What Is Methadone?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is commonly prescribed for pain management. In some cases, it is prescribed to help heroin users taper off of the illicit street drug safely. Methadone affects the brain receptors’ ability to process pain and alleviates symptoms of pain that may arise. When abused, methadone can become a highly addictive substance. If you have started taking methadone to help curb your heroin use, you are at a higher risk of becoming dependent on it, which is why you need a methadone doctor in Florida to monitor your progress.
While methadone does not create the same desired effect of euphoria as heroin produces, it can still provide its users with some feelings of euphoria if misused. If combined with other substances, the combination of chemicals is dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Deciding to quit methadone is highly recommended under medical supervision to monitor your withdrawal symptoms and maintain your safety while weaning off.
Methadone Side Effects
Methadone produces side effects that are similar to other opiates. Side effects and withdrawal symptoms vary for each user depending on the amount used, frequency of use, and length of time the user has consumed it. Side effects from methadone use are:
- Muscle cramps/joint pains
- Weak muscles
- Decreased attention span and reaction time
- Difficulty breathing
As withdrawal symptoms vary for each individual, it can be hard to know how your body will react as it is cleansing itself from the chemicals of methadone. It is strongly recommended that you detox from methadone under the medical supervision of a methadone doctor in Florida to ensure that your detox process is safe and as smooth as possible.
Withdrawal symptoms that can occur during detox are:
- Muscle aches
- Stomach pains
- Strong drug cravings
Methadone Alternatives for Medication-Assisted Treatment
When you are working towards eliminating methadone from your life, you will want to know different alternatives for treating the pain you are experiencing. Through the medication-assisted treatment at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, you will be able to safely taper off methadone under the watchful eyes of our trusted medical practitioners.
As you start feeling more like yourself and regaining your strength, you will be provided with holistic measures of treatment that will provide you with new ways of coping with pain and potential stressors that don’t involve the use of medications. At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, you will be invited to participate in relapse prevention programs that focus on regaining your self-care ability, such as learning healthy eating routines and proper sleep patterns. These essential life skills can become challenging in the height of addiction, and many put them by the wayside. Our team of counselors will work with you to create a healthy daily routine that will maintain your physical well-being.
Common Myths About MAT
MAT is an effective means of treatment to taper off of highly addictive opiates. However, there have been myths about the effectiveness of MAT. One myth is that MAT replaces one addiction with another. Actually, MAT allows you to connect the biological and behavioral components of addiction.
Some believe that MAT is only a short-term solution. MAT is actually most effective when patients can continue care for 1 to 2 years—giving you more time to change your behavioral patterns and allowing your body the time it needs to taper off opiate dependency slowly. MAT increases the risk of overdose with patients enrolled in the program is another myth. Patients who participate in the MAT program lessen their chances of overdose as they are slowly tapering off. If a patient were to use opiates at the level they were using before; it could be life-threatening.
Another myth is that there is no evidence of the efficacy of MAT. On the contrary, MAT is an evidence-based treatment method that has been proven to be the most effective treatment for patients to taper off of opiate addiction safely. There is also a misconception that MAT hinders the patient’s recovery progress, but it actually provides patients with the ability to learn to manage life stressors, increase their daily functioning, and increase their quality of life.
The use of suboxone has become a leader in prescription drugs to help patients taper off of opiate dependence. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, which are highly effective means to slow the effects of opiates and reduce overdose. Buprenorphine provides chemical components that reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, while naloxone is an opioid blocker.
While you participate in MAT, our methadone doctor in Florida may prescribe you suboxone as you taper off opioids. While on suboxone, you will be monitored closely by our medical team to ensure your vitals are stable and ensure your comfort. During that time, you will begin meeting with your counselor, who works with you to identify the root causes of your addiction. Once the underlying reasons for your addiction are brought forward, you will do the emotional healing you need to move forward from these triggering memories. You will learn new skills to effectively manage triggering or traumatic responses in a healthy manner that avoids turning to substances for relief.
Contact WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab to access the best methadone doctor in Florida today.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.