Methadone Addiction in the Workplace

Methadone addiction in the workplaceWhen it comes to methadone addiction in the workplace, many complications arise. Methadone is a synthetic opioid used by doctors to treat people addicted to opiates like heroin and morphine. Methadone functions in the brain much the same as the other opiates, blocking certain receptors in the brain from feeling pain or anxiety and satisfying the brain’s cravings without the intoxicating effects other opiates present. It has been used successfully in this way for over seventy years. It is long acting and inexpensive, but it also often leaves the patient addicted to it, instead of heroin. Methadone is only legally administered in specialized addiction clinics in either an outpatient or residential setting.

Some methadone addiction symptoms include the following:

  • Nausea and flu-like symptoms
  • Constipation
  • Agitation
  • Heat intolerance
  • Sweating
  • Hallucination
  • Flushing
  • Mood changes
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin rashes
  • Weight gain
  • Headache

Recent legal challenges have resulted in a general acceptance that workers registered with a licensed methadone clinic have a recognized disability. Because methadone does not intoxicate the way heroin does, people can be on these programs for years, always able to meet their work responsibilities. Other addicts, however, are not registered with any programs and are using methadone to heighten the effects of other drugs or alcohol. These combinations are extremely dangerous and have led to an increase in methadone-related deaths in recent years.

Methadone Addiction Recovery

Whether part of a program or using the drug illegally, methadone addicts eventually need to get clean of the drug and they will need help to do it. Withdrawal is similar to that of heroin withdrawal. The presence of opiates replaces naturally occurring chemicals in the brain that manage pain, mood and anxiety. When the methadone leaves the addict’s system they will experience a range of severe side effects. Some of these include the following:

  • Delirium
  • Fever, sweats and chills
  • Itching and crawling skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Cravings
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Panic, paranoia, anxiety

Specially equipped addiction recovery facilities can alleviate many of the most difficult symptoms through carefully administered medications and close supervision. This detox process can take from a couple of days to several weeks. In addition to this physical detox, however, the patient must also undergo significant rehab for their psychological or emotional addiction to the drug. The most successful programs offer group and individual counseling, 12-step programs, healthy diversions and education about their addiction that empowers them to understand the process they are undergoing. During rehab these patients learn how to live beyond addiction. They regain the dreams, hope and personality that they sacrificed to addiction.

Need Help Finding Treatment Centers for Methadone Addiction?

If you are a methadone addict and you are ready to get free from it we are ready to help. If you are a concerned employer or co-worker we are also here for you. Our toll-free help line is available 24 hours a day and our caring counselors are available to answer any questions you may have about addiction recovery. We can help you find the treatment that is best for you. Make the call today and let us help you take the first steps toward freedom from methadone.