Washington, DC Suboxone Clinic & Methadone Clinic - Open ARMMS In Washington, DC

About Methadone Medication

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Methadone Medication

About Methadone Medication

Methadone is a medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates. Methadone has been used for decades to treat people who are addicted to heroin and narcotic pain medicines. When taken as prescribed, it is safe and effective. It allows people to recover from their addiction and to reclaim active and meaningful lives. For optimal results, patients should also participate in a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program that includes counseling and social support.

How Does Methadone Work?

Methadone works by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It lessens the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Methadone is offered in pill, liquid, and wafer forms and is taken once a day. Pain relief from a dose of methadone lasts about four to eight hours. SAMHSA’s TIP 43: Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Opioid Treatment Programs – 2012 shows that methadone is effective in higher doses, particularly for heroin users, helping them stay in treatment programs longer.

As with all medications used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone is to be prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and participation in social support programs.

How Can a Patient Receive Methadone?

Patients taking methadone to treat opioid addiction must receive the medication under the supervision of a physician at a Methadone Clinic. After a period of stability (based on progress and proven, consistent compliance with the medication dosage), patients may be allowed to take methadone at home between program visits. By law, methadone can only be dispensed through an opioid treatment program (OTP) certified by SAMHSA.

The length of time in methadone treatment varies from person to person. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse publication Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide – 2012, the length of methadone treatment should be a minimum of 12 months. Some patients may require treatment for years. Even if a patient feels that they are ready to stop methadone treatment, it must be stopped gradually to prevent withdrawal. Such a decision should be supervised by a doctor.

Methadone Safety

Methadone can be addictive, so it must be used exactly as prescribed. This is particularly important for patients who are allowed to take methadone at home and aren’t required to take medication under supervision at an OTP. Methadone medication is specifically tailored for the individual patient (as doses are often adjusted and readjusted) and is never to be shared with or given to others. Patients should share their complete health history with health providers to ensure the safe use of the medication.

Other medications may interact with methadone and cause heart conditions. Even after the effects of methadone wear off, the medication’s active ingredients remain in the body for much longer. Taking more methadone can cause unintentional overdose.

The following tips can help achieve the best treatment results:

  • Never use more than the amount prescribed, and always take at the times prescribed. If a dose is missed, or if it feels like it’s not working, do not take an extra dose of methadone.
  • Do not consume alcohol while taking methadone.
  • Be careful driving or operating machinery on methadone.
  • Call 911 if too much methadone is taken or if an overdose is suspected.
  • Take steps to prevent children from accidentally taking methadone.
  • Store methadone at room temperature and away from light.
  • Dispose of unused methadone by flushing it down the toilet.

Side Effects of Methadone

Side effects should be taken seriously, as some of them may indicate an emergency. Patients should stop taking methadone and contact a doctor or emergency services right away if they:

  • Experience difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • Feel lightheaded or faint
  • Experience hives or a rash; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Feel chest pain
  • Experience a fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Experience hallucinations or confusion

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women and Methadone

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can safely take methadone. When withdrawal from an abused drug happens to a pregnant woman, it causes the uterus to contract and may bring on miscarriage or premature birth. Methadone’s ability to prevent withdrawal symptoms helps pregnant women better manage their addiction while avoiding health risks to both mother and baby.

Undergoing methadone maintenance treatment while pregnant will not cause birth defects, but some babies may go through withdrawal after birth. This does not mean that the baby is addicted. Infant withdrawal usually begins a few days after birth but may begin two to four weeks after birth.

Mothers taking methadone can still breastfeed. Research has shown that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the effect of the small amount of methadone that enters the breast milk. A woman who is thinking of stopping methadone treatment due to breastfeeding or pregnancy concerns should speak with her doctor first.

Medication Assisted Treatment Program:

A Methadone Clinic is a great place to start for adults struggling with addiction. Open ARMMS is a Medication Assisted Treatment clinic that offers medications that are useful in treating opioid addiction. The Addiction Treatment Services administered at Open ARMMS are the best in the industry! Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment!

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Edward Russell
Edward Russell
13:30 02 Oct 20
When i first came to this program I thought the standards were to strict, but I have learned that this program was... giving me tool',s that will aid me in becoming more proficient in my career. My counselor Esther and the staff has continued to invest in the lives of individuals that comes through this program. Sometimes their job seems thankless because addicts are often confused about being helped and being hindered. But I would like to say that I thank God for them, and I pray that they know that they appreciated.read more
Darcee Anthony
Darcee Anthony
14:56 01 Oct 18
I owe my life to this clinic and those who work there. They gave me boundaries when I needed them, and gave me... freedoms when that was what I needed to grow. The Women's Group that met weekly gave me a real sense of belonging as well as new friends. The Clinical Manager is the best Therapist I've ever worked with. The receptionist is kind and caring. The Nursing Staff all worked hard to help us in any way they could. I've been gone from Open Armms about three years now and I've remained sober (with a very small dose of Methadone to treat cancer and other medical conditions, taken daily). Living sober just keeps getting better and better every day. Although I have a very aggressive form of cancer, I've not had a need for more narcotics! Wish I was still there. They were my family!❤️read more
Indrid Cold
Indrid Cold
13:34 22 Feb 17
You should never judge a drug addict. Pray for them. Be there when they need you. Placing bad reviews and calling up... the place trying to get your loved one in trouble so they won't have anywhere else to go but the streets isn't the right way. I love my boyfriend very much and know he is suffering. Thank you Open Armms for not giving up.read more
Robert Lawson
Robert Lawson
19:30 22 Aug 16
Great clinic. Great counsellors and nursing staff. I don't know what the hell the top comment from that lady Shannon is... ranting about it isn't their job to get anyone clean that responsibility falls on you and you alone. If he's saving pee that's his own dishonest behavior and well first thing you have to do to get clean is get honest (with yourself) so don't blame them they will always be there to assist when he is ready if he's ready. On the flip side if he's using it just to get well in the morning then it's working exactly the way he is looking for it to. None of this is my business of course but it's co dependent people like that who are extremely harmful to any addicts recovery (blame everyone but the person who did this to themselves).read more
Shannon Bellflower
Shannon Bellflower
01:09 17 Dec 15
This place is terrible. If you're genuinely looking to get sober and completely off drugs this is not the place for... you. My brother has a terrible addiction to pills. He's been going to this clinic for 5+ years and they have not made any effort to completely get him off of the methadone. I don't think any place designed to get you off of drugs should be allowed to give you methadone for longer than a year let alone 5. People in his groups told him that if he drinks red bull with the liquid methadone they give him it prolongs the effects and gives you more of a high from it. So guess what he's started drinking every day? The people at the methadone clinic are either to dumb to catch on or they know and they enable it. All this place is is a legal drug dealer. This place should be shut down! They don't help my brother at all. They legally provide him with drugs that, whether they want to acknowledge or not, he gets high with. They have no plan to get him off of the drugs, they would prefer to keep getting the money he gives them every day. They have no plans to help him become an actual functioning member of society like GOOD, REPUTABLE rehabs do, they want him to stay on the methadone. They can piss test him all they want. He pees clean a certain time of the month, saves that pee and uses that when they test him, and they still haven't caught on! Don't go here!read more
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