When in severe pain, you look for a medication that can bring you significant and immediate relief. Methadone is a pain reliever that is comparable to morphine. It is a narcotic that is also used for people with addictions to heroin and opium to bring relief from the withdrawal symptoms associated with recovery of these substances. Methadone does not cause the elevated feelings that these hard drugs present. It is a prescription drug that can become highly addictive with many fatal results.
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What is Methadone?
Methadone goes by various street names such as but not limited to Methadose, Metho, Junk, Fizzies, Dollies, Dolls, Jungle Juice and more. Because of its opiate properties, it can become highly addictive, with addicts going to any illegal means to get the drug. It comes in a pill form that is easy to consume orally although it is sometimes dissolved in liquids. Methadone can also be available in a ready-to-drink formula or as a concentrate that is mixed in fruit juice or water. Some prefer to take the dosage as an injection. It has been available in the United States for more than 65 years.
Methadone is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Since it is federally classified as a narcotic for its potential addiction and abuse, Methadone is regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the Department of Justice and the Controlled Substances Act.
Facts About Methadone Treatment and Maintenance
Methadone needs to be monitored by a physician because of its addictive nature and effects. In treating a narcotic addiction, it can suppress the effects of withdrawal for up to 36 hours. Methadone users typically do not experience the cravings or the extreme highs experienced from the alternative addictive drug being treated for, such as heroin. However, there are other facts to know about Methadone treatment such as:
- Methadone can be highly addictive if misused
- Even though you do not feel its effects, Methadone stays within the system a lot longer than heroin and other addictive drugs
- Because you don’t realize it is still in your body, you may take another dose over the previous dose, causing high toxicity and poisoning
- If too much is in the body, more than you can tolerate, another dose can be the one to cause fatal effects and possibly death
- Methadone should not be used in combination with other drugs and alcohol
- Advise your doctor if pregnant or nursing since it can have an effect on your baby
- Very few addicts are successful with methadone as a treatment option and can cause another form of addiction that is more difficult than heroin withdrawal. Further medical drug detoxification may be necessary.
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How Is Methadone Used?
Whether using the Methadone for the relief of chronic pain or to treat the withdrawal symptoms of an addiction, it must be taken strictly as prescribed to avoid any ill effects. It can also be used in cancer patients suffering from severe ongoing pain and distress. The Methadone, in this case, sends a signal to the brain so that the body changes how it responds to the pain. It should not be used for minor discomfort. Do not combine its use with any other medications and refrain from drinking any alcohol while going through treatment. If used to treat an addictive withdrawal condition, the Methadone works to block the receptors within your brain that affects opiate-type substances such as oxycontin. This facilitates the user to experience a gradual detoxification procedure with a milder, painless withdrawal process. Because of how long it remains in the body, only one dose most often is sufficient as a treatment option.
Be aware that breathing can become labored and slow down while taking the Methadone for pain or narcotics withdrawal. It can also impair your thinking and reaction process so driving while taking it is not advisable. Never use more of the medication than prescribed by your physician and it is best to take with food. Be sure to alert your doctor if your breathing becomes weak or you feel any other ill effects of the Methadone. You should not stop taking the drug as prescribed unless advised by your doctor since that can lead to some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
How Does Methadone Affect the Body and Mind?
According to many studies, there are no major side effects from Methadone if used as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to be aware of the possible breathing issues along with nausea, headaches, and lack of libido while being medicated. Other possible side effects include confusion or hallucinations, a racing heartbeat, light-headedness, chest pain, dry mouth, restlessness, diarrhea or constipation, and sleep problems. Your doctor will work to find the correct dosage for you, at which time the side effects should diminish. It is very effective, affordable and safe for the treatment of addiction.
Methadone should not be used without medical supervision since it is an illegal drug that can have devastating consequences. It is a Schedule II drug substance under the regulations of the Controlled Substances Act, which also includes methamphetamines and cocaine. If not used properly, Methadone can lead to harsh psychological and physical dependencies. As with other addictive drugs, withdrawal symptoms of the Methadone can cause tremors, stomach upset with vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.
Methadone Risks and Facts
- With the abuse of Methadone, fatalities, and deaths have increased by 390 percent in recent years
- At least 73 to 79 percent of the deaths related to Methadone poisoning was not intentional
- Between 1999 and 2004, Methadone-related deaths increased by 13 percent, continually raising to more than 29 percent annually
- Methadone is increasingly available through illegal measures
- The number of calls received by the Drug Abuse Warning Network increases by 37 percent each year
It is easy to overlook the ill-effects of the Methadone because of how effectively it relieves chronic pain and discomfort. Most people will continue its use beyond what is recommended to find relief, forgetting that the medication remains in the body for extended periods of time. If you repeat the dosage far too soon while the Methadone is still in your system, it can lead to overdose, the extreme side effects, and death. It is currently on the top of the list of drug overdoses and deaths which can be prevented if taken only as directed by a doctor. Avoid the use of Methadone without medical supervision and stick to the strict guidelines for its usage. It could just possibly save your life.