What is a Methadone Clinic?

As far as addiction rates go, opiate ranks second only to alcohol with increasing numbers of people falling prey to the opiate addiction cycle every year. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 2.1 million Americans battled some form of opiate abuse disorder in 2012.

After so many months or years of chronic opiate abuse, the question, “what is a methadone clinic” is bound to come up once a person finds him or herself unable to stop using. For people who’ve exhausted most all available treatment options, knowing the answer to “what is a methadone clinic” may well mark a turning point in their battle to overcome opiate addiction.

What is a Methadone Clinic? – Methadone Replacement Therapy

What is a methadone clinic starts with an understanding of methadone’s role in the treatment process. Opiate addictions cause considerable disruption within the brain’s chemical system. Even after a person stops using, the aftereffects of addiction make it difficult to maintain abstinence for any length of time.

Methadone is also an opiate drug, synthetically made and formulated to produce slow-acting effects, according to the University of Washington. Treatment clinics use methadone as a type of replacement therapy, which works to wean the brain off the effects of addictive opiates.

What is a Methadone Clinic? – Treatment Provisions

Methadone Administration

Methadone’s classification as an opiate narcotic places it under strict regulatory controls. Consequently, methadone clinics must administer the drug according to federally mandated guidelines.

methadone administration

There are specific guidelines for methadone administration.

Methadone helps to reduce the drug cravings and withdrawal effects left behind by chronic opiate abuse, according to Columbia Psychiatry. As methadone produces slow, long-acting effects, daily doses of the drug provide relief for a 24-hour period. For these reasons, people receiving methadone treatment must frequent the clinic on a daily basis to obtain their daily dose.

Psychosocial Treatment

What is a methadone clinic has as much to do with treating addiction’s psychological effects as administering methadone replacement therapy. Addiction’s psychological aftereffects can stay with a person for years after he or she stops using.

To help those in recovery undo the addiction mindset, methadone clinics offer psychosocial treatment in the form of:

  • One-on-one psychotherapy
  • Group therapy work
  • 12 Step support groups
  • Drug education and counseling
  • Vocational assistance
Mental Health Treatment Provisions

While methadone does play a central role in the treatment process, many recovering addicts also battle mental health problems as a result of chronic opiate abuse. When addiction and mental illness exist side-by-side, it’s essential to treat both conditions together or else a person remains at high risk of relapse. For these reasons, the answer to “what is a methadone clinic” incorporates mental health treatment as a part of the overall program approach.

Who’s a Good Candidate for Methadone Clinic Treatment?

Where other drug treatment approaches have failed, methadone clinic treatment often becomes the addict’s best last chance at success in recovery. In this respect, what is a methadone clinic amounts to the “treatment of last resort” for people who’ve gone in and out of drug treatment programs with little to no progress to show for it.

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