Who would be the ideal clients of methadone detox centers, and what is methadone, exactly?
Methadone has been around for a long time. It’s been used in detox and addiction treatment programs in the U.S. since the 1960s, and it’s on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Essential Medicines List (EML). Methadone has and continues to help people with opioid addictions seek recovery. However, there is a rare chance of clients forming a dependence on this FDA-approved drug. This is why the FDA insists that methadone doses should be combined with counseling sessions and psychosocial support.
What Is Methadone?
Methadone is one of three FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of opioid addiction–the other two being buprenorphine and naltrexone, which are combined in branded prescription medication Suboxone.
Methadone has been used for decades to treat clients addicted to heroin or other opioids. When taken as prescribed and under the supervision of addiction specialists, it is safe and effective. For optimal results, clients should also participate in a comprehensive treatment program that includes forms of care other than medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
How Does Methadone for Opioid Addiction Help the Treatment Process?
When clients get into an addiction treatment program, they’re often required to undergo detox. Sometimes, some clients go straight to a detox center due to complications like overdose or severe withdrawal symptoms while trying to quit opioids on their own. Whatever the case may be, addiction treatment programs–not just for opioids but for all addictive substances–begin with detox.
Clients struggling with opioid addiction could be offered Methadone for a detox process that’s safer and more comfortable. Methadone doses change how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. MAT that uses methadone lessens the painful symptoms of withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of opioids. Methadone is offered in liquid, pill, and wafer forms and should be taken once daily. Pain relief from a methadone dose lasts from four to eight hours.
What Can Clients Expect From a Methadone Detox Program?
Clients taking methadone to treat opioid addiction must be receiving through MAT. After a period of stability, some clients may be allowed to take methadone at home between program visits. However, methadone can only be dispensed through a certified opioid treatment program (OTP).
The length of a methadone detox program can vary, but typically it should be a minimum of 12 months. However, some clients may require methadone detox treatment for years — even after the rest of their comprehensive addiction treatment program has ended. Even if a client feels that they are ready to stop taking methadone doses, the dosages must be stopped gradually and through the supervision of a doctor by tapering off doses to prevent withdrawal.
Other drugs may interact with methadone and cause heart conditions. Even after the effects of methadone wear off, the drug’s active ingredients remain in the body for much longer. Apart from this, taking more methadone than prescribed can cause an unintentional overdose. The side effects of taking methadone should be taken seriously, as some can be life-threatening.
Clients should immediately stop taking methadone and then communicate with their doctor or contact emergency services if they:
- Experience confusion or hallucinations
- Experience difficulty in or shallow breathing
- Experience fast or pounding heartbeats
- Experience hives or a rash — or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Feel chest pain
- Feel faint or lightheaded
Find Out More About Midwest Detox Center’s Methadone Services
Looking for a methadone detox center in Ohio? Contact Midwest Detox Center by calling 833.647.0392 or reaching out to our team online.