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Methadone Treatment Facts

Posted on :  April 28th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As a synthetic opioid, methadone was initially developed for the treatment of pain during World War II. Being part of the opioid family of drugs, it is currently considered as the most commonly used treatment for addiction. Aside from this, it is also used for the treatment of chronic pain as well as pain that is closely associated with terminal sickness. The use of methadone to address drug dependency was only developed during the 1960s. Methadone Maintenance Treatment or MMT is considered as a form of treatment for drug addiction rather than a cure.

How does it work?

The Methadone Maintenance Treatment is used to provide both social and medical support to recovering addicts to allow them to improve and stabilize their lives so that they can be integrated into society as productive members. In recent years, the number of patients that have undergone MMT have risen. In Ontario alone, the number rose from 3,000 in 1996 to more than 50,000, which is about four times the per-capita rate of the United States.

MMT works by individuals contacting a treatment provider either directly or by referral. The referral is normally made by a social service provider or a community health worker. The patients will initially receive a comprehensive assessment to verify if methadone is the right treatment for them. When the patient is admitted into the treatment program, regular contact is maintained with the physician including the treatment staff. The staff is normally composed of case managers and counsellors.

Aside from providing urine samples, the patients need to go to the pharmacy every day to receive medication that will be supervised by a pharmacist. Some may receive medication from the clinic with a nurse supervising the entire process. For patients that have reaches a certain level of stability, the number of visits to the pharmacy for their required dose may be reduced. Remaining doses for the week may be taken home in carries and stored inside a locked box.

How long will a patient be under MMT? That would depend and vary largely based on the person needing treatment. What is sure though is that the longer the patient remains in treatment, the better results are achieved with the possibility of relapsed greatly reduced. This is the reason why this program is referred to as the Methadone Maintenance Treatment.

To ensure that the treatment is not abused, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario along with Health Canada developed best practice guidelines for the implementation of the treatment. The guidelines are in addition to the Program Standards and Clinical Guidelines for the delivery of methadone services.

Is it effective?

Hands down, MMT is considered as the most effective treatment to date to address opioid dependency. The significant benefits that a patient receives while under treatment translates to benefits for the community as well. In essence, MMT has been known to reduce deaths caused by overdose, transmission of certain diseases (hepatitis B and C, and HIV), and similar public health risks that are related to drug use.

Those who undergo the program also display improved mental and physical health. After a while, the patient regains social functions and the ability to retain employment. The treatment has also been associated with the reduction in usage of other illegal substances and activities that may result in crime.

Along with these social benefits are the cost benefits. The MMT treatment is widely acknowledged as being cost-effective with each dollar spent on the program resulting in a savings for the community anywhere from $4 to $13. If you take into account the social cost for one untreated drug dependent, factoring in crime victimization, productivity loss, law enforcement, and cost of healthcare, the annual amount would reach $45,000. When the person enters MMT, the amount drastically drops to $6,000 per year.

A key to achieving these benefits is finding the right treatment center to administer MMT. Contact Towards Recovery Clinics today to find out how they can help curb addiction.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness

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

Despite the varying points of view, it is difficult to dismiss the effectiveness of the methadone maintenance treatment in the reduction of heroin use of addicts. In fact, there have been studies that revealed that the methadone treatment program is more effective than the 180-day detoxification programs, which is founded on a series of counseling services. Just how effective is the methadone treatment program?

Comparison with the Alternative

Methadone maintenance treatment is a popularly used, but often controversial method of stopping heroin addiction. Compared to its alternative, the 180-day methadone assisted detoxification, the methadone maintenance treatment resulted in lower usage rated with less drug-related HIV risk behaviors like needle sharing for example.

Based on a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, 179 participants were enrolled in the study and were assessed every month for a period of one year. Collected urine specimen was used as the basis for testing. Addicts in the methadone maintenance treatment were given stable doses. An hour-long group therapy per week was part of the program, which participants attended during the first six months.

Participants in the 180-day detoxification treatment were given 120 days of methadone treatment that was followed by 60 days of methadone dose reduction. This continued to the point where they no longer took methadone. For the first six months the participants attended a two-hour group therapy for substance abuse and an hour of cocaine group therapy if they used the drug. Individual group therapy was also part of the treatment program.

Not only did the methadone maintenance treatment retain more patients, but it was also more effective in reducing heroin use. Cocaine addicts were more likely to drop the 180-day program compared to the methadone treatment program.

