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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!

Methadone Treatment Symptoms

Posted on :  July 22nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Being addicted to opioids is no picnic, but there are treatments that work. One of the most successful treatments for opioid addiction is methadone. But, like all prescription treatments, there are side effects that show up as different types of symptoms. Before you commit to a methadone treatment program, like the programs offered at Towards Recovery, it is important to understand what could happen to you while you are involved in a methadone treatment program.

Pain Relief and Maintenance with Detox

Methadone is actually used as a pain reliever to calm the symptoms that occur when opioid addicts go through withdrawal to help with detox and maintenance. There are several side effects that can occur while taking methadone. They include insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and general weakness.

Important Interactions to Know

When a physician prescribes methadone, he or she uses the patient’s age and physical condition. The physician also has to consider other medications that the patient might be taking. Methadone can have interactions with narcotics, muscle relaxers, and sedatives. Methadone will interact with other medications that slow breathing and affect the heart. It can also interact with HIV medication, antibiotics, diuretics, and seizure prescriptions, too. Because of the variety of interactions with so many different medications, it is wise for patients to be very clear with the therapists and physicians at methadone clinics before the drug is prescribed. It can also interact with supplements.

Pregnant Women and Opioids

Women who are pregnant should also inform their therapists and physicians if they are in need of a methadone treatment. Since all opioids can create addiction to a fetus, it is important for pregnant women to inform their physicians of their situation. Methadone is a drug that can pass to a baby through breast milk, too.

When to Get Immediate Attention

Methadone can create symptoms that require immediate medical attention. There have been cases where people have had allergic reactions that have created hives and swelling, like anaphylactic shock. Just like any other serious allergic reaction, it is important to call 911 immediately.

Other instances that should involve an immediate call to emergency include having hallucinations or confusion, shallow breathing, any type of chest pain or dizziness, and/or the feeling of light-headedness and difficulty breathing.

Less Serious Side Effects

The side-effects that are less serious, and more common include psychological problems, sleep-related problems, and sexual issues. Many people who take methadone report a sensation of nervousness or anxiety. They also have difficulty sleeping, but still feel drowsy. Many people also experience digestive issues ranging from dry mouth and vomiting to loss of appetite and constipation. Many people also have a decreased sex drive and may have difficulty orgasm-ing.

Issues with Tolerance

People who do not have a tolerance to opioids are in the highest risk for having adverse side effects. They can include systemic hypotension that can lead to death from respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, as well as shock. This is a danger that can occur when a person takes someone else’s prescription methadone. It is especially dangerous when children do this.

Proper Labeling with Methadone

Methadone should be properly labeled with the categorical side effects. It is important that the drug is labeled to show the problems that can come from addiction and misuse as well as the dangers of respiratory depression. The drug should also be labeled with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome – which is treatable, but can be painful for the baby and troubling for the mother. The drug should also be labeled with hypotensive effects and gastrointestinal effects. Methadone can also create seizures and it should be clearly labeled.

It is important that patients at methadone clinics know what to expect when they are prescribed the drug. They should also be sure to inform their therapist if any negative symptoms do occur.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Contact us at 905-527-2042 for more information.

The Effectiveness of Methadone Treatment: Common Myths Debunked

Posted on :  July 20th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

For several decades, methadone has been used as a treatment for heroin addiction. During that time, it has been considered highly effective. As with all medically approved treatments for drug addiction, there have been people who are out to find any problem they can. This is why there are numerous myths about methadone and the effects of this treatment method.

Methadone became a treatment method of choice for heroin addicts because a physician discovered that people who used methadone no longer wanted heroin. With the right dose of methadone, people could go about their daily lives without suffering from the debilitating withdrawal symptoms that make it so hard to quit heroin usage.

In North America, methadone was eventually delegated to treatment programs that became licensed and approved by the government. These treatment facilities need to not only provide methadone in a properly controlled system, but they also needed to provide a complete treatment program. Heroin addicts in the treatment program needed to be counseled on how to re-enter society so they needed psychiatric help, career counseling, and medical treatment. Some centers even get the families of the addicts involved in the treatment therapies.

With the government involvement in methadone clinics, the effectiveness of the treatment came into question. It was beneficial for patients to have access to a useful and effective treatment, but the patients and the clinics had to abide by the rules the government established. One of those rules was that patients could not have methadone sent home with them; they had to visit the clinic on a daily basis to receive their dosages. Trouble occurred when patients had to work around their schedules and in many cases the clinics were closed when patients got out of work or school for the day. Another big problem was the location of the clinics, especially for addicts who lived away from city centers. Another common problem was the stigma attached to going to a methadone clinic.

When it comes to methadone clinics and the rules surrounding them, several myths have arisen. Here are a few of them:

Myth #1: Patients are addicted to methadone. This myth is completely false. They are dependent on it, but not addicted to it. There is a difference. They do need the methadone to function properly, but the methadone does not harm the patient. When a drug is addicting, the side effects cause harm. Being dependent on methadone is similar to being dependent on corrective lenses to read or being dependent on insulin to manage diabetes.

