Maintenance Treatments for Methadone in Rehab

Methadone is a prescription narcotic that is most often utilized for pain relief. Much like other prescription drugs, methadone is strongly addictive, and lethal when abused. Per some 2004 data from the APCC (Association for Poison Control Centers), over 4,000 phone calls regarding methadone were placed to poison control centers.

Additionally, methadone and other types of painkillers are very easily addictive. If you or somebody you love may have an issue with addiction or abuse of methadone, contact Detox of South Florida today to discover how we can assist you in your rehabilitation journey. There are many factors that need to be considered before selecting the strongest methadone rehabilitation facilities to meet your individual needs.

Inpatient Clinics vs Outpatient Clinics

Highly successful treatments for addiction to methadone consist of both outpatient and inpatient treatment options. Residential treatments are sometimes needed for more severe addictions, as the structured and cleaner environments provided for patients are stronger for recovery. Outpatient treatment options provide far more freedom and opportunities for those patients looking to socially participate, but also more opportunities for relapsing.

Is residential rehabilitation needed?

Residential rehabilitation facilities, such as the facilities offered at Detox of South Florida, assist addicts in overcoming their addictions. There is a strong distinction between addiction and abuse.

  • Abuse occurs when the individuals deliberately misuse methadone or other painkillers.
  • Addiction is the compulsion to abuse these prescription narcotics.

If you or someone you love may have a history of abuse or addiction, or have already attempted outpatient treatment without success, it is recommended to seek assistance at inpatient methadone painkiller rehab centers.

Dependence versus Tolerance

The development of a tolerance to substances, and cultivating a dependence on it are similar, but very different. Tolerance occurs naturally. The body’s responses to drugs lessen over repeated doses. This can be seen in caffeine, and in extreme cases alcohol. Dependence sets in when the human body craves the drug to properly function.

Drug dependence is not the same as addiction. While dependence is a physical need, addiction is psychological and physical.

Are methadone rehabilitation centers private?

All methadone rehab centers are required to keep medical history, records, treatment details, and personal data confidential, revealing only information to those approved by the patient before the start of treatment. Patients can add or remove people from the list with written approval. Sometimes, patients have a private room yet undergo observation, ensuring that no harmful effects occur from methadone withdrawal. Patients may also be assigned a roommate, depending on the facility.

How long do these inpatient methadone rehab programs last?

Full recovery from a methadone addiction cannot exist on a set timeline. It depends on co-occurring mental disorders and other factors that vary with the person. Methadone rehab programs at Detox of South Florida offer treatments lasting 30, 60 or 90 days. The more severe the addiction or extensive the abuse history, the longer the patient should consider.

Thirty-day treatment programs typically focus on detox alone. Sixty- and 90-day programs offer extensive psychotherapy treatment plans. For those who have unstable living situations, longer durations may be available to help the person rejoin society.

What Happens During Treatment

  • In intake, the patient partakes in physical checkups and preliminary assessments, and enjoys an orientation to the treatment facility.
  • In detox, the phases vary, depending on addiction severity and other withdrawal medications the patient has been taking.
  • Addiction therapy consists of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), assisting the patient both mentally (to fight drug cravings) and group-wise (moral support and encouragement for others on the same journey).
  • In specialized care, co-occurring mental disorders are worked on. Inpatient care to treat these mental disorders is often necessary because co-occurring conditions increase the likelihood of substance abuse.
  • For aftercare, after the patient is released, psychiatrists, other doctors and facility staff members will follow up to ensure the patient is not relapsing.

Treatment Payment Options

Staying at inpatient methadone rehabilitation centers such as Detox of South Florida can cost people thousands and thousands of dollars. After all, treatment housing and related expenses are all covered. Some insurance programs cover treatment, though. Give us a call and see how we can assist you!

Should I stay or should I go now?

Choosing the right methadone rehab facility also depends on location. Your finances may not allow a lot of travel. Staying near home gives you access to a support network of family and friends, which can be a vital tool for recovery from any addiction.

What happens after I enter rehab?

You or your loved one should expect to have regular sessions and meetings scheduled after release from a methadone rehab center. Relapsing into addiction is a real risk, but support groups and counseling alleviate this risk due to the accountability they bring.