Reduced Usage

Aside from treatment retention, another possible gauge of effectiveness is the reduction of opioid use. This has been the subject of research ever since the methadone maintenance treatment was introduced to cope with opioid dependence.

In 1998, the Marsch meta-analysis found that there was a consistent statistical relationship between the reduction of opioid use and methadone maintenance treatment. In 2007 a more recent meta-analysis was introduced and it supported the findings of Marsch. Randomized controlled trials showed reduced abuse of opioid.

Despite establishing the reduction in opioid use with the methadone maintenance treatment, it should be noted that the reductions are dependent on whether the addict receives adequate dosage levels or not. The reductions were also maintained for as long as addicts received methadone treatment. The conclusion was that addicts were less likely to be involved in heroin usage as long as the proper dosage of methadone was received.

Cost Benefits and Effectiveness

When we take into account the cost of untreated dependence on opioid, the cost of delivering methadone maintenance treatment is dwarfed by its benefits. Are you aware that the cost per annum of the treatment is significantly lower compared to the cost of drug-free treatment programs, untreated heroin usage, or incarceration? In fact, social costs of the criminal activities that are associated with heroin use are four times higher than the methadone treatment.

In the United States, every dollar spent on the delivery of the methadone maintenance treatment program translates to a savings of anywhere from $4 to $13 for the community. The same cost benefits are now being observed in Canada, particularly in Toronto where it is estimated that the average social cost of having untreated opioid dependents can reach roughly $44,600 a year. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto further estimates that the annual cost of providing methadone maintenance treatment would be about $6,000 every year.

The higher retention rates combined with lower delivery costs of the methadone maintenance treatment program compared to other treatment programs for opioid dependence makes it a considerably cost-effective solution. The cost effectiveness of the methadone treatment program compared to other programs produced a benefit to cost ratio of 4.4 is to 1 based on one study.

Towards Recovery Clinics can help you find an appropriate treatment program for addiction that will yield an effective result based on their holistic approach. Call them.

Methadone Treatment Controversy

Posted on :  April 26th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In case you weren’t aware of it, the use of legal opiate as a way to reduce the intake of illicit drugs has long been plagued with controversies. This is despite scientific evidence has supported the treatment as a cost-effective and practical strategy that will prevent illnesses and deaths associated with street drug usage. It also allows people with addiction to get back their lives. If this is so, why is there a methadone treatment controversy?

Replacing the Addiction

Methadone as a legal substitute for morphine, heroin, and other painkillers is a type of long-acting narcotic. The treatment makes use of methadone to replace the opiate that is the source of the addiction in order to prevent physical withdrawal, reduce cravings, and create a euphoric high. It is in this context that one of the controversies is anchored on. Many opponents of the treatment believe that the addiction is only replaced and not resolved.

The Ontario medical watchdog, College of Physicians and Surgeons, regulated methadone way back in 1996 after the responsibility was devolved to the provinces by the federal government. It is quite noteworthy to understand that the program was initially introduced when there were a lot of controversies surrounding the treatment of addicts and the increased access to the treatment.

Is there really any difference between methadone and the other opiates being prescribed by doctors? Doctors would prescribe Demerol, Percocet, Tylenol 3 and 4, and codeine for example, without any controversy. The ironic thing is that these often cause the addiction requiring the patient to turn to the methadone treatment.

When we come to think about it, shouldn’t the concern be directed to those who are using drugs and not seeking the proper treatment, rather than those who are on the methadone treatment? There is no doubt that many have benefited from the treatment. Unfortunately, such controversies are only stigmatizing methadone as well as those taking advantage of the treatment.

Addicts Keep on Using

Although some say that it is a better way of treating heroin addiction, some contend that how could it be better if addicts are still using? Their point being that what is the use of an addiction treatment where addicts do not really quit?

Methadone treatment may not be for everyone, but when it comes to harm reduction that policy makers are trying to get to, it has helped reduce instances of certain illnesses like HIV for example. The treatment would not be as controversial if it is understood that the part of the idea of the treatment is to help people live healthier and more productive lives while reducing health risks that are associated with heroin and other opiates.

So even if addicts don’t get completely clean, the reduction in HIV and hepatitis C that can spread with the use of dirty needles is something worth considering. There is also the benefit of crime reduction in the areas of theft and prostitution that are used in funding the habits of drug addicts.

