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Treating Addiction: Narcotic & Recreational Drug Treatment Part 2

Updated on June 30, 2010

This situation is not widely publicized as it is rather rare in the United Kingdom at this time, but heroin has been utilized as a medication to help maintain some addicts in various Drug Rehabs in the United Kingdom. The British researchers have accumulated a considerable body of evidence to prove that there is some level of beneficial short-term effects. Some individuals who have undergone this form of Drug Rehab treatment been successfully maintained on prescribed heroin for a number of years. An ongoing clinical trial in Switzerland has demonstrated that the administration of heroin directly intended for intravenous use, or a prescribed utilization for intravenous methadone, has been linked with a considerable amelioration in the health and lifestyle of narcotics patients who have been seriously dependent and socially marginalized, and there have been reports that some of these positive outcomes have been maintained over several years.

An opiate-like, synthetic, long-acting medication that has been widely utilized by Drug Rehab professionals either to maintain patients being withdrawn from heroin use or as a treatment maintenance medication is Methadone, a drug which has the unique qualities to act as a substitute for various opiates and thus acts in preventing the beginning of the symptoms of withdrawal thereby blocking the main psychological effects of heroin. Another advantage to the medication is that Methadone is administered orally thus eliminating the risks of injection.

Methadone has been proven to limit illicit opiate consumption and therefore has a direct positive effect on criminal activity, improving the individual's productivity and general social health, reduces the transmission of HIV and other virological agents, and improves the overall physical health of the individual, as well as ameliorating the outcomes of pregnancy outcomes for female addicts. There is a considerable body of clinical research which has been performed on methadone maintenance treatment in a Drug Rehab setting and the general conclusion is that if methadone is implemented in adequate doses and alongside supportive therapy, it is a medication that has an acceptable record for safety under longer-term use and its overall outcomes are linked with retention of the patient in Drug Rehab treatment in a fairly positive manner.

Methadone dosage has been the subject of frequent debate, and the prevailing opinion is that the individual doses must be custom tailored to the specific and particular requirements of the patient. It should be noted that patients who are maintained on higher doses in the neighborhood of approximately 80 mg. during their Drug Rehab have better overall long term results than those individuals who are maintained on lower doses.

It is obvious by analyzing the research that there is a clear and specific role for various pharmacotherapies. It is important that they be implemented in settings which are strictly controlled as an additive to the various other Drug Rehab treatment strategies. It is especially important to exercise extreme caution and implement careful monitoring on a regular basis for patients who are undergoing courses of treatment featuring medications which have a potential to become addictive on their own.

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