Detox is one of the most important parts of the addiction recovery process. Yet many people are intimidated by detoxification because of the strong withdrawal symptoms that are generally associated with “coming down” during natural detox (in which the individual stops the intake of drugs completely). These individuals often turn to medical detox processes – the most common of which involves a synthetic opiate known as methadone. Although carefully monitored medical detox programs help countless individuals overcome their addictions, there are a number of people who have become addicted to the very substance that was intended to help them – methadone.
How Does Methadone Addiction and Abuse Start?
Rather than a “street drug” purchased from a dealer, most people begin using methadone with the absolute best of intentions – as a means of detoxifying from opiates such as heroin, Vicodin or OxyContin. Because methadone is a synthetic opiate, it carries with it many of the same addictive properties as these other dangerous drugs. That means a small but significant number of people who begin using methadone during detox will then become addicted to the drug. That leaves them fighting a difficult two-front war against methadone addiction and their addiction to the original opiate in question.
Methadone also carries with it an array of health risks, according to Medline Plus. Taking methadone can actually threaten one’s life as it can slow breathing rates to dangerous levels. Likewise, it can slow heart rate significantly, even resulting in the heart stopping altogether.
Rehab for Addiction to Methadone
Individuals who are struggling with methadone addiction need professional help from a drug rehab program. Drug rehabilitation for methadone abuse or dependence, like rehab for most addictions, is commonly comprised of three distinct processes. These processes are:
- Detox. Usually, an individual has a choice between natural and medical detox when cleansing their system of the harmful toxins found in drugs and alcohol; however, since attempting a medical detoxification is likely the source of the methadone addiction, special considerations need to be made. Addiction professionals may recommend the use of buprenorphine, which is less likely to be abused, or another form of supervised detox.
- Counseling. The heart of a methadone addiction treatment program is counseling. This is where the true work of the recovery process takes place, as the addict breaks down the causes of their addiction. Some addicts make the most progress in individual counseling whereas other addicts benefit most from group therapy sessions. Most individuals benefit from some combination of the two.
- Aftercare. Once the methadone rehab program is complete, the individual still has a number of issues they must confront. Society is not always quick to welcome back the recovering opiate addict; therefore, the individual may face prejudices and stressors on a daily basis that, at worst, can cause the individual to relapse. Aftercare programs help prepare the individual for life after rehab and provide the necessary support to make it through the tough times and take recovery one day at a time. Many methadone addicts benefit from a type of transitional period – such as a stay at a sober living home – between their formal addiction treatment program and a return to their home environment.
Different Types of Methadone Treatment
Once the individual has made a choice to go into treatment for their methadone addiction, they have a number of different treatment options. There are drug rehab programs that deal with methadone addiction in unique ways, each one offering a specific spin on treatment that meets the particular lifestyle needs of the individual. Regardless of the specific treatment program you choose, make sure that they have a solid track record of treating methadone addicts. Also, beware of treatment programs that promise a “cure” for addiction or a quick fix. Addiction recovery is hard work; it gets easier over time but there are no shortcuts to sobriety. Top treatment program types include:
- Inpatient treatment. Individuals in residential rehab live on site at the facility where they receive 24-hour care from treatment professionals. The residential style of treatment is ideal for those individuals who are living in a destructive environment that increases the likelihood of drug abuse. Since methadone addictions usually come about as the result of a prior addiction, deep-seated addiction issues are often at work. As a result, a stay at a residential treatment facility is usually recommended.
- Outpatient treatment. Some men and women are unable or unwilling to simply drop everything in their lives and enter into a residential drug rehab program. For these individuals, there are outpatient rehab programs. The addict attends scheduled therapy sessions but still lives at their home. This allows for some measure of personal freedom so that the individual can maintain their responsibilities at work, school or as the head of household.
- Teen-specific addiction treatment. A teenager who is addicted to drugs such as methadone has everything to lose, including their health and their future. Teen drug rehab programs help adolescents get their lives back on track by addressing teen-specific issues concerning drug use.
If you’d like helping locating a rehab facility that can effectively treat your methadone addiction, or the addiction of a loved one, contact us today. We are here 24/7 to take your calls.