Methadone is a type of opioid which is used to lower withdrawal symptoms in those who are addicted to heroin and other drugs. It can also be used to relieve pain and many detoxification programs will feature it. Methadone is only legally available from pharmacies which are certified. However, as with any controlled substance, methadone is subject to abuse, and when this happens, the user is vulnerable to both addiction and many others problems, up to and including death.
Methadone is one of the most dangerous “legal” drugs due to the ease with which a user can overdose. It is for this reason that it is only available at select pharmacies. People who are in chronic pain due to injury or disease are highly susceptible to abusing this substance due to its pain alleviating properties. Methadone can reduce or even stop a user’s breathing, particularly when they first begin using the drug or when they alter the dosage. Even at normal dosages methadone use can lead to dependence, and the drug should never be given to a child or anyone with a history of abusing drugs.
Warning Signs of Methadone Addiction
There are a number of warning signs which are specific to this substance. One of the most dangerous is a disorder which affects the user’s heart rhythm. Additional warning signs that someone may be addicted to methadone include headaches which are accompanied by chest pains. Users may also experience:
- Weakness in the muscles
- Skin which is cold or clammy
- Frequent fainting
- Dilated pupils
- Slow breathing and heart rate
- Slow reaction time
Side Effects of Methadone Abuse
Methadone should never be combined with alcohol, as death can result. It should also not be taken with grapefruit juice. There are a plethora of additional side effects which are associated with this substance. Great care must be taken by those who use it, even when they are provided a prescription from a doctor. Some may have allergic reactions to it, which can lead to breathing problems and swelling in the face or throat. Other side effects to be aware of include:
- Intense constipation
- Shallow breathing
- Feeling light headed
- Headaches and chest pains
- Stools which are black or tarry
- Blood in the urine
- Disorientation or confusion
- Skin changes color
- Convulsions or problems swallowing
Those that abuse methadone are often individuals that purchase it legally, through a doctor that has prescribed it to them. However, even when this drug is taken as directed, a dependency can still be developed. When you combine this with the danger of overdosing, it becomes critical to seek help for anyone who is addicted.
Rehab services are available which can assist addicts in obtaining complete recovery. Those wishing to recover have numerous options available when it comes to treatment programs. When entering rehab a patient will be assessed to figure out their addiction level and the appropriate care will be provided. Rehab can be costly but the results are worth it and many payment options are available.
Contact us today at NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic, where we can assist you in finding the right addiction treatment program and getting the help you need.