OUR ANSWERS


 

 

A New Beginning Starts Here.

Accepting Patients for the Treatment of Opioid & Narcotic Dependence.

If I miss a methadone does, will I become sick?

This varies to each individual. Many people reported not feeling sick if they missed a dose. Methadone has a much longer half-life than most other Opioid medications, and therefore is present & active in the body beyond a 24-hour period. Some clients remain comfortable and without withdrawal symptoms following a single missed does. However, the metabolism of each person is different, and some clients may begin to experience the onset of withdrawal if they miss a dose. It is best to plan for daily dosing and to avoid missing a does if at all possible.

What if I need to travel? How can I receive methadone?

There are several options for methadone clients who are traveling.

  • One option is to dose at another methadone clinic near your travel destination. This is a frequent occurrence and happens daily across the country. The staff of your methadone clinic can set-up guest dosing. This means that you will report at the guest clinic each day to receive your methadone medication. The guest clinic will charge a daily fee for this service.
  • Another option is to gain take home medication privileges through your home clinic. Many clinics offer the option to earn up to 13 “take home” doses, sometimes more. This makes planning for extended vacations very easy.
  • Lastly, a medication “take home” exception request. This is usually reserved for emergency situations and is a more involved process that requires your methadone counselor to submit a special request which must be ruled on by both state and federal authorities.

Can someone possibly overdose by taking too much methadone?

It is possible for an individual to overdose on methadone and overdose can be fatal. Mixing methadone with other sedatives or pain medications should never be attempted without first consulting with a physician.

Methadone overdose signs

Weakness-drowsiness                  Coma                                     Stopped-Breathing

Small Pinpoint Pupils                   Constipation                            Stomach or Intestinal Spasm

Vomiting                                    Disorientation                          Limp Muscles

Muscles Twitches                        Nausea                                   Cold and Clammy Skin

Shallow-Breathing                      Blue lips and fingernails            Difficulty-Breathing

Dizziness                                   Fatigue                                   Slow-Breathing

What should I do if I overdose on Opiates?

Call 911 immediately for medical assistance. Opioid overdose is a dangerous condition that can result in permanent mental and physical damage or even death if medical treatment is not given right away.

The overdosed individual should be monitored while medical help is on the way. Keep them upright and awake if possible. If they stop breathing, a trained individual should perform CPR and let the paramedics know when they arrive. There is an antidote available from the medical professionals called Naloxone that would be administered in extreme cases.                                                                                                                                        

Will my participation in a methadone program be kept private?

Yes, participation is kept private. Treatment programs are in accordance with confidentiality laws that protect your status as a methadone client. You will decide who will, if any, receive information about your participation in treatment. Some release of information may be desirable to people such as; a legal professional, family member, or your primary care doctor.

What is counseling like? What issues get addressed in counseling sessions?

Counseling is usually provided in most treatment clinics through individual sessions, family sessions, or group therapy sessions. The purpose of such counseling is to provide each client with knowledge, skills, and the means to remain drug-free while achieving a better quality of life. Below is a short description of various counseling settings:

A. individual Session - This is a private session between you and your counselor. Any and all issues to your recovery can be addressed here. You are free to share your thoughts, feelings, needs, and are supported in developing personalized approaches to problem-solving while also utilizing your counselor’s input and perspective. Identifying options and solutions is a frequent focus of individual counseling sessions. Remaining drug-free and avoiding relapse are very important topics for discussion.

B. Family Session - This is a session which consists of you, your counselor, and one or more of you supports. Although, it’s often called a “family session”, it can include anyone you deem as important to you as support and does not need to include family at all. A more technical title for this could be “conjoint session” meaning you and another person(s). These sessions often address issues of communication, rebuilding trust, and setting boundaries and expectations, but may also address development of a relapse prevention plan, and any other issues that you identify as important to your recovery.

C. Group Session – Group counseling sessions include you, other methadone program clients, and a group facilitator. Being a member of a group allows for unique growth & educational experiences that can be instrumental in furthering your personal recovery. Group members are free to share personal issues to the group for discussion. Peers in a group can provide valuable feedback and support to their co-member. This often produces a range of answers and options that otherwise may not have been discovered because the benefit of others’ experience helps greatly in the recovery process.

Is methadone safe for pregnant women and their infants?

Yes. Since the early 1970’s, methadone maintenance treatment has been used successfully with pregnant women. There is an agreement that methadone can be safely administered during pregnancy with little to no risk to mother and infant. Maintenance on methadone is necessary to prevent relapse to illicit Opioid use and thus, to maintain optimal health during pregnancy.

Is it necessary to reduce methadone dose or detoxify women from methadone during pregnancy to protect the fetus?

No. Women have been maintained on stable methadone dosage during pregnancy without adverse long-term effects on their health or the health of their infants. Withdrawal of medication during pregnancy leads to Opioid abstinence syndrome, which is harmful to the pregnancy and often leads to relapse. Dosage change in pregnancy must be carefully evaluated on an individual basis. Some women experience lowered blood levels of the methadone during pregnancy and may need an increase in dosage or split (e.g., twice daily) dosing. It is important to determine the relapse risk for each woman when considering a dosage change. A woman steadily maintained on methadone is more likely to have a healthy pregnancy and child, than a woman who uses alcohol and other drugs. The intermittent periods of withdrawal that typically occurs with illicit Opioid use and can adversely affect the fetus, do not occur when methadone is individually determined and properly administered.

