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Methadone Addiction Treatment
Methadone is a medication that is considered to be a safe and well-tested treatment for narcotic withdrawal and dependence. For over thirty years, methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction. A methadone maintenance program permits addicts to change their behavior and to discontinue heroin use.
Taken orally once a day, Methadone Addiction Treatment suppresses narcotic withdrawal for 24-36 hours. Due to its ability to effectively eliminate withdrawal symptoms, it is used to detoxify opiate addicts. Methadone is only effective for treatment of addiction to heroin, morphine and other opioid drugs and is not an effective treatment for other forms of drug abuse. Methadone reduces the cravings that the addict may have for heroin and blocks the high from heroin but does not provide a euphoric rush. Patients who use methadone do not experience the extreme highs and lows associated with heroin. Although ultimately the patient remains physically dependent on the opioid, they are freed from the uncontrolled, compulsive and disruptive behavior most often seen in heroin addicts.
Methadone Treatment & Withdrawal
Withdrawal from methadone is considered to be much slower than withdrawing from heroin. However, it is possible to maintain an addiction to methadone without any harsh side effects. Most methadone patients require continuous treatment over a period of many years.
Methadone maintenance treatment (or MMT) provides the heroin addict with a medically prescribed treatment to relieve withdrawal symptoms by reducing the craving and bring a biochemical balance to the body. Additional elements of treatment should also include comprehensive social and rehabilitation services.
According to the Methadone Addiction Treatment Association, about 20% of the estimated 810,000 heroin addicts in the United States receive methadone maintenance treatment.
Like any controlled substance, there is also a risk for methadone abuse. When used as prescribed drug and under a doctor’s care, studies suggest that long-term MMT is medically safe. Methadone does not produce any serious side effects and causes no adverse effects to the body.
Some patients may experience minor symptoms such as:
- Water retention
- Skin rash
- Excessive sweating
- Changes in libido
However, once the dosage is adjusted and tolerance increases these symptoms usually subside.
Methadone does not impair cognitive functions or have any adverse effects on mental capability, intelligence, or employability. Methadone is not sedating or intoxicating and it does not interfere with ordinary activities such as driving or operating machinery as may be required for employment. Patients can feel pain and still experience emotional reactions. Quite simply, methadone relieves the craving associated with opiate addiction.
There are several benefits associated with methadone medication therapy including:
- MMT costs about $13 a day and is considered to be very cost-effectiv
- MMT has a benefit-cost ratio of 4:1 meaning that $4 in economic benefit accrues for every $1 spent on MMT
- MMT has a significant effect on the spread of HIV/AIDS infection, hepatitis B and C, TB, and sexually transmitted diseases (because heroin users are known to share needles and participate in high-risk sexual activity). MMT significantly reduces the rate of HIV infection for those patients who participate in MMT programs.
- MMT allows patients to be free of heroin addiction.
- Among patients receiving MMT, weekly heroin use decreased by 69%.
- MMT is one of the most monitored and regulated medical treatments in the United States.
Freedom Treatment Center and Methadone Drug Rehab
Methadone can be effective, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Talk to our caring counselors today to see if methadone drug rehab is the right treatment for your situation. Call the toll-free numbers on the page to talk today.
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You can find freedom from drug and alcohol addiction. Our holistic approach from an experienced and caring staff give you the tools necessary to recover in a healthy, comfortable environment so you can get on with your life.