< Is methadone an effective treatment for heroin addiction? Here’s what you need to know:

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Is methadone an effective treatment for heroin addiction? Here’s what you need to know:

12/07/19

methadone rehab clinic

If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, you’re not alone. Approximately 948,000 Americans reported using heroin in 2016. Heroin users may feel helpless as they fall into an endless spiral of addiction and their lives come to revolve around taking the opioid drug and obtaining more of it. However, heroin addiction can be overcome. Finding the proper treatment program is key to recovery.

A methadone rehab clinic near you can help with the difficult process of heroin detox by providing professional support and prescribing the drug, methadone, to help counter the physical effects. Methadone is a prescription pain-reliever often used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Methadone can be used in a type of common heroin treatment program called substitution therapy, during which it is used as a replacement opiate to manage the withdrawal symptoms that can occur during heroin detox. This helps the individual control cravings.

So how effective are methadone treatments in the recovery process of heroin addiction? By curbing the patient’s cravings and alleviating the pain and discomfort of withdrawal, methadone can help prevent relapse and assist in the recovery process. Methadone also works well as a maintenance treatment, since it’s considered a long-acting medication and remains in the body for over 50 hours, making it an easier routine to manage for those in rehab. Using methadone during substitution therapy can improve the success of rehab, as the patient can focus on recovery measures while any physical symptoms associated with withdrawal are kept under control.

Other medications used to treat opiate addiction include naltrexone and buprenorphine. Naltrexone, which can be taken without medical supervision, blocks the euphoric effects of heroin but doesn’t suppress cravings. Buprenorphine can be taken at home in low doses and can minimize cravings. Methadone, which is administered under the care of a physician at inpatient and outpatient rehab centers, uses the same receptors in the brain occupied by heroin but without the euphoric effects, thereby greatly reducing both cravings and withdrawal symptoms while acting as a powerful pain reliever.

During the rehabilitation process, the dosage of methadone can be tapered off under the care of a physician in a qualified methadone rehab clinic. This process gives the patient the ability to obtain full recovery from opioid addiction safely over time.

Heroin is incredibly addicting, and opiate withdrawal symptoms can feel agonizing to the point of intolerability. Treatment centers offer the tools necessary for recovery. A heroin addiction treatment program at a methadone rehab clinic near you can help end the cycle of addiction and offer a life after heroin.


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