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You may be familiar with methadone if your doctor has ever given you prescription painkillers. Still, there are plenty of things that we should know about this fascinating substance, because apparently, some people become dependent on it.

In order to avoid the risks associated with methadone, here’s everything you need to know about this drug.

Methadone Overview: What is it?

What is MethadoneMethadone is an opioid. That means it is a synthetic derivative of the opium poppy plant. It is slightly different from opiates because it is not naturally derived from the poppy plant. But opiates and opioids have the same function. They are commonly prescribed for pain relief, especially for conditions ranging from moderate to severe.

Methadone was created by German doctors during World War II. Nowadays, your doctor may use it as part of your treatment for an addiction to heroin or narcotic painkillers.

It’s interesting to note that “narcotics” is actually the medical term for opiates and opioids in particular. Only in law enforcement is it used to refer to any kind of illegal substance. So we can say that methadone is the opioid that helps people who are addicted to opioids.

Methadone Abuse

It works a lot like morphine. It is taken as a tablet, a powder, or a liquid. It is meant to be taken orally. But this drug can only be used when prescribed by a doctor.

There are recreational users who take it to try and get high. They illegally obtain the drug and then inject it directly into their bloodstream. However, this exposes them to diseases like HIV and other blood-borne illnesses.

Methadone is generally considered safer than other narcotics. However, it is still advisable to be in touch with your doctor so they can keep a close watch on you while you take methadone.

This drug is much safer than other opioids, but it can still cause addiction and drug dependence. The risk of addiction is much higher if the drug is abused.

What does it do and how does it Work?

Methadone changes the way your brain and the nervous system respond to pain. This is what causes relief, and also what causes the euphoric sensation that recreational users crave. But compared to drugs like morphine, its effects are slower. It actually blocks the high that you get from drugs like codeine, heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.

By occupying the same receptors in the brain that causes euphoria and creating a much slower effect, the brain is fooled into thinking that it has already taken enough of the addictive substance. In a comprehensive addiction treatment program, it can work wonders. It is used as part of medical detox.

Your doctor may also prescribe methadone for pain, especially from an injury, surgery, or chronic illness.

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What are the Effects of Methadone Use?

Taking methadone for addiction can still create withdrawal effects, but under a treatment program, these shouldn’t be too hard to manage. Methadone use can lead to nausea, vomiting, constipation, restlessness, slow breathing, etc. But medical professionals can keep these symptoms under control.

Some side effects are more serious. Call the doctor if you experience breathing difficulties, hives, rashes, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, swollen lips, confusion, and hallucinations.  The risk of these serious side effects increases if you take methadone in large doses.

Follow your doctor’s prescription carefully so that you don’t encounter these side effects. Do not take methadone more often than you’re supposed to.

People experience addiction in different ways. And so addiction treatment is a personalized process. Methadone is only one key element that will help you recover. Make sure you don’t abuse this substance. As helpful as it is, it can still cause problems when misused.

Look for an addiction treatment facility near you today and find out what programs can help you become sober again.

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