Methadone is a opioid that is used to treat severe pain and as a treatment for opioid addiction. It is still to this day the number one medicine prescribed for individuals attempting to kick their heroin addiction. The problem is that the drug can cause addiction. Thus, individuals are trading their heroin addiction for methadone. Methadone is used in a decreasing strategy for people addicted to heroin, it is used because it does not cause the “high” associated with drug addiction. Certified pharmacies are the only ones that can provide a recovery heroin addict with the drug. As part of a detoxification and maintenance program it helps heroin addicts beat their addictions. It is dangerous because of how addictive it is and because misuse and overdose can be fatal. Methadone is used for heroin detox and maintenance programs because it reduces the effects of withdrawal.

Methadone Treatment

Methadone is prescribed to individuals for two purposes: severe chronic pain and opioid addiction treatment. It is more commonly known for its purpose in treating individuals who suffer from an opioid addiction. Methadone treatment should be used in a weaning/Detox practice of rehabilitation. Many opioid addicts are unable to quit their addiction with out the aide of drugs like methadone. Methadone has helped thousands of individuals quit opioids, but it should be used as a maintenance program (if possible). Substituting one drug for another is progress, but not the ultimate goal. Opioid addicts, who are ready to overcome addiction, enter a program where they are given specific doses of Methadone as a substitute for opioids. Methadone is still considered a narcotic, but it does not produce the same intense high as heroin or other opioids. It also reduces the opioid withdrawal effects, which makes the drug a popular choice for treatment.

Drug Abuse Detection

Different drugs cause different signs and symptoms of abuse. An individual that drinks too much alcohol will have slurred speech, poor motor skills, or vomiting and unconsciousness. Addicts that abuse cocaine or methamphetamine have elevated body temperatures that can cause perfuse sweating. They also have increased socialization, fast speech, and intense energy. This is followed by a drastic crash and lack of energy. Heroin addicts that are high on the drug are often sitting, drifting in and out of consciousness; which is called nodding out. Methadone is a drug that was used for chronic pain, but is more recently known for a heroin drug treatment and maintenance program. The drug is given, once a day, to an individual trying to overcome heroin addiction. It has been argued as a poor system of rehabilitation because it is regarded as substituting one drug for another. It can also be abused. The drug can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, and drowsiness. The drug has potential for fatality when it is abused and mixed with other drugs.

Signs and Symptoms of Methadone Abuse

The best way to detect a methadone abuse issue is to look for the side effects of the drug. Many of these side effects are similar to other opioid drugs; therefore effects could be another opioid. Opiates cause drowsiness, weakness, nausea, vomiting and constipation. Methadone abusers have difficulty sleeping, thus they will have obscure sleeping patterns. These individuals will also suffer from headaches, dry mouth, itchiness and a lack of appetite. Methadone addicts may sweat, be flushed and gain weight. Behavior can become erratic.

Tolerance

Detecting methadone abuse is similar to the abuse of other drugs. Tolerance is the process when the body becomes tolerant of the chemicals in the drug. When the body gets used to the chemical they no longer get a feeling of dizziness or haziness. As an individual continues to use a substance they build a tolerance that requires them to increase the dosage of the substance to achieve the desired effects. Loved ones who take methadone more often could have developed a tolerance to it.

Withdrawal

Methadone is a synthetic opioid, which means it works similar to heroin. Some one who abuses methadone will suffer from withdrawal. The onset of methadone withdrawal is normally a few days after the last use and can last considerably longer than heroin withdrawal. Many recovering addicts have stated that methadone withdrawal is far worse than heroin. Methadone abusers that are unable to obtain more of the drug will experience: sore muscles, cramping, diarrhea, chills, nausea and vomiting, insomnia and restlessness, and fatigue.

Lack of Control

When an individual goes from using methadone as a rehabilitation resource to addiction it is more of a compulsion. They may see and understand that they have a problem, but the drugs force them to continue. The addict may tell themselves that it is not an issue, or just their maintenance program, but it is driving their actions. Loss of control is a clear sign of methadone addiction.

Priority

When using drugs becomes the number one priority it is an addiction. When the individual stops taking care of their responsibilities they are addicts. They will spend an incredible amount of time getting and using the drugs. Addicts put their drug use ahead of everything else. Addiction occurs when a loved one stops participating in activities or hobbies that once interested them, so they can consume methadone.

Methadone Addiction

Methadone is used for opioid addiction because it does not produce the ‘high’ like heroin and it reduces withdrawal symptoms. It has been reported to cause a high, especially when it is first used or if dosages are increased. Individuals who abuse methadone are using it to get that sensation. It is incredibly dangerous because of its high risk of overdose. There have been thousands of accidental overdoses from methadone use. Methadone should only be taken under the supervision of a physician that is licensed to prescribe the medication. Methadone patients should not use the drug in higher doses than prescribed or take the medication more frequently than it is intended. Anyone who misses a dose should skip the scheduled dose and return to the normal consumption schedule. Consuming too much or in higher frequencies can result in the high or possibly overdose.

Getting Help

Anyone who is considering abusing methadone or is abusing the drug should seek professional help. Methadone can be habit forming. Methadone is constructed to be used in treatment of an opioid addiction, not to be abused. There are thousands of treatment options for those seeking help. If it is possible individuals with opioid addictions should attempt a treatment that does not used medication to assist the patient. The best treatment involves a combination of therapy, focus on physical health, and aftercare strategies. Addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of individuals. It can cause pain, destruction, and heart break, but it is not impossible to overcome. Addicts can beat their addiction with proper treatment and determination.