Opiate Recovery Program
The Opiate Recovery Program provides methadone maintenance treatment in a community setting. It is one component of a comprehensive prevention and treatment strategy to help those struggling with opiate dependence and related harms. Within the Cape Breton District Health Authority, these opiates often include hydromorphone (Dilaudid ®, Hydromorph Contin ®); oxycodone (OxyContin ®, Percocet ®, and Percodan ®); morphine and meperidine (Demerol ®).
What is Methadone?
Methadone hydrochloride is a synthetic opiate (man-made) prescription drug that has similar effects of natural opiates. Methadone is a long acting oral analgesic that suppresses opiate withdrawal, and, at therapeutic levels, reduces cravings without inducing sedation or euphoria. Methadone has been used to treat opiate addiction since the 1960’s. The effectiveness of substitution treatment using methadone maintenance has been well researched and demonstrated.
What Does the Opiate Recovery Program Involve?
Best practices suggest that the most effective methadone maintenance programs are those that provide a range of medical, behavioural and social services. Methadone, when combined with counselling and social support, has better outcomes in helping you get your life back. The Opiate Recovery Program is voluntary and confidential. People who have little experience with or tolerance to opiates, ingestion of methadone can be potentially fatal, especially in children. Using drugs that depress the central nervous system in combination with methadone, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines or additional opiates increase the risk of overdose or death. It is important to use methadone as prescribed under the care of the treatment team.
The Opiate Recovery Program offers:
- Medical evaluation and ongoing assessment
- Daily dosing of methadone at a community retail pharmacy
- Random urine drug screening
- Methadone education and support groups
- Short and long term outpatient counselling and ongoing assessment by qualified professionals based on individual need
- Referrals, collaboration and assistance navigating additional healthcare needs such as anonymous testing and mental health treatment services and social supports such as community services.
Family Education and Support
The Opiate Recovery Program is guided by a harm reduction approach. Abstinence may or may not be the immediate or primary goal. The aim of the program is to minimize harm associated with opiate use to the individual, family and community and in particular to:
- Improve the physical and psychological well-being of the opiate-dependent person
- Improve social and personal functioning
- Reduce the use of illicit opiates and other harmful drug use
- Reduce mortality (deaths) and morbidity (disease, ill health) among opiate users
- Reduce the spread of infections associated with needle-sharing such as hepatitis Band C
- Reduced crime associated with drug use
Admission to the Opiate Recovery Program
This service is not available to everyone. Once you contact our intake office, a comprehensive assessment will be arranged. Your drug use history, health status and past treatment experiences will be reviewed. When all the information is collected, the Addiction Services treatment team will develop an individual treatment plan with you. This plan may include methadone maintenance as one of its components.
Call our central intake office for more information: 902-563-2583 or toll free 1-877-567-0632.