Even though methadone is an effective drug when used to treat specific conditions, the medication has a high potential for addiction. The substance is a synthetic opioid given by healthcare providers to treat severe pain, as well as withdrawal from other drugs, particularly narcotics.
Once someone has become addicted to methadone, it can be extremely difficult to quit using the drug. Only professional help can make sure someone stops abusing the substance.
Methadone addiction usually manifests similarly to addiction to any other opioid. At the same time, it is more likely to overdose on the drug as it tends to stay in the system for extended periods. This is why it is important to get help as soon as possible.
There are special locations where people can treat their methadone problem under professional supervision. Doing this could end up saving your life if you’re dealing with an addiction.
What Is Methadone?
Methadone is a prescription opioid drug that helps treat certain drug addictions, as well as moderate to severe pain. The synthetic opioid has been used for decades, as it has been around since World War II. It is usually sold under names like Methadose and Dolophine, and it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It is important to mention that methadone is a schedule II substance, meaning that it has a legitimate legal use. It isn’t legal for use without a prescription. Also, it has an increased risk of addiction, which makes it quite dangerous.
Since the drug is controlled, people need to go to clinics to get a prescription for it or go to a rehabilitation center where they are given methadone to treat drug addiction and withdrawal. The drug operates on the same opioid receptors as heroin and morphine. Therefore, it can help decrease withdrawal symptoms and stabilize the user.
Getting A Methadone Prescription
Your first methadone prescription will be obtained from your GP or your drug treatment center. The person giving you the prescription could be a doctor, prescribing pharmacist, or nurse.
After establishing that you need methadone as treatment, you will be asked what pharmacy you wish to take the prescriptions from. This way, you have the chance to choose a pharmacy that is close to your workplace or your house.
Generally, people visit their chosen pharmacy on a daily basis and take their methadone dose there. Supervision from a pharmacist or key worker is necessary when you start taking the treatment, especially until the stabilization of your dose. Bear in mind that this could last up to 3 months.
If this is going to be difficult for you, then you can talk to the prescriber and find a solution. Usually, you can take some doses at home after you have stabilized on the substance.
Side Effects of Using Methadone
While methadone is legal under prescription and generally safe when used correctly, there may also be some side effects as a result of methadone use. Short-term use may bring side effects such as:
- Slow breathing
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Sexual issues
- Heavy sweating
- Itchy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Changes in appetite
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Vision issues
- Mood changes
Of course, in some cases, people may deal with more serious side effects. Make sure to contact the doctor if you are dealing with the following symptoms:
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Breathing difficulties
- Rapid heartbeat or chest pain
- Swollen face, throat, tongue, or lips
- Difficulties swallowing
- Bad drowsiness
- Changes in menstrual periods
Considering methadone is classified as a Schedule II drug – so, its abuse and addiction potential is increased. This is especially true when the drug is used without a prescription, although being prescribed methadone does not eliminate the risk of abuse. Methadone may lead to addiction in some people.
Usually, when an addiction has formed, some signs will start to appear. They can be both physical and psychological. Here are some symptoms to look out for if you suspect someone is addicted to methadone:
- Quick breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Mood disorders
- Teary eyes
- Runny nose
- High blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Light sensitivity
How long it takes for someone to become addicted to methadone will vary from one person to another. People’s addiction potential is influenced by their genetics, the amount of time they used methadone, the dose they were using, and their history of substance abuse.
Risks of Using Methadone
Methadone is not recommended for every individual. It could be risky for certain people to use this drug. If used in combination with other substances, it can also worsen the effects, which makes it even more dangerous.
Methadone is not recommended for individuals who deal with:
- Heart issues
- Lung problems
- Difficulties breathing
- Urinary problems
- Head injury, brain tumor, or seizures
- A heart rhythm disorder
- An electrolyte imbalance
- Gallbladder, thyroid, and pancreas problems
- Liver or kidney disease
Methadone Addiction Treatment
Methadone is a very addictive drug. Although its addiction potential is not as high as heroin’s potential, it can still cause issues. Because of that, giving up on it by yourself is difficult and in some cases may even be impossible.
Still, there is treatment for methadone addiction. People can go to rehabilitation centers where they will go through a detoxification process and even go to therapy, where they will learn healthier ways to cope and discover how to prevent addiction from now on.
People will be under assistance and medication all the time. This is particularly important for those who have been going through withdrawal.
Call On Real Deal
Real Deal focuses on addiction recovery. Our facility offers different methods of getting rid of methadone addiction. These include therapy, treatment, and detox. We work hard to ensure our patients can recover and turn into better versions of themselves. What’s more, we make sure that everyone gets the best treatment from our employees.
Call for help as soon as you notice someone is addicted to methadone. Doing so may prevent them from overdosing.