If you’re looking for a methadone clinic in Canada, visit Canadian Addiction Treatment Centres today. Learn more about methadone treatment for opioid addiction and how our Canadian methadone clinics work.
What is Methadone?
Methadone is a long-acting, full opioid agonist medication. As a full agonist, methadone activates the brain’s receptors in the same way illicit opioids do, but at a therapeutic, medically managed dose. Dosing is individualized for each patient, adjusted during the initial treatment phase until a patient no longer experiences cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone is an effective treatment option for those who are addicted to any type of opioids including prescriptions such as hydrocodone, OxyContin®, Percocet® and Vicodin®, as well as heroin and fentanyl.
How does Methadone work?
Methadone is part of a long-term and comprehensive maintenance program for opioid-dependent clients.
The ultimate goal of a methadone treatment plan is to reduce cravings, relieve withdrawal symptoms and stabilize the body physically so that you can make changes in other areas of your life and take full advantage of a “drug-free” lifestyle.
How is Methadone taken?
Methadone is typically mixed with orange juice and taken orally as a drink. During the stabilization phase, patients have daily observed doses in their clinic or pharmacy. Once stabilized, ~70% of patients take their doses home to self-administer, often referred to as carries or take-home doses. Patients are encouraged to keep their medications stored safely in a locked box at home to prevent harm to others.
How Long Do I Stay on Methadone?
The length of a methadone maintenance program is different for every person. Significant research indicates that patients often have better outcomes when participating in methadone treatment for a year or longer. Several key factors can indicate when a person is ready to taper off their methadone prescription, including:
- Stable mental and physical health
- Abstinence from illicit drugs
- Supportive social network
When the time is right, the patient makes the decision to taper with the support of their treating physician. The methadone dose is then tapered by approximately 10% of the daily dose at weekly or biweekly intervals. This estimation is only a guide. Each patient has different needs, and the treating physician will work closely with the patient to determine the best plan of action.
Does Methadone Have Any Side Effects?
Methadone, like all other opioids, can cause some common side effects:
- Low libido
- Your doctor can prescribe general medications to help alleviate these side effects.
Methadone should not be taken with benzodiazepines or alcohol due to the danger of significant respiratory depression. If you take benzodiazepines or other medications, speak to your medical provider before starting a methadone treatment program.
CATC offers methadone as a treatment option in all our facilities across the country. Our CARE team is dedicated to providing comprehensive care plans for every patient on the road to recovery. If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, please contact us online via the form below or call 1-877-937-2282 to find a treatment centre near you.