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Methadone Use in Heroin Detox

Methadone is Commonly Used by Detox Centers, But There are Other Options

Methadone clinics are one poor option for alcohol detox. Methadone use in heroin detox has been used for nearly a quarter century, but not without some scrutiny by many healthcare professionals.

Methadone clinics are public clinics that are mostly funded by the government although there are some private clinics as well. Methadone clinics make it possible for individuals to self report and to receive the drug methadone to replace heroin use. The drug methadone is an opiate narcotic and is part of the family of opiates that oxycontin, vicodin, heroin and morphine belong to. An opiate narcotic blocks the opioid receptors that tell the body to feel pleasure or pain.

Clients may receive between 20 mg and 200 mg methadone each day. Methadone is active in the body for up to 5 hours and will stay in the system for up to 60 hours. There are some significant side effects in taking methadone including insomnia, confusion, dry mouth, dizziness and drowsiness, constipation, anxiety and nervousness and in some cases, hallucinations. Research shows that some individuals have taken methadone for more than 20 years, even though long term use of methadone can lead to severe health problems such as bone density loss, breathing problems and liver disease.

Methadone clinics require that their clients participate in a 12 step program. 12 step programs promote that the false belief that heroin use is an incurable disease. 12 step programs teach that you inherited an addict gene and that you will fail in your attempts to stop your heroin use and that you are powerless against heroin use. Methadone clinics provide a disservice for heroin users that use 12 step programs because those 123 step programs say "relapse" is a certainty.

12 step programs require their members to attend meetings, group therapy and counseling. The practice of therapists is to dig deeper into the past of the heroin user to find the supposed root cause of the use. This practice makes it possible for the therapist to project their beliefs and feelings onto the individual in counseling. Meetings and group therapy are filled with angry and bitter individuals that blame everyone else for their circumstances is common in these therapy sessions.

To make matters even worse, quitting methadone may not be as easy as heroin detox. Withdrawal symptoms may take two weeks or much longer. Withdrawal symptoms are so severe in some individuals that many return to taking methadone.

Doctors agree that the safest and most effective method for detox from heroin or methadone is IV therapy medical detox. Intravenous therapy is crucial because it allows the doctor to make changes to the medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms and to keep the patient comfortable. IV therapy medical detox is administered by a licensed and board certified doctor, highly skilled in critical care.

Some individuals find it necessary to enter a program that can help them rebuild their life. St. Jude Retreats offers a cognitive behavioral education program that uses self assessment and self change to teach guests to make choices that are more productive and to form habits and behaviors that are positive. Our guests discover that they are not powerless against their substance use.

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