Dangers of Long-Term Methadone Maintenance

Methadone is an opioid narcotic commonly used to treat moderate or severe pain, and also commonly used to treat opioid addiction. This medication is considered a synthetic analgesic, meaning that it has properties similar to morphine but it is less habit-forming and its effects are long-acting. When taken as prescribed by a medical professional in a safe and closely monitored setting, this medication can be extremely effective in treating symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal and the more severe and persistent symptoms associated with opioid addiction. For example, many individuals who struggle with opioid addiction and are in early recovery will experience intense psychological cravings that very often lead to relapse. Methadone works to completely alleviate these cravings, making long-term sobriety far more possible.

It is important to note that drugs like methadone are always used as a short-term solution, and they are only effective when they are used in conjunction with a wide range of other proven methods of recovery. For example, a reputable inpatient treatment center will never provide medication-assisted treatment without also providing intensive therapeutic intervention, 12-step program immersion, and a wide range of other proven treatment methods. This is partly because there is ample evidence pointing towards the fact that methadone maintenance is not effective long-term as a standalone solution. This is also because there are many dangers involved in methadone maintenance.

Dangers of Long-Term Methadone Maintenance

Medication-Assisted Treatment and Methadone

What exactly is Medication-Assisted Treatment, and how effective is it in the treatment of substance abuse and dependency? The Food and Drug Administration acknowledges MAT as an effective method of opioid addiction treatment, but only when it is used in conjunction with behavioral therapy and intensive counseling.

Not only does this recovery method help individuals sustain sobriety while they’re undergoing addiction treatment, but it helps to prevent relapse, which ultimately contributes to a reduction in the number of nationwide overdose deaths. It is important to note that while we do utilize MAT, we do not generally turn to methadone.

Is Methadone Addictive and Dangerous?

Methadone can be habit-forming and leads to more serious consequences than medications like Suboxone. For more information on Medication-Assisted Treatment, feel free to reach out to us at any point in time and ask any questions that you might have that we have not yet answered. We are experienced in Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs (MAT) which include medication such as buprenorphine and methadone administered by experienced clinicians.

Long-Term Methadone Maintenance – Risks and Dangers

There are many risks involved in relying on methadone maintenance long-term. Some of the long-term side effects associated with methadone use include:

  • The development of physical and psychological dependence, also known as addiction.
  • Cognitive changes can affect memory and the ability to learn.
  • Compromised judgment, which often leads to an increase in risky behaviors and associated consequences.
  • Permanent lung damage and other respiratory issues that result from chronic respiratory depression.
  • A lack of attention is paid to personal hygiene, which can result in consequences like tooth decay.
  • Long-term damage to sexual function and lasting menstrual cycle changes in women.

It is recommended that individuals avoid taking methadone for longer than one year consistently. because there are so many dangers associated with long-term methadone maintenance, it is common practice to prescribe this medication in very early recovery, allowing an individual the opportunity to heal in a clinical setting without experiencing severe psychological cravings and physical discomfort.

Evoke Wellness – Comprehensive Clinical Care

At Evoke Wellness, we offer comprehensive clinical care in a safe and supportive environment. While we do utilize medication-assisted treatment whenever necessary, we always combine this effective method of treatment with intensive behavioral therapy, proven holistic treatment methods, and 12-step program immersion. We offer the most integrated care available in the immediate area, and we have an extremely high success rate because of this. To learn more about our unique program of addiction recovery, please feel free to reach out at any point in time. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your journey of opioid addiction recovery.

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