Known as a highly effective and powerful drug, Methadone is a narcotic that fits the same category as heroin. This particular category is termed as opioids. Because Methadone is extremely safe, this is a drug that has been subject to a rigorous pattern of medication which is considered to be very safe for use because it is most effective to treat addiction.
For over three decades, Methadone has served well to address the growing problem of opioid related addiction. However, methadone addiction itself has grown into a problem today but first, our focus of discussion will briefly cover how methadone works to treat opioid addiction.
Methadone Treatment Resources
- Alabama Methadone Treatment
- Alaska Methadone Treatment
- Arizona Methadone Treatment
- California Methadone Treatment
- Connecticut Methadone Treatment
- Delaware Methadone Treatment
- Georgia Methadone Treatment
- Idaho Methadone Treatment
- Indiana Methadone Treatment
- Kansas Methadone Treatment
- Louisiana Methadone Treatment
- Maryland Methadone Treatment
- Michigan Methadone Treatment
- Mississippi Methadone Treatment
- Nevada Methadone Treatment
- New Jersey Methadone Treatment
- New York Methadone Treatment
- North Dakota Methadone Treatment
- Oklahoma Methadone Treatment
- Pennsylvania Methadone Treatment
- South Carolina Methadone Treatment
- Tennessee Methadone Treatment
- Utah Methadone Treatment
- Virginia Methadone Treatment
- West Virginia Methadone Treatment
- Wyoming Methadone Treatment
- Arkansas Methadone Treatment
- Colorado Methadone Treatment
- District Of Columbia Methadone Treatment
- Florida Methadone Treatment
- Hawaii Methadone Treatment
- Illinois Methadone Treatment
- Iowa Methadone Treatment
- Kentucky Methadone Treatment
- Maine Methadone Treatment
- Massachusetts Methadone Treatment
- Minnesota Methadone Treatment
- Missouri Methadone Treatment
- Montana Methadone Treatment
- Nebraska Methadone Treatment
- New Hampshire Methadone Treatment
- New Mexico Methadone Treatment
- North Carolina Methadone Treatment
- Ohio Methadone Treatment
- Oregon Methadone Treatment
- Rhode Island Methadone Treatment
- South Dakota Methadone Treatment
- Texas Methadone Treatment
- Vermont Methadone Treatment
- Washington Methadone Treatment
- Wisconsin Methadone Treatment
How Methadone Works
When methadone is used, it is believed to prevent morphine or narcotics like heroin from getting to interact on receptors for painkillers that are basically natural and termed as endorphins. By ensuring that the effects caused by drugs that have an addictive nature are blocked, methadone reduces the physical craving that is normally triggered. It is pertinent to note that the use of methadone itself is capable of creating its own effects such as a drowsy kind of feeling or a feeling of light euphoria that may last up to a day or two but none of this is likely to cause any kind of depression that a majority of the opiates are known to do. The use of methadone on a continuous basis may even restore the normal body capabilities comprising immune, adrenal and sexual functions.
Having established its credentials as a highly effective therapeutic medicine that can definitely serve to rehabilitate addicts of narcotic drugs, this drug is widely used across U.S., Sweden, Thailand and even Hong Kong. Due to it being extremely useful to help an addict pierce the veil of destructive life threatening habits, a majority of the drug maintenance programs make use of methadone in its oral form.
Dosage of Methadone
If the dosage is meant to treat a typical grown up or an adult, the dosage would usually be in oral form comprising 5-20 mg. If it is prescribed as a tablet rather than an oral kind of solution, this would comprise 2.5-10 mg but if methadone is used as a means for effective detox, an initial dose comprising 15-100 mg in the form of oral kind of solution would be administered each day and gradually reduced till it is clear that the medication is not required any longer for the patient.
When injection of methadone is used, it is only in the rarest of the rare detoxification cases where the patient is completely incapable of taking the medication of methadone orally. Sometimes, it is possible to administer methadone as a kind of infusion into the patient’s vein with the supervision of a doctor or a well-known health care professional whose expertise on the use and effects of the medicine is well established to ensure that special consideration and care is given.
Caution Pointers While Using Methadone
- When you follow the instructions that are laid out by the health care professional, remember not to suddenly stop using methadone because your body might suffer the shock badly. It is important to keep reminding yourself that your body has become accustomed to methadone use so a gradual transition would be better than a sudden stop.
- When you use methadone, it is natural to feel drowsy so it would be best not to drive or engage in any kind of activity that mandates alertness of the mind. You have to be careful when you use methadone so avoid standing or sitting up too fast because you may feel of dizzy or even faint.
- Whether you drink or not, it is best to avoid any alcohol drinks when you use methadone because that would worsen the drowsiness, confused feelings and breathing as well. So the bottom line is to just say no to alcohol when you are using methadone.
- It is best to steer clear from other drugs or medicines as these may be likely to tire you or even increase the feelings of drowsiness, and so on.
- An effect that is naturally a result of using methadone is the problem of constipation, which is extremely uncomfortable and unhealthy for the body. To counter the problem of constipation, it is best to opt for a laxative or a stool softener so that bowel movements become easier to handle. If bowel movements still do not take place for more than three days, it is best to revert to your doctor for help.
Methadone Side Effects
Every drug brings with it a small, unwanted gift of side effects that cannot be wished away. This is the same with the use of methadone as well but here are some side effects that you should not hesitate to inform your doctor about:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Skin turning cold or clammy
- Feeling of confusion or faintness
- Feeling restless or nervous
- Difficulty in passing urine
The following are side effects that don’t need to be immediately addressed to the doctor unless it becomes painful or too troublesome to deal with:
- Blurred vision
- Clumsiness in movements
- Problem of constipation
- Feeling of dizziness or fainting spell
- Extremely dry mouth
- Flushing and headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
It was during the latter half of the 1990s that the problem of methadone addiction emerged as a serious issue. There were cases of methadone overdoses as well that made a dramatic impact in awareness of methadone addiction and abuse. It indicated a trend among drug addicts to switch their loyalties to methadone in the absence of other drugs that were normally used. As a result, the FDA gave their green signal of approval to use a substitute for methadone in treating drug addicts. The name of the substitute is Buprenorphine, which is a drug belonging to the narcotic category and is effective in curbing emergence of withdrawal symptoms in addicts who are dependent on the drug. Another drug known as Levomethadyl acetate is also used in place of methadone.
With these facts on methadone addiction, the hope of the future lies drastically in reducing the growing figures in drug dependent addicts.
American Methadone Treatment Association, News Report, pp.1–14, August, 1998.
American Methadone Treatment Association, 1998 Methadone Maintenance Program and Patient Census in the U.S., New York, NY, April 1999.
Boundy, Donna, "Profile: Methadone Maintenance: The 'Invisible' Success Story," Moyers on Addiction, New York, NY: Public Broadcasting Service, 1998.
Firshein, Janet, "The Politics of Methadone," Moyers on Addiction, New York, NY: Public Broadcasting Service, 1998.
Broekhuysen, Erin Steiner, ONDCP Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.
Mathias, Robert, "NIH Panel Calls for Expanded Methadone Treatment for Heroin Addiction," NIDA NOTES, 12(6), Washington, DC: National Institute on Drug Abuse, November/December 1997. http://www.nida.nih.gov/NIDA_Notes/NNVol12N6/NIHPanel.html
Recer, Paul, "Experts Call for Less Regulation of Heroin Addiction Treatment," Athens Daily News, p. 10a, August 21, 1998.