Both heroin and prescription pain medications carry an incredibly high risk for abuse and addiction. With long-term drug use, opiates gradually wear away at a one’s ability to manage everyday life.
By the time a person enters methadone maintenance treatment, much of his or her life is in shambles while the drug’s effects continue to weigh upon one’s actions and decisions. Methadone maintenance treatment takes a multi-pronged approach to addressing the problems and challenges that chronic opiate abuse brings while helping you develop the coping skills needed to handle daily life on a drug-free basis.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment Components
Methadone, a synthetic opiate agent, plays a critical role with the methadone maintenance treatment process. Formulated to produce effects similar to addictive opiates, methadone interacts with the same areas of the brain without producing “high” effects or inciting compulsive drug-using behaviors. According to National Academies Press, methadone’s therapeutic benefits lie in its ability to relieve the types of withdrawal and drug cravings effects people in recovery so often experience.
Much of the havoc and chaos that results from opiate addiction stems from the drug’s effects on a person’s psychological makeup. Chronic opiate abuse damages the areas of the brain that determine what motivates and drives a person’s day-to-day habits and behaviors. For these reasons, methadone maintenance treatment programs employ a rigorous schedule of behavior treatment interventions designed to help you replace addiction-based thinking and behavior with a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Building a Healthy Lifestyle
As a condition of methadone treatment, program participants must frequent the clinic on a daily basis to receive their methadone doses. This requirement reduces the likelihood of methadone abuse while at the same time instilling a sense of structure in one’s daily routine. During visits to the clinic, a person takes part in scheduled behavioral-based treatment sessions, which may take the form of support group meetings, psychotherapy or group therapy.
Social support systems play an important role in the methadone maintenance treatment process. Social supports take the form of other recovering addicts who share experiences and challenges similar to yours. Social supports may also include sponsors, drug counselors, friends, family and spiritual advisors. In effect, anyone who holds an important role in your life may be invited to take part in your recovery treatment process.
Treatment for Dual Diagnosis Conditions
More often than not, someone coming off chronic opiate addiction has likely developed some form of psychological disorder from the damaging effects of the drug, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism. Also known as dual diagnosis, the combined effects of opiate addiction and mental illness can severely compromise a person’s ability to function in daily life. Methadone maintenance treatment programs have ample experience in addressing and treating the types of challenges that come with dual diagnosis conditions.
While methadone maintenance treatment may not work for everyone, people who’ve tried other forms of drug treatment to no avail may well benefit from the type of treatment approach these programs use. If you’re considering methadone maintenance treatment and have questions regarding the different programs in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-530-0431 for more information.