Pharmacies usually find the answer to substance abuse in the replacement of one drug with another. Chemists, of course, see the world through a particular lens, one in which everything is made up of atomic numbers and can be classified according to a periodic table.
Often, however, their focus on life at the molecular level has saved lives and also helped people get their lives back together. An example is the development of a man-made narcotic known as methadone.
What is Methadone?
When a long-time opioid addict decides to seek rehabilitation, he has a long road ahead of him. His goal is not simply to give up a habit, like chewing your pencil; one’s body needs that regular supply of heroin or oxycodone. Detoxification has to take place slowly or every organ could shut down as a result of sudden withdrawal.
Candidates for Treatment
Detox experts recognize candidates for methadone treatment. They are the men and women who have been taking heroin so long they don’t remember their old lives.
These people have not held down a steady job for years, are usually malnourished, can’t go home, and have been living on the street. Having lost everything, such clients can only trade sex for drugs or deal drugs to make money to support their habit; they don’t have any cash otherwise.
Every dime a person makes selling narcotics or sex is poured right back into buying their own supply of opiates. Many such individuals are suffering from the ongoing pain, discomfort, and embarrassment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, including AIDS.
As researchers explore treatments for addiction and for AIDS, they give recovering addicts hope. There is a reason to get up each morning; hope that trying to live a drug-free life is not an act in futility. Looking for support from a methadone treatment program could be step one to seeking recovery.
What is Methadone Treatment?
Methadone is also a narcotic, but it works a little bit differently from other painkillers. Although this drug will numb the physical pain of withdrawal from heroin, etc., it does not make a person feel high. He still needs and wants this new drug every day.
What he will not obtain, however, is the reward of feeling like he could climb the face of a five-storey building, outrun cars on Main Street, or stay awake for days finishing creative projects. He might even feel a little bit drowsy after taking methadone.
How to Prevent Danger and Abuse
Running a methadone treatment center or carrying methadone at a pharmacy can be a dangerous choice. Shops and clinics have been held up for their supply of the drug. Security measures such as operating from a locked cubicle, setting a time lock on the supply safe, and similarly keeping cash stored away are aimed at removing the incentive to hold up a methadone supply center and, thus, reducing the danger for pharmacists.
Individuals taking part in methadone treatment will be interviewed prior to being accepted into a program funded by the public through their tax dollars or by running campaigns to raise money to run non-profit centers that support drug addicts seeking rehab.
At first, the user will come to a center regularly for a supply of methadone. He signs a contract and might eventually be entrusted with a take-home supply if he shows willingness to improve and passes drug tests. A slow process of weaning from the drug has begun, but taking methadone is just part of the plan.
Big Picture Treatment
Someone with a drug problem also has to flee the influences which have led to drug abuse. These include stressors like an unhappy marriage. If one has escaped this marriage through drug use, a couple requires counseling or the addict might need to get away from a violent situation.
Participants will have to cut-off so-called friends who encourage or even pressure them to do drugs. Such friends have the power to influence this vulnerable, recovering individual who might throw away months of recovery for another dose of painkillers.
How Long to Invest
Methadone treatment can take 1 year, 18 months, or 2 years even. Experts managing treatment conduct regular therapy and counseling sessions, run drug tests, and encourage their participants to find steady work.
In an ideal world, when a center is adequately funded, professionals visit with their clients regularly to ensure they aren’t dabbling in other drugs. They look for signs of ongoing substance abuse such as dilated pupils, unpredictable moods, or malnutrition. A recovering drug addict might require assistance finding a job and will appear ready for the responsibility if his attitude is positive.
Risks of Methadone
A number of people will not qualify for methadone treatment because of allergies or health conditions. These include respiratory problems and some GI complications. Breathing and digestive problems are among potential side effects of taking methadone but if these are not severe, the benefits outweigh any negatives of receiving a daily dose of this synthetic narcotic.