What Role Does Methadone Play in Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

Inpatient addiction treatment, according to recent studies, is far more likely to result in a successful recovery from opiates than trying to quit on your own. This is due to several reasons, but arguably the most important is the ability of an inpatient addiction treatment center to provide around-the-clock monitoring and pharmacological support during the detoxification phase. In most cases, getting through detox and past the withdrawal symptoms is the most difficult goal to achieve during opiate abuse rehab. Through the use of Methadone replacement therapy and individual and group counseling, inpatient care may give you the best chance to start a new life.

What Is Methadone?

Methadone is an opiate replacement drug used to help you get clean from substances like heroin and OxyContin without having to experience any painful withdrawal symptoms or emotional chaos. It works similarly to the addictive substances it’s meant to replace by binding to opioid receptors and activating dopamine and norepinephrine production in the brain. Methadone also clogs these receptors, keeping other opiates from working. This means that it essentially functions as an opioid blocker. However, don’t get it confused with the Naloxone in Suboxone. Naloxone only comes into effect if snorted or used intravenously, while Methadone is always active once ingested.

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How Is Methadone Used During Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

Methadone has a long half-life, which means it stays active in your system for an extended period of time – sometimes as long as 24 hours. This is great when used as a maintenance drug. Maintenance, in terms of addiction recovery, refers to a substance that you use for an extended period of time in order to alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms and live a normal, fully-functional life. This is a proven strategy that most inpatient addiction treatment centers employ along with therapy and support.

However, Methadone can also be used in the initial stages of detoxification because of its strong properties. Typically, Methadone is administered in a dose similar to the amount of opiate that you were previously taking. This ensures that all withdrawal symptoms are eliminated and that you cannot get high from other substances. Over the course of several days to several weeks, the dose is slowly lowered until the medication can be fully removed with limited to no withdrawal symptoms remaining. In some cases, a recovery specialist may determine that you require a maintenance solution. If this is so, you’ll either continue on a low dose of Methadone or, more likely, switch to Suboxone or Subutex.

Are There Any Dangers Associated With Methadone?

The risks of Methadone must be stated. Because it’s very similar to the opiates that it’s meant to treat, Methadone carries with it extremely addictive characteristics. It acts on the same reward and addiction centers of the brain as do all other opiate-based substances. This is what makes it so effective at relieving withdrawal symptoms. However, it’s also the reason recovery specialists should administer it with care.

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Methadone used during inpatient addiction treatment can be an effective way to get through detoxification. However, because of its own addictive properties, you should be careful and wary while using Methadone. Don’t keep living your life with the addiction monkey on your back. With the help of a recovery professional and by calling our hotline at 800-447-9081, you’ll be living a normal and enjoyable drug-free life in no time.

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