Frequently Asked Questions About Methadone Treatment

Questions About Methadone Treatment

Did you know the benefits of methadone? The road to recovery via a methadone based treatment plan include reduced or stopped use of injection drugs, reduced risk of overdose and of acquiring or transmitting diseases, reduced mortality, reduced criminal activity, and improved family stability and employment potential.

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Substance abuse treatment has been shown to have a benefit-cost ratio of 7:1; the largest savings were due to reduced cost of crime and increased employer earnings.

In Washington State a comparison of medical expenses of Medicaid clients who received treatment noted that methadone patients were responsible for $230 worth of savings per Medicaid member, per month.

In California, treated patients have been shown to reduce: ER visits by 39%, hospital stays by 35%, and total medical costs by 26% when compared to a control group.

Information For Family Members

We encourage all family members of patients involved in a recovery program to attend local support groups for themselves.  Interaction with other people impacted by addiction can assist each other and can provide interactions for family members.  Al-Anon, Parents of Prodigal Children, and Celebrate Recovery all offer this type of support system for family members.  You can either research locations, or call facility for local information.

We also encourage family members to be involved in patient’s treatment at this facility.  Coming into the clinic and talking to your family member’s counselor can help rebuild relationships damaged by addiction.  Interaction with the clinic staff will also provide you with the opportunity to have questions you may have answered, and become familiar with clinic policies and procedures.

Have More Questions?

What is medication assisted treatment?

Medication assisted treatment is treatment for addiction that includes the use of medication, at this facility either methadone or buprenorphine, along with counseling and other support. Both medications utilized at GPA Treatment of Macon, Inc. allow a person to regain a normal lifestyle and the ability to focus on making positive lifestyle changes to lead back to healthy living. These lifestyle changes are an important focus of the counseling portion of medication assisted treatment.

How do I become a patient?

Contact (478) 788-0066 to begin the process of becoming a patient. A staff member will begin the assessment process to determine if you meet the federal criteria established for treatment at this facility. You may then be scheduled for an appointment to see the Medical Director for final assessment and to determine which medication assisted treatment will better suit your needs.

What is opioid dependence?

According to The Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fifth Edition an “opioid use disorder includes signs and symptoms that reflect compulsive, prolonged self-administration of opioid substances that are used for no legitimate medical purpose or, if another medical condition is present that requires opioid treatment, that are used in doses greatly in excess of the amount needed for that medical condition.” Also “most individuals with opioid use disorder have significant levels of tolerance and will experience withdrawal on abrupt discontinuation of opioid substances.”

What is methadone?

Methadone is an opiate agonist that provides relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings and blocks the effects of other administered opiates, yet it does not provide euphoria sensations. The medication is a rigorously well-tested medication that has been safely used to treat opioid use disorders in the United States for more than fifty years.

What is buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist that provides relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings yet does not provide euphoria sensations.

How confidential is treatment?

Treatment for alcohol and drug abuse is guaranteed to be confidential and facilities must follow federally established confidentiality regulations. Records maintained by this facility are more strictly maintained than any other type of medical record.

How long does medication assisted treatment last?

According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, people can safely take either medication as long as needed – for months, a year, several years, or even for life. Use of methadone and buprenorphine must be stopped gradually to prevent withdrawal and must be discussed with the Medical Director to determine the most effective and safest way to cease medication.

Are methadone & buprenorphine safe during pregnancy?

Yes. Methadone and buprenorphine have both been used successfully with pregnant women. There is consensus that methadone can be safely administered during pregnancy with little risk to mother and infant. Maintenance on methadone or buprenorphine is necessary to prevent relapse to illicit opioid use and this to maintain optimal health during pregnancy.

Are methadone & buprenorphine safe while breastfeeding?

Yes. Infants born to both methadone and buprenorphine maintained women may experience withdrawal and breastfeeding can assist during this process. A small amount of the medication is excreted in breast milk, so if breastfeeding is ceased abruptly the infant may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Are you substituting one drug for another?

No. The medications utilized in medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence bind to receptor sites in the brain that are normally filled by chemicals produced by your body. Opioid addicts do not produce these chemicals in quantities sufficient to allow them to feel “normal” without additional help.