Methadone Program: The way to treat methadone addiction: Part I

A female doctor treating a patient at a methadone clinic

While heroin is its more common opioid cousin, methadone is no less serious of a drug. It’s commonly referred to as “heroin without the high”. And methadone is just as serious as that description makes it sound. Which is why so many people turn to a methadone program when they struggle with methadone addiction. It’s the best way to enter recovery and change a life ravaged by addiction for the better. Here are the facts about methadone and how Florida rehab can help recovery.

What is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication primarily used to help manage and alleviate withdrawal symptoms in individuals dependent on other opioids, such as heroin or prescription painkillers like oxycodone or morphine. It belongs to the wide family of drugs known as opioids or narcotics.

It works by binding to the same receptors in the brain and body as other opioids, mitigating withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings without causing the same intense “high” associated with drugs like heroin. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is a common approach in managing opioid addiction, as it helps individuals stabilize their lives and reduces the risks associated with opioid misuse.

When taken as prescribed and under medical supervision, methadone can be effective in reducing opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. However, it is a controlled substance with the potential for abuse and addiction if used improperly or in higher doses than prescribed. Regular medical monitoring and adherence to the prescribed dosage are crucial elements of methadone addiction treatment to ensure its safe and effective use. If not, methadone is extremely easy to abuse and become addicted to.

Why is a methadone program necessary: The addictive potential of methadone

Yes, methadone has the potential for addiction and dependence, especially if it is misused or taken in higher doses than prescribed. As an opioid medication, methadone acts on the same brain receptors as other opioids, creating a sense of euphoria and relief from pain. This action can lead to physical dependence and addiction if the drug is used improperly.

Individuals taking methadone for pain management or as part of a treatment program for opioid addiction should strictly follow their prescribed dosage under medical supervision. Abruptly stopping methadone or using it in ways other than directed can lead to withdrawal symptoms and an increased risk of addiction. However, if you begin to develop methadone use disorder, you may need to end your use of methadone.

Medical professionals closely monitor patients on methadone treatment programs to minimize the potential for misuse, manage withdrawal symptoms, and gradually taper off the medication when appropriate. Access to methadone is usually regulated through specialized clinics or healthcare providers to ensure its proper use and reduce the risk of diversion or misuse.

Why is a methadone program with Florida rehab essential: The health consequences of an untreated methadone addiction

A methadone program is essential because methadone addiction can be deadly if left untreated. Methadone addiction can lead to various negative consequences, impacting an individual’s physical health, mental well-being, relationships, and overall quality of life. Some of the negative consequences associated with methadone addiction include:

  • Physical health effects: Prolonged use or misuse of methadone can lead to numerous health issues, including respiratory problems, constipation, decreased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, increased risk of infections, hormonal imbalances, and potential damage to organs such as the liver.
  • Tolerance and dependence: Over time, the body can develop tolerance to methadone, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects. This can lead to dependence, where the individual needs the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Abruptly stopping methadone can cause withdrawal symptoms, which may include anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, and intense drug cravings.
  • Impaired cognitive function: Methadone addiction can impact cognitive abilities, leading to problems with attention, memory, decision-making, and overall mental clarity.
  • Risk of overdose: Misuse or taking high doses of methadone can result in an overdose, characterized by slowed breathing, unconsciousness, and in severe cases, death.
A young person getting care in a methadone progam.

Other risks of methadone addiction include:

  • Social and interpersonal consequences: Addiction can strain relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. It may lead to social isolation, financial problems, loss of employment, and legal issues.
  • Mental health effects: Methadone addiction can exacerbate or lead to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
  • Decreased quality of life: Overall, methadone addiction can significantly diminish an individual’s quality of life, impairing their ability to function effectively in various aspects of daily life.
  • Seeking professional help and support from healthcare providers, counselors, or addiction treatment specialists in Florida rehab is crucial for individuals struggling with methadone addiction to address these negative consequences and work toward recovery and rehabilitation.

Next week’s blog on the power of a Methadone program and Florida rehab:

While we’ve already discussed the problems with methadone in this blog, in next week’s blog, we’ll discuss how a methadone program and Florida rehab can change a life for the better. 

If you need help from a Methadone program and Florida rehab, contact us and Get Help Now!

In a society where stigma still shrouds neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction, the Neuro-Psychiatric Addiction Clinic is a safe haven. Here, our patients find a wealth of scientific knowledge, cutting-edge treatments, and a compassionate environment where their struggles are met with empathy and understanding. By choosing this clinic, people in need and their loved ones take a decisive step towards embracing a brighter future, one where the rays of hope and healing replace the shadows of addiction and neurological imbalance with a renewed sense of purpose.


Start your journey to wellness today at one of the nation’s leading addiction and mental health treatment facilities. Benefit from recovery in style with great people in a pleasant South Florida location in Port St. Lucie. Call us at (888) 574 3506 or complete the form here. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions regarding our treatment programs.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine