The purpose of Methadone Maintenance programs is to provide addiction services to opioid-addicted individuals. Treatment programs can help addicts decrease their dependence on opioids and provide them with healthier lives. Methadone maintenance has proven to be beneficial in many ways using long-lasting medication and other strategies to help addicts turn their lives around.
A recent Cochrane review from 2004 found that methadone treatment is statistically more effective than nonpharmacological approaches in treating patients and the suppressing heroin use. cientific evidence proves that methadone maintenance is an effective treatment for opioid dependent individuals and the program increases HIV prevention (“Methadone as an essential medicine for the management of opioid dependence”, 2004) Methadone maintenance programs have helped millions of people recover from opioid addiction. Millions of patients benefit from these programs with improvements in their health, family, and social lives, and holding steady jobs.
As a result of these programs individuals become more productive in their lives, for example, choosing to go back to school and parenting their children in a more stable home environment (Leavitt, 2004). Another strength of methadone maintenance programs is that it produces positive results in reducing symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It decreases cravings for other drugs and it increases the functioning in individuals. Methadone is a good form of treatment because it last from 24-36 hours, which is lasts longer than most other opioids.
In the program methadone only has to be administered once a day. “Overview of methadone maintenance treatment” (n. d. ), state many studies has shown that methadone maintenance programs are associated with a decrease in criminal activity, transmission of diseases, and high-risk behaviors. The program is also associated with improvement in physical and mental health, social functioning, and quality of life. Many who are women and pregnant experience opioid craving.
Many of them try to quit because they want a healthy baby but experience withdrawals which prevent them from quitting using. Women who are stable in methadone maintenance programs will give birth to babies who are in normal range for development and will grow up to be healthy (“Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Methadone and Pregnancy”, n. d. ). Scientific consensus by the US government authorities and researchers report methadone is safe and effective for managing opioid dependence during pregnancy (“Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Methadone and Pregnancy”, n. ).
Although there are side effects in the early stages of treatment, the side effects end and there is no evidence of any long-term consequences. A review of the program stated “It has been shown to be an invaluable and often an essential ingredient in bettering the health of women during pregnancy”(“Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Methadone and Pregnancy”, n. d. ). Although methadone maintenance programs have strengths, there are also a number of weaknesses. One weakness is the amount of time spent in treatment.
Addicts in this program must attend a treatment program every day to receive their oral dose of methadone. Not everyone has time to go the clinic to get their dose. This affects the treatment process and the stability of the patient. Skipping doses will lead to patient reverting to their heavy use of opioids. Patients require methadone maintenance treatment for a long period of time (at least a year). As a result of discontin program, patients can experience severe withdrawal symptoms which have serious risks.
Nearly all patients who decide to stop attending treatment and do not pursue further treatment eventually relapse and most likely overdose (Leavitt, 2004) “Pros and Cons of Methadone Maintenance” (n. d. ) state that methadone treatment should be considered a longer term treatment. If not treated long term there is a high probability of relapse to opioids if ending treatment in less than a year. Another weakness of the program is the individuals can Abuse methadone and other illicit drugs.
Addicts may alternate between opioids and methadone or sell their excess take home doses, although the behaviors are discouraged through various methadone maintenance control techniques (“Pros and Cons of Methadone Maintenance”, n. d. ) There are medications that quicken the metabolism of methadone through the body. On the other hand, ther are medications that slow down metabolism and increases the need for higher dosages (“Choosing the Top Exclusive Methadone Treatment Program”, n. d. ).
Not only can simultaneously taking other medication patients at risk but some prescription drugs can affect methadone altogether and put patients at risk. If te client does not know which medication that has a negative effect on methadone it can be really bad. Before going participating in the treatment patients should be knowledgeable of any prescribed medication they are currently taking that might be negatively associated with methadone. I had a hard time deciding whether or not I would support a client to a Methadone Maintenance clinic for treatment.
This program has helped millions of addicts and has been around for decades. There are risks of referring clients to this program. They may decide to discontinue treatment causes serious withdrawal symptoms or they can take methadone with other drugs. I think I would referring a client to this program. I would only refer clients I know who are truly willing and seem capable maintaining treatment. Methadone maintenance treatment is effective in that is reduces the craving for other drugs and results in clients living healthier and productive lives.