics, especially for addicts who lived away from city centers. Another common problem was the stigma attached to going to a methadone clinic.

When it comes to methadone clinics and the rules surrounding them, several myths have arisen. Here are a few of them:

Myth #1: Patients are addicted to methadone. This myth is completely false. They are dependent on it, but not addicted to it. There is a difference. They do need the methadone to function properly, but the methadone does not harm the patient. When a drug is addicting, the side effects cause harm. Being dependent on methadone is similar to being dependent on corrective lenses to read or being dependent on insulin to manage diabetes.

Myth #2: Methadone creates a high, just like heroine does. This myth is also false. Methadone does not replace the high that heroin and other opioids create, it treats the symptoms. When people are addicted to heroin, they need several doses throughout the day to maintain the high. When people take methadone as a treatment for that addiction, they only need one dose to prevent the horrible withdrawal symptoms that come from heroin addiction.

Myth #3: Methadone has the same side effects as heroin. This is also false. The myths about heroin destroying the body like heroin does are false. Methadone users do not rot their teeth due to methadone use. They do not have weakened bones from methadone use. People who are involved in a methadone treatment program should not have any side effects. As long as they practice healthy habits, they should be just fine.

Myth #4: Methadone affects sexual organs. This is also false. Women who have an addiction to opioids are better off taking methadone rather than continue to take heroin while pregnant. There are no birth defects caused by methadone, but babies born to heroin addicted mothers who are taking methadone will experience withdrawal symptoms in what is called neonatal abstinence syndrome. For men, methadone will not create sterility, but it could create lower testosterone numbers which can be treated.


Methadone Treatment Controversy: Options for Treatment

Posted on :  July 18th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug addiction is a serious issue in North America and all over the world. Addiction tears apart families and friendships, it destroys businesses and careers, and it seems that no cure is in sight. Those suffering from addiction often try anything and everything to overcome the debilitating problem.

While most people would accept any treatment option that will help them break their addiction, there are a handful of treatments that are considered controversial. It is easy to look at the options and ask what else there for the people who are suffering from problems with heroin and other opioids destroying their lives.

Controversies with Methadone and Suboxone

Two of the most controversial substances used to fight opioid addiction include methadone and suboxone. These are prescription opioids given to addicts so they can successfully make it through the painful withdrawal symptoms that come from stopping heroin use. The idea behind methadone treatments is that the drug will help heroin addicts stop their lifestyle of often leads to crime, poverty, and sickness. Since methadone does not have the same side effects that heroin has, it has been applauded by physicians and drug rehab professionals.

Methadone has become so controversial for a handful of reasons. The biggest is because methadone is just as addictive as other opioids. Instead of “curing” the addiction to heroin, methadone simply replaces the addiction. When former heroin addicts try to wean off of methadone, they still struggle with symptoms that are severe and painful.

Many addicts are given Suboxone instead, because its addiction factor is lower than that of methadone. Instead of really curing the addiction, methadone and Suboxone mask the symptoms. For some addicts, this is enough for them. For others, they want to be completely free of needing any drugs, whether prescribed or not. While the prescription drugs can give relief in the short term, they are still addictive.

Along with the other controversies, staying on methadone for a long term therapy is frowned upon, too. It is best for addicts to have talking therapy and other treatments instead of just taking medications. Addicts can be treated for a short time with methadone or Suboxone.

Using Heroin to Treat Heroin

Along with the controversial treatment of methadone, some heroin addicts are actually treated with heroin. This is usually a last resort, but since the withdrawal symptoms are so painful, heroin addicts are often in such a poor state of mind that they cannot function at all. With a controlled amount of heroin, addicts can become stable and become receptive to other, less controversial treatment options. This treatment is controversial because of the fact that heroin is an illegal drug. There are not many recognized medical purpose and it has extremely dangerous side effects, especially overdoses and death.

Some addicts are treated with LSD. Those who have taken the drug for treatment of addiction have reported that they actually see their addiction in a new way. While this is not a medical reason for using LSD for treating addiction, it is still used occasionally. This is a controversial option for addiction treatment because no one knows exactly how a patient will respond to an LSD trip. This Schedule 1 substance has too many risks and not enough proof that it actually helps.

