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Why Use Methadone Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Posted on :  March 6th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Methadone carries the effects similar to man-made medicines falling under the opioids (morphine) category. This means that it is similar to those substances that have been directly extracted from the opium plant like morphine, codeine, and heroin among others – these are the opiates. Methadone primarily attacks parts of the spinal cord and the brain to block the euphoric feeling delivered by opiates. Why is it used?

Methadone Treatment

The big question is why methadone treatment for opiate addiction? Why does it reduce the chances of an opiate addict from going into relapse? To answer these questions, let’s look at some facts:

  • Long-term methadone maintenance has produced better results for recovering addicts than short-term detox protocols;
  • At least a year of methadone maintenance treatment should be done for best results;
  • A recent study showed that higher doses of methadone made people stay in treatment longer and achieve better results;
  • People have individual metabolic rates so dosage need to be unique for every person based on the evaluation made by a supervising healthcare provider;
  • Those who stay on the treatment longer than 2 weeks have an 80% higher of staying for at least 6 months of even longer;
  • Many studies confirm that methadone maintenance treatment drastically lowers illegal opiate usage, risky sexual activities, transmission of HIV, and accompanying criminal behavior;
  • The over 4,000 people who overdosed on methadone in 2005 were those who were taking it unsupervised or for recreational purposes;
  • The absence of a ceiling effect of methadone allows those with extremely heavy heroin usage to overcome full withdrawal symptoms;
  • Even if you take methadone for decades, there will be no damage to any major organs; and
  • Those in methadone maintenance treatment have less chances of dying from opiate use.

Adverse Effects

It is important to point out that all medicines have some form of side effect. When it comes to methadone treatment, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind.

  • The benefits outweigh any minor side effects;
  • The side effects after a while of being on the treatment program;
  • Ask a medical professional if you continue to feel the side effects, do not suddenly stop taking it.

The good news is that there are no adverse side effects from the methadone maintenance treatment program. However, there are some common side effects like:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness;
  • Constipation;
  • Nausea or vomiting; and
  • Drowsiness

Just like any other medication, the effects can vary substantially from one person to another. So even if there are no adverse effects from the treatment, you should immediately seek emergency medical attention once the following are experienced:

  • Breathing difficulties;
  • Cold or clammy skin;
  • Swelling on the face, lips, throat, or tongue;
  • Confusion;
  • Severe restlessness;
  • Extreme weakness; and
  • Seizures

These can be signs of an overdose so you need to make sure that you get medical attention immediately.

No Overnight Solution

What can you expect from methadone treatment for opiate addiction? It will reduce the withdrawal symptoms and cravings experienced from opiate abuse. This means that psychological and physical roller coasters will not be experienced as the level of opiates in the blood changes. This also translates to a reduction of possibility for relapse. However, to meet expectations, it is necessary to know that these things will not happen overnight. So, how long?

There are some cases of addiction that will need a couple years or more of methadone treatment. If you are going into a methadone treatment program, it would be best to take the long-term route rather than the short-term detoxification method.

Withdrawal is difficult without a doubt, but, with the treatment you become more stable, pain-free, and experience less cravings. It makes it easier therefore to rebuild your life, feel stronger, and keep away from addiction possibly for the rest of your life.

If you want to go methadone treatment for opiate addiction, make sure that it would be properly supervised by reputable centers like the Towards Recovery Clinics, Inc.

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.
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