Do Methadone Treatment Centers Help Prevent Relapse?

Opiate addiction rates have skyrocketed over the past decade, affecting people from all walks of life. Drugs, such as heroin and prescription pain pills, all fall under the opiates category of drugs.

While not as debilitating as amphetamine-type drugs, opiates can have long-term aftereffects on a person’s ability to maintain abstinence for any length of time. For this reason, drug treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on providing the type of relapse prevention support those in recovery most need.

As an FDA-approved treatment for opiate addiction, methadone has a long-standing history as an effective opiate addiction treatment. Methadone treatment centers administer methadone as part of an overall approach to treating opiate addiction.

While methadone does play a central role within the overall treatment approach used, methadone treatment centers also offer a range of treatment services that help to reinforce methadone’s effects. Ultimately, the benefits of methadone combined with ongoing psychosocial treatment interventions provides recovering addicts with the types of physical and social supports needed to prevent relapse.

Methadone’s Effects

methadone relapse

Methadone aids in the addiction recovery process.

Methadone is a synthetic opiate drug that’s formulated to produce certain effects when used as an opiate addiction treatment. While methadone doesn’t actually cure opiate addiction, it does help address many of the problems a person’s faces in recovery, according to the University of Maryland.

Long-term opiate use has a deteriorating effect on brain cells and brain chemical functions in general. Once a person stops abusing opiates, the brain can remain in a state of chemical imbalance for months or even years, leaving addicts in a perpetual state of emotional turmoil and mental confusion. Methadone treatment centers use methadone as a means for supporting damaged brain chemical processes.

Methadone’s opiate-like effects work to satisfy the brain’s ongoing dependency on addictive opiates. These effects enable methadone treatment centers to use the drug to help relieve the persistent withdrawal and drug cravings effects many addicts experience in recovery.

Methadone Treatment Center Approach

The methadone treatment center approach uses methadone to address the physical aftereffects of addiction while using psychosocial treatment interventions to address addiction’s psychological component. In effect, methadone’s therapeutic benefits improve a person’s emotional stability and overall mental clarity, allowing him or her to feel normal again.

The psychosocial treatment interventions used by methadone treatment centers are designed to help recovering addicts get to the psychological roots of their addiction problem through behavioral modification training and working through the underlying issues driving addiction behaviors.

Psychosocial interventions commonly used include –

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • 12 Step support groups
  • Drug education counseling

Relapse Prevention Provisions

As preventing relapse remains the overall goal throughout the treatment process, methadone treatment centers address addiction’s effects in stages. First and foremost, stabilizing a person’s methadone dosage amount is essential to ensuring withdrawal and cravings effects don’t overwhelm his or her recovery efforts.

Methadone treatment centers also require program participants to adhere to a strict daily dosage schedule, which requires them to visit the center on a daily basis. These requirements enable treatment providers to monitor program participants on a daily basis and help ensure a person is not at risk of relapse.

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