Information for Overcoming Addiction
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) right for me?
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is one of the most researched treatment approaches to ensure its safety and efficacy for all types of individuals. The most common medications used in MAT include methadone, buprenorphine and Suboxone.
MAT may be the right choice for you if:
- You are an adult 18 years or older who has been dependent on painkillers or heroin for more than a year
- Your opioid use has resulted in social consequences, affecting your work, family and social obligations
- Previous attempts at quitting have been unsuccessful
- You are combining one or more substances, putting your health at further risk
- You have engaged in criminal activity to continue using
- You use opiates intravenously which puts you at high risk for AIDS, HIV, STDs and Hepatitis C
Is methadone treatment trading one addiction for another?
Methadone is an FDA approved, highly studied and regulated medication used to help individuals recover from opioid addiction. Methadone acts as a stabilizer in the body rather than a narcotic that is used for its euphoric effects. When taken as prescribed, Methadone helps patients function physically, emotionally and intellectually without impairment. Methadone does not produce mood swings, drowsiness or narcotic effects. By contrast, painkillers and heroin, destabilize the individual and lead them to many high risk behaviors that have severe consequences.
Is methadone safe to take for pregnant women?
Methadone does not impair the child’s developmental or cognitive functioning when taken during pregnancy. Years of studies have shown that there is no lasting harm to the child from exposure to methadone during pregnancy and has been proven to reduce the risk of illness or death in both the mother and child.
What are the possible side effects of methadone?
Overall, studies over decades across millions of patients show that patients improve physical health compared to their health status prior to taking methadone. If a patient had prior medical conditions, poor nutrition or poor dental care, patients may become aware of these symptoms as their body stabilizes on methadone. Patients can then properly address pre-existing conditions and improve healthcare, nutrition and healthy wellness habits.
What is the right length of treatment for methadone?
Studies indicate that the greater the length in treatment, the more positive the results for the patient. Increasing positive results typically occur at the 1st year, 2nd year and 3rd year milestones. However, the exact duration of treatment per individual is a determination and agreement between physician and patient.
Is methadone addictive?
Addiction and physical dependence are two different characteristics. Addiction is compulsive use of a drug despite negative consequences. Methadone maintenance is not an addiction, it is a physical dependence that is required to maintain physical stability. Similar to a diabetic patient that is dependent on insulin, methadone does not produce the addictive behaviors of compulsion where cravings and withdrawal symptoms lead to constant drug use.
Will methadone impair my ability to drive or operate machinery?
Methadone, when used as prescribed, does not impair in any way the patient’s ability to drive or operate machinery. Research studies indicate that patients on methadone had normal functioning including the ability to pay close attention, reaction time, eye-hand coordination, and accurate responses in emergency situations.