Methadone Addiction Treatment


What Is Methadone?

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Methadone is a highly potent narcotic analgesic drug which is primarily prescribed to manage severe chronic pain, as well as to treat opioid dependency. Methadone has a cross-tolerance with other opioid drugs including morphine and heroin, which allows the drug to provide similar pain relieving effects for a longer period of time. Although opiates like methadone are ultimately derived from morphine, treatment can vary from methadone addiction treatment to similar programs like morphine addiction treatment and codeine addiction treatment.

Methadone has varying strength levels and comes in various forms such as liquid, tablets, or ampoules for injection. The drug is typically administered in low doses for patients who are going through withdrawal from illicit drug use and is provided continuously until the withdrawal phase ends. While methadone can be medically safe is used correctly, it is highly addictive and can be easily abused if use is not managed efficiently. Although methadone is less likely to be abused due to it’s minimal capacity to produce euphoric effects, users are still capable of achieving a euphoric rush is the pills are crushed and snorted. However, improper use of methadone can lead to a dangerous dependency.


Effects of Methadone Abuse and Addiction

The effects of methadone abuse and addiction can cause consequences in every aspect of one’s life, including physically, psychologically and socially. The following are some of the short and long term effects associated with methadone abuse and addiction:

  • Impaired respiratory functioning
  • Cardiovascular irregularities
  • Impaired sexual functioning
  • Depression
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Isolation/alienation
  • Loss of interest in activities which were once enjoyable
  • Death caused by accidental overdose


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Withdrawal from Methadone

Being as though methadone is taken for long periods of time and in large doses, it can often cause it’s users to experience longer withdrawal phases which can last between five to six weeks. Withdrawal symptoms associated with methadone have the potential to affect both the body and mind due to methadone causing both a physical and psychological dependency. Withdrawal from methadone can induce the following symptoms:

  • AnxietyMethadone Addiction Treatment image
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Extreme sweating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Aches
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills

The immediate withdrawal from methadone can worsen significantly if not treated properly, i is essential to seek the attention of a medical professional when making the decision to withdraw from using methadone.


Recognizing the Need for Methadone Addiction Treatment

There are a multitude of signs and symptoms that an individual who recreationally uses methadone will exhibit. Some of the more common symptoms to look for if you’re under the impression you or a loved one may be addicted to methadone includes:

  • Inability to control drug useMethadone Addiction Treatment image
  • Continued use of methadone in spite of negative consequences
  • Secretive behavior in relation to methadone use
  • Lack of upkeep in personal hygiene and grooming
  • Displaying irrational anger
  • Loss of interest in activities which were once enjoyable
  • In denial of drug use problem
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, home, and/or school in relation to drug use
  • Experiencing sudden health issues in relation to drug use
  • Sleeplessness
  • Lying, cheating, or stealing to obtain methadone
  • Continual use of methadone in spite of experiencing negative consequences

These are some of the more common signs and symptoms associated with methadone addiction, however they do not always indicate the presence of an addiction. However, if these symptoms are present and yourself or a loved one are using the drug recreationally, it can be a sign of abuse which often leads to addiction.


Treatment for Methadone Addiction

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In spite of methadone generally being used to treat addictions such as heroin addiction, the protocol for treating a methadone addiction is similar to heroin addiction treatment. Methadone addiction treatment requires a medication assisted approach in combination with the use of psychotherapeutic approaches. Buprenorphine is commonly used to treat methadone addiction and has been found to be very effective in  helping recovering addicts achieve a successful state of abstinence. The drug helps to reduce cravings and certain withdrawal symptoms to help individuals restore normal functioning. Psychotherapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been found to be highly effective in methadone addiction treatment, especially when combined with a pharmacological approach such as the use of buprenorphine.


If you or a loved one are currently combating against methadone abuse or treatment, you may find that seeking professional treatment will be the ultimate resource for treating the problem.

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