Methadone is one of the most commonly used medications for opioid addiction. Research shows that it helps support the recovery of large numbers of people. However, before your first appointment for methadone-assisted treatment, there are some things you should know. By educating yourself beforehand, you’ll help your appointment go as smoothly as possible.
Methadone Is a Form of Medication-Assisted Treatment
Today, medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is the working model for treating opioid addiction. This treatment combines a medication like methadone with some form of psychotherapy. MAT has proven benefits that include:
- Increasing the odds that you will stay in treatment
- Lowering the chances that you will take an opioid
- Decreasing the chances that you will die from opioid-related causes
- Making it easier for you to find and hold a job as you recover
Methadone is not the only medication used in opioid addiction treatment. Programs may also offer treatment that includes:
Buprenorphine is used as an alternative to methadone in medication-assisted treatment. Naltrexone helps you avoid opioid use after you achieve initial sobriety. Both methadone and buprenorphine have been proven to be very effective in reducing opioid overdose.
Doctors Tightly Control Methadone Use in Opioid Addiction Treatment
As strange as it may sound, methadone is an opioid. In addition, when not used properly, it’s a potential target of drug abuse. Given these facts, why do opioid treatment programs use the medication?
First, methadone serves an important treatment purpose. In the right amounts, it serves as a temporary substitute for stronger opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. Used in this way, methadone helps ease the effects of opioid withdrawal without getting you high. Over time you receive less and less of the medication. Eventually, you may not need it anymore.
In addition, methadone is safe when used as intended. Your doctor will strictly control your access to the medication. You will receive just enough to meet your current treatment needs.
As those needs change, your dose of methadone will change to follow suit. These steps promote your recovery goals. At the same time, they help you steer clear of any problems with the medication. There is no set length of time for methadone treatment. Like other aspects of your care, the duration of treatment depends on your specific circumstances.
Access to a Methadone Clinic Is Limited
You can’t get a methadone appointment through all substance treatment providers. Instead, you must go to an official methadone clinic or other authorized providers. Only facilities certified by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can qualify.
Other rules also apply. For example, you can only take methadone while being supervised by a certified healthcare practitioner. At the start, you must always take the medication at your treatment facility. However, things change when you demonstrate responsibility while receiving methadone. In these circumstances, you may also be allowed to take it between visits to your facility.
Find a Methadone Appointment Through Treatment Connection
Since not everyone offers methadone treatment, you need to look for certified providers in your area. Treatment Connection supports your objectives with a comprehensive online search tool. This anonymous portal gives you multiple options for finding the help you need. If you like, you can search by zip code. You can also search for specific providers according to their specialties. In addition, we provide educational resources so you can learn more about the basics of MAT for opioid problems. No matter the hour or your location, you can start your search today.