When looking to confront opioid use disorder, medication-assisted treatment may be a productive route for some individuals. Medication-assisted treatment, along with counseling, helps individuals quit their use of heroin or prescription opioids. One such medication that has a long history of effective use is methadone. This long-acting opioid agonist, methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms, craving, and blocking the euphoric effect of the drug. When patients take methadone as prescribed, it is safe and effective. Sunlight Medical Services offers a methadone treatment program helping individuals struggling with opioid use disorder get the support they need.
Benefits of a Methadone Treatment Program
Methadone has a long history of being used to alleviate the discomfort of opioid addiction. Although a synthetic opioid itself, methadone is tightly regulated allowing it to be almost exclusively used in MAT programs like Sunlight’s methadone treatment program. As a full agonist opioid, a drug that acts upon the brain’s chemistry similar to the way opioids do, methadone attaches to the brain’s opioid receptors. However, in the correct dosage properly administered, it doesn’t create the same high as illicit opioids. Instead, its effect on the brain is to dampen withdrawal symptoms. At the same time, this lessens the cravings an individual experiences. By controlling these aspects of an opioid use disorder, methadone can effectively reduce the risk of relapse and increase the likelihood of recovery. By reducing these cravings and the discomfort a patient experiences in opioid withdrawal, they are better poised to focus their attention on treatment.
The Possible Side Effects of Methadone
Because methadone is a synthetic opioid, medical professionals tightly administer it. Doing so lessens the likelihood of abuse or harmful side effects. However, there are are some possible side effects when beginning a methadone treatment program. For example, patients may experience the following:
- Disturbed sleep
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Increased perspiration
- Sexual dysfunction
- Menstrual irregularities
- Weight gain
If so, it’s important to talk with your counselors, therapists, or doctor so the dosage can be adjusted. Similarly, when patients first start a methadone treatment program, they will be strictly monitored to reduce the risk of overdose or abuse. An overdoes of methadone may not be obvious at first. But if patients show the following signs during their first week, they need to readjust their usage:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excess sedation
- Slurred speech
- Slow pulse and shallow breathing
- Frothing at the mouth
Fortunately, methadone doesn’t damage any major organs or bodily systems and has very few long-term side effects. Thus, why it is a useful medication to use to combat opioid use disorder.
Some other information to keep in mind includes being aware if you are a good candidate for methadone treatment. Patients suffering from liver disease should not attempt to use the medication. Also, patients suffering from asthma, hypothyroidism, or diabetes need to approach this kind of medication-assisted treatment cautiously.
Sunlight Medical Services
At Sunlight Medical Services, our facility located in a professional medical plaza is comfortable and inviting. You’ll find our treatment environment one that sets your mind at ease, making you more open to getting the therapy you need. We work alongside patients to develop the most effective medication-assisted treatment program that will work best for them. Also, Sunlight Medical Services offers several behavioral programs to support your treatment. For example, we offer the following:
- Behavioral Intervention for Pain
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Individual Counseling
- Group Counseling
These therapies and programs combined with our medication-assisted treatment program give patients the comprehensive care needed to make a lasting recovery. Here at Sunlight, we understand what you’re going through, and we know we can help you get control back. So contact us today at 855.920.1104 to learn how Sunlight can help you.