Dealing With Methadone Abuse And Addiction
Among the crowd of prescription medications that are addictive, methadone is the contentious one.
While it's used by some medical professionals to combat chronic pain and narcotic (especially heroin) addictions, it incites physical and psychological dependence and addiction, since ceasing the use (whether after abusing it or using it to reduce the severity of heroin withdrawal symptoms) can results in its own withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone is usually ingested as a liquid or tablet, but can also be injected using a syringe, and the feeling it produces (a medley of euphoria, general well-being, and contentment) can last throughout the day. But at what cost?
Signs Of Methadone Addiction
While the short-term use of methadone to treat heroin addiction produces good results, long-term use could end up substituting heroin addiction for methadone addiction. Here are some signs that suggest methadone addiction:
- You are using methadone more frequently or in doses higher than what your doctor prescribed.
- You are continually seeking new doctors that will write you methadone prescription.
- Your use of methadone is hampering your ability to attend to your personal, family, and social responsibilities.
- You are skipping doses of methadone so you can use larger doses later.
Symptoms Of Methadone Addiction
People who abuse, or are addicted to methadone, usually display some physical and psychological symptoms. Here are they:
- Compromised judgement
- Injection-associated blood-borne diseases
- Sexual dysfunction
- Respiratory issues
Effects Of Long-term Methadone Use
The use of methadone for a long time can result in many consequences. Depending on the individual, high doses can incite drowsiness, and an overdose can translate to respiratory failure, unconsciousness, or death even.
Here Are The Effects Of Long-Term Use Of The Drug:
- Skin rashes
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
- Muscle spasms
- Heart palpitations
Treatment for Methadone Addiction
The first step to treating methadone addiction is through detoxification, which basically means letting the drug leave the system. Methadone detox can be done in two ways:
Cold Turkey Detox
Which involves the addict or abuser abruptly abstaining from methadone use. It carries the worst of withdrawal symptoms and relapsing is highly likely.
Tapered Methadone Detox
Which involves strategically and gradually reducing the methadone doses. This is the best and most successful method of methadone detoxification and reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Where To Detox
Any of the abovementioned detox methods can be performed either in a detox clinic or at home.
Medically Supervised Methadone Detox
This involves using either the cold turkey or tapered detox, but in a detox clinic. This is the recommended route to recovering from methadone addiction, as it is supervised by a medical professional and may come with medications that can relieve withdrawal symptoms and make the process more endurable.
Methadone Detox At Home
This method is not recommended, as the risk of relapsing is very high. But if you must follow that route, it's advised that you use tapered detox instead of cold turkey detox, and you may need your doctor's approval, as any lingering health issues you may have can make the process more dangerous for you. Even so, you still need regular supervision and support at home in order to pull it off.
Before beginning your methadone addiction treatment, it's wise to visit a rehab clinic around you for evaluation and medical check-ups, which will help medical professionals there to tailor out a rehab plan that is not dangerous to your health and has higher chances of success.
The plan should entail a detox method, medications for combating methadone withdrawal symptoms (possibly), and a long-term recovery strategy that addresses the addiction itself (this usually includes psychotherapy sessions and an aftercare program).
If you, or a loved one, are suffering from methadone addiction or dependence on the substance, you can obtain treatment and rehabilitative support from a rehab clinic near you. You can also leave a comment below so that we can start getting you help immediately.