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Frequently Asked Methadone Treatment Questions

Posted on :  May 18th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Despite being one of the most popular treatment methods for opioid dependence, there are still a couple of questions surrounding the use of methadone. It is understandable considering that not everyone agrees with the implementation of methadone treatment. To give you a better understanding, let’s take a look at some methadone treatment questions.

What is Methadone?

This is the most basic question that anyone should ask about the treatment. Basically, it is a type of drug used not only for the treatment of opiate addiction, but also for relieving pain. It is important to point out that methadone is strictly used for opioid related addiction and not applicable for other types like cocaine, marijuana, or alcohol among others.

What does it do?

Methadone works by blocking the receptors of the brain that is affected by the use of heroin and other opiates. This allows addicts to achieve gradual detoxification without the violent withdrawal symptoms. This means that methadone will occupy the receptors to block high opiates and achieve a more stable feeling. The addict will have reduced cravings and tempered withdrawal symptoms that lowers the risk of relapse. This is done by simulating the same sense of euphoria that opiates deliver but with longer lasting effects so that a single dose a day would be sufficient for most addicts.

Is the Treatment Safe?

There are obvious concerns when it comes to the safety of the treatment. However, when methadone is used as it is prescribed, it can be safely taken even continuously over a number of years without experiencing dangerous side effects. Methadone has also gone through rigorous testing to ensure its safety and efficacy when applied as a treatment for narcotic dependence and withdrawal.

As a type of legal medication, its production is handled by licensed pharmaceutical companies subjected to strict monitoring and quality control standards. The administration is also supervised by a physician using strict guidelines. As far as mental impairment, intoxication, or feeling of sedation, none of these are associated with methadone so patients can continue to pursue normal and ordinary activities.

Is the Treatment Effective?

For over 30 years methadone has been used for the effective treatment of opioid dependence and addiction. To back up its claims of effectiveness, numerous scientific research works have been done. One such study was done in 1994 where a methadone maintenance treatment was linked to lower rates of criminality, illegal drug use, and hospitalization of addicts compared to other popularly used drug treatment programs.

Are there Side Effects?

What kind of side effects can you experience when going through the program if any? If we are to base on studies, there are no significant side effects that can be expected from the medically supervised implementation of the methadone treatment. Most common reports include water retention, skin rash, drowsiness, constipation, excessive sweating, and change in libido. The side effects disappear once that patient gets the proper individual dosage.

What are the Benefits?

Aside from what has already been stated, safe and effective, one desirable benefit of the methadone treatment program is that it is the most affordable choice for most opiate addicts. Other benefits are the relief from withdrawal symptoms, return of chemical balance, reduced cravings, and emotional balance. All of these benefits will result in the return of normal bodily functions, improved relationships, and overall stability of the patient.

Will it Show on Drug Tests?

If your concern is turning positive on drug tests, then you will be happy to know that methadone does not return a positive unlike heroin or morphine. Specific testing for methadone should be done to be able to detect its presence in your system. The good news is that this type of specific testing is not normally done. In the United States, supervised methadone maintenance programs fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act so it cannot be used as a basis for denying employment.

There are definitely more methadone treatment questions creeping in your mind. To get the right answers, contact Towards Recovery Clinics now.

Coordinated Addiction Treatment and Overdose

Posted on :  May 15th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

What is the relationship between coordinated addiction treatment and overdose? According to the chief medical officer of British Columbia in Vancouver, when drug addiction treatment relies in a series of coordinated efforts, the likelihood of an addict overdosing becomes reduced. Why is this and is this how the government is handling the problem of drug addiction?

Withdrawal Support

It is important to understand that the structure of drug addiction treatment is a complex one. It is not enough to have a treatment program in place in hospitals or clinics, proper support should also be on hand after a patient returns to the community.  For example, a patient that is going through a withdrawal process cannot be allowed to go back to the community without assuring that proper support is available or accessible. Why?

When there is lack of proper support, the likelihood of a patient going into overdose becomes heightened. In fact the potential for overdose can be as much as seven times higher when the patient goes into relapse. This happens because the body hast lost its tolerance for opioids faster resulting in increased risk for the patient.

Broken System

There is a sentiment that the drug addiction treatment process is a broken system. For some health professionals, this statement would be accurate if there was a system in place. This means that there is a clearly defined and identified interlinked parts that function in relation to each other to comprise a whole.

