Which is Worse – Methadone Program “Dependence” or Living in Addiction?
The stigma surrounding drug addiction in general has only added to the challenges addicts face in recovery. Likewise, stigma surrounding methadone programs in terms of their actual role in treating addiction can wear away at a person’s recovery efforts over time.
The use of methadone as a treatment drug has its advantages and disadvantages, just like any other type of treatment. For people who stand to benefit from a methadone program, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks considering the anguish that comes with a life of addiction.
Gaining an understanding on how methadone treatment works can go a long way towards dispelling any qualms or concerns you may have regarding the validity of this treatment approach.
The Stigma Surrounding Methadone Programs
Stigmas surrounding methadone programs tend to take one of two forms: an overall negative perception of people with drug abuse histories and the notion of replacing one form of drug dependence with another (methadone). A study appearing in the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction found stereotypes, such as “untrustworthy” and “weak” are too often associated with addiction regardless of whether a person is in recovery or not.
In terms of methadone’s role as yet another form of drug dependence, this notion interprets methadone’s therapeutic effects at face value without considering the degree of damage chronic opiate addiction leaves behind.
If you’re considering treatment and you’re not sure if your insurance will cover your treatment costs, call our helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) for more information.
Methadone’s Role in Opiate Addiction Treatment
While most all forms of chronic drug abuse damages brain functioning, opiate addictions in particular can cause long-term damage, making ongoing abstinence from drugs that much harder to come by. Methadone programs specifically address addiction’s damaging effects while equipping those in recovery with the tools to build drug-free lifestyles, according to the Western Journal of Medicine.
Long-term opiate abuse causes widespread structural damage to the brain’s chemical pathways as well as to the cells that produce essential neurotransmitter chemicals. Once drug use stops, the brain has reached a point where it can no longer function in the absence of opiate effects due to the degree of damage left behind.
As a treatment medication, methadone supports damaged cell structures and restores the brain’s chemical system back to normal. In the process, a person gains much needed relief from drug cravings, which increases the likelihood of continued abstinence from addictive opiates.
Methadone Program Treatment vs. A Life of Addiction
In the absence of needed treatment supports, the effects of opiate addiction on brain functioning only grow worse with time. Under these conditions, a person’s life will continue to deteriorate in terms of his or her physical, emotional and mental health.
Chronic addiction problems pave the way for broken families, unemployment and even homelessness to unfold within a person’s life. While methadone program treatment does in fact act as a “replacement” therapy, its therapeutic effects enable recovering addicts to rebuild their lives and plan for the future.
If you or someone you know are considering methadone program treatment and need help finding a program 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 addiction specialists.