“Methadone: Medical Uses, Effects, and Abuse”

Methadone is an opioid that is commonly sold under different brand names—the most popular of which is Dolophine. It is commonly used to treat pain, but can also help during maintenance therapy. In some cases, this opioid is used to treat people dependence on similar drugs.

This substance may either be helpful or harmful, depending on how it is used. Today we are going to discuss all the things you should know about methadone.

Methadone Statistics

Developed in Germany by Gustav Ehrhart and Max Bockmühl sometime during the 1930s, this drug was later approved for use in the United States. Up until today, it is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. This list highlights the safest, most effective medicines needed in a health system.

However, due to abuse and recreational use, the drug has been shown to ruin lives and cause serious health problems.

In fact, from 1999 to 2005, the Drug Enforcement Administration has noted an increase in methadone-related deaths by around 460%. In 2011, more than 65,000 cases of methadone use led to emergency room visits. By 2012, 2.5 million people over the age of 12 have reported abusing methadone.

Medical Uses

Despite these numbers, it must not be forgotten that the drug is truly beneficial when administered correctly and used responsibly.

Methadone is commonly used for maintenance treatment of opioid dependency. It helps suppress the use of heroin. This is great for people who struggle to maintain abstinence from opiates, even when they know it is affecting their lives. Methadone helps relieve narcotic craving while blocking the euphoric effects of opiates.

More recently, methadone has gained popularity for its ability to treat chronic pain by serving as an analgesic. It is therefore a very effective pain medication.

Methadone Side Effects

Even those who use methadone at recommended dosages can experience various side effects. It is important to check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects: bleeding gums, blurred vision, blood in stool or urine, chest pain, confusion, convulsions, coughing, breathing difficulties, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, headache, skin rash, and irregular heartbeat.

Other common side effects are: muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, numbness, seizures, insomnia, and sudden weight gain.

Signs of Methadone Abuse

Methadone in itself can be addictive if abused. But luckily, there are signs that you can look out for if you suspect that someone you love is misusing methadone.

If they are attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions or consulting multiple doctors, they may be trying to gain access to more of the drug.

Using the drug more often and in higher doses is a clear sign of recreational use. This must be stopped before it gets worse. If someone takes more of the recommended amount, that’s a warning sign of abuse.

Skipping doses to later take them all is also considered methadone abuse, and is not recommended. If your doctor prescribes methadone and you accidentally forget to take it on time, skip it. Do not try to make up for the missed dose.

Of course, there are also some physical indications that someone is abusing the drug. If they are sweating excessively or vomiting, it may be a sign of methadone abuse.

Methadone Abuse Effects

Adverse effects of methadone will vary depending on the dosage and frequency of use. The person’s overall health condition will also factor in. Of course, long term use will also mean a greater risk for long term effects, and even dependence.

Methadone, when abused, may cause respiratory problems, sexual dysfunction, and even blood-borne diseases like HIV, since the drug is sometimes taken intravenously.

Adverse effects tend to build over time.

Methadone Abuse Treatment

Abuse treatment centers could help a person recover from methadone addiction. Seek a proper treatment facility for the person and then convince them to go through the right program. They will undergo detoxification, while various withdrawal symptoms are taken care of.

A supportive environment and a team of medical professionals could ensure the patient’s safe recovery. Find the right rehab center for methadone abuse today!