Methadone Withdrawal Treatment Options for Women
More oftentimes than not, women affected by addiction come from physically and/or sexually abusive backgrounds, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As much as 70 percent of women drug users were sexually abused before their 16th birthday. Considering the emotional toll this type of background brings, escaping into drug addiction seems a likely pursuit.
Methadone, a commonly used treatment for opiate addictions, has an addiction potential of its own. Methadone is a synthetic opiate drug that’s less addictive than other opiates and delivers long-acting effects. Methadone dependence develops in the same way as any other type of prescription drug dependence does, whether it be:
- Taking more than prescribed
- Mixing the drug with alcohol or other drugs
- Continuing to use opiates while taking methadone
- Receiving methadone treatment for long time periods
Methadone withdrawal treatment options for women provide a gradual course of care designed to enable a person to live without the need for drugs. When considering methadone withdrawal treatment, keep in mind that recovering from an opiate addiction entails a process in which the body learns to function normally without the drug’s effects.
Detox Treatment Options
Women who suffer from methadone addiction often develop other serious health problems before actually seeking treatment. Inpatient methadone withdrawal treatment programs provide medical care for conditions caused by an addiction during the detox period. As other health problems, such as malnutrition can make the detox stage that much more difficult, treating auxiliary conditions gives recovering addicts a better chance at recovery.
Detox options for methadone withdrawal treatment come in three forms:
- Gradual detox
- Traditional detox
- Rapid detox
Gradual detox entails gradually tapering methadone doses down over a period of time. Traditional detox uses a form of drug replacement therapy, such as Suboxone to help minimize withdrawal effects. Rapid detox uses a general anesthetic during the initial stages of detox to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Detox options for methadone withdrawal treatment typically take place in a detox facility, though some inpatient programs do offer detox treatment. Program lengths can vary depending on the extent of a person’s addiction, ranging anywhere from 28 days to two months. Considering the high potential for relapse with opiate addictions, women suffering from severe addictions would most likely require inpatient methadone withdrawal treatment care after successfully completing a detox program.
Maintenance Treatment Options
Much like the role methadone plays in helping recovering addicts abstain from opiate use, many women will require medication maintenance treatment to help keep methadone cravings and withdrawal effects at a minimum. Granted, most of the drugs used for maintenance treatment, such as Suboxone and Subutex are also opiate-based medication, they carry a considerably lower risk of addiction compared to methadone.
Considering the psychological and emotional issues women contend with in treatment, psychotherapy and 12-step program social supports should play a central role in the methadone withdrawal treatment process. While medication replacement therapies will help relieve drug cravings and withdrawal effects, not treating the psychological and behavioral components of addiction essentially leaves the root of the addiction problem untreated.