Methadone Treatment for Opiate Addiction
Methadone has been an effective treatment for opiate addictions since the 1960’s. Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) programs were initiated to provide a medically supervised alternative to heroin abuse. Although there has been controversy over this as a replacement therapy, methadone treatment is still considered the most effective and widely used treatment to help an opioid addict recover and stabilize their life. An estimate of up to 83% of opiate addicts may use intravenously. Methadone treatment programs help to reduce the health risks of intravenous infections and blood born diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis. A recent study shows that almost half of the people who experiment with opiates may become addicted, with youth, ages 12 – 17, among the fastest growing number of users. Opiate addictions are difficult to overcome with a high probability of relapse in chronic users. The addiction can impact an individual for years and methadone is considered a long term treatment plan to combat this situation. Addicts who participate in a methadone treatment program are able to resume performing normal functions, such as work and social activities, while reducing cravings for opiates, stopping withdrawal symptoms, and stabilizing themselves with controlled doses of methadone and counseling support.
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Types of Methadone Treatment for Opiate Addiction
Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) programs provide a controlled regimen program that disperses methadone directly to the addict as a means to control dosages and illicit diversions of the drug. These clinics usually require a daily visit in order to continue voluntary participation in the program where dosage amounts are determined by case workers who may provide other recovery resources.
Methadone misuse can be dangerous and has been linked to an increased number of deaths. It should not be used with alcohol or other medications without a doctor’s advice. Many addicts choose the privacy of a physician to receive methadone treatment and this may be beneficial in certain health cases or where chronic pain is an ongoing issue.
Methadone, as a replacement therapy for opiate addictions, is most beneficial when combined with resources of counseling and therapy. The more help and support the addict receives from qualified professionals for their physical, psychological, and emotional health, the greater the chance of a successful intervention. This addiction can last indefinitely and the more time an addict spends in a program the better their recovery chance.
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