Cost of Treatment

There are some quarters that insinuate that the cost of providing methadone treatment is just too high. What makes up the cost of the treatment anyway? In a gist, the estimated cost for the delivery of methadone maintenance treatment comes from laboratory costs, pharmacy costs, physician costs, and methadone costs. The pharmacy costs also covers markups and dispensing fees.

A study involving 9,479 patients, it was discovered that the average age that sought treatment was 34.3. And 62.3% of these patients were male. A total of 6,425,937 patients were involved in treatments for the study with the cost coming out to a total of $99,491,000. Out of this amount, 46.7% went to laboratory screening, 39.8% for pharmacy costs, 9.8% went to physician billing, and 3.8% for methadone. If we were to take this study as a reference point, we would come up with an average cost per day of $15.48 for the treatment or $5,651 each year. This of course is based on the assumption of continuous treatment for patients.

When you put this amount into context, the cost of delivering methadone treatment in Ontario is virtually the same as the estimates for both Australia and the United States. There shouldn’t be too much controversy with that.

If you would want to know more about effective methadone treatment, get in touch of Towards Recovery Clinics.

What Is a Methadone Treatment Program?

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

Did you know that substitution of one opioid for another will block the effects of the other opioids? This is what is referred to as the cross-tolerance phenomenon, which is developed between substances that target the same types of brain receptors. So, why a methadone treatment program?

The Treatment Maintenance Program

This is an all-inclusive treatment program that incorporates the long-term prescription of methadone to replace the dependence on other opioids. The methadone maintenance treatment requires counselling, case management, as well as other psychosocial and medical services needed for recovery from opioid dependence.

Under Canadian law, the provision of methadone is highly regulated since it is considered as a Schedule 1 drug based on the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This means that any physician must follow the process for legal exemption set by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) before the drug is prescribed. This is true for both treatment of opioid dependence and pain management.

Although pharmacists are not required to secure special permission in dispensing methadone, there are policy guidelines set by the Ontario College of Pharmacists that must be followed. This is intended as a support reference for pharmacists who are engaged in this challenging field of work.

It should be established that the methadone maintenance treatment is different from the methadone-assisted detoxification program. As the name implies, maintenance means long-term use and in stabilized doses. Long-term in this case may mean a couple of years or indefinitely.

Abstinence as a goal is viewed as something appropriate considering that the methadone maintenance helps in developing a life free from opiates. This means better chances for employment and development of social networks among others. When this is achieved, the dosage can be reduced until such time that it can be completely stopped. The long-term maintenance of methadone is designed to correct possible pathological problems just like insulin serves a purpose in diabetes mellitus cases.

Methadone Clinic

What is a methadone clinic? Simply put it is a place where one with opioid addiction can get medication-based therapy. The patients will be subjected to methadone treatment as part of a replacement therapy.

The methadone administered is intended to block (opiate) pain medication effects like those of codeine, oxycodone, morphine, and similar semi-synthetic opioids. The methadone treatment should be prescribed by a qualified doctor, but not as a cure for addiction issues. Despite this, the use of methadone is widely viewed as an effective component in the process of treatment and rehabilitation of the addict as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Treatment and Harm Reduction

The National Drug Strategy (NDS) includes harm reduction as one of the expected goals of drug dependence treatment. This has an effect on the application of methadone as a type of maintenance agent including the goals of the methadone maintenance treatment program.

Harm reduction can be viewed as an important part of the treatment program especially with the increase in the cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, which can be considered as an epidemic based on the infection rates among those that rely on injection as a means of using drugs in various parts of the world. As one of the major goals in the methadone maintenance treatment program, harm reduction also recognizes the high rates of other infectious diseases like hepatitis B and C among injecting drug users; something that is of paramount importance.

The numerous goals that the methadone treatment program can be categorized on the order of importance. These goals likewise depend on a number of factors such as the kind of intervention that will be involved as well as the perspective of drug use based on the user, the community, the healthcare provider, and the government.

The importance of each goal will definitely vary, but, in order to ensure that the user will receive the proper result from the methadone treatment program, you need to seek a treatment center that believes in the philosophy of helping individuals in rebuilding and taking control of their lives.

Call Towards Recovery Clinics today to get more information.

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.

Methadone Treatment Benefits

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

For those who are struggling with opioid dependence, legally-prescribed methadone treatment can deliver multitudes of benefits. An effective treatment would include methadone medication in combination with behavioral health counseling. The interventions give people better chances of achieving better quality of life. Creating awareness on the methadone treatment benefits will help more recovering addicts back on their feet. What are these?