Stimulating the Brain to Reduce Addictions

One other treatment that has caused a serious amount of controversy is Deep Brain Stimulation. This is a surgical treatment that is designed to stimulate the brain with a little device. The treatment is often used for epilepsy because the electrical impulses slow the effects that cause seizures. The treatment is controversial because it is surgical. Anytime the brain is operated on, there are potential complications like hemorrhages and infections.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Contact us at 905-527-2042 for more information.


Methadone Regulations: Keeping Your Take-Home Doses Safe

Posted on :  July 15th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Methadone clinics like Towards Recovery have to meet the ever-changing federal requirements for dispensing prescription methadone and treating opioid addictions. Patients also have some rules to follow, but one of the most important is to keep the prescription methadone safe and secure.

There are strict rules for methadone clinic regarding take home medications. In the first few months, patients are only given one dose to take home. After they have proven to be dedicated to getting healthy, the clinics are able to increase the take-home dosages. Eventually, patients are actually able to take home a monthly supply.

As more responsibility is given to patients who are winning the battle against opioid addiction, it is important that those take-home doses are kept safely locked up, away from the interested eyes and fingers of anyone who could get into the dosages. This means that you will need to get a lock box.

Each clinic will require that you bring the lock box when you receive your take-homes. You must put the take homes into the lock box to take the medication out of the clinic. If you are at a clinic that does not require a lock box for bringing medication home, it is in your best interest to just do it on your own.

When you get your medication home, it is a good idea to put the lock box in a safe place. Whether you have children at home or you know people who are aware that you are taking methadone, you should hide that box like your life depended on it. There have been children who have taken their parents’ dosages and they have died. No parent wants to see this happen – so keeping methadone locked up safely cannot be stressed enough.

Since methadone is already controversial on its own, the last thing that the helpful treatment therapy needs is more opportunities for critics to find more faults. It also allows people to criticize those who take methadone as a therapy. But, we know that the majority of people who are on a methadone treatment program are not menaces to society – in fact, they are quite the opposite.

Deaths do not just occur with misuses of methadone, but also with other prescription opioids like buprenorphine, naloxone, and Oxycontin.  In order to prevent accidents, patients need to be educated appropriately by their clinics and pharmacists. It is also important that the family members of those working to fight their addictions need to understand safety measures.

The danger with methadone is not that the high increases with taking a higher dosage; the trouble comes with the fact that methadone becomes dangerous as it creates problems with the heart rate and with breathing. The other danger with the drug is that even a minimal dose can cause respiratory distress, especially if the person who takes the dose does not have any tolerance to opioids. Respiratory distress can lead to death.

Even if you do not have children in your home, it is still a good idea to always keep your medication locked up and stowed safely away. It is better safe than sorry.

Here are a few rules to abide by:

  1. Never keep the key in the lock box.
  2. Keep the lock box out of reach of children.
  3. Take the medication as prescribed and then put it away.
  4. Never leave out an open bottle of methadone – even if you have to do something quickly.
  5. Rinse out the cup that you use to drink your methadone.
  6. Return empty bottles of methadone in the lock box. Do not just throw them away.
  7. Do not put methadone in bottles other than their original ones.
  8. Talk to your family about the dangers of your medication.

Contact Towards Recovery at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com for more information.


Methadone Questionnaires: What Happens at Patient Intake?

Posted on :  July 13th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When a patient is ready to give up their heroin addiction and get involved with a methadone clinic. While this sounds rather easy, there are several steps involved before the clinic can actually give a patient the right dose of methadone. In most cases, there are several questionnaires that have to be completed prior to the start of treatment.

How the Questions are Designed

It is important that the patient answers the questions honestly so that the therapist and physicians can accurately diagnose and treat the addiction. The questionnaires have questions that are built in so that addicts cannot “outwit” the questionnaire. The questions are required for intake to outpatient treatment, which is the type of treatment that methadone therapy is considered. The questions are updated by national agencies as needed, so clinics have to be sure that they have the most recent versions. The questions allow the clinic to see if progress has been made with the patient based on the prescribed doses and other treatments.

