How Methadone Addiction Affects the Brain

How Methadone Addiction Affects the BrainMethadone addiction begins when your brain adapts to the presence of chemicals related to the drug. Anyone who takes methadone long enough or at a high enough dosage will eventually experience tolerance. Tolerance means that more of the drug will be required to maintain the original desired effects. Tolerance is related to dependence, and dependence can be identified when withdrawal symptoms occur if a dose is missed.

Nerve Cells and Neurotransmitters Are Affected by Methadone

Methadone use causes a change in neurotransmitters. Every nerve cell in your body communicates through neurotransmitters that are sent and received between individual nerve cells. Neurotransmitters are either reabsorbed or broken down by enzymes for use elsewhere, once the message is sent. Neurotransmitters are being sent throughout your entire body at all times. Your brain is almost entirely made of nerve cells which communicate using neurotransmitters. Parts of your brain control functions like emotions, motor control, thought processing and language. When the neurotransmitters fail to work, serious problems will arise.

When someone becomes addicted to methadone, nerve cells specifically devoted to producing and regulating pleasure work overtime. This impacts the body’s reward system which encourages you to repeat actions. Methadone causes nerve cells to produce more pleasure-neurotransmitters than normal, producing a euphoric high. The longer you take methadone, the longer it takes for your neurotransmitter levels to get back to normal. Withdrawal symptoms are a product of your brain and body trying to readjust. Long-term methadone use means that neurotransmitters are destroyed, lost or overproduced. Your mood or behavior is most affected, because you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. There are therapies designed to target the chemical addiction, and many psychological effects of methadone can be reversed.

Let Us Help End Methadone Abuse and Addiction

Don’t wait until the affects of methadone are irreversible. Call our toll-free helpline for more information on how you can overcome addiction. Feel free to call any time of day or night, and talk with a counselor about treatment options. When you call, be sure to ask about how your insurance may be able to cover the costs of rehab. You can end the effects of methadone on the brain. We can help; please call.