With the 922 deaths in British Columbia associated with opioid use in 2016, these health professionals believe that such a system does not exist. The total number of deaths is actually higher than the initial 914 fatal overdoses reported. What should be done to address such a broken system?

The problem of drug addiction should be viewed as an emergency or something critical. Hence, public awareness is of paramount importance in order to put a stop to the critically rising number of overdose deaths. There is also a need to ensure that the communication lines between the implementing agencies concerned with public health emergencies remain open.

Enhancing Coordination

Specialists in addiction medicine believe that in order to correct such a perceived broken system, better coordination has to be in place. The coordination needs to be done from the start of the process in helping patients go through each stage of the addiction rehabilitation process. This means using a long-term addiction treatment approach with enhanced coordination.

What does this mean? The patients undergoing rehabilitation should be guided on what will be done and what to expect on the next phase of the recovery process. Maintaining realistic expectations can help patients go through the transition with as little problems as possible.

Funding undoubtedly will play a critical role in the later stages of a long-term program in order to ensure that proper support remains accessible. Removing the stigma surrounding addiction will also be helpful especially when people, professionals, and policy makers begin to understand that addiction is a chronic illness. It is wrong to think that just because you put a person into an addiction treatment program he will come out clean and better. The journey to reaching “cleanliness” is not only extremely long, but also very challenging.

Overdose Rise

If we are to take the data of British Columbia, we can see that the number of fatal overdoses in on the rise. From roughly 200 overdoses a year from 2003 to 2011, the number of deaths started to rise. So far, 2016 has been recorded as the deadliest to date with a rollercoaster ride where a decline was recorded from March to November before skyrocketing in December when a record 142 deaths associated with overdose was recorded.

The surge was attributed by the chief medical officer to carfentanil, which is a synthetic type of opioid that is 100 time the power of fentanyl. There were 4 out of 5 people succumbing to opioid overdose related deaths in 2016.

If you want to get a comprehensive and holistic addiction treatment program, call Towards Recovery Clinics today.

Prescription Heroin for Addiction Treatment

Posted on :  May 12th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that the government of Canada has approved the prescription of pharmaceutical-grade heroin as a treatment for severe addiction? The new drug guidelines allows doctors to issue prescriptions for patients who have not responded well to conventional addiction treatment methods. Can this be really the solution for drug addiction?

The Implications

What does this new guidelines mean? This means that treatment clinics can expand specialized heroin maintenance programs to allow addicts to come in a maximum of 3 times daily to get their prescribed injections. The free heroin maintenance can be received without legal implications. This is a unique program that is enforced in the United States and Canada, which is similar in approach in 8 European countries.

This move is actually a reversal of government policies implemented in previous administrations and seen as a softening of stance in addressing the problems of drug abuse and addiction. The implementation comes after an announcement of plans to legalize marijuana sale next year. A task force has also been appointed to look into the regulation, selling, and taxing of marijuana.

As part of this initiative, a four-year extension of operation has been granted to a supervised injection site located in Vancouver. The implication of this is that addicts will be able to continue to shoot up in a controlled environment using drugs bought from the street.

Additional Tools

Another thing worth noting with this decision is that Health Canada can be applied by all physicians for diacetylmorphine using the special access program. However, the government pointed out that such a program is made available only for minority users who have not found relief from traditional, proven, and effective treatment options.

It seems that the motivations is to be able to provide healthcare services different tools in addressing the crisis of opioid addiction and overdose. Some treatment clinics are welcoming this decision of the federal government. These clinics which may be funded by the provincial government are involved in the delivery of diacetylmorphine to addicts using a special court order that gives them exemption privileges.

When the amount of supply increases, it is expected that the number of addicts that these clinics cater to will double at the very least. The court order remains in place despite a constitutional challenge trying to stop the distribution of drugs by the government. Conservative parliament however remain adamantly against this health policy being implemented by the government.

From their perspective, using prescription heroin to treat opioid addiction is not the right venue to take. These conservative parliamentarians believe that the heroin should be taken from the hands of addicts and not injected into them.

As for the government, it sees that there is a need to adjust conditions of long-term addicts that the standard methadone and detox treatment cannot address. It is not that these standard treatments are not adequate, but the reality is that there are circumstances wherein repeated attempts have resulted in treatment failure. This should not mean that delivering care to these exceptions should be abandoned.

