Australia’s growing opioid dependence increases demand for treatment

It’s common to think methadone clinics only treat heroin use. While it’s true that methadone is considered to be one of the most effective medications in aiding heroin rehabilitation, it’s also being used to treat other opioid dependence. As prescription opioid use in Australia has increased between 2009 and 2018, so too have cases of people becoming addicted to their prescriptions. Many patients are now also seeking help with addiction to opioids such as oxycodone and fentanyl.

Methadone can be used to keep a person stable as they detox from their opioid addiction. It helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, so the patient isn’t tempted to relapse to relieve pain. When given in higher doses, it blocks the opioid receptors in the brain, so if the person relapses, they gain little benefit from the drug to which they are addicted.

One dose lasts 24 hours and using methadone on its own is unlikely to result in overdose. It’s administered orally, which also reduces harm for intravenous drug users. In its pure form, methadone doesn’t damage the body’s major organs and prolonged use won’t cause physical damage.

That all depends on the individual. Methadone treatment is most effective when used in conjunction with counselling, lifestyle changes and other therapies.

The experienced team at Pharmaceutical Rehabilitation Services develops a tailored, holistic treatment plan for each individual who needs the services of a methadone clinic. Latest medical research supports long-term maintenance programs which cater to people who need assistance with ongoing addiction challenges. Regardless of the person’s situation, there is hope and help available for them.