Top 10 Benefits of Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Methadone maintenance treatment options exist to assist those who are addicted to opiates such as heroin or certain types of prescription painkillers in their efforts to overcome the powerful physical symptoms of dependence and retrain themselves to live opiate free. Although methadone itself is an opiate, the power of this drug to help in curbing cravings and reducing symptoms of withdrawal when taken properly can be highly effective in reducing physical opiate dependence, restoring balance into the user’s life and providing hope for sobriety. The most powerful benefits of Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) are listed below:
We can help you find methadone treatment. Call 800-891-9360 toll free today.
1. Long-term Treatment
Methadone maintenance treatment is the best long-term treatment type for opioid addiction. While buprenorphine, naltrexone, and therapy alone are all beneficial treatments for this issue and can be particularly effective for certain patients, those who need the kind of treatment that lasts years or even indefinitely are best protected with MMT.
The program is built for those individuals who are likely to need this type of treatment for the rest of their lives or at least for several years or more. According to Harvard Medical School, “Since the 1970s, professionals who care for opiate addicts have reluctantly recognized that many of them will not or cannot stop taking the drug. The solution is maintenance––dispensing opiates under medical supervision.” Methadone itself is the best medication for patients to be placed on in the case of long-term maintenance.
2. Stronger Effectiveness for High-Level Dependence
Those who need treatment for severe opioid addiction also tolerate methadone better because they feel the effects more strongly than those of buprenorphine. While buprenorphine is as effective as “moderate doses” of methadone according to SAMHSA, those who are in danger of experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms receive their best results from optimal methadone doses. “Buprenorphine is unlikely to be as effective as more optimal-dose methadone, and therefore may not be the treatment of choice for patients with higher levels of physical dependence.”
3. Once a Day Clinic Visits
Because methadone is taken once daily, patients only have to visit the clinic for a few minutes every day in order to receive their medication. They can often plan their clinic visits around their work schedules or other obligations which makes it much more convenient than inpatient treatment would be. In the event that the individual needs to attend a group therapy session or receive a drug test, these meetings can be planned in advance so that they work with the patient’s schedule.
Methadone can greatly help you in your opiate addiction recovery. Call 800-891-9360 toll free for help finding treatment.
4. Reduced Cravings and Overdoses
Methadone actually keeps individuals from experiencing strong cravings for opioids which helps to ease the symptom most responsible for relapse. This type of treatment protects individuals who might otherwise be helpless to their cravings, especially in the beginning of treatment.
Because of this, MMT also greatly reduces the risk of overdose, which is much higher for those who have just undergone detox treatment. In many cases, individuals are still craving the drug but not as tolerant as they once were, leading them to abusing high doses of opioids and overdosing on them. According to the NLM, this is the leading cause of opioid overdose death, the risk of which methadone treatment strongly helps to reduce.
5. Withdrawal Relief without Euphoria
Methadone is one of the best medications for relieving the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid abuse, including insomnia, irritability, nausea and vomiting, bone and muscle pain, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms. However, the drug does not cause euphoria when it is taken in stable doses, which allows individuals to work and live their lives without either the debilitating withdrawal symptoms or the effects of opioid intoxication.
6. Low Risk for Injection Drug Use
According to the CDC, one of the strongest benefits of MMT is the “reduced or stopped use of injection drugs.” This is important for patients who are able to stop engaging in such a dangerous behavior and possibly avoid the consequences of injection drug abuse such as:
- Contracting HIV, hepatitis C or B
- Acquiring bacterial infections, endocarditis, soft tissue infections, or STDs
- Jail time
- Risky behavior that can lead to harmful consequences
7. MMT is More than Methadone
According to the NIDA, “Combined with behavioral therapies or counseling and other supportive services, methadone enables patients to stop using heroin (and other opiates) and return to more stable and productive lives.” MMT is not merely the supplying methadone to patients but, in most cases, also provides therapy sessions (usually group therapy but individual sessions are often provided as well), resocialization, vocational training, and other beneficial treatments that have been proven to be extremely effective in bettering the lives of addicted individuals.
MMT is much more than just methadone, and understanding what the program can do for you is key to unlocking all of its benefits. We can help you find the right methadone program for you. Call 800-891-9360 today.
8. Family and Relationship Improvements
Often, an individual attending MMT experiences an improvement in their family stability as well as their interpersonal relationships. It can be wonderful for an individual who has been addicted to opioids for a long time to finally be in a state that is neither withdrawal nor intoxication; it allows them to appreciate their loved ones and spend time with them again without the drug coming between them. As for those close to the addict, it can help rebuild a relationship in tatters when they see how hard the individual is working in treatment to stop their abuse of the drug.
9. Reduced Depression
Harvard Medical School states, “Studies show [those in MMT] are less depressed,” which is a large factor in a person’s overall recovery. Going through withdrawal and even maintenance after heavily abusing opioids can be extremely difficult, and many individuals develop depression as a result.
This issue can make it even harder for someone to avoid relapsing back to opioid drugs and can lead to suicidal thoughts and other harmful effects. With MMT, the potential for patients to experience depression as a result of stopping their opioid abuse is greatly decreased which helps them avoid another consequence of their drug abuse and more easily transition into recovery.
10. Methadone Dependence ≠ Addiction
You can be dependent on methadone, as many individuals in MMT are, without being addicted to the drug. Methadone can cause addiction, but if users take it with caution and in the dose prescribed by their doctors, they can avoid abuse and, therefore, addiction. Many people wrongfully equate MMT with methadone addiction; the difference between the two is that those who are participating in their methadone treatment correctly and taking the drug safely are not being harmed by it. It is extremely important to remember that fact, as it is one of the best benefits of going on methadone maintenance.
Methadone will help you recover from opiate addiction. Call 800-891-9360 toll free to find help today.