One of the most popular drugs that circulate under prescription is methadone. Methadone is an opioid and it is used in treating withdrawal symptoms in people with addictions to heroin or other narcotic drugs or in treating pain. Generally, it can only be obtained through a prescription, but some people use it illegally.
Illegal use of the drug can be very dangerous and may encourage addiction. However, addiction may also develop in people who respect the prescription and instructions from their doctor. People at higher risk are those who use methadone for longer periods or those who have been abusing drugs in the past.
Methadone can be very dangerous when used in large quantities or for extended periods, but it can especially be devastating for addicts. Not only do their whole lives revolve around methadone, but they may even end up overdosing in an attempt to obtain the wanted effects.
Methadone is an opioid drug. Offered under prescription, the substance proved to be helpful in the management of pain. Conversely, it is also used to treat withdrawal in people who are addicted to other drugs such as heroin or other narcotics.
The drug was created by German doctors during World War II, and for many decades, it has been used as a treatment for addictions. Methadone has a unique way of working: it completely shifts the response of the brain and nervous system to pain. It can result in a plethora of responses, such as relief, but also contentment, relaxation, and pleasure. Sometimes, it can even help manage pain after surgery, trauma, and heart attacks.
Methadone is also called “the done”, and on top of its pain-relieving abilities, it can also block some effects resulting from using other drugs, like heroin and morphine.
Despite being a prescription drug, there are many cases of people using it illegally.
Uses of Methadone
When prescribed, methadone should be used only based on what the healthcare professional said. Therefore, once the right dose has been determined and prescribed, that is the only amount the patient should use. How much one must use will depend on several factors, such as their medical problem and their weight.
Methadone should only be used by the person who got the prescription, and it should certainly not be shared. Using the substance the wrong way can be very dangerous for every party involved. Not only is it harmful to someone who dealt with substance abuse in the past, but it may also result in an overdose and even death.
It is important to keep in mind that a prescribed dose will not always be the same. In fact, it may change. The doctor will monitor the patient and decide whether they need more or less methadone. The drug comes either as a tablet, powder, or liquid, and it can be taken by mouth or as an injection.
Methadone addiction is very possible in people who use this drug. Its effects are similar to those of heroin, therefore making methadone highly addictive. Most of the time, the risk is higher in people who use it illegally, as well as individuals who abused drugs in the past.
As someone keeps using methadone, they will develop a tolerance to the drug. As this happens, the body is getting used to the normal dose and the drug will not offer the same euphoric effects anymore. So, the methadone user will start using larger amounts to reach the same feelings they got before building the tolerance.
They will become dependent on the good feelings of methadone and soon enough, all their life will revolve around the drug. What makes things even worse is that if they attempt to stop using methadone all of a sudden, their body will experience methadone withdrawal. This brings a plethora of severe symptoms that may require medical attention and even rehab.
Signs of Methadone Addiction
An individual who is addicted to methadone will show some signs of the problem. Whereas it will not be easy to tell from the get-go, people who are closest to the addict will start to notice some unusual changes.
For example, they will start using higher amounts of the drug without permission from the doctor or without mentioning anything about an increase. Their behavior may change too, as they become more secretive.
What’s more, the addict will focus on methadone the most. They will push away their family and friends and will even perform badly at school or work. When they do not care about these aspects, it is clear there is a problem.
Withdrawal symptoms are also a red flag. They show that the person is already at an advanced stage of addiction.
Side Effects of Methadone
When someone uses methadone, especially if they are addicted and consume large amounts, they will start to deal with some side effects. They may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe constipation
- Face, tongue, throat, or lips swelling
- Having a hard time breathing
- Faster heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
- Tiredness and weakness
- Muscle stiffness
- Coordination loss
Because methadone is a very strong drug, the risk of overdose is high. In fact, it is easier to overdose on methadone compared to other opioids. Methadone overdoses happen when someone uses a dose that is too high for them.
Symptoms of an overdose include:
- Bluish or clammy skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme fatigue
- Blue-tinted fingertips and lips
How Real Deal Can Help
Real Deal wants to treat your addiction. We offer an effective rehabilitation program where you have the chance to work on getting rid of the methadone cravings – this way, you can stop using the substance for good.
Also, we offer mental health treatment so people can find possible underlying issues and treat them using therapy. This could also help them find better coping mechanisms.
Don’t wait any longer! If someone is addicted to methadone, encourage them to get help, or reach out on their behalf. You may save their life.