People on methadone maintenance treatment for opioid abuse disorders do not always have to be weaned off the medication quickly or at all. According to the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, “A majority of patients require… treatment for an indefinite period of time, since methadone maintenance is a corrective but not a curative treatment for heroin” and other types of opioid addiction. You may be considering moving from methadone maintenance into the medically assisted withdrawal phase of treatment, but it is very important to ask yourself first if you might benefit from staying on methadone longer.
Assess Your Situation and Your Needs
Consider where you are in your treatment and your overall recovery and assess your situation. You can also consider the aspects of your life that may not be associated with your treatment, as they can be important too. Knowing what you require in your life at this moment is helpful in allowing you to determine if further methadone maintenance would be beneficial to you. If you are still unsure, ask yourself these questions:
- Was I abusing opioids for a long time before only being maintained on methadone for a short time?
- Am I feeling pressured to start medically assisted withdrawal from methadone?
- Am I feeling unstable in my job, my home, or my life in general?
- Do I feel unhappy, stressed, anxious, or frustrated often?
- Have I been taking my methadone as my doctor prescribed without any issues?
- Am I very nervous about starting withdrawal?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may want to consider staying maintained on methadone for a bit longer. It isn’t necessary that you end the treatment until you are comfortable and ready.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you are feeling that this may not be the best time to start the withdrawal process, it is very important that you talk to your doctor about it. You may have thought you would be ready for withdrawal at this point in your treatment, but perhaps, you are not yet. According to the National Institute on Drug Use, “An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.”
Should I Continue My Methadone Maintenance Treatment for a Longer Period?
Only you know how much the treatment itself is helping you and if you will benefit from continuing with this option. If you feel that you may need to continue methadone maintenance, there is a possibility that it could beneficial to you, but it is also important never to stray from the prescription your doctor has set for you. Instead, discuss it with them so you can both be in the same page.
As long as you are taking the medication as directed, you feel that you are able to live your life safely and comfortably, and you feel methadone is helping you avoid further opioid drug abuse and other dangerous behaviors, it could very well be beneficial for you to stay on methadone for a while longer. If you want to learn more about methadone maintenance and why long-term treatment might be helpful, call 800-530-0431 today.