The Initial Assessment

The first step that a clinic takes is an initial assessment. The counselor will give a battery of questions that ask the patient about his or her history regarding drug abuse. The counselor will also gather information about the patient’s background. The questions are open-ended and ask about things like legal issues, employment status, and how money was raised to buy drugs. There are also questions that require the addict to talk about sleep habits, too. This first assessment takes about 20 minutes to complete.

The patient will also be asked to leave a urine sample. The clinic will conduct a urinalysis to see if there is evidence of opioids, methadone, cocaine, THC, amphetamines, and other commonly used drugs.

Intake Interview Questions

About one week later, a counselor will conduct an interview to see if the patient is doing better after a week of treatment. This is considered the official intake questionnaire. This is done a week after the initial assessment because the patient has had time to focus and think about his or her addiction. This questionnaire takes about 90 minutes to complete.

The intake questionnaire includes standardized read-aloud sections and several open-ended questions about the patient’s background that can be compared to the answers in the initial assessment. There are in-depth questions about family relationships and friendships. There are also questions about criminal history, drug history, and risk assessments. The therapist will also ask questions about psychological status of the patient and the risk of AIDS infection. There is a section that allows the therapist to comment on the ease of giving the assessment and for the patient to self-assess regarding problems areas in his or her life.

Once the intake questionnaire is finished, the patient will be asked to complete a self-rating that should take about 15 minutes. This includes a questionnaire of almost 100 questions that ask the patient about psychological issues like anxiety and depression, social issues like risky behavior and conformity, and motivation to get help.

Follow-Up Questions as Treatment Continues

As the patient moves through the process of treatment the clinic is required to keep detailed records. These include records about each counseling session on a specific document. Those documents are designed for individual sessions and group sessions. There are also feedback forms that patients complete based on their counseling sessions. These forms take about five minutes each to complete.

At specific intervals of the treatment program, the patient and the counselor need to complete even more forms. Some are completed every three months to see how the patient is moving through the program. The first three-month form takes about 30 minutes to complete. Others take about five minutes. These also include urinalysis records to see improvement in drug use. There are also forms that are required for discharge and follow up to treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns about drug abuse or looking for methadone as a tool for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Methadone Treatment Withdrawal Symptoms

Posted on :  June 24th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

While methadone maintenance treatment is one of the most successful and beneficial ways to treat harmful opioid addiction, there could come a time when the former addict has to stop taking methadone. Since methadone is an opioid, stopping the therapy can create unwanted withdrawal symptoms.

Even though methadone does have its own withdrawal issues, the drug helps those who are addicted to opioids live a healthier life away from the dangers of heroin and prescription opioids. It is still a viable option for men and women who want to get away from the forceful cravings that come with opioid addiction.

How Symptoms Will Differ

Men and women who use methadone can develop a dependence on the drug, even though it does take a long time. Unfortunately, there are always some people who take their dependence too far and will abuse the drug that helped them fight the original drug of abuse. The problems come when people try to go “cold turkey” off of methadone. There are withdrawal symptoms that can appear just a few hours after the last dose was taken. Those who are dependent on methadone will need to work with a health care provider who understands the proper method for detoxing from the prescription drugs. With the right program, those with dependency to methadone can overcome the dependency safely and effectively.

The methadone withdrawal symptoms will vary from patient to patient. The symptoms are dependent on the dosage the patient has been taking and what other drugs the patient is also taking. If the patient has other medical issues, like mental health disorders, the withdrawal symptoms can be different than people who do not have other issues. The symptoms can also change depending on whether or not the patient was actually working in a methadone maintenance program or just buying methadone off of the street.

Easy Symptoms to Manage

The symptoms can be easy to manage, like having a runny nose, watery eyes, and restlessness. The symptoms can also become more difficult to manage, like having diarrhea and stomach cramping along with vomiting and nausea. Along with the digestive issues, those who are detoxing can also experience a lack of appetite.

More Uncomfortable Symptoms

Some of the more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms include having dilated pupils, goosebumps, as well as sweating and shaking. These symptoms are also usually accompanied with the chills and aching muscles. It is also common to have insomnia as well as a noticeable increase in sensitivity to pain. These physical problems are often accompanied by anxiety and irritability. Most people will notice a combination of these symptoms, as well as the lighter symptoms in less than a day after the final dosage of methadone. In many cases, the symptoms will last for a few weeks or months.

