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Understanding Methadone Addiction Treatment Centers
When it comes to methadone addiction treatment centers, this can refer to one of two things.
In the first instance, a methadone addiction treatment center is a clinic that gives methadone as medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.
In the second scenario, such a center is a treatment center for someone who is addicted to methadone itself.
Methadone is a medication used to treat opioid use disorder.
The Food and Drug Administration approves methadone as medication-assisted treatment.
It is also sometimes prescribed for pain management.
When taken as prescribed, methadone is considered effective and safe.
Thus, methadone can be part of a long-term treatment plan for opioid addiction.
However, methadone does have addiction potential.
It is an opioid agonist, meaning it activates receptor sites just as other opioids do, including prescription pain medicines and heroin.
Because it activates these receptor sites, methadone can reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
It is very important that methadone is only taken under close medical supervision to avoid the addiction risk.
When someone takes methadone as instructed and prescribed, it should not make them feel high.
What Happens at Methadone Addiction Treatment Centers?
Methadone has to be administered by a qualified health care provider if it is being used as a treatment for opioid use disorder.
When the drug is given to a patient, the dose has to be specifically formulated for their needs.
There are strict guidelines that have to be followed when using methadone to treat opioid use disorder. For example, the patient should never be given more than the prescribed amount. Patients should not take an extra dose if they miss a dose. Additionally, patients should not take other substances or consume alcohol at the same time as methadone.
Side effects of methadone are similar to other opioids. These can include nausea or vomiting, slow breathing, sweating, and sexual dysfunction. Severe side effects can occur as well, including shallow or difficult breathing.
Methadone inpatient treatment is one option to receive the medication. However, methadone can also be administered on an outpatient basis.
Not all opiate treatment centers use methadone. For some patients, other medication-assisted treatments may be a better option. For instance, another medication-assisted treatment option involves buprenorphine. Like methadone, buprenorphine is administered in carefully controlled and monitored situations.
What if You Are Addicted to Methadone?
What happens if you develop an addiction to the very substance meant to help you overcome opioid use disorder?
First, if your health care provider believes you will benefit from methadone, you should follow their instructions. With methadone and buprenorphine, there is a gradual onset of effects and the amounts of the drug stay stable in the brain. That means you do not get the same high as in opiate use. This reduces the risk of addiction.
However, this is not the case if you take methadone outside of how it is prescribed. If you take larger doses than are prescribed or take it without medical supervision, you may be at risk for developing an addiction. You can also overdose on methadone.
Symptoms of Methadone Addiction
The symptoms of methadone addiction are similar to addiction to other opioids. These symptoms include:
- Obsessing over taking methadone or getting moremethadone.
- Taking higher doses than intended or taking methadonemore often than intended.
- Continuing to use methadone despite negative consequences.
- Using methadone for certain effects, such as getting high.
- Trying to stop using methadone and being unsuccessful.
If you realize that you are struggling with symptoms of addiction, you may need methadone rehabilitation.
Types of Methadone Addiction Treatment Centers
Again, being treated for methadone addiction is different from being treated with methadone for addiction. If you believe you may be addicted to methadone itself, treatment options include the following:
If you are addicted to methadone, your body has become dependent on the substance.
When you are dependent and try to stop using methadone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Methadone withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and sleep and mood disturbances.
The goal during detox is to help you stay safe as you go through withdrawal.
It is important that you are substance-free before you begin your methadone rehabilitation program, whether that’s methadone inpatient treatment or an outpatient program. Detox is the first step.
The clinical team in a detox program can monitor your vitals and provide support as you work your way through this challenging time.
Methadone Inpatient Treatment
If you are dealing with an addiction to methadone, inpatient treatment may be your next step following detox.
Inpatient treatment for addiction has many benefits. Namely, the environment is safe, secure, supportive and stable. All of those are important factors as you begin the early days of recovery.
