How Long Is Methadone Treatment for Addiction
Opioid addiction is tough to overcome, but it is not impossible. And even though it may seem like the end of the world at some times, with the right effort, you can end it. If you or your loved one has struggled with this issue and sought treatment, you may have heard about methadone treatment.
Read on to find out more about this drug addiction treatment and how long is methadone treatment for addiction.
If you’re still confused about what methadone is, here’s a better way of understanding it: methadone is to opioid addiction what aspirin is to headaches. Or a more apt allegory would be that it is similar to what insulin is to diabetes.
Either way, it is hard to determine exactly how long it may take an opioid addict to recover after they start taking methadone. As with any medical treatment, there are a lot of factors that determine how long the treatment will last.
It is important to note that methadone doesn’t have any side effects. Therefore, a patient can use the treatment as long as they benefit from it. The best thing you can do in such a condition is to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. If you notice any unusual side effects, make sure to bring them up at your next appointment. Even though it doesn’t have any major side effects, it is always a good idea to keep your healthcare provider on speed dial.
Sometimes, a patient might continue taking methadone in small doses for years to reduce the risk of relapse. And while this may have a positive effect, other people prefer going medication-free after they are free of addiction. In reality, neither option is objectively better than the other; it all comes down to personal preference.
However, it is important to discuss whichever option you choose with your healthcare provider. In some cases, patients are prescribed moderate doses for a longer period than usual if there is a higher chance of relapse.
As long as you follow the methadone treatment properly, you can safely take it for as long as you need.
Other Frequently Asked Questions about Methadone
If you’re receiving or thinking about opting for methadone treatment, it is crucial that you be aware of what you’re getting into. Following are some frequently asked questions about methadone treatment that may cross your mind.
· How long has methadone treatment been used as a treatment for opium addiction?
Methadone has been available as the main medication for opioid addiction for the longest time. Prior to this, there was no major medication that could be used by people recovering from opioid addiction, and instead had to depend on their own willpower and lifestyle changes. The earliest records of the treatment being used on opioid addicts date back to 1947. However, there is a high chance that it has been used for longer than that.
· Can methadone treatment alone help you overcome opioid addiction?
While methadone treatment can prove to be very beneficial while recovering from opioid addiction, it may not be able to treat the condition by itself. It is recommended that recovering addicts join a recovery program that includes other medical services and counseling as well. This will ensure a much better chance for complete recovery as patients will receive proper medical assistance and encouragement to reduce and eventually give up their urges.
· Can I take methadone with other drugs?
If you’re on methadone treatment, chances are that your healthcare provider will restrict you from using any other drugs. However, there are cases where a patient is prescribed another drug along with methadone to improve the chance of recovery.
Always discuss these concerns with your healthcare provider to be aware of the situation. Only combine multiple drugs if prescribed. It is recommended to give up on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs while undergoing methadone treatment, as they can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment while also increasing health risks.
· Who is methadone treatment prescribed to?
Generally, methadone treatment is beneficial for people struggling with opioid addiction. However, there are certain other addiction and health conditions where patients may benefit from this treatment. Therefore, doctors can prescribe this treatment to anyone who might need it.
There aren’t any medical conditions or illnesses that may prevent one from using methadone. Basically, there are no eligibility criteria for methadone treatment. If your doctor prescribes it and you are willing to undergo the treatment, you are suitable for it.
· How harmful is opioid addiction?
Opioids are components that naturally occur in opium poppy plants. This component has a variety of effects on the brain, such as blocking pain signals between the body and the brain. Hence, the component is extracted to create mild painkillers. Some people also experience a feeling of relaxation or a “high” after taking these painkillers, which makes them addictive.
As a result, a lot of people start abusing these drugs and take them in higher doses. This is how street drugs like heroin became common. In moderation, opium can be very useful. However, it becomes harmful when people start abusing it.
· Are there any side effects or dangers of using methadone for longer periods of time?
The most basic tablets and medications in your house can still be harmful if not used properly. Even Aspirin or Xanax can have lethal consequences if used by people who aren’t suited for these medications, and an overdose of Paracetamol can cause a painful death.
Similarly, methadone may have some side effects if mishandled or used by the wrong people. However, if you don’t self-prescribe and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully, there is a low chance you will suffer any side effects.
If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Consider visiting MAT Texas for a consultation. We help create treatment plans according to the patient’s specific needs and will do our best to help you overcome your addiction.