Finding the Best Private Methadone Treatment Center
The National Drug Intelligence Center, or NDIC, reports that methadone abuse has increased over the last 20 years. There are several issues to consider, such as an increase in the frequency with which methadone is prescribed by doctors for pain relief or heroin withdrawal, and the frequency with which the drug is stolen or somehow available illegally.
For decades, methadone was used almost entirely for drug treatment, but over the last decade there has been over a 700-percent increase in the number of prescriptions intended for pain management.
The NDIC states that this is because some of the other drugs such as OxyContin that had been commonly prescribed for pain relief began to get a lot of attention in the press. There were huge exposes about teens being addicted to OxyContin and trading it at school, and people became increasingly aware of the potential for abuse and addiction. Consequently, doctors felt pressure to prescribe alternatives, and many selected methadone. Methadone is also cheaper than oxycodone or hydrocodone, and may be prescribed for that reason.
Sources of Illegal Methadone
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Street dealers manage to acquire methadone that is being shipped to a legitimate medical practice or pharmacy, or steal it from a hospital or clinic. They then sell it in just the same way they would sell heroin. The number of cases of methadone being stolen in transit more than tripled over a period of three years in the mid-2000s.
Typically, patients who are being prescribed methadone as part of a drug treatment program are required to get their daily dosage at a medical facility or clinic and take it in the presence of a doctor or nurse; however, occasionally patients who have prescriptions for pain relief have access to the drug at home and can take it in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs. This significantly increases the likelihood of addiction and fatal abuse. Fake prescriptions, thefts of the drug by friends or family members, or prescriptions made by doctors for friends and family members account for an unknown amount of methadone abuse, but SAMHSA warns that it is not an insignificant amount.
Methadone Addiction Statistics: Annual Fatalities
Identify the Signs of Methadone Addiction
Methadone is a synthetic opiate, which means that it has similar properties to heroin and opium. Consequently, it is similarly addictive and in many ways just as dangerous. Though illegal drugs are even more dangerous because there is no quality control, controlled substances such as methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone are still very dangerous.
They have a high potential for both physical and psychological addiction.Methadone is occasionally prescribed as a pain reliever, but more often it is part of a treatment program for heroin withdrawal. Legally, patients who are taking methadone for purposes of heroin recoveryare required to be participating in a federally approved treatment program in order to be eligible for methadone prescriptions from a doctor.
Frequently, methadone is only administered on site at a doctor’s office or treatment facility. Nonetheless, many patients become addicted, both while under a doctor’s supervision and by abusing the drug if they find a way around the regulations. As the drug can be prescribed as a pain reliever, it opens another avenue of acquiring the drug with less supervision, sometimes allowing it to reach a problematic level of abuse.
Identify the Psychological Signs of Methadone Addiction
Psychological and physical addictions have their own unique characteristics. A psychological addiction will manifest in ways that are primarily behavioral. In this case, what you are looking for will be similar whether the patient has a methadone addiction or an addiction to gambling, street drugs, sex or alcohol. These psychological signs of methadone addiction include:
- Loss of interest in activities he once cared about, and a distancing from friends and family members who shared those activities
- Mood swings
- Irrational anger
- Secretive behavior, including absences from work or school that are unexplained, and excuses that seem thin or unrealistic
- Stealing or borrowing money
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work or school
- Losing interest in personal hygiene or appearance
Physical addiction to methadone is quite severe because the drug is habit-forming. This means that over time, a user will require more of the drug to achieve the desired effect. It also means that the patient will experience withdrawal if he does not get a regular dose.
Identify the Physical Signs of Addiction
To begin with, you can look for some of the side effects of methadone usage that would be readily apparent to those around the patient. These may not indicate addiction, of course, and may ultimately be deemed acceptable and safe by a doctor. But if these symptoms are present when the patient is not supposed to be taking methadone or suddenly appear, it can be a sign that the patient is taking more of the drug than he should – which may, in turn, reflect addiction. These physical signs include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling of the extremities
- Lack of interest in sex
- Rash or hives
Signs Of Withdrawal And Overdose+
Identify the Signs of Withdrawal and Overdose
Signs of an overdose are even more severe. Again, an overdose may take place independent of addiction, but frequently there is a link between the two. In either case, immediate action must be taken if you notice these signs of overdose:
- Shallow or slow breathing
- Skin turning blue and getting extremely cold or clammy
- Limpness in muscles
- Inability to stay awake
- Loss of consciousness
- Pupils becoming very tiny
Withdrawal symptoms can begin within 12 hours of missing a dose and can last for several days. They include:
- Muscle pain
- Dilated pupils
- Agitation and paranoia
Methadone Treatment Medications
Many military personnel have Tricare Standard or Prime. If that is the case, consider military installation clinics or VA hospitals, where you will likely have to pay nothing for methadone addiction treatment. If you go to a non-military hospital, Tricare will likely cover a small portion of the costs.
Paying for Addiction Treatment
One of the most important things to consider as you are seeking methadone addiction treatment is how you are going to pay for it. It is impossible to answer succinctly how much methadone addiction treatment will cost. Expenses vary radically depending on the length of stay at the treatment center, the nature of the treatment center, and whether the patient has insurance or qualifies for some sort of assistance.
Methadone Addiction Treatment Prices
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At the low end of the spectrum would be a full course of outpatient methadone treatment, which is going to cost a few thousand dollars. At the high end would be a full inpatient stay at a luxury rehab center, which will cost nearly a hundred thousand dollars. An inpatient stay at a reputable treatment facility without all the frills and perks of an executive rehab will likely cost over $10,000.
