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How Methadone Treatment Centers Work

According to recent estimates, there are almost one million people in the United States addicted to heroin and other opiates. While some of these people take the time to learn more about their addiction, including the best treatment options, others continue to abuse the drug with no concern for what type of trouble it could cause.

When a person decides to get help for an opiate addiction, one of the first ideas to consider is methadone maintenance. This is not the only treatment strategy that has been proven effective, but many consider it the best of the best.

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In short, methadone helps by:

  • Blocking the sedating and euphoric effects of opiates.
  • Relieving the craving for opiates, thus making it easier to prevent relapse.
  • Relieving some of the many withdrawal symptoms.

Even though methadone treatment is just now beginning to receive a lot of mainstream attention, it has been used effectively since the 1960’s.

How the Process Works

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Methadone clinics provide daily doses of the medication to help people lead healthy, addiction-free lives.

Once you come to the conclusion that a methadone treatment center has the most to offer somebody in your position, it is time to find a facility that can suit your every want and need. There are both private and public methadone treatment centers, so be sure to consider all your options.

Public centers are typically more affordable, however, there may be a wait list in order to receive treatment. Private centers may cost more money, but you can get started right away and many consider the level of treatment to be superior to its public counterparts.

Upon choosing a center, it is time to meet with the medical team to discuss your situation and learn more about the type of strategy you can implement to overcome your addiction.

Note: this can be scary, as getting started with any form of treatment will lead to a lot of questions.

As noted above, methadone is used to block the receptors in the brain that are impacted by opiates, such as heroin and oxycontin. With this, you are able to experience a gradual detox rather than facing the uncomfortable and often times painful process of withdrawal.

In addition to its ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms, methadone can do the same with cravings. This helps prevent relapse, which allows you to beat your addiction once and for all.

Since the effect of methadone lasts approximately 24 to 36 hours, most patients are able to take one dose per day in order to achieve the desired results.

How Long does the Treatment Last?

Despite the fact that methadone maintenance has been proven effective over the years, there is no easy answer to the question of how long a person will remain on the treatment. Some are able to reach their goal within a month while others have to rely on the drug for a longer period of time.

That being said, there are several characteristics of those who are able to successfully come off of methadone maintenance:

  • They have stabilized their condition and no longer crave the drug.
  • They are on the same page as their medical team.
  • They have gradually decreased their dose.
  • They have made changes in their life to prove that they are able to live without the help of methadone maintenance.

Here is what you need to know: a person should take methadone for as long as they need it. Sure, everybody wants to use this treatment and then move on, but there is no rush. Methadone will not have a negative impact on your mental or physical health, so it is okay to use it for an extended period of time.

Your Responsibilities as a Patient

It is the responsibility of the methadone treatment center to provide you with a plan that keeps you on track. However, they cannot do everything for you. As a patient, you have one primary responsibility: to take your methadone dose every day. When you get off schedule, you cannot expect the same high level of results. Instead, you are lessening the likelihood of success, which means you are wasting a lot of time and money.

Note: if you sell or give away your dose, you will find yourself in serious trouble with your treatment center. This is not a situation you want to be in, so it is best that you never consider this idea. In the end, the only person you are hurting is yourself.

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Questions to Ask

Before you get involved with a treatment center, you may want to sit down and have a conversation with the medical team at the facility you have chosen. They should be able to answer all your questions, which may include some of the following:

  • What is the success rate of methadone maintenance treatment at your facility?
  • Is there anything I need to know about how methadone will effect my health?
  • What is the timeline I should expect in terms of treatment and success?
  • Is there anything I should avoid that could complicate the treatment process?

By asking these questions, among others, you will obtain a better understanding of how methadone treatment centers work. If you or a loved one is fighting an opiate addiction, this type of treatment could be the answer you have been looking for. Call 800-481-6320Who Answers? toll free to find help today.

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