Many health care professionals and addiction treatment center use methadone to treat opiate addiction like heroin. But long-term use of the drug can result in drug dependence. Eventually, the event will lead to drug addiction.
When taken properly as prescribed, methadone is relatively safe.
As a long-lasting opioid synthetically made, it still contains properties with high potential for abuse. Patients can become addicted to methadone even if they use it as a treatment medication. Most methadone treatment involves health care facilities which administer the dose to patients.
However, it holds some drawbacks. These are:
Most of the centers are located far from where users live.
Only a handful of certified centers exist. If users arrive in centers they may need to wait in line to get their dose.
Since centers are well popular within the community, dealers try to sell illegal drugs outside the facility.
Most certified methadone facilities see users as a source of income rather than someone who needs help recovering from the addiction. They feel contemptuous when users say they want to stop using the drug.
However, prolonged use of methadone can also produce withdrawal symptoms if an individual suddenly stops using the drug. Going through methadone withdrawal is a discomfort sometimes painful experience. It is important to have a medical practitioner monitor the health condition of the user during this sensitive period.
Using methadone has its own disadvantage. However, successful addiction treatment is very plausible.
However, methadone contains addictive properties similar to other opiates. Here are some of the negative effects of methadone:
Even though methadone is a very addictive drug, detoxifying at home remains a possibility and is considered effective. But it may involve some discomfort to the user and it will take time. Here are some of the things that might help during detox:
In higher doses, methadone acts as a very powerful addictive drug. Usually, the drug used as a substitute for an opiate addiction treatments, leading users to trade the methadone over their original addiction. Tolerance can build quickly, controlling users to take more of the drug to get the same effect. Along with tolerance, dependence also develops and users will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body managed to adapt the drug in its bodily function. Without methadone, it needs to re-establish its normal function. As the drug leaves the body, it makes it painful for the user making recovery more difficult.
Although detoxifying at home is possible, it is best to do the withdrawal process in a medical environment. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs often include medical detox. This is due to the adverse symptoms of methadone produces.
Withdrawal process for each individual varies because of the genetic make-up. Similarly, depending on the severity of the addiction, the duration of withdrawal also varies. These two greatly influence on how long the withdrawal process will take.
Withdrawal symptoms of methadone are less intense than other opiates like heroin and morphine. It includes flu-like symptoms such as:
Symptoms usually show up within 24 hours from the last drug intake. Since methadone is a long-acting drug, it can take between 15 to 60 hours before methadone leaves the system. In rare occasions, withdrawals symptom may take several days to begin.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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