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Methadone is known as one of the safest medications that can be used in the treatment of opiate addiction. According to the National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, it has been used since the 1960’s as an alternative to opiates and opioids.
This is why methadone and suboxone are commonly used in addiction treatment. If you know someone who is addicted to narcotics, you might be interested in how methadone clinics work. Before you dive right in, you need to know what to expect. What are the benefits and limitations of such treatment methods?
Are Methadone Clinics Good or Bad?
Just like any other form of addiction treatment, methadone has advantages and disadvantages. There are good aspects to it, but there are also risks. So for some people, methadone treatment might actually be a double-edged sword, rather than a cure.
But here’s where we should clarify that even methadone isn’t considered a cure for addiction. It is only one component of a comprehensive treatment program. It works best when used alongside behavioral therapy methods such as counseling and addiction education.
Methadone is actually an opioid—similar to the addictive substances that people abuse. As an opioid, methadone itself is considered a narcotic. It works by occupying the same receptors in the brain that opioids and opiates attach to. Once methadone binds to these receptors, it can block the euphoric sensation that gets people addicted.
The reason people get hooked on drugs is that they feel relaxed and euphoric. But methadone is an opioid that blocks this high, making it much easier to lower a person’s drug intake.
That is what makes methadone clinics so helpful. They allow the user’s body to slowly adapt to a milder version of the addictive substance.
But methadone is still an opioid. It means it has the same properties that can get people addicted in the first place. Although it is generally safer, it is still possible to get addicted to methadone. Some people abuse their prescription and take large doses within a short period of time, in an attempt to get high.
So while methadone treatment is generally safe, it is not without its risks. Whether or not a methadone clinic will be able to help the patient depends on a number of factors. This applies to every other form of addiction treatment as well.
Since everybody is different, each patient will have a different reaction to a certain type of treatment. And this is why drug rehab is such a personal experience. A program will be tailored for the person’s physical and emotional needs so that all the effects of addiction can be addressed.
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Methadone treatment is mostly harmless—but it has to be done right. Look for an addiction treatment facility near you and find out if methadone treatment will work for your loved one.
Each facility offers different programs, and they may have a unique approach to drug treatment. What’s important is that you get started today.