Challenges in Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Opiate drugs consist of drugs that are made from the opium that comes from the poppy plant. Opiates include both manmade and natural drugs containing opium; heroin, morphine, codeine, and prescription painkillers are all examples of opiates.
Opiates are highly addictive, and easy to overdose on, which makes them extremely dangerous. Prolonged use of opiates can result in a person experiencing long-term health problems, and can cause a person to experience many hardships in their social life, however there is treatment available to help a person with their opiate addiction; methadone maintenance treatment being the most widely known.
According to Harvard health Publications, opiate addiction creates long-term alterations in a user’s brain, and people in treatment not only experience devastating withdrawal symptoms but are also inclined to relapse due to intense cravings. Treatment is most successful when it consists of two factors, detoxification from the painkillers, and maintenance. Moreover, counseling is also an important part of treatment.
In methadone maintenance treatment a person will be medically administered methadone to help them with their opiate withdrawals, and they will also receive counseling to help them get through their psychological withdrawals and deal with any emotional problems they may be experiencing. Although methadone maintenance treatment will provide a person with the resources they need to get clean, there are still challenges that every person will experience.
The Challenges Associated with Methadone Maintenance Treatment
There are a few different challenges a person will have to go through during methadone maintenance treatment. First, they must get through the detox. Just because methadone will help ease the withdrawals, does not mean that a person will not have any withdrawals. However, the individual will be medically monitored and whatever withdrawals they are experiencing will typically subside in a week’s time.
Second, a person has the risk of experiencing side effects from methadone. Methadone, just like any other medication can have side effects, and these side effects may be uncomfortable for a person to go through.
According to Harvard Health Publications, people can experience side effects from methadone treatment. The most common side effects of methadone maintenance treatment are irregular heart beat and slowed breathing. Both of these side effects are the most dangerous at the beginning of treatment, which is why physical monitoring is necessary and important any time the methadone dose is increased.
The third challenge that most people have to go through is overcoming the psychological withdrawals. Methadone only helps with the physical withdrawals. The psychological withdrawals, which commonly include anxiety, depression, mood swings and insomnia, will also need to be treated.