Whether you are experiencing problems with your substance use, care about a close person who is addicted to drugs, or simply want to know more about the methods of opioid addiction treatment, this article will be helpful.
You might have already heard about methadone clinics. They cater to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). In the United States, at least 7 out of 10 overdose deaths are attributed to opioids. Annually, about 50,000 Americans die from an opioid overdose. Postponing treatment because of shame or embarrassment can be a huge mistake. If you consider looking for “methadone clinics near me”, do it now online.
About 350,000 people rely on 1460 SAMHSA-certified methadone clinics for daily treatment. And while these facilities are a topic for debate and have a stigma around them, their quantity continues to grow. As well as the interest in methadone therapy, given the number of search results for a “methadone clinic near me”.
So, let’s proceed to 10 things about methadone that can be interesting to you.
- Methadone is taken as opioid replacement therapy.
Methadone is used in treating addiction to different types of opioids, including heroin, codeine, oxymorphone (Opana), morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. This is called opioid replacement therapy (ORT) or, more colloquially, methadone maintenance. An individual makes a switch from heroin (or another opioid) to Dolophine or Methadose (the brand names for methadone) and then stays on a safe dose of the substitute before becoming completely free from both.
- Methadone is not the only “contradictory” drug prescribed for people with OUD.
Rehabilitation clinics also prescribe other medications in terms of ORT. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist (compared to methadone which is a full opioid agonist) is prescribed to relieve withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. It is marketed as Subutex and is considered a relatively popular drug in the realm of ORT. You can seek for “subutex clinic near me”. Suboxone and Naltrexone are other opioid antagonists used to manage withdrawal symptoms in opioid addicts.
- Methadone has been used in the U.S. for 75 years.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid created by German doctors in 1939. It came to the United States in 1947. At first, it was used to treat extreme pain. It was not until the 1960s heroin addiction outbreak in New York City that methadone’s potential for treating OUDs was realized. Besides, methadone was a legal drug while heroin was not.
- Methadone therapy is strictly supervised.
So, what is a methadone clinic? This is a place staffed with appropriate practitioners who are licensed by the state or federal government to dispense ORT medications.
Since methadone has addictive properties, patients receive calculated doses of methadone on-site. Transition to methadone and dosage titration is completed slowly and with regular monitoring. Some individuals receive the privilege of self-administration but only after they have proven themselves as stable, responsible patients.
- It’s not a treatment option for everyone.
A methadone clinic establishes every patient’s eligibility through different initial screening tests and interviews. A licensed practitioner evaluates the progress in recovery and weighs the pros and cons. Before giving this medication, the practitioner ensures that a particular patient is fully aware of the structure and requirements of the methadone program.
- Methadone has long-lasting effects.
Methadone turned out to be statistically considerably more effective than non-pharmacological approaches in the suppression of heroin use and retaining patients in treatment. This medication helps suppress opioid cravings for 24 to 36 hours. While working in the body during these hours, it alleviates painful withdrawal symptoms, which reduces the likelihood of relapse during the critical detoxification period. Also, it blocks the euphoric effects of opiates, discouraging their further use and thus relieving the individual of the need or desire to seek drugs.
If all these benefits are appealing to you, type “methadone treatment near me” in the search bar to get more detailed information on the topic.
- ORT lessens the risk of a deadly overdose.
Relapse is one of the main challenges that are tackled in the OUD treatment. It is part of opioid dependence, just as symptom breakthrough is with other chronic health issues. The dangerous thing is recovering opioid users who relapse have a high risk of accidental overdose. Methadone can help to deal with this problem. There’s enough evidence to suggest that opioid replacement treatment (like methadone) reduces the risk of death among opioid-dependent individuals.
- It doesn’t make a user “high”.
Some people see the use of methadone in ORT as simply swapping one addiction for another. While the substance influences the same receptors in the brain as the abused drugs, it doesn’t produce the same feelings of pleasure (the “high”). Unlike illegal drugs, it helps patients throughout their recovery.
- Methadone therapy is not risk-free.
Despite the benefits of methadone treatment, there are undesired effects that can come into play. Common side effects include anxiety or nervousness, nausea or vomiting, itching, excessive sweating, loss of appetite, constipation, sleep problems, and changes in libido. Serious adverse effects include trouble breathing, confusion, feeling faint, low blood pressure, a rapid or pounding heartbeat, and chest pain.
- Methadone maintenance is part of a comprehensive treatment program.
You may not realize how many services methadone clinics deliver. Methadone is just one of the many components of an OUD treatment program. Medication-assisted treatment includes medicines other than methadone. Moreover, this type of clinic provides comprehensive care and therapies to help people with rehabilitation and recovery.
Depending on what methadone clinics near me you will find, you will be offered some of the following services:
- Individual and group counseling
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Family therapy
- Vocational training
- Addressing dual diagnoses (mental health disorders)
- Services for people with unique needs (HIV/AIDS)
- Post-treatment support.
So, methadone substitution therapy is not about giving someone a drug and leaving them to decide other aspects of OUD. It’s a multi-level approach that addresses the physical, psychological, and social aspects of opioid addiction.