Several treatment methods can be used for someone going through methadone addiction. Methadone is a long-acting drug that can stay in a person’s body longer than most drugs. Thus, there is a higher risk of overdose because people take more than they should, looking to get that high they can’t easily achieve with other drugs.
When detoxing from methadone, a person may have the same difficulty as with heroin. Both are opiates and have similar effects on the body, including nausea and vomiting, and muscle cramps. Detox is the first step in a methadone addiction treatment program and can be assisted with medication. A medically-supervised detox, with the help of buprenorphine, can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and shorten the detox time.
As discussed above, detox under medical supervision may be needed for severe addiction or when other health issues are at play. Buprenorphine was the first medication approved to treat addictions and can be prescribed for take-home dosages. It has less risk of dependence.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the first line of treatment after detoxing from a drug. Since drug abuse comes with a set of behaviors and expectations on the part of the user, it’s recommended that they meet with a counselor who can work with them to change these behaviors and cope with life more healthily.
The counselor teaches them specific coping skills and behaviors to help them deal with stress and challenges they may face. CBT is a common form of therapy for those with heroin addiction and in methadone treatment since it focuses on the substance cravings and stress factors that can trigger a relapse.
Comprehensive care that addresses a person’s addiction and mental health disorders that may co-occur with substance abuse is the best way for success with recovery.