Methadone Maintenance Treatment vs. Rapid Opiod Detox Method

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Methadone Maintenance Treatment versus Rapid Opioid Detoxification Amber Dawn Phillips University of Phoenix

The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that close to three million people in Europe and the US are addicted to some type of opiate, and in the US alone, over two million people are addicted to prescription opiates, and opiates make up 83 percent of admissions for intravenous drug addictions. This has given rise to many treatment methods to address opiate abuse. Two of those treatment methods are Methadone Maintenance Treatment or MMT and Rapid Opioid Detoxification ROD. While ROD is dangerous, and costly with few lasting results, Methadone Maintenance Treatment offers opiate addicts a safer, less expensive alternative with high success rates. While the argument persists that MMT programs are allowing the addict to trade one substance for another, the means of this justifies the end, and offers the addict a way out. Rapid Opioid Detoxification (ROD) is based on the theory that persons addicted to opiate based substances, only continue to use because the withdrawals are often too harsh and painful to safely make through. Nausea, vomiting, tremors, fever, cold and hot sweats, convulsions, and seizures are what awaits an opiate addict upon coming off of the drug. The ROD program promises to obliterate. Upon intake the addict is asked to provide information on medical history, as well as drug abuse background. They are then asked to give a urine specimen, so that a positive need for treatment can be obtained. Once that need is established, an appointment is set. Usually within 72 hours after intake. On the day of the detox session the patient is expected to have abstained from illicit drug use for 24 hours. This reduces the risk of drug interactions. If the patient fails to do so, they will be asked to reschedule. Vital statistics are observed, the patients are assigned a room, hooked up to various monitors, and given anesthesia to render them unconscious. Once the patient is asleep a drug is introduced to their system to counteract, reverse, and clean the system of opiates. This plunges the patient into immediate full-onset withdrawals. For the next 3 to 5 hours the patient is wracked with agonizing convulsions, diarrhea, vomiting and sweats. Sometimes vitals drop and resuscitation is needed. This makes it imperative that staff trained in life saving techniques remain vigilant through the entire process. Upon waking the patient will have no recollection of the process. Promoters of ROD promise that up to six months of withdrawal symptoms will be compressed into that 2 to 5 hour session. Although, according to the patients, this does not diminish the withdrawals or lessen the time frame for withdrawals to diminish and the cycle to complete. (This renders the whole ROD process useless in the eyes of many previous participants.) After the session, a different drug is then placed in the abdomen to block any euphoric effects of heroin and other opiate based substances. After a brief counseling by the prescribing doctor, the patient is released with a list of counseling agencies in their particular area. No follow up is required. According to the World health Organization this implantation causes the addict to try to overcome the blocker and thus overdose. The addict also, having all tolerance removed during the detoxification process, often picks up where they left off. This I dangerous and often leads to death. On the other hand, new intakes to the Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) are also assessed in much the same way that new patients for the ROD treatment are. Providing medical and drug backgrounds they also must provide a urine specimen to establish need of the treatment. (Although in the case of Fentanyl abuse, a blood test must be performed.) Once the positive for opiate...
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