Methadone treatment for addiction is more common today than ever. Opiates have become the most commonly abused drugs in the nation as the euphoria and pain-free sensation is highly addictive. Drugs like Oxycodone, Morphine, Fentanyl, and Hydrocodone are prescribed by physicians for pain management for mild to server pain. Often times, these drugs can be considered a gateway to the abuse of Heroin, as Opiates change the way the brain functions and decision-making skills become fixated on obtaining more of the drug.
When a person becomes addicted to Opiates the body becomes physically and psychologically dependent on the effects of the drug. This dependency is what makes kicking the bad habit so hard to achieve. When the person realizes their dependency on Opiates, inpatient rehabilitation is almost mandatory because of the withdrawals from expelling the poison from their system.
When detoxing Opiate derived drugs from your body, cravings will begin to set in after 36 hours from the last dose. The person’s muscles and joints ache in unfathomable pain forcing the person to rock in agony, vomiting, and headaches persist, and panic and mania set in as the mind tries to force the body to comply with the demand for more Opiates. The withdrawals only get worse for weeks to a month as flu-like symptoms ravage the body with the possibility of epileptic seizures, heart palpitations, and organ failure.
The side effects of detoxing are what makes inpatient treatment for addiction a necessity as many addicts cannot handle this process and will continue to abuse the drug. Proper use and administration of Methadone as a treatment is saving lives and making sobriety a bright new future. Methadone maintenance during rehabilitation curbs the cravings for Opiates and helps relieve the discomforts of withdrawals.
Methadone treatment is usually paired with psychoanalytical modalities that focus of reprograming the brain to develop healthier coping mechanisms. Since the 1960’s, studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of the treatments with and without Methadone. A 33-year study in California suggested that out of the 600 addicts who went through a detox program without Methadone maintenance, only half are alive today and 10% have sustained a stable abstinence from opiates derived drugs. 300 lives were lost.
The other study that paired Methadone with treatment modalities achieved a 60 to 90% success rate for a long-term sobriety lifestyle.
According to the California Society of Addiction Medicine, Methadone Treatment Issues, “Governor Wilson’s study of drug treatment outcomes in the 1980’s documented that methadone saved the taxpayers $12 for every $1 spent. Failure to engage more opiate addicts in methadone treatment has tremendous adverse consequences, both for public health and safety. The UCLA study documented repeated incarcerations, and deaths due to accidents, infections, and violence that could have been prevented by a more aggressive use of methadone.”
Thanks to Governor Wilson’s stance on Methadone treatment, more addicts are getting the proper dosage and help they need to get clean and stay clean.
Methadone Regulation & Dosage
Methadone may only be dispensed for opioid detoxification or maintenance treatment by opioid treatment programs certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and approved by the appropriate state agency. These policies are put into place as it is important to regulate the administration of this drug as overdose of Methadone is possible.
Doses of Methadone between 30 to 40 mg will prevent a majority of the withdrawal symptoms and prevent cravings for up to 36 hours. The dosage is then tapered down from 40mg periodically during the extent of the treatment duration, 28 to 90 days. Studies have found Methadone medications normalize the neuroendocrine alterations induced by short-acting opioids and with minimal psychoactive impairment. There is no damage to vital organs and with side effects like constipation, sweating, and urinary retention, this medication has more beneficial properties to it than harmful effects.
Methadone Treatment Plan
No one takes painkillers to become an addict. Opiate derived medications must be prescribed by a doctor and many people follow the instructions on the bottle with little fear of addiction until it is too late. Car accidents, surgery, broken bones or torn muscles; these are the beginnings of opiate addictions as pharmaceutical companies are making these pills extremely powerful with only a scale of 1 to 10 to indicate the pain felt by the person.
When the prescription has run out, the aching pain of withdrawals convinces the person that those painkillers are still needed when it is now the addiction they are feeding. Having Methadone as part of a treatment plan is and will save many lives for those who find themselves addicted. Do you think Methadone assisted detoxification complies the standards of a sober lifestyle?
Kleber, H. D. (2007). Pharmacologic treatments for opioid dependence: detoxification and maintenance options. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience,9(4), 455–470.
Methadone Treatment Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.csam-asam.org/methadone-treatment-issues