Novus Medical Detox Center Analyzes Methadone Study Findings and Implications for Opiate Abuse Treatment

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In response to new research on inmates in methadone maintenance therapy versus phased withdrawal, Novus Medical Detox Center contends that drug-free substance abuse treatment offers a better solution for those attempting to overcome addiction.

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The best addiction and detox programs combine proven medical protocols and cutting-edge detox technology, which create a solid foundation for successful rehab and recovery.

A new study published by researchers from Brown University and The Miriam Hospital examines outcomes for inmates who continued methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) during incarceration versus those subjected to a phased withdrawal, and found the latter group was more likely to relapse to opiate use (1) and more likely to require hospitalization or emergency treatment (2) upon release. While the study focused on incarcerated methadone users, Novus Medical Detox Center—a leading Florida-based drug treatment facility—sees broader implications for anyone seeking treatment for heroin or opioid addiction. But rather than debating the effectiveness of MMT versus forced methadone withdrawal, Novus proposes medically supervised, drug-free addiction and detox programs as a better alternative for individuals seeking to end the cycle of substance abuse.

As reported by Brown University, 97% of inmates who continued MMT while incarcerated went to a methadone clinic within one month of release, while only 71% of the phased withdrawal group did so; and among those who were fully withdrawn from methadone upon release, only 48% resumed MMT (1). Brown University further noted that 18% of the phased-withdrawal group and 8% of the MMT-continuation group admitted to returning to opioid use within a month of release (1). Other findings compared adverse events among the two groups: the MMT-continuation group had one death, one non-fatal overdose, one hospitalization and 11 emergency room visits, while the phased-withdrawal group had zero deaths, two non-fatal overdoses, four hospitalizations and 16 emergency room visits (2).

“Although this trial focused on methadone-using inmates, the findings are relevant to anyone struggling with heroin, opioid or methadone dependency,” said Kent Runyon, Executive Director of Novus. “While the report’s authors argue in favor of methadone maintenance treatment over forced withdrawal, we believe that a third option—drug-free, medically supervised detox—offers those struggling with substance abuse a greater chance for success. After all, both of the study groups experienced some degree of ‘adverse events’ and relapses, which may have been prevented with proper medical care and withdrawal support. And of the 52% of fully withdrawn patients who did not return for MMT, I’m sure some desired to be drug-free rather than resume heroin or methadone use.”

Runyon maintains that the real problem with many substance abuse treatment programs is that people who are trying to overcome drug use are being transitioned to another drug—one with its own cycle of dependency and withdrawal symptoms. He notes that such programs often prove inadequate because they fail to perform a full medical exam of each patient and subsequently fail to identify and treat other health issues beyond the addiction itself. According to Runyon, the current over-reliance on drug maintenance programs could be replaced with more effective, holistic solutions.

“The best addiction and detox programs combine proven medical protocols and cutting-edge detox technology, which create a solid foundation for successful rehab and recovery,” he asserted.

The Florida drug detox facility attributes its success to a combination of factors, including customized treatment programs that address individual health needs, 24-hour access to nursing care and withdrawal specialists, and non-harmful medicine and supplements. In addition to providing heroin and opioid detox, Novus helps patients overcome methadone dependency—and even treats high-dose cases other facilities refuse.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox Center and its heroin, opioid and methadone treatment programs, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:
Novus Medical Detox Center is a Joint Commission Accredited inpatient medical detox facility that offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Florida, Novus is also licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient. By incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment, Novus tailors the detox process for each patient, putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television and high-speed Internet access. Novus’ expansion is tied to their contribution to their industry and their local community, ranking number 48 on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2014 Fast 50 Awards list of the fastest-growing companies in Tampa Bay, and number 2,936 on the 2014 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1.    Brown University. “Inmates Cut Off Methadone Less Likely to Seek It After Release”; News From Brown; May 28, 2015. news.brown.edu/articles/2015/05/methadone

2.    Rich, Josiah D.; et al. “Methadone Continuation Versus Forced Withdrawal on Incarceration in a Combined US Prison and Jail: A Randomised, Open-Label Trial”; The Lancet; May 28, 2015. thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2814%2962338-2/abstract

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