Methadone Maintenance Treatment vs. Methadone Withdrawal Treatment
When a person abuses opioids for at least a few months or longer, they often become dependent on these drugs and, likely, addicted to them. Methadone can be a helpful treatment solution, but it is important to know whether you prefer to receive methadone maintenance treatment or methadone withdrawal treatment as you begin to recover from your substance abuse.
Methadone Withdrawal Treatment
Often, medically assisted withdrawal can be the first step in a person’s overall recovery process for addiction. When a person uses methadone as a detox treatment, the drug minimizes their withdrawal symptoms as they are slowly weaned off it. Eventually, the individual does not feel any symptoms at all and can stop taking their medication. However, this does not mean they are no longer addicted to opioids.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Patients who go through medically assisted withdrawal but do not receive any further treatment show drug abuse patterns similar to those who were never treated.” Therefore, it is extremely necessary that patients make the decision with their doctor to start medically assisted withdrawal understand that they will require further treatment for their addiction to opioids.
Methadone withdrawal treatment is not a full treatment regimen for opioid addiction, but it can be the start of the process. However, the individual does not always need to withdraw quickly from the drug––or withdraw at all.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment
According to the National Institute of Justice, methadone maintenance “helps opioid-addicted patients alleviate withdrawal symptoms, reduce opioid cravings, and bring about a biochemical balance in the body in order to reduce the illicit use of opioids.” This is similar to the way the drug can be used as a detox treatment, but instead of the individual being weaned off it, they are stabilized or maintained on it, keeping them from experiencing the severe effects of quitting opioid abuse and allowing them to live their lives as well.
Another key difference is that, “in addition to administering medication, methadone maintenance treatment also involves providing patients with comprehensive rehabilitation services.” The program itself is often very well rounded, as it is an approved treatment for addiction, and some methadone maintenance centers offer additional methods and services such as:
- Individual and group therapy
- Support group meetings
- Family and couples therapy
- HIV prevention and education
- Vocational and housing services
- Drug testing
Methadone maintenance, unlike detox using the same medication, is a comprehensive treatment program for addiction. A patient can often receive many different services from these clinics, and if they decide they are ready to stop taking methadone, they can eventually be weaned off it through medically assisted detox. Many people make this choice and, therefore, wind up using both methods over time. Some people on maintenance, however, choose not to go off the medication and stay on it for years or for the rest of their lives.
Do You Want to Learn More about Your Methadone Treatment Options?
Call 800-994-1867Who Answers? today. We can help you find methadone centers in your area as well as decide which option involving the medication is right for you.