From Painkillers to Heroin to Methadone––What My Recovery Looks Like
Unfortunately, there are many opioid addicts who start abusing painkillers and eventually move on to heroin. However, you can end your substance abuse and create a strong, effective recovery by starting methadone maintenance and being treated for addiction. Call 800-891-9360 now to learn more and to find rehab centers that will cater to your needs.
Why Do People Switch from Prescription Opioids to Heroin?
There is actually a strong indication in research that many opioid addicts who start out abusing prescription painkillers turn to heroin abuse over time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.” This occurs for a number of reasons.
- Heroin is actually cheaper to obtain than prescription opioids.
- Heroin is more intense than most prescription drugs, especially because of its methods of abuse. Therefore, it can counteract the tolerance experienced by addicted painkiller users.
- Heroin is easier to obtain than most prescription opioids, as it is a synthetic drug that can be produced cheaply and found in many places.
Why Should I Choose Methadone Maintenance for My Treatment?
If you choose methadone maintenance as your rehab after abusing prescription opioids and then heroin, you will begin a well-rounded treatment program that will cater to your most specific needs.
Considering that you have been abusing opioids consistently enough to move to harder street drugs, you probably have a very strong dependency syndrome. This is the scenario for which methadone maintenance is often most helpful.
Optimal dose methadone is more effective than optimal dose buprenorphine, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and as such, those with the most severe dependencies often need methadone maintenance.
In addition, you will likely require an intensive rehab program that offers care and additional treatment options every day to patients. Heroin abuse is often very difficult to stop and the effects can also be hard to reverse. As a result, a full treatment program like MMT is likely the best choice for your needs.
What Will My Recovery with Methadone Maintenance Entail?
Your recovery schedule with methadone maintenance will be very structured and rigid. You will need to attend treatment daily in order to get your medication and will likely have behavioral therapy sessions at certain times of the day that are planned out in advance. You will also need to make sure you are at the clinic at your scheduled time in order to receive your medication before the effects of the previous day’s dose begin to wear off.
Many people have reservations about being maintained on another drug after experiencing issues with substance abuse, but it is important to remember that not everyone can stop taking opioids right away or even at all. Especially if you continued past prescription painkiller abuse and started using heroin, it is important that you are maintained somehow so you will not experience the severe withdrawal effects and cravings caused by this drug.
Can I Still Live My Life While in Methadone Maintenance?
Yes. Though some individuals choose inpatient care, especially at first, during their recoveries, outpatient opioid treatment programs (or OTPs) dispense methadone and provide additional treatment services as well as referrals to community-based agencies for any additional needs you may have (National Institute of Justice).
You can go to work, drive your car, and spend time with your family while on methadone maintenance. Because of the way the drug is dosed, it will block the opioid receptors in your brain in order to protect you from relapse, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings. However, it won’t cause euphoria like you have experienced when abusing opioids, which is how a person can take it and still lead a safe and effective life.
Recovering with Methadone Maintenance
Your recovery from painkiller and heroin abuse will be safe and reliable, especially if you make sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed and attend your additional treatment options. If you would like to learn more about MMT, call 800-891-9360 now. We can also match you with specific rehab centers that will cater to your needs.