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Methadone addiction treatment

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methadone addiction

Methadone addiction is a serious medical and social problem.

Methadone is a synthetic opioid with the potent analgesic effects  commonly associated with the treatment of opioid addiction,  or to be more precise wih the treatment of heroin addiction.

Methadone  was developed in Germany in 1937 and for the next 20 years was used as a powerful analgesic  in managing  severe chronic pain.  Being chemically different  from natural opiates, Methadone works on the same opioid receptors the same way as Morphine or Heroin do, but duration of action of Methadone is much longer (24-36hours). Methadone  has the same characteristics of any other opioid, and nowadays it is mostly  used in ORT ( Opioid Replacement Therapy) to substitute Heroin or  prescription opioid analgesics such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet in case of creating opiod addiction.

Methadone has less expressed euphoric effect than that of the other opioids in doses sufficient to  effectively suppress withdrawal syndrome and craving for the drugs.  However, in higher doses Methadone also has  noticeable  euphoric effect.  It also creates a feeling of well-being, though not to the extent of Heroin. The problem is that Methadone itself is a very addictive opioid, both mentally and physically.  Withdrawal syndrome from Methadone is much more severe than that of any other opioid it replaces. A heroin addict may continue using methadone to avoid going through withdrawal symptoms much in the same way he originally abused Heroin. In other words, Methadone is a very controversial choice for opioid (Heroin) addiction treatment with often situation when people change one type of addiction for another.  It is a big disappointment  when an individual turns to something for help only to find himself in a much worse situation.

Signs of methadone addiction. There are few ways to abuse Methadone:

  • -using Methadone along with Heroin;
  • -using Methadone with other drugs or alcohol;
  • -lying to a doctor about withdrawal  symptoms  to get a higher dose of Methadone;
  • -using Methadone in higher doses than it is indicated;
  • -buying Methadone in the street.

Methadone is taken orally when being given to treat addiction.  But it may also be injected  intravenously with the purpose to get high.  Methadone addicts experience typical symptoms of opiod intoxication such as : inner comfort, relaxation, warmth, drowsiness, pleasant heaviness in a body, emotional detachment. The body temperature drops, heart rate and respiration slow down, blood pressure is getting low.

Among the long term symptoms of Methadone use are: skin rashes, itching, increased sweating, frequent hot-cold flashes, sore muscles and joints, stomach cramps, nausea, obesity, chronic constipation, irregular menstrual periods, lowered sex drive, tooth decay.

Methadone addiction treatment

The first step toward getting rid of Methadone is a desire to quit and the realization that it can’t be done alone. The best place to practice methadone detox is in a hospital specialized in drug withdrawal treatment.

There are two options for methadone detox. The first one is gradual tapering off the dose of the drug under medical supervision. It is a long, quite painful and  often unsuccessful way of detoxification due to intensity of withdrawal symptoms which come out when the dose of Methadone is getting reduced beyond the certain level. 

The other option to be detoxed from Methadone is Rapid Opioid Detoxification (ROD). For many individuals Rapid detox is the first step in recovery from Methadone addiction. ROD is a anesthesia assisted procedure which cleans the body from opiates through administration of Naloxone and Nalrexone.  Being under anesthesia, the patient doesn't feel any kind of withdrawal symptoms during the procedure, which lasts from six  to eight  hours. Unlike in case of traditional detoxification,  the withdrawal symptoms the patient may experience after rapid detox procedure are significantly reduced. That makes the whole process of  Methadone detoxification much more comfortable and drastically shortens recovery time.

Our board certified medical staff of licensed addiction medicine physicians, anesthesiologists and nurses with knowledge and experience in rapid opioid detoxification  provide successful treatment for Methadone addiction for more than 15 years.

Related methadone addiction articles:

  • Opioid side effects: respiratory depression,increased body temperature,dry mouth,constipation.
  • Heroin effects:  slows down the central nervous system activity. Particularly important conditions in this term (in case of greater doses or overdose they may become life-threatening) are: impaired respiratory functions (shallow and slow breathing), decreased blood pressure and slowed down heart rate.
  • Intensity of subutex withdrawal usually is less than that of other opioids, but it lasts much longer (up to several weeks), making the process of detoxification excruciating, very annoying for the patient.
  • Tramadol withdrawal symptoms: depression, severe mood swings, anxiety, nervousness, aggressiveness, insomnia, nightmares, goosebumps, electric shock sensations,  restlessness,, muscle pain, stomach cramps, sneezing, sweating, palpitations, tremors, headache, nausea, diarrhea.
  • Oxycontin side effects include: confusion, dizziness, headache, itching, nausea, loss of appetite, constipation.
  • When the acute period of withdrawal from benzodiazepine is over (10-14 days), for the next  few months a man is still being pursued by the mood swings, fears, panic attacks, uncertainty, anxiety, impaired concentration, depression, sleep disorders and sexual dysfunctions.