The way methadone works in treating opiate addiction may not make it addictive per se. Methadone is said to have a way of blocking the opiates from making one feel the euphoric “high.” However, if methadone is taken for the purpose of getting high, getting addicted on the drug is possible. This potentially disastrous episode may be avoided entirely by taking methadone the way it was prescribed with the proper dose, frequency, and administration.
- Methadone is a narcotic painkiller, which is designed to help in the management of moderate to severe pain.
- There are several medical professionals who prescribe methadone for the purpose of detoxification and as a maintenance medication for those with opiate dependence, heroin in particular.
- Methadone is said to work by changing how the body is able to perceive pain.
The purpose is fulfilled through binding to the brain’s opiate receptors.
Methadone, also known as 6-dimethylamino-4.4-diphenyl-3-heptanone, is itself a synthetic opioid able to block the effects of other prescription drugs containing opiates. Methadone then is a manmade version of opiates and is being made in laboratories.
Methadone is also believed to lessen the withdrawal symptoms from opiate use. However, the wrong dose for methadone causing an addiction may cause dizziness, mood swings, lightheadedness, and even euphoria. The latter is less frequently experienced by people who use methadone in its prescribed form.
Methadone is believed to cause physical dependence as well although it may not be as addictive as other opioid and opiate substances.
On the contrary, methadone can significantly affect our central nervous system causing the drug to be abused in great frequencies in an attempt to feel “high.” Although methadone has been in the medical industry for decades, the only safe dose of methadone that will also show its efficacy is when the patient follows as the doctor prescribes it.
To say that methadone dependence is the same as methadone addiction is not true. The use of methadone solely for its legitimate medical reasons may in fact lead to methadone dependence as some patients have shown side effects if they stopped taking medication.
On the other hand, methadone addiction is more complicated. The addict will usually experience withdrawal effects in combination with an extremely strong craving for the drug. It is also accompanied by the compulsion to make use of the drug despite of the consequences.
How does one get addicted to methadone?
A patient who uses methadone as directed by a doctor need not worry even if he becomes a methadone dependent. However, just like with any other addictive substance, taking larger doses of what has been prescribed by a doctor unless directed may lead to the misuse of the drug especially with those trying to achieve psychoactive effects.
Moreover, patients who have previously had an addiction to alcohol or other drugs in the past are at a higher risk of getting addicted on methadone. Hence, it may be more difficult to treat methadone addiction than addiction on other opioids.