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Understanding Methadone: Trading One Addiction for Another?

Methadone is a relatively common form of medication that has been used for over 50 years as a painkiller and to treat addictions, but many are surprised to find out that their prescription medication is highly addictive itself. Modern studies show that methadone is just as addictive as other opiates such as heroin and will actually remain in the body for upwards of 55 hours. These are just some of the reasons that more people than ever are looking for ways to break their addiction to methadone as safely and efficiently as possible.  Before starting this treatment, the person should spend some time toward understanding methadone and its dangers.

Why Use Methadone?

Opiates like heroin are often cited as the most dangerous drugs in the world. One of the reasons for this is the fact that 25 percent of all those that try heroin a single time become addicted. Another reason is the harsh, unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Once the body has become tolerant of opiates, it will then go into a state of shock from the moment that the drug is no longer in the person’s system. This can cause side effects such as nausea, violence, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and insomnia.

Negative consequences of methadone
In order to lessen these side effects, doctors believed that an alternative chemical could “trick” the body into believing that a stronger opiate had been taken. One of these chemicals was methadone, a prescription medication that fills up the same receptors as other opiates without the immediate rush of euphoria. There have been cases of methadone being successfully used to break a dependency, but it is an unfortunate fact that many of those that are addicted to opiates or alcohol that end up taking this medication will simply trade one addiction for another.

Understanding Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Everyone is different and there are no two addictions that are identical. This is why withdrawal is different for each addict, but there are some relatively common side effects that can be expected. The side effects will generally take place between 24 and 30 hours after no longer being exposed to the drug. Many describe the symptoms like the flu including nausea, anxiety, and fatigue. For more severe addictions, the withdrawal side effects can be as powerful as severe dehydration and violent tendencies.  Hopefully, these facts will aid in your understanding methadone before you attempt to use this treatment medication.

Getting Help

While the process of breaking an addiction to methadone may seem to be overwhelming, it is nothing compared to the dangers of continued use. Methadone is especially dangerous when taken for a long period of time and when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. In order to permanently beat the addiction, a person must consider their options for comprehensive treatment. First, the detox period should always be overseen by trained medical professionals that can keep the addict as comfortable and safe as possible. Once detox has been completed, the individual should make the transition into an inpatient rehab facility. These programs generally last from 30 to 60 days and provide recovering addicts with a range of effective treatment options for lifelong sobriety.

If you are having trouble understanding methadone, call our toll-free number today.  One of our representatives will be available to answer your questions.

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