How Do Methadone Clinics Work?Anna Ciulla
Have you heard of methadone clinics but aren’t sure how they exactly work? If so, you’re not alone. A methadone clinic is a medical facility in which treatment professionals and staff members work with patients to administer medication-based therapy to assist in rehabilitation and recovery. Methadone clinics can be beneficial for individuals that are addicted to opiate-based drugs. Medication-based treatment will help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and slowly wean the body off of the substance. Below is a complete guide that will provide information on what methadone clinics are and how they work.
An Introduction to Methadone Clinics
A methadone clinic is a useful form of treatment for individuals recovering from a drug addiction. In a methadone clinic, patients are administered methadone, also known by Dolophine, as a form of replacement therapy. Methadone is an opiate analgesic that can be administered in a variety of different forms, such as in pills, wafers, or a liquid. In a methadone clinic, methadone is utilized to help reduce or prevent the symptoms of opiate withdrawal and to block the effects of opiate pain medication through cross-tolerance development. The administration of methadone is under the supervision of physicians and medical staff professionals.
It’s important to note that if a patient is in a methadone clinic, the treatment does not cure the addiction, but it can help facilitate the rehabilitation and recovery process. Below are a handful of benefits that patients may experience:
- Reduced opiate withdrawal symptoms
- Reduced cravings for opiate drugs
- The effects of illicit opiates blocked, such as codeine, oxycodone, morphine, and more
- Reduced desire for illicit opiate usage
Methadone can be administered in either public or private drug detox facilities. According to the law in the United States, methadone can only be administered in a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) certified opiate treatment program. All methadone clinics are regulated by both the federal and state governments.
Breaking Down How Methadone Clinics Work
Methadone clinics are designed to help individuals struggling with opiate addiction achieve sobriety while entering recovery. While this drug is itself an opiate, the effects of methadone on the body work to ease the uncomfortable symptoms associated with withdrawal and block the euphoric effects associated with opiate drugs. Because of these two functions, methadone can be a useful tool in the treatment and rehabilitation of opiate addiction.
When a patient struggling with an opiate addiction goes to a methadone clinic, they will first undergo an evaluation by the staff to ensure that methadone treatment will be a good fit for the patient. During this evaluation, the medical staff will discuss with the patient their history of drug use, current health conditions, and any relevant information to assess whether or not they would benefit from a methadone clinic. If the medical staff decides that methadone is not the best option for the addict, another form of treatment will be suggested.
If the patient is a good fit for a methadone clinic, they will work with the medical staff to develop an individualized treatment plan. Factors that may be considered include the length of time, the type of drug treatment programs available, and the various elements that will be involved in the recovery process.
Because methadone can be addictive, the patient will have to be closely monitored and their doses strictly regulated. Depending on the severity of the addiction, some patients may begin their treatment in a methadone clinic with a medical detox. During a medical detox, the patient is supervised by the doctors to ensure that they remain comfortable while going through withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal can last anywhere from a week to a month depending on the individual.
Some methadone clinics may also include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a part of the treatment plan for a patient. In CBT, the patient will work with a mental health professional to analyze their behaviors and to change their mindset to align with a drug-free lifestyle. In CBT, the mental health professional may also work with the patient to develop various coping mechanisms for when they encounter stressful situations, experience cravings to use drugs, or encounter triggers that would have previously led to drug use.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opiate addiction, it is important to seek help from a professional inpatient drug rehab center as soon as possible. Call our Florida rehab facility today to speak with one of our treatment specialists and start on the path to recovery.
- American Addiction Centers. “What to Know About Methadone Clinics.” Retrieved from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/methadone-addiction/clinic-facts.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings.” Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310658/.
- The Recovery Village. “Methadone Clinics – What They Are and How They Work.” Retrieved from https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/methadone-addiction/methadone-clinics/#gref.