Who’s a Good Candidate for Methadone Maintenance Treatment?
The decision to enter opiate addiction treatment does not come lightly for most. The prospect of leaving drug use behind can seem overwhelming, both physically and mentally. With the range of drug treatment options available, deciding between the various options can be difficult in itself.
For people coming off chronic, long-term addiction problems, it’s especially important to find a program that meets your treatment needs as the risk for relapse runs high. For immediate help, call our toll-free treatment helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?).
Methadone maintenance treatment offers a comprehensive range of services designed to address the specific challenges and obstacles encountered when recovering from chronic opiate addiction. Whether or not you’re a good candidate for methadone maintenance treatment depends on the severity of your addiction as well as the circumstances that brought you to where you are now.
The Long-Term Effects of Chronic Opiate Addiction
As a group, opiate drugs act as depressants, slowing down chemical activities throughout the body as well as slowing most every major system in the body. Opiates work by altering the levels of neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain.
Neurotransmitters most affected, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, regulate the body’s systems and must be present in certain amounts in order to support normal brain functioning. With long-term opiate abuse, widespread chemical imbalances take over. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these conditions leave the brain dependent on opiate effects to function at all.
Even after a person stops taking drugs, these imbalances can persist for months or years thereafter. These conditions account for why it’s so difficult for people in recovery to maintain abstinence on an ongoing basis.
For help finding treatment that meets your needs call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?).
Methadone Maintenance Treatment Objectives
Methadone maintenance treatment’s use of methadone specifically works to restore a normal chemical balance in the brain by supporting damaged cell structures and replenishing depleted neurotransmitter supplies. In doing so, the physical and emotional discomforts commonly experienced in recovery subside as the brain’s chemical environment returns to a normal state, according to the University of Washington.
Methadone maintenance treatment also provides much-needed behavioral treatment as a means for helping a person replace addiction-based thinking and behavior patterns with a lifestyle that can support continued abstinence.
Factors to Consider
A good candidate for methadone maintenance treatment will likely be dealing with one or more of the following circumstances:
- Has attempted drug treatment in the past and may have gone through multiple rounds of treatment with little progress to show for it
- Has an extensive history of opiate abuse and/or poly-drug use
- Struggles with mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or personality disorders
- Has made multiple failed attempts to stop using on his or her own
- Struggles with chronic medical problems, such as diabetes or heart disease
Any one of the above circumstances has the makings for a serious addiction problem that likely requires a comprehensive treatment approach such as methadone maintenance treatment provides. Failing to get the level of treatment most needed to address the challenges you face can ultimately cause more harm than good in the long run. For these reasons, people coming off chronic addiction problems may well want to take a second look at what methadone maintenance treatment has to offer.
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 feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addictions specialists.