Staying sober after going through drug treatment is where the rubber meets the road for someone trying to overcome drug addiction. Opiate addictions in particular carry a high rate for relapse simply because of the way these drugs change how the brain works.
Opiates can take any number of forms, with some of the more commonly abused drugs being –
Free methadone clinics provide long-term maintenance treatment for people coming off chronic opiate addictions, according to Columbia University Medical Center. The use of methadone makes up a big part of the overall treatment approach used by free methadone clinics.
As far as opiate addiction treatment goes, methadone has been in use for over 50 years and has a proven track record of helping addicts live drug-free lifestyles. In addition to methadone drug therapy, free methadone clinics provide ongoing treatment to help addicts work through the psychological aftereffects of addiction. In effect, the combination of methadone and psychosocial treatment interventions offers recovering addicts the best chance of staying sober and rebuilding their lives.
Comprehensive Assessment Process
Each person enters the recovery process with his or her own set of circumstances and specific treatment needs. For this reason, free methadone clinics conduct a comprehensive assessment process at the outset to determine a person’s individual treatment needs, according to the University of Hawaii. Information obtained includes –
- Past drug history
- Family history of drug abuse
- Mental health history
- Severity of addiction
- Family history of mental illness
- Medical history
Information gathered during the assessment process becomes the basis for each person’s treatment plan.
Methadone’s Long-Acting Effects
Chronic opiate abuse wreaks havoc on the brain’s chemical system and eventually depletes essential neurotransmitter chemical supplies. Free methadone clinics use the drug to help restore a person’s normal brain chemical levels.
In effect, methadone acts on the same chemical-producing brain cell sites as addictive opiates, only methadone produces a slow-acting effect that greatly reduces the drug’s addictive potential. In the process, the release of neurotransmitter chemicals works to relieve the withdrawal and drug cravings effects so often experienced in recovery.
Free methadone clinics require those in treatment to take part in treatment interventions designed to help them work through the psychological effects of addiction. These treatment sessions focus on helping a person develop healthy social and/or relationship-building skills, which play a pivotal role in the recovery process.
Treatment interventions used by free methadone clinics include –
- One-on-one psychotherapy
- Group therapy
- 12 Step support group meetings
Psychosocial supports help recovering addicts develop the type of mindset and lifestyle that supports drug-free living.
It’s not uncommon for opiate addicts to lose their jobs and even their homes as result of addiction, leaving a person with little to no financial resources. Since methadone exists as a controlled substance, free methadone clinics receive funding from both state and federal governments. These funding sources make it possible for free methadone clinics to offer opiate addiction treatment services at no charge to those who need it most.
Relapse Prevention Strategies
In order to stay sober, someone in recovery must develop a set of relapse prevention strategies to fall back on when the urge to use drugs gets overwhelming. The psychosocial interventions provided through free methadone clinic programs offer those in recovery with a wide range of relapse prevention techniques to use in daily life.
Relapse prevention strategies help a person to –
- Identify the cues that trigger the desire to use drugs
- Develop healthy coping behaviors for redirecting the urge to use drugs
- Find healthy ways to enjoy life and have fun
While any form of medication can potentially harm a developing fetus, chronic heroin abuse poses a considerable threat to the health and life of the fetus. Methadone poses a minimal threat to the fetus during pregnancy and greatly reduces the danger of spontaneous abortion that comes with ongoing heroin use. For these reasons, free methadone clinic treatment can be of great help to women who are pregnant in recovery.
Having someone to talk to when the urge to use drugs seems overwhelming can mean the difference between staying sober and resuming old drug-using behaviors. Free methadone clinics encourage continued participation in 12 Step support groups for the duration of methadone treatment. Twelve step groups provide recovering addicts with a safe environment where they can receive support and guidance on how to maintain sobriety on a day-to-day basis.
Daily Dosing Schedules
Methadone’s long-lasting effects allow for a daily dosing schedule as opposed to the frequent “fixes” addicts must have in order to avoid withdrawal. A single dose of methadone delivers ongoing relief from drug cravings and withdrawal for up to 36 hours, according to the University of Maryland. In turn, free methadone clinics administer methadone on a daily basis. Since methadone comes in tablet, powder and liquid forms, free methadone clinic doctors can easily adjust a person’s dosage levels depending on his or her treatment needs.
Treatment for Co-Occurring Conditions
Chronic opiate use creates prime conditions for psychological and emotional disorders develop in the brain. More than anything else, the emotional turmoil experienced by people recovering from opiate addiction accounts for why it’s so hard to stay sober.
Free methadone clinics offer treatment for psychological problems as a part of the overall treatment process. Since psychological problems can greatly aggravate a person’s desire to resume drug use, free methadone clinics make it a point to treat mental health issues as part of the addiction treatment process.
Long-Term Maintenance Treatment
One of the benefits of methadone treatment allows for the drug to be administered for as long as a person continues to experience distressing withdrawal and drug cravings effects. Consequently, a person can continue to receive treatment from a free methadone clinic for as long as needed.
For people coming off chronic opiate addictions, this option to receive long-term maintenance treatment provides the needed length of time for brain chemical levels to return to normal. In the process, recovering addicts can develop the type of lifestyle that supports long-term sobriety.