Methadone addiction can be extremely destructive, and it is important that you know everything there is about the rehab process if you have decided to quit. The more you know about this type of rehab going in, the better your chances will be of succeeding. Recently there has been an uptick in the need for methadone rehab and detox in the Florida drug rehab industry and around the nation. With increasing recognition of the substantial patient population with addiction, the Substance abuse treatment model is shifting from episodic to continuing care, based on the chronic care model.
What to Expect
The process of methadone withdrawal can be extremely challenging, both physically and mentally. Anyone who decides to quit using this drug should check themselves into a medical facility for their own safety. Methadone treatment is provided via a continuum of care, ie, multiple tiers of clinical services that vary by setting, types of treatment, and intensity of services. Standard levels of care include inpatient, residential, partial hospital, intensive outpatient, and outpatient care.
The very first step in the methadone rehabilitation process is the intake, which simply involves calling a rehab facility. It is important that you get as much information as possible from the person you talk to before committing to a particular facility. The addiction specialist that you speak with will ask you a series of questions about your methadone use, including how long you have been using it and why. A special treatment plan will be created according to your own specific needs.
The next step in the methadone rehab process involves detoxification, which basically means allowing the methadone to leave your system entirely. This can be a painful and challenging process, and the length of time it takes depends on the person. The healthcare professionals at the rehab facility you are at will monitor your physical condition during this process to ensure that you are okay.
While the idea of detoxing from methadone might be a little scary, it is important to remember that the rehab center you are at will be filled with trained medical professionals who can help ease you through this challenging transition. The staff at the rehabilitation center will do everything they can to make sure you are taken care of.
During the detox process you can expect to experience a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomach cramps
The severity of the symptoms you experience will depend on how severe your addiction is. Some methadone addicts only experience mild symptoms while for others they can be far more intense. Those who quit “cold turkey” can expect to experience more severe symptoms than those who slowly wean themselves off this drug.
Methadone withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst within the first 7-10 days. Many people who go through methadone withdrawal experience flu-like symptoms as well as psychological effects, including paranoia and anxiety.
The treatment portion of methadone rehabilitation often involves individual and/or group therapy. You will meet with a drug abuse counselor to discuss your addiction as part of your treatment. These days many rehab facilities encourage group and individual therapy for recovering methadone addicts. There are many goals of these therapy sessions, such as learning how to cope with stress without drugs, identifying addiction triggers, and managing your time in such a way to prevent thinking about relapsing.
Group therapy involves a number of people gathering to discuss their addiction and how they plan to overcome it. These group therapy sessions are led by a professional substance abuse counselor, and many times they have certain structured themes for discussion.
There are also a number of non-addictive medications that can be prescribed for methadone addiction. These medications can ease the process of quitting the drug so that the withdrawal symptoms are not so severe and intense. Whether or not these kinds of medications are prescribed depends entirely on the patient and the severity of their addiction.
How long does the process take?
The length of the methadone rehabilitation process depends on the type of rehab you choose. Residential or inpatient rehab can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days, depending on your specific needs and the facility you choose to go to. There are some residential treatment facilities that offer patients a stay longer than six months and up to 12 months. The longer rehab treatment programs are best for chronic methadone abusers.
Outpatient methadone rehab programs can take anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks to complete. These programs require anywhere from three to nine hours of attendance per week, and they can be just as effective as an inpatient program for many people.
You will find that outpatient methadone rehab programs are designed around the individual patient’s daily live, including their work, daily activities, school, and other things. Many people find outpatient rehab to be an excellent overall option. This sort of treatment is typically based on a 12-step program, such as Narcotics Anonymous.