Methadone Addiction Treatment
Methadone addictions pose a considerable threat to those in recovery, simply because of the high rates of overdose associated with methadone abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, an estimated 39.8 percent of all opiate overdose deaths in 2010 were methadone related. Likewise, the need for methadone addiction treatment continues to grow as more and more people seek help for opiate addiction problems.
Methadone addiction treatment approaches, in some ways, are more comprehensive than “standard” opiate addiction treatment due to certain contributing factors:
- People who qualify for methadone treatment typically struggle with more severe forms of opiate addiction
- Methadone’s long-acting effects allow the drug to remain in the body three times longer than other types of opiates, which also worsens the severity of the addiction.
- People entering methadone addiction treatment have already gone through at least one unsuccessful treatment program
Any one of these factors can impede a person’s progress in recovery, making it that much more likely a person will drop out of treatment without needed supports in place.
Treatment Approach for Methadone Addiction
Due to the unique challenges methadone addicts face, methadone addiction programs base any treatment interventions offered on a person’s individual treatment needs. People entering the program first undergo an extensive evaluation process to identify:
- Length of time using methadone
- Drug abuse history
- Past history of drug treatment
- Support system resources (friends, spouse, family)
- Medical history
- History of mental illness
- Family history of mental illness
Information gathered during the evaluation is then used to determine what types of treatment interventions will best address a person’s situation. Treatment interventions commonly used include –
- Medication therapies
- Group therapy
- Drug counseling
- Support group work
Medication therapies used in methadone addiction treatment work to relieve withdrawal and cravings effects, much like methadone is used in the treatment of opiate addictions. The types of drugs used include Suboxone and Subutex, both of which carry a considerably lower addiction potential than methadone.
Considering methadone’s use as a medication therapy has brought a person to this point, medication therapies are only used when absolutely necessary for treating methadone addiction. People with a long-standing history of methadone addiction would likely most benefit from this treatment approach, simply because of the degree of withdrawal and cravings that result from abusing methadone on a long-term basis.
Methadone addiction programs employ the same types of treatment settings as those used in opiate addiction treatment. Treatment program types include –
- Detox facilities
- Inpatient units
- Residential treatment programs
- Outpatient treatment programs
People struggling with a severe addiction problem often develop serious medical and/or psychological disorders along the way. Detox, inpatient and residential programs all provide 24-hour supervision and monitoring, each of which offers the level of structure and care needed to address severe addiction problems.
Residential and outpatient programs both provide ongoing treatment support after a person completes detox and/or inpatient care. With residential being the more intensive of the two, anyone coming off a long-term addiction will likely require residential treatment before working with an outpatient program.