If you are taking prescription painkillers or heroin, and you’re ready to make a step in the right direction, consider the questions that we’re most often asked about methadone treatment for addiction recovery.
#1. Is methadone treatment right for me?
Methadone is one of the most common, safe and effective remedies for addiction recovery.
Methadone may be the right choice for you if:
- You are an adult 18 years or older who has been dependent on painkillers or heroin for more than a year.
- Your opioid use has resulted in social consequences affecting your work, family and social obligations.
- Previous attempts at quitting have been unsuccessful.
- You are combining one or more substances, putting your health at further risk.
- You have engaged in criminal activity to continue using the illicit opioid.
- You use opiates intravenously, which puts you at high risk for AIDS, HIV, STDs and Hepatitis C.
#2. Is taking methadone trading one addiction for another?
Absolutely not. Methadone helps individuals recover from opioid addiction.
Methadone acts as a stabilizer in the body rather than a narcotic that is used for its euphoric effects.
When taken as prescribed, methadone helps patients function physically, emotionally and intellectually without impairment. The medication does not produce mood swings, drowsiness or narcotic effects. Patients on methadone maintenance can drive, go to work, interact with their families and lead normal lives.
Methadone creates a physical dependence that is required to maintain mental stability for patients overcoming opioid addiction.
#3. Is methadone addictive?
Addiction and physical dependence are two different states. Addiction is the compulsive use of a drug despite negative consequences.
Methadone maintenance is not an addiction; it is a physical dependence that is required to maintain physical stability.
Similar to a diabetic patient that physically depends on insulin, methadone does not produce the addictive behaviors of compulsion where cravings and withdrawal symptoms lead to habitual drug use.
#4. What are the possible side effects of methadone?
Long-term research studying millions of patients show that physical health greatly improves when methadone is being used to overcome opioid addiction.
If a patient had prior medical conditions, poor nutrition or poor dental care, he or she may become aware of these symptoms as their body stabilizes on methadone. Patients can then properly address pre-existing conditions and improve healthcare, nutrition and healthy wellness habits.
#5. What is the right length of treatment for methadone?
Studies indicate that the greater the length in treatment, the more positive the results for the patient. Generally, less than 90 days in treatment is of limited effectiveness. A minimum amount of time in treatment is 12 months with increasing positive results typically occurring in the initial three years.
The exact duration of treatment, however, is determined by the individual in conversation with the physician so there is no predetermined length of treatment.
#6. Will methadone impair my ability to drive or operate machinery?
No. Methadone, when used as prescribed, does not impair a patient’s ability to drive or operate machinery. Research studies indicate that patients on methadone have normal functioning including the ability to pay close attention, reaction time, eye-hand coordination, and accurate responses in emergency situations.
#7. Is methadone safe for pregnant women?
Methadone does not impair the child’s developmental or cognitive functioning when taken during pregnancy. Years of studies have shown that there is no lasting harm to the child from exposure to methadone during pregnancy and has been proven to reduce the risk of illness or death in both the mother and child.
If you have more questions about methadone treatment for overcoming opioid misuse, we’re standing by for your call; reach us today at 1-877-284-7074.