Methadone Clinics: What are they, what to expect, and what to look for
There are many methadone clinics throughout the United States. At the start of the decade nearly 245,000 people were admitted into opiate treatment programs. In 2019 those numbers have grown significantly.
A methadone clinic is a place where a person who is addicted to opioid-based drugs, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, can receive medication-based therapy.
More than half of those admitted required maintenance and detoxification services via a specialist rehabilitation center. Patients receive Methadone, or the branded version known as Dolophine, which is itself an moderately strong opioid based drug. This treatment is often referred to as replacement therapy.
If you are seeking advice on the best Methadone clinic near you – keep reading below…….
What is Methadone used for?
In the United States methadone can be taken as a pill or in liquid and wafer forms. It is used to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms and can block the effects of other opiate pain medications, including morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, and other semi-synthetic opioids.
Treatment must be prescribed by a doctor and is highly regulated by various laws. However it is not a magic cure for addiction problems. Regardless it has still proven effective during the overall treatment and recovery process as part of a complete treatment program.
Why People Attend Methadone Clinics
There are actually a variety of circumstances in which a person might visit the clinic. The most obvious is to seek relief from daily struggles with opiate abuse. People can go to their appointment to fulfill the requirements of an ongoing drug treatment program. It’s also possible for someone who falls back on a habit to seek methadone to manage cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
Patients are asked about their history, potentially given blood and/or urinalysis tests, and informed about the treatment program, its goals, and its guidelines. Drug use history, co-occurring disorders, and the impact of substance abuse on life are assessed via a clinical evaluation.
Patients are also required to visit a methadone clinic to satisfy guidelines for receiving doses. Local regulations may dictate whether participants have to be present on a daily basis. Depending on the individual and the circumstances, one might be permitted to manage doses offsite and visit the clinic less frequently.
In addition, people might also visit a clinic to attend counseling sessions. Counseling can focus on relapse prevention, how to repair and rebuilt personal or professional relationships, or deal with stress. Group, family, and one-on-one sessions may be offered. The format can vary according to each client because some people attain stability more quickly while others take more time.
Methadone Risks and side effects
While the taking Methadone does not produce a high in like heroin, it can be abused like other opioid pain killers to induce the same results such sedation, relaxation, and reduction of anxiety.
Being an opioid it does have the risk of becoming addictive itself, but this drug usually does more good than harm to the thousands of people who are prescribed it. As part of treatment it is easy to reduce dosages unlike stronger narcotics.
Additionally it can be used safely in relatively high doses with less risk of overdose. As a result it became a good option for treatment commonly called Methadone Maintenance Therapy or MMT. Unfortunately approximately 5,000 people die each year as a result of abuse. Typically this happens when the drug has been combined with other substances, including alcohol and other prescription drugs.
Side Effects of Methadone
Methadone is a depressant – it slows down your nervous system and reactions. People taking the drug may appear more lethargic and their movements more exaggerated. Driving or operating dangerous equipment should be avoided while effected as the risk of accidents is increased.
Because the side effects can last longer than the short term high immediately after taking the drug, there is a large risk of overdosing if not taken as advised. With other more commonly abused narcotics the side effects and the high last a similar length of time. This means there is less chance of “stacking” with multiple doses to remain high and the side effects compounding.
It is common to suffer from mood swings when waiting for the next dose as levels of methadone drop. People react different and issues ranging from depression to extreme behavior can occur. This can affect the ability to carry on with normal life and personal relationships.
Often with short-term use, other common side effects can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slowed breathing
- Itchy skin
- Sexual problems
While these side effects are not of significant concern, extreme reactions could require immediate medical attention. The more worrying side effects of methadone are:
- trouble breathing or only able to take shallow breaths
- Becoming lightheaded or faint
- Developing hives or a rash
- Lips, tongue, throat, or face becoming swollen
- Chest pain or a rapid heart rate
- Experiencing hallucinations or confusion
Longer term use of the drug can lead to lung and heart problems. It can also affect women’s menstrual cycles. Lastly – as with any medication, doses and treatment needs to be considered during pregnancy due to the risk of any complications.
Additional treatment available from a good Methadone Clinic
The prescription of Methadone is sued to primarily address the physical addiction to opioids. However those needing addiction treatment often require additional medical support as a result of their previous lifestyle and poor decisions. Admitting to addiction and coming to terms with both existing environmental and emotional issue typically requires counseling.
HIV and Hepatitis are not uncommon with those attending Methadone treatment due to poor hygiene during previous drug abuse. Typically blood and urine samples are requested before starting treatment to screen for other medical issues.
Counseling and support groups are also important during rehab. Patients may have been abusing drugs to escape personal and emotional issues. Not addressing these issue will likely result in relapsing. Additionally coming to terms with being a drug addict and any poor choices that were made can have a profound effect on a person’s mental well-being.
Finding the Best Methadone Clinic Near You
The first step to recovering from opioid addiction is admitting there is a problem. The second step is finding the correct rehabilitation center.
While your Doctor’s advice should always be considered, finding the best clinic for you needs to consider numerous factors.
Firstly the clinic should be able to provide the full range of specialist medical and counseling services that may be required.
Additionally attending a specialist rehab center means they are familiar dealing with both private and government health insurance providers to ensure you get the best treatment your provider is will to support.
If you are looking to find the best addiction rehabilitation clinic near you call this number
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