How Do Methadone Clinics Work

Recent strides in addiction treatment methods mean methadone clinics are now a viable route to recovery from opioid addiction. Understandably, you’re likely to have questions about methadone clinics and how they work. After all, isn’t methadone a controlled substance?

Clinics that specialize in methadone treatment are fully operational medical facilities. They’re staffed by professionals who not only help patients through the rehabilitation process. But, they also support them in taking their first steps toward a sober life.

Our latest read takes the microscope to methadone clinics and how they work. Here, we’ll expound on what to expect at methadone clinics and how they help with opioid addiction. 

What is a Methadone Clinic: Quick Overview 

Methadone clinics are medical facilities providing medication-assisted treatment for individuals with opioid addiction. These clinics focus on rehabilitation for addiction to opioid substances, including heroin, codeine and specific prescription drugs. 

Methadone clinics specialize in administering Methadone, an opioid analgesic, also sold under the trade name Dolophine. It’s an addiction treatment form commonly known as replacement therapy.

Methadone comes in tablet, liquid, and wafer forms. More importantly, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration approves every form of methadone for medication-assisted opioid treatment. 

VIa cross-tolerance, methadone blocks the effects of opiates like oxycodone, codeine, and other semi-synthetic opioids. This feature is why it’s usually used to suppress the direness of opioid withdrawal.

Methadone treatment procedures in clinics isn’t a solution or cure for addiction. However, it’s nonetheless regarded as valuable during therapy and rehabilitation. 

The following are some potential benefits experienced by those who have been to such clinics:

  • A reduction in opioid craving.
  • A decrease or prevention of opioid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Preventing the high from illegal opioids.

Related Article: What Are Opioids?

heroin addiction

How Methadone Clinics Work to Treat Opioid Addiction 

Understanding methadone treatment for opioid abuse is essential because its misuse can have severe consequences. This position is why a team of skilled medical personnel must administer methadone to anyone struggling with opioid addiction. 

Also, drug and therapy responses may vary from person to person. Therefore, it’s important to personalize care for each patient. And only experienced medical staff can offer such special attention.

Opioid addiction treatment programs in methadone clinics also consider other factors, including: 

  • The individual’s family and professional life
  • How they fit into society
  • The resources they require for productivity and functionality

In other words, methadone clinic therapy encompasses more than just methadone administration and medical care. It touches on problems that may arise in the patient’s medical, social, occupational, and legal realms.

Another thing you should know about methadone clinics is the medication is frequently incorporated into other regimens. After a thorough assessment of a patient’s medical background and current state, therapy commences. 

The following are some recommended forms of primary care you’ll find at work in methadone clinics:

Medication-assisted Treatment

Doctors can use opioid-blocking medicines and other prescription drugs to modulate chemical processes in the brain that trigger drug cravings and dependence.

Alongside methadone, drugs like buprenorphine have also been introduced to help reduce drug cravings and lessen adverse side effects. Also, naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids and doesn’t cause physical dependence. Likewise, Vivitrol is another form of naltrexone that’s administered as an injection just once a month.

Behavioural and cognitive therapy (CBT)

There’s a common set of actions and expectations among those who regularly engage in drug misuse. Therefore, intending to help addiction patients embark on a healthy path, counsellors at methadone clinics work with them to modify such behaviours. 

The blend of methadone administration and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps alleviate drug cravings. It also helps suppress other symptoms of underlying stress, which may trigger substance usage.

Medical Detoxification

Detox withdrawal causes severe physiological symptoms. Some may be rather serious, but with the help of medication, the patient can be set up for a full and speedy recovery. 

That’s why medical detox usually works hand in hand with methadone treatment procedures. The combination ensures the patient’s total well-being during the withdrawal process.

medical detoxification

Methadone Treatment: Risks and Considerations 

The use of methadone is not without dangers. Primarily, Methadone has the potential to trigger dependence if taken incorrectly. 

Therefore, individualized dosing is essential, as is the frequent review and readjustment of dosage. That’s why methadone clinics providing opioid addiction treatment have highly experienced opioid specialists to manage patients. 

Methadone mismanagement can cause the following unwanted effects:

  • Hallucinations
  • Experiencing dizziness
  • Problematic respiration
  • Pressure in the chest
  • Fast and Agitated Heartbeat:
  • Confusion
  • Rumblings in the muscles
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Tummy aches

Medication interactions are a possibility when using methadone. There’s also the possibility of adverse cardiovascular effects due to medication interaction. 

Therefore, taking methadone at the proper time and in the right amount is crucial. Never skip doses, double up to make up for a missing one, or otherwise alter your dosage regimen without first talking to a specialist.

Important things to remember when on methadone include:

  • Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake.
  • Take caution on the road and in the workplace.
  • You should keep medication at room temperature.
  • Methadone should be stored in a dark place.
  • Should you mistakenly overdose, hit a call for emergency attention.

tummy aches

Final Thoughts

With how methadone clinics work, it’s easy to conclude they focus on administering methadone needed for medically assisted drug therapy. And as earlier discussed, while the term is “methadone clinic,” opioid treatment programs include more than just methadone. 

For example, drugs like Suboxone and naltrexone may be a part of your treatment. Proper addiction care like CBT and medical detox is also in full provision in these clinics.

It’s vital to know that there’s support available if you or someone you care about is struggling with opioid addiction. But you need to get the right methadone clinic to help you. 

We at Inspire Change Wellness Centre are well known in Vancouver for our innovative all-encompassing drug addiction treatment. Our experience and access to top-standard facilities can deliver flexible treatment services to fit your needs. 

Speak to us today. Call 888.508.9802 to discuss opioid addiction treatment options. 

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