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Methadone and Depression

by Nick

Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is an effective way of taking care of patients who are opioid dependents. This treatment has led to improved quality of life in such patients. Psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety, occur more often in people treated for substance abuse. This, in turn, may affect the course and efficacy of treatment.

It’s important to know why depression occurs more frequently among former opioid addicts placed on methadone maintenance treatment. Depressive symptoms are linked with loneliness, alcohol use and stress. These symptoms require early detection and treatment to reduce the risk of suicide and relapse into drug misuse. While a lot more research is needed to determine all the reasons for the frequently occurring problem of depression during treatment, there’s a need to manage depression and withdrawal during MMT.

What Is the Prevalence of Depression and Among Patients on Methadone Treatment?

A study published by the National Institutes of Health shows that depression is prevalent among patients receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Data obtained from studying the risk factors of depression among patients undergoing MMT showed that 50 percent were suffering from depression. However, the study didn’t consider the impact of withdrawal symptoms and further drug misuse during treatment.

In a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, approximately one-third of the males who participated in MMT showed symptoms of moderate to severe depression. These young men had been alcoholics in addition to being addicted to narcotics. The study pointed out the need to use treatment approaches that included medication and therapy for depression while taking care of the withdrawal symptoms of opioid misuse.

Can I Take Methadone While Having Depression?

Depression is a well-known occurrence among people struggling with substance abuse. It’s also prevalent among patients who are taking MMT. While research has shown that Methadone overdose can lead to an increased occurrence of psychiatric disorders, Methadone is still one of the most effective medications for treating opioid misuse disorder.

This means that it is safe for a patient to take Methadone for opioid misuse treatment, particularly because MMT requires the patient to be supervised by a medical provider and counselor. Providers will also need to be aware of the likelihood of depression in a patient with opioid dependence and create a parallel treatment plan that includes both medication and behavioral therapy.

Can Methadone Cause Depression?

Methadone for opioid addiction is taken with the proper supervision of a doctor. Methadone is safe when taken as prescribed, and your medical provider is aware of any other medications you are on. Depression is not a specific side effect of the medication, but can occur as a part of hte recoveyr process.

Such a patient will need to be treated for coexisting depression so that the Methadone maintenance treatment can be useful. A study on the relationship between high methadone use and psychiatric disorders showed that misuse of Methadone requires patients to be examined for coexisting mental disorders before putting them on Methadone maintenance treatment.

Learn More About Recovery From Opioid Addiction

If you or your loved one needs to receive treatment for opioid misuse, contact us for more information. You can also check our list of locations to find the nearest HCRC location.

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