Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug that is similar in its effect on the body to heroin and morphine. It is used as an analgesic (painkiller) and it is also used sometimes for the treatment of heroin and other cases of opiate addiction. Methadone has a long duration of effect and it is sometimes used to manage chronic pain. Methadone may be used to treat cases of opiate addiction because the drug has a longer duration of effect than heroin or morphine, and it can also block the euphoric effects of those and other opioids. However, patients may develop a methadone addiction as a result of being treated with methadone for their opiate addiction.
The benefits of using methadone to overcome opiate addiction treatment often come with the disadvantages of methadone addiction. Although methadone’s availability is highly regulated, patients with a methadone addiction often find a way to obtain the drug. Methadone addiction is a very difficult addiction to break because the drug is both psychically and psychologically addictive, and it has long acting euphoric effects with a lengthy withdrawal.
Methadone addiction treatment and detoxification should occur gradually with the help of substance abuse rehab centers as the drug has some of the longest lasting withdrawal symptoms of any opioid. Withdrawal can be difficult, but withdrawal from methadone addiction is considered to be less severe in its initial intensity than withdrawal from other opioids like heroin.
Methadone Addiction Symptoms
There are a number of symptoms associated with methadone addiction that most patients will experience. Methadone addiction and tolerance may occur rapidly; especially when the drug is prescribed on a daily basis to treat opiate addiction. Some of the adverse effects of methadone addiction include hypoventilation, constipation, sweating, chronic fatigue, constricted pupils, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, headaches, heart arrhythmia, weight gain, insomnia, blurred vision, dry mouth, itching, stomach pain, and impotence. Seizures may occur as a more severe side effect. Psychological effects include hallucination, mood changes, anorexia, and anxiety.
The drug has a high incidence of related mortality which has risen rapidly over the past ten years. Those who suffer from methadone addiction are likely to exhibit a few or more of the physical and psychological symptoms previously mentioned. Methadone addicts may have previously been treated for heroin or opiate addiction and developed their methadone addiction as a result of being treated with methadone during detoxification. The surest sign of methadone addiction is the presence of withdrawal symptoms when a patient is unable to obtain a daily dose of methadone. The withdrawal symptoms of methadone addiction may last for many weeks. Patients often require the assistance of drug addiction rehab centers to overcome their methadone addiction.
Methadone withdrawal is a challenging process since the drug has a less severe but longer lasting withdrawal than heroin withdrawal. Methadone addiction withdrawal may take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months for the physical and psychological symptoms to subside. The length of time depends on the individual as well as the level of methadone addiction. Addicted patients often require supportive psychotherapy and medications to deal with the psychological and physical symptoms of methadone addiction withdrawal. Treatment is designed to counteract the symptoms of withdrawal and maintain the patient’s physical and psychological strength enough to withstand the duration of withdrawal and the intensity of related symptoms.
Withdrawal from methadone addiction is very symptomatic. Physical symptoms include lightheadedness, running nose, tearing, yawning, nausea, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, severe itching, sweating, fever, tremors, chills, aches and pains, increased pain sensitivity, increased blood pressure, and more. Psychological symptoms include anxiety, suicidal ideations, panic attacks, paranoia, and delusions. Patients undergoing methadone withdrawal are vulnerable and may be a danger to themselves of others. One of the safest ways to treat cases of methadone addiction is with an individualized methadone addiction treatment plan that is implemented at substance abuse rehab centers. Methadone addiction treatment and detoxification is centered on monitoring the patient consistently for side effects and treating them as quickly and effectively as possible.
Methadone detoxification takes longer than other cases of opiate addiction and in the vast majority of cases it requires the assistance of substance abuse centers to be successfully performed. Substance abuse centers typically use a gradual detoxification process for methadone addiction treatment that is designed to reduce symptoms as much as possible. The drug is typically reduced gradually over a long period of time while side effects are treated as they arise. Psychiatric medications may be used to treat some of the psychological side effects such as anxiety and panic attacks, while physical side effects are treated by other health professionals or medical doctors. Drug rehab centers provide a patient with all these treatments and the convenience of fast access to these treatments.
If a patient attempts to detoxify from methadone on his or her own, the patient will have intense difficulties with the severity of the symptoms and may relapse into methadone abuse or the abuse of other opiates in an attempt to reduce the severity of their withdrawal symptoms. Patients are unable to provide themselves with the proper methadone addiction treatment and detoxification plan, and as a result detoxification should only take place at drug rehab centers that specialize in opiate addiction detoxification. The process of detoxification may take several months, however during a stay at a methadone addiction treatment facility a patient will receive all of the care and treatment that he or she requires.
Methadone Addiction Treatment
Methadone addiction treatment involves an initial consultation and treatment plan, detoxification, medications for psychological and psychical symptoms, psychotherapy, and individual and group therapy. Methadone addiction treatment is typically longer in length than other opiate addiction treatment plans. With the long term support of drug addiction rehab centers, patients can overcome their methadone addiction and successfully stay free from opiate addiction without relapse. Methadone addiction treatment facilities offer patients a safe and comforting environment to undergo the lengthy detoxification and rehabilitation process associated with methadone addiction.
Methadone addiction treatment is not only designed to treat short term symptoms but also provide patients with a long term recovery plan. Inpatient programs may be more suitable for methadone addiction cases since patients often require fast access to several types of treatment during their rehabilitation. Patients are taught coping skills and the ability to live without opiates and methadone. Patients are treated on an outpatient program after inpatient treatment and typically also participate in a 12-step group therapy program. 12-step programs help patients avoid relapse with continued social support after their initial treatment. Drug rehab centers typically also offer outpatient treatment programs from start to finish for those patients that are unable to stay at a facility.