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Methadone Detox Research
Methadone treatment provides the patient who is opioid dependent with medication, health, social and rehabilitation services that relieve withdrawal symptoms, reduce physiological cravings and allow normalization of the body's functions. Methadone treatment has been available for over 30 years and has been confirmed effective for opioid dependence in numerous scientific studies.
Moreover, in 1997, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Panel found the following concerning methadone treatment: "Of various treatments available, methadone maintenance treatment, combined with attention to medical, psychiatric and socio-economic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective."
Methadone treatment programs are staffed by professionals with medical, clinical and administrative expertise. Patients receive medication from a health professional. Patients routinely meet with a primary counselor (social worker, caseworker or certified substance abuse counselor), attend clinic groups and access medical and social services.
Evidence from around the country suggests that a significant percentage of patients in methadone programs are being treated for prescription opioid dependence. For example, Alaska estimates that there are 15,000 prescription opioid abusers in the state and that most methadone patients are not heroin-addicted individuals.One opioid treatment programs in southwest Virginia reported that 80 percent of the 290 people in outpatient treatment with methadone named OxyContin® as their primary drug of abuse.
According to SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, in 2001, emergency department mentions of narcotic analgesics and narcotic analgesic combinations were the most frequently mentioned in drug-related emergency department visits in 2001, constituting 9 percent of all emergency room mentions (99,317). Mentions of these narcotic analgesics and combinations rose 44 percent from 1999 to 2001 and 21 percent from 2000 to 2001.
Significant long-term increased in emergency department mentions of narcotic analgesics and combinations were found for hydrocodone and its combinations (up 131 percent since 1994), methadone (up 230 percent), morphine and its combinations (up 210 percent), oxycodone and its combinations (up 352 percent) and narcotic analgesics that were not specified (up 288 percent).