Methadone clinics have been around since the 1960s, helping those with opioid addictions. But contrary to popular belief, most methadone clinics offer more than just methadone in the way of addiction treatment. This can be highly beneficial to the patients and can make it much easier to recover.
Why Comprehensive Treatment is Important
The NIDA states that “medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.” Methadone treatment provides patients with a wide array of benefits including:
- Blocking “the euphoric and sedating effects of opiates” (CDC)
- Relieving cravings
- Helping to prevent relapse
- Providing a daily routine for recovery
- Relieving a person of withdrawal symptoms from opiates
- Allowing “a person to work and participate normally in society” because there is no intoxication that occurs when methadone is used correctly
While all of these benefits can be necessary to a person’s recovery, it can also be helpful to a patient if a methadone clinic offers other treatments as well. Medication works best when in combination with therapy, but there are even more treatment options which can sometimes be necessary to recovery. The availability of these treatments is highly beneficial as someone may try them and find them immensely helpful. After all, “no single treatment is appropriate for everyone” (NIDA).
There are several types of therapy that are often provided by methadone clinics. Some of them are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT helps patients “learn to identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills than can be used to stop drug abuse” (NIDA). This is often a very beneficial treatment for patients fighting addictions.
- Group therapy: Group gives patients a chance to meet others who are struggling with the same issues while still having input from medical professionals.
- Mutual-help groups (MHGs): MHGs allow patients to form bonds and acquire role models with other former addicts. These groups can be found all across the country in facilities like these and many others.
The original methadone treatment facilities emphasized treatment as “part of a broad, multicomponent… program” (CDC). One of the other treatments that was often used was vocational counseling. Many people have work and financial troubles that continue to follow them into recovery, as addicts tend to put all of their money toward obtaining more drugs. Vocational counseling and resocialization training can be very beneficial for someone in this state.
Many facilities now emphasize other types of treatment as well, like exercise. A little bit of exercise will make the body feel good, release endorphins, and allow the individual to feel healthy and rewarded without the use of drugs. Other types of holistic classes like these include:
- Tai chi
- Nature walks
- Cooking classes
- Arts and crafts
Depending on the facility, some or more of these treatments could be provided. The more treatments that a facility offers, the more potentially beneficial options the individual will be able to explore while going through recovery. Not everyone’s path is the same so different treatments should be introduced in order to find the ones that are right for each patient.