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Methadone Maintenance Programme

Methadone is used as treatment for opioid dependence or Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). It is a long-acting full opioid agonist designed to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was created as substitute opioid medication for the detoxification process and long-term, ongoing relapse prevention. Research suggests it is first-line treatment as opiate withdrawal and craving reduction medication helping  a considerable number of users to recover from OUD and reclaim their lives.

What is maintenance?
 

Methadone maintenance is a strategy to manage opioid dependence and achieve clinical stability during the recovery process. Methadone maintenance is achieved by substituting the opioid on which the patient has been dependent with medication, usually buprenorphine or methadone, prescribed by a specialist addictions doctor or prescriber. This strategy is called Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST). OST is the first step to achieve long-term stabilisation, and is available at our methadone maintenance clinic. Methadone maintenance through OST has many benefits:

  • Patients move away from the illicit market and illicit activities.

  • Reduced risk of overdose. You never know for sure the type of opioid you are taking (heroin,
    fentanyl, other), the dose and the substances it has been mixed with.

  • OST involves treatment with licensed medications prescribed by an addictions specialist and
    registered professionals that will strongly support your mental, physical and social recovery.

  • OST will also reduce the risk of infections associated with the use of paraphernalia and illicit
    manufacturing of taken drugs.

Why choose a treatment of methadone based therapies? Methadone based therapies enable uninterrupted focus on the road to recovery without withdrawal symptoms hindering the mind and the body. This allows the individual to focus on important factors of recovery, including psychosocial aspects and thought patterns and behaviours related to drug addiction and cravings, among others.

As one of London’s leading drug addiction and methadone maintenance clinics specialising in substance use disorders, our methadone clinic promises support and guidance during periods of opioid dependence and through stabilisation and recovery.

 

We offer OST with Buvidal (buprenorphine subcutaneous injection), buprenorphine tablets and a methadone mixture.

 

The first step begins with a comprehensive clinical assessment to understand the history and nature of drug use and assess potential risks. This also involves a mental health assessment, physical examination and drug testing. Occasionally, we may request blood tests or other investigations.

Medications we prescribe for OST

Daily dose medications

There are two medications licensed for OST in the UK: buprenorphine and methadone. Methadone is usually prescribed as a liquid formulation and Buprenorphine as sublingual tablets or injected (Buvidal) by a qualified expert.

Whilst on oral buprenorphine or methadone, you need to undergo a titration (dose adjustment) period until you reach your optimal dose. This usually takes a few days with buprenorphine and a bit longer with methadone. It will also require an initial period of supervised doses and more frequent pick ups from the pharmacy.

 

Are you considering OST with methadone or buprenorphine? Following a medical assessment, The OAD Clinic can provide treatment with methadone for those who require it as part of OST treatment. However, a sense of accountability and responsibility is required as these doses should be taken consistently on a daily basis.

 

Monthly Buprenorphine Dose

We also offer our patients a monthly buprenorphine subcutaneous (under the skin) injection (Buvidal). This is a perfect option for those who do not want to collect medication (capsules or tablets) from the pharmacy every week, keep it at home or travel with it. Learn more about Buvidal monthly injection.

Detoxing from Opioids: Side Effects and Management

Methadone treatment for opioid addiction still comes with side effects which impact quality of life, including:

  • Dizziness 

  • Sleepiness

  • Inaction

  • Respiratory depression

Managing these side effects may involve lifestyle changes or adjustments to cater to the body and mind’s new demands as a result of the methadone treatment. This can mean:

  • Dietary adjustments - avoiding/eating more of certain foods

  • Drinking more water

  • Getting enough sleep

  • Lying down as soon as you feel dizzy, getting up slowly 

  • Not smoking or drinking 

Efficacy of Methadone Treatment

Methadone as treatment is regarded as effective and reliable, especially when it comes to reducing opioid use. When combined with psychosocial support, including therapies and others, patient outcomes are significantly improved. Methadone can also help minimise the transmission of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, and criminal behaviour, both of which are associated with intravenous opioid use.

Countries We Serve:

UK Visitors

The OAD Clinic is an internationally recognised methadone clinic and provider of OST treatment for patients based in the United States, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Individuals from these countries are encouraged to contact our methadone maintenance clinic in London or start with an online consultation. Start your journey to recovery today. Get in touch for more information.

FAQs


How long does Methadone Maintenance take to be effective?
Methadone Maintenance can take up to 12 weeks, sometimes longer, depending on the individual. With The OAD Clinic’s friendly and expert team by your side, you are guaranteed exceptional support that will have you successfully complete Methadone maintenance. 


What should I do if I experience side effects from methadone?
Side effects from methadone treatment can be common - while some are mild and not a cause of concern, serious side effects, such as hallucinations, require attention. If you start to experience serious side effects from your methadone treatment for opioid addiction, please consult with your doctor or a medical professional immediately. 


Does Methadone Maintenance eliminate opioid withdrawal symptoms? 
Methadone Maintenance can alleviate withdrawal symptoms, but this might not be the case for each individual. Nonetheless, methadone treatment can still reduce many symptoms and cravings, which can be a relief for many.


Can I stop taking methadone by myself?
It is not recommended to stop taking opioid medicine such as methadone without consulting your doctor or medical professional first. Always talk with your doctor to discuss your options if you are thinking of stopping methadone intake on your own.

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