Myth #2: Methadone creates a high, just like heroine does. This myth is also false. Methadone does not replace the high that heroin and other opioids create, it treats the symptoms. When people are addicted to heroin, they need several doses throughout the day to maintain the high. When people take methadone as a treatment for that addiction, they only need one dose to prevent the horrible withdrawal symptoms that come from heroin addiction.

Myth #3: Methadone has the same side effects as heroin. This is also false. The myths about heroin destroying the body like heroin does are false. Methadone users do not rot their teeth due to methadone use. They do not have weakened bones from methadone use. People who are involved in a methadone treatment program should not have any side effects. As long as they practice healthy habits, they should be just fine.

Myth #4: Methadone affects sexual organs. This is also false. Women who have an addiction to opioids are better off taking methadone rather than continue to take heroin while pregnant. There are no birth defects caused by methadone, but babies born to heroin addicted mothers who are taking methadone will experience withdrawal symptoms in what is called neonatal abstinence syndrome. For men, methadone will not create sterility, but it could create lower testosterone numbers which can be treated.

Methadone Treatment Controversy: Options for Treatment

Posted on :  July 18th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug addiction is a serious issue in North America and all over the world. Addiction tears apart families and friendships, it destroys businesses and careers, and it seems that no cure is in sight. Those suffering from addiction often try anything and everything to overcome the debilitating problem.

While most people would accept any treatment option that will help them break their addiction, there are a handful of treatments that are considered controversial. It is easy to look at the options and ask what else there for the people who are suffering from problems with heroin and other opioids destroying their lives.

Controversies with Methadone and Suboxone

Two of the most controversial substances used to fight opioid addiction include methadone and suboxone. These are prescription opioids given to addicts so they can successfully make it through the painful withdrawal symptoms that come from stopping heroin use. The idea behind methadone treatments is that the drug will help heroin addicts stop their lifestyle of often leads to crime, poverty, and sickness. Since methadone does not have the same side effects that heroin has, it has been applauded by physicians and drug rehab professionals.

Methadone has become so controversial for a handful of reasons. The biggest is because methadone is just as addictive as other opioids. Instead of “curing” the addiction to heroin, methadone simply replaces the addiction. When former heroin addicts try to wean off of methadone, they still struggle with symptoms that are severe and painful.

Many addicts are given Suboxone instead, because its addiction factor is lower than that of methadone. Instead of really curing the addiction, methadone and Suboxone mask the symptoms. For some addicts, this is enough for them. For others, they want to be completely free of needing any drugs, whether prescribed or not. While the prescription drugs can give relief in the short term, they are still addictive.

Along with the other controversies, staying on methadone for a long term therapy is frowned upon, too. It is best for addicts to have talking therapy and other treatments instead of just taking medications. Addicts can be treated for a short time with methadone or Suboxone.

Using Heroin to Treat Heroin

Along with the controversial treatment of methadone, some heroin addicts are actually treated with heroin. This is usually a last resort, but since the withdrawal symptoms are so painful, heroin addicts are often in such a poor state of mind that they cannot function at all. With a controlled amount of heroin, addicts can become stable and become receptive to other, less controversial treatment options. This treatment is controversial because of the fact that heroin is an illegal drug. There are not many recognized medical purpose and it has extremely dangerous side effects, especially overdoses and death.

Some addicts are treated with LSD. Those who have taken the drug for treatment of addiction have reported that they actually see their addiction in a new way. While this is not a medical reason for using LSD for treating addiction, it is still used occasionally. This is a controversial option for addiction treatment because no one knows exactly how a patient will respond to an LSD trip. This Schedule 1 substance has too many risks and not enough proof that it actually helps.

Stimulating the Brain to Reduce Addictions

One other treatment that has caused a serious amount of controversy is Deep Brain Stimulation. This is a surgical treatment that is designed to stimulate the brain with a little device. The treatment is often used for epilepsy because the electrical impulses slow the effects that cause seizures. The treatment is controversial because it is surgical. Anytime the brain is operated on, there are potential complications like hemorrhages and infections.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Contact us at 905-527-2042 for more information.

Methadone Regulations: Keeping Your Take-Home Doses Safe

Posted on :  July 15th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Methadone clinics like Towards Recovery have to meet the ever-changing federal requirements for dispensing prescription methadone and treating opioid addictions. Patients also have some rules to follow, but one of the most important is to keep the prescription methadone safe and secure.

There are strict rules for methadone clinic regarding take home medications. In the first few months, patients are only given one dose to take home. After they have proven to be dedicated to getting healthy, the clinics are able to increase the take-home dosages. Eventually, patients are actually able to take home a monthly supply.

As more responsibility is given to patients who are winning the battle against opioid addiction, it is important that those take-home doses are kept safely locked up, away from the interested eyes and fingers of anyone who could get into the dosages. This means that you will need to get a lock box.

