5 Benefits of Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Once opiate addicts reach the point where they can no longer deny a problem exists, the mere thought of entering drug treatment can seem draining at the least. Fear of experiencing withdrawals and ongoing drug cravings can quickly overwhelm most anyone facing this decision.
The methadone maintenance treatment approach offers recovering addicts a range of benefits that address encroaching fears as well as provide the necessary tools for rebuilding one’s life. As any attempt to break an opiate addiction must be met with a certain degree of resolve, methadone maintenance treatment provides the supports and motivation needed to help addicts follow through on getting well.
Here are five key benefits of methadone maintenance treatment –
1. Treats the Physical Addiction
Methadone acts as a synthetic opiate agent that imitates the effects of addictive opiate drugs. Unlike other opiates, methadone does not produce a “high,” which eliminates the compulsive drive to abuse opiates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, methadone’s chemical make-up helps to curb persistent drug cravings while at the same time reduce drug withdrawal symptoms. When used for maintenance purposes, methadone provides recovering addicts with a long-term treatment solution for maintaining ongoing abstinence.
2. Treats the Psychological Addiction
Methadone maintenance treatment provides a comprehensive approach for treating all aspects of addiction. Breaking an opiate addiction entails breaking both the mind’s dependence on opiate effects as well as the body’s physical dependency.
Methadone maintenance treatment requires addicts to receive ongoing psychotherapy treatment to address the underlying psychological issues driving addiction. Ongoing participation in group therapy and support group meetings also plays a part in helping addicts develop strong communication skills. In the process, recovering addicts learn how to engage in healthy interactions with others.
3. Provides Educational Training on Drug Effects
While methadone goes a long way towards reducing drug cravings and withdrawal effects, a person may still experience physical and/or psychological discomfort on occasion. By educating recovering addicts on how opiate addiction affects the mind and body, methadone maintenance treatment better prepares addicts for dealing with the rough patches.
Educational training on opiate drug effects is also available to family members, as family support can have a powerful influence on a person’s success in recovery.
4. Relapse Prevention
The risk of relapse in recovery remains high for people coming off opiate addictions. Long-term opiate use leaves brain chemical processes in a state of imbalance long after a person stops using, so the risk of relapse is ongoing.
Through group therapy and support group work, recovering addicts learn to develop coping strategies designed to help them stay engaged in the recovery process. Most of all, addicts learn how to seek out needed support and ask for help when the urge to use seems overwhelming.
5. Lifestyle Benefits
Once a person completes drug treatment, resuming old habits, routines and friendships will ultimately result in relapse. Success in recovery involves creating a drug-free lifestyle made up of work, family and genuine relationships with others.
People who follow methadone maintenance treatment guidelines inevitably develop healthy lifestyles. In the process, recovering addicts become part of a larger support network that motivates and supports each person’s recovery process.