Program Demand

If you are a conservative, you may be surprised to know that the demand for the program is quite high. Does this mean that addicts see it as a chance to continue with their addiction? Not necessarily so, because it can also mean that long-term users are ready to explore alternative methods that will help them resolve their addiction.

Keep in mind that in this program the patients are required to come to the clinic 2 to 3 times daily for their injections. Unfortunately, this method can be a bit disruptive for patients who are working. The indication though is that the dropout rate will remain insignificant with desired results of healthier patients achievable.

The high demand for the program is projected to reduce the participation in criminal activities of addicts. In turn this will drastically cut the cost that addiction stresses on the criminal justice system. Despite the controversy of the approach, there seems to be an increase in the number of physicians becoming receptive to the program.

Towards Recovery Clinics can guide you with the proper addiction treatment for your individual needs. Call them today!

Study on Methadone Treatment Effectiveness

Posted on :  May 9th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As one of the most common forms of opioid substitute treatment today, it is not surprising that methadone treatment has become the subject of so many studies. This is why there is an abundance of evidence that would suggest that the treatment is capable of reducing drug-related deaths aside from improving the overall well-being and health of the addict. Let’s take a look at one of the studies that evaluated the methadone treatment in 2004.

Quantitative Study Method

In this aspect of the study, individuals that entered the methadone treatment program were monitored for a period of 18 months. A validated methadone treatment questionnaire was administered to 33 of the patients upon their entry into the treatment program. The same opiate treatment index was administered to 17 patients who remained in treatment after the 18-month period.

Self-reported data was collected based on the following domains:

  • Drug use;
  • HIV risk behaviors;
  • Social functioning;
  • Health status;
  • Criminality; and psychological adjustment.

Aside from social functioning, all other data collected referenced the behavior prior to the month of the interview. The social functioning data covered the period of 6 months before the interview. Every domain consisted of a number of questions with a number of choices for answers. Every answer in the option corresponded to a score. The lowest score indicated the lowest level of risk or the best experience.

Additional data was collected by the questionnaire to include the social situation and demographic of the patient. Based on collated answers, the study revealed the following:

  • There was an increase in the HIV-related risk behaviors instead of the drug-using behavior.
  • Substantial decrease in criminal behavior was observed with only one patient committing one of more crimes during the covered period.
  • Decreased social functioning scores were indications of improvements in the areas of employment, housing, and family relations.
  • Health status remained unchanged.
  • The scores for the psychological adjustment decreased, which translated to improved mental health.

It is vital to point out that the size of the sample was small and the mean score improvements were not statistically tested. However, this does not negate the positive outcomes that the study revealed in relation to the use of methadone maintenance therapy.

Qualitative Study Method

If methadone treatment questionnaire was used in the quantitative study method, in this method 3 focus groups were used to determine certain patient experiences in relation to treatment service providers.

Two groups received methadone maintenance treatment in a general practice setting. They were asked about the treatment along with continued risk behavior, impact of methadone on their lives, use of counseling, and their relationship with the service providers.

The other focus group was made up of the staff implementing the treatment program. The staff of the service providers were questioned on the positive and negative aspects of the treatments as they relate to the treatment outcomes and the pharmaceutical treatment options.

The following was determined from the focus groups:

  • Patients lauded the improvements in the treatment services after the methadone protocol was introduced. Specifically on the number of locations available, removal of financial charges, more services for less stable patients, and transfer to general practice setting of stable patients.
  • Transitioning between active drug use and the stabilization provided by the methadone treatment is the vulnerable time for addicts. The regular routine provided by the structured program gave patients the skills for potential future employment. Majority of the patients reported improvements in family relationships and decline in criminal activities.
  • The treatment is important for transitioning from active to no drug use. There were reservations on the long-term dependence on methadone and toleration of withdrawal symptoms during detoxification including potential relapse to heroin usage.
  • The high turnover rate of counsellors had a disruptive effect on the patients of the treatment centers, particularly in achieving stable lifestyles and coping with crises. Patients recognized the importance of monitoring of drug use why undergoing treatment.
  • Patients associated dental problems with the methadone treatment. Many of the patients had multiple dependence problems including prescribed drugs like hypnotics, tranquilizers, and benzodiazepines among others.

