How Can I Help My Friend Stay on Methadone?
If your friend has decided to receive methadone maintenance treatment, this could help cause a very beneficial change in their life as well as minimize their abuse of dangerous drugs, their risk of criminal activity, and their chance of transmitting or contracting deadly diseases. There are also ways in which you can help your friend stay on methadone by becoming involved in their treatment.
Transportation and Company
It can be difficult for someone to go to methadone treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Methadone is taken daily,” and because the program is so heavily regulated that the patient is not able to take their medication home with them for a long time, the individual must visit the clinic once a day in most cases. Helping your friend get to their appointments by offering to drive them on certain days can make the trip easier and allow them to only focus on how they will get to treatment on the remaining days. It can be very helpful to pick them up from treatment as well.
In addition, this sort of act also shows how much you support your friend’s attendance of methadone treatment. It is a small action you can take to show them you care that requires minimal time out of your day. If they do not need a ride, you can offer to ride or walk with them to treatment so they have your company on the trip.
Offer Support and Help
There are many of other ways you can offer support besides going to and from treatment with them. You can attend certain sessions, if allowed, and may even be able to talk to other people at the facility who have loved ones in treatment too. This can help you learn how to better support your friend by listening to the advice of people who have been there.
You can also offer to help them out while they are attending treatment by:
- Watching or caring for their children
- Cleaning their house or cooking for them
- Offering to stay with them, especially if they are in outpatient care
The final option can be necessary for those going through opioid addiction treatment who do not currently have a roommate or family member living with them. This is because, according to the journal of Biological Psychiatry, “Depression is common among opiate-dependent patients and has been associated with worse prognosis” as well as suicidal thoughts and feelings during treatment.
Your Support Will Lengthen Their Treatment
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the “degree of support from family and friends” is one of the individual factors related to “engagement and retention” in treatment. By showing your friend you support them with actions as well as words and being there to help pick up the slack while they are attending treatment, you can help them stay on methadone for a much longer period of time than they may have without your help.