Methadone clinics are useful, functional medical establishments equipped with a team of staff members who work with patients while they are heading down the road to recovery. For a lot of individuals, these clinics are the best way to get through the early stages of withdrawal and recovery. However, some individuals benefit more by using other types of addiction treatment programs or attending drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. No matter which treatment program you decide to choose while you are on your quest to conquer an addiction, it is a must that you get the comprehensive medical care you need to reach your sobriety goals.
Purpose of Methadone Clinics
Methadone clinics are designed to help people who are addicted to opioids such as prescriptions painkillers and heroin. They focus on medication based therapy. In most cases, patients receive methadone, or the generic version of it, which is dolophine. Both of these drugs are opioid analgesics. This kind of treatment is known as replacement therapy.
Methadone is often given in a pill, liquid, or wafer form. It is commonly used to fight off the beginning of opioid withdrawals. Even though this type of treatment works for many, you should know it must be supervised by a doctor or medical professional. This is not a cure for any kind of addiction. However, it can be helpful to a patient that is struggling during their rehabilitation process.
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Benefits of Attending Methadone Clinics
There are many methadone clinics around the United States, each one is firmly regulated by federal and state laws. You can find both public and private clinics. You should keep in mind that every clinic may differ slightly. However, each clinic has one main goal, to help those with an addiction reach the highest level of sobriety. Some benefits of visiting public or private methadone clinics include the following:
- Reduction in opioid cravings
- Decrease in opioid withdrawal symptoms
- Management tools to block the effects of illegal opioid usage
- Need to physically crave opioid abused substances
These benefits will help you get back to your day to day responsibilities. They will give you a chance to live a drug free life. This means you will be well on your way to reaching all your recovery and sobriety goals.
Important Information about Methadone Clinics
There are many methadone clinics around the U.S. You can find one in almost every large city. Some studies show there are thousands of people who enter into opiate treatment programs every year. In most cases, over half of these people require detox and maintenance medical services. Methadone is the common medication given to those in these types of clinical treatment facilities.
Generally, anyone who has an addiction to opiates can visit a methadone clinic under medical professional supervision. Some studies show over half of the people who go into a methadone clinic are male. However, many women also seek help from these clinics, as well. In addition, many people stay in a program at the clinic for more than two years.
Services Offered by Opioid Treatment Program Facilities
There is a law in the United States which states methadone can only be given from a SAMHSA certified opioid treatment program. Most OTP, opioid treatment program facilities, offer a wide range of services. Some of these services include the following:
- They help people stop or reduce the dosage of a particular drug
- They can help provide services to prevent drug use from occurring in the first place
- They speak out on infectious disease and how to prevent them
- They use preventive tools to ward against criminal activity
- They help improve a person’s overall well-being
- They give people a better quality of life
Methadone clinics are designed to help those with opiate addictions. Many people have seen great success by entering into these facilities. If you are facing an addiction, perhaps today is a good day to look at your options and start your recovery process.
Reasons to Visit a Methadone Clinic
In about 1947, methadone became legal in this country. It is generally used to repress drug withdrawal symptoms. It usually works for about 36 hours of being administered to a person. There are many reasons why a person might decide to visit a methadone clinic. The main one is to get relief from the daily struggles associated with an opiate abuse addiction. Another reason is to fulfill requirements of a legal situation or a continual drug treatment program. In some cases, people go to the clinic because they relapse and need methadone to help manage any cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
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What to Expect When Visiting a Methadone Clinic
If you are visiting a methadone clinic for the first time, you generally will not receive any kind of medication. Normally, a person has to go through a screening which includes talking to a counselor or nurse about the nature of their problems. During your screening you may be asked to talk about several topics including the following:
- Your health history
- Reasons for you being at the clinic
- Your future goals regarding any of your addictions
- Any medications you are currently taking
In addition, the professionals at the clinic may ask you to adhere to a blood or urinalysis test. They will also give you information about the treatment program, the goals of the program, and all the guidelines you will need to follow in order to participant in it. You will undergo a clinical evaluation which involves going over drug use history, abuse disorders, and how substance abuse affects your life.
