Will Methadone Maintenance Treatment Still Work If I’ve Already Been through Drug Rehab?
Recovering from chronic opiate addiction can be a difficult process that takes considerably longer than you might expect. Unlike other types of illnesses or disorders, the effects of addiction can persist well into the recovery process without a person’s even knowing it. So if you’ve made multiple attempts at drug rehab with little to no progress to show for it, you’re not alone.
As the very first opiate addiction treatment medication ever developed, methadone offers those in recovery a much-needed reprieve from the aftereffects of chronic opiate addiction. Methadone maintenance treatment combines methadone with an intensive regimen of behavioral treatment interventions to address the underlying psychological factors that drive compulsive drug-using behaviors. Often referred to as the “treatment of last resort,” methadone maintenance treatment offers certain needed supports that other more traditional drug rehab programs don’t.
Methadone’s Treatment Role
Opiates have a cumulative effect on overall brain function over time. With each dose of the drug, neurotransmitter-producing brain cells secrete unusually large amounts of chemicals, some of which include serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Neurotransmitters work to regulate the body’s major functions so the brain must maintain a delicate chemical balance in order to manage bodily processes as normal.
According to the Journal of Neuroscience, with chronic or long-term opiate abuse, widespread chemical imbalances form throughout the brain and body. After a certain point, the brain can no longer manage bodily functions in the absence of the drug. These conditions can persist long after a person stops using opiates and accounts for the ongoing withdrawal effects and severe drug cravings recovering addicts experience.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate drug, specifically formulated to replace the effects of addictive opiates without disrupting the brain’s chemical environment any further. Methadone rather supports damaged neurotransmitter-producing cells and thereby helps restore a normal chemical balance in the brain.
For help finding treatment that meets your needs call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment Benefits
Methadone’s therapeutic effects relieve much of the physical and emotional discomfort addicts experience in recovery through its ability to restore a normal brain chemical balance. According to Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, these changes, alone, greatly reduce the potential for relapse.
While traditional drug rehab programs do a good job at helping those in recovery make it past the initial withdrawal or detox period, the brain is still left to pick up where opiate effects leave off. In the absence of some form of physical support, a person continues to face a high risk of relapse which accounts for why so many people go in and out of drug treatment with little success to show for it.
Methadone maintenance treatment uses the drug’s therapeutic effects to a person’s advantage, as methadone’s effects help increase motivation levels thereby allowing him or her to feel more engaged in the treatment process. These improvements enable a person to make the most of the behavioral treatment portion, which is essential to breaking the hold addiction has over one’s thinking and behavior.
In effect, methadone maintenance treatment participants can more easily apply the principles and tools learned in group therapy, individual psychotherapy and support group sessions within their daily lives once a state of emotional and psychological stability is restored. So if you’ve already been through drug rehab in the past, methadone maintenance treatment can still work and may well enable you to overcome opiate addiction once and for all.
If you or someone you know is considering methadone maintenance treatment and need help finding a program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.