How Opioid Dependence can be Treated with Methadone

Posted on :  May 3rd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The methadone treatment program was never designed to be a quick fix solution. This is important to understand early on so that you can grasp its concept of long-term and comprehensive treatment. The goal of the program is to immediately stabilize the patient with the methadone dose to achieve a sense of well-being aside from preventing the physical symptoms of withdrawal. The use of methadone can have a significant effect on reducing cravings and eventually eliminating drug use.

Combined Treatment

Are you aware that the methadone maintenance treatment works best when it is combined with other programs like interventions and counseling? Yes, crisis intervention, addiction counseling, medical services, and dependence management will all play an important role in the methadone treatment opioid dependence rehabilitation.

The effect of methadone will be on the opiate receptors of the body, and to achieve the best results it would be wise to abstain from using other types of opiates. Why? Because using other opiates will lessen the positive effects of methadone. There is also the possibility of increased risk of overdose because the patient will not be able to counteract the high effects delivered by other types of opiates.

So there is a need to emphasize on the goal of stabilization of the physical body to be able to achieve the desired life changes. When properly supervised a drug-free lifestyle can be possible with the methadone treatment program.

Program Length and Tapering

Since the program is not a quick fix solution, the obvious question would be how long does one need to stay with the program? Also, how can a patient taper off from methadone use? As far as the program length is concerned, there is no exact period of time that a patient needs to be on the methadone treatment. This is because the degree of addiction and abuse can be highly individualized. However, it is important to point out that many patients were able to achieve a drug-free lifestyle the longer that they remained on the program.

There are some indicative factors that will help in assessing the success of methadone tapering and staying on a drug-free lifestyle. First is the successful opiate abstinence, stabilization, and maintenance on the program of the patient for a period of at least 2 years. The lifestyle changes will also come into play. So there is a need to look at the family life, employment, and financial standing of the patient to see how successful the tapering can be.

After looking at all of these factors the patient can make the decision of whether or not to taper off from the methadone treatment. The decision of course needs to be concurred with by the treating physician. When tapering is approved, it is usually done at the rate of about 10% of the dose at either a daily, weekly, or biweekly intervals. There can be other schedules that can be used based on the mutual decision of the patient and the treating physician.

The methadone treatment is generally safe and effective if the patients take it as prescribed and as a part of a comprehensive treatment program. Sticking to the program for many years will help to sustain a drug-free lifestyle.

Why Methadone

The decision to use methadone as a treatment for opiate addiction is because of its ability to ease the symptoms of withdrawal for about 24 to 36 hours when taken once a day. It also helps to lessen the possibility of relapse.

Methadone treatment opioid dependence rehabilitation works very well because of the reduction in cravings as well as withdrawal symptoms. How is this possible? Methadone blocks the high to prevent the body from experiencing a rush of intense euphoria from the drug abuse. This changes the levels of opiates in the blood resulting in less chances of relapse.

Other Considerations

Because methadone is a long-acting agent, every dose will stay in the body for a substantial amount of time. This is why the doses should be adjusted with caution and with the supervision of a specialist. It is normal for the effects of the methadone dose to take a few days before the full effect is felt by the patient.

Because of the possibility of having impaired balance, poor coordination, or lack of ability to think in some patients, it is highly suggested not to drive or operate any equipment while on the program. Taking alcohol or other types of drugs should also be avoided.

Towards Recovery Clinics will be able to help you find the right treatment program for you. Contact them now!

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.