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Methadone Rehab Center: Treatment for Abuse and Addiction

Methadone treatment was originally made to use as a painkiller to treat severe pain. Methadone Hydrochloride is a synthetic opiate. Today, Methadone is primarily used for the treatment of narcotic addiction, aiding in detoxification of drugs such as heroin to counter withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone's effects provide a longer-lasting alternative to morphine-based drugs, lasting up to 36 hours, allowing for once-a-day administration for recovering heroin addicts using methadone in detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone normally comes in a liquid form. It is also prescribed in tablet form and in ampoules that can be injected. Prescribed methadone, like many other medicines, sometimes becomes available illegally for street use of methadone. When Methadone is used under the supervision of a doctor, side-effects are generally minimal. But even though, methadone threatens the entire range of opioid side effects, such as tolerance and extremely strong addiction.

Methadone addiction is one of the worse drug addictions making the user completely dependent. Severe withdrawal symptoms prevent users from quitting. Methadone addicts report that it’s easier to quit heroin cold turkey than it is to stop taking methadone. Methadone addicts can suffer from extended post acute withdrawal syndrome for many months.

Methadone can remain in the body for several days. Physical effects of methadone can include constipation, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, edema, suppressed cough reflex, contracted pupils, drowsiness, hypotension, bronchospasms caused by the histamines released by methadone. Respiratory depressions can be possible. Female methadone users may not have normal menstruation but will still be able to become pregnant.

Once the initial effects of methadone use wears off, methadone withdrawal sets in for those who use methadone regularly, whether prescribed or not. Withdrawal symptoms start with a nervous feeling, then comes muscle contractures. Withdrawal is hard to bear to some users; they may scream in pain, unable to stand or walk properly. Convulsions may cause them to fall over. Sweats, diarrhea, and hallucinations follow, and the methadone users may be unable to think clearly. Recovery from methadone addiction must address the acute and unbearable withdrawal symptoms over the long term.

A common danger of methadone addiction is overdose. Symptoms of methadone overdose include muscle spasticity throughout the body, difficulty breathing, shallow and labored breathing and even stopped breathing which can be fatal, pinpoint pupils, bluish skin, fingernails and lips, spasms of the stomach and intestinal tract, constipation, weak pulse, low blood pressure, drowsiness, disorientation, coma or even death.

Although an extremely effective tool in removing heroin addiction and cravings, methadone use must be closely monitored by health professionals. Methadone detoxification treatment is often used in heroin detox programs. It is essential that patients’ tolerance levels are accurately assessed prior to starting the detoxification, to avoid administering too high a dose when entering a methadone treatment program. The use of other drugs, and diseases such as hepatitis and pneumonia and can complicate issues with methadone treatment as well.
If a patient does require methadone treatment, it is important to begin for the detox program to start with a low dosage and increase it slowly over weeks or even months to treat heroin dependence. A tolerant methadone user that has grown addicted can function normally with dosages that would be fatal to a non-tolerant person. However, the majority of methadone deaths do occur from illicit use.

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