When you combine the results of both study methods, it would suggest that the methadone treatment program is successful in stabilizing heroin users and helping them achieve positive lifestyles.

Towards Recovery Clinics can help opiate dependents through a holistic approach to addressing their dependence. Call them!

Methadone Treatment Program Success Rate

Posted on :  May 8th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

There is significant amount of money used for the addiction treatment methods that do not work. This is why it is vital to identify the success rates of treatment programs so that cost-effective methods can be implemented. In 2008 it was estimated that the economic burden that mental illness imposes on Canada is around $51 billion a year. This amount covers the costs for healthcare, lost productivity, and the reduction in the quality of life. Let’s take a look at the methadone treatment program success rate to see if it is truly worth the cost.

Opioid Substitution Therapy

The major form of opioid substitution therapy currently being adopted internationally has to do with the administration of methadone. More specifically the use of the synthetic opioid painkiller methadone hydrochloride. During the 1960s in New York, the ability of various prescribed opioids were examined to see its effectiveness in managing heroin dependence. It was found out that methadone proved to be the most suitable for such a task.

It was the belief that the long-term use of heroin results in a permanent metabolic deficiency of the central nervous system as well as being associated with physiological diseases. Thus the regular administration of opiates was necessary in order to correct the deficiencies.

The methadone treatment program success rate is fairly good, but it will take a long time for the body and the mind to heal the damage and achieve repair. The combination of clinical research and experience shows that the benefits delivered by the treatment can be achieved if a patient stays in the treatment program anywhere from 42 to 90 days. The length may vary depending on the actual state of dependence and abuse experienced by the patient. This is why the success rate is highly influenced by how personalized the plan is based on the medical and clinical needs of the patient.

Traditional treatment has not yielded the success desired as many of those who have undergone it remain to live broken lives that are full of anxiety, cravings, depression, suicide, and relapses. The statistics show that about 25% of deaths of those with chemical dependency is due to suicide; this is both disheartening and alarming.

Long-Term Abstinence

The use of the methadone treatment program for addiction was initially researched during the early 1960s. In the 40 years that followed, it has evolved to become the most recognized standard of care for opiate addiction. The detoxification and drug-free techniques can be very appealing in terms of the need to find a recovery solution that does not involve any medication. However, it only yields a 5% to 10% success rate.

Compare this to the 60% to 90% methadone treatment program success rate and you would understand why it has become an international standard. The longer that people stay on this program, the more they improve their chances of achieving long-term abstinence.

In a study of California heroin addicts that involved 600 participants originally, about half are now dead. Only 10% of them have successfully established long-term stable abstinence. Many have not been exposed to methadone maintenance, which could have helped them reach a rehabilitated state.

Success Rates

The clinical data available can demonstrate that a biochemical treatment of addiction will deliver 75% to 80% recovery rate within a span of 5 years. Compare this to the traditional 12-step or strictly counseling approach that does not use biochemical treatment and you get a substantially lower recovery rate of 15% to 25% in 5 years.

After over 50 years more than 95% of the treatment programs in the U.S. and Canada still use the 12-step program. This does not resolve the physiological damage that has resulted from the substance abuse. It is necessary to recognize this problem to achieve cellular rebalancing and recovery from addiction.

Know more about the success rate of the methadone treatment program from Towards Recovery Clinics. Give them a call today!

Cost Effective Methadone Treatment Plan

Posted on :  May 5th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that opioids are types of psychoactive analgesic drugs that are usually prescribed for palliative care and pain relief? Conscious control over these medications are being implemented because of its potential for addiction, misuse, and dependence. There is a growing consensus that opioid substitution therapies like the methadone treatment plan are successful in treating opioid dependence. How cost effective is this treatment?

Cost of Substance Abuse

In a research published in 2006, it was estimated that the cost of substance abuse in Canada was around $39.8 billion in 2002. This reflected to about $1,267 per capita and approximately 39% of this amount is associated with the enforcement, prevention, research, and healthcare cost of the abuse. There are also indirect costs that are associated, which are traced to the loss of productivity caused by disability and premature death from the addiction.

Although the costs for other types of abuse like tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis are substantial larger, it does not negate the severity of the problem. It also highlights the need to look for a cost effective treatment plan to ensure that focus on other types of addictions will not be neglected.

