Last updated: 02/20/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Often times, drug users who are addicted to heroin or prescription opiates such as Morphine or Diluadid find it almost impossible to consider recovery without medical intervention. Methadone maintenance treatment is a common practice for patients who are addicted to powerful opiates and in search of a means of recovery. With the proper guidance, this method of treatment has been proven effective by the FDA.
Listen to Your Healthcare Provider
If you are planning on taking methadone for the treatment of an opiate addiction, it’s important that you listen to your healthcare provider and follow his or her directions to a T. Methadone can be highly effective if the proper dosing procedures are taken to ensure that you receive the exact dose that’s right for your individual needs. A dose that is too high can cause euphoria, a dose that’s too low will allow cravings and withdrawal symptoms to slip back into the picture.
If you are already taking another medication, talk with your healthcare provider about the medication and whether it is safe for use with methadone. Avoid the use of any medications that have not been openly discussed with your doctor. Some of the medications that could cause serious interaction with methadone and may put you at risk include:
- Certain types of antibiotics
- Any opiate, opioid or similar drug
Stay in Treatment
When you begin taking methadone, you may feel like there’s little need to remain in counseling. The methadone makes you feel better and can quickly lead you to mistakenly believe that there’s no need for further counseling. It’s important that you remain in counseling for a period of at least 90 days to help ensure you have a solid foundation upon which you can continue to grow in your sobriety. Leaving treatment any sooner increases your risk of relapse.
Long Term Treatment is Best
When taking methadone, the National Institute of Justice recommends that patients continue to take the medication for at least 6 months. This should be done while continuing to receive counseling and therapy too. In many cases, a year or more of methadone maintenance treatment will be required to fully restore the user to a health state in which he can be gradually weaned off the drug without any serious risk of relapse occurring. Talk with your healthcare provider about your treatment and the amount of time that you should remain in treatment in order to achieve your recovery goals.