3 Causes of Methadone Addiction

3 causes of Methadone addictionWhen opiates are introduced to the brain, they block pain signals, rewiring the brain and creating an intense euphoric high upon first use. The presence of opiates causes the brain to cease production of its own natural “feel good” chemicals, meaning that if the user does not continuing taking an opiate, he or she will experience intense withdrawal symptoms.

There are many misunderstandings about methadone treatment, methadone addiction and withdrawal. Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug that is designed to satisfy an opiate addict’s physical need for opiates without producing the intoxicating effects brought on by drugs like heroin, morphine, Demerol or Vicodin. It is used to help opiate addicts get clean from those more harmful drugs. Most methadone programs are designed to wean patients off of the drug eventually, but some people end up trapped in methadone addiction for years.

Methadone Addiction through Methadone Clinics

The most common path to methadone addiction is through methadone clinics designed to help people recover from opiate addiction. These programs are not designed to last a lifetime, but some people stay in them for much too long. Methadone may allow them to avoid using drugs such as heroin and morphine, but eventually users will want to be free of methadone as well.

Methadone Addiction through Methadone and Other Opiate Use

Some users encounter methadone through clinics and decide to use it to get clean from heroin only to relapse into other opiate abuse. The combination of methadone and heroin can be deadly. Heroin addicts either live life hopelessly rambling from fix to fix or as functional addicts who spend countless hours and dollars serving their addiction in secret. Either way, users are enslaved to their need for opiates. This dependence may lead them to methadone clinics for financial reasons, as heroin can become too expensive, while insurance may cover methadone treatment.

Methadone Addiction through Recreational Use

Others seek out methadone to intensify the effects of other drugs. This is especially dangerous, as it can easily lead to overdose or death. Still others choose methadone as an experimental drug, not understanding its addiction potential. Some might believe that methadone is safe. While it is true that people can function normally on methadone, it is not safe for someone who strives to live an independent, healthy and drug-free life.

Getting Clean from Methadone

Methadone use may lead to unpleasant side effects such as the following:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Problems regulating body temperature
  • Pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Sexual dysfunction

When a person decides that it is time for them to get off of methadone, they will need help. The withdrawal symptoms are intense and if attempted too suddenly can be fatal. The preferred method of getting clean is to step down gradually in a medically supervised clinic so as to avoid the worst symptoms. After overcoming physical addiction, in-depth rehab will help end the psychological aspects of addiction. Rehab may involve the following:

  • Group counseling
  • Individual counseling
  • Spiritual care
  • 12-step programs
  • Education
  • Introduction of healthy eating habits
  • Introduction of healthy hobbies and diversions

These elements of recovery help create a new, healthy and drug-free lifestyle.

Need Help Finding Recovery From Methadone Addiction?

Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day for caring, confidential advice on methadone recovery programs. We’re ready to help you take the first steps to freedom, and we know how to do it. Let us help you.