How Does Inpatient Methadone Treatment Work?
Getting started on an inpatient methadone treatment program may be necessary to overcome an addiction to opiate drugs. Methadone has been proven to be an effective treatment method in helping opiate addicted individuals to safely withdraw from opiates and get a chance at improving their living standards. Methadone treatment can save the life of a person from possible death that can come from frequent drug use. It also increases the chances for the addict to participate in therapy.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methadone treatment has been shown to increase participation in behavioral therapy and decrease both drug use and criminal behavior. The goal of treatment is not just to stop drug abuse, but for the individual to be able to return to productive functioning with their family, work, and their community.
How Does Inpatient Methadone Treatment Process Work?
The treatment process for methadone may not be exactly the same for everyone at a facility. Depending on the needs of an individual, one may require additional services than another. Factors like length of time on opiate type drugs, severity of the addiction, and the possibility of a co-occurring disorder can make the process differ from others. In most cases, treatment can work as follows:
- Assessment: The individual that is to receive treatment is screened for level of opiate dependence. This can include a physical examination, and may also be screened for any mental illness. By properly assessing the individual, a treatment plan can be created that meets their needs.
- Detoxification: The detox process helps to rid the body of the toxins left from opiate drugs. A trained staff is available 24-hour daily to assist patient with any discomfort, answer questions, and any medical emergency that may develop.
- Medication-assisted treatment: A medical professional will administer the dosages of methadone required to help alleviate the pains from withdrawal and reduce the cravings that many experience while detoxing from opiates.
- Counseling: When the detox process has settled and a patient is stable, counseling can begin. While the heroin or opiate may have been eliminated from the body, the psychological effects can still stay present. To avoid relapse and continue treatment towards long-term recovery, counseling is vital. Especially if the individual suffers from a mental illness.
- Aftercare treatment: Once a patient has completed inpatient methadone treatment and is ready to leave the facility, a follow-up plan is important to make sure the patient does not return to using opiates and to continue receiving any other services required to sustain recovery from the opiate drugs they were using.
It is important to continue with the aftercare plan offered in order to avoid relapse. This can mean attending group or individual counseling sessions, visits to facility for prescription medication, doctor check-ups, and if necessary –visiting a psychiatrist for mental health care.
How Long Will Treatment at an Inpatient Facility Last?
The length of stay for inpatient methadone treatment will vary from one individual to the next. Treatment must meet the needs of the addicted person for the best chance of success. Someone can be in treatment for 30 to 90 days, or maybe longer depending on the severity of the addiction and health complications the individual has experienced.
If you or a loved one have concerns about methadone treatment at an inpatient facility, then speaking to a substance abuse specialist or health professional can help guide you in the right direction to obtain the help you need.