Understanding the Pros and Cons of Methadone

Overcoming an opiate addiction can be one of the biggest challenges a person ever faces. Opiate drugs, such as heroin and morphine, can be extremely addictive. Some people start off slow, thinking they will never become addicted, just to find that things have taken a turn for the worse.

If you find yourself addicted to an opiate and unsure of how to make a better life for yourself, there is one question you need to answer: which treatment strategy offers the best chance of success?

Like many, you may not know the first thing about opiate addiction treatment. You may believe the only way to overcome this problem is to quit cold turkey. While this is an idea to consider, it can be difficult to take on this responsibility without professional help.

With the opiate addiction rate on the rise in the United States, more and more people are looking into the steps they can take to put their abuse in the past.

What is Methadone?

methadone risks and benefits

Methadone can help you overcome opiate addiction, but as with all medications there are some risks.

Methadone maintenance treatment has been in use since the 1960’s. Over the years, many people have successfully turned to this treatment strategy. It may not be a full proof way of beating an opiate addiction, but when compared to other options it has a high rate of success.

Many people are confused at how methadone can help them beat an opiate addiction. There is a reason for this: methadone is an opiate based medication itself.

While this may sound counterproductive, the idea is that methadone therapy can help a person slowly wean off of opiates as opposed to a sudden withdrawal.

Benefits of Methadone Maintenance

The primary benefit of methadone maintenance is its ability to provide solid results in a reasonable period of time. This has worked for many others in the past, so there is no reason to believe that it won’t have a positive impact on your mind and body.

Another benefit of methadone treatment is its ability to help you avoid the low points often associated with withdrawal. This is not to say you will completely avoid all withdrawal symptoms. However, there is a good chance that these will not be nearly as strong.

Did you know that methadone clinics are available in all states throughout the country? Furthermore, there are both public and private facilities. This is truly a benefit, as it makes it simple for you to find the help you need without delay.

Drawbacks of Methadone Maintenance

The primary drawback of methadone maintenance is the idea that you could become addicted to this drug as you wean yourself off another type of opiate. This is a definite concern, however, your medical team should be able to help with this.

What about the side effects? Unfortunately, there are side effects associated with methadone maintenance treatment. While most of these can be controlled, it all depends on how your body responds. Some of the most common side effects associated with this treatment strategy include:

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Frequent urination

Once your methadone treatment plan comes to an end, you will be looking towards the future. Unfortunately, this is also the time that some people begin to crave methadone, as their body has become used to the drug. For some, it is necessary to enter drug treatment to beat these cravings and to ensure that the addiction does not become a serious problem.

Learn More Before Starting

It is easy to get so excited about methadone maintenance treatment that you never consider the finer details. There are many things you should do before getting started.

First and foremost, make sure you compare this treatment strategy to others, such as checking into a rehab facility. Until you know all your options you will never be able to make an informed and confident decision.

Another thing you can do is this: contact a local methadone treatment facility to ask questions. This will give you a clear understanding of what you are getting into if you move forward. Some of the most important questions to ask include:

  • How much experience do you have in treating opiate addiction?
  • What is your success rate?
  • How much will it cost to get started, and is the treatment covered by my health insurance?
  • Is there a waiting list, and if so, how long will it take for me to get a spot?
  • How often will I have to visit the clinic for treatment?
  • What should I expect as I get started?

By asking these questions, you can begin to collect information that will help you formulate a clear picture of what the future holds. Some people like what they hear, immediately visiting a facility in person and learning how to get started. Others begin to second guess this decision, and want to learn more about other strategies before doing anything else.

When you understand the pros and cons of methadone maintenance treatment, it becomes easier for you to know what others have gone through before you, what you will go through in the future, and how to reach all your goals.

Overcoming an opiate addiction is never simple, but many before you have done so with a high degree of success. If you find yourself looking for answers, learn as much as possible about this type of addiction. Along with this, don’t forget to collect information related to methadone maintenance, including the advantages and potential drawbacks.

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