In inpatient treatment, you will spend your days working exclusively on your recovery in a comfortable place. You will participate in customized group and individual therapy. You might work with doctors to treat symptoms of underlying mental illness you could have. You may also participate in holistic activities to address your needs in various aspects of your life.
Outpatient Methadone Rehabilitation
There is another option for addiction treatment – outpatient care. Outpatient care can vary quite a bit in intensity and how much time you actually spend in treatment. The primary difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is that you return home in the evening if you receive outpatient care.
You should only opt for this choice if you have a sober, safe environment where you can focus on recovery.
Resurgence Behavioral Health offers specialized outpatient treatment like our Intensive Outpatient Program. In this program, you have the flexibility to stay at home, but you are also receiving intensive treatment.
You do not have to leave your family, school, or job to participate in an Intensive Outpatient Program. This combination of both independence and structure works well for many people. The benefits of an Intensive Outpatient Program include the ability to apply your newly learned coping skills, and you have more flexibility in how you adjust to your life after treatment.
Much of what you do during treatment is preparing you to re-enter society and the outside world. Aftercare planning is critical to helping you do that successfully.
Aftercare planning means that your treatment team will come up with strategies for you to avoid relapse. These strategies can include ongoing therapy, participation in 12-step groups and family support.
Many treatment centers offer alumni programs, which can be part of recovery after rehab. An alumni program is designed for people who have completed treatment and are in recovery. These programs provide support and tools as you transition from rehab to daily life.
In alumni programs, there are a variety of virtual and in-person events where you can receive support and encouragement and also share your challenges and triumphs. Many of the activities an alumni program will host are also just fun and can keep you socially connected.
Not everyone will go to sober living after rehab, but it is a valuable option to consider.
Sober living tends to be an option if you have a severe, long-term addiction and maybe aren’t ready to return home yet. For instance, you may choose sober living if you don’t have a supportive environment to return to after treatment.
A sober living home offers a secure, stable, and substance-free environment. There are rules and structure, so it can be a good stepping stone after drug treatment. You also have to follow a curfew and other rules and complete chores.
The overarching goal of a sober living home is to help you, as a resident, gain access to resources as you transition to living independently. At a sober living house, you continue work on your recovery.
One of the most common things people do in their recovery after rehab is going to recovery meetings. Recovery meetings are free self-help groups.
There are well-known groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These are 12-step programs. There are also 12-step programs for families of addicts like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
SMART Recovery is an alternative to 12-step programs, which doesn’t utilize the concept of a higher power. All 12-step groups focus on sharing experiences, helping others, and taking responsibility for your recovery.
If you do attend a 12-step group, you will probably be encouraged to get a sponsor. A sponsor is a long-term member of the community who works to guide and help someone trying to stay sober. Sponsors can give you individual one-to-one support, especially when facing challenges in your life after rehab.
Your treatment center may offer outpatient services, or they could be part of a community program closer to your home.
Outpatient services can be broad. For instance, some outpatient services include therapy but also help with finding a job and medication management when necessary.
Final Thoughts—Methadone Addiction Treatment Centers
There are two ways we can think about the term methadone addiction treatment centers.
For some people, that means going to inpatient rehab with methadone as part of their treatment plan.
Methadone is approved as a medicine that can help with opioid use disorder.
However, as your health care provider will likely tell you, methadone is not without risks.
There are risks of addiction, dependence, and overdose.
It is a helpful medicine, but it is not a cure-all for opioid use disorder.
If you find that you develop an addiction to methadone, you may benefit from completing an opioid addiction treatment program.
If you would like to learn more about opioid use disorder and available treatment programs, please contact Resurgence.
We offer evidence-based treatment programs that bring together substance abuse treatment with primary care services and mental health treatment.
We also have SMART Recovery and 12-step groups.
Each of our patients receives a personalized treatment plan, and we have multiple payment options, including private pay, payment plans, and we accept most PPO insurance.
Call us today so that we can work with you to develop a plan for recovery.