Should I Choose Outpatient Methadone Treatment?
There are many treatment options when it comes to opiate addiction. Deciding which treatment is right for you might be confusing in some respects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Methadone is a safe, effective, treatment for Vicodin addiction. If you are wondering which drug addiction treatment you should choose, it is important to know all the facts. One popular treatment is outpatient methadone rehab. Before choosing outpatient rehab, you should know all about methadone as an outpatient option.
What is Methadone?
Methadone is an opiate agonist. It blocks opiates from binding to the opioid receptors in the brain. In this case, methadone stops opiates from binding and also stops a person from going into opiate withdrawal. When used in combination with other drugs it can almost completely stop opiate withdrawal.
Doctors usually prescribe methadone for opiate addiction and chronic pain. Not all doctors can prescribe methadone. It takes a special certification. The doctors who can prescribe it are usually addiction specialists found in addiction treatment centers or pain clinics.
What is Methadone Treatment?
Methadone treatment is a plan of action against opiate and opioid abuse. Methadone treatment does not only include the use of methadone to block the withdrawal it is a comprehensive treatment plan to help you get off and stay off the opiates. Most methadone treatment plans include:
- medication replacement therapy – methadone given as a drug to replace the opiates in your system. The methadone can stop withdrawal and help with the cravings.
- side medications to help with other symptoms – many doctors give medications that help combat the negative effects of long term opiate use.
- individual counseling – one on one sessions with a therapist to help conquer the cause of the addiction as well as the psychological problems associated with addiction.
- group counseling – sharing sessions and other group activities with other addicts, who can help you understand that you are not alone in your addiction. Other people struggle with it as well.
Depending on the plan, a treatment plan might include other elements as well. The rehab center might offer:
- employment counseling,
- school counseling,
- life skills training, and
- holistic practices.
Who needs Methadone Treatment?
Anyone who is addicted to an opiate can use methadone treatment. There are however, some treatment guidelines. These guidelines are:
- you must be 18 years or older. If you are not 18 you can still benefit from methadone treatment if you are between 16 and 18, you have your parents’ permission, and you have a long history of opiate use,
- you must be a heavy user. If you used opiates for over a year or are an extremely large amount normally.
- if you have tried other methods and failed. Many people use methadone as a last resort. Most people who resort to methadone use it when after they try other treatment methods and they relapse.
- Methadone maintenance is a good idea, if you still need to manage chronic pain even if you are addicted to opiates. Some people become addicted to opiates because they are prescribed them. They still have to manage the pain even after the addiction ends.
A doctor will help you decide whether methadone maintenance is a good fit for you.
What is Outpatient Methadone Treatment?
Outpatient methadone treatment is a treatment plan that involves you going to a treatment center daily for a dose of methadone. Once you take the methadone, it lasts for around 24 hours. The next day you go in for the next dose. The doctor starts at a specific amount and then raises it or lowers it depending on your symptoms.
Along with the medication, you will receive different forms of counseling to help you deal with the addiction as well as the chronic pain. The counseling sessions help you work around your triggers and craving, making it easier for you to remain sober and not relapse into your drug use.
Benefits of Outpatient Methadone Treatment
The main benefits of outpatient methadone treatment are:
- you are a home with your family and close friends during treatment. Family and friends usually lend support when you are recovering. They can help when you are having difficulty and feel as if you are going to relapse.
- you can continue your daily activities such as going to work or school. Being able to do normal things also helps in recovery. Many people begin to feel isolated and alone when they start recovery. Being at home helps you feel more in touch with your life.
- you can have treatment on your schedule. You go when you need to and are not forced to be in treatment 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
- it is usually less expensive than inpatient treatment.
- You can tailor your treatment to your issues. Holistic and other treatments can be more easily incorporated into the schedule.
Drawbacks of Outpatient Methadone Treatment
The main drawback of outpatient methadone treatment is simple. When you are home, you will be around all of the things that caused you to use drugs in the first place. Most people who remain in their home environment face their triggers without knowing how to effectively deal with them.
According to the National Library of Medicine, methadone when taken in large doses can be dangerous. This is not normally a drawback unless you do not take methadone as prescribed.
If you work or go to school and are addicted to opiates, outpatient methadone treatment might be for. If you want to know if you are a good fit for outpatient treatment, call us at 1-800-530-0431. We can help.