Physical pain can range from mild discomfort to extreme agony. Over-the-counter medications can assist in temporary pain relief for mild to moderate injuries or illness, but many physicians prescribe opioid medications when a patient requires a higher level of pain relief. An opiod prescription can be an effective solution, but side effects include the danger of addiction and abuse.
Medicare recipients of all ages can be vulnerable to illness and injury that causes severe pain, but the growing opiod addiction in the United States certainly has made physicians and patients wary of medications like methadone. Methadone is a synthetic opiod and is designated as a Schedule II drug, meaning that its users are at a higher risk of developing a dependence to it. If your doctor prescribes methadone, make sure you take it as directed and only for the purpose it is prescribed for. Methadone is also prescribed by some doctors to treat heroin addiction.
Opioid Dependence Treatment Using Methadone
When it comes to treating opioid dependence, methadone is often used to simulate the effect of an opioid drug on receptors in the brain. It can stabilize the patient without delivering the high associated with other opioids, making it an effective alternative when tapered in a controlled setting. Through the use of methadone, in conjunction with counseling, people can often recover from addiction safely without suffering through severe withdrawals.
Medicare Coverage for Methadone
Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage typically covers methadone when it is prescribed as a pain reliever, but methadone is not covered under Part D as an addiction recovery drug. This is because it is not a drug that can be purchased from a retail pharmacy when prescribed to ease the symptoms of withdrawal.
Methadone as a means of opioid dependence treatment is regulated and it must be administered at certified clinics that are equipped to handle and dispense the drug. With this said, Medicare may cover methadone under Medicare Part A or Part B if it is medically necessary and you are being treated for addiction in a skilled nursing facility, hospital, or outpatient setting.
Work With Your Physician
If you are prescribed any type of opioid medication and you have concerns regarding addiction or withdrawal, it is vital that you speak with your physician prior to making any changes to how and when you take your prescription. Although methadone is not covered by Medicare insurance for opioid dependence through a pharmacy, your physician will be able to work with you to develop a treatment plan to either ease you off of your current opioid medication, treat you with a different pain medication, or assist you with addiction treatment through a methadone clinic.
Remember that anyone, including seniors who do not intend to misuse their medications, can become addicted to a substance without even realizing it. Seek medical treatment immediately if you have developed a dependence on your medications.