Do Methadone Clinics Offer Counseling?

It’s not uncommon for people battling chronic opiate addictions to experience multiple failed attempts at rehab. In cases where other forms of opiate addiction rehab have proven unsuccessful, methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) offers hope for many who feel they’re at the end of their rope.

Part of the reason why MMT works has to do with the counseling requirement built into methadone clinic programs. The MMT approach emphasizes the importance of combining methadone medication with ongoing psychosocial treatments.

For this reason, most methadone clinic programs provide counseling, psychotherapy and other social supports designed to help recovering addicts develop drug-free lifestyles.

Methadone Maintenance Treatment Programs

While opiate addictions no doubt take a physical toll on recovering addicts, there’s a psychological component to contend with as well. As a treatment medication, methadone helps keep withdrawal effects and drug cravings in check, which incidentally are the two biggest challenges addicts face in recovery.

Even with methadone, addicts must still cope with the habits and behaviors that drive drug-seeking behaviors. Methadone clinics work to eliminate the psychological aspect of addiction by requiring participants to take part in ongoing counseling treatment.

Counseling Goals

overcoming opiate addiction

Counseling is a very helpful component of MMT.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methadone clinics use counseling as a means for helping recovering addicts develop healthy, productive lifestyles. In the process, participants see improvements in their employment status, family lives and social interactions in general.

Drug counseling requirements directly correspond with a person’s progress in terms of abstaining from drug use. At the start of treatment, counseling sessions take place on a once per week basis. From there, session numbers may increase or decrease depending on whether a person remains drug-free.

Individual Psychotherapy

More oftentimes than not, long-time opiate addicts suffer from other psychological problems, such as depression and bipolar disorders. Someone living with an addiction and a psychological disorder is working against two sets of symptoms, both of which can drive addiction behaviors.

For this reason, methadone clinics include individual psychotherapy treatment as a part of the counseling requirement. Through ongoing psychotherapy treatment, recovering addicts work through the underlying issues that drive psychological dysfunction. Psychotherapy also enables a person to develop the coping strategies needed to overcome the urge to use.

Group Therapy

Addiction often drives addicts to live isolative lifestyles made up of like-minded individuals with similar interests. Once a person enters recovery, learning to interact with others in healthy, productive ways is a big part of the drug treatment process.

Methadone clinic group therapy sessions create an atmosphere of support and encouragement for people who may feel isolated and ashamed of their pasts. Participants also develop needed communication skills for understanding themselves and others.

Social Supports

Establishing and maintaining a social support network becomes an essential part of living a drug-free lifestyle. In order to foster this practice, methadone clinics require participants to attend 12-Step support groups on a regular basis.

Twelve-step support groups provide recovering addicts with a roadmap for personal development as well as a means for remaining engaged in the recovery process. In effect, support groups become a long-term treatment approach for maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.