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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!

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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