Methadone maintenance offers stability. Clients who have moved to maintenance often report a return of mental clarity, an improved mood, and elimination of withdrawal symptoms. "I feel normal again" is an encouraging statement often heard by treatment staff and it represents the ability of an individual to become employed again, return to school, reconnect with family, and ascend to a higher plateau.
The average methadone dose is between 80 and 120 milligrams daily. However, the correct dose is whatever works for a particular client. There are clients who will need more than 120 mg/daily, and there are those who can maintain comfortably below 80 mg per day. Each person's metabolism and opioid tolerance are different. To become stable, and to then transition into a maintenance phase, will take some months for most methadone clients. It's an adjustment process.
However, once stable on a consistent dose, many clients begin to experience a notable refocusing on life & personal goals. When a client achieves successful methadone maintenance, it is a joy to behold in that people smile again and enjoy being in the position to live a more full and complete life. This journey from active addiction to a stable life free from illicit drugs is remarkable. To see clients, who have suffered, now experience relief from the torture of addiction is gratifying for friends, family, and treatment professionals.
Perhaps this is an overused metaphor, but the door to recovery opens, and individuals do learn to live again. Without methadone support, this would not happen for a large number of people. Thankfully, medication assistance is here to stay. It is a tried & true path to recovery. With over 2 million Americans currently facing an opioid problem, proven treatment interventions are essential to saving lives.