Mistakes You Should Avoid During Methadone Maintenance Treatment
According to the Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine, methadone maintenance treatment was developed “in 1964 as a medical response to the post-World War II heroin epidemic in New York City,” and ever since, it has been evaluated many times over with impressive results in its ability to treat opioid addiction and minimize further abuse, death rates, and criminality associated with the disorder. However, there are some mistakes you must actively avoid while on methadone maintenance.
Mistake #1: Poor Doctor-Patient Communication
It is always important to make sure you have clear, beneficial communication with your doctor during methadone maintenance treatment. Poor doctor-patient communication can cause many problems in your overall recovery. If you do not feel comfortable with your doctor or you do not feel that you can talk to them openly, you may wind up starting a treatment that doesn’t benefit you or missing out on the kinds of treatment you need.
This is especially important in a relationship that includes therapy or counseling of any kind, but even your regular physician should make you feel comfortable and you should be able to communicate with them easily. In order to avoid this issue, sit down with the doctor before you begin treatment in order to determine if you will have a comfortable relationship. If you do not feel that you can easily communicate with them, look for another clinic or another physician.
Mistake #2: Not Following Your Prescription
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “In the United States, methadone is typically provided in highly regulated clinics that patients initially have to visit each day to receive their dose; only after several months of adherence to the clinic’s regulations are patients allowed to take home a supply of methadone.” However, this is when some individuals make the mistake of abusing the drug or not following their prescription when taking it.
If you take methadone in higher doses, more often, or in a different way than you were prescribed to, you are abusing the drug. The temptation to do these things will be higher if you are able to take the medication home, as you will not be monitored during this time. If you do not feel that you are at the point in your recovery where you can take the medication as you are meant to with no supervision, you should let your physician know instead of merely pushing forward. Even someone who has been taking methadone for a long time, though, can still relapse so it is always important to go to your doctor if you think there is a chance that you may abuse the medication.
Avoid the Common Mistakes of MMT
These are the most problematic issues often associated with MMT. When you are begin methadone maintenance for opioid addiction, it is also important to stay in treatment as long as necessary and to understand that your treatment plan may need to change at certain points to reflect the changes in your recovery. If you have a good relationship with your doctor and recognize the importance of adhering to your prescription, you can often avoid the mistakes associated with this treatment. If you have more questions about MMT, call 800-891-9360.