Is Methadone Maintenance Treatment Right for Me?
One of the most common treatments available today for drug addiction is methadone maintenance treatment.
This form of therapy involves taking methadone on a daily basis to stave off opioid withdrawal effects and prevent you from getting high on other opioids.
Once a person starts methadone, other drugs like heroin won’t have any noticeable effects.
While it sounds like a miracle drug, methadone isn’t the best choice for everyone. Here are some things to consider before committing to methadone therapy.
Still not sure if methadone is right for you? Call us at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to tell us your story, and our specialists can help you find the treatment that’s right for you.
Can You Handle Daily Trips to the Clinic?
Because methadone has a long half-life, you only need to take one dose a day in order for it to be effective.
Unfortunately, because methadone has a high chance for addiction, it is only dispensed from verified clinics. This means you can’t get a prescription filled from the pharmacy and take doses leisurely at home.
Instead, you will have to drive to a local methadone clinic on a daily basis to receive your dose. There’s simply no way around it.
Therefore, for people that don’t have a car or can’t be relied on to make daily trips, methadone might not be the right choice.
Can You Handle Methadone Side Effects?
While methadone has relatively mild side effects, they might be troublesome to some people. The most common methadone side effects include:
- Mood swings or anxiety
- Dry mouth
- Flushing of the face
In severe cases, methadone can also cause liver problems, respiratory depression, decreased heart rate, or comas. If you experience any of these severe problems, your doctor will probably discontinue methadone and suggest an alternative treatment.
Are You Pregnant?
While methadone has been used for years to treat pregnant women, scientists have now discovered that it can sometimes cause neonatal abstinence syndrome in babies.
Because the baby shares the mother’s blood supply, methadone can be passed through the placenta that connects them. If the mother keeps using methadone through the entire pregnancy, her baby might be born dependent on methadone.
This will cause the baby to experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Blotchy skin
- Rapid breathing
- Problems sleeping
- Crying and sucking excessively
To avoid all of this, it’s probably best to stay away from methadone if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant in the near future.
Can You Afford the Cost?
Unfortunately, methadone maintenance therapy isn’t cheap. Estimates show that for the average patient, it will cost $4,700 per year for the therapy.
While this sounds like a lot, think of it in terms of investing in your future. Without getting into the treatment you need, you probably won’t have a future at all.
Depending on if you have health insurance, your services might also be covered. Before getting too dismayed over cost, check with your doctor to see what financial options are available.
As you can see, there are certain people for which methadone might not be best. However, for the majority of opioid drug addicts, methadone is a fine treatment to help them put their addiction to rest for good.