Pros and Cons of Methadone Treatment Centers
Both heroin and prescription pain pills have become the source of an addiction epidemic, trapping scores of people within a cycle of drug abuse. These substances, commonly known as opiates, exert a tremendous toll on the brain’s ability to regulate bodily functions. Methadone treatment centers specialize in helping those in recovery overcome the aftereffects of opiate addiction in their lives.
As with any treatment approach, what works well for some people may offer others little to no benefit. Likewise, the pros and cons of methadone treatment centers tend to correspond with the individual needs of each person.
Addiction severity, past drug treatment history and individual circumstances can have a bearing on the effectiveness of the treatment facilities approach. Equally important, a person’s overall motivation to get well can greatly influence whether or not a methadone treatment approach will work.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment
With long-term opiate use, brain functions come to rely on the drug’s effects to help regulate bodily processes. When a person stops using, brain chemical imbalances persist leaving him or her in a perpetual state of physical and psychological imbalance.
Methadone, also an opiate drug, produces many of the same effects as heroin and prescription pain medications without placing a person at a high risk for addiction. Methadone’s ability to mimic other addictive opiates goes a long way towards relieving the withdrawal and cravings effects experienced in recovery, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Methadone maintenance treatment also incorporates psychosocial treatment interventions designed to help recovering addicts work through the psychological issues that drive addiction behaviors. Based on the severity of a person’s addiction, methadone treatment can run anywhere from six months to as long as 10 years.
Methadone Treatment Center Benefits
Methadone treatment centers offer a wide range of treatment interventions. Methadone programs implement a coordinated treatment approach designed to address both the physical and psychological needs of the recovering addict.
Treatment Interventions Offered
- Drug Education Training
- Group Therapy
- Support Group Work
- Individual Psychotherapy
- Drug Testing
Likewise, methadone’s therapeutic effects enable recovering addicts to function normally, making it possible to resume normal everyday tasks, such as holding down a job and caring for a family. Over time, program participants come to develop the type of mindset and lifestyle that supports a drug-free existence. For many people with long-histories of drug use, methadone help offers the only viable solution for living a drug-free life.
Methadone Treatment Center Drawbacks
Since methadone is, in fact, an opiate-based medication, it does carry a low to moderate risk of addiction for some people. In this case, a methadone addiction carries the same problems and challenges as any other type of addiction.
In effect, people who do become addicted to methadone will require further drug treatment to break the body’s dependence on the drug. Methadone treatment centers are equipped to help those who become addicted wean off the drug.
Methadone can also cause side effects for some people. Side effects associated with methadone use include:
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Decreased Sex Drive
- Weight Gain
Ultimately, a person’s individual circumstances will determine whether methadone treatment centers offer the best approach for overcoming an opiate addiction.