Addiction is a complex, multifaceted issue that looks a little different for everyone.

For veterans, military trauma often plays a large role in the development of a substance use disorder. Stigmas around military men and women seeking professional help continue to circulate and actively discourage veterans from receiving the help they need. 

Without any sort of guidance or alleviation from their suffering, it’s common for veterans to turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to manage the symptoms of their unhealed trauma. Opioids are one of the most commonly prescribed and abused drugs out there.

A significant part of many opioid addiction treatment programs is the use of methadone, a prescription medication used to help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

In this article, we’re going to discuss what methadone treatment looks like as well as how methadone can be beneficial for veterans in the early stages of addiction recovery.

What does methadone do for addiction?

Methadone is a prescribed medication used to treat opioid addictions that stem from illicit use or prescription misuse.

It is a synthetic opioid used to help eliminate a person’s dependence on opioids by substituting methadone for the substance the person is abusing. In addition to weakening the effects of the “high” that comes with opioid use, methadone also reduces cravings for the drug and alleviates many of the withdrawal symptoms that surface.

It’s able to provide relief to the individual by altering how the brain responds to opioids and maintaining a balanced control until the individual can do so on their own. Because methadone can produce a high, even if less intense than other drugs, there is still potential for misuse, making medical supervision and direction an essential aspect of this treatment.

What does methadone inpatient treatment look like? 

The first phase of integrating methadone into your treatment plan is called “stabilization,” and should only be conducted with medical supervision. In this phase of recovery, you and your physician will carefully experiment with different dosage levels to find which one best supports your mental and physical health.

Once an effective dose has been realized, you’ll begin taking methadone on a regular schedule. This will enable you to focus on your recovery and healing without the constant distraction and discomfort of craving and withdrawal symptoms. You will be closely and constantly monitored by healthcare professionals in order to adjust or halt methadone treatment as needed. Depending on whether you’re actively taking other medications and the overall state of your health, methadone will be more effective for some than others.

Methadone is not a treatment for addiction in and of itself but can be effective when integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan. The support you’ll receive through other modalities, such as group therapy or counseling, will work together to help eliminate your dependence on illicit or prescription painkillers.

Eventually, through a collaborative decision with your physician and treatment team, you will start reducing your methadone dosing. This process is called tapering and it works towards the ultimate goal of discontinuing methadone use altogether.

Find a veteran program near you

A veteran program is run and assisted by physicians and staff members who have been trained to support veterans through understanding their unique challenges. While a veteran can absolutely enroll in a standard addiction recovery program, programs for veterans can provide a deeper, more focused level of care that standard programs can’t. 

October Road is proud to partner with the Veterans Affairs Community Care Network (VA-CCN) to provide veterans with the timely and convenient access to behavioral healthcare that they deserve.

Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can support you through your recovery.

Begin your recovery today

Here at October Road, we specialize in providing trauma-informed behavioral health and substance use treatment programs to men and women who are ready to begin their recovery.

We offer several different addiction rehabilitation programs. If you prefer to go the more holistic route, we’re excited to support you, and if you’re open to the assistance of medication, we also offer methadone treatment as part of our opioid treatment services.

Understanding that veterans have experienced and actively experience unique challenges, we also integrate veteran-specific care into each of our recovery programs. It’s our honor and top priority to give you the treatment you need and deserve.

Send us a message or give our team a call to get started today.

Upset young woman in camouflage clothes sits on the floor in a bright room near the sofaHow Prevalent is Addiction Among Veterans?