What Happens in a Methadone Treatment Center?
In a methadone clinic, individuals are given prescribed doses of methadone in order to aid with opiate addiction. Methadone treatment centers are often suggested to individuals with strong addictions who have already tried other methods of treatment. However, methadone clinics can be very important in the road to recovery for many people with opiate addiction.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient
Many methadone treatment centers are outpatient programs where a person may come to receive his or her prescription, as well as any other treatment options offered by the facility, and then leave. But there are some rehabilitation centers that practice methadone treatment as part of a larger treatment program for individuals who are not ready to return to their daily lives.
The chief purpose of a methadone clinic is to have a health professional prescribe methadone to a person recovering from opiate addiction. In this situation, the methadone is a preventative drug which helps the individual with many of the difficult aspects of rehabilitation. Prescribed methadone has these benefits:
- Reduces withdrawal symptoms of the opioids
- Blocks the opioid receptors in the brain
- Few to no side effects when given in the correct dosage
- Does not cause the individual to build a tolerance
- Does not give the individual a high when taken in the correct dosage
These clinics allow the individual to receive his or her proper dose of methadone under the supervision of a health professional while still maintaining an active life. According to The MORE Center of Louisville, Kentucky, “if a patient drives or has a job that requires good reflexes or precision, their abilities are not affected by the methadone, when it is taken properly as prescribed.”
There are often many other services available in these methadone treatment centers, such as:
- Referral to other facilities for health specific issues
- Personal counselors assigned to patients
- Urine drug screenings
Depending on the patient, these treatments may be offered or mandatory, in compliance with the health professionals on staff and government regulations.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that we now recognize that “addiction is a medical disorder not amenable to one-size-fits-all treatment. […] Different patients, at different times, could need vastly different services.” This is why methadone clinics are important to many individuals’ recoveries from opiate abuse. Recovery is an ongoing process and, according to Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. “Methadone maintenance is a long-term treatment. Length of treatment varies, from a year or two to 20 years or more.” Once an individual begins at a methadone treatment center, it could aid his or her recovery for a very long time.
Methadone treatment centers are important parts of many former opiate addicts’ recoveries and lives. Methadone is prescribed safely and beneficially to patients, and there are also other treatments offered and strict guidelines that both staff and patients adhere to. These treatment centers are incredibly helpful in the day-to-day lives of people living with opiate addiction.