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Common Questions on Methadone Treatment Results

Posted on :  July 10th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

There are a variety of methadone treatment success stories that you can find all around. However, did you know that there are many factors that go into establishing successful methadone treatment results? This is perhaps the reason why there are many questions surrounding this question. Let’s take a look at some of them.

What is Methadone?

In the streets, you may hear it go by the names meth or juice. This particular drug belongs to the opioid family and has been designed for use with various opioid addictions like those of oxycodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, and heroin.

Designed? Yes, because methadone is a synthetic opioid so it is made in the laboratory from chemicals. It was initially developed and used in World War II in Germany for pain relief. Its use in addiction treatment was first seen during the 1960s.

Canadian regulations on the prescription of methadone and its uses for treatment have remained widely restrictive. However, in the 1990s there was a need to address the harm of drugs so changes were made for those who wanted to avail of the methadone treatment.

It is vital to point out that it is not a cure, but a treatment. This means that opioid addicts require medical and social support to achieve stabilization in their lives. Staying in treatments longer is the only way to get sustainable and significant results.

Who are Methadone Users?

The majority of those classified as methadone users are those suffering from opioid addiction. Some of its users though are not addicts, but have issues with severe chronic pain or pain that is associated with terminal illnesses.

It is not impossible for methadone to be used in the form of street drugs, but most of the time it is for the prevention of withdrawal symptoms due to opioid dependency. For pregnant women, the use of methadone is often viewed as a protection of the fetus. This is because withdrawal from opioid is highly associated with increased miscarriage or even premature births. The combination of medical care and methadone maintenance will improve the chances of delivering a healthy baby without any known long-term effects.

The number of people receiving treatment in Ontario alone has risen from 6,000 to 38,000 from 2000 up until 2012.

How Long is its Effect?

On the average, an opioid dependent can expect at least 24 hours of being free from withdrawal symptoms using a single methadone dose. This is quite acceptable when you consider that using heroin or short-acting opioids to keep away the same withdrawal symptoms requires anywhere from 3 to 4 doses per day.

The daily treatments may go indefinitely, but, should a decision to stop the treatment be arrived at by the doctor and the user, gradual tapering down of doses will be done. This can extend anywhere from weeks to months until such time that the process of withdrawal has been eased.

It is essential to understand that abrupt stoppage of methadone treatment will have adverse effects with withdrawal symptoms being manifested in as short as a day.

Is it Dangerous and Addictive?

There are always accompanying dangers when taking drugs like methadone. However, if it is taken as it is prescribed, then it is considered safe and will not damage any internal organs or brain processes even with prolonged used. This is why the supervision of a medical professional is a must when administering the treatment. It is for this reason as well that careful monitoring and control is exercised during treatment.

As far as addiction goes, modern definition dictates that we look at several factors in the assessment. There is tolerance, need for increased amounts, physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, compulsive usage, and continued use despite negative consequences.

When you take these factors into account, methadone treatment does not meet the full definition of addiction. This is of course looking at the treatment as it is administered by a qualified professional or treatment center.

We also have to take notice that methadone treatment is offered as a form of medical treatment and only people who are opioid addicts are prescribed it. Methadone delivers a safe alternative to curb the dangerous and desperate routines of their addiction. With the goal of freeing them up from their compulsions and focusing on improved lives.

You can contact Towards Recovery Clinics to find out more about methadone treatment results and other holistic solutions to addiction.

Requirements in Seeking Methadone Treatment

Posted on :  May 29th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In Canada, there is a prevailing policy on how methadone maintenance treatment should be implemented by those participating in the program. The policy has been in place since 2014 with the introduction of the product that is indicated for use with opioid dependence treatment. Each province is responsible for implementing their respective guidelines for the treatment of opioid addiction using methadone. So what are the things that you should know?

Getting Treatment

It is common knowledge that methadone treatment in Canada is handled either by private practitioners or treatment centers. There are methadone treatment requirements that must be satisfied before an addict can become part of the program.

You need to present proof, like a notarized letter from a physician attesting to the fact that you are receiving methadone. The letter should be written either in English or in French. The name and address that will be used by the patient while seeking treatment in Canada should be specified in the letter. It should also include the travel dates, daily methadone dosage, and other important medical information about the patient.

Aside from this the patient must present a proof of identity like a passport as well as the name of the Canadian physician that will administer the treatment. What if you don’t have the name and address of the Canadian physician who will handle the treatment? It is highly recommended that you visit the SAM website to get consultation, referral, and other information about general practitioners and clinics that are involved in the methadone maintenance treatment program.