Are you or your loved one ready to take the next step?

Addiction is a physical and psychological disorder, but entering a methadone treatment center is a conscious decision. If you recognize that methadone abuse is causing a problem that you cannot stop on your own and you are ready to make the full commitment to recovery, you are ready for treatment.

Are you ready? Give Detox of South Florida a call or email today and get on the road to recovery.

Benzodiazepine Maintenance and Treatment Options

Benzodiazepine are highly habit-forming prescription medications, utilized for numerous treatments of conditions relating to stress. Examples include anxiety issues, sleep problems such as insomnia, disorders that cause seizures (like epilepsy) and alcohol withdrawal (which can in turn lead to anxiety and seizures).

Often referred to as “benzos”, benzodiazepine based drugs tend to lead to dependence, and eventually addiction. This is particularly true if they are used and abused for extended periods of time.

While this withdrawal may appear to be daunting, there are many different ways to make benzodiazepine withdrawal more tolerable. The most effective way to guarantee comfort through the course of detox is to take part in a medically-procedural withdrawal at a licensed facility such as Detox of South Florida.

Benzodiazepine medications are habit-forming, and can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when users suddenly stop using and abusing the drug. Specifically, they affect the gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, receptors.

These receptors are not meant to react to artificial GABA stimulants such as benzos, which means that your mind may “believe” that it needs to create its own natural gamma aminobutyric acid. However, when you stop taking benzos, your body is suddenly with this essential acid. Therefore, you crave benzos. This is how you build a physical and psychological dependence to benzodiazepines.

There are several different formulations of benzodiazepines, and consequently, a variety of brand names of this drug. Since benzodiazepines affect body and mind equally, the drugs’ withdrawal symptoms do as well.

Some people may have suicidal thoughts. If you experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm, seek help immediately. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms extend past the mind and impact the body. Here are some common physical symptoms associated with benzo withdrawal:

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Restlessness
  • Impaired vision
  • Sensitivity to sound or light
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Diarrhea
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hair loss
  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Full body aches
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Intense abdominal pains
  • High blood pressure
  • Intestinal and digestive problems
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Muscle pain
  • Vertigo or other balance problems

Like other drugs of abuse, benzos go by nicknames when sold on the black market. If someone you love mentions any street names for benzos and says that they are weaning off of that substance, this is a sign they may be undergoing benzo detox. Some of the drugs’ most popular street names include the following: Barbs, Downers, Georgia home boy, GHB, Grievous bodily injury, Liquid X, Nerve pills, Phennies, R2, Reds, Roofies or Rophies, Tranks, and Yellows.

Though it’s rare to die during benzodiazepine withdrawal, people have died while detoxing from benzos along with alcohol or opioids. Alcohol withdrawal particularly is closely tied to benzo withdrawal, because up to 40 percent of alcohol addicts also misuse benzos. In these multiple drug abuse cases, symptoms may include the following medical problems. Though these aren’t necessarily fatal withdrawal symptoms, they indicate that a serious degree of withdrawal that could result in death.

  • Delirium Tremens: Delirium Tremens is a medical emergency that occurs suddenly and involves full body tremors and a delirious state of mind. The condition is due to drastic changes within the nervous system when a individual’s detox includes alcohol withdrawal. It may also happen during benzo withdrawal. The condition may begin within 24 hours of chemical detox but can take up to a week to happen.
  • Grand Mal Seizures: Severe types of seizures may occur in 5% of individuals who experience alcohol detox with no professional medical aid. If a man or woman is detoxing from benzos too, the possibility of complications is much greater. Just about all alcohol withdrawal-related seizures occur less than two days following the individual’s final drink.

It is ideal to perform a benzodiazepine detox under medical supervision, where dependence professionals have established security protocols. The staff and doctors at Detox of South Florida is highly experienced, and always implements best practices among our protocols. As a licensed detox and treatment center, we are also dedicated to following all legal procedures to ensure our patients are comfortable and cared for.

Doctors may use specific drugs to help manage drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms during a medical detox. Although there are no specific medications designed especially for treating benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, there are numerous drugs that help relieve the distress and/or pain of some indicators and help in recovery.

