What You Need to Know About Methadone Treatment

Several treatment options are available for people struggling with opiate addiction or Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). One of the most popular treatments available is methadone, a long-acting opioid that helps curb cravings and severe withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin and other opiates. Millions of people use methadone as a treatment medication for opiate addiction. 

Ultimately, the goal for anyone who chooses methadone maintenance is to return to a more normal life. If you’re considering methadone treatment, read on to learn more about the medication, how it’s used, and what to expect when taking methadone. 

What Does Methadone Do?

Methadone is an effective treatment for illicit opiate users. Clinics have been dispensing methadone for over 60 years. Methadone is a medication that alters how your brain and nervous system respond. Methadone treatment reduces opioid cravings and blocks the effects of opioids. It essentially blocks the “high” from addictive substances like codeine, heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. Methadone is also used in some cases for pain management. 

Methadone is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). It’s considered a safe and effective medication-assisted treatment (MAT). When taken as prescribed, methadone can help people with an opioid addiction achieve and sustain recovery, giving people addicted to opioids a chance to stabilize their lives. 

It’s often part of your overall treatment plan rather than a cure for addiction. 

What Are the Benefits of Methadone Treatment?

Methadone is a medication that you must take daily. The effects last for around 24 hours. As you build a tolerance, the dosage will likely increase to help ensure you stay on track. Additionally, methadone treatment often includes other forms of therapy like group or one-on-one counseling.  

Check out the benefits of methadone maintenance below.

  • Methadone users are more likely to stay off of opiates.
  • The medication minimizes cravings and keeps “dope sickness” at bay. 
  • Methadone is an affordable drug. In general, it only costs a few dollars per day. 
  • Methadone is legal and considered very safe when taken correctly. 
  • People who take methadone are less likely to contract HIV, HEP C, and other diseases associated with intravenous drug usage. 
  • It helps stop illicit drug use. 
  • It gives a better chance of long-term recovery success. 
  • Methadone can help improve your overall quality of life.

Are There Any Side Effects of Methadone? 

If you’re considering methadone treatment to help with a heroin or opioid addiction, it’s important to educate yourself. Some people experience minor (but manageable) side effects, like sweating, nausea, or constipation. Adverse side effects usually start at the beginning of treatment and lessen or diminish after a few days. A slight change in your dose can help decrease reactions. Most patients respond well to methadone. 

How Long Does Methadone Treatment Take?

Methadone maintenance differs for everyone. However, the longer you remain in treatment and therapy, the greater your chances for success. Some people take methadone for the rest of their lives, while others opt to be medication-free after getting back on track. 

We encourage you to discuss goals with our clinical team. However, if you want to wean off methadone, it must be done gradually. Never alter your dose or stop taking methadone on your own because withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings may lead to relapse.

Get The Most Out of Your Treatment Plan

The path to recovery begins now. At Complete Healthcare, we offer comprehensive treatment plans to help you overcome addiction. Methadone is a piece of the puzzle to reaching sobriety.   

Use the following tips to achieve the best results: 

  • Don’t use more than the amount prescribed to you. Don’t take an extra dose if you miss a dose or feel like it’s not working. Instead, wait until the next day to take another dose. 
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking methadone.
  • Keep your medication at room temperature and away from light.
  • Be careful driving or operating machinery on methadone.
  • Never share your methadone with anyone, even if they have identical symptoms or suffer from the same condition.

What to Expect During Methadone Maintenance Treatment

We use methadone to treat individuals struggling with opioid addiction. Our physicians at Complete Healthcare may prescribe methadone to target addictions to prescription pain medications and illicit drugs, including heroin and fentanyl. We provide daily doses of methadone as a liquid or pill to reduce your withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids.

Contact us today to learn more about our methadone treatment plans. 

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