Recreational Methadone Use among 18-25 Year-Olds

Recreational Methadone Use among 18-25 Year-OldsMethadone is an opium-based narcotic pain reliever. Although it is used as an aid during treatment for addiction to stronger opiates, methadone can still be highly addictive, especially to individuals who have not previously been exposed to opiates.

As with many prescription drugs, the rates of methadone abuse have increased over the last decade. A large portion of the methadone-using population is between the ages of 18 and 25.

Statistics on Methadone Abuse among Young Adults

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network Report (DAWN), which is published by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the number of emergency department visits involving nonmedical use of methadone rose 71% between 2004 and 2009. The same report shows that adults aged 18-24 accounted for 12% of all methadone-related emergency department visits involving recreational use, while the 25-year-olds were grouped in the largest percentage (ages 25-34 accounted for 28% of visits.)

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2011 shows that deaths from opioid pain relievers exceeded those caused by all illegal drugs. Among 15-24 year-olds, 3.7% of deaths were caused by opioid pain relievers, while 2.2% of deaths were caused by illegal drugs. Among 25-34 year-olds, opioid pain reliever overdose caused nearly 7.1% of all deaths.

Why Does Methadone Use Affect this Age Group?

18 to 25 year-olds use methadone recreationally for different reasons. Drug use is higher among college student.  Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings show that 54.2% of users who obtained pain relievers for nonmedical purposes obtained them for free from friends or relatives, while 16.6% bought or took pain relievers from friends or relatives. College-age people often use methadone as a party drug in order to relax and socialize. They may inject or inhale it to experience a more powerful high. Drug use is also higher among the unemployed, many of whom fall into this age group.

What Are Some Age-Specific Treatment Options for Methadone Addiction?

Young adult treatment programs may be most suited to the needs of addicts within this age group. Because many people in this age group are still financially dependent on their parents and are still growing and developing, they have needs that older adults may not have. These programs usually last a minimum of 90 days and provide more staff assistance and supervision.

Methadone Addiction Treatment

Methadone addiction is dangerous and can bring about serious consequences, including death caused by respiratory depression. Recovering from methadone addiction will be a challenge, but it is possible and will change your life for the better. If you are addicted to methadone, call our toll-free helpline to speak with a trained counselor about your treatments options. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Please call today.