A Guide to Methadone Addiction Treatment & Rehab

If you are suffering from opiate addiction (in this case methadone), you know that withdrawal can be an uncomfortable step in overcoming your addiction. Whilst withdrawal is certainly not a walk in the park, with the right support and treatment plan it is something you can get through. And you’re taking the first step by reading this article.

Learning about the treatment options available and ways to get through your withdrawal is key to a successful, permanent break-up with methadone.

Understanding Methadone Addiction

While methadone is approved for use in the medical management of opiate addiction, it holds the potential for abuse and addiction. Signs of addiction to methadone include:(Methadone Abuse, Symptoms, Signs and Addiction Treatment)

  • “doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Using methadone more often or in higher doses than advised.
  • Skipping scheduled doses to ‘stockpile’ them for later high-dose administration.
  • Obtaining methadone from alternative sources could include using other opioids along with methadone, such as OxyContin, heroin or morphine.
  • Neglecting other aspects of life like work and relationships in order to continue methadone use.

Methadone addiction is not a moral failing or a choice, many factors contribute to your predisposition to addiction, such as genetics, environment, past traumas, and underlying mental health issues. (Substance use, childhood traumatic experience, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in an urban civilian population)
Despite this you do have a choice in seeking treatment, recovery is possible no matter the severity of your methadone dependence

If you would like to learn more about residential rehab or would like to speak to an expert regarding the different treatment centres here in the UK, please give us a call.

man in a therapy session

Why Methadone Addiction Treatment is Necessary

Long-term use of methadone comes with significant risks to your health, mental & physical, while it may have seemed like a ‘safer’ alternative to heroin or other prescription medications, as an opiate, methadone can also cause:

a rehab group session

Treat the Addiction, not the Methadone!

There are many warning signs that you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to methadone. They include:

  • Needing more drugs or drinks to feel the effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop
  • You try to stop using but can’t
  • You keep using methadone although you may lose your job or marriage or even go to jail

You may feel you have reached ‘rock bottom’, receiving treatment will help you identify the triggers, stressors, underlying causes of why you are dependent on methadone, and then give you the coping skills to avoid being triggered and lower your need for methadone

No one chooses to be addicted to methadone, suffering from addiction is not a weakness, it is a disease that needs to be fought and we can help.

Don’t be afraid to admit you have a problem

If you are ready to end your methadone use, seeking help is an important step. Society has been conditioned to stigmatise addiction thereby making a person, such as yourself feel that they are not worthy of recovery, we want you to know that you are worthy of living life free from methadone.

Your specific situation will need to be assessed to understand the level, frequency, and intensity of your methadone dependency and associated addictive behaviours. Depending on your responses, a detox period, followed by residential rehab or outpatient treatment will be recommended.

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Choosing a Treatment Option

Although it can be painful to go through withdrawal, always bear in mind that the risk of continued methadone abuse far outweighs the discomfort of withdrawal.

Support is key when you are ready to stop using methadone, the more you have the better the outcome. There are a couple of options available to you:

Private Rehab

Rather than go through withdrawal on your own, you can be admitted to a private rehab facility, where you will be closely monitored during the detox period, guided through understanding your addiction in therapy and given some valuable tools to cope with life after rehab.

How does Private Rehab Work?

After a complete evaluation or assessment, your treatment programme may include:

Detox – is where your body is given time to eliminate the toxins from methadone,

  • Buprenorphine (with naloxone) may be used as an opiate substitute and administered within 12 hours of the last methadone dose, the dose is gradually tapered as your withdrawal symptoms and cravings decrease.
  • Gradually tapered methadone doses to slowly ease your body and mind through the initial withdrawal phase to achieve a methadone-free state.

Rehab – Detox is not a cure for methadone addiction, a well-rounded treatment programme that looks at your entire person, mentally, emotionally and physically is the most beneficial.

