Methadone a Substitute Narcotic In The Treatment of Heroin Addiction
Methadone is a legal man-made narcotic that's been available in the United States since 1947. Legally this narcotic is used to treat drug addiction and also used to treat extreme and severe pain for those individuals suffering from cancer and terminal illnesses. Extensively tested, methadone is a safe and effective narcotic when treating drug dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone comes in tablet form, as an oral solution, or an injectable liquid. Some methadone pills are meant to be taken orally and swallowed whole and there are other forms of methadone that are meant to be dissolved in liquid first. Even though methadone is successful in treating withdrawal and dependence symptoms, it is a controlled substance and there is always the risk of abuse. When methadone is prescribed by a physician and taken as directed it is medically safe.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Depending upon the severity of addiction, methadone treatment is prescribed to the individual to help reduce their drug cravings without severe side effects. Many times methadone maintenance treatment is required for an extended period of time for the person. Extensive and comprehensive rehabilitation treatment is also required for the individual as well as drug therapy and counseling.
Methadone and Drug Treatment
Methadone is prescribed for the treatment of drug addiction and is given to the addict to help suppress their withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person but are not the easiest thing to go through. Many times these symptoms are extremely severe and Methadone helps to decrease them in the individual for around 24 to 36 hours.
When methadone is prescribed for those suffering from heroin addiction, the individual doesn't experience the severe need or craving for the drug. Heroin addicts also crave the intense euphoric high when abusing the drug and methadone also helps the heroin addict from craving this intense high or rush. If an individual is suffering from drug addiction and is prescribed methadone for the treatment of their addiction, drug treatment and therapy are part of it. Treatment and counseling are just as vital and important as the methadone maintenance treatment. If the individual continues taking methadone and doesn't continue some type of rehabilitation, counseling or therapy, they risk the chance of abusing methadone and forming another drug addiction.
Sadly, methadone like other drugs can be abused and many people have formed severe methadone addictions to this narcotic. Methadone is widely available on the streets and is very easy to find. Individuals that abuse methadone become tolerant to the narcotic and become dependent. Tolerance is built when an individual abuses a drug or substance over a period of time and their body needs more and more as time goes on to get the same effects they once had.
There are street terms for methadone, individuals that abuse this narcotic also refer to it as:
- Street Methadone
When Methadone or Heroin is combined with Ecstasy it is referred to on the street as Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Not everyone that is prescribed methadone for the maintenance treatment of drug addiction becomes dependent on the narcotic. Many drug addicts have been prescribed methadone and continued their drug rehabilitation treatment and successfully recovered from their drug addiction. It's extremely hard work and the individual needs to be serious and dedicated to get better and beat their addiction. A good support system from family and friends really helps the individual not only with motivation, but to stay focused on their recovery.
Young people and adults have formed addictions to methadone by experimenting with drugs they illegally have purchased on the streets or obtained through friends. Tolerance to these extremely addictive drugs builds fast with repeated use and is very serious unless the individual gets professional experienced help. There is always the risk of a methadone overdose which is not always treatable, many have died.
Click on the photo below and watch this video that talks about the dangers of Methadone abuse and also watch as these mothers talk about the children they will never be able to hug again because their children died from a Methadone Overdose.
Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms
When a person becomes physically dependent on methadone and stops using the drug cold-turkey, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
- Muscle tremors
- Abdominal cramps
Because methadone doesn't create the euphoric high that most drug addicts are looking for, they tend to take large quantities of the narcotic and many times mix methadone with other drugs. This is extremely dangerous and has landed many methadone users in the hospital. The symptoms of a methadone overdose include:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Heart rate decreases
- Severe respiratory depression (Breathing becomes slow and shallow and is extremely dangerous)