methadone addiction

Liquid Methadone

Methadone Addiction

Methadone is very powerful legally prescribed drug. It is a synthetic opioid used to relieve chronic pain and treat those addicted to opiates. Methadone addiction is as prominent addiction as any other addiction. Originally it was used to help heroin addicts avoid the horrible withdrawal symptoms and in recent years it has also been used to treat those addicted to prescription pain pills. It was once touted as a miracle drug, making heroin addicts better and helping to control addiction and lower crime. Unfortunately due to its highly addictive effects, methadone is not easy to get off of and taking it means trading one powerful drug for another, essentially making it a lateral move for opiate addicts. Most people go to a methadone clinic as an easy fix for a plethora of problems created by an addiction. Most go with the intention of doing the 30 day wean down program where an addict starts off replacing the heroin and pain pills with a 30 mg dose of methadone and every couple of days they taper off until eventually they are done taking anything at all. The problem is that just like any other addiction, once the dosage gets to a low amount, the addict starts to feel uncomfortable and they turn to the doctor to take away the pain again; or they go back to the streets and find whatever takes away that pain. That’s where the methadone maintenance program usually starts. They are then given a higher dose to handle the detoxing and then progressively the dosage is increased. Most states have laws as to how much clinics can max out on giving patients but the levels are ridiculously high. Sadly people who get on maintenance wind up staying on methadone for years and even decades because it’s just too scary  and too uncomfortable to come off of. Just like heroin addiction, methadone addiction is a trap. And, because it is a trap and the addict has usually done little to nothing about their addiction and the catapulting underlying issues, drug use continues. Usually what we see with methadone users is a crack and/or benzo addiction along with it. Most haven’t handled why they started using drugs in the first place and normally the person is not rehabilitated.

Keep in mind that methadone is an escape from the inevitable of going through opiate detox which is very uncomfortable. Usually clinics require attendance from their patients to NA meetings and sometimes some sort of small time outpatient rehab to satisfy their requirements to distribute the drug. Basically if you pay the fees and pee clean, you get your methadone. Even those rules vary from clinic to clinic. Addicts don’t rehabilitate from using methadone. They simply get a break and avoid that inevitable detox and go back to life on an “even keel” or a “clean slate”, only now, the person has to commit his life to a clinic. It’s a ball and chain for life if you want it and there is big money in methadone. States fund it for those who can’t afford it and those who can afford it, they pay, every week and sometimes every day. Today when heroin and pain killer abuse runs rampant in particular cities and counties, it is common to have proposals for more methadone clinics to open and “solve” the problem. And they do open, keeping the sick sick.

There is a bright side to look at though with methadone. The addicted person wants a way out of it. They are trying. They don’t want to live the lifestyle anymore and they are reaching for help. That is the greatest positive of all to see in this but once someone transfers their opiate addiction, they feel as if everything is ok again without having to do the real work of rehabilitating themselves. That’s what rehab programs are for. Addicts will always take the shortest and easiest path with the least amount of resistance and no pain. Addicts always want their cake and want to want it too.

If you are familiar with methadone it probably means you’ve been down a hard road with someone you love who has been addicted to opiates like heroin or a powerful pharmaceutical pain killer containing oxycodone or hydrocodone. Methadone most likely came in to the picture as a solution to the nightmare, or at least you thought so. New Life Interventions takes a stand with methadone that not everyone would agree to. It is a band-aid solution that only drags the problem out longer and fools everyone around the addict into believing that things are getting better while they are usually getting worse. Methadone is a perfect excuse for an addict to buy time and avoid change. Again, methadone is a drug, and the withdrawal a person experiences from it when they try to stop becomes worse than heroin after long term use. It is also important to note that new users to a methadone program are risking their lives by taking this as a new drug. Many have died from it yet it is still easily found in every low income area in abundance as well as the immediate solution in many state and hospital programs and even some private programs.

Side Effects of Methadone Addiction

  • Insomnia
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Anxiety
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Severe Constipation
  • Increased Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Light Headedness
  • Altered Menstrual Cycles With Females

It should be noted that when methadone is abused, such as taking more than prescribed and/or mixing it with alcohol and other drugs a person can literally die. Deaths from methadone abuse are not uncommon at all.

Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

  • Overall Lengthy Flu-like Symptoms
  • Chills
  • Heavy Sweating
  • Muscle Pains
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heavy Drug Cravings
  • Vivid Drug Dreams
  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia

Methadone withdrawal is brutal to say the least and there have even been cases of death. A person trying to end their addiction to methadone, especially higher daily doses, should do so under medical supervision and preferably somewhere away from distracting, familiar and enticing surroundings. Since methadone is used to replace one opiate for another, a person will at this time be craving the comfort the drugs bring when under the influence.

Another thing to note is the life span that methadone has in the body. Commonly when a person starts to feel better through detoxing, usually around a week or two, the withdrawal symptoms can come back in full effect once again. We have experienced the full cycle of detox taking up to two months in some cases and many of them a good month before a person’s body is back on track and eating and sleeping again. Needless to say, it would have been a lot better to detox from the heroin or pain pills in the beginning instead of turning to another and stronger opiate to escape what one has done.

Methadone Intervention

In a methadone intervention we usually get all of the excuses about how it’s legal and a “legitimate program. We at New Life will never refer anyone to a program where methadone is used any more than detox and that has to be very short term and absolutely required by the physician. The only case should be when the addict is on a very high dosage presently and absolutely has to be administered methadone to bring them down to a level where other safer methods can be used. We have performed hundreds of successful methadone interventions. Our staff has all been there as the solution to our problems with opiates and we all found out the hard way. Find another way to solve the opiate problem with your loved one. There are many healthy and safer choices out there. Make sure to find out what detox methods will be used for your addicted loved one when seeking treatment for them. You don’t want them walking out of a program addicted to something else. If you have questions about performing a methadone intervention or have questions about treatment options for them, please call us and get some first hand information from those whom have been there and let us help you find the right options.