Opiate addiction recovery entails a process of growth and change. For people recovering from chronic opiate addiction problems, methadone treatment offers benefits not available through other drug treatment approaches.
Methadone treatment combines methadone as a medication therapy with intensive behavioral interventions, providing those in recovery with the necessary supports for living drug-free on a day-to-day basis. While effective overall, certain pitfalls must be avoided in order to make the most of what methadone treatment has to offer.
5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Methadone Treatment
1. Hanging Around Drug-Using Friends
Making new friends at any age can be hard, especially when you’re in recovery. The truth of the matter is addiction recovery entails starting a new life or creating the type of lifestyle that makes a drug-free existence possible.
Hanging around old drug-using friends makes it all the more easy to fall into the types of habits and routines that trigger drug-using thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
2. Not Keeping the Lines of Communication Open with Your Treating Physician
As a treatment drug, methadone’s effectiveness relies on a person receiving adequate dosage levels throughout the course of methadone treatment. If you’re experiencing ongoing drug cravings or residual withdrawal effects, such as depression or insomnia, these symptoms indicate a dosage adjustment is needed, according to Harvard Health Publications.
Keeping the lines of communication open with your treating physician helps ensure your dosage levels are where they need to be. Otherwise, the risk of experiencing an untimely relapse increases considerably.
3. Minimal Participation in Behavioral Treatment
Methadone’s therapeutic benefits enable a person to feel “normal” again, which can be deceiving in some respects. Once a person feels better and more in control, the behavioral component of methadone treatment may start to seem unnecessary.
In effect, opiate addiction lives inside a person’s thinking, emotions and behaviors. Behavioral treatment interventions, such as support group work, group therapy and psychotherapy enable a person to identify and replace the mind’s underlying “need” for drugs with the types of coping skills that make day-to-day abstinence possible.
4. Not Applying Principles Learned in Treatment
In a sense, opiate addiction recovery involves developing a range of new daily living skills, such as:
- Communicating effectively with others
- Valuing self
- Developing accountability
- Developing genuine relationships with others
- Learning how to cope with daily pressures and stress
- Learning new ways to enjoy life
As these skills form the basis for living drug-free, incorporating them into your daily life experience is essential to your success in recovery.
5. Underestimating the Value of Your Support System
The methadone treatment process places a heavy emphasis on the importance of having a healthy support system in recovery. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, being able to relate with others who’ve walked in your shoes can prove invaluable, especially during times when the urge to use seems overwhelming.
Likewise, being a support for others helps reinforce your motivation and resolve to get and stay well.
If you or someone you know are considering methadone treatment and have more questions, or need help finding a program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-530-0431 to speak with one of our addiction specialists.