In order for you to be successful in methadone maintenance treatment you must first be honest with yourself about your drug addiction. If you are determined to stop using opiates, then methadone maintenance treatment may be the ticket to your recovery. Staying involved with therapy can help but there are other ways to remain successful in treatment as you heal too.
About Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Methadone maintenance treatment was developed in 1964 because of the heroin epidemic that was happening in New York. Through research, methadone maintenance treatment was proven to be effective in treating people who were suffering from heroin addiction. Methadone is shown to be effective at minimizing withdrawal symptoms from heroin because it is a slow acting drug and its effects can last all day long.
According to DrugPolicy.org, Methadone maintenance is now recognized as the most effective treatment for heroin addiction from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse and by the Institute of Medicine.
If you decide to get methadone maintenance treatment you will need find a program that you feel comfortable with, and once you start treatment you will no longer use your drug of choice, whether it is heroin or another opiate. Every day you will receive a dose of methadone so that your body does not go through the physical withdrawal symptoms of opiate detox, and the dosage should last you all day long until your next dose is due. As time continues, your doses of methadone will decrease to the point where you will no longer receive methadone.
This process will help you avoid the painful withdrawal symptoms and provide you with the opportunity to receive help for the psychological damage opiate addiction has caused you. It is important for you to understand that addiction is a brain disease, and therefore methadone alone, will not help you overcome your addiction, you will also need treatment for your brain, which will consist of counseling and therapy.
Five Ways for You to Get the Most Out of Your Methadone Maintenance Treatment
You cannot expect your methadone maintenance treatment program to do all of the work for you, you too will need to put in some effort to help you overcome your addiction. Below is a list of five ways for you to get the most out of your treatment.
- Involve yourself with the therapy they offer you in your program. It may be hard for you to open up, but the counselor is there to help you and if you do not open up about your emotional struggles and psychological problems, you may not receive the help you need.
- Stay away from drugs if you are in an outpatient program. Understand that if you take drugs while on methadone you can overdose and it can be fatal.
- Make sure you have a support system. Having support is a huge factor in success with overcoming addiction. If you do not have a strong support system with your family and friends then find a support group.
- Continue your therapy once you are out of your program. Psychological withdrawals symptoms, such as depression and strong drug cravings, are the main reasons why people relapse. Continuing therapy can help you remain living a drug free life.
- Join a Narcotics Anonymous Group. NA groups are free of charge and they are located all throughout the country.