Marijuana as Treatment for Drug Addiction: Does “Harm Reduction Treatment” Work?

Harm Reduction Theory
Use of Marijuana for Drug Addiction Treatment

Fighting drug addiction to substances such as heroin and cocaine has always been an incessant and unyielding battle. Even if a drug user is fully aware of their acute and chronic addiction problem and wants to voluntarily seek help, they are up against some very, very difficult odds. Treatment for serious addiction to substances like heroin and cocaine only result in a long-term rehab success rate of just 5%. In other words, only 5 out of 100 drug abusers are ever able to live a life where they are able to successfully practice total abstinence from drug abuse.

5% is an abysmal number, considering the amount of time, money effort, and dedication it takes to go through a treatment program.

With decades of experiments, studies and constantly tweaked approaches to better and fine-tune addiction treatment programs, drug rehab service providers are now beginning to wonder if total abstinence is even the end result that they should be aiming for.

Sometimes, aiming too high and against mathematical improbability proven over decades and decades, is just plain senseless.

What is Harm Reduction theory?

Harm Reduction Theory
Research on Harm Reduction Theory

As the name suggests, it is a treatment approach where everyone involved in the drug addiction treatment program accepts that achieving total abstinence is quite impractical, and therefore not worth even working towards.

The focus instead is to reduce dependence on potentially lethal drugs like cocaine and heroin. This is done by introducing a non-lethal or significantly less intrusive drug or substance that the patient can continue to use and seek a “high”. In other words, the success of this treatment approach relies on substituting at least part of patients’ conventional drug abuse habits with habits where they use or even abuse a significantly less lethal drug.

Marijuana is the primary choice of substance that is used as an alternative drug in harm reduction treatment programs. Marijuana has no lethal dose and has side effects that are far less intrusive than those provided by heroin, crack, cocaine or methamphetamine use. There is also a clear trend where marijuana is blurring the lines on legality, on the verge of becoming a substance that will be increasingly accepted as a substance that can be legally used. Also, both modern, as well as traditional sciences, have very clearly suggested that marijuana can offer some very established medicinal benefits as well.

All these factors have made marijuana the prime candidate when it comes to the substance of choice to be used in a harm reduction treatment program.

Harm Reduction – An Analogy to explain what it really is

Marijuana as prescription drug
Marijuana as Prescription Drug

Here’s an analogy that might help you better understand what harm reduction treatments are trying to do.

Imagine a shipwrecked lone survivor who has somehow managed to find a small canoe to save himself on, in the middle of an ocean. The problem is that the canoe has a hole in it. The survivor has tools to do one of two things.

Scenario 1.  Plug the hole perfectly, but only with a 5% chance of success

Scenario 2.  Plug the hole imperfectly, but with a much, much higher chance of success that will buy him more time to hopefully be rescued

Now, in the above analogy, the ocean’s vast waters that can sink the canoe in a heartbeat is the danger(s) represented by side effects of serious drug abuse. The survivor is a drug abuser who wants to get better. The boat and its ability to stay afloat is the response mechanism to treatments, with treatments in the analogy being the two possible scenarios laid out above.

Scenario 1 is where the drug user wants to completely quit, or seek 100% abstinence from drug abuse, with a 95% chance of failure. Scenario 2 is where the survivor accepts and understands that scenario 1 is an extremely improbable solution and when he decides that plugging the hole imperfectly gives him a much better chance to feasibly fight off drug addiction, even if it will mean that he will continue to use fewer drugs or even substitute the drug in question, with a less lethal drug.

5 Steps forward and 2 back is much better than 2 steps forward and then 3 back!

Instead of setting abstinence as the end-goal, new age rehab practitioners are considering treatment programs where the aim is to reduce the intensity of addiction rather than seek total abstinence.

This new consensus to adopting a treatment program where the end result is simply a reduced rather than eliminated dependence on dangerous drugs like cocaine, crack or heroin is what is being called the “Harm Reduction” theory.

How do Harm Reduction treatments work?