Introduction to Methadone

If you are not familiar with methadone, in its pure form it looks like a white crystalline powder. It can be used for treatment of both pain and addiction. Those who are prescribed with methadone are normally being treated for their opioid addiction. This would include those who are hooked on heroin as well as those abusing prescription opioids like fentanyl, hydromorphone, and oxycodone.

There will be instances though where methadone will be prescribed for the relief of chronic pain of pain that is associated with terminal illnesses. It is not uncommon to find methadone as a street drug, but normally for the prevention of symptoms associated with opioid addiction withdrawal.

Women who regularly use opioid drugs and pregnant can be treated with methadone as a means of protecting the fetus. To avoid many withdrawal symptoms, hydromorphone, heroin, or other short-acting opioids must be frequently taken. This is important because opioid withdrawal increases the possibility of premature birth or miscarriage. When combined with medical care, the methadone maintenance will be able to improve the chances of delivering a healthier baby. No long-term effects on the baby has been identified.

Those who are HIV and Hepatitis C positive and regularly inject opioid drugs are placed on the methadone treatment plan to protect their health. The treatment will also help in preventing the spread of the infections when needles are shared. From the 6,000 people who received methadone maintenance treatment in Ontario in 2000, the number has drastically increased to 38,000 in 2012.

Treatment Payment

The cost of methadone treatment in Ontario is normally paid through public and private funding sources. Private physicians collect revenues from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC), the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), or from the patients directly if they are not covered by OHIP.

Essentially all of the physician services that are directly associated with the methadone maintenance treatment will be covered by the OHIP. The physicians usually use the collected fees from the different sources to pay for their office expenses, salaries of staff, and the cost of other materials. Additional services provided by methadone clinics like psychosocial counseling for example will be considered under the office expense and will not be covered by an additional billing.

The total cost was estimated at about $99,491,000, which when divided by the total number of patient days while treatment was being obtained resulted to $15.48 per day. About 46.7% of the cost goes to urine samples and 39.8% is for pharmacy costs. When accounting for the cost of methadone alone, it yields only an average of 3.8% or roughly $0.58 a day.

Towards Recovery Clinics can provide you with a more detailed methadone treatment plan including its cost. Call on them now.

Looking Into Methadone Treatment Options

Posted on :  May 4th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

People who are dealing with an addiction in most instances will be experiencing intense physical and emotional challenges. This is why it becomes extremely important to remain non-judgmental and supportive if you truly want to rehabilitate them. A helpful approach would be to talk to the addicted person and try to persuade him to seek treatment and become more productive. Let us look into methadone treatment.

Is it Addictive?

Did you know that one of the most common concerns with methadone treatment is the potential for addiction? It is essential to understand that methadone is a type of opiate, which means that it inherently carries the risk of abuse and addiction. This is why it is absolutely important that a reputable center administer the treatment.

Since methadone is considered longer-acting, it is also described as a less potent variety of opiate. This means that it will not be able to generate an intense effect like heroin and other similar addictive opiates. This translates to slow-onset of highs including tolerable lows. However, abuse of methadone can still happen when the doses taken are higher than what is prescribed for the maintenance schedule. The person can experience potentially dangerous and heightened effects.

Increasing the doses without medical consultation can also result in intense withdrawal symptoms that can put the rehabilitation efforts at risk.This would be unfortunate since methadone is an extremely valuable pharmaceutical treatment for addiction. This is especially true when it is taken as prescribed and with the proper supervision. Eventually, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and risky side effects will be minimized.

Signs of Addiction

Because of the fear of addiction, many are searching for methadone treatment options and inadvertently stop the rehabilitation effort before any headway is reached. If your concern is merely on the possibility of addiction, then it would be useful to be aware of the signs of methadone addiction. There are actually several symptoms that you should be consciously aware of:

    • Nausea;
    • Diarrhea;
    • Headaches;
    • Vomiting;
    • Jitteriness;
    • Mania;
    • Pain; and
    • Depression

These symptoms can be experienced in as fast as 24 to 48 hours after quitting methadone use. Sometimes even the thought of stopping methadone use can make you anxious and possibly attempt to hoard it or use it in higher doses due to temptation of a high.