If the patient has insurance, chances are that it will cover a significant percent of the cost, but there are several things to consider. Many plans will require you to go to a certain type of facility, or even to a particular center. Never select a program and make a down payment without checking with your insurance company, because you might find that you have selected a treatment center they do not cover at all.
It isn’t easy to assess exactly how many people in the United States are fighting a dependence upon methadone specifically, since most statistical data lumps in those living with a methadone addiction with those who are living with addiction to other narcotic drugs. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, however, the number of people addicted to opiate drugs is steadily increasing. In 2000, there were about 28,235 people addicted to opiates in the United States and a year later that number had grown to more than 36,000.
If methadone addiction is a problem for you – whether it started with a prescription for pain or as a part of treatment for heroin addiction – it’s important to address the problem quickly. Contact us today to learn about how you can avoid the risks of continued methadone addiction.
Is Methadone Safe for Pregnant Women?
Methadone can be used during pregnancy if a medical professional feels that the benefits outweigh the risks. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is often much better to have the pregnant mother on methadone than continuing her heroin habit. Heroin use during pregnancy can cause preterm labor and babies with low birth weight and development delays. Methadone maintenance, on the other hand, results in increased birth weight and gestational periods. In addition, the fetuses are not exposed to infectious diseases spread by needle sharing, which is common among heroin users.
However, methadone use during pregnancy is not without risks. Methadone does enter the placenta and can cause dependence in the fetus. Because of an increase in metabolism during pregnancy, higher doses of methadone are often needed in the third trimester of pregnancy. Therefore, a medical professional should be monitoring the heroin user during pregnancy to ensure that the proper doses are being taken. Too much methadone can cause dependence in the unborn baby, while too little can cause the mother to relapse or suffer from withdrawal symptoms, both which can be harmful to the fetus.
In addition, an April 2010 article from BBC News suggests that methadone use during pregnancy can cause vision problems in unborn babies. In a small study of 20 babies, 95 percent had vision problems and approximately 25 percent had developmental issues of a serious nature. The babies had a harder time seeing fine detail than their peers. Some also had nystagmus, which is involuntary eye shaking. There were also eye problems that affected the brain.
However, the study could be considered inconclusive, as it was reported that many of the babies’ mothers also abused drugs while pregnant. Nevertheless, babies who are born to mothers who used methadone while pregnant do have a higher risk of suffering from withdrawal symptoms. In any case, it is important for heroin users to seek medical help in the best residential inpatient addiction treatment center during pregnancy to determine the best course of action.
Potential dangers of using methadone while pregnant exist and may include:
- Increased birth weight.
- Longer gestational periods (which may increase the odds of complications).
- Possible transmission of the methadone to the developing fetus, which could lead to vision problems in the child.
Methadone Use While Breastfeeding
Methadone can enter the baby’s breast milk and although it has some benefits, it carries some risks as well. According to Drugs.com, breastfeeding mothers who use methadone should be counseled about the following:
- Methadone does pass through breast milk.
- The baby can become addicted to the methadone and experience withdrawal symptoms when breastfeeding stops.
- The baby needs to be weaned off breast milk slowly.
- It is important not to use other drugs while breastfeeding, as they can pass into the milk and cause serious effects to the baby.
- If starting methadone or changing the dose while breastfeeding, it is important to monitor the baby for any behavior changes
Methadone Addiction Statistics and Facts
- Methadone is a synthetic opiate.
- The drug is prescribed in pill form to treat chronic pain and in liquid form to treat addiction to opiate drugs like heroin.
- As a treatment for heroin addiction, it is highly regulated. Patients must “earn” their right to take the medication home and must show up daily to their clinic in order to receive their daily dose.
- At 80 milligrams, methadone is believed to block the effects of other opiates.
- Methadone is easily abused and many overdose while taking the drug when they attempt to combine it with other substances.
- Methadone addiction treatment offers psychotherapeutic help as well as intensive medical detox to help patients deal with withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone Addiction Recovery and Help
Inpatient drug rehab is the first line of defense and the most effective treatment for dependence upon any drug, including methadone. But eventually it’s time to go home and deal with the “real world” without the ongoing assistance and round-the-clock help of counselors and therapists. For many, this “trial by fire” can be difficult but doable – as long as they have access to the right support and resources.
Finding added support and assistance in your recovery after methadone addiction treatment is easy – call now to find the help you need to avoid relapse.
Do You Need Methadone Addiction Recovery Help?
There is a wide range of treatment services and options that you can utilize after you complete a comprehensive inpatient treatment program. Depending upon your level of engagement with your recovery and your level of comfort in living without your drug of choice, any number of them may be appropriate. Your choices include:
- Therapy. Personal therapy, animal-assisted therapies, sports therapies, group therapies – if there was something that worked for you in rehab, find it when you get home and continue the good work you started.
- 12-step groups. Free of charge and located everywhere, these groups can be a big part of your continued success in methadone addiction recovery.
- Sober living. A sober environment makes sure that there is never any interaction with substances or people under the influence that can harm your recovery, plus you always have a therapeutic shoulder to lean on when you need it.
- Outpatient addiction treatment. Continued check-ins, education and support groups can be incorporated into your schedule at work or school.
Get Help Finding Additional Methadone Addiction Recovery Assistance Today
Don’t wait to learn everything you need to know about the resources available to you in recovery. Don’t relapse on methadone. Call today and get the addiction recovery help you need to avoid falling back into your old habits.