What to Expect at a Methadone Clinic


Every year, many studies and surveys are done to evaluate the current state of American public health, from heart disease rates to diet to back pain. The abuse of hard drugs such as opiates or heroin is also measured, and recent data shows that many Americans (some as young as 12 or 13) are addicted to these drugs, or becoming addicted. A drug addiction can be devastating, and it can even kill. Fortunately, it is never too late for an addict to get help, and methadone clinics in Chicago and other major cities can be a great starting point. Methadone centers are where doctors can prescribe methadone and help a heroin addict begin recovery, and heroin detox centers can provide medically guided recovery for a patient. What should a patient expect at methadone clinics in Chicago, and how can someone get totally clean of drugs?

Americans and Drug Abuse

Tragically, Americans are still abusing drugs such as heroin and opioids quite often, and the numbers can prove it. As of 2015, for a fairly recent example, 20.5 million Americans aged 12 and over had a substance abuse disorder, and among them, two million were abusing prescription pain relievers and 591,000 were abusing heroin. In that same year, an estimated total of 21,000 adolescents had used heroin within the previous 12 months, and 5,000 were current users of this drug. Overall, it is believed that 23% of people who use heroin end up with an opioid addiction, and four in every five heroin users started out by abusing prescription drugs. It should also be mentioned that in 2016, some 170,000 people started using heroin for the first time, which is much higher than the total for 2006 (90,000). Even worse is the fact that drug overdoses rank first among all causes of accidental deaths in the United States. In 2015, just over 52,000 Americans lost their lives this way. So, any current addicts are strongly urged to look up and visit methadone clinics in Chicago and similar cities, and get medical help right away.

Methadone Rehab and Detoxing

Some drug addicts seek out recovery on their own accord, while others had gone through an intervention, where concerned friends and family members confronted them and urged them to seek recovery. At any rate, visiting methadone clinics in Chicago and other cities means getting medicinal relief from a drug addiction. There, a doctor may prescribe methadone, a legal drug that (when used correctly) can suppress or at least minimize drug withdrawal effects and symptoms. Not to mention that methadone use can block the many ill effects of opioid abuse, and the patient may not suffer a physical need for opioids, either. All of this and more can help the patient function properly in their daily lives via this method of replacement therapy. Overall, success rates for methadone treatment range from 60% to 90%, and the longer a patient undergoes this medical recovery, the more likely they are to recover from a drug addiction.

A drug addict may also visit a detox center, as opposed to attempting to get clean at home. Detoxing at home is risky, since the addict will not have anyone who can help them in case there are complications, and the patient may be sorely tempted to relapse. Instead, they should visit a local detox center, where they may be checked in as a patient and then stay a few days. While there, the patient will allow the drugs to flush right out of their system, and medical professionals will monitor them the entire time (in case there are any complications with the withdrawal symptoms). Getting clean of drugs this way is essential for full recovery, and once a patient’s body is clean of drugs, they are ready for therapy and counseling, where they can talk out their problems with a therapist. This can help prepare the recovering addict for a drug-free life, and a recovering addict may also join an anonymous support group, which can help a great deal. Some recovering addicts may have poor financial lives or may even be unemployed or homeless, and they can get access to vocational rehabilitation and get professional aid with housing options.

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