Though methadone is often considered the ideal treatment for heroin addiction and is used in this way by many maintenance patients, the medication can also be beneficial for those who are struggling with prescription opioid addiction. However, it is important to consider whether or not methadone maintenance is right for you specifically and for the treatment of your individual addiction syndrome.
Methadone and High-level Dependency
Methadone is a strong medication, and according to the National Institute of Justice, dosages from 80 to 120 mg per day “are generally sufficient to prevent opioid symptoms for 24 hours, reduce cravings, and block the euphoric effects of opioids.” This optimal dose range is often the most beneficial for individuals who have high levels of physical and psychological dependence on opioids and who need intensive medication to block and reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Someone whose dependence on opioids is not quite as intense may benefit more from buprenorphine treatment, which can be received in a doctor’s office instead of in a methadone clinic. Unfortunately, prescription opioid addiction can create dependencies just as intense as those created by heroin, so depending on your particular situation, you may receive more benefits being treated with methadone than with buprenorphine.
Supervision in Methadone Maintenance Treatment
MMT is one of the most highly regulated medical treatment programs in the country. Because methadone itself can be abused for its euphoric effects and cause addiction in the same way that other opioid agonists can, maintenance programs are regulated and supervision is a strong part of the program. Patients must take their medication at the clinic itself––especially for the first six months or so of treatment––and there are additional options available at most clinics, including behavioral therapy.
If you were abusing your prescription opioid medication, you may be able to benefit from methadone treatment because of its high-level regulation and the intensiveness of the treatment. Those who are less concerned about the possibility of abusing their treatment medication sometimes consider buprenorphine instead because the program is less regulated, but you may need this kind of supervision and control in your treatment program if the lack thereof helped lead to your drug abuse in the past.
Is Methadone Treatment Right for My Prescription Addiction?
Every individual is different and their treatment program should reflect this. All people need their own program that allows them to focus on the important parts of their recovery and create a better life for themselves. If you need the structure, the formality, and the strength of the treatment and the medication itself, methadone maintenance may be right for you.
If you believe this program could be beneficial to your needs, call 800-530-0431 today. We can help you find a methadone center in your area and answer any other questions you may have about the program. Then, you can call the particular clinic of your choice and ask to visit before you commit to treatment there. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Methadone has been used for decades to treat people who are addicted to heroin and narcotic pain medicines,” and it could be the answer you are looking for as well.
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