Methadone is an opioid agonist medication often used in treating opioid addiction. Unfortunately, the drug itself can be abused and become addictive too. If you have been misusing your or someone else’s methadone medication, call 800-807-0951 now to find safe, reliable treatment in a rehab facility that caters to your needs.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Methadone is a medication used in medication-assisted treatment… to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates.” People who take the drug for this purpose are usually prescribed a specific amount that is determined based on the severity of their dependence on opioids. As stated by the National Library of Medicine, it produces similar effects to other opioid drugs, but at safe, manageable levels, and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms so patients can focus on recovery.
Unfortunately, though, methadone can often be abused. Unlike other pharmacological options for opioid addiction, the drug is a full opioid agonist and therefore causes the same general effects as other opioids. Those who are able to get large doses of the drug and abuse it can become addicted and experience the other serious consequences of prescription opioid misuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Methadone Use
Like other opioids, methadone causes a number signs and symptoms that point to its use. Most people will experience drowsiness, especially at first, although once you are stabilized on your dosage, you should be able to drive a car and participate in other daily activities without a problem. Other effects include:Click edit button to change this text.
Most effects are mild, and some issues, like constipation, can be managed with other medications. However, like most drugs, there are certain risks associated with taking methadone.
Risks of Methadone Use
Methadone Abuse and Addiction
One of the biggest risks associated with this medication is misuse. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “Methadone is an extremely physically addictive drug,” which is why its use is highly regulated in specifically licensed clinics. However, the drug often finds its way to the black market or is synthesized for abuse, so many people still misuse it. In fact, the NLM states that the two most commonly abused opioids in the United States are heroin and methadone.
When a person abuses this drug, they put themselves in real danger of overdose and addiction. In addition, it can also cause intense withdrawal symptoms that, although not usually life threatening, can be excruciatingly painful for those attempting to quit. This is why people on methadone are often slowly weaned off the drug as a part of treatment. Methadone abuse and addiction is severe and rampant in our society, but with treatment, it can be managed and ended.
Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) has been found to be highly effective for many individuals, especially those whose dependencies are too strong to be treated with the weaker drug buprenorphine. Even those who are addicted to methadone itself might be treated with MMT because the drug can handle their symptoms and maintain them so they can get their life back on track. MMT ensures that patients are not able to take the drug home until they are absolutely ready and often provides behavioral therapy options as well as HIV prevention and intervention, education, housing, and vocational services (National Institute on Justice).
Methadone can be an effective medication for opioid addiction treatment when used correctly, but when abused, it can become very dangerous. Seek help today and find the best rehab program for your needs by calling 800-807-0951.