Finding an Exclusive Methadone Rehab
A powerful drug used to treat chronic, severe pain, methadone remains one of the most frequently abused medicinal narcotics in the United States. Methadone’s unique ability to treat withdrawal symptoms encountered by individuals addicted to heroin and other strong opiates has also increased its availability and use. Unfortunately, though methadone can be useful in therapeutic settings, the drug often leads to chronic physical and psychological addiction – both when used in professional and illicit settings.
How Methadone Addiction Occurs
According to the United States Department of Justice, methadone addiction has been on the rise in recent years. In fact, though the drug has been in circulation since 1947, its prescription for cancer patients gave rise in part to its abuse. However, the federal agency reports that methadone addiction has risen sharply in recent decades, in large part due to its use as a popular medical treatment for combating heroin dependency.
As a synthetic opiate, methadone serves to block pain signals by acting upon opioid receptors located in the brain and body. However, because methadone works to keep withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opiates such as heroin at bay – due to both its ability to act as a substitute opiate, as well as its interactions with the neurochemical glutamate – opiate addicts become dependent on continual doses of methadone to resist withdrawal. As a result, opiate addicts often relapse as soon as methadone treatment is withdrawn – particularly if dosages end abruptly instead of gradually. In this way, methadone treatment carries the liability of perpetuating two addictions – the original addiction to other opiates, and the secondary addiction to the methadone treatment.
Facts and Statistics on Methadone Use and Addiction
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Methadone abuse statistics can be difficult to isolate, largely because of the drug’s grouping with other opiates in its class. Here are some of the select few methadone statistics that have surfaced in recent years from government agencies and research universities:
- According to the United States National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), methadone fatalities rose by more than 300 percent between 1999 and 2004.
- Methadone has a relatively lengthy and fairly unpredictable half-life – the time in which it takes the drug to reach half-strength in the body. Accidental overdoses of methadone can often result, as dosage estimations – particularly in pain-management settings – exceed the body’s tolerance.
- Almost one percent of 12th graders across the nation have abused methadone at least once in their lifetimes, according to the 2003 University of Michigan Monitoring the Future Survey.
- In individuals attempting to achieve an opiate “high,” those with low opioid tolerance – particularly in first-time or relatively low-level opiate abusers – remain at the highest risk for fatal overdose.
- According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) data, methadone was implicated in nearly 11,000 emergency room trips in 2001 alone, signifying a 37-percent jump in the single span of a year.
- Many methadone deaths occur due to the “synergistic” effects of drug cocktails, as the sedating effects of methadone combine – and compound – with other drugs designed to depress the body’s central nervous system (CNS), such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, alcohol or other opiates.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between the years 2002 and 2004, the states with the greatest collective incidence of methadone-related deaths were New York, California, Florida, Washington, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.
Risk Factors for Methadone
Methadone is an effective treatment for heroin addicts when used correctly. When used inappropriately, it cause can serious health effects and even death. Here are some risk factors to be aware of, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
- Use of other substances while using methadone, such as alcohol and other drugs
- Interactions with other medications
- Too much methadone in the body
- Poor clinical practice
- Lack of cardiac screening
*Methadone Use During Pregnancy
There has been controversy over methadone use during pregnancy, as there have been concerns about harmful effects on the unborn baby. According to Medical Assisted Treatment, here are some facts about methadone use during pregnancy.
- Methadone is not totally harmless.
- It is much less harmful than a pregnant woman continuing to use heroin.
- Methadone is the only approved drug to treat heroin addiction in pregnant women.
- Methadone maintenance is considered vital for some pregnant women. In fact, federal regulations require that pregnant women get preferential treatment for opiate addiction.
- Methadone exposure during pregnancy does not cause long-term effects in children.
- Methadone withdrawal during pregnancy is not recommended, as it can cause harmful effects to the mother and fetus.
In many cases, methadone addiction actually arises from attempts to treat severe cases of opiate dependency. Employing a method known as “methadone maintenance therapy” (MMT), addiction treatment centers use the synthetic opiate in an effort to wean drug addicts off potent opioid drugs – particularly heroin. A form of treatment that hails back to the 1960s, MMT can offer reduction of both withdrawal symptoms and cravings for up to 72 hours. As a result, opiate addicts experience less negative reinforcement to relapse back into use – and are potentially able to break drug-using behaviors (such as injection) in the process.
However, because MMT depends on daily doses to be effective, methadone maintenance therapy does not involve full detoxification in the purest sense. Methadone is often best administered in an inpatient setting, as outpatient clinics tend to experience higher rates of relapse with MMT. Additionally, methadone itself can become addictive, leaving some addicts with the equivalent of a “substitute” addiction after treatment for heroin abuse.
Untreated Addiction and Overdose
Benefits of Holistic Rehab
Holistic methadone rehabilitation centers offer 360-degree treatment plans, fashioned to address all components of addiction – and aspects of recovery. With an emphasis on psychological, physical, environmental and relational healing, holistic rehab programs offer the following services to patients seeking to overcome methadone addiction:
Professionally Managed Detox+
Detoxing from methadone alone can be a harrowing experience – both physically and psychologically. In professional rehabilitation centers, patients can detoxify from methadone use comfortably and safely. Specialized medications with low addiction potentials can be used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, prevent cravings and block targeted opiate effects as patients recover. Proper hydration, nutrition, over-the-counter medications and stress-reduction therapies are provided to patients as well, to ensure adequate sleep and continuing healing of the body during detox.