Effective Results

Many studies suggest that methadone treatment works extremely well. Some even go as far as stating that nothing works better for opiate addicts who are trying to stay away from heroin (and similar opiates) use. The effectiveness of the treatment is based on its ability to provide complete relief from the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction. The great thing about the treatment is that as long as a patient stays in the program, the desire to use opiates remain curbed.

Cost Effective

Some may have the notion that getting methadone maintenance treatment is costly. To a certain extent it may be, but if you compare it with other forms of addiction treatment methods, methadone treatment still comes out on top. Entry cost of the program is comparatively low with relief felt in as long as 24 hours at the price of a few cups of coffee. The cost of methadone maintenance can vary with prices averaging from $3 to $12.25 per day. On the long-term, anyone who goes to a methadone treatment program will eventually generate some savings while getting better.

Staying Healthy

Part of the benefits that you get from the methadone treatment is that it helps drug dependents to stay healthy while getting cleansed. Many of those who seek methadone treatment begin to stabilize their lives and begin to feel healthier. The reality is that no one really associates the abuse of heroin and other opiates with a healthy lifestyle; that is not until drug abusers get on the methadone treatment program. Then they start to feel changes like eating and sleeping better, getting motivated to exercise, and just generally taking better care of themselves. More importantly, the methadone maintenance treatment program drastically reduces the possibility of getting HIV, hepatitis, and other illnesses linked to drug use.

Legally Use

Although methadone is similar to other opiates, it remains legal. This means that your continued use, even for the long-term, will not get you into trouble with the law. Being enrolled in a legitimate treatment program gives you the right to use methadone. This means there is no need to fear arrest, prosecution, or even jail time. Compare the price of the treatment program with the addiction, you do not have to resort to criminal activities to continue using methadone. The effectiveness of methadone in reducing withdrawal symptoms will also make you less likely to look for your next hit.

Get Your Life Together

The goal of any drug addiction treatment program is to help addicts get back on their feet so that they can put their lives back together. The efficiency of the methadone treatment for addiction is premised on its lasting effect. This means helping drug users to avoid the emotional roller coaster that opiate addiction brings. As a synthetic drug, it does not impact a person’s coordination, ability to think, or experience euphoria. This means driving a car, pursuing a career, excelling academically, or handling responsibilities would not be an issue when you are on methadone. This is great news for those on the treatment and their families.

Daily Support

One of the most important benefits of being on the methadone treatment is that addicts have to go to the clinic daily to get their medication. What is so great about it? This means that you will be in daily contact with the right people that can help you get over your addiction. The longer this happens, the less chances you have of encountering a relapse. This is excellent especially for those who are only on the early stages of recovery. The daily structure helps to put some order in the life of recovering addicts and allows them to focus on healthier and more proactive activities. By being around therapists and healthcare professionals every day, you will always have someone to talk to whenever you feel that you are in a crisis.

These are just some of the important methadone treatment benefits. If you want to find out more, get in touch with Towards Recovery Clinics today!

How Long Is a Methadone Treatment Program?

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

It is reasonable for anyone who will undergo medical treatment to want to know how long the program will last, right? However, no matter how reasonable the question is, when it comes to the methadone treatment, the answer can be quite difficult to muster. There are those who will be on the treatment program for weeks, years, or decades, and some will stay on for the rest of their lives. If this is the case, then how long is a methadone treatment program?

Drug Addiction Treatment

When it comes to drug addiction, how long would a regular treatment last? One of the best determinants would have to be individual progress. This means a predetermined treatment length would be almost out of the question. The only assurance is that good results can be achieved given enough treatment time is allocated.

How long is adequate? In general, outpatient participation not exceeding 90 days can be considered inefficient with results not very significant to achieve long-term positive gains. When talking about methadone maintenance treatment, the minimum should be no less than 12 months. As earlier stated, the individual outcome is unpredictable so many will be under the maintenance program for many years.

Many falsely believe in the inadequacy of some treatment programs. However, these perceived inadequacies are brought about by patients failing to give the treatment program enough time to become successful. This is why one of the greatest challenge to treatment programs is the considerable dropout rate. This is where innovative motivational techniques will come into play so make sure that patients remain engaged.

When looking at addiction as a type of chronic disease, continuous care, monitoring, and dedication are necessary ingredients for success. This though will require multiple treatment episodes and admitting the reality that patients are prone to relapse.

