Methadone Detox

Overview

Methadone TabletsMany people go from being addicted to heroin to acquiring a methadone addiction, and continue with this "treatment" for years, fearing the withdrawal that will occur when they stop. Methadone does not have to be the way of life for former heroin addicts. Gradual cessation followed by a drug-free program of rehabilitation may be the answer for many sufferers.

Critics point out that methadone patients are still addicts and that methadone therapy does not Methadone Tablets Lillyhelp addicts with their personality problems. In many cases multiple drug use and a strong psychological dependence undermine the gains made. Some addicts manage to resell the methadone they receive in order to buy heroin; this and other illegal diversion have resulted in methadone joining the group of addictive drugs sold on the street.

Fraudulently acquiring methadone is becoming common practice among many individuals with drug addictions. Addiction to methadone can take several forms: - conning a doctor into prescribing a higher dosage than is required - taking more than the recommended dosage - taking methadone in combination with other drugs, including alcohol - using methadone as a 'top up' drug while continuing to take heroin - selling prescribed methadone in order to buy heroin

In blind trials, users who were given both drugs orally were unable to distinguish between the effects heroin and methadone. An added problem for those using methadone to recover from heroin addiction is withdrawal. Withdrawal from heroin should be over after seven to ten days. Withdrawal from methadone though, can take up to a month or even longer.

Ironically, methadone used to control narcotic addiction is frequently encountered on the illicit market and has been associated with a number of overdose deaths. Tolerance and addiction to methadone is a dangerous threat, as withdrawal results from the cessation of use. Many former heroin users have claimed that the horrors of heroin withdrawal were far less painful and difficult than withdrawal from methadone.

A serious problem with much of the methadone prescription in the past was that heroin addicts were often given sufficient methadone to last one week - or even one month. As a result, addicts commonly sold their prescribed methadone in the illicit drug market. Schoolchildren have been found in possession of this drug and several have died. It is more common practice today to require addicts on methadone maintenance programs to collect their prescription from a clinic or pharmacy daily - and to swallow this under observation. This is to prevent methadone from entering the illicit market.

Where did methadone come from?

Methadone hydrochloride is an opioid (a synthetic opiate) that was originally synthesized by German pharmaceutical companies during the second world war. It was first marketed as 'Dolophine' and was used as an analgesic (a painkiller) for the treatment of severe pain. It is still occasionally used for pain relief.

Methadone is now primarily used today for the treatment of narcotic addiction. The effects of methadone last longer than those of morphine-based drugs. Methadone's effects can last up to 24 hours, thereby permitting administration only once a day in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs.

How is methadone taken?

Methadone is usually available as a liquid - linctus or methadone mixture - which should be swallowed. Tablets and injectable ampoules are sometimes prescribed, and like many other medicines some of these prescribed drugs are diverted and become available illegally.

What are methadone's adverse reactions?

Deaths occur more frequently at the beginning of treatment in methadone programs; they are usually a cause of excessive doses (i.e. erroneously estimated tolerance) and they are affected by concomitant diseases (hepatitis, pneumonia). Methadone generally entails the entire spectrum of opioid side effects, including the development of tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. Respiratory depressions are dangerous. The released histamines can cause hypotension or bronchospasms. Other symptoms are: constipation, nausea or vomiting, sedation, vertigo, edema.

What are the symptoms of methadone overdose?

Body as a whole: muscle spasticity; Respiratory: difficulty breathing, slow shallow and labored breathing, stopped breathing (sometimes fatal within 2-4 hours); Eyes, ears, nose and throat: pinpoint pupils, bluish skin, bluish fingernails and lips; Gastrointestinal: spasms of the stomach and/or intestinal tract, constipation; Heart and blood vessels: weak pulse, low blood pressure; Nervous system: drowsiness, disorientation, coma

What is methadone dependency?

As an opiate, regular use of methadone causes physical dependency - if you've been using it regularly (prescribed or not) once you stop you will experience a withdrawal. The physical changes due to the drug are similar to other opiates (like heroin); suppressed cough reflex, contracted pupils, drowsiness and constipation. Some methadone users feel sick when they first use the drug. If you are a woman using methadone you may not have regular periods - but you are still able to conceive. Methadone is a long-acting opioid; it has an effect for up to 36 hours (if you are using methadone you will not withdraw for this period) and can remain in your body for several days.

Pat Moore Foundation's alcohol & drug addiction treatment programs are licensed and certified by The State of California. Pat Moore Foundation patients have access to opiate and opioid detoxification provided by a third party medical corporation that uses suboxone for the detoxification process. Our individual homes are on a unique co-ed campus where we offer gender specific treatment. We are located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Southern California, close to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, and only an hour's drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. To speak with a counselor, please call us 24-hours at the number above, or if you'd like us to contact you, send a confidential message online by filling out our online form.

Note: All medical services are administered by medical professionals, which are facilitated and operated solely under the jurisdiction of a separate medical corporation.

For additional information on opiate and heroin addiction, along with other drug-specific addictions, please see the following links:

Prescription Drug Addiction

Methadone Addiction

Meth Addiction

Crack Cocaine Addiction

Opiate Addiction

Heroin Addiction

Alcoholism

Source: Executive Office of the President Office on National Drug Control Policy; www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.

 

Pat Moore Foundation's drug & alcohol detox and alcohol & drug addiction treatment programs are licensed and certified by The State of California. We provide non-medical and medically managed detoxification (using Suboxone, Subutex, and Buprenorphine when appropriate) and primary residential treatment. Our individual homes are on a unique co-ed campus where we offer gender specific treatment. We are located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Southern California, close to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, and only an hour's drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. To speak with a counselor, please call us 24-hours at (888) 426-6086 or if you'd like us to contact you.

Note: All medical services are administered by medical professionals, which are facilitated and operated solely under the jurisdiction of a separate medical corporation.

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