But how can you confirm that you are addicted to methadone? Especially if you cannot quickly identify the addiction symptoms? Well, if you attempt to take methadone even if it has negative effects on you, then there is a high possibility that you are already addicted to it. Other potential signs of methadone addiction will include:

  • Multiple visits to a health professional to get more methadone.
  • Getting methadone from alternative sources.
  • Personal and financial neglect just to keep on using methadone.
  • Using it with other drugs even without doctor’s orders.
  • Using methadone other than how it is prescribed.

Reduction Not Elimination

Instead of looking for methadone treatment options, it is better to taper management and focus on reduction instead of elimination of substance use. Those who decide to reduce their doses of methadone should be able to get support in order to cope with the possible consequences, including withdrawal symptoms, of their action.

How can a managed approach to tapering be achieved? This would normally take on a stepwise approach that includes:

  • Medical supervision and close monitoring by assigned physicians and the members of the involved multidisciplinary program team.
  • Giving addicts the proper information and advice on the process especially about the possibilities of relapse. They should be aware that successful tapering will always be an alternative and long-term maintenance is entirely possible.
  • The dose of methadone must be slowly tapered and the slower it is done the better. Keep in mind that the rate of tapering will always be individualized with addicts always being part of the decision making process. The choice must always be theirs on how much should be reduced.
  • Increased access to supportive counselling becomes essential as the tapering process proceeds. Community-based services that focus on after care programs and services become valuable during the transition process.

The treatment must focus on the reduction of harm that accompanies drug use and abuse instead of completely eliminating drug use. This emphasizes the value of low threshold programs for those who are suffering from multiple substance abuse. These individuals will be able to continue using various substances even when on the methadone treatment program, which will result in the gradual reduction of dependence. This also allows the doors to other treatment options to remain open.

If you want to know more about methadone treatment options, contact Toward Recovery Clinics today!

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!

Methadone Treatment Pros and Cons

Posted on :  May 2nd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As early as the 1970s, methadone has already been used in assisting in the treatment of opiate addiction. In 2009 it was estimated that over 100,000 people were regularly taking methadone to cope with their heroin addiction. According to the Harvard Health Publications, this is primarily because methadone treatment is known as a type of substitution therapy that will allow curbing of cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms. Under medical supervision and when used in combination with therapy, methadone is widely considered as a safe treatment program.

The Methadone Treatment

Initially, the methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) began as a medication-only program. Daily doses were administered to the participants of the program. With the continued research in the field of addiction, it was uncovered that the treatment program needed a component that would address the psychological aspect of the drug abuse and addiction.

This led to the offering of psychological, counseling, and even rehabilitation services to complement the medication therapies of the methadone maintenance treatment program. Results of the study made by the National Institutes for Health affirmed the importance of combining the medication therapies with the psychosocial interventions to increase the chances of successful recovery from addiction.

As a drug treatment, methadone is an opiate-based medication. Why use opiate to cure opiate? The idea is to curb the addiction by way of opiate drugs that will naturally interact with the brain chemistry and bodily functions of the drug user. So in essence, MMT, attempts to veer addicts away from opiates rather than shock the body with the recovery process.

Goal of the Treatment

In order to understand the methadone treatment pros and cons, it is necessary to grab the concept of the treatment’s goal. The ultimate goal is to give the addict the facilities to return to a relatively normal life. This can be achieved through medically supervised methadone treatment combined with vocational counseling and educational assistance. The better the addict feels about himself, the faster he will be able to return to a normal and more productive life.

There are those that continue to question the ability of the methadone treatment to reduce the harm caused to society. For many though, MMT has become synonymous to the treatment of heroin addiction. It is however also prescribed for the treatment and management of pain. The methadone treatment is also often referred to as the harm reduction technique because it:

  • Gives the users the ability to immediately stop using needles thereby reducing the incidents of blood borne sickness like hepatitis C and HIV;
  • Ensures that the quality of the drug is pure and the dosage is right becomes it comes directly from pharmaceutical companies instead of the street;
  • Provides addicts with access to the drug treatment if they want it;
  • Offers addicts with a place where they can regularly check-in so they can stay sober and clean;
  • Is based on over 30 years of opioid addiction treatment;
  • Gives a more structured treatment for patients that need it;
  • Costs less and can be calculated based on the patient’s income;
  • Provides an opportunity for addicts to meet others with the same problems;
  • Provides access to group counseling whenever necessary;
  • Helps to stop withdrawal symptoms because it is an opioid;
  • Has effects that can last longer than 24 hours;
  • Does not impose any legal limits on the number of patients that can be accommodated into a methadone clinic for treatment; and
  • Allows the doses to be increased when the patient becomes more tolerant to methadone.

