How Does a Methadone Treatment Work?

Posted on :  June 16th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Addicts who are battling the debilitating force of opioids can get serious help from methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). In this treatment program, methadone is prescribed for a significant amount of time to help curb the cravings for the addictive opioids. The program does not just include prescribed methadone, but plenty of medical and psychological counseling as well as thorough case management.

Before submitting to a methadone treatment program, it is a good idea to know exactly what methadone is and what it does. Methadone is actually an opioid, but instead of being a dangerous street drug like heroin, it is used to treat opioid dependence and to manage serious pain. Methadone maintenance treatments are not used to manage pain; it is only used to treat dependence on other opioids.

Methadone is so useful in the management for opioid dependence because it blocks the brain from other opioids. In the medical community, this is called cross-tolerance and it is created when substances use the same brain receptors. When people build up a tolerance to heroin, they will also build up a tolerance to morphine and other opioids.

People take methadone in liquid form with a flavored beverage like an orange drink. This way, it cannot be injected. In most cases, it is added to 100 ml of liquid, but it does take time to get the right dosage of methadone stabilized for each patient.

When the physician gets the dosage correct, methadone does good things. Opioid addicts will no longer feel the craving for opioids and they will not feel the painful withdrawal symptoms. These are two of the most difficult aspects of fighting an opioid addiction. Methadone does not cause any problems like euphoria, intoxication, or sedation like other opioids do. It also downplays the effects of heroin and other opioids.

Methadone maintenance treatment has several benefits. The biggest is the fact that it reduces the need for heroin or other harmful opioids. Since addicts build up tolerances to the opioids they take, the effects of the drugs wear off rather quickly. But, methadone can last between 24 and 36 hours – giving addicts a break from their need for more drugs. Physicians only need to give a dose of methadone one time per day, while addicts can take several doses of heroin each day, since the high only lasts between three and six hours.

One of the other benefits of methadone maintenance treatment is that the tolerance is very slow to build. Therefore, patients on MMT can take their doses for a very long time. As long as it is careful managed, methadone is safe for treating opioid addiction.

It is also a low-cost way to treat dependence. Addicts who partake in MMT are less likely to use other opioids. Their life spans increase and they are less likely to partake in risky behaviors. They are less likely to transmit and catch other diseases and they are less likely to be arrested. Because of the positives associated with MMT, it is a treatment that many physicians recommend.

Unfortunately, many addicts are not able to access treatment programs like MMT. There are barriers that keep them addicts. In many cases, the biggest barrier is lack of awareness with health care professionals. Since MMT is such a specialized treatment, it is not common knowledge in all fields of medicine.

When patients are involved in MMT, they will work with physicians and counselors at a clinic. It is important that lines of communication stay open between all of the health care workers like the pharmacists, nurses, and mental health professionals to keep a close eye on the patients who are involved in MMT.

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.

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.