Addiction develops in stages, with each stage being worse than the one before. Many who struggle with opiate abuse have already reached the more advanced stages of addiction. Not surprisingly, the later stages of opiate addiction are often the most difficult to treat.
Methadone treatment, first developed in the 1960s, is specifically designed to address the physical and emotional challenges experienced by people recovering from chronic or long-term addiction problems. Also known as the “treatment of last resort,” people who’ve had little to no success with other forms of drug treatment may well benefit from the methadone treatment approach.
Call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) to ask about methadone treatment programs.
The Effects of Chronic Opiate Addiction
With each dose of an opiate-based drug, the brain secretes large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals. Under normal conditions, the brain only releases these chemicals when needed, such as during times of stress or when a part of the body is injured.
With chronic opiate addiction, compulsive drug use depletes needed neurotransmitter supplies leaving the brain dependent on opiates to manage the body’s systems, according to Princeton University. By the time a person seeks out help, addiction treatment must address both the physical and psychological damage left behind by chronic opiate abuse.
3 Signs to Watch For
1. Severe Withdrawal Episodes
Someone struggling with a long-time opiate addiction experiences severe withdrawal episodes on a regular basis. Severe withdrawal brings on excruciating symptoms, both physical and psychological, including:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Hypersensitivity to light, sound and touch
For someone in need of methadone treatment, many of these symptoms will persist long after he or she stops using the drug.
Methadone medication therapy works to restore a normal brain chemical balance and relieve uncomfortable withdrawal effects on an ongoing basis.
2. Overwhelming Drug Cravings
Compulsive drug use breeds its own set of habits and routines that ultimately impact a person’s thinking and emotional well-being. By the time addiction takes hold, opiates have become a primary means for coping with daily life stressors. In effect, drug cravings develop out of a person’s “needing” the drug to make it through the day, according to the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine.
Methadone treatment uses ongoing behavior-based treatments that work to replace addiction-based behavior and thinking with healthy strategies for coping with daily life.
3. Loss of Control
The loss of control that comes with opiate addiction not only leaves addicts unable to control their drug intake, but also strips away any ability to attend to important areas in their lives, such as work, family and finances. The physical and psychological damage that results from chronic drug use essentially warps a person’s psychological makeup to the point where getting and using the drug becomes the only important tasks in his or her life.
Overall, the methadone treatment approach provides the types of treatment supports needed to undo the damaging effects of opiate abuse and help you take back your life from the grip of addiction.
We can help you find the type of methadone program that best meets your treatment needs. Call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addiction specialists.