What is methadone used for drug treatment? Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication that doctors prescribe to treat moderate to chronic pain. Its main application is in the treatment of addiction to prescription opioids, cocaine, and heroin.
Methadone can cause effects similar to other opioids, but its effects are free of euphoria. When doctors use it to treat a substance use disorder, it needs prescription and monitoring because of its potency and potential for addiction. Furthermore, if you’re in methadone treatment, you’ll need to visit NC Wellness Center – High Point until your physician deems it fit to administer the drug at home.
What Is Methadone Used for in Drug Treatment?
Mental health experts mainly use methadone in outpatient opioid addiction treatment. The medicine helps to ease severe withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. However, the 2012 methadone overdose report by the CDC indicates that methadone contributes to a third of prescription painkiller-related deaths in the US.
When doctors use methadone to treat opioid use disorders, they refer to the process as Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT). MMT aims at preventing the feeling of high associated with other drugs (such as oxycodone, heroin, codeine, and morphine), thus enabling an opioid addict to focus on different aspects of treatment.
MMT is more likely to succeed in relieving withdrawal symptoms and sustaining sobriety if the therapist combines it with other forms of treatment like counseling. However, methadone isn’t a cure for addiction itself; it only aids in stopping substance use so that the addicts can develop skills for living a sober life.
Methadone Treatment Timelines
Although treatment varies from person to person, the MMT program lasts for a year on average. Some participants continue with the treatment plan for a longer time, which also increases their chances of addiction to methadone. You can opt for a shorter MMT program if you’re worried about your vulnerability to methadone addiction.
The Benefits of Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Generally, it’s challenging to measure a methadone treatment program‘s effectiveness, which is why many people wonder – what is methadone used for in drug treatment? Methadone isn’t a cure of addiction, but an aid to sobriety. However, experts estimate that the success rate of methadone treatment ranges from 60% to 90%. MMT is more likely to give the desired outcome when the participant has strong social support, when it’s used for a sufficient time, and when it’s combined with other therapies.
The benefits of methadone treatment therapy include:
- Suppressed substance cravings
- It’s less addictive
- Stabilizes the addict, making them focus on other aspects of treatment
- Its prescription is legal
- Has a long-lasting effect, so an addict needs only one dose per day
- Prevents problems resulting from IV drug use, for example, HIV/AIDS, skin infections, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
Disadvantages of Methadone Treatment Therapy
Methadone maintenance treatment has some side effects, including vomiting, nausea, memory lapses, poor coordination, impaired balance, and drowsiness. Also, it’s easier to overdose on methadone, which can be lethal. Symptoms of a methadone overdose include:
- Bluish or clammy skin
- Lethargy and stupor
- Convulsions and coma
- Respiratory depression and hypertension
- Severe heart problems due to interactions with other drugs
Methadone is also highly addictive, making it vulnerable to abuse. For busy people, the daily visits to the clinic for prescription methadone doses can be inconveniencing.
How NC Wellness Center – High Point Can Help
Remember, it’s risky to use methadone without a doctor’s prescription. If you’re struggling to overcome an opioids addiction, methadone treatment might be an ideal solution for your condition. Don’t let addiction ruin your life; check into a rehab center for professional help. Contact NC Wellness Center – High Point at 833.455.2570 for more answers about our methadone treatment program.