While there may be several treatment options for recovering from addiction to opioid drugs, the most effective is methadone treatment. Though methadone is also an opioid drug, when taken as prescribed, it does not cause the euphoric high that many individuals look forward to from other opioid drugs –such as heroin. When you begin treatment, you may need to go to methadone treatment centers to get your dosage of medication. This control of dosage can help prevent the abuse of methadone during the early stages of addiction recovery.
According to the U.S Department of Justice, individuals who abuse methadone risk becoming tolerant of and physically dependent on the drug. Methadone is a schedule II substance under the controlled substance act and abuse of the drug is therefore illegal.
Will it Always Be Necessary to Go to Methadone Treatment Centers for My Medication?
It makes sense for clinics to require you to go and get your dose of methadone medication during the beginning of your treatment. This helps the licensed clinic staff to track your progress and assure that you are staying clean and abstinent from the use of other drugs. Methadone can also be addictive when abused so controlled dosing is recommended to help thwart any early abuse which is often like when an individual has not yet received counseling or therapy to help eradicate psychological elements of his or her addiction. Visiting a clinic for the required dosage can help prevent misuse of the medication. Other reasons to get your medication by visiting the licensed clinics directly may include:
- Drug testing: Routine urine tests may be required to make sure you are not using opioid type drugs. There may also be other laboratory tests that are needed to track your progress as you recover from addiction.
- Counseling: Some clinics may provide addiction counseling along with your methadone dosage administration. In many instances it will not interfere with employment or family obligations. Counseling can help prevent relapse, and get you to understand the importance of staying off from using opioid drugs.
- It is the law: By law, when a person starts treatment for methadone, it must be from a licensed clinic or doctor who has been registered by the Drug Enforcement Agency to legally dispense methadone, and as a new patient you will need to visit the clinic to receive the dosage.
As you progress through the treatment phases, you may be able to get a prescription for methadone. This will depend on the state or city in which you live, the clinic you are being treated at, and the progress you are making.
Fortunately, as an outpatient, the programs at methadone treatment centers should not interfere with your other obligations. You can still successfully continue to work or go to school, and be available for your family.
How Long Do I Stay on Methadone Treatment?
Every individual’s progress and needs are different. There is no specified amount of time that you may need to continue receiving treatment. Various factors can affect how long you stay on treatment including the length of time the addiction was present prior to treatment, the commitment of the patient, the presence of any underlying health conditions and the ability for the patient to receive continued therapy which helps to reduce any risk of relapse. Some patients take methadone for many years and are very successful in staying away from other opioid type drugs; others may choose to slowly taper off from methadone just a few months after they begin the treatment regimen.
The physicians at methadone treatment centers can to talk to you about the length of time you may expect to stay on methadone. Methadone can be a safe and effective option for overcoming an opioid addiction. Having to visit a center for the administering of medication should not deter you from getting back in control of your life.