Despite the numerous benefits that MMT presents, it also has some drawbacks that must be considered, like:

  • Illicit opioid usage may continue even when the addict is under MMT;
  • There is a strict protocol that must be followed, which can give patients the feeling that they cannot control their own treatment;
  • Methadone can show up in urine testing done for employment purposes;
  • Some patients may find it difficult to visit methadone clinics daily especially when they have jobs or need to travel long distances; and
  • Some patients may have self-esteem issues when it comes to a clinical environment.

These methadone treatment pros and cons should be viewed in the proper context of addiction. To help you do that get in touch with a reputable treatment center like Towards Recovery Clinics.

Methadone Treatment History

Posted on :  May 1st, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that methadone was first produced during the mid-1900s? It came about as part of the research into the development of new pain relieving drugs that can be used as an alternative to morphine. In fact, it has been one of the more popularly researched drug treatments all over the world. The social context however is that it is prescribed as a way of prohibiting opiate use, making it more complex than other medication around.

The Development

A German scientist was responsible for the development of the chemical structure of methadone during the 1930s. The production of the synthetic substance in 1937 was led by Gustav Ehrhart and Max Bockmhl, and was called polamidon (Hoechst 10820).

Their research was expanded during World War II as the original medicine was synthesized as a response to the morphine shortage. As the war ended, the United States obtained the rights to the drug now called methadone. It was in 1947 when it was introduced in the US as a type of pain relieving medicine for various conditions. This led to the belief that it could be used in the treatment of narcotics addiction.

Scientific advancements came during the 1960s, and by the early part of the 1970s the methadone treatment started to expand with the government setting up the necessary regulations that will govern the use of methadone as part of a drug addiction treatment program.

Additional regulations were released in 2001 to modify the existing regulations to cover the manner of delivery of methadone to ensure better control.

The Opioid Addiction

Believe it or not, many of the abused substances today including opioids (morphine, opium, heroine, and other prescription opioids) were initially dispensed as curative measures by physicians, pharmacists, and other members of the healthcare community. Many of these were the basic ingredients of commercial products for cough suppressants, pain killers, and even beverages.

There was no doubt that the products delivered the intended results initially, until abuse eventually happened. A good example would be opioids which were best in relieving pain on the battlefields during the Civil War. The uncontrolled use however along with advertised benefits for nonmedical use led to its tolerance and addiction.

Tolerance means that the body starts needing larger quantities and more frequent usage of the opioid, usually in combination with other substances in order to get a sustained effect. This also leads to more severe withdrawal once the addiction is not fully satisfied.

Recognition of the problem opened up debates among those affected, the healthcare profession, the government, and the community leaders. The discussion centered on the incurable nature of opioid addiction, which required long-term maintenance with medication, and opioid addiction as a result of weak, lack of morals, and psychodynamic factors that requires criminalization of its uncontrolled use and distribution to promote abstinence.

Treatment Issues

Since its development in 1964 as a medical response to the post-war heroin epidemic, there have been plenty of major studies conducted. The findings in these major studies were all consistent in that methadone maintenance treatment successfully reduces or eliminates:

  • The use of heroin;
  • The transmission of infectious diseases related to heroin injection;
  • The death rates; and
  • Criminality associated with drug usage.

It also allowed the patients to gain improved health and social productivity. It has been established that the principal effects of the treatment are:

  • Relieving of narcotic cravings;
  • Suppression of the abstinence syndrome; and
  • Blocking the euphoric effects delivered by heroin.

Specific dosages of methadone are required by patients and should be administered for an extended period of time (sometimes indefinitely) because of the nature of the methadone treatment, which is corrective rather than curative. Using lower doses may not yield the desired blocking effect. There should be no fear since methadone treatment has been established to be medically safe.

Government is advocating the expansion of the methadone maintenance treatment program with newer models to be implemented. The National Institutes of Health even recommended that the treatment program be made available to persons that are under legal supervision like parolees, the incarcerated, and probationers.

The educational leadership should be provided by the professional community to ensure the general public that the stigma and bias against the programs are unfounded. These should move the expansion forward.

To ensure that you are getting in the right treatment program for your addiction, get a hold of Towards Recovery Clinics.

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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