This self-help website is very useful because the information is in English and French. You may also browse the Internet for treatment services in Canada, which is a database maintained by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Why do you need the information of the administering physician? Because you will need to send a request for travel to Canada to him. Further arrangements should be handled directly by the foreign physician and the chosen Canadian methadone treatment practitioner.

Dispensing Requirements

Despite being widely regarded as a safe medication, the prescription, dispensing, and consumption of methadone should be done in accordance with existing guidelines. This is because inappropriate or unsupervised use can result in dangerous consequences.

What are some of the key requirements for dispensing methadone that you should know about?

  1. The pharmacy should notify the OCP when dispensing methadone. It is the responsibility of the pharmacist to ensure that the College is notified within 7 days that they are dispensing methadone.
  2. The treatment and dispensing policy of OCP should be followed strictly. This means that pharmacists/physicians will be responsible for ensuring that there is adequate collaboration or communication between the pharmacist and the physician. Health Canada will be informed by the physician to ensure that there is a current and valid exemption. The exemptions for methadone treatment and chronic pain treatment are separate.
  3. All staff member should be adequately trained based on existing requirements. Prevailing policy is that the DM should be adequately trained in the first 6 months of the methadone treatment practice. There should also be at least one pharmacist employed as a staff within one year. The trainings of the pharmacists should be updated every 5 years at the very least.

To be able to prescribe methadone the exemption of the physician should be in accordance with section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The College is mandated not only to oversee the program, but also ensure that its quality is improved and that methadone maintenance treatment remains accessible in Ontario.

The profile of the treatment program has been enhanced using outreach activities and through the recruitment of physicians qualified to prescribe methadone as an opioid dependence treatment drug.

Towards Recovery Clinics should be able to provide you with more information on methadone treatment requirements. Give them a call today.

What is the Cost of Methadone Treatment?

Posted on :  May 23rd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Are you aware that there are over 50,000 people on the methadone maintenance treatment in Ontario alone? This is according to a paper that appeared in the Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy medical journal. What is the cost of this treatment to the public payer in Canada? Let’s try and see.

Importance of Price Quotes

Why is it necessary to have methadone treatment quotes? The estimate of the cost of the methadone treatment in Canada or anywhere else for that matter will serve as a guide in crafting policies that will cover healthcare financing decisions.

The estimates are commonly compared to those of other countries but not necessarily applicable to Canada because of a variety of reasons. For example, the quotes from other countries may include expenses that are not applicable to the Canadian perspective. The application of the fees of pharmacies, laboratory services, and physicians may also vary including the prevailing guidelines and programs of the respective governments.

The treatment guidelines also have to be taken into account because obviously the allowed frequency of visits will have an impact on the overall cost of the treatment. For the Canadian perspective, it is best to look at the cost estimate for the treatment of the opiate dependent user from the public payer perspective.

Based on treatment figures, the average daily cost is around $15.48 per patient. If the patient opts to go with continuous treatment for at least a year, the estimated cost will be $5,651. These figures reveal that the delivery of methadone treatment in Ontario in particular is within the same levels as those of Australia and the United States.

Comparing Cost Estimates

There will definitely be a variance in the implementation of methadone treatment. Costing studies conducted in Europe revealed that in the United Kingdom, the approximate cost of treatment is $3 but rises to $12 daily in Norway. These figures however were based on an earlier study conducted in 2010.

During the same period, the cost of methadone maintenance treatment in Australia was around $11 a day. This costs Australian prisons an estimated $3,234 per year per patient. Based on a cost-effectiveness analysis conducted between methadone and buprenorphine, the methadone treatment was cheaper by about $6 per day per patient.

Even within the same country, a comparison of cost estimates will show that the methadone treatment quotes vary. In the United States for example, the Veteran’s Affairs estimates the cost of treatment at $5,250 per year, while other programs showed an annual cost of only $4,176. The cost per week of the treatment would range anywhere from $42 to as much as $139. In New York, the average annual cost is pegged from $4,750 to $6,068.

When we take into account the number of patients that have been stabilized in a period of at least a year, the estimated cost for the clinic-based methadone treatment comes out at $240 a week while the office-based methadone treatment cost is at $275 weekly.

All of these estimates can serve as a baseline reference. The manner of treatment for methadone will also have an impact on future estimates. For example, in Canada methadone is classified as a controlled substance so it requires a prescription from a physician. The physician who will write a prescription will also have to undergo a specialized training program aside from an exemption issued by Health Canada.

There is also the factor of licensing bodies in every province that are tasked with the regulation of the prescription of methadone. The guidelines from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is normally used as a standard. These guidelines outline the appropriate testing, prescribing, and dispensing of methadone including other factors that can affect the treatment.

If you want to get more accurate methadone treatment quotes, call the Towards Recovery Clinics now.

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.

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.

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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