Prescription painkiller addiction is talked about a lot today because there are so many people abusing pain pills due to legitimate pain or for recreationally getting high.
Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Oxymorphone are the generic prescription pain killers that are commonly abused today but you would be surprised to know that another prescribed pain medication is just as frequently abused. Methadone has been in the United States since 1947 and was produced because there was a shortage of morphine during World War II.
Even though Methadone was produced to treat pain over 60 years ago, the drug has been used for many years now to treat heroin and narcotic drug addiction because methadone helps to relieve opiate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is still prescribed today sometimes to treat chronic pain because the generic drug provides long lasting relief according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC).
Unfortunately the nonmedical use of methadone and other narcotic painkillers has also steadily increased in the past few years and because of this, more and more people are dying from prescription pain pill overdose. According to the CDC, in the year 2009 there were over 15,500 prescription pain killer overdose deaths and over 30 percent of them involved methadone. It doesn't matter if a person is taking a larger dose of methadone or other narcotic painkillers for legitimate reasons or not, they risk an overdose which could result in death and this should be taken very seriously.
Risks Associated With Methadone Use and Abuse
Because Methadone is widely abused today people need to understand there are serious risks involved if they're taking the drug for pain relief or for the treatment of heroin or narcotic painkiller addiction.
You don't have to take a much larger dose of methadone than prescribed for the drug to be dangerous, a small increase can affect your breathing by slowing it down. The CDC explains that methadone "builds up in a person's body" and slows down breathing if taken more than"3 times a day" when used for pain. Many people who use methadone for nonmedical reason think it's a safer drug to misuse because it's often prescribed for the treatment of pain or opiate addiction and abuse dangerous levels of the medication. Methadone can also affect the rhythm of a person's heart which can even be life threatening.
People also need to realize that mixing methadone with other prescribed pain medications or tranquilizers is extremely dangerous.
If you're taking methadone for the legitimate treatment of pain by your physician never take more than your prescribed dose or combine the painkiller with other pain medications or tranquilizers. The same holds true for anyone taking methadone for heroin addiction or prescription painkiller dependency. Methadone can be illegally purchased on the streets today and unfortunately when it gets into the wrong hands and is abused for nonmedical reasons can result in a fatal overdose. CBCNEWS talks about a young woman that lost her life due to a methadone overdose not so long ago and I can't imagine the emotional pain her parents and loved ones are going through now. Don't let this happen to you or someone you love.