Methadone


We believe that there is hope for a better future. But we also know that hope alone is not enough. We focus on long-term, positive outcomes and employ state-of-the-art practices for the treatment of opiate addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (M.A.T.) has been proven to be the most successful treatment for opiate addiction. Medication-Assisted Treatment for opiate addiction at Pinnacle Treatment is supported with a full complement of substance abuse and life-skills counseling as well as supervised medical care. For more information about our approach, contact us or review the Program Overview.

Methadone must be used with caution. It is a powerful drug and has a number of interactions and side-effects that you should understand. As with heroin and other narcotics, it is never safe to drink alcohol when using methadone. Excessive use of alcohol combined with methadone can cause breathing to stop, resulting in coma or death.

Note: If you are taking any medication, notify the physician when entering the program and also tell your primary counselor.

Caution: Opiate agonist/antagonist drugs (such as Talwin and buprenorphine) should not be prescribed for anyone using methadone as they will produce opiate withdrawal illness.
Methadone does create physical dependency, but there are number of differences between methadone and opiates:

      • Methadone is given orally, which reduces the risk of HIV and Hepatitis C.
      • Methadone is very long acting. You only have to take methadone once a day. The proper oral dose remains fully effective for 24 to 36 hours to prevent the beginning of withdrawal symptoms.
      • Methadone takes effect slowly and gradually, so you will not experience the euphoria caused by street drugs.

A client may experience physical and/or psychological urges, or “cravings”, for substances they have used. Cravings can occur at any time, and can last well after the substances are eliminated from one’s system. Cravings can be reduced, however, by developing coping skills through the therapeutic process and/or the use of anti-craving medications.

Anti-craving medications, in conjunction with counseling/therapy, are highly effective at reducing, and even eliminating, urges to use opiates and/or alcohol.
Methadone patients feel “normal.” Usually within the first few weeks of treatment, a person in methadone treatment cannot be distinguished from a drug-free person.

The methadone treatment programs at Pinnacle Treatment Services provide the tools needed to rebuild physical health, mental health, and healthy relationships. Our counselors will work to understand individual’s addiction and then develop a treatment plan—that you agree to—to get life back on track.

With us, people are individuals, numbers. We are here to help, not punish. Our addiction treatment programs are designed to treat the whole person and to help individuals live life free from illicit drug use. There is a path to a brighter future. If you are ready to take that first step, contact us today.

Most patients experience no severe side-effects. However, when experienced, side-effects are infrequent, usually minimal, and short-lived. They most often occur in the early stages of treatment.

You should notify our medical staff if you experience light-headedness, dizziness, extreme tiredness, nausea or vomiting, sweating, ankle swelling (edema), skin rash, restlessness, or malaise (a vague feeling of discomfort).


Methadone and pregnancy


Federal Treatment Improvement Protocols states that pregnant women users who are in treatment with methadone deliver healthier babies.

Babies born to women on methadone sometimes experience withdrawal symptoms during the first several days after birth. The symptoms are routinely treated by the baby’s pediatrician and do not result in any long-term damage. Babies born to women on methadone tend to have a slightly lower birth weight than babies of non-addicted mothers. However, the most important comparison is with babies of mothers addicted to heroin.

Studies that compared babies born to mothers in methadone treatment with babies born to mothers who use heroin have demonstrated tremendous benefits for those whose mother is in methadone treatment.

Mothers in our methadone treatment program are in prenatal care, receive nutritional supplements and information, and participate in parenting classes. In comparison with heroin-addicted women, those in methadone treatment reduce the risk of miscarriage, increase birth weight, reduce infection and HIV risk to the fetus, and generally have a much greater chance for a healthy baby.

Dosage is affected by many different factors and varies by patient. It will be overseen by medical staff and adjusted as needed. Achieving and maintaining the correct dosage requires cooperation between you and the staff. Once you have reached a stable maintenance dose, it does not generally need to be increased over time.

Other M.A.T. options can be added to this section – Recovery Works and Endeavor House offer suboxone maintenance and methadone maintenance. Although Recovery Works and Endeavor House do not prescribe methadone, someone who is already going to a methadone clinic can maintain on methadone while detoxing off other substances such as benzodiazepines or alcohol. Recovery Works and Endeavor House would need to coordinate care with the client’s prescribing clinic prior to admission and throughout their treatment in our program.