Studies show that the longer person remains in treatment at a methadone treatment center, the greater their chances of recovery will be. The overall goal of the methadone treatment is to help the person manage their daily life without the need for opioid drugs.
About Opioid Addiction
A person becomes dependent on opioids under many different circumstances. They may have been prescribed opioid medications after an injury or medical issue, may use them to alleviate emotional or other psychological symptoms, or, as in many cases, simply like the feelings they get from using them. In any way, opioids change the neurochemistry of the brain resulting in continuous cravings, unpleasant and painful withdrawals, and ultimately, a series of negative behaviors to compulsive seek and obtain more of the drug, despite the consequences of abuse.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid which act as an agonist drug to produce similar effects of other opioids with a longer duration. Methadone metabolizes differently than heroin and other opioids. When taken regularly, it builds up and is stored in the body and because methadone effects last for 24-36 hours, the person can receive a daily dose of methadone that stabilizes them and promotes a steady state of mental health.
Treatment at Methadone Treatment Centers
The concept behind methadone treatment for opioid dependence is that it allows the individual to abstain from using opioids and the dangerous or negative behaviors associated with their use. The person is able to go to work, rebuild relationships, and become a more productive member of society when they are not craving and compulsively seeking opioid drugs, using them in abusive ways, risking their health, or suffering withdrawals.
By combining appropriate doses of methadone with effective counseling and therapy options, there is a higher probability of remaining in treatment long enough to heal from the opioid abuse and maintain a positive lifestyle with ongoing relapse prevention support.
Length of Treatment at Methadone Treatment Centers
Methadone treatment durations can last indefinitely depending on the individual. On average, they may last 6 months to 2 years. However, short term treatment that last less than 12 months often results in relapse to opioid abuse. Although relapse is always a concern, opioid use after relapse is a main contributor to the rise in unintentional overdoses. According to a research report on methadone maintenance by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “authorities to advocate for maintenance treatment as long as the patient (1) continues to benefit, (2) wishes to remain, (3) is at risk of relapse, (4) suffers no significant side effects, and (5) stays in treatment as long as treatment is needed, as determined by the clinician.”