Methadone Treatment FAQ
If you or any of your loved ones have struggled with opioid addiction and sought treatment for it, chances are that you’re aware of what methadone is. Methadone treatment is to opioid addiction what insulin is to diabetes. Or in even simpler terms, what aspirin is to headaches.
Some people may argue that you don’t need medication, as addictions aren’t the same as medical or physical ailments; they may say that people struggling with addiction should try to alter their behavior by changing their habits. However, it isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Even if a person has a strong desire to quit their addiction, the withdrawal symptoms may be very challenging to overcome.
Such people may use methadone to ease their symptoms. Read on for some common methadone treatment FAQs and their answers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Methadone Treatment
A treatment that has been used for so long is bound to raise some questions that are frequently asked by the addicts as well as their family, friends, and loved ones. If you too have some questions about methadone treatment that you feel are mundane, you might find the answers here.
· 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.
· Why is opioid addiction harmful?
Opioids are a component that naturally occurs 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.
· How long does methadone treatment last?
With any medication, the treatment cycle lasts as long as the patient need; and that is the case with methadone as well. As long as there are no side effects of the treatment program, the patient can use it as long as they benefit from it. However, if the healthcare provider believes that the treatment program is causing any harm to the patient or may prove to be risky in the future, the treatment should be terminated immediately.
· How long has methadone treatment been used to treat opium addiction?
When it comes to treating opioid addiction, methadone is the medication that has been available the longest. 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.
· Is methadone treatment alone enough to 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 methadone be dangerous or harmful?
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.
· Can methadone be taken 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 rare cases where you may be prescribed another drug along with methadone if it improves the chance of recovery. Always discuss these concerns with your healthcare provider to be aware of the situation and only combine multiple drugs if you are prescribed to. That being said, 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 and also increase health risks.
· Can I take methadone for the rest of my life?
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. The truth is that neither option is objectively better than the other, and it all comes down to personal preference. However, it is important to discuss whichever option you choose with your healthcare provider. In some cases, you might be prescribed moderate doses for a longer period than usual if there is a higher chance of relapse.
· Are urine tests necessary?
To evaluate whether methadone treatment is having a positive effect on the patient, a variety of laboratory tests may be required; this may include frequent urine tests. However, it should be left to the healthcare provider to determine how frequently you need to undergo any tests and the conclusion that are drawn from them. Your healthcare provider understands your unique case better than anyone else, so they are better suited to alter your treatment according. However, it is always okay to get a second opinion if it makes you feel comfortable.
Opioid addiction can be hard to overcome, but it isn’t impossible. With some patients, resilience, and the right treatment, you can become better than you ever expected. If you’re looking for a recovery program in Texas, consider visiting MAT Texas for a consultation as soon as possible.