In an age where you are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car accident, we are at a peculiar time in American history. In recent memory, there has never been an epidemic that has plagued our prosperous nation, but that has slowly changed over the past two decades making the need for Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) greater than ever. More than 130 people die each day in the United States after overdosing on opioids, and there are no signs of it letting up any time soon. In 2017, more than 47,000 American’s died as a result of an opioid overdose that includes prescription opioids, heroin, and the illicitly manufactured fentanyl.
There have been many high profile cases of an overdose recently from the rapper Mac Miller, to Vine’s co-founder Colin Kroll. Is it any wonder with the widespread and deadly drug fentanyl flowing through our southern border at alarming rates? Fentanyl is an estimated 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and is a much cheaper and stronger alternative to heroin. Today, much of the heroin that is sold is contaminated with fentanyl. Just recently, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) seized its largest ever shipment of fentanyl at a port of entry in Nogales, Arizona. A staggering 254 pounds worth around $3.5 million was discovered in a hidden compartment in the vehicle.
The saturation of fentanyl in the market has increased the number of deaths we have seen exponentially, and it is projected by 2025 that the opioid crisis is going to to be at levels we could never imagine. With these models projecting devastation, it is imperative that people who are misusing opioids get the treatment they need. With such a drastic increase in the amount of fentanyl on the streets, it is a real possibility that heroin is going to be over-run by the deadly analog. Other studies that have been conducted also show prescription drug monitoring programs are unlikely to make a dent in the number of deaths from opioid overdose in the future.
All of these statistics and bleak dialogue about death looming should be of paramount concern if you are using opioids. These statistics are not meant to stoke fear, but rather highlight the level of which this drug epidemic has reached. With drugs like fentanyl sweeping the country, if you are a drug user, it is only a matter of time before the bag your dealer gives to you is tainted with the powerful substance. The worst part is that no one ever expects their drugs to be anything other than what they are told; this can lead to a terrible outcome. It is time to seek treatment to heal drug addiction, and methadone clinics offer services that help with withdrawal as well as future cravings.
Methadone is an opioid analgesic that has sometimes been used to treat pain but is notorious for treating opioid addiction. If someone is abusing opioid drugs like fentanyl or heroin, they can opt to choose a methadone maintenance program where they will receive daily doses of the drug. Methadone treatment reduces or eliminates drug cravings and harsh withdrawal symptoms that often trigger an individual to relapse. It does not induce feelings of euphoria often attributed to opiate use. The effects of methadone can last anywhere from 24 to 36 hours and most who take it benefit from a single daily dose.
Methadone success rates are much higher for those who continue their program long-term instead of staying short-term. Unfortunately, changes in the brain chemistry take longer than 21 days to correct, and relapse after detox is extremely common. It is necessary for someone in methadone treatment to complete the same continuum of care as someone who is in traditional therapy without medication. Since brain chemistry requires time to adjust, the longer someone stays in treatment, the more they will enjoy the highest rates of success.
A methadone clinic is a clinic that has been established to dispense methadone. These clinics can provide methadone for on-site administration or to take home for self-administration.
Methadone should be distributed and administered under the supervision of a licensed practitioner. Typically, a pharmacist, registered nurse or a licensed nurse practitioner may also administer or dispense the medications under the supervision of a licensed practitioner.
Like all opioids, methadone still runs the risk of being abused among other things. The dose must be adapted for each individual, and adjustments are typically required. The process is known as induction and needs to be closely watched by medical staff responsible for the case. Healthcare providers must have a complete health history on hand to ensure the client’s safety.
Methadone can cause adverse reactions to those using other medications, and in rare cases, it can affect the heart. Methadone is always recommended to be taken in prescribed doses at its proper time. Those taking methadone should also never stop taking it, or double up if they miss a dose.
There are several resources scattered around the internet to find local methadone clinics, and there are sites that offer customer reviews or for referrals. In 2011, methadone was responsible for 26 percent of opioid-analgesic overdose deaths, and it’s imperative that you seek an experienced facility offering the level of care you deserve. If you have reached a point where treatment is your final option, you must go about it in a way that benefits you the most.
There are federal and state guidelines that cover the safety methadone clinics must abide by. It is important to be comfortable with the staff and in the surroundings. There are regulations these facilities must adhere to, and a sterile, supportive environment must be the standard. The next bit of advice is to find a methadone clinic within your price range. Free methadone clinics are available; however, there are much better quality clinics that will offer payment plans or options. These should be the first choice when changing the trajectory of your life.
The free clinics are often crowded and over-run by others in recovery, and this can cause anxiety. Others may cater to specific genders, demographics, or religions, and you need to find the one that best suits your needs.
You will want a clinic that deals with your unique requirements. If you are struggling with a co-occuring disorder, it may be in your best interest to look for a clinic that caters to those specific cases. If you are experiencing a unique case that a clinic may not be enough for, it may be in your best interest to find a comprehensive treatment center that follows the continuum of care and provides medication-assisted treatment. If you are currently trying to get sober and need methadone treatment, Maryland House Detox can help.
Living with addiction is hardly living, and if you are ready to take back your life, there are options available. Many people go on to live full lives outside of active addiction, and many of those have started their journey at Maryland House Detox. Learn more about your addiction treatment options and how to overcome opioid addiction by calling our treatment specialists. Call (888) 263-0631 today and take your first steps a better and sober tomorrow.
Fentanyl Bust at U.S.-Mexico Border Is the Biggest Ever, Customs Officials Say. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2019/01/31/fentanyl-mexico-border-bust-opioid-crisis/
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis