WHAT IS METHADONE?

It might seem counterintuitive, even counterproductive, to treat an opioid addiction with another opioid.

But this is exactly how heroin and methadone addicts, as well as other opioid users, are helped off their habit. They are given one drug to rid themselves of a stronger, more pervasive drug.

Methadone is such a drug. In fact, methadone is everything heroin is except at a less intense level.

This is also why methadone is administered during detox from other medicinal opioids: it simultaneously provides a high that while weaker is similar to heroin or methadone.

Methadone gives the effects of these and other opioids, but with a far less powerful dosage, which can eventually wean a patient off of stronger opioids.

Make no mistake about it: even as methadone is used to battle opioid addiction, methadone itself is also an opioid medication.

That means methadone, like other opioids, is highly addictive. Methadone also reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotics without causing the “high” associated with the drug addiction.

Methadone is used as a pain reliever as well as part of a drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone is only available from certified pharmacies.

Methadone is administered orally or it can be injected.

While methadone does provide the same feeling of euphoria as heroin, the high isn’t as intense, though it (the high) does tend to last longer.

HOW CAN METHADONE REHAB?

Methadone is a hard habit to quit. But, with dedication, hard work, and a refusal to give up, you can begin to enjoy a life without methadone.

As part of our recovery and support program, we’ll help you develop a network of supportive friends to keep you on the road to sobriety.

Our experienced staff won’t just support you as you address your methadone dependency, it will also make you aware of trigger situations that can cause you to relapse.

When taking the first crucial steps in recovery from methadone abuse, a full support staff can make a huge difference.

Most alcohol and drug treatment facilities fall under two categories: inpatient and outpatient.

METHADONE INPATIENT REHAB

Methadone is highly addictive, and can become a problem not long after a person is prescribed the drug for heroin addiction.

Of course, there is a strong chance that in this incidence a person with a strong opioid addiction will have an equally tough time trying to rid themselves of their habit.

That’s why a drug like methadone in most cases, will need professional intervention.

BLVD methadone rehab center

INPATIENT VISITATIONS

If you plan to visit someone during his or her inpatient recovery, be sure to clear it with patient’s counselor first, as it can affect the patient in different ways depending on they are handling the recovery process.

The best time to visit is when a patient is doing well and feeling positive. If a patient is struggling through his or her rehab, you might want to postpone the visit until things turn around for the patient.

The rules regarding when visits are allowed will be determined by each individual rehabilitation center. Most do not allow visits when the patient is in the detox process or during the vital first stages of the rehabilitation process.

When the timing is right, a visit from a friend or family member can be very helpful in the recovery process. A well-timed visit lets the person in recovery know that people still care and he or she is not struggling alone.

METHADONE OUTPATIENT REHAB

Outpatient care requires a lot of stoicism, courage and a great knowledge of who your enemies are. At this point, methadone is your enemy even though it may have helped you kick an even stronger opioid habit.

Nevertheless, because methadone has its own strength, it isn’t until after a sufficient detox and rehab period that it might be suggested you can recover on your own.

For this drug, it is recommended that you begin recovery while being moderated as an inpatient. Afterward, once you are stabilized, you can discuss outpatient care with your addiction counselor.

Remember, rehabbing from methadone without professional assistance can be dangerous, even life-threatening. If you do choose to rehab as an outpatient, be certain the facility you’re intending is within communication if you experience complications or have a trip up with your recovery.

Methadone rehab process

THE PROCESS FOR METHADONE REHAB

We look deep into the history of your methadone use to find the root cause, then, through group and individual counseling, we help you learn how to confront that root cause.

We’ll also help you identify which aspects of your life could trigger a relapse.

With methadone, we investigate the circumstances that can cause a person to fall from the wagon. This can include holiday and birthday celebrations as well as a variety of other events.

We help you find ways to navigate these situations without letting your sobriety slip.

In addition to counseling, our rehabilitation process also focuses on your physical well being.

We offer exercise programs, which in most cases involves stretching, yoga, and other low impact activities.

The biggest ways addiction effects a person physically are through injuries, illness, or drastic weight fluctuations. Remember, methadone rehabilitation is not just about getting a person off their substance of choice, but also about getting them back into physical shape.

THE LENGTH OF METHADONE TREATMENT

Your rehabilitation is all about reducing the likelihood of using methadone again. Along with getting clean, you still need to address your emotional, mental, and physical health, so you can stay sober.

Because every situation is different, the treatment will vary in length from person to person.

Some people may only require a few days of treatment while others may require months or more.

It all depends on the severity of each case.

HOW DOES METHADONE HELP WITH HEROIN OR METHADONE MAINTENANCE?

Methadone use and recovery for an opioid addiction is a steady process.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets, methadone maintenance for opioid addiction can have a daily intake of 60-80 mg, but can also vary from 30-120 mg.

For detoxification treatment an initial oral dose of 15-20 mg is administered, with an additional dose if withdrawal symptoms are not suppressed; a stabilizing dose of 40 mg in single or divided dosages is prescribed for 2-3 weeks, then the dose is gradually decreased. Concurrent use of other prescription medication is common.

This pattern of methadone use for opioid addiction has been very successful to help end a person’s dependence on the drug.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DOWNSIDES OF METHADONE USE?

The most common downside of methadone use is addiction. This is why it is important to use methadone under the supervision of a doctor or licensed rehabilitation caregiver.

As outlined earlier, methadone itself is an opioid. And after long term use, the chances of addiction tend to increase in a person to where, once successfully weaned from heroin or methadone, that person now faces a bout of detox and rehab for methadone.

ARE THERE ALTERNATIVE DRUGS TO METHADONE?

Suboxone is a leading alternative to methadone maintenance.

The attraction of suboxone is the drug is not nearly as strong, and therefore addicting as methadone.

The downside, however, is suboxone still remains a narcotic with its roots in opioids.

And even though suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone, which make suboxone less addictive, there still is a potential urge to misuse the drug due to its feel-good and euphoric attributes.

IS ADDICTION POSSIBLE WITH METHADONE, AND IF SO, WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

There are many symptoms of methadone use, as well as variations of these symptoms within a person depending upon how long they’ve used the drug.

While these symptoms may be easily recognized by a qualified healthcare provider in a professional setting, to methadone abusers, especially new abusers, their symptoms may be unfamiliar to them. Those symptoms can include:

  • Sedation
  • Inability to think and reason properly
  • Respiratory depression, i.e. shallowness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Urinary retention
  • Sweating, sleep disorders and concentration disorders

WHAT ARE THE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS OF METHADONE?

The withdrawal symptoms of methadone are much like those of other opioids.

However, because methadone is a less severe opioid than heroin, the withdrawals themselves will be less severe, yet can take more time to overcome.

Those withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea, cramps and muscle aches
  • Dysphoria, restlessness and irritability
  • Anxiety, pupillary dilation and piloerection
  • Tremors, chills, sweating
  • Increased sensitivity to pain, insomnia and tachycardia.

Opioid addictions are tough. And one of the hardest aspects of rehabilitating from an opioid addiction is to combat it with lesser-strength opioids, which eventually must also be rehabbed from.

Yes, while this undoubtedly lengthens the detox and rehabilitation time of an addict, weaning them from heroin or methadone with methadone is a tried-and-true process.

Just make sure this process is performed under the direction of a licensed caregiver, and in a controlled environment.

Don’t do this alone. Recover, instead, the proper way, to help guarantee that once you’re off illicit narcotics, you stay off.

PATIENT PRIVACY

Your Patient Health Information (PHI) will always remain safe and secure with our sobriety specialists.

While you focus on your recovery, you can take peace of mind in knowing your PHI will remain confidential. That’s why we make sure your visits, PHI, and all other relevant health care information remains private.

HOW ARE PAYMENTS HANDLED

A month’s stay is billed monthly, while anything longer than a month is billed bi-weekly.

We take the same care to keep your financial information private as we do to keep your Patient Health Information private. We don’t save your credit card information or any other financial records.

GOING AWAY FOR TREATMENT

We have treatment facilities all over the country, so you’re sure to find one that’s convenient for your needs.

Going away to get treatment can be more effective because it can leave you free of distractions. In completely new surroundings you can focus on yourself without any distractions.

In many cases, removing yourself from everything that’s familiar can set you up for success in your new sober life.

POST-REHABILITATION SUPPORT

Without a group of people to function as a support structure, the methadone rehabilitation process will be much more difficult.

Fortunately, our rehab programs help you create this support network. Patients are encouraged to maintain these relationships after leaving the recovery center.

This support group can also come in handy when staying sober becomes difficult.

The knowledge that you are not alone in living a sober life away from methadone will go a long way to keep you on the path of sobriety.

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.

Infographic methadone rehab process at BLVD centers


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