What is methadone addiction
Methadone is a synthetic opiate that is manufactured for medical use, and is most widely known as a treatment for heroin addiction. It is usually found as liquid which is swallowed but can also come in tablet or injectable form. Alternative names for methadone include meth, mixture and linctus. The effects of methadone are less powerful than heroin, although it still offers an absence of pain and some euphoria. It produces a sense of well-being and contentment in the user. As a substitute for heroin, it allows users to tackle their psychological addiction and stabilise their lifestyle. Despite methadone having a role in the treatment of heroin addiction, it does have addictive properties and the potential for abuse. Former heroin addicts can go on to a methadone addiction.
Signs, symptoms and risks of methadone addiction
Methadone can cause a range of side effects, including a dry mouth, skin rashes, drowsiness, constipation and urinary retention. Some users experience confusion, depression, hallucinations, blurred vision, muscle twitches and heart palpitations. There is evidence to show that opiates may increase the risk of miscarriage and still births but users who fall pregnant should not stop use suddenly as this can result in premature labour. With high doses of methadone, users are likely to feel incredibly sleepy. Too much methadone and the user can fall into a coma or stop breathing.
Treating methadone addiction
To abruptly discontinue methadone can have detrimental effects such as convulsions or seizures. Withdrawal of methadone should be carried out under medical supervision, within a residential treatment centre or as a carefully-supervised home detox. For long-term recovery, the addict will need to participate in a rehabilitative program that includes counselling and behavioural therapy. At Addiction Helper, we’ll guide you through your options, and provide you and your family with all the support you need.