Methadone abuse typically occurs in the wake of breaking an addiction to another, more powerful narcotic. It is a synthetic opiate with addictive properties if not appropriately administered. It has the same characteristics as other drugs in this class and is used to replace other medications such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet as well as heroin. A person who becomes addicted to methadone may feel that they can’t function throughout the day without it. When this occurs, more than likely an abuse issue has occurred. Methadone users typically experience similar effects to other opiates but probably not to the same extent. It works on the pleasure centers in the brain and creates a feeling of well-being like heroin or morphine. A heroin addict may continue using methadone to avoid going through withdrawal symptoms much in the same way they originally continued to abuse heroin.
Signs of Methadone Abuse
Methadone abuse may take a number of forms. Here are some signs that a user has developed an addiction:
- Lying to the doctor about symptoms to get a higher dose of the drug
- Combining methadone with alcohol or other substances
- Taking more of the drug than the label indicates
- Using methadone while continuing to use heroin
- Obtaining the drug illegally through street sales
If a person begins to use methadone in order to get high they are likely to be on the path toward addiction. Addiction symptoms include:
- Obsession with the drug
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Increasing tolerance
Tolerance to the methadone ‘high’ may develop in about two weeks. Then a user must increase their dose in order to keep achieving a high. This begins the cycle of substance addiction: progressively increasing doses in order to keep up with progressively increasing tolerance.
Effects of Methadone Use
Methadone addicts experience these kinds of symptoms when they take the drug:
The person’s body temperature, heart rate and respiration drop. Blood pressure is lowered, as well. His or her ability to operate a motor vehicle or heavy equipment may be impaired as a result also.
Methadone Abuse Help
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to methadone, help is available. Please call the toll free number 888-838-8386 to talk with someone about treatment options. Help is available.