When you start treatment at a methadone clinic, you’ll probably have questions for your methadone doctor. You might also have questions if a family member or loved one is beginning a methadone treatment program.
It’s natural to be nervous and want more information before you start any medication, and it’s important to go to a source you trust. Our methadone clinic in Prices Corner, Delaware is staffed by trained professionals who can guide you through the process of methadone treatment to successful recovery. We’re here for any general or specific questions you have along the way.
Here are a few questions to discuss with your doctor before or during treatment.
How Does Methadone Work?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid, which means it’s a drug designed to imitate some of the effects of opioids in a way that’s safe, stabilizing, and non-addictive.
When you take opioids, they bind to opioid receptors in your body and produce a euphoric or “high” effect that ultimately changes your brain and nervous system. Methadone works on those same opioid receptors, reducing your craving for the drug and limiting withdrawal symptoms. Unlike opioids, methadone doesn’t give users euphoria, and over time it lowers their physical desire for opioids.
For clients who have developed a dependence on opioids for chronic pain, methadone clinics can help treat both the addiction and the pain at its root.
As long as you take prescribed doses under the supervision of your methadone doctor, methadone is completely safe. It’s been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and administering physicians and centers must meet guidelines set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).
What Other Substances Interact With Methadone?
Like most doctor-prescribed drugs, methadone interacts with other substances, and it’s important to know what they are.
Your doctor can give you a more detailed list, but in general, you should NOT combine these substances with methadone:
- Benzodiazepines (like Ativan, Xanax, and Valium)
- MAOI antidepressants (like Nardil)
Tell your methadone doctor if you’re taking any other prescribed or over-the-counter medications, and they’ll give you more information about the safest course of treatment.
What Side Effects Are Possible?
Every patient is different, and your previous health conditions may play a role in how your body reacts to methadone.
Many methadone patients don’t have any side effects at all. Some patients may experience lightheadedness, drowsiness, sweating, sleep problems, nausea, or other symptoms.
Unpleasant side effects are more common when you’re beginning methadone clinic treatment or adjusting your dosage, but they usually don’t last long. Keep your methadone doctor updated on any side effects you feel during treatment.
How Long Will I Be Taking Methadone?
Your methadone doctor is the best person to answer this question since the length of treatment varies depending on the individual.
However, many people will continue using methadone on a long-term basis as a part of their recovery. Methadone is safe to use for several years and even for a lifetime.
While some patients can reduce their dose or eventually stop methadone use, these steps should be taken under the supervision of a methadone doctor, not on your own.
What If I Still Experience Drug Cravings?
During the first 30 days of your treatment, also known as the stabilization period, you might still feel cravings for addictive substances. These feelings don’t mean the methadone isn’t working. Once you’re more stabilized on methadone, the cravings usually stop.
Methadone is very effective at limiting cravings for opioids and alcohol, but it’s only one aspect of recovery. Individual and group counseling, coping skills, and community involvement are just as important to stabilization and success.
Lotus Recovery Centers Is Here to Help
At our Prices Corner, Delaware methadone clinic, we’re here to help you from the early days of withdrawal to the long-term work of sobriety and recovery. Our comprehensive treatment plan includes methadone in combination with therapy, case management, and other interventions.
We’re committed to providing quality care to everyone who needs it, and we accept Medicaid as well as other private insurances. To learn more about whether methadone is the right treatment for you or a loved one, call 833.922.1615.