Methadone addiction has become a very serious problem in our country. In fact, some believe that this drug has only contributed to the opioid epidemic. It is not uncommon for people to become addicted to it accidentally, but some choose to abuse it and then become dependent on it. Methadone frequently causes withdrawal when it is stopped, and the symptoms can be severe. This can cause people to be afraid to stop taking it, and they will often stay on it for years.
Fortunately, there are detox and recovery options available to those who form addictions to methadone. It is not easy to recover, but with the proper support, it is possible. If you have become addicted, you need to know that there is hope and that Northpoint Washington can help.
What Is Methadone?
Methadone is a medication that belongs to a classification of drugs called opioids. It was formulated by the Germans during World War II. Upon its arrival in the United States, it was first used to treat severe pain. Today, it has been found useful in treating narcotic drug addiction.
A standard course of methadone treatment should last about 12 months, but some individuals may require more for their circumstances and continue taking it on a long-term basis.
Methadone changes the chemistry of the brain and blocks the pleasurable effects of opioids so that an individual in recovery cannot achieve the same “high” anymore and no longer feels a need to take the drug.
Medication-assisted treatment has helped many people recover from addiction but is not without its own risks, as methadone itself can be highly addictive and also induce withdrawal symptoms.
This medication is often sold under several other brand names. Among them are:
Methadone abuse has become very common, and this drug is available for sale on the street. It can be purchased under any of the following street names:
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Dollies or Dolls
- Jungle Juice
How Addictive Is Methadone?
Methadone works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It causes people to feel relief, but it does so in a much slower manner than other painkillers. As it causes pain relief, it also blocks the effects of other opioid drugs, such as hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. At the same time, it also leads to addiction.
Methadone is a drug that can lead to a quick addiction. Many people who start taking it become addicted without being on it for very long. There are a few different reasons for this.
Some people get addicted to this drug because of the pain relief they experience while taking it. Their brains start to rely on it to help them. Others may start to depend on Methadone even to help them get out of bed in the morning. They just do not feel like themselves unless they are taking it.
There are a lot of experts who believe that using a drug like Methadone is only replacing one addiction for another. There is certainly a valid argument for that belief.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Methadone Abuse
Knowing what to look for is critical to being able to recognize when someone needs help. Some warning signs and symptoms of methadone abuse include:
- Prioritizing getting methadone over other responsibilities or hobbies
- Having an increased tolerance to the medication, needing more to achieve the same effects
- Running out of prescriptions too soon
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when methadone can not be taken
- Dizziness and issues with balance or coordination
- Pain, cramps, or weakness in the muscles
- Decreased cognitive function
- Lowered body temperature
- Drowsiness and fatigue or trouble sleeping
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Lowered blood pressure
- Slowed or labored breathing
- Euphoric “high” feeling
Withdrawal is also a risk of methadone, with symptoms including constipation, depression, chills, hot flashes, sweating, and inability to sleep. Some say withdrawing from methadone is even worse than withdrawing from heroin. If you suspect a loved one is struggling with methadone abuse, it is vital that they get help and professional care immediately.
Find Effective Methadone Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Washington
Our methadone addiction treatment program in Edmonds, WA can provide you with the tools you need to break methadone addiction and live the life you want to be living. Take the first step toward recovery today, and call us at 425.437.3298 to learn how we can help you. Or, fill out our online form and allow us to get back to you.