3 Signs That Coming off Methadone is a Bad Idea
More often than, the methadone maintenance treatment process takes longer than expected. After so many months or years in treatment, it’s not uncommon for a person to start thinking about coming off methadone.
In effect, methadone treatment provides the types of supports needed for you to maintain continued abstinence on a day-to-day basis. In the absence of needed treatment supports, a person can become vulnerable to addiction’s effects all over again.
If coming off methadone is a bad idea, certain conditions in your day-to-day life may well be telltale signs.
Methadone Treatment Supports
According to Harvard Health Publications, methadone treatment components combine the therapeutic benefits of methadone with behavior-changing treatment interventions, with one component reinforcing the effects of the other. Whereas methadone helps relieve withdrawal and drug cravings effects, behavior-based interventions help a person replace drug-using behaviors with healthy coping skills for managing daily life.
Ultimately, someone who’s ready to come off methadone needs to have certain supports in place to ensure continued success in recovery once methadone treatment ends.
Not sure if your insurance will help cover your treatment costs? Call our helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) for more information.
3 Signs To Watch Out For
1. Drug Cravings Episodes
Drug cravings develop out of the mind’s perceived “need” for opiates to cope with daily life pressures. While methadone does a good job at relieving drug cravings effects, behavior-based treatments are designed to help you replace this perceived “need” with the types of coping skills, activities and pursuits that make you feel secure and capable of handling daily life.
If you’re still experiencing drug cravings episodes, this may be a sign that there’s more work to do on the behavioral side of treatment. Under these conditions, coming off methadone will leave you wide open for relapse.
2. An Unstable Lifestyle
Stability in terms of having a daily routine and managing responsibilities is the cornerstone of a drug-free lifestyle. In effect, a big part of behavior-based treatment works to help you develop a stable lifestyle, such as working a job and engaging in healthy recreational pursuits, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
If you’re spending a good part of your day watching television with no real plans for your future, coming off methadone is a bad idea.
3. Lack of a Healthy Support System
While coming off methadone, you’ll likely experience varying degrees of withdrawal and cravings. Knowing what to do when these feelings arise can mean the difference between ongoing abstinence and relapse.
Having a healthy support system in place ensures there’s always someone to talk to or like-minded friends to spend time with when the urge to use seems overwhelming. Otherwise, coming off methadone without a healthy support system to rely on is a recipe for disaster.
If you or someone you know are considering methadone treatment and need help finding a program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addiction specialists.