Methadone maintenance programs were established to help heroin addicts refrain from using heroin and reduce the spread of disease and crime. Methadone is a long acting synthetic opioid medication that produces similar effects to heroin and can be used as a replacement therapy for opioid abuse, to mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms, and to treat chronic pain. Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) helps normalize the body’s neurological and hormonal functions that have been impaired by the use and misuse of opioid drugs and when combined with counseling and other psychosocial services, the programs are effective treatments for individuals addicted to heroin and other opioid drugs.
What Happens in a Methadone Maintenance Program?
Methadone maintenance programs help individuals to abstain from opioid use for extended durations by placing the addict on a daily scheduled dosing of methadone. Addicts are prescribed programs to help in their recovery and are monitored on a day to day basis as they attend. Throughout their progress, the program administrators make appropriate medication dose adjustments to return the addict to a sense of normalcy. With regular doses of methadone that can reduce or stop the addict from using opioid drugs, most addicts are able to resume healthy and active lives while being productive in society.
Why Do I Need Methadone Maintenance?
If you have become dependent on opioid drugs, you know the ill effects that occur when you attempt to quit. The intense cravings resulting from these drugs cause many to relapse long after they have detoxed from the drug and after repeated attempts to quit, they are unsuccessful. Methadone maintenance programs provide an alternative to these ups and downs of opioid addiction and allow the addict to regain stability in their everyday lives.
How Do I Get into a Methadone Maintenance Program?
Anyone can get into a methadone maintenance program if they have an opioid abuse problem. Speak to your physician first, if they are not licensed to administer methadone treatment for opioid dependency, they may have a referral to someone who is. Depending on where you live, you may have a choice of methadone maintenance providers. Most people attend methadone clinics located in the most populated areas and while these clinics may be more affordable than other programs, they sometimes, have a waiting list. It may be helpful to know that these programs are covered by Medicaid and some state insurance plans which also reimburse travel costs. To find a methadone treatment provider close to you, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or go online to the facility locator.