If a loved one is struggling with an addiction to heroin or other opiates, you may be looking desperately for a treatment that will get them clean — and keep them clean. In some cases, your loved one may also be looking with you. In 2015, almost 600,000 people had a heroin use disorder, with over 150,000 of these being young adults, and 6,000 teenagers. It’s a serious issue that’s sweeping the country and one that’s starting younger and younger. Over 21,000 young adults have tried heroin in the last year and around 5,000 used heroin regularly. However, a trip to a methadone center might be the answer you and your family are looking for. Methadone treatments have been the most effective treatment for those with an opiate addiction — something that’s been proven time and time again for over 50 years.
What You Should Know About Methadone
Methadone is a narcotic that helps decrease the withdrawal symptoms that heroin addicts feel when being weaned off the drug. Unlike the drug that they’re addicted to, methadone doesn’t trigger the same reaction that they associate with taking the drug, but will give the body what it “craves” to avoid the effects of withdrawal.
It’s commonly used as a pain reliever and also used as detoxification in drug rehab centers and maintenance programs. Only certified pharmacies will offer the drug. Its effects can last anywhere from 24 to 36 hours and its success rate is high — between 60-90%, compared to programs based in abstinence or non-medical treatments, which only have a success rate of 5-10%. Generally, the results will get better and better the longer a patient stays in the program.
How Do Methadone Rehab Centers Work?
Methadone centers are staffed by trained medical professionals, who will administer the treatment. Treatment will be determined by the addiction and how the individual reacts to the drug or problems they face. The program will also take into account where treatment should take place, their home and professional life, and how the person interacts with others in public. A methadone clinic will also look at how long the individual should stay in the program — or long they can stay — for the best results.
After the individual’s history and health have been taken into account, a course of treatment can be chosen and begun. In some cases, methadone may be administered with the assistance of other medication, such as buprenorphine or Vivitrol. These treatments are usually daily.
Counselors may also work with patients in tandem with methadone treatment to help work through substance cravings and other influences that can spur drug addiction on as a way of coping. Helping address some of the mental side of addiction can go a long way.
You can take it in pill or liquid form and depending on the course of treatment that your doctor decides upon, you can either take it at the methadone center you visit, or at home. This will depend on your history and level of addiction.
Where Can I Find a Methadone Center?
One great resource to find methadone centers near you is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which has a directory of facilities available, that can be narrowed down by zip code. If you need help paying for the program, they also have a handy “payment assistance” tab in the search function.
The United States Resource Center and Online Directory of Methadone Treatment Clinics and The American Methadone Treatment Association are also great resources to check out. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, or pain management offices may also be able to offer referrals or be associated with a methadone clinic in operation nearby.
If your loved one is suffering from a heroin addiction, don’t lose hope. There are ways to get them help and hopefully keep them clean for the rest of their lives. Methadone treatment is one treatment that has a great success rate and paired with counseling can become even more effective.