Some incorrectly assert methadone is safe to use and take advantage of because it is a medication used to treat opiate addictions. This could not be farther from the truth; in fact, methadone may be considered more dangerous than opiates like heroin because of its reputation for being a safe substance to experiment with. Although methadone was initially intended to help those with opiate addictions overcome their substance use disorders, it has become a subject of abuse itself, and enslaves many to addiction who begin their treatment on it.
When prescribed for medically assisted drug treatment (also called maintenance therapy) methadone is taken once daily and allays the withdrawal process, allowing recovering opiate addicts to live out their lives in normalcy while transitioning from a life of abuse to sobriety. However, when abused and taken advantage of, methadone becomes a root cause of addiction and foments the same atmosphere of addiction and drug seeking behavior. Ignoring the symptoms of methadone addiction can be deadly.
The effects of methadone can be felt throughout every facet of life once abused. And like all other opiates methadone develops a tolerance within the body, which causes many to abuse the medication more and more frequently with increasing doses.
The Effects of Methadone on Your Personal Life
Methadone addiction is just as devastating as heroin and prescription opiate addictions. Once methadone addiction is cemented addicts and users think of little else other than procuring their next high. Those who become addicted to methadone suffer from chronic addictive behaviors, wherein they cannot function without having an opiate in their bloodstream. Professional careers, personal relationships, and personal hobbies fall away as a direct result of the negative influence of methadone addiction.
The Effects of Methadone on Recovery
Although methadone is sometimes used to help people overcome their addictions to opiates, it may actually stagnate their full recovery indefinitely. Those who are under the care of methadone treatment cannot successfully relinquish their dependence to opiates. Many remain on methadone treatment for many years, even though methadone treatment is intended to be weaned as the progression of treatment goes on. Unfortunately, this does not typically happen as it should. As a result, those who were once in recovery remain forever still in the limbo of recovery as long as they do not overcome the process of withdrawal, because of their methadone therapy. Methadone addiction treatment is then necessary.
Taking into account the following statistics of methadone abuse and use, it’s hard to argue with contemporaries who disavow the use of methadone treatment; however, eliminating all medically assisted drug treatment programs is not a favorable idea, as the overdose death rates from untreated opiate addictions are just as high for those who can only rely on abstinence based treatment. Responsible medically assisted drug treatment is crucial for successful recovery without the looming fear of relapse.
Heroin addictions, of which there are approximately 1 million cases of heroin addiction in America, 120,000 people are prescribed methadone to combat heroin addiction
⅓ of all opiate addiction cases are ascribed directly to methadone
In 2004 methadone was responsible for 4,000 national deaths