How Does Methadone Treatment Work: The Basics

One of the most dangerous and challenging epidemics facing society is the abuse of and addiction to opiates. Despite numerous attempts at educating the public of these dangers, the problem continues to grow.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome addiction. One of the most commonly used and successful methods of overcoming opiate addiction is methadone treatment. So, how does methadone treatment work?

How Methadone Works in the Brain and Body

Methadone is a medication that is, itself, an opiate. Methadone bonds to the same chemical receptors in the brain that opiates do, but it acts in different ways. It:

  • Reduces pain
  • Reduces or eliminate cravings for opiates
  • Prevents the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms
  • Allows users to function normally without the sedation, confusion, and other debilitating effects of opiate abuse

This makes methadone a very useful tool in the fight against opiate dependence and addiction.

Methadone and Tapering

Methadone Treatment Work

Methadone reduces drug cravings and eases withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone is not meant to be used forever. However, since it produces dependence, it is necessary to take certain steps when stopping methadone use in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleeplessness
  • joint and muscle aches
  • Mood swings

The best way to avoid these symptoms is to slowly taper off, or reduce, the dosage of methadone until you are drug free.

For help finding a methadone treatment center, call 800-994-1867Who Answers? today.

Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Methadone maintenance treatment is used for people that either have a severe addiction to opiates, or have a history of relapse. A stable methadone dosage is administered regularly to prevent cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and further opiate abuse. This treatment method may require you to take methadone for a long period of time before you begin to taper off.

This extended treatment protocol helps ensure that you are ready to live without drugs before you have to give them up completely. This method is not right for everyone and only an addiction treatment center can tell you if it is best for your situation.

Counseling and Support Treatment

Methadone alone is not a treatment for opiate addiction. It is only a tool to help addicts properly engage in the therapy and counseling necessary to affect real and meaningful change. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, combining behavioral therapies, counseling, and other support services with methadone treatment can help patients in a number of ways. These include:

  • Preventing relapse
  • Reducing rates of HIV and other infectious diseases related to opiate abuse
  • Allowing addicts to become stable and productive
  • Reducing the chances of overdose death
  • Lowering the rates of repeat criminal offenders

These benefits show the necessity of counseling and support services to a successful methadone treatment program.

Finding Methadone Treatment

Understanding how methadone treatment can help you overcome an opiate addiction does not end your addiction. Though methadone treatment centers are many, finding the one that best fits your needs can seem impossible. Get the help you need by calling 800-994-1867Who Answers? today, and start your path to recovery.

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