Anyone considering methadone treatment has likely already tried drug treatment one or more times with little success to show for it. Considering the time and effort required to make it through a drug treatment program, it’s only natural to have reservations as to whether a methadone treatment approach will be any different.
The effects of chronic opiate addictions in particular can live on well past the point a person stops using drugs. Much of the effort spent in addiction recovery centers on overcoming the physical and psychological effects of drug abuse.
For these reasons, methadone treatment encompasses a range of interventions, with each one designed to address and treat the range of effects addiction has in a person’s life. Ultimately, methadone treatment success lies in making the most of what the program has to offer and believing in the recovery process.
Methadone’s Treatment Purpose
Methadone, the drug, acts as starting point within a methadone treatment program. In effect, methadone works as a medication therapy, addressing the persistent withdrawal and drug cravings effects chronic opiate addiction leaves behind.
Methadone, itself belongs to the opiate class of drugs, which allows it to relieve much of the discomfort experienced in recovery. Unlike addictive opiates, methadone delivers a controlled effect with a considerably lower potential for addiction than other opiate drugs.
According to the University of Maryland, methadone interacts with the same brain cell receptor sites as heroin and prescription pain pills, supporting damaged cell functions and in the process, restoring a normal chemical balance in the brain.
Determining Factors for Methadone Treatment Success
Close Communication with Treatment Providers
Throughout the course of methadone treatment, close communications with treatment providers goes a long way towards ensuring you’ll experience methadone’s optimal therapeutic effect. Methadone’s therapeutic effectiveness hinges on you receiving a dosage level that relieves physical discomfort without producing a sedative effect.
Methadone treatment providers rely heavily on any feedback or input you have throughout the course of treatment. This is especially the case during the early stages of treatment as doctors work to determine your baseline dosage level.
Strict Adherence to the Behavioral Treatment Plan
While effective, methadone’s effects only address the physical discomfort addicts experience in recovery. In actuality, addiction per se lives inside the psychological dependence that develops over the course of drug use. This psychological dependence generates the type of thinking and behavior that supports a drug-using lifestyle, according to the University of Delaware.
Methadone programs use behavioral treatment interventions to help a person undo the damaging effects of addiction on his or her thinking, emotions and behavior patterns. Neglecting this aspect of methadone treatment is a sure way to sabotage your recovery.
Regular 12-Step Support Meeting Attendance & Participation
The 12-Step model forms the basis for the traditional drug treatment approach and is used as a guideline within the addictions field in general. Likewise, 12-Step support groups operate according to the same principles in terms of confronting the addiction problem and taking certain steps to eradicate addiction-based thinking and behavior from one’s lifestyle.
Twelve-Step support groups also place a high priority on the importance of having a support network throughout all stages of the recovery process. In effect, regular attendance at 12-Step support group meetings works to keep you engaged in the recovery process while reinforcing the principles learned in behavioral treatment.
If you or someone you know is considering methadone treatment and have further questions about methadone treatment in general, or need help finding treatment programs in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-530-0431 for more information.