Methadone is a synthetic opiate typically administered to individuals being treated for addiction to drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin and Heroin.
It is given to the patient under careful monitoring in an effort to move them away from their drug of choice onto one that the treatment facility can better manage and control. It is given to the patient orally for treatment of addiction.
There is some controversy over this type of treatment for drug addiction. Many believe that perhaps the users are just exchanging drug addictions.
There is a possibility of physical addiction to methadone because the drug acts with the brain in causing feelings of well-being. Once the withdrawal process is over, a person may feel they want to continue to use the methadone and in fact cannot get through a day without the use of it. Users may be caught using more of the medication than prescribed, using the drug while still abusing other drugs even lying to the care giver to get them to prescribe more of the drug or higher dosages. Long term use of methadone could cause:
- Abdominal Pain
- Skin Rashes
- Tooth Decay
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Lowered Sex Drive
How is Methadone Abused?
Methadone is frequently used to help individuals deal with the terrible discomfort associated with withdrawals during drug addiction detoxification.
Although methadone acts similarly to other drugs such as heroin and is used to help ease the pain and symptoms when a person is seeking help for drug addiction.
The problem comes in when the person is using methadone for a long period of time and then cannot do without it. Essentially the methadone takes over where the previous addiction left off.
This does not happen in all cases, but there are instances where individuals essentially are trading one addiction for another.
Methadone can also be abused on the streets by individuals who have been prescribed the drug for pain relief following an injury or surgical procedure. When used on patients with chronic pain the patient may have trouble telling where the actual pain from the injury stops and the pain from withdrawals and the body's addiction to the methadone begins. For those individuals becoming addicted to methadone happens rapidly and with little warning.
They find themselves gradually not being able to physically get through a day without the drug in their system. When the individual uses the drug for a long period of time they may become tolerant of it and not feel the same sense of pain relief that they once did. This causes them to need more of the drug to reach that point again starting a pattern of asking for higher dosages from their physician.