Can methadone be abused?
As helpful as methadone may be for people trying to get off heroin successfully, if the proper psychological, behavioral, educational support and therapy are not applied, cross-addiction is a real risk. For those who do not use methadone legally as a part of a doctor-supervised opiate addiction treatment, increasing doses or purchasing methadone without prescription is not only considered to be abuse, but can easily lead to addiction.
How is methadone addiction formed?
As an opiate/opioid class of medicine, methadone causes physical dependency with regular and long term use. If a person takes methadone chronically for a period of time, regardless if it’s prescribed or not, they will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop. Still, this physical dependence on methadone is DIFFERENT than psychological dependence. So, how do people become addicted
Methadone is structured differently than other opiates such as heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone. In fact, it has been designed to reduce the risk of abuse. However, because methadone can produces the same euphoric effects and the feeling of being high, some people can get psychologically hooked. This psychological dependence is at the bottom of any drug addiction.
Methadone withdrawal symptoms
Just like other opiates, methadone produces the same adverse withdrawal symptoms after long-term use. In fact, the harsh withdrawal is what discourages many users from quitting methadone successfully.
Symptoms you can expect in the early withdrawal stage, include:
- muscle pains and aches
- Symptoms you can expect in the late withdrawal stage, include:
- compulsion and cravings to use methadone
Effects of methadone addiction questions
As you can see in our infographic, uncontrolled and long-term use of methadone can take its toll on your health, work, social relations, self-image, etc. These are the real dangers of methadone. We encourage you to seek help and allow professionals to support and guide you towards sobriety.
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