Though many view methadone as the only viable method of opiate detox when heroin addiction or addiction to painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone is an issue, the fact is that methadone itself is a highly addictive and dangerous medication. Many are dependent upon methadone and ultimately seek treatment for its abuse. It’s no wonder that so many who attempt to use the drug as a way to become drug-free meet with a host of complications.
One such complication was recently published by Boston University. This report stated that use of methadone had been associated with an increased risk for cardiac arrhythmias – a crippling and sometimes deadly heart problem.
Treatment as Deadly as the Disease
For a number of deadly diseases for which there is no cure, medical treatments have been developed that are physically devastating. When there is no other option, patients must choose which experience is preferable. However, in the case of opiate detox and addiction treatment, it is not necessary to use methadone. In fact, use of the medication can prolong the experience in addition to bringing with it a host of uncomfortable side effects and increasing the risk of other chronic health problems like the cardiac problems described above.
Additionally, if there is no treatment for relapse prevention or co-occurring mental health disorders, the patient may end up abusing the methadone dose by taking more than prescribed or augmenting with use of other drugs. This, in turn, can often lead to overdose or accident – the prime reason for undergoing drug treatment in the first place.
The Benefits of Quitting ‘Cold Turkey’
Called “cold turkey” due to the goose bumps and chills experienced by many in opiate detox that make the arms of patients look like the flesh of a turkey, this style of detox simply means to quit without a maintenance medication. It doesn’t mean quitting without medical assistance and supervision, however.
In fact, a medically supervised detox is always recommended when opiate addiction is an issue. An addiction treatment professional can help to mitigate the symptoms and protect against potential complications. In a few weeks, most patients will have no symptoms and be ready to move forward with their treatment – and their lives. This is not often the case with methadone treatment.
Opiate Rehab at Alta Mira
Learn more about the options available to your loved one when you opt for an intensive opiate addiction treatment program here at Alta Mira. Call now for more information.