What Methadone Addiction Does to a Person

What Methadone addiction does to a personMethadone has been helping people stop using opiates like heroin and morphine for nearly seventy years. Administered in specially licensed clinics, this opiate derivative satisfies the brain’s need for opiates without producing the intoxicating effects of those drugs. As helpful as methadone is for people who need it to maintain a productive life, continued methadone use is a trade-off of one addiction for another. Users will need to get clean from methadone and will need help to do so.

The Nature of Methadone Addiction

Methadone addiction is an extension of opiate addiction. It is most commonly used as a replacement drug for heroin, and its addiction profile is similar to that more infamous drug. The difference is that methadone does not produce the high that heroin does. It blocks the intoxicating effects of heroin and other opiates and removes the temptation to relapse and use those substances. When used properly by a person who is serious about recovery, methadone replacement therapy removes physical cravings for opiates while letting recovering users return to a more normal life than a heroin or other opiate addict can usually maintain. These patients must maintain a specific dosing schedule that is most often administered in specialized methadone clinics, or they will enter severe withdrawal. Some methadone withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Shakes and tremors
  • Severe anxiety
  • Panic attacks

While there are many benefits to methadone replacement therapy, there are also many reasons for a person to want to end methadone use. Some methadone users are tired of the constant routine of taking their dose, while others tire of the perceived stigma attached to methadone clinics. Many methadone users who live in more rural areas may not have easy access to local clinics. The cost in time and fuel for maintenance of their addiction can be overwhelming. Others simply get tired of being a slave to a chemical. They want to be free from any addictive substances. Eventually they will need to get clean for good.

Long-Term Healing from Methadone Addiction

Recovery is possible, but when the time comes to get clean from methadone, a person will need help. The worst thing that can happen is a relapse into heroin or other opiate use while trying to end methadone use. Solo recovery attempts are not recommended. Specialized treatment facilities offer comprehensive services that will heal the body, soul and mind of methadone users and abusers. The most successful programs offer carefully monitored detox services to alleviate the worst withdrawal symptoms. Methadone detox is followed by intensive psychological rehab. Rehab may involve the following:

  • Group and individual counseling
  • 12-step programs
  • Healthy lifestyle changes
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Extensive education about the process and power of addiction
  • The introduction of powerful new techniques to resist cravings and temptation

Detox may take several days, and the process of psychological rehabilitation can take years or even a lifetime. During methadone addiction recovery a person relearns how to think, how to control their urges and how to avoid situations and environments that will trigger drug cravings. The process of recovery continues through support group attendance and individual counselor meetings. Many people find these meetings and the culture of recovery to be extremely satisfying and rewarding.

Break Free from Methadone Addiction

If you are addicted to methadone and are ready to get clean, we are here to help. We can answer any questions you may have about addiction or recovery, suggest the best treatment facilities for your specific needs, listen to your concerns and even confirm insurance coverage for your treatment option of choice. Our toll-free helpline is open 24 hours a day, and we are ready to set you up for success. Don’t wait for a better time. Call today, and let us help you find freedom from methadone.