I was once an addict of heroin and am now recovering from the addiction. There were times when I would get dope-sick; often buying methadone off the streets. In New York, you could easily find this liquid substitute for opiates and heroin, used mainly to regulate withdrawal symptoms. I usually purchase methadone from other heroin addicts who needed money to buy real drugs.
My spouse never fails to watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” In our home, our DVR is filled to the brim with the episodes of the fictional hospital with doctors who struggle to balance personal life and life-or-death scenarios. They learn every day that sometimes, people just perish. After watching so many of its episodes, I have come to ask myself if all medical students are supposed to be conscious about the intensity of trauma their patients should only withstand. Other questions like “How much does a patient want to survive?” and “What’s the role of substitute therapies in the medical setting?” also bother me.
As a recovering addict in an inpatient treatment center, it demanded that I stop the use of all kinds of drugs immediately. In my experience of detoxification, I can tell you that it was horrible. If not for the strength and support that I got from my counselor, the medical staff, I would not have been able to make it.
The Admissions Director at the treatment center, on the other hand, had a more horrifying experience. It took him nearly 10 years to get clean and reach sobriety as he was enslaved by methadone for more than a decade.
Methadone Can Cause Addiction
- Methadone is classified by our Food and Drugs Administration as a Schedule II narcotic.
- It should only be available at hospitals and methadone clinics.
- Methadone clinics are where addicts go to receive their daily dose of the drug.
- For methadone addicts, however, do not go for either fear of missing a single dose or meeting his fate in prison.
Methadone is a LOT more addictive than you think it is. If you’d ask a junkie off the streets, you’d know that methadone is actually a lot more addictive than heroin. Moreover, methadone detox can be one of the most difficult treatments to go through.
How About Buprenorphine?
By the 21st century, the new wonder drugs gained in popularity; these are Suboxone and Subutex. Both of these contain buprenorphine as an active ingredient. These are Schedule III narcotics. So instead of going to go to special clinics to get your daily dose of the drug, you can simply go to your neighborhood pharmacy for your daily fix. Both Suboxone and Subutex can be bought at pharmacies sharing shelf-space with antibiotics and allergy medications.
Subutex contains buprenorphine hydrochloride while Suboxone includes naloxone hydrochloride along with buprenorphine hydrochloride, taken to alleviate opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Subutex is normally used for treating opiate dependency. Your doctor may prescribe Subutex for 3-4 days at the onset of the withdrawal for managing symptoms and cravings. Afterward, you may be prescribed Suboxone as an opiate blocker, which means that if you are a heroin addict, you cannot get high on heroin if you take medication with naloxone.
Even Suboxone, however, can be addictive although the symptoms are very tricky to pinpoint. I know of one person at the treatment center who used Suboxone and can’t live without his regular dose.