Codeine, a potent opioid drug, can become addictive when abused over a long period of time. For any type of opioid drug addiction, methadone treatment is a viable option. Depending on the severity of your codeine addiction, you may want to choose methadone as a part of your overall codeine rehab treatment program.
Methadone as Detox Treatment
According to the NIDA, “Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that eliminates withdrawal symptoms and relieves drug cravings by acting on the same brain targets as other opioids like heroin, morphine, and opioid pain medications.” It can be used as a beneficial treatment to help patients through the difficult withdrawal syndrome codeine causes. The symptoms––such as anxiety, depression, diarrhea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, and muscle pain––are minimized when a patient takes a prescribed dosage of methadone daily. In addition, that individual can avoid feeling the euphoria caused by drug abuse because the prescribed dosage will not cause this effect.
When an individual takes methadone as a detox treatment for codeine, the drug is usually tapered off gradually. This helps avoid withdrawal symptoms as much as possible. Patients who receive the drug during detox often spend a week or so in this phase. Then, they will need to attend a comprehensive addiction rehab program.
Methadone as Maintenance Treatment
For those who need extra help stopping their codeine abuse, there is also methadone maintenance. According to Harvard Medical School, “More than 100,000 American addicts are now using methadone as a maintenance treatment.” This treatment is best used when an individual has been abusing an opioid drug for a very long time, over several years, and needs to be maintained on methadone. This way, they will not experience withdrawal symptoms, but the drug will block out the euphoric effects of other opioids as well as cravings which can be an important factor in relapse prevention.
As stated by the NIDA, methadone “has been used successfully for more than 40 years to treat heroin addiction, but must be dispensed through opioid treatment programs.” This is true in the case of codeine addiction as well. Patients receive daily methadone doses for as long as they need them, but they can also receive other treatments too including
- Therapy (group and individualized)
- Family counseling
- Vocational and financial help
- Legal help
- Blood tests for other medical conditions
- Random drug testing
Methadone maintenance is the best treatment choice for someone who has abused codeine for many years and has trouble every time they try to quit. With this medication, the individual will feel less intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms which will make it easier for them to live their lives and avoid further drug abuse. The medication is also “excreted slowly so it can be taken only once a day” (CDC).
Codeine addiction is a possible consequence of long-term codeine abuse. Methadone can help treat this condition by minimizing cravings, reducing withdrawal symptoms, and generally causing a lower rate of criminal activity and illicit drug abuse. Methadone’s benefits are numerous in this situation, and the use of the drug also helps those in codeine rehab stay for the full length of treatment, another important factor in recovery strength and relapse prevention.