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Methadone treatment was originally
made to use as a painkiller to treat severe pain.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