The opioid epidemic continues to grow in the United States. Detoxification from the substance is hard, and many people who successfully get through detox relapse when no longer in treatment. Heroin, morphine, and codeine and other narcotics are highly addictive, and some people prescribed legal medications for an injury or illness find that they become addicted to the substance even when they no longer need it. In order to reduce or eliminate side effects of withdrawal and to promote abstinence from illegal drug use, methadone treatment was developed.
Understanding What Methadone Is
Methadone is a synthetic opioid, and it has been used since the 1960s as a treatment for opioid addiction. In the right dose, methadone eliminates the side effects of opiate withdrawal and gets rid of cravings for the substance. It is a way to control opioid addiction and does not provide the same euphoria as heroin, morphine, or other opiates. In fact, if an individual tries to use another opiate to get high while on methadone, they won't be able to because methadone blocks the effect.
Why Methadone is Given Daily
Most people who seek methadone treatment will need to go to a methadone clinic every day for their dose. This is so the clinic can know exactly the amount of methadone the individual is receiving every day, reducing the risk of a relapse. Patients who stay on a treatment program and have negative drug screens can eventually take home methadone so they don't have to go to the clinic every day. It is about building up trust, and the clinic will need to see that a patient is committed to their sobriety before allowing the methadone to go home with a person. To maintain the therapeutic effect of methadone, it must be taken every day.
Length of Treatment
As the goal of methadone treatment is the abstinence of more harmful drugs such as heroin, the length of treatment will vary greatly from person to person. Some people go off of methadone successfully after a few months, while others use methadone for years as a means to avoid relapsing on heroin. Methadone in prescribed doses isn't harmful to the body, while the use of illegal substances can cause an overdose. The treatment length is up to each patient, as a lifetime on methadone is more effective than a return to heroin use.
If you are fighting opiate addiction, it's time to ask for help.Share
26 October 2016
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