When a former opiate user starts using methadone as help to get off of the opiates, they were previously using, it is important they have a plan to eventually get off of the methadone and become totally drug free. Methadone can cause some severe physical dependency, and users will become addicted to the drug, and in some cases it can end up impacting their physical and mental health. Methadone detox centers are set up for users to successfully detox off of the drug in a safe environment where they can be monitored by medical professionals and support staff whom can help them through the withdrawal process. The withdrawals from methadone can be very dangerous and painful, and most medical and methadone detox centers will user other medications to help users through the withdrawals. This process can take a couple of weeks to accomplish, while in other cases it can take longer, but this will depend on how much methadone a user is on and if there are other health problems, they are facing. Medical detox centers are set up to handle more severe cases and those addicts who will require more medical supervision.
Methadone Dependence and Opioid Addiction in Nebraska
According to the Centers for Disease Control in 2009, methadone was connected to one in three pain medication deaths. Approximately 5,000 people die every year of overdoses related to methadone, and six times as many people died of methadone overdoses in 2009 than a decade before. Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is typically prescribed to treat opiate addiction but is also prescribed to treat moderate pain. Methadone acts on the same opioid receptors as any other pain medication. The sustained or long-term use of methadone creates tolerance, dependence, and addiction leading to severe withdrawal pain. Methadone users require extensive medical detox to stop taking the drug safely. Methadone is federally designated as a Schedule II drug, which means it is used medically but has a high risk of abuse and addiction.
According to The Opioid Epidemic: Nebraska’s Response to a National Crisis, the state of Nebraska has not experienced the same level of problems when compared to other states or on a national level. Within the United States, on average, 115 Americans die every day after overdosing on opioids. Since 1999 the number of deaths from prescription opioids has quadrupled nationally. Within the state of Nebraska, methamphetamine continues to be the primary concern among law enforcement. Alcohol is the primary drug of abuse within the state. Between 2005 to 2016, there was a slight decrease in the number of opioid-related deaths within the state. In 2005 there were 2.4 deaths per 100,000 population, which then decreased to 2.2 deaths per 100,000 population by 2016.
The state of Nebraska addressed the pain medication problem by adopting and strengthening an electronic prescription drug monitoring program. Additionally, they relaxed the rules for administering overdose-reversing drugs and got more addicts treatment. Unfortunately, countless opiate addicts turn to methadone as a solution to treat their addiction. Nebraska methadone detoxification programs routinely help methadone users safely withdrawal from the drugs they are taking. The detox process involves withdrawal management, such as medically supervised detox and or medication-assisted treatment. Detox is the first step, and following detox, further counseling or therapy is needed.