Is Methadone the Right Solution for Addiction?
- Parent Category: Rehab
- Category: Prescription Drug Rehab
- Written by Paul Onart
Methadone was promoted as a solution to heroin addiction in New York City in the 1960s, when the spread of addiction and the rise of dangerous diseases created serious alarm. Methadone is a synthetic substitute for heroin, morphine, opium or other synthetic opiates like oxycodone or hydrocodone. It is a long-lasting drug that is normally given once a day. Those being given methadone must make their way to the clinic each day to get their dose.
When methadone is given, a person can stop committing crimes to get their doses of opiates. They may be healthier as they are not sharing needles and not being subjected to the adulterants in illicit drugs. Their dosages are controlled meaning that they will not overdose as long as this is the only drug they use.
But despite some improvements in the overall situation, methadone is a very poor solution for addiction. One reason for this is that many people on methadone will still abuse other drugs. While they are being relieved from withdrawal symptoms, they may not lose the cravings for the high available from substance abuse. Thus overdose is still possible when more opiates are added to the mix.
The person is also still addicted to an opioid drug. He (or she) will never wake up completely sober. Despite public statements that methadone is meant to be a bridge to getting off opiates entirely, many people are simply maintained on methadone for many years. A deterioration of health and well-being is likely to result.
In addition to being used in treatment of addiction, methadone is used as a long-lasting painkiller. It is also abused recreationally resulting in a high number of overdose deaths. What many people do not realize is that if you take a second dose after several hours, the body still contains a substantial quantity of the first dose. A person can easily overdose because of the accumulated effects of separate doses. The Florida coroner reported that methadone deaths were only exceeded by cocaine overdoses between 2001 and 2007.
Methadone may also be involved in deaths where it is combined with alcohol or other drugs that suppress respiration. A person may simply stop breathing from the combined effects. This can happen with benzodiazepines, antihistamines or alcohol.
Side Effects of Methadone
There is such a long list of unpleasant side effects of methadone that it is no wonder that the methadone addict will be far healthier if he can get off this drug. This list includes:
Nausea and vomiting; heart irregularities; loss of appetite and weight gain; constipation; low blood pressure; fatigue; low interest in or inability to perform sexually; depression; swelling of extremities.
There may also be headaches, dental problems, abscesses and allergies.
A study in New Zealand found that 42% of those on methadone fit all the characteristics of major depression. Because of the appetite problems of those on the drug, poor diets and skipped meals created other health problems. Many people on methadone suffered from frightening dreams or said they could not sleep.
Methadone is not the only pharmaceutical choice for treatment of opiate addiction. The other choice, buprenorphine, may have a few improvements over methadone, but it is not needed either when one has a way to achieve true and lasting sobriety. That is the result for seven out of ten graduates of the drug rehab program at Narconon Arrowhead.
Finding the Solution at Narconon Arrowhead
It can be tough for a methadone addict to get started on true sobriety because the drug stays in the body so long. Withdrawal can be a long, drawn-out process. At Narconon Arrowhead, this process is amply supported with nutrition that calms the body’s response to this drug being withdrawn. Each person receives one-on-one help from the staff to alleviate aches and pain and focus one’s mind on the future and recovery.
What follows is a remarkable process of repairing the damage created by addiction, restoring personal integrity and providing a new sense of morals that will guide one’s actions and decisions. It takes three to five months for most people to make the repairs and learn sober living skills, but some people may take longer. No matter how long it takes, there is no additional cost. Every person is allowed to progress at their own rate. What is important is that a person is ready to resume a sober life when they leave, not that he (or she) has been in treatment a particular amount of time.
Narconon Arrowhead provides the perfect environment for all these changes to take place. The beautiful facility is located in rural Oklahoma, far from drug-using friends and drug suppliers. The main lodge overlooks rolling hills and the largest lake in Oklahoma.
Find out how Narconon Arrowhead can provide a lasting solution to methadone addiction. Call 1-800-468-6833 today.