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How Effective Is Methadone Treatment?

by Nick

During medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone, a patient takes methadone to reduce their opioid withdrawal symptoms. They take their medicine in a controlled environment that lets them focus on recovery. Methadone MAT, known as methadone maintenance treatment or MMT, has high success rates and a long history of results. Learn more about methadone treatment’s effectiveness and how it can help you.

How Do We Measure Methadone’s Results?

Everyone has a unique experience with methadone treatment, but addiction professionals aim for similar results. They consider methadone treatment successful when the patient:

  • Experiences fewer to no withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Feels no euphoric effects when they take an opioid drug
  • Stops taking opioid drugs for a long-term period (six months or longer)

Of course, if a relapse happens, the doctor and patient can work together to get the patient back on the road to recovery. Recording the rate at which patients stop using opioids helps us understand how methadone can help.

What Do We Know About Methadone’s Treatment Effectiveness?

Methadone maintenance treatment has success rates as high as 90 percent. It raises a patient’s chance of long-term recovery compared to patients who don’t use methadone treatment to stop taking opioids. The data we have shows that its success rates range between 60 and 90 percent overall. Meanwhile, abstinence-based or “cold turkey” approaches have a five to 10 chance of success. When you take methadone, your success rates also rise as you stay in treatment.

How Does Methadone Treatment Success Compare to Buprenorphine?

In comparison to buprenorphine, another common MAT medicine, methadone has a similar level of effectiveness. The right treatment for you will depend on the severity of your opioid use disorder and individual needs. Your doctor might recommend methadone maintenance if you need to relieve severe withdrawal symptoms from using high doses of opioids over a long period of time. A methadone-based MAT program also has added structure during its initial stages that can help many patients stay committed to treatment when there is a higher risk of relapse. It involves daily visits to the clinic that can assist in developing new recovery habits.

What Increases Methadone’s Success Rates?

Research shows that combining MAT medication with counseling has the highest success rates when compared to abstinence-based or medicine-only approaches. In an MAT model that involves counseling, the medicine helps the patient focus on recovery skills. Opioid use disorder counseling serves different needs for everyone. During therapy sessions, the patient can work toward goals such as:

  • Managing triggers for use
  • Reintegrating into the community and workforce
  • Learning more about the science behind addiction
  • Building recovery strategies that last for life

When you receive comprehensive MAT at a treatment center like Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC), you also receive therapy and other personalized care.

Methadone MAT at HCRC

At HCRC, we provide individualized MAT programs that give patients the support they need during recovery. We combine medication, counseling and support services to help people with opioid use disorder get their lives back. Our certified addiction professionals dedicate themselves to giving you care in an accepting environment. If you want to start recovery from opioid addiction, let us assist. You can schedule an appointment at one of our New England clinics by contacting our team.

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