Marijuana-infused capsules for treating drug addicts
Marijuana-infused capsules for treating drug addicts

Harm reduction treatments that use marijuana as an alternative substance that patients can use have already become very popular in Europe and Canada. Though it is still very nascent in terms of use in America, it is a treatment that is being very widely discussed to explore feasibility, legality, and practicality, as of this very moment.

Why Marijuana for Harm Reduction?

Marijuana is emerging as the leading choice of drug that will be used as the “substitute” drug in a harm reduction treatments.

Reasons are many.

Like mentioned before, there have been virtually no cases where someone has overdosed and died from marijuana. This is actually a very persuasive factor that has led to marijuana being used in harm reduction. Ultimately, the most revered goal in any drug addiction treatment program is to eliminate or at least drastically reduce the risk of death resulting out of drug abuse.

There are other reasons as well. Though only suggested and proven by unestablished independent studies, there have been very positive findings that seem to suggest that marijuana has the ability to specifically target and reverse ill effects of heroin, cocaine and crack abuse, some of the most common forms of drug abuse all over the world.

The specific ways in which marijuana can positively affect patients suffering from addiction to these substances is described in more detail below.

Marijuana to treat heroin addiction

Independent studies have proven that the Cannabidiol in marijuana is specifically capable of reversing impairment caused by glutamatergic receptors, a class telltale symptom of heroin drug abuse.

Marijuana use also prevents heightened anxiety and depression that otherwise can lead patients to chronically use heroin, to avoid just those two very strong withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana to treat crack cocaine abuse

Again, independent and small-scale studies have shown that marijuana use can reduce dependence on abuse of crack cocaine, by as much as 50%. Though this isn’t an effect that immediately transcends after one begins to use marijuana in a harm reduction treatment, the studies very clearly indicate that it is a medium to a long-term trend that repeats itself consistently.

The most notable of these studies is what is called the M-J Milloy studies, where 124 chronic crack addicts in Canada were introduced to harm reduction treatments where they used marijuana to reduce dependence on crack cocaine.

In fact, the findings of this particular study have been so encouraging that the path has been paved for a full-scale and more established clinical trial, in the hope of producing conclusive and marketable results that will allow rehab centers across the world to offer harm reduction treatments.

Other theories in favor or marijuana use in harm reduction treatments

Other theories have propagated that the THC and Cannabidiol present in marijuana are capable of helping patients avoid certain behaviors that invariably cause them to abuse heroin and cocaine. In other words, marijuana use may be able to negate certain biological triggers that generally cause a very strong urge to abuse heroin and cocaine.

Another rather unconventional study, performed on rodents no less, has suggested that marijuana use has the ability to disrupt what is called the reconsolidation of memories resulting from cocaine and heroin abuse. By causing the mind to “forget” the highs associated from heroin and cocaine abuse, the body has a much better chance to disassociate the pleasure factor derived from these two very powerful drugs, thereby absenting cravings that otherwise lead to drug abuse.

What the Naysayers have to say about marijuana and the harm reduction treatment theories?

Though the prospect of using marijuana in a harm reduction treatments seems exciting, there is considerable opposition to both the harm reduction theory as well as the use of marijuana in harm reduction treatments.

First, there is the fundamental opposition that questions fighting one drug abuse by introducing another drug abuse.

There are also several other specific opposition cases being made. For example, two of three studies that investigated the use of marijuana and harm reduction theories suggested that they indeed reduced the severity of addiction to heroin and cocaine. However, one of the studies not only didn’t find a positive correlation but actually found that use of marijuana made withdrawal symptoms and detoxification responses deteriorate in quality, leaving patients in a much worse state than when they were trying to fight off addiction with conventional rehab programs.

The future of Harm Reduction treatment programs, using Marijuana

Harm Reduction Treatment
Be happy after Harm Reduction Treatment

As mentioned several times in this post, Harm Reduction treatment programs that use marijuana are a very introductory concept. More and more clinical and large-scale studies are being commissioned every day, to further study the practicality of such treatment programs.

With the search for treatment programs that provide a path to help at least majority of drug-addicted patients reach a state of abstinence proving to be frustratingly futile, there might come a time when harm reduction treatments are not just more popular but actually advised, even if only with a resigned sigh.

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