Preventing a Methadone Addiction from Getting Worse

Preventing a Methadone Addiction from Getting WorseMethadone is an opiate painkiller that can also aid opiate addiction recovery. Among opiates, methadone stands out for the following qualities:

  • A half-life that lasts 36 hours on average
  • Relief requires less frequent doses
  • Severely muted or non-existent euphoria
  • Lower user cost compared to most other painkillers

Medical professionals use methadone to help opiate addicts get clean. This is because addicts are less likely to relapse with controlled use, because these replacement therapies manage chronic pain and mitigate withdrawal symptoms. Nevertheless, methadone is still an opiate, so repeated use can cause addiction.

Methadone Addiction Signs

People must go to extreme lengths to get high on methadone, such as crushing and snorting the pills. For this reason, most people do not abuse methadone recreationally, but addictions still stem from pain management and opiate replacement therapies. To recognize addiction, look out for any of the following signs:

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Obsession with procuring more drugs
  • Constipation, water retention and itchiness
  • Insomnia, headaches and mood swings
  • Irregular menstruation

Symptoms of overdose include shallow breathing, disorientation and a sharp respiratory decline, so call 911 immediately if you recognize these problems.

Methadone Abuse Dangers

In 2012, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that methadone accounts for a third of opiate-associated deaths, despite making up only 2% of the pain relief prescriptions. There are several reasons for the increased danger of methadone abuse, including the following reasons:

  • The longer half-life makes it easier for users to consume too much methadone unintentionally
  • The drug can stay in the system for up to 60 hours, which adds to the dosage concerns
  • The euphoric effects drive addicts to take additional doses to chase a high
  • Recovering addicts who develop an addiction are more likely to relapse on other opiates

Because of these risks, medical facilities administer the drug in-house, but users lack this supervision when they acquire their own supply. When addiction develops, the withdrawal systems can be so intense that users will struggle to get clean. If you or a loved one is suffering from opiate addiction, the safest and most effective way to get clean is to seek professional help.

Opiate Addiction Treatment

Many methadone addicts greatly fear the withdrawal symptoms they will experience during detox, but professional rehab can minimize this discomfort. In some cases, this involves a tapered detox that weans the drug from a user’s system. Rehab also empowers the patient with the following treatment options:

  • Mental health screenings and integrated therapies for concurrent mood disorders
  • Individual counseling to address the situations that trigger opiate abuse
  • Behavioral therapies to improve the patient’s mental and emotional outlook
  • Psychodynamic counseling to treat underlying causes for drug use
  • Holistic treatments to address any ongoing pain issues

Group support also plays an important role in both rehab and aftercare treatment.

Methadone Abuse Help

Do you or a loved one struggle with methadone addiction? Our counselors can help identify the warning signs, stage an intervention and provide information on treatment options. We can also check health insurance policies for coverage. We are available 24 hours a day on our toll-free helpline, so please call now for instant support.