How It Works and Is It Safe?
Since the 1960s, methadone has been prescribed within addiction recovery programs to aid individuals who are working to overcome addictions to opioids. With decades of clinical research behind it, methadone is an extremely safe and effective treatment option. Typically administered daily in the form of a liquid solution or dissolvable tablet, this medication works within a patient’s central nervous system in order to eliminate the symptoms of withdrawal and keep cravings for additional opioid use at bay.
When taken as prescribed and under the guidance of a trained medical professional, methadone is an extremely safe and non-toxic option for patients who are unable to break free from the dangerous cycle of opioid abuse. Experts have noted that the side effects of methadone are typically temporary and take place during the induction phase of treatment when a patient’s dosage is being adjusted.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises that methadone is a safe treatment option for pregnant women who are struggling with opioid addictions, as the use of methadone during pregnancy will not pose any detrimental health risks to the mother or her baby.
Like most medications, there are risks involved if methadone is taken outside if its prescribed guidelines. Overdosing on methadone is a reality for patients who take this medication for recreational purposes. In fact, one-third of all prescription medication-related fatalities that take place every year are due to overdosing on methadone. However, it is important to note that these fatalities are directly linked to the illegal use of methadone and not due to methadone use taken as prescribed within a medication assisted treatment program.
When taken as directed and under the supervision of a trained medical professional, methadone is an extremely safe treatment option for patients who are battling opioid addictions.
The Effectiveness of Methadone Treatment
Decades of research have confirmed the safety of methadone for the treatment of opioid addiction. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that treatment that utilizes this medication as a treatment option for addiction is currently the most effective form of treatment available. The CDC also notes the following successes directly linked to the use of methadone:
- Cessation or reduction in drug use
- Lowered risk of overdose
- Decreased chances of contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
- Increased average life expectancy
- Decreased chance of taking part in illegal activities
- Improved family stability and career potential
- Enhanced outcomes for pregnant women and their babies
When taken as directed and under the supervision of a trained medical professional, methadone is an extremely safe and effective treatment option for individuals who are struggling with addictions to opioids.
Benefits of Methadone Treatment Plus Counseling
Patients who are prescribed methadone must understand that the use of this medication is only one part of treatment. While methadone works to eliminate the physical symptoms of withdrawal, patients must also obtain treatment for the emotional component of their addictions as well. By taking part in the therapeutic interventions available through Western Michigan Comprehensive Treatment Center, patients are able to address and process the underlying factors that may have contributed to their addictive behaviors in the first place.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: While methadone is a safe treatment option, patients must understand that it should not be viewed as a cure-all for their addiction-related concerns. Successfully achieving lasting recovery takes time, dedication, and effort on behalf of the individual who is seeking treatment. By working closely with the team of physicians, nurses, and counselors at Western Michigan Comprehensive Treatment Center, patients are able to obtain the tools necessary to progress towards long-term recovery.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: In order to provide the appropriate support to your loved one throughout his or her journey towards recovery, you must first obtain treatment for yourself. Because addiction impacts everyone who is involved, treatment must be received by all parties. Family therapy, support groups, and individual therapy can provide you with the information and education necessary in order to provide your loved one with the support he or she requires throughout his or her recovery journey.
The Side Effects of Methadone
The following side effects have been linked to the use of methadone:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Slowed breathing
- Skin rashes
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
To learn more about methadone and the treatment options we offer, please contact Western Michigan Comprehensive Treatment Center today.