Methadone Abuse Treatment
Methadone is a synthetic opiate that is used legally to alleviate severe pain in patients; however, it is also amongst the most abused drugs in the US where currently almost 25% of all drug related deaths are related to methadone abuse.
Methadone is also used by medical practitioners to treat addicts of other opiates its effects last longer and is more readily available.
The drug works in the same way as a sedative and it was originally thought that as it takes a long time for the effects to be felt, it would be an unlikely candidate for abuse. Unfortunately this has turned out not to be true and today Methadone is abused by many people. Abuse for the drugs has largely been attributed to a recent crackdown on heroin which has made it not only very expensive but also difficult to get hold of. Methadone on the other hand is widely available and much more affordable making it a perfect substitute for opiates.
Treatment programs for methadone abuse has to start with a conscious decision by the patient to quit their habit, it doesn’t matter whether that decision is based on financial or health issues. The addict will then choose an appropriate treatment facility, however medical professionals will assist them in making this choice as success will depend on the most suitable facility and treatment being chosen.
In order to avoid the harsh consequences of rapid withdrawal the patient will be taken through a detoxification program. The duration of the program will depend on the individual patients’ situation and their level of abuse.
The detoxification program involves the patient taking medication to remove their dependency to Methadone and this medication stops the drug receptors while at the same time creating a field where the doctor can effectively control the symptoms. It should be noted that rapid detox is extremely dangerous and should only ever be conducted in the intensive care unit of an acute treatment hospital or clinic.
Another quitting alternative is for the addict to undergo a much slower reduction of the Methadone which is ingested into the system; this method is known as tapering. Most people consider that tapering is a better for the patient to stop taking methadone as the brain is given time to adjust to the lower levels of dopamine reaching the brain. If tapering is chosen, a patient can still be successfully weaned within about a month from starting the drug therapy.
Unfortunately the patient will still go on to experience withdrawal symptoms after they have finished the program and these can be very harsh as compared to other drugs and diseases as well as lasting for up to a month. It is the horrific discomfort of this process that cause many patients to abuse again.
For many people, recovery becomes a thorn in their side and they move from one treatment program to another hoping for better results and this is why choosing the correct treatment program is imperative.