Three Myths About Methadone

Three Myths About Methadone

Many people believe that because it is used to treat heroin addiction, methadone must be safe to use recreationally

Methadone is a synthetic opioid that has been used to help heroin and prescription painkiller addicts. The drug binds to special chemical receptors in the brain that have become dependent on narcotics. This prevents symptoms of withdrawal without providing the user with the euphoric high associated with those other drugs. Methadone must be administered by specially licensed doctors in specially sanctioned clinics. While these clinics may be somewhat inconvenient, millions of people have been able to rebuild their lives because of this type of treatment.

Although methadone has been around for decades, three main myths and misunderstandings about it remain.

  1. Methadone is a Safe Alternative to Heroin

Many people mistakenly believe that because it is used to treat heroin addiction, methadone must be relatively safe to use recreationally. While it is true that opiate addicts will not get high by using methadone, non-addicts may. Although recreational abusers of methadone will experience mild euphoria when they first take the drug, their brains will develop a tolerance to it very quickly. The drug has a built-in plateau effect that prevents users from taking larger quantities in order to get high, so eventually they must turn to other opiates to satisfy their brains’ hunger for that relief.

Thousands of people die each year due to methadone overdose. While methadone is relatively safe to use under the care of a doctor, it is not a safe recreational high, as many people believe.

  1. Methadone Is Not Addictive

As with all opiates, methadone is both physically and psychologically addictive. When a heroin or painkiller addict uses the drug he basically substitutes a highly dangerous and illegal chemical dependence for a comparatively safe and legal medication that will enable him to work, study and maintain relationships effectively until sobriety can be reached. Methadone can help an opiate addict regain and maintain a normal life, and can help him work on underlying or co-occurring psychological disorders that may have contributed to his addiction, but if he stops using the drug he will go into withdrawal.

  1. Methadone Dependence Is Permanent

While recovering addicts may be on methadone therapy for years, the goal should eventually be to get off of the drug completely. In many cases methadone allows a person to fend off withdrawal symptoms long enough to undergo the kind of in-depth psychological treatment that will prepare her for life after methadone. Counseling, education and support groups are a critical component of this process. Eventually the methadone patient should have her dosage tapered off gradually and under close medical supervision.

Toll-Free Methadone Helpline

If you are interested in seeing if methadone treatment might be right for you, or if you are currently addicted to methadone and would like information about how you can end your dependence on the drug, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our staff members are available 24 hours a day with free, confidential advice that has no strings attached. Methadone can be a good short-term treatment for heroin or painkiller addicts, but when the time comes for you to put it behind you we can help. Call now.