You should know by now that methadone is only a synthetic narcotic. In other words, it’s a man-made drug created to provide temporary relief in patients that do not easily respond to pain medications that are non-narcotic. It has been in use for many decades for the treatment of patients who suffer addiction on narcotic pain medications and heroin.
- Methadone hydrochloride is available in a white crystalline powder form, but sometimes sold as colorless crystals.
- It is also available in a tablet or liquid type.
- Some tablets can simply be swallowed, while there are those that are dissolved in liquid first.
- In the U.S., methadone has been legally sold for over 40 years.
- Only recently has methadone emerged in drug abuse cases aside from its ability to trigger tolerance in its users.
If only you take Methadone as prescribed, the drug can actually be safe and effective.
Just like with any other drug, however, there are certain risks to taking methadone. What both healthcare providers and patients need to understand is that methadone is powerful. In fact, it can actually allow patients to recover from opiate addiction and reclaim meaning to their lives.
Maintenance is often the term used to describe opiate substitute programs that usually aim to maintain opioid levels in the system. It also aims to help the patient avoid the adverse effects of withdrawal that can sometimes be so severe. The specific treatment approach being implemented views the addict as a person with a disease rather than a person with a flawed character or a psychological disorder.
A lot of studies have searched into the effectiveness of several methadone programs and have discovered that the drug is able to minimize deaths related to narcotics. Also, crimes involving the use of heroin and the spread of AIDS are minimized.
If you just follow your doctor’s prescribed dose of methadone, it won’t be able to trigger a euphoric effect.
Methadone cannot control your desire to get high; however, adequate dosing of methadone will be able to prevent the need to use harder street opioids. Programs wherein methadone is used as a maintenance drug intend to do the following for all participants:
- Block effects of street opioids.
- Keep the individual free from craving street opioids at a more comfortable level.
- Keep the patient from reaching a state of withdrawal.
Methadone is primarily meant to treat narcotics addiction although you may still feel a few negative effects physically. Careful monitoring by a medical professional is essential in order to ensure the safe and proper use of methadone. Some of the physical side effects of methadone include:
- Slowed breathing
- Severe sweating
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pupil contraction
- Itchy skin
- Lung problems and respiration problems.
- Changes in menstrual cycle or a lapse in cycles.
- Complications in pregnancy especially if dosage levels are reduced during pregnancy.
In the case of an overdose on methadone:
- Call 911 immediately and don’t leave the victim.
- Don’t force the patient to vomit.
- Don’t put them under a cold shower.
- Don’t inject salt water into their veins.
The Controlled Substances Act determines methadone as a Schedule II drug. It is only legal to use it under the supervision of a doctor. Since the drug is a potent painkiller, overdose can happen if you intentionally take in more than the recommended dose of medication. Overdose can also happen if you are taking methadone along with other painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin, or morphine.