Frequently Asked Questions About Methadone as a Medication Assisted Treatment Solution
Why do I have to go to the clinic to take it? Why can’t I just take Methadone at home?
You must go regularly to a clinic to get a prescription for Methadone. However, over time, the clinic may trust you with a day’s dose of the medication, which you can take home.
How do you take Methadone?
Methadone may come in liquid or pill form. You may need to mix the liquid or tablet for suspension in water or another liquid before consuming.
How often do I have to take Methadone?
Specifics about how much and how often will vary from person to person. However, Methadone is a often taken daily at the Methadone clinic.
Can I take other medications while on Methadone?
Maybe – it depends on the medication. You can take some medications, but others may not mix with Methadone. You need to talk to your doctor about everything you are taking. Methadone is a strong medication and is dangerous if mixed with the wrong thing.
How long will I have to be on Methadone?
Methadone as a detox aid may need to be taken over a matter of days or weeks depending on you. However, if you are taking the medication as a substitute for another substance, the length of time you take it is completely up to you.
Can you overdose on Methadone?
Yes you can. You can easily overdose on Methadone and this could be deadly. A number of life-threatening problems may arise from an overdose. If you suspect someone has taken too much, contact emergency services immediately.
Will I get sick or withdraw if I stop taking Methadone?
Yes – this is one of the major draw-backs to Methadone. Though you should not experience a high from the medication, stopping it suddenly will result in withdrawal symptoms. The severity of symptoms varies widely from person to person, but most likely you will feel sick.
Will taking Methadone affect my ability to drive?
Methadone is a strong drug and may affect your ability to drive. The best way to determine this is to avoid driving while you get used to the medication and its effects.
Is Methadone safe?
Methadone is a strong drug that can be habit-forming. However, if taken as directed and you respect that it can cause serious interactions with other medications, Methadone is a safe option, especially in contrast to what it treats.
Can Methadone be used to treat chronic or acute pain?
Yes, Methadone can be a practical option for people with acute or chronic pain. This is definitely an option used after many others have been exhausted, however, as Methadone is highly addictive.
Can you abuse Methadone?
Yes, and Methadone abuse is a major problem. Methadone is addictive, which creates its own host of problems. However, though this drug can allow you to lead a more normal life.
How do you know the right dosage of Methadone to take?
Most likely, it will take a little tweaking at first to get the right dose for you. You will work with your doctor to determine the right dosage for your symptoms and needs. Periodically, dosages may need to be adjusted even after the right dose is found.
Will Methadone show up on a drug test?
Yes, Methadone will show up on a Methadone drug test. Only if the drug test specifically tests for Methadone will it show up.
What is a Methadone clinic?
A Methadone clinic is where you go to receive medication based-therapy for your opioid addiction. Methadone requires special licensing to prescribe and manage. The clinic provides you with your dose of Methadone.
How much does Methadone cost?
The cost of Methadone treatment may vary depending on the clinic. On average, methadone may cost around $17 a day. However, some people have been able to lessen the cost of Methadone by paying for a week in advance.
What is the controversy around Methadone?
Methadone treatment programs face their own fair share of controversy, because methadone can be an addictive drug. What some fail to realize is that methadone is often sought out as treatment by those who can admit that they cannot or will not stop using opiate-based drugs. It has been found that it is better to stabilize these individuals on a dose of methadone that can greatly reduce cravings and keep them from seeking out illegal drugs than to try and force complete abstinence, which they may not be able to attain.
Another common controversy that methadone treatment faces is the notion that using methadone to get off other opioid drugs such as a heroin, is just “trading one drug for another.” People who believe this do not realize that there is a difference between being in active addiction and being on a maintenance program that completely cuts out compulsive illicit drug use as well as drug seeking behaviors. Another common concern is that methadone will be diverted onto the illegal drug market, therefore regulated methadone clinics are only allowed to dispense this medication for the treatment of opiate addiction.
When is it best to avoid using Methadone as a Medically Assisted Treatment?
Methadone maintenance is best used as treatment for those who have tried and failed numerous times to stop using opiates. If you are experiencing issues with opioid dependency and honestly feel that you are ready to be abstinent from opioids, then methadone is probably not the best option to consider first. It is also best to avoid using methadone if you are continuing to actively abuse or misuse depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Methadone can be deadly when combined with depressant drugs. If you are considering Methadone for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) you must be willing to stop using any depressant drugs completely. If you are looking at Methadone for MAT, you should also know that it is not commonly used as a short-term treatment, although you can request it.