< Methadone Treatments: What They Are and How They Work

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Methadone Treatments: What They Are and How They Work

6/21/17

methadone treatments

For those suffering from substance abuse, a methadone treatment program may be the most effective option. Methadone treatments are used by clinical physicians as a means of treating substance abuse. This is done by gradually weaning the patient off of opiate use by limiting the addictive side effects of the drug while simultaneously reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

How methadone treatments work

Methadone is a type of narcotic that works to block the pain receptors in the brain and spinal cord. By blocking the pain receptors, methadone effectively bars the sensation of being “high” that opiates create. This allows the patient to separate themselves from the opiate as it no longer exhibits qualities which may be addictive.

The withdrawal stage of substance abuse is often what causes patients to give up hope of recovery due to the intensity of the symptoms. The list of symptoms is extensive. Patients may experience anything between anxiety, fever, shakiness, nausea, vomiting, delirium, seizures, and depression. The fear of experiencing such symptoms often leads patients to continue using opiates as they may not have the right coping strategies to handle them.

Opiates obstruct the receptors of the nervous symptom and bind to endorphin receptors, which increases a patient’s feeling of pleasure, therefore, creating a “high”. Because the brain’s natural endorphins provide the patient with less pleasure than the artificial use of opiates, when opiates are no longer used, the patient will experience an intense “low”.

Professional methadone treatments in a methadone center allow for the patient’s pain receptors to be blocked during this process. This allows for the body to adapt to the lesser amount and eventual absence of opiates in the bloodstream and brain. Without methadone, the body may react adversely, which may cause the patient to yearn for the addictive substance as a means of feeling normal.

Methadone centers are the most effective way to treat substance abuse. Clinical physicians provide the dosage for their patients and gradually reduce the dose as the patient becomes well again through cognitive behavioral therapy and substance abuse treatment. The effects of methadone last anywhere between 24 and 36 hours, but the effects of methadone treatments last a lifetime.


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