Methadone is an excellent treatment for heroin and other opiate and opioid addictions. It is one of the most widely used medications in medication assisted therapy. It’s been in use since the 1940s and is extremely effective. Unfortunately, like most powerful medications, methadone has some side effects. One of these side effects is addiction. Despite thousands of people successfully using methadone, it is still an addictive opiate. Many who use it find themselves literally addicted to the very drug that allowed them to end a different addiction. In this complex addiction, a methadone rehab is often necessary to treat it.
How Methadone Addiction is Treated
Since methadone is a treatment for opiate addiction, some clinics use a medication assisted treatment and others prefer a tapering approach. The tapering approach is simple. A doctor gradually reduces the amount of methadone you are taking until you are off the drug. In this type of treatment, you may experience some mild withdrawal symptoms but they are not nearly as severe as they would be if you stopped using it suddenly. This usually does not work if you were taking methadone for chronic pain as well as addiction.
Medication assisted treatment is a combination of a different medication and therapy. During medication assisted treatment you receive either buprenorphine or Suboxone to treat the withdrawal symptoms and then use therapy to find and correct the cause of the addiction. Medication assisted treatment is capable of treating both chronic pain and addiction at the same time.
Inpatient or Outpatient Methadone Rehab
When you are considering a methadone rehab one of your choices will be to go to inpatient or outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab is a residential form of treatment. You remain at the treatment center 24 hours a day until you are off the methadone. The up side to this is that you do not have access to illegal opiates while you are in treatment and the therapy can be intensive and almost constant. You have help any time you need it. Unfortunately, inpatient treatment also requires you to stay in the treatment center while you are in treatment. This means you cannot work, go to school or care for your family until you are released.
Outpatient treatment is a nonresidential form of treatment. You go to treatment during the day, then return home at night. Outpatient treatment is treatment on your schedule. Unfortunately, the downside of outpatient treatment is that you have access to opiates and may return to your addiction despite the treatment. Many people relapse when they are presented with the opportunity to return to using methadone or other opiates.
You can also go to a combination form of treatment. This is a combination of inpatient and outpatient treatment. You go to inpatient treatment for detoxification and the worst parts of withdrawal. Once the majority of the withdrawal symptoms pass you transition into an outpatient treatment program.
Regardless of which type you choose, the addiction to methadone is treatable. It takes time and patience but it is possible. You do not have to face your addiction alone.