Pain Management Alternatives+
Opioids by nature act to block pain signals throughout the body. Additionally, many opiate addicts develop drug addictions in part to self-medicate health conditions that cause physical pain. Holistic drug rehabilitation centers can provide pain management alternatives to methadone addicts, through both medical and psychological means. Nonaddictive pain medications, herbal preparations, physical therapy, integrative medicine techniques and visualizations can all be combined to promote healing and wellness without the use of opiates. Alternative or Eastern therapies – such as massage, acupuncture, acupressure, qi gong, tai chi and yoga – can also augment natural pain management plans.
For many addicts, methadone is a secondary addiction, developed after a primary opiate addiction to drugs such as heroin. As a result, core reasons for the psychological drive to use drugs often lie at the heart of methadone addiction. Factors such as negative thought patterns, trauma survival, poor self image, co-occurring disorders and childhood abuse may need to be addressed in order to fully heal from methadone addiction. Patients can work with clinical therapists in both group and individualized settings to identify triggers for methadone abuse, uncover psychic wounds that may contribute to dysfunctional behavioral patterns and forge positive coping mechanisms that allow for drug-free living.
Sober Living Support+
Many methadone rehab centers offer some form of sober living support. From extended-stay programs to treatment that includes transitional planning, patients receive the benefit of practicing life skills that will support their sobriety efforts. Aftercare specialists can work with patients to identify and plan for triggering situations that may cause the desire to relapse, and transitional specialists can ensure ongoing support by securing therapists and physicians back home for patients. Additionally, some methadone rehab centers provide full-service transitional services, with personalized sober companions that can “shadow,” assist and guide alumni as they build a new environment, life and support system after graduation.
Methadone Rehab Centers
When you are living with a methadone addiction, the only thing standing between you and the drug-free life you are dreaming of is an effective and comprehensive methadone addiction treatment center. Different types of rehab offer different benefits, so if you are unsure which option will best serve you, contact us today to speak with an addiction treatment expert who can walk you through the process of choosing your methadone rehab program.
Types of Methadone Rehab Centers
- Outpatient methadone rehab. While allowing you to continue working or going to school, an outpatient rehab will give you access to different therapies, educational workshops, medications if necessary, and guidance in living without relapse.
- Inpatient methadone addiction treatment. Round-the-clock treatment is often the best option – your treatment never stops and you never have access to drugs that can throw you off track.
- Methadone detox. You may opt for a detox that allows you to stop abusing methadone “cold turkey” or that uses the “step down” method, lowering your dose slowly over time until you are drug-free.
- Sober living. If you are unsure of your ability to live at home without relapsing on drugs or alcohol, a sober living facility can provide you with supervision and support while still allowing you to build a new life for yourself in recovery.
Find the Right Type of Methadone Rehab for Your Needs: Call Today
There is no one type of drug addiction treatment that works for everyone. Depending upon your experience, your temperament and your needs, one specific option may be the best choice. Call now to speak to a counselor about how to find the best rehab help for you.
If you are living with a physical and psychological dependence upon methadone, your safest and smartest choice in treatment is a comprehensive methadone rehab that includes detoxification services. The range of detox options is vast and designed to meet your specific needs. If you are uncertain which type of detox will best work for you, it’s important that you speak to a professional before you begin. Call now.
Types of Detox That Will Help You Put Methadone Addiction Behind You
There are a number of different ways to stop taking your methadone and work through the withdrawal symptoms that often accompany methadone detox. Some options include:
- Step-down detox. If you are on methadone, you may be able to simply lower your dose incrementally until you are free of the drug.
- Medicated detox. With a medicated detox, you stop taking your methadone and receive medication on an as-needed basis to diminish your experience of specific symptoms.
- Short-term detox. Quitting methadone completely is a short-term detox but your dose of methadone can also be dropped quickly over a short period of time.
- Long-term detox. Most who opt to step down their dose do so in an effort to avoid withdrawal symptoms and lower their dose minimally over months or even years.
Not Sure Which Type of Detox Is Right for You? Contact Us Today
Each type of detox will have different physical and psychological effects, and one or more of them may better suit your overall treatment plan. Speak to an addiction treatment counselor about what you want to get out of methadone rehab when you contact us today.
Find Treatment Today
Reaching sobriety after methadone dependency requires expert care and intensive case management in a residential setting. If you or someone you love has developed an addiction to methadone, professional rehabilitation centers specializing in opiate addiction can help create a safe and effective pathway to sobriety. At Rehabs.com, we offer intimate knowledge of the country’s most well-respected and successful addiction treatment centers.
We invite you to call us and speak with one of our addiction intake counselors – at any time of day or night – to learn about the methadone treatment options that may meet your needs. Our specialists can provide accessible information about available programs, targeted opiate detox programs, and in-depth therapies that can help you achieve the freedom of sobriety, once and for all. Call us now to receive addiction treatment referrals personalized to your personal journey, financial situation and special needs.