How It Works and Is It Safe?
Out of the numerous medications utilized for treating addiction, none of them have been nearly as examined, studied, or researched than methadone. Methadone, which is taken orally on a daily basis, stimulates an individual’s central nervous system and helps to lessen withdrawal symptoms and cravings to use. Since the 1960’s, methadone has been utilized in opioid recovery programs and has been proven safe and effective.
Various studies have shown that when Methadone is taken as prescribed by a certified physician, there are no major short or long-term risks to an individual’s health. Those experts who continue to follow these studies agree that methadone is both safe and non-toxic. While methadone may cause temporary side effects, these effects will typically only occur at the beginning of an individual’s treatment when a physician is deciding on the appropriate dose for the patient.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement verifying that it is safe for women who are pregnant to take methadone to treat an opioid addiction. The Department also stated that taking methadone in a medication assisted program does not cause any harm to the unborn child.
The Effectiveness of Methadone Treatment
Data regarding methadone has been collected for decades and experts can deduce that this medication is both a safe and effective way to properly treat opioid addiction. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adds that receiving methadone treatment for an opioid addiction is the most effective type of care in existence.
Numerous studies have championed the below listed successes that have come from using this medication to treat an opioid addiction:
- Reducing substance abuse
- Reducing risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C
- Reducing the risk of overdose
- Decreasing the likelihood of participating in criminal activity
- Increasing life expectancy (the average death rate of those addicted to opioids who receive methadone treatment is 30% lower than those who abstain from treatment)
- Improved family stability
- Increased outcomes for pregnant women and their babies
- Higher employment potential
Methadone is effective when used in a certified medication assisted treatment program.
Benefits of Methadone Treatment Plus Counseling
Methadone is only one component of comprehensive medication assisted treatment. This substance relieves withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, which allows patients the wherewithal to obtain a clear state of mind so they can be productive participants in the therapeutic interventions these treatment programs provide. As methadone helps to diminish physical symptoms, counseling can uncover the deep-rooted issues behind the development of an addiction.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Even though methadone has been celebrated for its effectiveness and safety, it is still critical to understand that it should not be looked as a “miracle drug.” While this substance can help in the treatment process, no medication has the power to make all of an individual’s issues disappear and magically allow him or her to live a happy life. Throughout the process of medication assisted treatment, patients must be willing to provide effort, time, and dedication to their recovery. When you enroll in a program such as this, you are also engaging in a relationship with nurses, doctors, and counselors who are there to help provide you with their expert insight. It is important to consider their advice, adhere to instructions, and remain active in your treatment. By doing so, you can dramatically increase the likelihood that you will embark on a steady path to recovery.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: In order to properly support someone else, you must care for yourself first. It is clear that your loved one has experienced turmoil from his or her opioid addiction, yet so have you. Consulting with his or her treatment center and/or other professionals in the field of addiction can help you begin to provide appropriate support for your loved one. These individuals can also help connect you to the right resources and support that you will need at this time. Take time to learn about addiction as a disease and learn what the limitations and benefits of treatment are. Determine what your loved one is going to need from you throughout early and long-term recovery. Other resources for you can include family therapy, individual counseling, and support groups. Never neglect yourself and your needs, as doing so can be detrimental to both you and your loved one.
The Side Effects of Methadone
Below are a number of possible side effects that can accompany methadone use:
- Sleep problems
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Slowed breathing
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Skin rashes
To obtain more information about methadone, reach out to us at Southern California Comprehensive Treatment Centers today.