Methadone only works a little for narcotic addiction. It was selected for the treatment because it stays in the body for 24 hours. Users who undergo narcotic withdrawal exhibit flu-like symptoms – the methadone treatment can alleviate the withdrawal, the physiological dependency, but not the psychological dependency.
Methadone treatment may be a cycle. Most people go through relapse one or more times – this is common.
There are 48 methadone treatment clinics in Pennsylvania. They must have full medical staff because only licensed medical staff may handle the drug. And every methadone clinic must be accredited. The clinic has about six audits per year from various departments and agencies.
Those who come into the clinic will receive an entire medical examinations, psychological background and, for women over the age of 18, a pregnancy test. Federal law prohibits an individual under the age of 18 from receiving care at a methadone clinic.
Why treat users?
1. Shared needles can spread disease.
2. The cost of treatment out weighs the costs of medical treatment such as over dosage.
3. Sexually transmitted disease may be reduced as women do not resort to selling their bodies for drug money.
4. The cost of treatment out weighs the cost of having a user in jail because they committed a crime to get drugs.
Treatment costs $100 per week per user seven days a week and two hours of counseling. The cost of incarceration is forty-thousand.
Many women who come into the clinic are pregnant but they do not know it because the narcotic abuse has disrupted their cycle. Natural abortions occurr within the first couple of months in most instances due to drug abuse.
By law, the clinic cannot counsel a women about her choices concerning childbirth.
Not everyone who comes into the clinic wants to get well, most often it is because there is pressure to get treatment by family members. After a user has lied, cheated and stolen from everyone they love, the loved one will threaten to never speak to them again unless they get treatment.
Methadone is to stabilize and off-set withdrawal symptoms. The initial dosage by law is 30 mg. Rarely does the clinic give more than 100 mg to a patient because of the risk of abuse.
Most addiction is to legal prescriptions that are sold illegally.
Whole generations of addicted users come in to the treatment clinic and that is because of their environment. To them, drug abuse is a normal part of life.