Opioids have been around for thousands of years. Meant to cure ailments and ease the pain but failed because of the addiction it brought with it. Doctors would then try another form a different kind with different ingredients but the same thing happened over and over again; the patient would get addicted to the substance.
Now that we are still trying to come up with new ways to treat pain and ailments in the safest way possible, we are still at risk of getting addicted to any substance we use too much for a long period.
Even though there is and has been a national crisis of opioid abuse in our country, opioids are still prescribed as painkillers such as Codeine, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Methadone, Morphine, and Oxycodone. Some of these are prescribed daily for pain, acute and/or chronic because of the success of treating pain. Many people who are prescribed painkillers abuse them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH):
- Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
- Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.
The Use of Maintenance Drugs for Methadone Addiction
To try to fight the opioid crisis we have in our country many addicts are put on maintenance drugs to help them be free of addiction and help them recover. Such maintenance drugs include Suboxone, Sublocade, Subutex and many more, but one of the older maintenance drugs that have been around for a while is Methadone.
According to the U.S. Library of Medicine (NIH), methadone is used to relieve severe pain in people who are expected to need pain medication around the clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications. It also is used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in patients who were addicted to opiate-based drugs and are enrolled in treatment programs to stop taking or continue not taking the drugs.
Methadone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. Methadone works to treat pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It works to treat people who were addicted to opiate drugs by producing similar effects and preventing withdrawal symptoms in people who have stopped using these drugs.
Methadone was first invented to treat pain, but just like all the other painkillers, patients started becoming addicted to the drug and it wasn’t later that it was used regularly in the treatment of other opioid addiction called Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT).
Methadone comes as a white powder that is usually dissolved in a fruit-flavored drink for the treatment of addiction and taken once a day. If for the treatment of severe pain, it can come as a tablet or oral solution as well.
Being on MMT is strictly controlled and must be approved by the state and federal governments and must treat patients according to specific federal laws. Methadone must be taken under the care of professional staff unless otherwise directed.
There are many pros and cons about methadone. Some pros of being on Methadone Maintenance Treatment have found to be:
- MMT significantly reduces drug injecting;
- because it reduces drug injecting, MMT reduces HIV transmission;
- MMT significantly reduces the death rate associated with opioid dependence;
- MMT reduces criminal activity by opioid users
Withdrawal Symptoms from Methadone
Even though Methadone does not create the usual “high” or euphoric effect that opioid addicts chase, it does have a sedative effect. Just like any drug that you take repeatedly over a long period, you grow a dependence, which turns into an addiction.
And where there is an addiction, there is withdrawal when the addict reduces the amount he/she is used to taking. And just like any other opioid, there are fears of withdrawal and the physical dangers are high. The withdrawal symptoms for methadone are the same as any other opioid including:
- Agitation, restlessness, and anxiety
- Increased tearing or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Shivering, trembling, or goosebumps
- Muscle aches or joint pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
We at Allure Detox can Help with Methadone Addiction
Methadone is one of the most difficult drugs to detox from due to it being a long-acting opioid. The drug can remain active from anywhere between 8 and 59 hours, which means that withdrawal comes on more slowly and lasts longer. To be successful in staying off methadone, monitored tapering and therapy are recommended. At Allure Detox, we understand the struggles of trying to quit methadone and can help you safely detox off this narcotic.
By placing our patients on a supervised taper schedule, the likelihood of completing the detox process and treatment program is much higher. Our counselor’s first work to help each patient understand that their addiction can be overcome with help and support. Contact our methadone detox specialists around the clock for a confidential assessment.