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What Is Methadone?

a bottle of methadone represents methadone for addiction treatment

One of the most challenging parts of quitting opioids is the severe withdrawal symptoms. For some people, opioid withdrawal can be so intense that they are unable to make it through the process before relapsing. With the help of specific medications, such as methadone, withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be minimized or even eliminated. This greatly increases your chance of lasting recovery. 

Midwest Center at Youngstown is dedicated to keeping you safe and comfortable as you recover from opioid addiction. Our detox and medication-assisted treatment programs at our methadone rehab use carefully selected medications to help ease your withdrawal symptoms and cravings, so you can stay focused on your recovery goals. Even if you have developed methadone addiction from previous treatment, we can help. Call us today at 844.544.0502 to learn how our medication-assisted treatment can help with your opioid or methadone addiction in Ohio.

How Do You Use Methadone for Addiction Treatment?

Methadone is a medication approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to help treat opioid use disorder. Methadone serves several purposes in opioid addiction treatment:

  • Minimizing withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing opioid cravings
  • Helping those in recovery focus on treatment

Methadone is a popular choice of medication in opioid addiction treatment programs because it activates the same receptors in the brain as opioids. The brain believes it is still receiving its drug supply, so it does not respond with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Although methadone activates the same receptors as opioids, it does so more slowly and does not produce the same euphoric effect as other opioid drugs. Without the mood elevation, methadone is less risky as far as addiction goes.

if you receive methadone as part of a medication-assisted treatment program, your treatment plan may involve:

  • An initial assessment to determine the right dose of methadone for your detox
  • Dispensing of methadone at the treatment facility on a predetermined schedule
  • Regular monitoring of your withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Check-ins with a physician to adjust your methadone dose as needed
  • Individual, group, and family therapy to address underlying issues that caused or exacerbated your addiction
  • Therapy and medication to treat co-occurring mental health disorders, if applicable

Methadone treatment is typically used for at least one year, and your doses will be gradually decreased over time until you no longer need it to maintain sobriety. 

Is There a Risk of Methadone Addiction?

You may wonder if methadone is just replacing one drug dependence with another. After all, methadone is another opioid, even though it is a milder form. The truth is some people can and do develop methadone addiction when using the drugs to treat their addiction to other opioids like heroin and oxycodone. Taken exactly as prescribed, methadone can be safe for use. When methadone is given to clients to be taken at home, the risk for addiction increases as it can be tempting to misuse. If you or a loved one is undergoing methadone treatment for opioid addiction, here are some tips to help reduce the risk of methadone addiction and overdose:

  • Take your dose exactly as prescribed. Do not double up if you miss a dose. 
  • Do not take extra doses. If you feel your dose of methadone is not effective enough, speak to your treatment team about an adjustment.  
  • Do not use alcohol or other drugs with methadone. It can increase your risk of addiction and overdose. 
  • Never share your methadone with another person.

As with other prescription medications, methadone comes with possible side effects, such as:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heartbeat

If you experience any of the above symptoms, reach out to your doctor immediately. In some cases, you may need emergency treatment. 

Find the Methadone Rehab You Need at Midwest Center at Youngstown

At Midwest Center at Youngstown, we understand that methadone for addiction treatment can sometimes end with addiction to the very substance meant to help you recover. To break free from methadone addiction in Ohio, call us today at 844.544.0502.