Addiction to opioids can cause serious effects to a person’s overall health, both physically and psychologically. It can even have fatal results if treatment for an opioid addiction is not sought. One of the safest and most commonly recommended options is to begin methadone maintenance treatment (also known as MMT). Methadone is a safe drug that has been proven successful in helping opioid addicted individuals get their life back on track and be able to function daily, whether at work or at home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, methadone maintenance treatment is the most effective treatment for opiate addiction. Aside from methadone being a proven option for treating addiction to opioid drugs, it is also cost effective for many individuals.
How to Start Methadone Maintenance Treatment to Help Overcome Addiction
The sooner you begin methadone treatment, the quicker you will start to feel better and more in control of your life. The most common way to start receiving methadone medication is from a licensed methadone clinic. You can be referred by a doctor to one of these clinics or you may need to stay at a methadone center for safe detox off opioids. You will be assessed and will undergo a routine check-up. Here is an idea of what to expect when you start treatment:
- Physical examination: A doctor will perform a routine examination, and check for other health problems you may have. This helps the medical staff address your needs and create a treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.
- Drug history: At the treatment center you will be asked about your history of drug use. Some individuals may have severe addictions and require additional services to help them safely begin treatment.
- Tests: Part of the assessment can include blood tests for HIV and other diseases which are often associated with opioid drug addiction.
- Mental health: Discussion about possible mental illness that may also be affecting your life. This is very important in order for treatment to be effective. If a co-occurring disorder is present, then additional medical services and resources can be provided.
- Questions: Individuals starting treatment will also be asked about their life in general. It can be about work, family, and other areas of your life that is being affected by your use of drugs. Some individuals are struggling with tough family issues, and may also need counseling during some point in their treatment phase.
Starting a methadone maintenance program is not difficult but does require your own due diligence in finding and securing effective treatment. There are other ways to start treatment if you cannot find a methadone center in your area; such options generally include private help from a licensed methadone doctor.
Other Ways to Start MMT
If you cannot find a local methadone clinic, you can check online for methadone centers that may be within a short travel distance. You can also:
- Talk to an addiction specialist by calling 1-800-530-0431.
- Some hospitals may have a referral service and are able to directly refer you to a clinic in your city.
- Your doctor or healthcare specialist may be able to refer you to treatment.
In general, many health providers can help you locate or direct you to the proper resources to get the help you need in starting methadone maintenance treatment. Don’t let an addiction to opioid drugs destroy your life. Get control of it, and consider the positive effects of methadone treatment.