Can a Support Group Be Part of My Methadone Treatment?
Many methadone centers offer support group meetings as a possible treatment option for interested patients and others allow meetings to occur in their facility so patients can easily attend. Being a support group member is often a fantastic supplement to methadone treatment for many individuals.
Support Group Meetings in the Facility
According to the National Institute of Justice, group therapy is one of the provided services in a number of methadone centers. This is because the treatment itself helps individuals attending care at the center to meet one another, strengthen one another’s recoveries through mutual therapy, and possibly create a positive relationship that will help all parties avoid relapse and continue attending treatment. Support groups are another helpful version of this type of treatment, which is why many methadone centers offer it.
Whether the meetings are actually sanctioned by the facility or not, it is common for support groups to meet in both residential and outpatient methadone treatment centers. It is often more convenient for the patients and can be another way to lengthen treatment attendance. It also opens up opioid addicts to the understanding that many treatment options exist for them that can all work together to help them recover.
Support Group Meetings Outside the Facility
You can still attend a support group if it does not meet in the facility itself. Often, the more positive influences one has toward abstinence and recovery the better, which is why many methadone doctors recommend to their patients that they attend these meetings. There is even a treatment called 12-step facilitation therapy that helps patients understand the benefits of attending a 12-step support group and dispels misconceptions about these programs (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Some methadone centers actually use this therapeutic model to help patients decide to attend a support group while on methadone medication, even if they do not hold meetings at the facility.
Why Should I Attend a Support Group as Part of My Methadone Treatment?
There are many reasons why support groups are a natural supplement to methadone treatment.
- They are a less strict form of treatment where members can attend as much or as little as they like.
- They allow individuals to attend for as long as they wish, similar to long-term methadone maintenance.
- They provide a much-needed discussion space for those maintained on methadone to speak with others who are under the same care.
- They can help individuals who may be struggling with the desire to abuse their methadone medication avoid this temptation by talking to a sponsor or attending a meeting.
- They provide a sense of community to those who need it most.
- They are a treatment alternative based in talking and sharing feelings rather than taking medication.
- They are a free, secondary treatment for those already paying for methadone.
If you are considering attending methadone treatment, or are already a patient at a center, a support group can be a wonderful supplement to your current care. Call 800-530-0431Who Answers? to discuss the benefits of both treatment options and how they can work together to help you safely recover form opioid addiction.