Addiction is incredibly difficult to bounce back from. Its very function is to keep people from reaching a full recovery, causing even the most dedicated individual a lot of stress as they attempt to balance medication, therapy and community support. While addiction can run the gamut from a mild dependency on alcohol to a severe relationship with meth, heroin remains one of the most common issues brought to rehab centers. If we want to prevent future drug overdoses we need to turn to effective treatment methods that can stop addiction in its tracks. Methadone clinics are one such element that could help thousands of people recover every year.
Addiction is defined as a dependency on a given substance or habit. It’s considered serious when it impedes on an individual’s ability to live a healthy life, which may or may not include impacting their social life, keeping them from attending their job or causing debilitating withdrawals. While you can technically become addicted to just about anything, certain drugs have naturally addictive qualities that increase a person’s chances for succumbing to dependency. Nearly 592,000 people suffered from a heroin disorder back in 2015.
The leading cause of accidental death in the United States is drug overdose. Just two years prior there were over 52,000 lethal drug overdoses across the country, with heroin amounting to a significant number of substances responsible. It’s also estimated around 21,000 adolescents used heroin in the past year, with 5,000 reoccurring users. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually rare for an individual to actively seek out a heroin addiction. More often than not this dependency is accidental, with four out of five new heroin users starting out by misusing prescription painkillers.
To be addicted to heroin is to have a difficult time managing day-to-day life. Addiction can manifest as severe drops in mood (sometimes leading to depression), fatigue, paranoia, anxiety, loss of appetite and a marked inability to sleep. Over 20% of individuals who use heroin will develop what’s known as an ‘opioid addiction’, causing them to turn to the drug instead of close relationships or hobbies in an attempt to fill the void. With so many struggling in the aftermath of opioids, rehab centers are changing how they look at addiction to provide the best treatment possible.
Methadone treatments are a fantastic option for those struggling with moderate to severe opiate addiction. For over 50 years this resource has been turned to as a way to get individuals back on the right track when it comes to managing their symptoms and improving their quality of life. Although the treatment success rate ranges from 60% to 90%, these results improve noticeably the longer a patient stays with treatment. Compare this to abstinence-based, non-medical treatments — these boast a success rate of just 10% on average, meaning the best chance a heroin user has at a full recovery is visiting a certified methadone clinic.
More and more people are learning about the benefits of using methadone to recover from addiction. According to a medical survey by SAMHSA, over 270,000 people were receiving methadone treatments back in 2011. The effects of methadone last anywhere from one to two days and, depending on the severity of the addiction in question, a methadone treatment program can last from a year to a few years. With drug overdose still at an all-time high, we need to use every last tool possible to save lives.
When abstinence doesn’t work and therapy isn’t enough, methadone treatments can bridge the gap between will and results.