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Methadone Treatment for Addiction in San Francisco

Methadone treatment is a proven method for overcoming opioid addiction. The use of methadone as a means of treating addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers has been around for over 50 years. As with all treatment methods, misinformation and rumors run rampant. You need to know the facts to make the best decision regarding methadone treatment. Fortunately, treatment centers are available in San Francisco on Market and Turk Streets, as well as all over the Bay Area in  Antioch, Richmond, San Mateo and Oakland. You want out of the crazy life of letting drugs get in the way of everything. So, now what?

Facts about methadone treatment

  • Methadone offers a safe alternative by transitioning those dependent on opiates to a medically-supervised maintenance program
  • Best results with methadone treatment take a minimum of one year, though the time in treatment is different for everyone. It’s not a quick fix.
  • Methadone helps you avoid withdrawal symptoms that can lead to cravings, and eventually relapse.
  • Methadone maintenance programs reduce opportunities for patients to be involved in criminal behavior and risky sexual practices (including contracting or transmitting HIV).
  • Heavy heroin habits respond well to methadone treatment because there is no ‘ceiling’ of effect, doses can be adjusted until the patient does not experience painful withdrawal.
  • Long-term use of methadone treatment is not harmful to major organs. (Some people stay on methadone treatments for many years.)
  • The mortality rate of people on methadone treatments is only 30% when compared to opiate users who are not in methadone maintenance.
  • Methadone provides a bridge between an addiction lifestyle and moving forward to healthier sober living.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women may safely take methadone, managing addiction without harming themselves or the baby.

What to expect from methadone treatment

Methadone changes how your brain and nervous system respond to pain. It reduces the pains of opiate withdrawal, and suppresses the high from heroin, morphine, oxycodone, codeine, or other pain medications. You take methadone in pill, liquid, or a wafer form. Because everyone’s body processes methadone differently, dosage amounts vary widely. Some people may experience side effects from methadone treatment such as lightheadedness, shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, confusion, or even hallucinations. But don’t let the fear of side effects deter you. The effects are quite manageable by a doctor. Your medical professional will monitor the doses and vary the amount as needed for your success. Finally, expect to be in a methadone treatment for at least a year. This is a good thing. Making changes that stick take time. And you want success.

How to increase success with methadone treatment

Recovery from addiction changes everything. First of all, life as you know it is going to change. And creating new healthy habits and relationships, while positive, is also stressful. The most successful treatment programs include medication assistance along with counseling and support. You naturally have a lot of questions. Who will I hang out with when I’m sober? What will I do for fun? What if I’m not successful and relapse? Do I even know what it’s like to live without drugs? Will I like who I am? These are big and important questions. Your counselor is well-trained and has experience working with people who have been down this road before you.

We always say, “Trust the process.” All you need to do is take the next step. One after another. Yes, this will be out of your comfort zone – at first. But eventually, and with support, you’ll find a new path. The path will be of your choosing, not the one that drugs choose for you. Get back to the place where you can enjoy life and all that living in the San Francisco Bay area has to offer.

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