Addiction to opiates is a serious condition that affects millions of people across the country. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the numbers of people who die from a drug overdose from drugs like heroin and prescription pain relievers has been steadily on the rise for the last several years. In spite of the fact that the media has led many to believe that addiction to opiates is a helpless disease consisting of a lifelong battle full of disappointments and backsliding, there are effective treatment options that can help people get their life back.
One of the most common forms of treatment for those who are suffering with an addiction to opiates is with an opiod analgesic known as methadone. Methadone, which was initially used as an analgesic pain reliever, is in the same class as opiates and therefore, can produce many of the same effects for a user. It does not, however, provide the exact same euphoric high, which can lead to an impression of feeling more normal for individuals who have been struggling with drugs for some time. Addicts who are struggling with dependency to heroin and other opiates are often referred to a methadone clinic for rehab.
Understanding the Methadone Clinic
If it is determined that a patient could benefit from methadone treatment by a medical professional, they may be referred to methadone clinics in the area. Some clinics do allow people struggling with addiction to just walk in off the street without a referral. The patient will be given an evaluation of the severity of the addiction, usually by determining the type of drug or drugs that are used, how much, and by the evidence of withdrawal symptoms. With an evaluation, the clinic will calculate a dosage amount that should be sufficient enough to deter symptoms of withdrawal. The patient will be required to come in daily thereafter to receive their methadone dosage for the day.
The Downfalls of the Methadone Clinic
There is no secret that the way in which methadone affects its users does make it a logical choice for those who are struggling with an opiate addiction. The idea is that one daily sufficient dose from a clinic can free an addict from the otherwise demanding constraints of constantly seeking their next fix of opiates. Methadone is less expensive by far and, best of all, treatment is covered by most types of insurance, even that which is federally funded. Yet these supposed drug rehabilitation miracle centers do have their downfalls.
Most methadone clinics use no formal type of therapy or counseling as part of their treatment plan. Therefore, the underlying cause of the addiction at hand is never really formally addressed.
- Addicts are still enslaved by a drug and must visit the clinic daily or face release from treatment.
- Methadone is just as addictive as other forms of opiates, but offers a false security because it can have a long half life, which means it releases slowly into the system.
- Some addicts find that they must wait in line with a bunch of strangers for hours in order to get their daily dose.
- The ability to live a normal life with weekend trips or vacations becomes out of the question.
- The affects of methadone can diminish over time. Therefore, methadone clinics commonly raise dosage amounts over time to accommodate the addicts tolerance, which can lead to high dosage amounts.
Making Methadone Treatment More Effective
Methadone is an effective drug for helping people who are struggling with an opiate addiction. However, it is most effective when used in conjunction with addiction counseling in a professional setting. The programs that rehab facilities use to help people actually recover from addiction use methods that help get to the root of the issue at hand. Addiction often stems from other psychological issues and learning coping techniques is a key component in finding full recovery.
Whether you feel that a methadone clinic is the right treatment plan for you or not, it is important to seek some form of help for your struggles. If you are an addict that has been enslaved to opiates or other drugs for far too long, you should know that there are treatment options that can help you. Losing another day to addiction is not what you or your family deserves and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are insurance options for rehab and the first step to sobriety is learning about the options that you may have for treatment. With a little dedication and the right program, your new life could be something that becomes a reality and not just an idea you have of the distant future. The light at the end of addiction is there waiting. It is up to you to take the first steps in the right direction.