Study on methadone maintenance for opiate addiction

Methadone Maintenance a program was first used widely as an opioid replacement therapy to treat heroin dependence, and it remains the best-researched treatment for this problem. Methadone was developed in 1947 as a painkiller, and by 1950 oral methadone was used for the agonizing symptoms of withdrawing from opioids. Today MMT treatment centers offer clinics as an option to assist patients in methadone maintenance program. This allows the physician of the clinic to monitor the client’s intake and monitor the client’s continuing health care. This form of therapy is often ridiculed and misunderstood. The goal of MMT is to reduce cravings and act as a blocker for the opioid abuse. During the first stage of MMT the patients are started on the methadone to try to find the accurate and most effective dosage. In the first phase of methadone treatment, appropriately selected patients are tapered to adequate steady-state dosing. After becoming stable other medical and psychological conditions will be addressed (Krambeer, Mcknelly, & Penick, 2001). Opioid dependence is a constant disorder that often ends in relapse. Opioid include drugs such as narcotics, Opioid dependency is a mental addiction Opioids include addictive drugs such as, narcotics or opium’s. Opioid addicts have many behavioral, physical, and mental effects. Behavioral effects of opioids include the client’s inability to work and function in world. Addiction also affects the client’s home life. Opioid abusers have a difficult time keeping or fulfilling obligations to achieve a normal life. The addict has a mind that is preoccupied with finding their next

high and can not focus on their responsibilities like work or home life. This can lead to many marital issues or loss of job. The user’s addiction affects the family as a whole. The addict has physical effects from addiction. The drug abuse has some side effects or symptoms that mimic psychotic behaviors. The drugs are also dangerous to the abusers health. An addict that has reverted to IV drug use is at a greater risk of contracting HIV/AIDS Mental effects also include a variety of problems for the addict. Drug abuse causes many mental effects. Mental effects can include a variety of issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts

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Methadone Maintenance is a helpful to individuals in the ability to function while with drawling from opioid addiction. There are many benefits to methadone maintenance therapy.

Benefits include:

Accurate dosages give the ability for normal function

Taken by mouth reduces the cause of HIV/AIDS through clients using intravenous methods.

Drug Craving Reduction

Minimal Side effects

Methadone maintenance therapy has been an effective treatment option for individuals suffering from heroin addiction. In a study conducted by (Deck & Carlson, 2004), methadone maintenance was studied to determine the effectiveness for opiate

addiction. The study suggested that Methadone Maintenance was the considered to be the most effective treatment option for opioid addicts. The study also suggests that health risk decreased by using the methadone maintenance program. The risk of addicts contracting HIV or other health issues declines. Opioid addicts are at a greater risk of contracting HIV/AIDS because of intravenous drug use. Despite the widespread use of methadone in maintenance treatment for opioid dependence in many countries, it is a controversial treatment whose effectiveness has been disputed (Mattick, Breen, Kimber & Davoli, 2009). In a study conducted by (Mattick, et al, 2009) 1969 participants were included, and Methadone appeared considerably more effectual than approaches with no pharmalogical assistance, in maintaining patients in treatment. Keeping patients in treatment is an important step in treating addicts. In another study conducted by (Lange, Myers, & Freidman, 1988), Methadone Maintenance was an essential way in reducing the risk of HIV. The study was a three-year field study. Of the 300 participants incorporated in the study, 71 percent of the patients had not been participating in IV drug use, which greatly reduced the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Out of the 29 percent of patients that did not continue treatment, 81 percent reverted back to IV drug use. However, 71 percent stayed in the program and did not use intravenous therapy. That is a significant number of patients that the Methadone Maintenance helped.

Methadone Maintenance Therapy also assists in reducing crime rates. The decline of crime can be linked to the reduction of the client’s buying, selling, or taking drugs. The clients no longer have a need to obtain the drugs. MMT allows the clients to obtain

and live a normal life. MMT also allows the client to perform simple everyday life task such as, work. In a study conducted by (Bronwyn, Shuling, Weatherburn, & Mattick, R. (2004), court records were used to determine crime reduction. The participant studied included 8,154. The study found that according to the records there was a significant reduction in crime for patients in the MMT. The crime reduction was found in both women and men, and in all age groups. The recording showed a mass reduction in New South Wales. The study found that there were fewer robberies. MMT has shown to improve client’s ability to function in a social setting and has shown a vast reduction in crime rates.

Although methadone maintenance is effective in reducing health issues and crime rates, it also is very cost efficient. According to (Barnett & Hui, 2000), methadone maintenance has showed a cost effectiveness of about $4000.00 per year. This cost is a lot smaller than what an addict would spend in the average year for drugs. Also the reduction of crime is cost efficient to the American people. Incarceration for illegal drug use cost far more than the cost of MMT. Also the client is able to function in society and have the ability to work while participation in the MMT program. This allows the client to maintain and take care of themselves and their family.

Other Forms of Therapeutic Treatment

The clients in MMT also need therapy to help develop coping mechanisms for the addiction. The patient needs to address the unhealthy behaviors and try to find the cause or the root of the dependency. address patient’s behaviors and in the context of the social

and emotional causes of dependence. There are many forms of therapy that would be helpful for the patient. Family therapy would help with the educating the family on addiction, and help the family as a whole develop healthy way of coping with the addiction. The family can also be a tool in helping the patient realize and develop goals of healthy clean living. I have also been a fan of Client Centered Therapy. Client Centered therapy allows the counselor to gain the trust needed from the client. Group therapy can be wonderful tools in helping individuals reach their goals to recovery. Group therapy helps the individual relate and talk to others that have faced or had some of the same experiences. Group Therapy is wonderful tool to the client, because the client has peer support and peer accountability. Group also gives the client practice in their social skills. Lastly I think that behavioral therapy is very beneficial for addicts trying to cope with addition. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also a good form of therapy to the clients. CBT educates the client. CBT can help the client understand why they are experiencing addiction and withdrawals. Through education and CBT the client can start learning to change the unhealthy behavior. The unhealthy behavior can be replaced with a positive behavior. Behaviors are caused by our thought process, and with cognitive behavioral therapy the client has the ability to change that thought process and to recognize what triggers or situation cause the irrational behavior.

Conclusion

Methadone maintenance is an effective way to control sobriety with opioid addicts. The MMT program is a cost efficient program and reduces health risk and crime. Clients

can find relief through the program with withdrawal symptoms, which gives them a better chance of sobriety. With the MMT program, therapy can be used to address the issues of addiction. Therapy can concentrate on the emotional dependency. The Methadone Maintenance Program gives the client the ability to reduce cravings that are associated with opioids. In my opinion Methadone Maintenance is a successful treatment of opioid addiction.

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