Does Methadone Maintenance Treatment Help With Prescription Pain Pill Addictions?
As a last line of defense in heroin addiction treatment, methadone maintenance treatment offers a range of benefits that other more traditional approaches don’t. While prescription pain pills may not be as addictive as heroin, it can be just as difficult to stop using once a full-blown addiction takes hold. If you or someone you care about is addicted to prescription drugs, call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) for placement into a treatment program that can help.
Prescription pain pills actually belong to the same class of drugs as heroin, commonly known as opiates. Whether they be extremely addictive like heroin, or vary in addiction potential like prescription pain pill varieties, opiates affect the brain in the same way regardless of their potency level.
With chronic, long-term prescription pain pill abuse, a person’s brain ends up in the same condition as with long-term heroin abuse. Methadone maintenance treatment essentially picks up where other forms of treatment leave off in terms of helping the brain resume normal functioning.
Prescription Pain Pill Effects in the Brain
Like most all opiates, prescription pain pills have a chemical makeup that blends easily within the brain’s chemical system. The brain actually produces endorphin-like chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, all of which bear a strong resemblance to these drugs.
When ingested, prescription pain pills stimulate brain cells to secrete large amounts of these chemicals, which ultimately weaken cell functions over time. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, with chronic, long-term abuse, the brain becomes increasingly dependent on these drugs to the point where it can no longer regulate the body’s functions as normal.
Even after a person stops abusing opiates, the existing cell damage remains, which accounts for why people in recovery remain at high risk for relapse well into the recovery process. With traditional drug rehab approaches, a person receives ongoing behavioral treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling; however, the brain’s weaken state continues to work against his or her efforts to maintain abstinence.
For help finding treatment that meets your needs call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?).
The Methadone Maintenance Treatment Approach
Methadone maintenance treatment takes a two-pronged approach to treating prescription pain pill addiction: medication therapy and behavioral treatment interventions, according to the Journal of Addictive Diseases. Methadone’s role as a treatment drug works to support weakened brain cell functions and restore a normal chemical balance in the brain. Methadone is also a synthetic opiate drug, however its chemical makeup stops short of producing a “high” effect so it’s addictive potential runs considerably lower than other opiate-based drugs.
What most distinguishes methadone maintenance treatment from traditional drug rehab lies in this drug’s ability to make a person feel “normal” again, both physically and emotionally. Methadone therapeutic benefits include:
- Considerable decline in drug cravings
- Sleeping restfully
- Relief from depression symptoms
- Relief from anxiety symptoms
- Ability to enjoy life again
While the methadone maintenance treatment approach does center around the drug methadone, the behavioral component helps those in recovery work through the psychological aftereffects of chronic addiction much like it does in traditional drug rehab.
These effects combined go a long way towards helping those in recovery feel more engaged in the treatment process while supporting their day-to-day efforts to maintain a drug-free lifestyle
If you or someone you know are considering methadone maintenance treatment and have more questions, or need help finding treatment that meets your needs, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addictions specialists.