It can be a daunting task to discuss your methadone treatment with your doctor, especially if you are not exactly certain of what you need. But by following a few rules, you can make sure to help your doctor understand how best to care for you and also make changes that benefit you the most in a safe way.
Step One: Understand Why You Need to Talk to Your Doctor
According to the National Library of Medicine, you must “talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment with methadone” in order to receive the best care and to stay safe. It is extremely dangerous to use more of the drug, take it more often, take it in a different way than prescribed, or in any way stray from your prescription. Although this last act is usually impossible to do at first because the medication is administered in the facility, patients can sometimes take home their medication once they have proven they are capable of using it correctly. Therefore, you must never change your dosage on your own and must instead discuss any alterations to your treatment with your doctor first.
Step Two: Consider Your Needs
If you are unsure about what you need in terms of treatment (but you know your current regimen could be more effective in some other way), consider your needs thoroughly in order to feel informed to discuss the issue with your doctor.
- Are you frustrated with a certain aspect or aspects of your treatment? Which one(s)?
- Do you feel that this frustration is intense enough to warrant a change to your treatment?
- Are you experiencing severe side effects caused by your methadone?
- Do you feel there is a treatment option lacking from your program?
- Do you feel you need a higher or lower dose of methadone than the one you are currently on?
Once you know what is truly bothering you about your treatment, you can begin to discuss it with your doctor eloquently and effectively.
Step Three: Create a Good Relationship with Your Doctor
If you feel comfortable with your methadone physician, you will be able to more easily discuss the issues you might experience with the drug or its prescription. Make sure you can talk to your physician calmly and easily and that you have a positive relationship with one another. If you soon find that your current doctor does not make you feel comfortable for one reason or another, you may want to request a change in physician.
Step Four: Communicate Your Needs
Once you are ready to discuss the issue with your doctor, make sure to communicate your needs calmly and rationally. Consider what they say and ask questions about how the issues you are experiencing can be resolved. Over time, you and your doctor will feel comfortable with one another and be able to calmly discuss changes that need to be made to your treatment regimen.
If you are interested in learning more about methadone maintenance, call 800-530-0431. We can also help you find a treatment center in your area or give you more advice on how to discuss your treatment with a physician.