Confronting a Methadone Addict

Confronting a Methadone addictIt is completely normal for people to want those they love to live full and happy lives. When someone they love has succumbed to an addiction, it is heartbreaking. There are good, productive ways to approach a methadone addict about getting help and finding freedom. There are also negative ways to make this approach. It can be especially challenging when the addiction your loved one is facing is to the replacement drug methadone.

What Is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid developed in Germany in the 1930s as a way to help soldiers addicted to morphine to get clean. It has been used in this same way for decades here in the U.S. People addicted to opiates like heroin, morphine or OxyContin need a near constant supply of opiates in order to function at all. Carefully administered in specialized clinics, methadone satisfies the brain’s physical need for opiates without allowing the user to become “high.” The drug normalizes their brain chemistry so they can focus their energy on rehabilitation of their psychological addiction without the pain and discomfort of full blown narcotic withdrawal. These programs are designed to wean the addict off of heroin or other opiates, but in many cases the person trades their heroin addiction for a new methadone addiction.

Approaching a Methadone Addict

It is crucial that before confronting anyone about their addiction problem, people fully research the true nature of the drug they are concerned about. Addiction in general is a complicated subject, but methadone addiction is especially complex. Don’t try to walk this road alone.

Brace yourself for a less-than-appreciative response at first. If you are acting out of a desire to see your loved one get free of chronic drug use, it can be discouraging to be rejected by your friend or family member. Know why you’re doing this and steel yourself for a defensive and potentially hostile response.

Many loved ones unknowingly enable addicts to maintain their addiction. Handing out money, allowing extended rent-free residence, covering for the people at work or school or consciously ignoring behaviors that they suspect indicate addiction all contribute to their loved one’s methadone addiction. There are special groups like Narc Anon and Al Anon to help families learn about enabling and living with an addicted loved one.

Know Methadone Addiction Recovery Options

Methadone users are often not able to think clearly or make sound decisions about their life. Sometimes it is up to their friends and family members to do their thinking for them. Learn about treatment and have recovery options available to offer your loved one.

Learn More about Approaching a Methadone Addict

If your friend, family member or coworker is struggling with methadone addiction, our toll-free helpline is available for you 24 hours a day. Let our counselors answer any questions you may have about addiction, intervention and recovery. Let us help you today.