How Does a Methadone Clinic Work?
The decision to enter opiate addiction treatment can be wrought with indecision, partly because it’s unknown territory and partly because of what one must give up in order to get well. For people coming off chronic or long-term addiction problems, the opiate addiction treatment process may well involve methadone clinic treatment.
Methadone clinics provide a range of treatment services, each of which addresses different aspects of addiction. Understanding how methadone clinics work can help alleviate much of the uncertainty that comes when trying to develop a drug-free lifestyle.
Methadone as a Treatment Drug
Methadone clinic treatment employs two primary approaches to helping addicts in recovery: medication therapy and behavioral treatment interventions. As a treatment drug, methadone’s therapeutic benefits help to relieve the emotional distress and physical discomfort addicts experience in recovery, according to Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine.
After months or years of opiate abuse, the brain can no longer carry out its regulatory functions in the absence of the drug. Widespread structural damage and rampant chemical imbalances leave those in recovery to deal with intense drug cravings and residual withdrawal effects, such as insomnia, depression and fatigue for months or years at a time.
Methadone itself is a synthetic opiate drug formulated to deliver slow-acting effects without producing a “high” effect. When administered daily, the brain receives the physical support it needs to regulate bodily functions as normal without experiencing the damaging effects of compulsive drug use. Over time, a person starts to feel normal again, which puts him or her in a much better position to benefit from behavioral treatment help.
For more information on methadone clinic treatment services, call 800-891-9360.
Behavioral Treatment Interventions
Along with the physical damage brought on by opiate abuse, addicts have developed a lifestyle that’s specifically designed to promote continued drug use. Like any other type of lifestyle, addiction breeds its own patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. In effect, opiate addiction warps a person’s mind to the point where addiction-based tendencies have been hard-wired into his or her psychological makeup.
According to the University of Washington, the behavioral treatment interventions used by methadone clinic work to help addicts replace addiction-based tendencies with a lifestyle that promotes continued abstinence from drug use. Interventions commonly used include:
- Drug education
- Relapse prevention training
- Support group work
- Group therapy
- Individual psychotherapy
By combining methadone’s therapeutic benefits with ongoing behavioral treatment, methadone clinics provide recovering addicts with the supports and tools needed to make long-term abstinence possible.
As a condition of treatment, methadone clinics require participants to frequent the facility on a daily basis to receive methadone treatment. During this time, a person attends behavioral treatment sessions. While the prospect of having to frequent a clinic regularly may seem off-putting for some, this requirement enables participants to make recovery a priority in their daily lives.
If you or someone you know is considering methadone clinic treatment and need help locating treatment programs in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360 to speak with one of our addiction specialists.