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Methadone Rehab Center
Many facilities will choose to treat opioid addictions with another opioid known as methadone. This course of treatment is rabidly falling out of favor within the addiction treatment community as there have been new discoveries of safer and more effective methods.
At the River Source, methadone is not usually employed as a treatment method due to the fact that it is an addictive substance. This treatment is still sometimes used and we would like to respond to several questions that we have received from patients about the use of methadone.
WHAT EXACTLY IS METHADONE AND WHAT ARE ITS USES?
This synthetic substance is a narcotic and one that is long lasting. It is often employed as a pain reliever, but only under close doctor supervision, such as a hospital environment. This drug is most effective under 24-hour monitoring and with the prescribed dosage levels carefully followed. When methadone is used as a treatment for opioid addiction, it is administered daily to eliminate the euphoria a user experiences when taking opioids. When addicts abuse methadone, they can reach euphoric levels but this rush will not be at the intensity level of using opioids.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF USING METHADONE?
Methadone, at certain levels, can be deadly, and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is reporting a marked increase in deaths in the past decade. This drug is one that must be taken as directed to avoid these negative effects. Unlike the heroin that it often replaces, methadone is not short lived. While heroin will have cleared the user’s system in four to six hours, methadone can remain in their body for over two days. Due to this long life, users can continue to administer the drug not realizing how much is currently in their system. This of course increases the chance of toxicity exponentially. Methadone can also create life threatening problems when it is mixed with other drugs and alcohol. When not taken as directed, and under constant medical supervision, methadone can prove just as fatal as heroin.
HOW TO SPOT AN ADDICTION TO METHADONE
If you suspect that a friend or loved one is abusing their methadone prescription, it is imperative to look for the alerts that signal abuse and addiction.
- MULTIPLE DOCTORS – When a patient visits multiple doctors in the hope of receiving prescriptions, it is known in the treatment world as doctor shopping. This is an indication that the patient may be abusing their methadone prescription. If the current prescription is running out prior to the allotted time period it can be a sign that the patient is taking more than the recommended dosage.
- INCREASED DOSAGES – If a patient has decided to increase their dosage on their own, they will start taking the drug more often throughout the day and will also increase the likelihood of reaching toxic levels.
- BLACK MARKET METHADONE – Methadone programs are started and monitored through rigorous medical system and should not be undertaken without doctor supervision. Obtaining street drugs increases the likelihood of addiction and overdose.
- GENERAL MALAISE – Tiredness and lack of activity, abnormal sleeping and eating patterns are all signs that methadone may be being abused. Withdrawal from friends, family, and activities is often a sign of increased methadone use.
SOME OF THE EFFECTS OF METHADONE ABUSE
As with many drugs, methadone’s effects are both instant and long-lasting. Daily signs will be visible if a patient is abusing the drug, while other symptoms will show up after prolonged misuse of the substance. A few to look for:
- Vomiting and other digestive issues including constipation,
- Excessive sweating and slowed breathing,
- Pin sized, or very small, pupils, and
- Erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues.
Toxicity from abusing prescribed methadone dosages is a real concern, and methadone patients need to be closely monitored for the above symptoms.
AVAILABLE TREATMENT FOR METHADONE ABUSE
Detox will be required in order to recover from methadone abuse and addiction. A residential stay will most likely be required, along with a program of continued therapy and medical care.
The River Source is here for you when you are prepared to begin the journey away from opioid abuse and addiction. We are here to guide our patients to recovery without the use of other narcotic substances. We offer a comprehensive program that encompasses mind, body and spirit.