How do you know when someone should be admitted into a methadone detox center? There are many benefits to getting methadone treatment for addiction, but there are also some possible problems to watch out for — including developing a methadone addiction.
Going to opioid detox can be scary for some people. Even if they know professional help is ideal for healing, they may still be scared of what will happen during detox. Many people with opioid use disorder know how uncomfortable and painful opioid withdrawal symptoms are.
However, detox is a much-needed initial step in a client’s recovery journey. Some clients may lean on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to survive withdrawal symptoms and focus on healing. Taking prescribed methadone doses might be what it takes for someone to lead a life of sobriety eventually.
What Is Methadone?
Methadone is a federally designated Schedule II drug. While it has a legitimate use, it’s also very easy for patients to form a dependency on methadone — as it’s also considered an opioid.
Methadone doesn’t create the same euphoric effects as heroin or morphine. The benefits of methadone treatment include how it helps clients get over opioid cravings and reduces painful symptoms.
However, large doses of methadone can produce a sense of being high. Some side effects of taking methadone include:
- Decreased attention span and reaction time
- Dry mouth
- Droopy eyelids
- Decreased body temperature
- Lower blood pressure
Most of these symptoms provide at least some measure of discomfort, which may be enough to justify not wanting to take methadone. If medically possible, clients can simply deal with the pain and difficulty of withdrawal without taking methadone doses.
What Are the Benefits of Methadone Treatment for Addiction?
Since the DEA regulates it, this synthetic opioid can only be administered through an approved opioid treatment program (OTP) specifically for addiction treatment.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication. It can be used to treat chronic pain, but it is primarily known for treating opioid addiction. Methadone is a full agonist opioid drug, meaning that it acts similarly to other opioids by fully activating brain receptors once the dose hits. However, at appropriate doses, methadone does not create euphoria, or the high, that illicit opioids are best known for.
The benefits of methadone treatment involve the way it reduces the withdrawal symptoms felt when opioids are no longer present in the client’s system. This is critical in controlling the cravings that may cause relapse early in a client’s recovery. Additionally, this synthetic medication has opioid blocking properties that limit the addictive effects of other opioids taken while it’s present in the client’s body.
What Can Clients Expect From a Methadone Detox Center?
Clients will be comprehensively evaluated during the intake process at a detox center, methadone-related or not, to help determine the level of care they need. They will be assessed based on their substance abuse history and current level of intoxication. The presence of co-occurring health problems or mental illness will also be noted.
Most clients will be asked to undergo drug testing to identify the chemicals in their system. The purpose of this process is not to judge them or to implicate them in illegal activity but to ensure that clients get effective and appropriate care. Clients should also be informed of their rights to confidentiality and safe treatment. The type of treatment they’ll receive and the procedures for discharge should be explained clearly.
During the detox process, professionals need to make sure that their clients are medically stable. Stabilization usually involves MAT — for clients struggling with opioid use disorder, methadone is one of the prescribed drugs often used — to help curb cravings and alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal.
Methadone has been used successfully in this way for more than 40 years. To stop using methadone as a crutch when getting over an addiction, most detox centers won’t stop giving doses and make clients quit cold turkey. They will wean the client off the drug by tapering the doses into lesser amounts over time.
Clients in detox can also receive fluids, medications, or nutritional supplements intravenously. They will also be monitored day and night if the detox program is inpatient. With outpatient detox, clients come in for treatments daily while going home at night.
Detox can’t resolve the underlying issues that drive an opioid addiction. After being detoxified and cleansed, clients will be able to focus clearly on the deeper work of recovery, including forms of care such as group therapy, family counseling, individual therapy, and 12-step programming.
A counselor, social worker, or case manager should work with newly detoxed clients to help them get ready for the next part of their recovery process. They’ll help clients decide whether a residential treatment program, partial hospitalization, or outpatient program is the right choice.
Learn More About Midwest Detox Center’s Programs and Services
If you are looking for a methadone detox center to start your journey to recovery, reach out to Midwest Detox Center by contacting us online or calling 833.647.0392.