Methadone Addiction Treatment

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Methadone, a long-standing treatment for opiate addictions just happens to carry its own addiction risks. While researchers and doctors are well aware of methadone’s dependency effects, the drug remains the “least of the two evils” when compared to ongoing opiate addictions. Methadone addiction treatment helps people recover from the addictive effects of methadone treatment.

Methadone addiction treatment involves a process of ongoing therapy along with medication therapies as needed. As methadone addiction occurs as a “side effect” from opiate addiction treatment, methadone addiction treatment facilities use specialized approaches to help recovering addicts wean off the drug.

Methadone treatment

Methadone Addiction Treatment

Methadone addiction treatment often takes place in an inpatient treatment clinic or facility.

As a standard medication used to treat heroin, morphine and other opiate addictions, methadone itself is also an opiate drug. Methadone as a treatment for opiate addictions works by replacing the effects of other opiates and reducing a person’s cravings. According to the US National Library of Medicine, it does this by blocking opiate receptors in the brain and throughout the body. Methadone acts by producing a gradual, long-acting effect that stops short of getting a person “high.” In this way, the drug will cancel out any “high” effects in the event a person tries to get “high” on heroin or morphine or any other opiate-based drug of choice.

Since methadone is administered in controlled doses, it’s considered less damaging for addicts than an out-of-control drug habit. Oftentimes, methadone becomes the treatment of last resort for people who don’t respond well to other medication therapies. Methadone addiction treatment eliminates the body’s need for methadone as an addiction treatment drug.

Methadone Addiction

Methadone’s half-life in the body lasts three times longer than other opiate drugs, which makes a methadone addiction that much harder to break. Granted, the withdrawal effects from methadone are less severe than those from other opiate addictions, but still cause considerable discomfort for the recovering addict. In effect, persons seeking treatment for other opiate addictions end up trading one addiction for another.

Methadone addiction treatment helps a person make it through the withdrawal effects caused by methadone while providing the necessary coping skills to maintain abstinence from the drug on a long term basis.

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Treatment Approach for Methadone Addiction

Much like the treatment approaches used to break other types of addictions, methadone addiction treatment requires an individualized approach that specifically addresses a person’s treatment needs. This may involve the use of medication therapies, psychotherapies and group supports as needed. The overall goal of methadone addiction treatment helps to free recovering addicts from any existing physical and psychological dependencies on the drug.

As each person experiences addiction in different ways, no single treatment approach will work for everybody. Since many recovering addicts first encounter methadone through a drug treatment program, methadone addiction treatment works to eliminate new dependency issues caused by previous treatment attempts.

How is Methadone Addiction Treated?

Medication Treatment

Methadone addiction treatment programs use medication therapies in much the same way methadone is used to treat opiate addictions. While this may seem like another recipe for addiction disaster, the medications used for methadone addiction treatment have a considerably lower risk of addiction than methadone itself.

With any opiate addiction, the brain and body require time to recover from the damage done to brain and body chemical processes. The effects provided by methadone addiction treatment medications help ease the body through this repair process.

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Treatment Facilities

Methadone addiction treatment facilities specifically address the issues and challenges a person faces when trying to come off methadone. Treatment facilities operate as either inpatient or outpatient settings, though some programs may offer both inpatient and outpatient services.

Inpatient facilities provide 24-hour care and treatment so recovering addicts can live at the facility while working through the recovery process. Some inpatient programs may also offer detoxification treatment as the starting point for recovery.

Outpatient programs are best suited for people who work during the day and/or have family obligations to meet. Participants can attend therapy and medication treatment appointments around their existing work and family schedules. People recovering from severe methadone addictions may want to consider receiving outpatient care after completing an inpatient program.

the Take-Away

Although an effective opioid addiction treatment, many people become addicted to methadone and require professional help.