Opiate drugs, be they heroin, opium or prescription pain medications, continue to lure unsuspecting users into a cycle of compulsive drug use. Over the past 10 years, opiate abuse rates have seen a steady rise with more and more people seeking needed treatment help.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment admissions for opiate addiction ran second only to alcohol with an estimated 20 percent of all drug treatment admissions being opiate-related. As so many soon find out, once addiction sets in, it’s all but impossible to stop using without some form of treatment help.
Methadone maintenance treatment exists as the most developed and established approach for treating chronic opiate addiction. Initially started in the 1960s, methadone maintenance treatment offers recovering addicts a means for maintaining drug-free lifestyles.
Someone wanting to get started in methadone maintenance treatment will want to do a little online research as well as make use of available community resources.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Opiate drugs target certain key brain chemical functions that regulate several major bodily processes. Over time, these drugs cause considerable damage to brain cell sites making them unable to function normally on their own.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, methadone works by occupying the same cell sites as addictive opiates and producing somewhat similar effects. Ultimately, methadone’s interactions in the brain enable a person to feel normal and function effectively as the drug provides needed support for damaged brain chemical processes.
Doctor referrals can be a valuable resource when trying to get started in methadone maintenance treatment. Whether it be your own personal physician or even an emergency room doctor, face-to-face contacts with physicians tend to yield the best results when looking for treatment help.
Even in cases where a particular doctor isn’t knowledgeable on methadone programs, there’s a good chance he or she can refer you to a doctor that can help.
As always, the Internet can offer a wealth of information on methadone maintenance treatment programs. Government sites, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration site, have search engines specifically designed to pull up treatment centers based on zip code locations. This method offers a quick and easy way to compile a list of programs in your area.
There’s a good chance that one or more local area support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, will have group members who currently participate in methadone maintenance treatment programs. Group members can be a valuable source of information as they have firsthand experience in applying to local programs as well as information on how particular programs are run. Support group moderators may also have valuable information to share.
Toll-free hotlines offer yet another route for getting started in methadone maintenance treatment. A quick online search can pull up lists of toll-free numbers that allow you to speak one-on-one with a representative. Phone reps ask a few questions about your locale and treatment needs, then offer up the names of local organizations and treatment programs that can help in your search.