When a person turns to prescription medication in order to treat their addiction, they may not realize that they are setting themselves up to replace an old addiction with a new one. Medication such as methadone can be effective when overseen by a professional and done in conjunction with ongoing rehab, but the risk of addiction is still there and just as dangerous as any other dependency. Anyone that is currently on methadone or considering using methadone to treat their opiate addiction should understand how this drug affects the human body and what can be done to break a methadone addiction.
The Rise of Addiction Medication
Methadone has been used to treat addictions in the United States for just over 50 years. The reason addiction medication has grown in popularity is due to the severe withdrawal symptoms of drugs such as heroin. Over time, every person will begin to develop a tolerance to any chemicals that they take for an extended period. This means that more and more of the substance is needed in order to achieve the same effects. When an individual has become fully dependent on drugs like heroin or oxycodone, their body no longer functions normally unless the chemical is in their system.
While every single situation is slightly different, a dependency means that the body will go into a state of shock within just a few hours if the drug is withheld. The withdrawal side effects can be as mild as insomnia and irritability or as severe as hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. In order to limit these effects, methadone can help fill up the receptors in one’s brain that are activated by opiates without causing the rush of euphoria. In an ideal scenario, this allows a person to focus on the psychological aspect of their rehabilitation instead of the physical part of detoxing. Unfortunately, methadone is not only abusable, but it can also take the place of the opiates that it was designed to treat.