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Methadone is part of the opioid drug group and it is usually prescribed by healthcare providers in specific situations. Also circulating under the name “Done” or “the done”, methadone is highly addictive. Although it can be used in managing severe pain, the drug is not recommended all the time, especially for individuals who have an addiction background.
Unfortunately, even in cases where Methadone is given under prescription, it can lead to addiction. Methadone addiction makes it very difficult to quit the drug, with the user usually craving the substance more and more, seeking its effects.
However, there are also people who take it illegally, without having a prescription for it. This is more dangerous as no physician is monitoring the patient’s methadone intake, which can be devastating for the user’s body. If developed, methadone addiction should be treated by professionals.
What is Methadone?
Methadone was created during World War II by German doctors. It is an opioid or narcotic drug. More often than not, methadone is great in helping people manage severe pain, but also in reducing withdrawal symptoms for individuals dealing with addiction to heroin or other narcotic drugs.
The drug has been used in treating people’s addictions for decades. It is offered on prescription, and when people respect the prescription, methadone is safe, but also effective.
Methadone works by completely changing the way the nervous system and brain respond to pain. The painful opiate withdrawal symptoms are decreased. On top of that, it can also act as a blocker against euphoric effects offered by codeine, morphine, and heroin.
The duration of the effects of methadone will last for a certain period depending on the amount you’ve taken, your weight, and the other drugs you’ve used in the mix. Usually, methadone kicks in very quickly, and its effects last a few hours.
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Methadone comes in various forms. It can come as a powder, tablet, or liquid. Also, in order to obtain it, you will generally need a prescription.
The required dose will vary from one person to another, depending on their size and the issue they need the drug for. Healthcare providers know how much is necessary for each individual. Also, during the treatment, the dose may change.
The substance should be used exactly the way the doctor prescribed it. All the directions on the prescription label should be read and taken into consideration, and the same applies to the instruction sheets or medication guides. Nobody should use methadone for longer than prescribed, or in larger amounts than the doctor recommended.
Furthermore, methadone should not be shared with anyone else, especially someone who didn’t get a prescription or who has a drug addiction history. Misusing the drug can lead to an addiction and, in some cases, even an overdose.
Methadone Side Effects
Consuming methadone in any form can lead to some side effects. Some people may deal with allergic reactions, which can be extremely severe and sometimes even deadly. Some side effects associated with methadone use include:
- Severe constipation
- Swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, or face
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling light-headed
- Low cortisol levels (nausea and vomiting, dizziness, appetite loss, worsening weakness or tiredness)
- Fast heartbeat/pounding heartbeat
- Serotonin syndrome (fever, hallucinations, agitation, muscle stiffness, fast heart rate, nausea, loss of coordination, twitching, diarrhea)
When someone is experiencing side effects after using methadone, they should be given naloxone by the person caring for them. On top of that, medical attention should be requested as soon as possible, especially if the patient is dealing with breathing issues.
Methadone usually has effects that are very similar to heroin. Therefore, addiction is very likely to happen. This is especially possible in people who have a history of drug abuse, as well as people who take the drug for longer than prescribed or in larger quantities.
Over time, methadone can make someone build a tolerance to it. The body will require higher doses to achieve the desired effects. If the individual tries to quit methadone, they may end up dealing with withdrawal symptoms, encouraging them to keep using the substance to stop the uncomfortable effects.
The chance of becoming addicted is lower when the drug is taken as part of a treatment scheme and when a doctor is supervising the use.
Methadone Addiction Signs
There will be various signs and symptoms associated with methadone addiction. Recognizing the red flags will let you identify the addiction in someone and perhaps even encourage them to get help.
Someone who is addicted to methadone will have an increased tolerance to the substance. It may not be obvious right away but if you are close to the person, you may notice that they suddenly increased their dose and are acting a bit differently.
The presence of withdrawal symptoms is another sign. Methadone withdrawal occurs when one stops using the drug after building a tolerance to it.
Also, if the individual makes methadone a priority in their life, neglecting their loved ones, school, job, or other aspects, it is a huge sign that an addiction is present.
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Risks of Methadone Use
Methadone use is associated with several risks, especially if the substance was obtained illegally. For instance, you cannot be sure that the drug is pure methadone. In some cases, it is mixed with other substances.
Methadone can lead to a coma if the user overdoses. Also, in some cases, when people use it for the first time, they may experience constipation. Some users also feel sleepy or might suddenly stop breathing.
In worse scenarios, opiate use may lead to stillbirths and miscarriages. At the same time, suddenly stopping opiate use can cause miscarriage and premature labor, so it is not a good idea to fully drop it by yourself.
Why Choose Real Deal?
At Real Deal, we treat every patient like family. We give them the best care to help them recover from their addiction, but also offer them a peaceful facility where they can slowly recover from the problem.
The sober living homes we provide are meant to change lives and ensure that former addicts go back to society as new individuals.
If you see someone struggling with a methadone addiction, call for help right away. The addict may go through detox, preventing an overdose.