Methadone is a legal opioid used for both pain treatment and as a therapy for people recovering from an opioid addiction, such as one to heroin. Methadone is, however, like most opioids, extremely addictive. When prescribed in a professional treatment facility as a maintenance therapy, any addiction formed is curbed and ended. When it’s used as a drug of abuse, methadone is powerfully addicting and comes with brutal side effects.
Methadone works by preventing other opioids from working effectively. As an opioid agonist, it causes users’ opioid receptors to become blocked. Because methadone is an opioid itself, it provides opioid addicts relief from their withdrawal symptoms. It may sound like a wonder-drug, but methadone is not a cure in and of itself. It’s used as one part of a comprehensive treatment program.
When abused, methadone presents a fatal problem. Although methadone only makes up 2% of all painkiller prescriptions written in America, it’s responsible for about a quarter of all fatal painkiller overdoses. According to the CDC, (Centers for Disease Control), “Drug overdose deaths involving methadone peaked in 2006 and 2007, then declined 39% by 2014. Despite this decline, however, methadone continues to account for nearly one in four prescription opioid-related deaths.”
If you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, regardless to what, please contact First City today. We have experts standing by, waiting to help you find peace. That being said, we want to educate you on methadone clinics and how best to go about finding one.
A methadone clinic is any institution that specializes in medication-assisted treatment for an opioid addiction. Although methadone is among the most prescribed medicines for opioid addiction recovery, others such as buprenorphine are often used. ‘Methadone clinic’ is essentially an umbrella term for any such facility.
The vast majority of methadone clinics do not require prior authorization for walk-in patients. There will however very likely be a series of assessments and/or tests performed in order to determine eligibility for a methadone-based treatment program.
Methadone is almost always administered by a medical professional, although some specific programs allow for at-home use. Such programs require both proper release care and/or aftercare from the clinic, and self-discipline on the part of the recovering addict.
Some major benefits recovering opioid addicts will enjoy in a methadone clinic include:
- Relief from withdrawal symptoms
- Reduced cravings for opioids
- Inability to feel pleasure from opioid abuse, promoting sobriety
- Ability to function healthily without using drugs
Give us a call today to learn more about what methadone clinics entail. The three main stages of a methadone treatment program are assessment, stabilization and maintenance. You’ll be assessed as we mentioned, stabilized with methadone, and then maintained on lower and lower doses until opioids are a thing of the past. In the meantime, it’s important to know the basics about who qualifies for methadone-based treatment programs.
Who Qualifies for Methadone?
Generally speaking, to qualify for medication-assisted treatment with methadone, recovering addicts must be physically addicted at the time of assessment. Usually they also must have been abusing opioids for at least one year. This is NOT to say that a nasty addiction can’t form overnight. DON’T hesitate to reach out if you or someone you love has only struggled for a short time. Everyone is different, and so is every addiction.
Obviously, proving you have an opioid addiction may require more than simply saying that you do. Ways in which to prove your situation include:
- A doctor’s recommendation for medication-assisted treatment
- Records of any previous treatment for addiction
- A letter from a family member and/or clergy member affirming the addiction
- A letter from a law enforcement official and/or parole officer
- Arrest records for opioid-related crime(s)
Individuals under the age of 18 are typically not qualified for methadone treatment, but exceptions have been made in extreme cases. Also, pregnant women, individuals recently released from prison, and/or individuals who have received methadone treatment in the past generally do not have to have been using for a whole year.
Finding the Right Clinic
In the land of Capitalism, there are countless methadone clinics and substance abuse treatment facilities. Do your research and find one that best suits your needs. We can however save you some time if you contact us. We promise to customize your program to fit you like a tailored outfit. First City provides top-notch addiction recovery services in a safe and relaxing atmosphere. Call us today.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.