  • Behavioural therapies, such as CBT, REBT show the best results in long term recovery
  • Excercise and creative therapies assist with forming new habits that are healthy and methadone free whilst restoring self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Family and Group therapy

Secondary treatment – either whilst still a client in the treatment centre you choose or as an outpatient, secondary treatment assists with reintegration back into a life free from methadone, therapy is continued to address any further underlying issues you may have.
(Rehab for Treating Addiction)

Choosing a Rehab Centre

A rehab centre that best suits your individual needs, the severity of addiction and offers the best treatment plan for you takes some consideration:

  1. Where are they located? Being away from your environment may be more beneficial with less temptation
  2. Do they have a decent CQC rating? All residential treatment centres in the UK are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (What we do | Care Quality Commission), the independent regulator of health and social care in England. All centres are individually rated to ensure that they meet the fundamental quality and safety standards for your care and treatment.
  3. Is the treatment team credible, certified and experienced in dealing with Methadone addiction?
  4. Does the centre offer a treatment program that you like? different treatment centres utilise different therapeutic models:
    • 12 Step Model -A spiritual abstinence-based programme pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) where the belief is that addiction is a disease. The programme focuses on your motivation to change your addictive behaviours within the treatment and recovery process.
    • Non 12 Step Model – These programmes focus on addiction’s multifaceted issue and offer a treatment programme that includes both physical and psychological therapy.
  5. Medical – Does the treatment centre offer medical assistance to aid your recovery? Can the centre provide medication to assist with your withdrawal?

There is a wide range of treatment facilities available throughout the UK and we can assist in finding the best fit for you.

Types of Behavioural Therapies for Treating Addiction

support group

Behavioural therapies have proven to be very effective in addiction treatment, your rehabilitation may incorporate one or a mix of the following:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The tenet of CBT is that all humans’ core beliefs can be summed up in three categories: self, others, future. (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Definition, Types, Techniques, Efficiency)

Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) – identifies irrational beliefs, actively challenges these beliefs, and teaches you to recognise and change these thought patterns.
(Different approaches to psychotherapy)

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is compatible with the 12 step program, both approaches enforce acceptance of your addiction and a broad life reorientation as opposed to just elimination of the substance use.

Multimodal Therapy – Also known as Combination Therapy, where a dual diagnosis is made (mix of mental health issues and substance abuse) there may be a need to treat both issues simultaneously, since trauma, family history, depression, etc may have led to your addiction developing, just treating the addiction is not enough, your mental health also requires treatment to prevent relapse. (Multimodal Therapy: Overview of Principles, Barriers, and Opportunities)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) – DBT is about developing a therapeutic alliance between you and your therapist through unconditional acceptance within a climate of loving-kindness.

Paying for Treatment

Private rehab facilities are generally paid for by the client, some offer a payment plan where the final payment is made on discharge.

In some cases, clients have received funding from benefactors, charity groups or their families.

Free Outpatient Services

The NHS (The NHS website – NHS) only offers outpatient care for the treatment of addiction and there can be waiting lists before you may start treatment in your area (Find Drug addiction services), so if you require urgent admission, contact us and we will help you find the right private treatment centre for your needs.

You will also be required to visit the appointed pharmacy, clinic or your GP for tapering doses (Methadone – medicine used to treat heroin dependence), your detox will not be as closely monitored as you can expect from private rehab centres and the medical assistance may not be as focused as you need.

Advice on Quitting Methadone

Taking the time to participate in a treatment programme is a huge commitment, one that you may feel is scary or even beyond your capabilities, but with continued therapy, support, compassion and re-affirmation of your commitment, recovery is indeed possible.

Ensure that your home has no remnants of your life with methadone left, remove any paraphernalia (needles, syringes, blister packs), stay away from the environments and ‘friends’ that you may have used methadone with in the past.

Incorporate new healthy lifestyle changes into your life and concentrate on the new skills, hobbies and interests you learnt about in rehab to keep your focus on sobriety and recovery.

Support Groups are Useful

Rehabilitation is only the first phase of your recovery and healing from addiction, having long-term involvement in therapy and with support groups such as: