Methadone rehabilitation must be comprehensive and lasting in order to lower acute withdrawal symptoms over the long term. There are many components to Methadone rehabilitation, since getting methadone addicts off methadone may be harder than getting heroin addicts off heroin. The reason being, methadone produces a physical dependence and a painful and prolonged withdrawal.
Although fraught with the perils of possible overdose and death by combining methadone with alcohol or anti-anxiety medications, and by the sure fire fact that you will acquire a methadone dependency, methadone use for the treatment of heroin addiction has been largely successful.
One of the reasons methadone use has been called into question is because of its recent use as a medication for chronic pain. This occurred due to the abuse of oxycontin for chronic pain and the illegal market for it that ensued. Unfortunately, the pain relief from methadone lasts for 12 hours but the drug stays in your body for much longer.
The official line is that the increase of deaths involving methadone is due to three things:
1. Illicitly obtained methadone used in excessive or repetitive doses in an attempt to achieve euphoric effects.
2. Methadone, either licitly or illicitly obtained, used in combination with other prescription medications, such as benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications), alcohol or other opioids.
3. An accumulation of methadone to harmful serum levels in the first few days of treatment for addiction or pain, before tolerance is developed.
With those facts, it is not hard to see why, with the number of chronic pain patients being included to the list of methadone users, the number of deaths involving methadone has increased.
Of course, while illicit methadone use accounts for a large number of methadone rehabilitation patients, the other methadone rehabilitation patients come from heroin addiction and chronic pain centers.
Methadone as a treatment for heroin or pain, may not work out as the appropriate cure for some patients. When patients are placed on methadone, they are constantly critiqued to see if the methadone is actually improving the patient’s problem, and if the patient is compliant with its use. When it is found not to work, the patient will need methadone rehabilitation to clear their system of the methadone dependence that has occurred.
Some of the people in the methadone rehabilitation program may even be successful methadone users who feel hamstrung by their need to get to the clinic every day for their methadone.
Generally, methadone rehabilitation should consist of a compassionate and supportive environment since the initial part of the program is where the client will be living for a few weeks dealing with the mental, emotional, chemical, and physical changes that will be occurring. Simultaneously detailed and accurate individual assessments and programs need to be made by the staff addressing, not just the initial detoxification portion of methadone rehab treatment, but also the causes of the problems that has brought the patient to the point of using methadone.
Finding these causes and solutions are the only way to make the program work in the long run. Sometimes dual diagnosis treatment will be one of the main components of their treatment since there may be multiple addictions and multiple mental illnesses to address and treat.
A methadone rehabilitation facility should include extended residential care and lifetime aftercare services as well as group sessions and a family program once the initial detoxification is over. A good methadone rehabilitation treatment program will also assist with the critical parts of the client’s life such as family, employers, school and the legal system and maintaining sobriety to help prepare the patient for gradual re-entry into society.
If you or someone you know has a problem with methadone, please contact us. We’re here to help.
Call us at 1 (800) 298-1783 or request more information.