Safety Concerns in Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Are you or is someone you love taking methadone as part of an opiate addiction treatment protocol? Are you concerned about the safety measures and precautions that are in place to ensure that your loved one is not entering into another situation that could have deadly outcomes?
While methadone maintenance treatment has a number of promising benefits, as with any method of treatment that involves medication, there are some risks that should be considered. Fortunately, when methadone maintenance treatment is followed to the exact orders of a trained medical specialist, the risk for overdose, relapse or other serious consequences can be greatly reduced and the full benefits of this powerful medication can be appreciated by those in treatment.
According to the National Library of Medicine, methadone can be used to stabilize a patient who is suffering from opiate withdrawal but such stabilization requires safe dosing procedures. Dosing often requires repeat visits to a methadone clinic or doctor in order to determine the proper amount that will:
- Reduce cravings and withdrawal
- Restore balance
- Not invoke euphoria or an opiate “high”
The doctor will often adjust the dose one or more times before finding the adequate dosing that is effective in restoring the patient to a state in which he or she can function normally without experiencing withdrawal. It’s important that you talk with your doctor and be honest about the frequency and level of drug use in order to prevent overdosing or under-dosing.
Taking methadone is generally considered safe if you are not taking any other medications. Unfortunately, times come up when a medical condition or concern requires the use of another medication. Dangerous drug interactions have been reported when methadone is being used so it’s important to take proper precaution to ensure that you are not at risk. If you are taking any medication, over-the-counter or prescription, talk with your doctor or treatment professional about the drug and determine whether it is safe to take while you are in a methadone maintenance treatment program. If the need arises to take a medication later in treatment, discuss this need with your doctor before taking any such drug.
Like other opiates, methadone does have a potential for abuse and misuse. If the dose is not properly calibrated, users can abuse the medication and the process of recovery will be greatly hindered. Abusing methadone can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and an addiction that’s even more difficult to treat than a typical opiate addiction so be sure to avoid any such misuse of this powerful drug.