10 Reasons to Choose Methadone Treatment for Opiate Addiction
Opiate addictions involving heroin and prescription pain pills have reached epidemic proportions within the United States. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, more than 25 percent of the U.S. population suffers from chronic and recurrent pain conditions, which ultimately exposes addiction-prone individuals to medications that carry a high addiction potential. Likewise, heroin also carries highly addictive properties.
Methadone, a synthetic opiate-based medication, enables recovering addicts to overcome opiate addiction without the long-term discomforts associated with opiate withdrawal. Anyone struggling with opiate addiction may want to consider methadone’s ability to reduce ongoing drug cravings while keeping withdrawal effects in check. Methadone’s effects make it possible for recovering addicts to function normally in terms of work and social activities while recovering from the effects of opiate addiction.
While methadone treatment may not be right for everyone, here are 10 reasons to choose methadone as a treatment for opiate addiction:
1. Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
If opiate withdrawal symptoms have become so uncomfortable as to prevent a person from stopping opiate use, methadone treatment can help him or her overcome the body’s physical dependency on the drug.
2. Compulsive Drug-Seeking Behaviors
Compulsive drug-seeking behaviors can easily start to take over a person’s life. Methadone’s ability to reduce drug cravings makes it possible for recovering addicts to attend to productive, daily living activities.
3. Physical Changes
With long-term use, opiates can cause considerable damage throughout the body’s central nervous system. According to Semel Institute, symptoms of fatigue, irritability and confusion become progressively worse with ongoing drug use. As methadone weans the body off opiate effects, central nervous system functions have time to heal and restore a normal chemical balance in the body.
4. Loss of Control
Opiate effects retrain the brain’s reward system making drug use the top priority in a person’s life. Methadone, combined with needed psychological treatment, helps recovering addicts “rewire” the brain’s reward system and take back control of their lives from addiction.
5. Neglecting Relationships
As opiate addiction progresses, addicts spend less and less time with friends and family. When left untreated, important relationships will continue to suffer as opiates take on greater importance in a person’s life.
6. Problems at Work
Opiate effects on a person’s ability to concentrate can greatly jeopardize a person’s ability function effectively on the job. As a person’s obsession with drug use intensifies, missed days at work start to accumulate.
7. Financial Problems
The more addicted a person becomes the more money he or she will need to finance an opiate addiction. Once drug use becomes a top priority, unpaid bills will start to pile up.
8. Changes in Cognitive Function
Over time, opiate users start to lose cognitive function due to opiate’s effects on the brain. Methadone treatment helps restore damaged brain chemical processes and improve a person’s ability to function in everyday life.
9. “Nodding Out”
As opiates work by slowing down central nervous system functions, long-term drug use will leave a person in an overall lethargic state. Brief periods of unconsciousness or “nodding out” will start to occur with greater frequency.
10. Failed Attempts to Stop Using
Failed attempts to stop opiate use are a clear sign of drug dependency and drug addiction. As a synthetic opiate medication, methadone mimics opiate drug effects, which enables a person to stop using opiate drugs.