Methadone Treatment Stages

The reality is that the longer patients stay with the program, the better their chances are of overcoming opiate use, addiction, and relapse.  The truth is that less than 20% of patients will subscribe to using the treatment for more than 10 years. The great thing with the methadone maintenance treatment is that there are no negative impact on any major organ or system of the body even if you use it for decades. What are the stages of the treatment?

  • Induction Phase – during this period, the dosage will be adjusted to levels that will give you comfort from symptoms and cravings. Patients are expected to participate in counseling and health program supports while on methadone.
  • Rehabilitative and Maintenance Phases – once a steady and comfortable dosage is reached, daily dosage is continued. As the patient complies with the program, the number of take home doses per week may be increased. Patients become eligible for month-long take home doses after 2 years with the program.
  • Tapering – patients can begin tapering off methadone any time, but it is commonly advised that a minimum of 1 year is spent as better treatment results can be received when staying in the program longer. Slower tapering with longer gradual dose reduction intervals are seen as more comfortable for most patients.

How will you know if you are ready to taper from methadone?The answer lies with the patient himself, although many that undergo the treatment program do not reach the point of tapering. Why is this? In essence, tapering is closely associated with the high risk of going into relapse, so for some, there is a fear of tapering because they do not want to go back to opiate abuse and addiction.

So, are you ready? Let’s see if you can answer yes to all of these:

  1. Do you have a stable home and family life, supported by a reliable income?
  2. Have you displayed a history of compliance with the methadone treatment program?
  3. Does your primary treatment counselor agree with your readiness and timing to taper?
  4. Are you committed to returning to the treatment program in case of relapse?
  5. Will you avoid alcohol and drug abuse completely?

If you need help to get through your addiction or find an appropriate methadone treatment program, contact Toward Recovery Clinics immediately!

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.

The Side Effects of Methadone Use

Posted on :  February 25th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Strange as it may sound, but in order to treat opiate abuse, another opiate must be used as a support when the drug abuser stops the original drug used. The purpose is to try and limit the intense drive to seek and abuse opiates like heroin for example. In this instances, the usual choice would be methadone primarily because it is widely available and comparatively cheap. Unfortunately, it can be abused and comes with its own set of side effects. What are the potential methadone treatment side effects that may be experienced?

Major Side Effects

Are you aware that there are about 5,000 people that die from methadone abuse every year? This normally occurs when the drug integrates with substances like benzodiazepines and alcohol. The major side effects can be just as bad as those manifested by heroin. Even the injectable form of methadone can result in side effects especially when needle is shared or used in multiple doses. Here are some of the major side effects that may manifest:

  • Bleeding gums;
  • Black, tarry stool;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Blood in stool or urine;
  • Soft and bulging spot on head of infant;
  • Difficulty in distinguishing colors, especially yellow and blue;
  • Skin color changes;
  • Chest pains or difficulty in breathing;
  • Convulsions;
  • Feeling of confusion;
  • Chronic coughing, sometimes with pink frothy sputum;
  • Decreased amount of urine;
  • Noisy or wheezing breathing;
  • Dilated neck veins;
  • Difficulty in swallowing;
  • Feeling of dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness;
  • Headaches;
  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat;
  • Skin rashes, itching, or hives;
  • Sweating;
  • Frequent thirst;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Muscle cramps or pain;
  • Vomiting or nausea;
  • Tingling sensation in the hands, feet, or lips;
  • Pale colored skin, lips, or fingernails;
  • Red spots on the skin;
  • Swelling of around the eyes, lips, tongue, face, fingers, or legs;
  • Seizures;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding; and
  • Weight gain.

Minor Side Effects

There will also be some side effects that do not necessarily need medical attention. These are usually symptoms of your body’s adjustment to the methadone treatment, which should go away after some period. Healthcare professionals may give advices how these minor side effects can be minimized or prevented. Here are some effects that you may experience during the treatment:

  • Irregular menstrual periods;
  • Blurry, double, or loss of vision;
  • Feeling anxious or confused;
  • Constipation
  • Decreased sexual appetite or erection problems;
  • Affects color perception;
  • False sense of well-being;
  • Seeing halos around lights;
  • Irritable or feeling restless;
  • Feeling weak;
  • Night blindness;
  • Swelling, redness, or soreness of the tongue;
  • Tunnel vision;
  • Welts; and
  • Unexplained weight changes.

