5 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Methadone Maintenance Treatment

research methadone treatment

What will methadone treatment be like?

What if I fail?

What will my family think?

Can I afford it?

If you’re considering methadone maintenance programs for opioid addiction treatment, your mind is probably swirling with questions. And those questions often boil down to one thing: fear.

You may fear the unknown. You may fear opioid withdrawal. You may fear failure…or success. From the methadone maintenance process to its cost, it is common for people who are seeking methadone treatment to face multiple fears.

How can you overcome those fears and move forward with successful outpatient treatment? Try using the following tips.

#1 Do Your Research on Methadone Maintenance

Fear of the unknown can keep you from seeking treatment. So, make things more known. Do some research (which you’ve already started by reading this blog!) Look into treatment options and read about methadone maintenance programs available near you. Find out what you can expect. Learn what the methadone maintenance process is like.

You can’t predict every detail about any new experience, but this research can at least calm some of your fears. You won’t feel like you’re going into it blind. This knowledge can take your anxiety down several notches so you don’t have to fear the unknown.

#2 Let Methadone Maintenance Ease Opioid Detox

Maybe you’ve heard scary stories about opioid detox. The truth is – it can be tough. But it will be so much easier if you go through it with help.

If you’re in addiction treatment when you stop using, you’ll receive help from medical professionals. You’ll be able to receive methadone and other treatments to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. This is safer and less painful than detoxing at home…all alone.

With excellent support around you to see you through the opioid detox process, you can rest assured you’ll have the help you need. And keep in mind, this phase is only temporary. Once you’re past these symptoms, you’re on your way to recovery and a healthier life. So if you get professional help with methadone maintenance as you detox, you won’t need to fear withdrawal.

#3 Find Affordable Treatment With Methadone Maintenance  

Sure, movie stars spend thousands of dollars a day on treatment in spa-like rehab centers. But don’t worry, there are much more affordable options for the rest of us. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to afford treatment, it’s easy to get past this fear. Simply look at the wealth of options available – like methadone maintenance treatment.

There are state-sponsored methadone maintenance programs available at low cost – some are even no cost. Other outpatient treatment facilities may offer sliding scale payments or payment plans. Some government-funded programs offer public assistance.

Changes in our federal laws made mental health services – including treatment for addiction – a mandatory condition for health insurance coverage. The same goes for Medicare and Medicaid, too. And methadone maintenance is generally included in the list of covered services.

The bottom line is – there are affordable options for methadone maintenance treatment, so don’t let fear of cost be a barrier to sobriety.

#4 Take Your Time With the Recovery Process

There’s a reason AA programs use the phrase “one day at a time.” The thought of change can be scary. And if you sit down and think about all the changes and challenges you’ll face getting sober, it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

Yes, you’ll be making big changes. But you don’t have to focus on the big picture all at once. These changes will happen over time…with small, gradual changes along the way. Your methadone maintenance treatment will be planned out taking small steps forward. You only have to take one thing at a time. One step at a time. One day at a time. Just stay right here in the present and focus on that one next step. You don’t have to fear the future.

#5 Get Your Support System in Place

Nobody wants to walk out onto a rickety bridge that looks like it’s ready to collapse. You’d feel better about walking across a bridge that’s well-supported, right? Do the same for your recovery!

As you take steps to get treatment, put supports in place that will make your path easier – and less scary. These supports fall into two main categories: internal and external.

  • Internal supports are practical things you can do to improve your health and outlook. These steps help you learn to cope with challenges and avoid relapse. They include exercise, a healthy diet, consistent rest, and activities that help you relax.
  • External supports are the many resources available to you through others. Treatment often includes support groups and personal counseling. Others have been where you are, and they are ready to help. Tap into these resources as you seek treatment.

With strong internal and external supports in place, you can step into outpatient methadone maintenance treatment with more confidence. And that means you don’t have to let fear – or anything else – stop you from crossing that bridge and embracing recovery.

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