Methadone Addiction Advice

Methadone is a synthetic opiate commonly prescribed by doctors to help a person overcome addiction to more powerful opiates like heroin or morphine. Used in a process sometimes referred to as “maintenance detox,” an opiate addict is given strictly regulated and gradually decreasing doses of methadone over time. If used correctly, methadone effectively blocks opiate receptors in the brain so that the drug does not produce a high.

The ultimate goal in prescribing methadone is to eventually reduce the dosage to nothing, resulting in an addict being completely drug free. However, since methadone has opiate-like qualities, the potential for abuse and dependency do exist. If taken in doses larger than that prescribed by a doctor, tolerance to methadone can develop within just two weeks. Tolerance leads to physical dependency, requiring a person to take increasingly higher doses of methadone in order to achieve the desired effects. A person developing a physical dependency might show the following signs of methadone abuse:

  • Using more than the prescribed dose
  • Obtaining methadone illegally or from multiple doctors
  • Taking methadone in combination with other drugs or alcohol

Addiction to methadone requires that a person take methadone in order to function normally. The fear and avoidance of withdrawal symptoms are what motivate an addict to continue abusing methadone. Long-term use of methadone has been proven to have many negative effects on physical and mental health. Long-term abusers of methadone can experience any of the following side effects:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Constipation
  • Tooth decay
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Itching
  • Sore muscles and joints

Treating Methadone Addiction

The safest and most effective method of treating methadone addiction is entering a residential rehab facility. During inpatient treatment, a person first must go through detox in order to rid the body of methadone. During detox, a medical professional can treat uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms individually. Due to the fact that methadone is a long-lasting drug, withdrawal symptoms can last for an extended period of time. When a person ceases to take methadone, it can take anywhere from four to six weeks before methadone is no longer present in the body. Methadone withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Tremors
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

After detox, further rehab should include addressing the psychological dependency associated with methadone addiction. Addiction counseling and behavioral modification therapy can help a recovering addict learn to deal with stresses and environments that may have triggered drug abuse in the past. In addition, any depression or anxiety associated with methadone withdrawal should be addressed with psychiatric treatment. If left untreated, conditions like depression and anxiety can lead a person to relapse.

Find Treatment Centers for Methadone Abuse Today

If you are struggling with methadone addiction, don’t wait another minute to get help. We are available 24 hours a day to assist you in taking the necessary steps toward full recovery. All you have to do is pick up the phone and dial our toll-free number. Don’t lose another minute of your life to addiction. Get the help you need by calling us today.