What is the purpose of a medical detox center, especially when it comes to addiction treatment? Some patients will need the expert care and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) provided by a medical detox center, but some won’t. It all depends on the severity of their addiction and whether or not they have co-occurring issues.
Going to detox can be frightening for people with an addiction. Even if they know that they need professional help, they may still be scared of what will happen during detox and the days and weeks that will follow.
However, detox is simply the initial step in a patient’s recovery journey. Some patients need MAT to survive their withdrawal symptoms and focus on their healing and an eventual lifetime of sobriety. For patients with opioid addiction, MAT may involve a methadone detox program that provides essential support for early recovery.
How Does Methadone Work?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication that can treat chronic pain, but it is primarily known for its use in treating opioid addiction. Because the DEA regulates this medication, only an approved opioid treatment program (OTP) can administer methadone addiction treatment.
It is a full agonist opioid drug, meaning that it acts similarly to other opioids by fully activating brain receptors once the dose hits. However, methadone does not create euphoria or high that illicit opioids are best known for when someone uses them at the appropriate doses. It does reduce the withdrawal symptoms felt when opioids are no longer present in the body. The result of taking methadone is critical in controlling the cravings that may cause relapse early in recovery. Additionally, this synthetic medication has opioid blocking properties that limit the effects of other opioids used while it’s present in the body.
Is Methadone for Addiction Treatment Necessary?
Methadone is a federally designated Schedule II drug. It has a legitimate legal use, but it’s also easy for patients to form a dependency on methadone. It doesn’t create the same euphoric effects as heroin or morphine because it was designed to do the opposite. However, methadone can also block pleasurable sensations from other opioids.
However, in very large doses, methadone can produce a similar, intense high. Some of the side effects of taking methadone include:
- Decreased attention span and reaction time
- Droopy eyelids
- Dry mouth
- Decreased body temperature
- Lower blood pressure
- Little to no reaction to light.
Most of these symptoms provide some measure of discomfort, which may be enough to justify not wanting to take methadone. If medically possible, patients can deal with the pain and difficulty of withdrawal without methadone doses.
What Can Patients Expect from a Medical Detox Center?
During the admission process at a medical detox center, our specialists will evaluate the patients to help determine the level of care they need. They will be assessed based on their substance abuse history and their current level of intoxication. They can also detect the presence of co-occurring health problems or mental illness.
Most patients will 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. Instead, this step helps to ensure that they get effective and appropriate care. The treatment experts should also explain the type of treatment they’ll receive and the procedures for discharge.
During the detox process, professionals need to make sure that their patients are medically stable. Stabilization usually involves MAT to help curb cravings and alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal. Patients in detox can also receive fluids, medications, or nutritional supplements intravenously. They will also be monitored throughout their stay if the detox program is inpatient. With outpatient detox, patients come in for treatments daily while going home at night.
Learn More About Midwest Detox Center’s Programs and Services
Detox can help a lot, but it can’t resolve the underlying issues that drive addiction. After detox, though, patients will be able to focus clearly on the deeper work of recovery. This therapy also includes forms of care such as:
- Group therapy
- Family counseling
- Individual therapy
- 12-step programming
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
We have a team of counselors, social workers, or case managers who will work with newly detoxed patients to help them get ready for the next phase in their treatment. We’ll help patients decide whether a residential treatment program, partial hospitalization, or outpatient program is the right choice. If you’re looking for a medical detox center, we’re committed to providing support for our clients. Reach out to Midwest Detox Center by contacting us online or calling 833.647.0392.