Each clinic will require that you bring the lock box when you receive your take-homes. You must put the take homes into the lock box to take the medication out of the clinic. If you are at a clinic that does not require a lock box for bringing medication home, it is in your best interest to just do it on your own.

When you get your medication home, it is a good idea to put the lock box in a safe place. Whether you have children at home or you know people who are aware that you are taking methadone, you should hide that box like your life depended on it. There have been children who have taken their parents’ dosages and they have died. No parent wants to see this happen – so keeping methadone locked up safely cannot be stressed enough.

Since methadone is already controversial on its own, the last thing that the helpful treatment therapy needs is more opportunities for critics to find more faults. It also allows people to criticize those who take methadone as a therapy. But, we know that the majority of people who are on a methadone treatment program are not menaces to society – in fact, they are quite the opposite.

Deaths do not just occur with misuses of methadone, but also with other prescription opioids like buprenorphine, naloxone, and Oxycontin.  In order to prevent accidents, patients need to be educated appropriately by their clinics and pharmacists. It is also important that the family members of those working to fight their addictions need to understand safety measures.

The danger with methadone is not that the high increases with taking a higher dosage; the trouble comes with the fact that methadone becomes dangerous as it creates problems with the heart rate and with breathing. The other danger with the drug is that even a minimal dose can cause respiratory distress, especially if the person who takes the dose does not have any tolerance to opioids. Respiratory distress can lead to death.

Even if you do not have children in your home, it is still a good idea to always keep your medication locked up and stowed safely away. It is better safe than sorry.

Here are a few rules to abide by:

  1. Never keep the key in the lock box.
  2. Keep the lock box out of reach of children.
  3. Take the medication as prescribed and then put it away.
  4. Never leave out an open bottle of methadone – even if you have to do something quickly.
  5. Rinse out the cup that you use to drink your methadone.
  6. Return empty bottles of methadone in the lock box. Do not just throw them away.
  7. Do not put methadone in bottles other than their original ones.
  8. Talk to your family about the dangers of your medication.

Contact Towards Recovery at 905-527-2042 or email at for more information.

Methadone Questionnaires: What Happens at Patient Intake?

Posted on :  July 13th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When a patient is ready to give up their heroin addiction and get involved with a methadone clinic. While this sounds rather easy, there are several steps involved before the clinic can actually give a patient the right dose of methadone. In most cases, there are several questionnaires that have to be completed prior to the start of treatment.

How the Questions are Designed

It is important that the patient answers the questions honestly so that the therapist and physicians can accurately diagnose and treat the addiction. The questionnaires have questions that are built in so that addicts cannot “outwit” the questionnaire. The questions are required for intake to outpatient treatment, which is the type of treatment that methadone therapy is considered. The questions are updated by national agencies as needed, so clinics have to be sure that they have the most recent versions. The questions allow the clinic to see if progress has been made with the patient based on the prescribed doses and other treatments.

The Initial Assessment

The first step that a clinic takes is an initial assessment. The counselor will give a battery of questions that ask the patient about his or her history regarding drug abuse. The counselor will also gather information about the patient’s background. The questions are open-ended and ask about things like legal issues, employment status, and how money was raised to buy drugs. There are also questions that require the addict to talk about sleep habits, too. This first assessment takes about 20 minutes to complete.

The patient will also be asked to leave a urine sample. The clinic will conduct a urinalysis to see if there is evidence of opioids, methadone, cocaine, THC, amphetamines, and other commonly used drugs.

Intake Interview Questions

About one week later, a counselor will conduct an interview to see if the patient is doing better after a week of treatment. This is considered the official intake questionnaire. This is done a week after the initial assessment because the patient has had time to focus and think about his or her addiction. This questionnaire takes about 90 minutes to complete.

The intake questionnaire includes standardized read-aloud sections and several open-ended questions about the patient’s background that can be compared to the answers in the initial assessment. There are in-depth questions about family relationships and friendships. There are also questions about criminal history, drug history, and risk assessments. The therapist will also ask questions about psychological status of the patient and the risk of AIDS infection. There is a section that allows the therapist to comment on the ease of giving the assessment and for the patient to self-assess regarding problems areas in his or her life.

Once the intake questionnaire is finished, the patient will be asked to complete a self-rating that should take about 15 minutes. This includes a questionnaire of almost 100 questions that ask the patient about psychological issues like anxiety and depression, social issues like risky behavior and conformity, and motivation to get help.

Follow-Up Questions as Treatment Continues

As the patient moves through the process of treatment the clinic is required to keep detailed records. These include records about each counseling session on a specific document. Those documents are designed for individual sessions and group sessions. There are also feedback forms that patients complete based on their counseling sessions. These forms take about five minutes each to complete.

At specific intervals of the treatment program, the patient and the counselor need to complete even more forms. Some are completed every three months to see how the patient is moving through the program. The first three-month form takes about 30 minutes to complete. Others take about five minutes. These also include urinalysis records to see improvement in drug use. There are also forms that are required for discharge and follow up to treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns about drug abuse or looking for methadone as a tool for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at

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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