As methadone itself is an opiate-type drug, it’s naturally an effective drug treatment for heroin and opiate-related withdrawal effects. According to the National Academies Press, it does this by creating physiological effects similar to those of other opiates with a relatively low risk for addiction.
Methadone’s use as a replacement therapy for drug detoxing and maintenance purposes is not without its drawbacks. Compared to other opiate drugs, the length of time methadone stays in a person’s system is considerably longer than other opiates. As a result, methadone withdrawal periods can last up to four times longer than with other opiates.
When choosing between methadone withdrawal treatment centers it helps to keep in mind that most treatment programs approach methadone addictions and opiate addictions in the same way. Since methadone is, in fact, an opiate-type drug, methadone withdrawal treatment addresses the same physical and psychological issues associated with any other type of opiate addiction.
As methadone addictions often result from previous attempts to treat more serious opiate addictions, anyone choosing between methadone withdrawal treatment centers may want to closely examine the types of treatment approaches offered by the different programs.
Medication-Based Methadone Withdrawal Treatment
When choosing between methadone withdrawal treatment options, some people may be opposed to medication-based treatment approaches since that’s how their methadone addiction got started in the first place. All the same, some treatment centers do offer medication-based methadone withdrawal treatment options. These treatment programs administer medications, such as Suboxone and Subutex, which are specially designed to treat methadone addictions.
As of 2002, both Suboxone and Subutex received FDA approval as treatments for opiate and methadone addictions. These drugs work by eliminating cravings and reducing methadone’s withdrawal effects. Treatment programs typically administer these drugs over a pre-planned period of time depending on the extent of a person’s addiction, and then gradually reduce dosages until a person is completely off the drug.
Considering the circumstances that cause people to become addicted to methadone, it’s especially important to choose a methadone withdrawal treatment center capable of addressing a person’s individual treatment needs. In order to do this, a treatment center must employ experts in their fields who have experience in treating methadone addictions. As each person enters treatment with his or her own set of physical and emotional problems, the importance of providing an individualized treatment approach cannot be overstated.
While some people may be able to handle medication-based therapies, others may not. A “one-size-fits-all” approach can have devastating effects in a person’s life when proper and needed evaluation measures are overlooked. Individualized treatment approaches also incorporate the types of counseling and therapy treatments most needed to help a person overcome a methadone addiction.
Relapse poses the most dangerous risk associated with any type of opiate addiction. The same goes for methadone addictions. Anytime a person relapses, there’s an increased risk of overdose since the body has become more sensitive to the effects of methadone. In turn, a methadone overdose can easily lead to respiratory failure and death.
For these reasons, it’s important to thoroughly research existing methadone withdrawal treatment centers to ensure a person’s individual treatment needs are taken into account before the treatment process begins.