A narcotic painkiller, methadone is also used to aid in the treatment of heroin addiction. There is a lot of controversy about whether or not methadone should be used to aid in rehab, as improper (and sometimes even proper) intake of the drug may cause dependency or accidental addiction. Despite the risk of developed dependency, however, methadone is still widely used for heroin treatment. With the right dosage and closely controlled / monitored use, this drug can help get an addict overcome his addiction to heroin—an extremely dangerous street drug.
A methadone only detox will not be sufficient for a long term recovery. All detox programs at One40 offer clients a therapeutic programme, as we uphold the belief that recovery is only possible if an oppourntiy is given to our clients for them to work on negative thoughts and feelings that triggered their substance misuse historically.
How Does Methadone Help Treat Heroin Addiction?
Taking methadone during heroin detox helps prevent withdrawal symptoms or at least make withdrawal less severe. In most cases, doctors start patients at lower doses of methadone, slowly increasing dosage until the patient becomes more stable and until withdrawal symptoms fade. Doctors must be very careful in administering doses to keep patients from developing methadone addiction. Remember that while methadone and heroin share similar characteristics, methadone lasts a lot longer in the body than heroin. This is why close monitoring is important.
Is Methadone Effective in Managing Withdrawal Symptoms?
Yes but at One40 we suggest it used in a short term detox plan whilst in a residential treatment centre. This synthetic opiate blocks the effects of heroin. Long-term studies show that it eliminates withdrawal symptoms.
Will I develop a dependency on Methadone?
It is possible. This is why methadone must be administered carefully and over a planned period. Some people stay on methadone long-term, but some are able to eventually reduce the dose and stop using the drugs altogether. It’s not always easy, though; coming off methadone is often as hard as detoxing from other street drugs, especially since this drug mimics the effects of heroin.
Your doctor may ask you to stay on methadone for an extended ‘maintenance period,’ thus helping you stay away from street drugs. After some time, your doctor may gradually reduce dosage until you mo longer need methadone.
Methadone is often prescribed as a once-a-day dose. It is important that you keep taking the right dosage regularly to avoid developing high tolerance. When choosing methadone rehab for heroin addiction treatment, remember the following:
- Some prescribed medicines such as those used to treat epilepsy and tuberculosis may interfere with methadone. It is essential that you advise your doctor about these contraindications to make sure the drug will work as it should.
- Other street drugs along with alcohol may also affect methadone, which is why it is best that you don’t drink alcohol or take any other drugs while on maintenance.
- You may also be banned from driving while taking methadone and other similar drugs. You may eventually be allowed to return to driving, subject to a medical review.