Choosing the Best Inpatient Methadone Treatment Plan for Your Needs
Once the decision to enter inpatient methadone treatment is made, your active participation in the treatment process becomes a critical component in recovery. Drug treatment includes a process known as treatment planning, which determines what types of interventions will be used during the course of person’s stay in the program.
As each person’s needs in recovery differ, the treatment planning process involves both you and your care provider. Ultimately, addiction severity, length of time using drugs and overall health all have a bearing on how methadone treatment will be administered as well as any other interventions used during the course of your stay.
Understanding the process as well as the interventions commonly used to enable a successful recovery can go a long way towards choosing the best inpatient methadone treatment plan for your needs.
Methadone Treatment Options
Methadone works as a replacement therapy drug, mimicking the effects of addictive opiates while relieving uncomfortable withdrawal and craving effects. As a synthetic opiate drug, methadone’s formulation produces long-lasting effects that allow for once-daily dosing as opposed to the frequent dosing patterns addictive opiates require.
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, methadone can be used as both a detox and a long-term maintenance treatment. The damaging effects of addictive opiates on brain function over time leaves many in recovery using methadone for both detox and maintenance purposes, sometimes going through multiple rounds of treatment in the process.
Getting familiar with methadone’s use during these stages of treatment can help you better gauge your treatment planning needs.
Inpatient methadone programs work well for people with extensive opiate addiction histories as someone in this category will likely experience severe withdrawal effects when stopping drug use. Methadone’s use as a detox medication treatment allows addicts to wean off the effects of addictive opiates without experiencing the full effects of withdrawal.
During detox, doctors gradually reduce a person’s methadone dosage amount over the course of his or her stay in treatment. Dose reduction schedules can run anywhere from two to three weeks to 180 days depending on the severity of a person’s addiction. In general, longer taper periods increase the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome.
Methadone’s use as a long-term maintenance treatment offers ongoing relief from drug cravings and many of the physical and emotional aftereffects that persist long after stopping drug use. These aftereffects may take the form of:
- Bouts of anxiety
- Deep-seated depression
- A flat affect, or inability to experience emotion of any kind
While many who go through inpatient methadone treatment will have completed the program by the time methadone maintenance treatment begins, this intervention can still be included in a person’s treatment plan when a need for ongoing methadone treatment exists.
An inpatient methadone treatment plan acts as a type of roadmap to recovery, laying out short-term and long-term goals along with specific objectives designed to help a person reach these goals. You, as the client, provide most all of the information used to devise the treatment plan. In effect, a treatment plan organizes all available treatment tools and resources into a coherent plan of action that’s designed to meet your individual treatment needs.
While methadone treatment remains an important aspect of the inpatient treatment process, behavioral-based interventions will also play an integral role in your overall recovery. In fact, most all of the objectives and goals included in the treatment plan will use behavioral-based criteria to measure a person’s progress along with way.
Prior to the actual start of treatment, a person will go through a comprehensive assessment where treatment providers gather information regarding your drug-using history and any major life areas affected by or associated with drug use. The assessment stage also enables treatment providers to identify your individual strengths and weaknesses as well as any barriers or obstacles that might impede your progress in recovery.
Factors Considered in the Treatment Planning Process
The assessment screening process covers a lot of ground in terms of the range and types of information gathered. As opiate addictions interfere with most every area of a person’s life, the assessment addresses a number of areas, including:
- Mental health history
- Medical history
- Family medical history/mental health history
- Vocational needs
- Motivation to get well
- Daily living needs (transportation, housing, food)
- Demographics (sex, age, ethnicity)
While not all of these areas directly relate to opiate abuse, deficiencies in any one area can compromise a person’s recovery efforts, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism.
Psychosocial Treatment Needs
When considering your methadone treatment plan options, it’s important to keep in mind that methadone only addresses the physical aftereffects of addiction on brain function. Addiction, itself, has to do with the effects of the drug on a person’s thinking, emotions and behaviors. In effect, meeting your psychosocial treatment needs is essential to overcoming addiction and living drug-free for the long-term, according to the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health.
Psychosocial treatment interventions used may include:
- Group therapy
- Individual psychotherapy
- Support group work
- Drug counseling
- Family therapy
Physical and Psychological Status
Chronic opiate addiction wreaks havoc on a person’s physical and psychological health. Consequently, many long-time addicts develop chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension during the course of drug use. Likewise, addicts in recovery often struggle with full-blown psychological disorders, such depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders as a result of long-term opiate abuse. Ensuring your treatment plan includes treatment for any conditions that result from drug use helps prevent against untimely relapse episodes and frustrating treatment outcomes.
It’s not uncommon for people coming off chronic addictions to all but drop out of the workforce due to opiate’s effects on mental capacity and functioning. Under these conditions, inpatient treatment planning should address a person’s vocational needs.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, vocational factors considered include work-related issues as well as behavioral concerns, such as:
- Existing work skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Educational needs
- Ability to concentrate and stay on task
Ultimately, the treatment planning process plays a pivotal role in determining your recovery outcome. For this reason, it’s important to be as open and honest as possible during the assessment and treatment planning phase. It’s equally important to remain open to the direction and guidance offered by treatment providers, as some elements of the finished treatment plan will be easier to deal with than others.