What Is a Methadone Clinic?
A methadone clinic is a physical place a person with an addiction to opioid drugs like heroin, morphine, oxycontin, and other prescription drugs can go to stop using these drugs in a way that keeps them safe and comfortable. Methadone clinics are controlled through state and federal regulations, and they are certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), but how do methadone clinics work? These clinics use “replacement therapy” to help patients through the withdrawal period of stopping opioid drug use. This period can be highly uncomfortable, so medications are provided to the patient to help with cravings, pain, and other symptoms.
Who Can Benefit From a Methadone Clinic?
The decision to enter a methadone clinic must be made on a case-by-case basis. You will be screened by medical professionals, who will provide an evaluation to see if you are a good candidate for the program.
Methadone clinics are a good choice for St. Petersburg residents who do not have:
- Asthma/respiratory conditions
- Hormonal issues
- Certain prostate conditions
How Do Methadone Clinics Work?
If you are a St. Petersburg resident who is wondering how do methadone clinics work, you are not alone. You may have heard of them through a friend or have seen them mentioned on TV or in movies, or have heard about them when searching online, but the actual mechanics of a methadone clinic are not widely discussed in mainstream media.
If you are cleared to enter the program by the medical team, you will usually move into the clinic full-time at first so that medical personnel can keep an eye on your progress and ensure you remain safe. Methadone is a drug that replaces the opioid you are addicted to but in measured amounts at specific times. This process stops your drug cravings and painful symptoms as you taper off the use of the drug you are addicted to, and it blocks the high the drugs would provide.
There is usually a problematic withdrawal stage as your body detoxifies from opioid drugs, which may last for a week to a month and can be painful and distressing, which is why 24-hour medical care is essential. Behavioral therapy is commonly provided during this stage, so you can find new ways to deal with the discomfort, stress, and anxiety and give you relapse prevention strategies to be prepared for future challenges as they arise.
Methadone Side Effects
Some of the common side effects of methadone treatments include:
- Stomach pain
- Sleep changes
- Weight gain
- Itchy skin
- Mood changes
- Sexual issues
- Swelling in hands/feet/legs
- Dry mouth
It would be best if you never mixed methadone with other drugs, especially those that slow your breathing or alter your serotonin levels.
Another considerable risk with methadone is the possibility of abuse and developing a dependence. It is an addictive drug, and its use needs to be constantly monitored by a medical professional to avoid physical or psychological addiction, overdose, or withdrawal symptoms.
Alternatives to Methadone
Some common alternatives to methadone include:
- Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is a common alternative to methadone, usually under the brand names Suboxone and Subutex. It is a medication that does not produce as much of a euphoric feeling as methadone but still helps with the withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. It also blocks the effects of other opioids by filling in the opioid receptors in the brain.
- Zubsolv: Naloxone combined with buprenorphine (under the brand name Zubsolv) also blocks opioid effects while helping with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Naltrexone: Naltrexone (Vivitrol or Revia) is used in both opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder to block the “high” of drugs and alcohol. This medication is given after detox is complete to help with relapse prevention.
Opioid Addiction Treatment in St. Petersburg, FL
For opioid addiction treatment in St. Petersburg, Florida, or to learn more about how do methadone clinics work, contact WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today. We offer an integrated medically assisted treatment (MAT) program that includes methadone treatment alongside therapy and counseling for a whole-patient approach to healing. We also provide a seamless transition into our luxury rehab program after detox that will help our patients to break old habits, learn new skills, and become the person they want to be. Contact us to learn more about our luxury opioid addiction treatment and how we can help you stop using drugs 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.