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Demystifying Methadone: What It Is and Does to Help Opiate Addiction

12/20/17

methadone center

Addiction is a heartbreaking disease permeating society pervasively. In 2015, a study showed that among the 20.5 million Americans with a substance abuse disorder, addiction to prescription pain killers and heroin plagued 2 million and 591,000 people, respectively. It's a painful reality, but there are resources in place to kick opioid addiction, and access to these resources are growing stronger daily.

Beating addiction is never easy. If it was, everyone could do it. It takes mental, physical, and emotional strength that can seem impossible to attain while in the throes of opioid addiction. In reality, it's not impossible and you are not alone. For half a century, a drug called methadone has been recognized as the most effective treatment for people addicted to opioids. It's natural to feel overwhelmed by medical treatment, so let's simplify and take a closer look:

What Methadone IS
There are two words that get confused, though the opioid epidemic encompasses both. An older word--opiate--is a natural derivative of the opium poppy flower. The newer, more relevant term you've doubtlessly heard before--opioid--is a lab made, synthetic creation meant to mimic natural opiates. Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug used predominantly for opioid addiction treatment, including heroin treatment, pain pill addiction, and opiate detox.

In a nutshell, while addicted to heavy opiates/opioids, methadone works in the brain to block the effects of other opioids. While doing this, it dulls the harsh symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. Known as Medication Assisted Therapy, it's a excellent way to start taking steps toward kicking addiction for good. It allows substance abusers to achieve the stability they need to rebuild their lives.

What Methadone IS NOT
It's important to understand that a methadone center is not a one stop shop to addiction recovery. The process is long and can be difficult. Does methadone work effectively in battling opioid addiction? Yes it does. However, methadone treatments are meant to be combined with consequent lifestyle changes and behavioral therapy. Understanding that methadone does not cure addiction symptoms is vital to mapping and executing well-rounded treatment. It is not a magic potion for an overnight cure and shouldn't be treated that way.

Appropriate Treatment
At a methadone center, Medication Assisted Therapy will be part of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. The most important mindset in addiction therapy is that there's not one particular way to treat it. It comes with trials, and serious commitment to improving your health. Methadone is an excellent way to start opioid addiction treatment, but it's even stronger when comprehensively bolstered in a safe medical environment. Remember that you're not alone, it's not impossible, and there's a supportive community close by.


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