Annapolis, MD Addiction Treatment Center - New Journey Methadone Clinic & Suboxone Clinic In Annapolis, MD

About Methadone Medication

Methadone Medication

About Methadone Medication

Methadone is a medication used in Methadone Treatment to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates. Methadone has been used for decades to treat people who are addicted to heroin and narcotic pain medicines at a methadone clinic. When taken as prescribed, it is safe and effective. It allows people to recover from their addiction and to reclaim active and meaningful lives. For optimal results, patients should also participate in a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program that includes counseling and social support.

How Does Methadone Work?

Methadone works by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It lessens the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Methadone is offered in pill, liquid, and wafer forms and is taken once a day. Pain relief from a dose of methadone lasts about four to eight hours. SAMHSA’s TIP 43: Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Opioid Treatment Programs – 2012 shows that methadone is effective in higher doses, particularly for heroin users, helping them stay in treatment programs longer.

As with all medications used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone is to be prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and participation in social support programs.

How Can a Patient Receive Methadone?

Patients taking methadone to treat opioid addiction must receive the medication under the supervision of a physician. After a period of stability (based on progress and proven, consistent compliance with the medication dosage), patients may be allowed to take methadone at home between program visits. By law, methadone can only be dispensed through an opioid treatment program (OTP) certified by SAMHSA.

The length of time in methadone treatment varies from person to person. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse publication Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide – 2012, the length of methadone treatment should be a minimum of 12 months. Some patients may require treatment for years. Even if a patient feels that they are ready to stop methadone treatment, it must be stopped gradually to prevent withdrawal. Such a decision should be supervised by a doctor.

Methadone Safety

Methadone can be addictive, so it must be used exactly as prescribed. This is particularly important for patients who are allowed to take methadone at home and aren’t required to take medication under supervision at an OTP. Methadone medication is specifically tailored for the individual patient (as doses are often adjusted and readjusted) and is never to be shared with or given to others. Patients should share their complete health history with health providers to ensure the safe use of the medication.

Other medications may interact with methadone and cause heart conditions. Even after the effects of methadone wear off, the medication’s active ingredients remain in the body for much longer. Taking more methadone can cause unintentional overdose.

The following tips can help achieve the best treatment results:

  • Never use more than the amount prescribed, and always take at the times prescribed. If a dose is missed, or if it feels like it’s not working, do not take an extra dose of methadone.
  • Do not consume alcohol while taking methadone.
  • Be careful driving or operating machinery on methadone.
  • Call 911 if too much methadone is taken or if an overdose is suspected.
  • Take steps to prevent children from accidentally taking methadone.
  • Store methadone at room temperature and away from light.
  • Dispose of unused methadone by flushing it down the toilet.

Side Effects of Methadone

Side effects should be taken seriously, as some of them may indicate an emergency. Patients should stop taking methadone and contact a doctor or emergency services right away if they:

  • Experience difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • Feel lightheaded or faint
  • Experience hives or a rash; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Feel chest pain
  • Experience a fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Experience hallucinations or confusion

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women and Methadone

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can safely take methadone. When withdrawal from an abused drug happens to a pregnant woman, it causes the uterus to contract and may bring on miscarriage or premature birth. Methadone’s ability to prevent withdrawal symptoms helps pregnant women better manage their addiction while avoiding health risks to both mother and baby.

Undergoing methadone maintenance treatment while pregnant will not cause birth defects, but some babies may go through withdrawal after birth. This does not mean that the baby is addicted. Infant withdrawal usually begins a few days after birth but may begin two to four weeks after birth.

Mothers taking methadone can still breastfeed. Research has shown that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the effect of the small amount of methadone that enters the breast milk. A woman who is thinking of stopping methadone treatment due to breastfeeding or pregnancy concerns should speak with her doctor first.

Medication Assisted Treatment Program:

A Methadone Clinic is a great place to start for adults struggling with addiction. New Journey is a Medication Assisted Treatment clinic that offers medications that are useful in treating opioid addiction. The Addiction Treatment Services administered at Another Way are the best in the industry!

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Lavonne Amore
Lavonne Amore
12:26 01 Dec 20
They are completely impersonal! Some counselors are very unprofessional, ignorant & don't care about your needs!... Truthfully they're just worried about that check they get for each patient that continues to come! I got denied information for a food pantry from my counselor who already cared because her supervisor said she would be showing favoritism if she continued to help me with that personal matter! They wonder why some people relapse or maybe even overdose, it's because of people like that that lie about caring for the next person's wellbeing out of convenience for money, then leave them hanging when they're no longer needed! F**K NEW JOURNEY!!!!read more
Trina Marie
Trina Marie
15:14 18 Jan 19
Love the director Stephanie she goes above and beyond to help you with any problems you may come accross and makes you... feel very comfortable when talking to her.you also have Angela she listens to everything and no problem going out of her way to do for you you can tell she loves her job.I mention those two just because i deal with them on a daily but EVERYONE there is super friendly and im sure you would love anyone there...best program ive ever been!!!!read more
Danielle Foster
Danielle Foster
21:28 06 Aug 18
They are willing to work with you if you have no insurance they do payment plans, they also use a sliding scale based... on income.. the doctors and nurses are amazing and will go over and beyond to get you the help you need, along with wonderful counselors this is the best place to get the help you need whatever your circumstances are.read more
Brittany Bell
Brittany Bell
14:44 03 Jul 18
Jeffrey Hoagland
Jeffrey Hoagland
00:13 30 Jun 18
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