The Progression of Methadone Addiction

The progression of Methadone addictionMethadone is a synthetic opioid. It is typically used as an analgesic (pain reliever) and/or an anti-addictive for patients recovering from opiate addictions. While methadone can be successful at managing the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, it is also addictive. Such treatment strategies – using other opioids to treat withdrawal symptoms – are controversial for this reason. Often, patients who are treated with methadone end up requiring a second detox and experiencing withdrawals anyway.

From 1999 to 2004, methadone linked deaths more than quadrupled in the United States. According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, medical examiners listed methadone as a contributing factor in 3,849 deaths in 2004.

Methadone Tolerance

Tolerance refers to the body becoming so accustomed to a drug that it no longer feels the effects of said drug as much or even at all. Tolerance and dependence develop when methadone is taken repeatedly. Typically, tolerance to the feeling of euphoria associated with the drug develops quickly, while tolerance to other effects of methadone – constipation, sedation and respiratory depression – develops more slowly.

Methadone Dependence

Dependence is the state the body arrives at once tolerance has developed. After repeated methadone use, the body requires higher doses in order to achieve the same effect. As a result, the body is less able to cope on its own, creating a physical and psychological feeling of dependence on the drug.

Side Effects of Methadone Use

The adverse effects of Methadone can be many. They can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Constipation
  • Hallucination
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Impotence
  • Agitation
  • Stomach pains
  • Seizures

Methadone Detoxification and Withdrawal

Once an individual has become addicted to methadone detox and withdrawal must follow if recovery is to be achieved. Detox is the process by which a toxic substance is completely removed from the body. Detox from any drug can be dangerous and in some cases, life-threatening. You should never attempt detox without proper medical supervision.

The main reason that detox can be so dangerous is withdrawal. Methadone withdrawal symptoms are typically more severe than those of morphine or heroin when comparing equivalent doses. They also last longer. Physical symptoms of methadone withdrawal can include the following:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe itching
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Tachycardia
  • Elevated pain sensitivity
  • Elevated blood pressure

Psychological symptoms of methadone withdrawal:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Prolonged insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

Find Help for Methadone Addiction

If you find yourself addicted to methadone, it’s likely you’ve been here before. Many patients who are being treated for withdrawal with methadone end up addicted and require a second recovery. There is a drug-free solution to addiction. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline now. A representative is waiting to assist you in finding the treatment plan that is right for you. Take back your life and stop the cycle of addiction. Call today.