Another reason why people visit methadone clinics is if they go to attend counseling sessions. Many clinics offer counseling because it often helps prevent relapse. It can help a person rebuild relationships – personal and professionally and it can teach a person how to handle difficult situations. Some clinics offer different types of counseling such as family, group, and one on one sessions. The kind of counseling and how long a person needs to attend it depends on each individual client. Nobody is the same. Some people gain stability quicker than other people.
One of the requirements of a methadone clinic is that patients must visit the clinic to fulfill the guideline of getting the proper dosage. There may be local regulations which determine how often a person can visit a clinic. In some cases, people may be allowed to manage their doses at home. This enables them to go for a longer period of time without having to visit the clinic.
Most clinics allow family members, spouses, and friends to accompany a patient to their appointments. There are usually doctors, nurses, and counselors who are on staff at a methadone clinic. You will also find treatment advisors, receptionists, and other clinic staff who will be able to help you through this very trying time of your life.
How Methadone Treatment Works
A trained, medical professional administers methadone. They are also able to answer any concerns you may have regarding the program. Since every individual responds differently to certain types of drugs and treatments, each patient is cared for in a manner which meets their particular needs and problems. This doesn’t necessarily mean just what drug they use, but the team at a clinic will take in consideration other areas of a patient’s life. For instance, the program will focus on family, work life, how the person handles society, and what a patient needs to be functional.
A methadone clinic treatment program does not only focus on drug abuse. There are other factors which need to be addressed such as social relationships, medical issues, professional problems, and legal matters. Many people with psychological issues need to have their addiction and psychological disorder controlled in order to live a healthier, happier, and more productive life in the future.
Getting Addiction Treatments
The NIDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse, provides a basic idea on how addiction should be treated in general. Some basic treatment options include the following:
- Medication-assisted treatment – Prescription drugs can often be used as a blocker. This means they block the way opioids affect the brain.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Counselors work with people work on behaviors and teach them how to establish expectations. This type of therapy also teaches coping skills. It is commonly used alongside methadone treatments.
- Medical detoxification – Withdrawals from some drugs can me mild, but at times some withdrawals can be severe. Medical detoxification gives a person the opportunity to be monitored during their withdrawal symptoms, ensuring they will be safe and as comfortable as possible.
Methadone is the most common form of treatment in a clinic and often is part of other types of treatment programs, as well.
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Risks of Methadone Treatment
There are risks associated with methadone treatment. Although the medication is used to treat people who have addictions, it can also be addictive if not properly administered by medical professionals. Doses must be given to each individual with focus on their particular situation and doses must be adjusted when needed. This is an induction process and must be closely monitored by medical professionals. To reduce the risks of methadone treatments, the clinic medical team should always have your medical history on hand. This will also help keep you safe and make you feel more comfortable. Although methadone clinics do all they can to ensure your safety, there are some side effects associated with taking the drug which include the following:
- Shallow breathing
- Labored breathing
- Feeling lightheaded
- Chest pain
- Stomach cramps
- Increased heartbeat
- Muscle aches and tremors
These symptoms can be mild or severe, but stand tall, because they will not last forever. If you simply can’t handle them, the best thing to do is consult with one of clinic staff members or call your local doctor.
Tips While on Methadone
You need to be extra careful if you are taking other medications in combination with methadone because it could affect your heart. It is essential that you tell the clinic if you are on any other types of medications or you could easily overdose. Methadone should only be taken as prescribed and at the proper time. You should never quit taking it without consulting a medical professional. If you miss a dose, do not double up your next dose and do not change your dose without talking with a methadone clinic professional or your doctor. It is also important to follow the below tips while on methadone:
- Try not to drive or operate machinery and if you do handle machinery be careful
- Avoid drinking any type of alcohol
- Your medication should be kept at room temperature
- You need to keep your methadone away from light
- Get emergency help if you take too much because it could cause an overdose
Methadone overdoses are becoming more common, so be very careful. Also, to ensure your safety, only take it as prescribed.
Now you know everything you need to know regarding methadone clinics. If you would like to get more information or feel you could benefit from a treatment program, the best thing to do is contact a clinic today. Remember, you are not alone. Many people have had great success getting treatments from methadone clinics. You might be able to as well.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-276-2886 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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