Addiction and overdose reported cases are profoundly impacted by the amount of drugs, such as methadone, that are illegally diverted into the country each year. Originally, methadone’s intended usage was as a long-lasting synthetic opiate medication, used to treat chronic pain and as a substitute in the treatment of opiate addiction. However, it too has the potential to lead to addiction through repeated use even when used as prescribed by increased dosage and combining it with other prescription drugs. Many cases of methadone addiction stem from patients who are legitimately prescribed the drug to curb cravings for opiates including heroin, OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan.
What’s perked the ears of the medical field and drug experts are the number of methadone overdoses and deaths. It was long considered a drug with an unlikely occurrence for substance abuse yet more and more drug users are getting their hands on methadone with other drugs are difficult to obtain.
Methadone Abuse Indicators
There are many indicators of abuse to look for when methadone is being prescribed. Taking the drug against medical advice or after the prescription for maintenance treatment runs out and taking it in conjunction with other substances to increase the potency are only a couple of notable signs. Abuse and addiction signs can also include a mental preoccupation with obtaining and consuming the drug, like through attempting to purchase the drug through illicit means on the black market. Sometimes users will obtain the drug by diverting it from methadone maintenance centers where it is administered or from prescriptions written for pain relief.
Methadone Abuse Affects
As mentioned above, combining methadone with other substances including alcohol, heroin or cocaine can be deadly and a sign of potential abuse. Emergency rooms across the country have been reporting increases in the number of methadone-related overdoses. Other serious health complications that could arise if methadone is abused include coma, respiratory depression, liver failure, chronic constipation that could lead to a blockage, other bowel problems, heavy perspiration, alternating between wakeful and sleepy states (nodding off) and sedation.
Methadone Abuse Treatment
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to methadone, please call the toll free number. Someone is available 24 hours a day to talk through treatment options with you.