How Does a Methadone Treatment Work?

Posted on :  February 27th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As a drug, methadone has been known to treat chronic pain aside from opiate addiction. It was originally developed during World War II in Germany and introduced in the United States in 1947. After 1950 it was used for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms from heroin and morphine addiction. Although similar to opiates, it is not the same because instead of coming from opium poppies, it is synthesized in labs. It also has longer pain-killing effects compared to natural opiates.

Treatment Delivery

How is the methadone maintenance treatment delivered?  Usually, a national level regulatory framework is in place for the prescription of methadone. In Canada, the Office of Controlled Substances work with provincial governments as well as medical licensing bodies. This is to help in facilitating the access to the treatment program.

There are numerous guidelines developed in the use of opioids for the management of opioid dependence. These guidelines also cover the training for practitioners who are interested in delivering the methadone maintenance treatment. Even if provinces are increasingly involved in outlining the conditions who are allowed to prescribe methadone, Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act explicitly identify that only those with exemption can do so.

There are a variety of conditions where the methadone treatment program can be delivered. This can include the following:

  • Substance use for inpatient and outpatient treatment;
  • Community-based health centers;
  • Private medical clinics;
  • Community pharmacies and physician’s offices;
  • HIV/AIDS services;
  • Hospital-based clinics;
  • Correctional facilities; and
  • Mental health agencies.

The delivery of methadone treatment programs is not limited to those with medical disciplines and backgrounds. Many practitioners come from diverse fields like social work, mental health, and substance use treatment for example.

Factors like program setting, qualifications, geographic location, and available resources result in varying roles. In the same way that there will be differences that exists among the programs in the manner of services delivered, clients served, program philosophy, policies, settings, and level of client involvement.

Philosophy and Treatment Goals

What is program philosophy? It is the principles and goals where the treatment is based. This is why it is extremely important to have a clear declaration of the program philosophy, which will serve as a starting point for the development of an accessible and effective methadone treatment program.

The concerns on drug use and its related crimes have greatly influenced the various goals where the methadone treatment programs and its delivery approaches have been based. But the different goals for treatment can result in how its definition for success can be interpreted. You also need to take into consideration that goals will change depending on the progress of the treatment.

In the eyes of policy makers, such a treatment program should be able to deliver long-term positive results that will reduce threats to society brought about by opioid dependence.

For practitioners, more specific focus on specific clinical benefits can be expected like reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms for example.

From a patient’s point of view, success can be measured in different terms like the reduction of the risk of infection, improved family relations, better job performance, or better methods of treatment while imprisoned for example.

The methadone treatment programs must be able to examine and clarify its expectations in terms of substance use, opioid dependence, and the treatment goals that will be implemented. The program philosophy should be extremely clear to all patients as well as the members of the program team expected to oversee the implementation.

The overall program philosophy should be made up of specific procedures and policies that are consistent with it. On the other hand, the goals of the program must not only reflect the needs of individual patients, but also respect the goals.

When it comes to program philosophy, few are better than one that focuses on helping individuals take control of their addiction while helping them rebuild their lives and careers.

Get in touch with Towards Recovery Clinics today to get a better understanding of how the methadone treatment can work for you.

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.