Is Inpatient Methadone Treatment Right for Me?
Opiate addiction treatment encompasses a wide range of treatment approaches and interventions, each of which works to help those in recovery work through different stages of the recovery process. As everyone experiences addiction and its effects in different ways, finding the treatment program that best meets your treatment needs offers the best likelihood of a successful recovery outcome.
Opiates can leave the brain and body in a debilitated state long after a person stops abusing the drug. Consequently, opiate addictions carry a high relapse rate, with some people resuming drug use after years of continued abstinence. Inpatient methadone treatment programs specialize in helping people with a long history of opiate addiction overcome the ongoing aftereffects of addiction in their lives.
As long-term drug users often develop other disorders during the course of drug use, inpatient methadone treatment programs employ a comprehensive approach when treating addiction problems.
Certain factors regarding your drug history, past efforts to stop using as well as your current physical and psychological health status can help in deciding whether inpatient methadone treatment is right for you.
According to the University of Maryland, methadone, a synthetically made opiate, belongs to the same class of drugs as morphine and prescription pain pills. Methadone’s synthetic make-up allows for a gradual, slow-acting effect as opposed to how other addictive opiates work. This slow-acting effect does not produce a “high,” which accounts for the addictive potential found in other opiate drugs.
As an opiate medication, methadone can relieve the withdrawal and cravings effects addicts struggle with in recovery. Inpatient methadone treatment programs use the drug’s therapeutic effects to help addicts function normally, which in turn enables them to take a more active role in the treatment process. During the course of inpatient methadone treatment, the drug acts as a type of physical support for the brain in light of the damage caused by long-term drug use.
Inpatient treatment programs take place within live-in facilities that provide 24-hour monitoring and supervision. More oftentimes than not, an inpatient program will offer detoxification treatment followed by ongoing, day-to-day treatment for the duration of the program, which can run anywhere from 30 days to six months long.
Inpatient methadone treatment programs incorporate methadone therapy into their overall treatment approach. Once a person completes the detox stage, inpatient treatment entails addressing the psychological effects of addiction in his or her life. This entails getting at the roots of the addiction problem as well as developing relapse prevention strategies.
The Need for Structure
Chronic opiate addictions breed chaotic lifestyles that center around getting and using drugs. For someone struggling with a chronic opiate addiction, structure and stability become essential aspects of the recovery process. Anyone who needs inpatient methadone treatment will likely benefit from the highly structured environment found in these programs.
Inpatient methadone treatment programs require patients to follow a set schedule of treatment sessions throughout the course of their stay. In effect, these requirements enable those in recovery to develop the mindset and coping skills needed to maintain abstinence for the long-term.
Over the past decade, opiate addiction rates have seen new highs as new types of prescription pain pills flood the market. What starts out as a recreational activity can quickly turn into an everyday habit, at which point the body has come to depend on the drug’s effects.
In the case of severe addiction, both the body and the mind come to depend on opiates. At this point, the addict believes he or she needs the drug to make it through the day. Once a person develops a severe addiction problem, attempts to stop using likely prove unsuccessful even in cases where drug treatment help was sought in the past.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, the more severe the addiction the greater the need for inpatient methadone treatment. Someone who’s made multiple failed attempts to stop using may well benefit from inpatient methadone treatment.
Someone who’s abused opiates for any length of time has experienced the emotional ups and downs that come with chronic drug use. Opiates inflict the greatest degree of damage on the brain’s chemical system, the same system that regulates emotions and thought processes. In effect, opiates create a state of chemical imbalance where emotional instability and mental confusion take root.
Over time, chemical imbalances in the brain worsen to the point where other psychological disorders can develop. For these reasons, inpatient methadone treatment programs treat a person’s addiction problem as well as any psychological disorders caused by long-term drug use. In doing so, inpatient methadone treatment programs can greatly reduce the likelihood of relapse by eliminating much of the emotional discomfort associated with the co-occurring condition.
Psychosocial Treatment Interventions
Psychosocial treatment interventions make up a large part of any addiction treatment program. This is especially the case with inpatient methadone treatment. Psychosocial interventions work to help addicts replace the addiction mindset with healthy coping skills and behaviors.
The types of psychosocial interventions used in inpatient methadone treatment may include –
- Individual psychotherapy
- Support group work
- Drug education counseling
- Group therapy
Long-Term Maintenance Treatment
For many in recovery, withdrawal and cravings aftereffects make it especially difficult to maintain ongoing abstinence. Since most people who enter inpatient methadone treatment struggle with chronic addiction problems, many programs offer long-term methadone maintenance treatment options.
In order to provide the level of treatment a person needs, inpatient programs may well administer methadone for the duration of the program and then refer a person to a local methadone treatment facility afterwards.
Long-term maintenance treatment may also include other types of referrals depending on a person’s individual treatment needs. Referrals may be made for –
- Ongoing psychotherapy
- Continued attendance at local 12 Step support group meetings
- Ongoing medication treatment for co-occurring conditions
Ultimately, determining whether inpatient methadone treatment is right for you has as much to do with the severity of your addiction as it does your personal preference. What’s most important is getting the level of treatment most needed to ensure continued abstinence after drug treatment ends.