Methadone’s use in managing cravings for other opioids can mislead people into thinking it’s completely risk-free. In reality, methadone can be abused like any other drug, and any drug that can be abused creates a need for a resource to end its use safely. Learn why you need to detox from methadone and be completely drug free.
What is Methadone?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that physicians prescribe for relief from severe pain. That pain may stem from an injury, a surgical procedure, or a long-term illness. Forms of methadone include tablet, powder, and liquid.
How is Methadone used?
Besides treating severe and chronic pain, methadone is often used in the treatment of opioid addiction. Early symptoms of opioid withdrawal include agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, insomnia, and sweating. Late symptoms include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Methadone doses can help ease these symptoms while mimicking the substance it’s meant to replace.
What does Methadone do?
As part of a treatment plan, methadone provides pain relief by changing the way your brain and nervous system respond to it. It works slower than other opioids and acts as a barrier to the high you would get from using codeine, morphine, oxycodone, and other drugs. While people using methadone can feel pleasure from it, they won’t experience the same withdrawal and cravings as they would with other opioids.
The Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Taking Methadone
With a prescription and following a doctor’s orders, methadone can be safe. Usually, a person taking methadone for opioid addiction treatment will remain on it for at least a year. Then, when it’s time to stop using it, a doctor will help a patient taper its use for a safe withdrawal process.
Short-Term Effects of Methadone
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Sexual impotence
Short-term side effects in some people may be more severe and include anaphylactic reactions, depressed respiratory function, fainting, irregular heartbeat, seizures, tremors, and an unstable gait. A methadone overdose can increase the potential for death. You can also speak to your doctor to see if you need to detox from methadone.
Long-Term Effects of Methadone
Illegal or unmonitored use of methadone can contribute to serious health and medical issues. If you are using methadone long-term you need to detox from methadone under supervised medical care. Unlawful forms of methadone may be injected by the user and can cause the following effects:
- Cardiovascular issues, collapsed veins, arteriosclerosis
- Respiratory issues
- Menstrual cycle changes in women
- Sexual dysfunction in men
- Erratic judgment
- Risky behaviors
- Lack of self-care and personal hygiene
- Changes to learning and memory
- Physical dependence
- Development of an opiate use disorder
Recognizing Methadone Addiction
Signs of methadone addiction will be detected by medical staff in a facility where the methadone is administered. In addition, family members and friends of a person using methadone may also see some clues that its use has moved beyond a safe place.
1. Tolerance increases.
The person using methadone may feel their normal dose is no longer sufficient to achieve the same effect. They may talk about getting more methadone and find additional resources for it.
2. Withdrawal symptoms appear regularly.
When stopping use of the drug, a regular methadone user will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some may be apparent to other people, such as sweating, sleeplessness, and depression.
3. Methadone gets prioritized.
Behavior changes suggest a person has become excessively focused on methadone. They may neglect family and work commitments in order to use or seek out the drug.
Safe Recovery with Methadone Detox
As strong cravings and mental health changes occur with methadone withdrawal, the risk of relapsing is high if detox is not monitored. Discomfort can be significant, and patients may feel unable to stay motivated to quit using. Left untreated, cravings and other symptoms can last for several weeks.
With medical detox, a person wanting to end their methadone use is provided round-the-clock monitoring and care. As a result, their withdrawal symptoms are safely managed. Existing physical and mental health conditions get attention as well. If you need to detox from methadone we are here for you.
Restored Path’s Solution
Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.