It may sound hard to believe, especially when in the middle of it, but methadone treatment finally does come to an end. The client can leave the facility and return home.
It is an important milestone in the recovery process when it happens, too. The client can finally resume their life and, hopefully, build a new life as an opioid-free and productive citizen in their community.
The client can have a successful recovery from their methadone treatment if they choose to live by these crucial guidelines:
- Follow your prescription: Continue taking the prescribed methadone. This will counteract the withdrawal symptoms and minimize the cravings for opioids. It is important that no more methadone is taken than the appropriate prescribed amounts. In fact, taking a higher dose than what is prescribed can cause methadone addiction and lessen the effects of the drug.
- Remember medication interactions may be fatal: Make sure you have all of the directions from your physician and pharmacist regarding any dangerous interactions that may occur between your medications and methadone. That list includes antihistamines, antibiotics, tranquilizers, heart-related medications, and alcohol. The physician needs to be informed of any and all medications and supplements that methadone patients are using.
- Follow through with the entire duration of the program: Even though you are no longer residing in the treatment facility, you are still under the physician’s care. Most patients who utilize the 12-month methadone program have better, more long-lasting results. ***
- Take advantage of behavioral treatment opportunities: Clients have the full menu of treatment options and should utilize them to their fullest. These options may include group therapy, Narcotics Anonymous, and individual psychiatric therapy. These proven evidence-based and holistic programs are essential in healing the client while directing them to channel their addiction to positive habits.
- Don’t quit it all too early: As the cravings to use opioids fade and are not a threat to the recovery, the client may begin to end methadone maintenance treatment under the supervision and guidance of his or her medical provider. This must be a slow process, however, as quitting too early may risk the patient becoming addicted, again. So, while working with the physician and the medical team, follow a schedule that slowly takes you to the end of the methadone treatment, without giving up or wrapping up early.
- Recruit a circle of support: Finally, the client should have a circle of family, friends, and colleagues who will hold them accountable for positive changes and goals. Recovery does not happen alone. Loved ones who know and understand the patient’s experience should be willing to advise and encourage the patient. They become the ‘team’ that the client can depend on, in both the bright and dark days of life following treatment.
Methadone treatment can be successful, with the client never experiencing cravings again. Millions of clients have recovered from opioid addiction and returned to a normal life. The treatment doesn’t end at the facility. With proper follow up, when it is completed, the patient has a better chance of never returning to addiction.
If you or someone you know needs substance methadone treatment, consult one of our experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate methadone maintenance treatment team that includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.
Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.
*** The 12-month study results are found at this link.