Short-Term Effects

Aside from the major and minor side effects, there are also some short-term effects with varying intensity. Normally, these can last up to 24 hours. However, if these effects last longer or become more intense, you must seek medical attention immediately. What are these short-term effects?

  • Feeling of extreme happiness or relaxation;
  • Drowsiness; and
  • Sedation

Overdose Symptoms

Although similar to heroin, methadone does not create an effect that is the same as that of heroin. It is still open to abuse just like any type of opiate. Therefore, it can still have a potential to do harm, but, based on its track record, more good is done for the people that undergo methadone treatment.

Reduction of the dosage can be done safely even if it remains relatively safe even when used in high doses. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it is highly recommended for maintenance therapy. Just to help you to be aware, here are some of the overdose symptoms that can be experienced when taking methadone:

  • Difficult or shallow breathing;
  • Low or high blood pressure;
  • Twitching of the muscles;
  • Sudden nausea or vomiting;
  • Bluish appearance of the lips and fingernails (cyanosis); and
  • Coma

To know more about methadone treatment side effects and other effective ways to get rehabilitated, get in touch with Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. now.

Treating Addiction with Methadone

Posted on :  February 24th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that treating opioid dependence with methadone has been around since the 1950s? The routine with the methadone treatment is that the patient will take a daily dose in liquid form. The intention is to reduce the craving for opioids and the symptoms of withdrawal. However, with the potential for addiction, it is necessary to follow certain guidelines for treatment.

Opioid Addiction

Just like any other opioid, methadone is addictive, but not like heroin. What are the main differences between methadone and similar opioid addictions?

  • Methadone is safer for patients to take provided that it is under medical supervision;
  • When taken orally it minimizes the possibility of HIV transmission;
  • Patients on methadone are productive and are rarely involved in criminal activities; and
  • Methadone is part of the list of essential medicines released by the World Health Organization.

With so much research going into methadone treatment, there are some significant results that have been uncovered such as:

  • Methadone treatment will drastically reduce drug injecting, hence minimizing HIV transmission;
  • Opioid dependence related death rate can be significantly reduced;
  • Criminal activity of addicts can be reduced; and
  • The most effective doses are higher than 60mg.

For patients using methadone who want to pursue the treatment within a closed setting or those with opioid dependence history should have ready access to it. This must continue for the entire time that they are under a closed setting. The rationale behind this is to ensure that they receive the maximum benefits from the treatment.

Closed Settings

Part of the methadone treatment guidelines is that it must be available in federal prisons where the process is offered. In fact, according to the Correctional Service of Canada (SCS), as early as December 2001, there were already 304 federal prisoners receiving methadone treatment. This forms part of the public health approach and thrust to prevent HIV infection as well as being consistent with the principle of having care equivalence.

There are about 30 countries providing methadone treatment in a closed setting as an option for reducing the number of prisoners injecting. This includes Canada, Indonesia, Spain, Iran, and Australia. Encouraging results can be seen like in the case of Australia where a drop from 80% to 25% in heroin addiction was recorded after only 4 months of methadone treatment.

It is worth noting that there are fewer options available to provincial prisoners as only those who were in a methadone program prior to being incarcerated are qualified for in-prison treatment whenever available.

Treatment Planning

In order to be familiar with what would happen once the treatment commences, it is important that the patient should be given proper information so that the right decision would be arrived at. What are the information that should be given?

  • Rationale of the maintenance treatment;
  • Reasons why methadone treatment is recommended for opioid dependence;
  • Potential side effects and risks of the treatment;
  • Length of treatment; and
  • Treatment options.

Patient should know the methadone treatment guidelines and rules. For example, guidelines should cover:

  • The need for patients to complete their doses in front of the staff to ensure that they are not sold in part or in whole to others;
  • Violence or threats against staff and other patients will not be tolerated;
  • Consultation with doctors is required; and
  • There will be consequences when the rules are breached.

All the necessary information must be given to the patient in the form of an information sheet so that it can be read and understood. In cases where the patient cannot read, it should be read aloud to him and asked if he has understood it. A consent form must also be signed by a patient who is willing to begin the treatment program.

Once an informed consent has been given by the patient, the treatment plan should be developed. The plan must cover the starting dose of the patient as well as the schedule when those doses should be increased. Every treatment plan must be supervised.

In order to help patients take control of their addiction, it is necessary to have methadone treatment guidelines. Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. can help in the comprehensive treatment of drug abusers, contact them today.

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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