Is the long-term use of methadone medically safe, and is it will tolerated by patients?

Yes. Studies of the long-term administration confirm that it is a medically safe drug. Long-term methadone maintenance treatment at doses 80 to 120 mg per day is not toxic or dangerous to any human organ after continuous treatment for 10 to 14 years in adults and 5 to 7 years in adolescents.

Does methadone maintenance treatment reduce HIV risk behaviors and the incidence of HIV infection among Opioid-dependent injection drug users?

Yes. The adequate daily administration of oral methadone reduces the need for Opioid-dependent individuals to inject drugs. By decreasing injection drug use, methadone treatment helps reduce the spread of diseased transmitted through needle sharing, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and other blood-borne diseases.

Does methadone maintenance treatment reduce criminal activity?

Yes. Patients are less likely to become involved in criminal activity while in methadone maintenance treatment. Patients who remain in methadone treatment for long periods of time are less likely to be involved in criminal activity than patients in treatment for short periods. The availability of treatment in a community is associated with a decrease in that community’s criminal activity, particular theft.

What effect can methadone maintenance treatment have on the use of alcohol and other drugs?

Research outcomes are mixed concerning the effect of methadone maintenance treatment on the use of illicit drugs other than Opioids. Therefore, some research indicates that methadone is associated with decreases in the use of alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana; other research indicates increases in the use of these drugs. It is important to note that the medication methadone has no direct effect and is not intended to have an effect on rates of alcohol and other drug use. Patients receiving methadone maintenance and disengage interactions with other who are actively using drugs, are less likely to engage in these behaviors. In addition, reductions in alcohol and drug use result from the counseling services included in methadone maintenance treatment. When these services are specifically designed to reduce alcohol and other drug use, such reductions are likely.

Can you describe how methadone acts to reduce an addict’s dependency on Heroin/Opiates?

Methadone does not reduce dependency to having Opioids acting in the body. The dosage is controlled, use of illegal drugs is avoided, and the patient can resume a normal, healthy, functional life.

What Is Suboxone®?

The primary active ingredient in Suboxone® is Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, while methadone is a full opioid agonist. An opioid agonist is a medication that stimulates activity at opioid receptor sites in the brain. Suboxone® also includes Naloxone, a medication that can block other opioid like-drugs from binding to a receptor. This combination of medications, at the proper dose level, provides relief opioid withdrawal symptoms, opioid cravings, and allows the patient to resume regular daily activities without the worry of drug related difficulties.

How Do I Take Suboxone®?

Suboxone® must be dissolved under your tongue. This is called sublingual administration. If Suboxone® is simply swallowed as most medication pills, it will not properly dissolve. Dissolving Suboxone® under the tongue allows the medication to enter the bloodstream more effectively.

Naloxone is the second ingredient in Suboxone®. When Suboxone® is properly dissolved under the tongue, very little naloxone enters the bloodstream. However, if the Suboxone® is dissolved and injected, or ingested as most pills, that naloxone may result in the Suboxone® not effectively working and withdrawal symptoms may occur.

What Is The Right Dose Of Suboxone®?

The right dose of Suboxone® is dependent upon the individual person. When you start treatment the induction dose will be low, and gradually built up. There is a maximum dose of Suboxone®, though. Studies have shown that most individuals receive therapeutic benefit from Suboxone® at dose levels from 16 to 24 milligrams per day.

Does Suboxone® Show In A Drug Screen?

Any medication will be identified in a drug screen, if it is a tested drug. Most drug screens do not test for Buprenorphine medications. However, if it is identified in your drug screen, our Medical Director will prepare the necessary documentation to verify the Suboxone® as a medically monitored and approved medication.

What If I’m Pregnant?

Suboxone® and all other Buprenorphine medications are not approved for use by pregnant women. During treatment, women who are capable of bearing children are required to participate in a monthly pregnancy test. This is a urine dipstick type test. If you become pregnant, you will be transitioned to an equivalent dose of methadone, or referred for other medical care.

Is Suboxone® Easier Than Methadone To Withdraw From?

Because Suboxone® is a partial opioid receptor agonist, patients have reported that withdrawing from this medication is easier than withdrawing from other opioids. The success of medication withdrawal, of course, is also dependent upon your personal recovery plan, and commitment to life long drug recovery behaviors.

Can I Switch From Methadone To Suboxone®?

Yes, but you must first make the effort at reducing your daily methadone level to 30 mg. Ideally, though, you will not have methadone or other opioids in your system. Once you reach the 30 mg dose, you will need to remain at that dose level for a few days, and not supplement with other opioids. For successful transition to Suboxone® you will need to be in mild to moderate withdrawal when you received your first dose. If you have higher methadone or other opioid levels in your system, induction of Suboxone® may cause withdrawal to occur more rapidly and intensely.

How Long Will I Need To Stay In Treatment?

Treatment does not have any specific timeframes. There have been people who remain in treatment and withdraw from Suboxone® in a short time period. However, the chance of relapsing after a short-term treatment effort may be higher than long-term treatment because you may not have developed sufficient recovery skills to maintain a drug-free lifestyle.

How Much Does Suboxone® Cost?

Suboxone® costs are higher than methadone maintenance, and may be dependent upon your daily medication dose. Suboxone® may be covered by your insurance.

Our counselors will discuss treatment fees with you in person. As with any medication program, you should verify with your insurance company if the cost of treatment is covered.