Methadone is a synthetic opioid often used to treat heroin addiction. It works by blocking receptors in the brain that opiates affect, so it allows heroin users to detox more gradually and with weaker withdrawal symptoms. Methadone also reduces the cravings associated with addiction, because it does not produce the same euphoria associated with heroin. It also treats chronic pain, but it is highly habit forming, so heroin addicts may develop secondary addictions if they take this drug. Using methadone in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed can lead to accidental overdose and/or death.
Methadone Addiction Causes
Methadone is available by injection, tablet or oral solution. A patient’s first dose of this drug is given under supervision through a clinic or special pharmacy. Your doctor may recommend that continued doses be given to you by a family member or caregiver to ensure that you use the medication as directed. Using methadone in any way other than prescribed can quickly lead to tolerance and addiction. If you or a loved one uses this powerful painkiller to treat heroin addiction or chronic pain, then be on the lookout for the following symptoms of addiction:
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
- Needing more of the drug before the next dose is due
- Needing more of the drug to achieve the same level of relief
- Wanting a supply of the drug on hand at all times
- Stealing or engaging in other illegal activities to get the drug
- Engaging in dangerous activities, like driving, while under the influence of methadone
If you or your loved one has any of these symptoms of methadone addiction, then it is time to get help.
Dangers of Methadone Abuse
One of the most dangerous issues surrounding methadone abuse is accidental overdose. Using this drug once could be the one time you take too much, and too much can be fatal. Many deaths a year in the US are attributed to methadone abuse, and these deaths are also associated with abusing the drug in combination with other drugs, like alcohol. Getting professional help as soon as you realize you have a problem can increase your chances of recovery, and it can prevent a life-threatening addiction. Seek help to get and stay clean from drug abuse.
Find Help for Methadone Addiction
Methadone can be an important part of heroin addiction treatment, but using more methadone than prescribed can lead to a secondary addiction and accidental overdose. If you or a loved one struggles with methadone abuse, we can help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about recovery. They can answer your questions about addiction and help you find the treatment you need to get and stay clean.