Using Buprenorphine as an Alternative

The length and severity of the withdrawal symptoms are the reason why so many people will seek assistance to ease them. Those who are addicted to opioids often take methadone to avoid the painful symptoms that come with opioid withdrawal. They take the drug in a controlled setting with clinicians who follow the maintenance therapy closely. Some physicians will suggest an alternative to methadone called buprenorphine. This drug will help relieve withdrawal symptoms so the former addict has an easier time becoming 100% free of drugs.

Medications to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms

Physicians who are helping patients withdraw from methadone might prescribe some medications that help with specific withdrawal symptoms. If a patient is having difficulty sleeping, a physician might prescribe a safe sleep aid. If a patient is experiencing excessive nausea, there is medication to help keep food down. While medications may not curb all of the withdrawal symptoms, they will help reduce the discomfort of them for a while.

If you have any questions or concerns about methadone treatment options for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Methadone Treatment Guidelines

Posted on :  June 22nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In Canada, there are thoughtful guidelines for methadone treatment plans. They are designed for the safety of the patient and to make the role of the physician and pharmacist clear and easy to follow. At Towards Recovery, we follow the guidelines that integrate all three parties with the patient’s needs coming before the needs of the physician and the pharmacist.

Working Together for Success

In order to move toward patient success, we work within our local community to help patients fight their opioid dependence. Each pharmacist that we work with follows the practices and policies that are determined by the various acts set forth by the Health Canada and the Drug and Pharmacies Regulations Act. Our physicians do the same, following the guidelines set forth about prescribing and dispensing methadone.

Our physicians and pharmacists work together to keep the methadone properly stored and dispensed so their patients are properly cared for. The pharmacists and physicians must keep the methadone safe until it has been given to the patient. The pharmacist must stay aware of any changes that occur in the prescription, too.

Treatment Options

There are several options for treatment that fall within the guidelines. The options are designed to help patients who are addicted to opioids. They include a structured opioid therapy, as well as a treatment program with either methadone or buprenorphine. There is also an option for abstinence treatment, too.

Methadone Options for Patients

Patients who choose the methadone option should have some indications. One of the first signs that methadone treatment should be used is that the patient failed in a structured opioid therapy. The patient injected, snorted, or took crushed tablets when they got high on opioids. Patients in treatment also manipulated the system to get opioids from several physicians or from sources on the street. The patients who benefit the most from methadone treatment have an addiction to opioids and other hard street drugs or alcohol.

When patients are using opioids to treat pain that was not caused by cancer, methadone can help them fight their addiction. When methadone is used as the treatment of choice, physicians and clinics will provide daily doses of methadone. The clinics will also provide daily urine screening and counseling to help patients relearn how to live without opioids in their lives. Prior to prescribing methadone, physicians need to consult with their provincial regulating body. The patient will keep lines of communication open between the clinic prescribing methadone and the patient’s primary care physician. The clinic and primary care doctor will work together to share diagnoses and other prescriptions.

Buprenorphine Treatments

Some patients are more successful with buprenorphine treatments instead of methadone. Some people are at risk of developing a toxicity to methadone, like the elderly, teen, and young adults. There are also some communities were methadone is not available for treatment therapies.

Buprenorphine can be used for patients who are addicted to opioids and to painkillers that are not prescribed for pain related to cancer. It is important that physicians are aware of the regulations in their communities before prescribing the treatment. Otherwise, the rules for buprenorphine are similar to those for methadone.

Structured Opioid Therapy

Some patients have success using a structured opioid therapy – also called SOT. This therapy includes using opioids that are not methadone or buprenorphine to treat addiction to painkillers. There are controls that physicians and clinics must use as well as written plans, patient education, and very closely monitored dispensing and monitoring.

If you have any questions about the guidelines for opioid treatments, please feel free to contact us at Towards Recovery. We can easily be reached via phone at 905-546-0050 or via email at info@towardsrecovery.com.




Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
Click to listen highlighted text!