What Should I Ask My Doctor Before Going on Methadone?

When you are trying to decide whether or not to start methadone maintenance, it is important to discuss the option with your doctor beforehand. If you want to find treatment centers that provide methadone and other methods necessary for your recovery, call 800-994-1867Who Answers? now.

Finding Out If Methadone is for You

Talking to your doctor before you decide to go on methadone can help you find out if the medication––and its surrounding treatment program––is right for your needs as a patient. Your primary care physician will likely know your medical history as well as your history of substance abuse, but if you are discussing this with a new doctor, make sure to tell them this information.

  • Should I be on a medication to help me cope with my opioid addiction and end my abuse of these drugs?
  • Do you consider me to have a high level physical dependence on opioids?
  • Do you think I will need methadone in order to control my withdrawal symptoms, or would I be able to take a milder drug like buprenorphine?
  • Will methadone be safer for me to use than naltrexone?
  • Will it be able to treat any symptoms of pain I will encounter as well?

Finding Out the Length of Your Program

Going on Methadone

Ask your doctor how long you should expect to be on methadone.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “12 months is considered the minimum” amount of treatment time for methadone maintenance patients, “and some opioid-addicted individuals continue to benefit from… maintenance for many years” after.

It could help you immensely to talk to your doctor before you begin the program to find out a little about how long your particular program might be.

  • How long should I expect to be in methadone maintenance?
  • When should I start thinking about ending the program through medically assisted withdrawal?
  • Do I have any conditions that would cause me to experience problematic side effects by staying on the medication?
  • How often will my treatment program be reevaluated?

Finding Out the Safe Way to Use Methadone

Talk to your doctor about your situation and whether or not methadone will be the safest treatment for you. As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Methadone can be addictive, so it must be used exactly as prescribed.”

  • How can I best ensure that I do not have any issues with methadone abuse?
  • Would it be safer for me to attend treatment in a residential facility instead of an outpatient center?
  • How should I discuss with my methadone doctor any changes that I feel need to be made to my dosage?

Methadone Treatment Works

Obviously, you will need to attend treatment at a certified methadone clinic to receive the medication itself, and you should also direct many of these questions to your methadone doctor as well. The program does work, especially if the patient and their doctor work well together and the individual takes their recovery seriously.

Call 800-994-1867Who Answers? to find treatment centers with helpful and kind healthcare professionals and the treatment options that will best allow you to recover from opioid addiction.

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