Methadone Addiction Treatment

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Steps Recovery Center recognizes how vital the mind, body, and spirit are in their connection to the whole person. We take a holistic approach to treating those with substance abuse and relatable disorders that may contribute to their substance abuse; this includes treating the whole person, and find that it tends to be more successful, especially since addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life. With a customized and individualized program, a holistic approach just makes sense. It affords an opportunity to meet the patient’s physical and psychological needs and allows them to engage physically, emotionally, and mentally.

What is Methadone?

People can confuse methadone with methamphetamine; however, methadone is an opioid used for pain relief and can be legally prescribed, and methamphetamine can’t. Methadone can help addicts with side effects of opioids when detoxing, known as a medically-assisted treatment. (MAT) If used for longer, it can lead to addiction, though, just like any other drug. Methadone works on the brain by binding to the same receptors as other opioid drugs like oxycontin and heroin.

Methadone Addiction Treatment

Methadone Addiction Treatment Program

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.

Medically-Assisted Therapy

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.

  • L-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM) –This medication is a Schedule II substance often used in opioid addiction treatment and can be helpful for those detoxing from methadone. If used on a long-term basis, side effects can be an issue and include a rash, nausea, increased blood pressure, and abnormal liver function.
  • Psychiatric medications –  There are several psychological and emotional effects associated with withdrawal and recovery. A mental health professional can prescribe medications to help with depression and anxiety, which allows them to go through treatment smoother.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

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.

Contingency Management Intervention

Based on a reward system, contingency management intervention is based on motivation. The therapist uses incentives in the program for recovering individuals in exchange for them accepting treatment and staying sober. One such application involves motivational incentives (Motivational Incentives for Enhancing Drug Abuse Recovery or MEDAR), which has proven effective for helping meth users recover.

Depending on the severity of someone’s meth addiction, a doctor may recommend an inpatient treatment center for a month or longer, or an outpatient treatment program for at least three months, 3-5 times weekly.

An effective treatment center for the recovery of meth addiction includes one responsive to the effects meth can have on the mind and body. It helps build a treatment program around this information.

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