Methadone Addiction


Methadone is the second most common addiction in the United States and is the fastest growing problem as well. There are millions of people who are caught in the cycle of addiction and are trying to find their way out. There is even more who have given up hope that they can be help all together and have just succumbed to the drugs.

Let take a look at one of the most common prescription drugs on the market today.

Methadone: What is it?

It is said that heroin releases an excess of dopamine in a person’s body and causes them to need an opiate continuously to block the opioid receptor in the person’s brain. For over 30 years, a synthetic narcotic has been used to treat a person opioid addiction. This synthetics narcotic is called “Methadone”. Methadone is supposed to occupy the receptor and is the stabilizing factor that permits an addict on methadone to change their behavior and to no longer use heroin.

What is Methadone Maintenance?

Methadone maintenance is when an individual is trying to overcome their opiate addiction and they get supplemented with methadone, the synthetic form of heroin. Methadone will help to stop addiction to heroin, morphine and any other opiate addictions. It will not help other drugs of abuse though. Methadone is to be taken once a day and is supposed to suppress narcotic withdrawal for between 24-36 hours.

Is the Program Working?

While many wish to believe the program is working and is helping individuals who are addicted to opiates, others will strongly disagree. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, about 20% of the 810,000 people addicted to heroin are receiving the methadone maintenance program. What many do not know is that once a person stops the use of the morphine, heroin, or other opiates, they cannot stop the use of methadone. Methadone causes the same withdrawal symptoms as the other drugs in it family. A person is still addicted to opiates, but in a different form.

More Information on Methadone

Methadone has been effective in eliminating most withdrawal symptoms and is said to be used to detoxify opiate abusers. It reduces cravings associated with heroin use and blocks the high from heroin, it will not provide the euphoric rush that heroin provides. Ultimately, methadone patients will not experience the highs and lows that can result from the waxing and waning of heroin in the blood levels.

The person remains physically dependant on opiates, sometimes for several years, but is said to be freed from the uncontrolled, compulsive, and disruptive behavior that is seen in heroin addicts. 

Is the Program Safe?

There is a risk of abuse, like any other controlled substance that one takes. The long term program is thought to medically safe when used as prescribed and when it is monitored by a physician or healthcare provider. When taken under medical supervision, the long-term maintenance does not cause any adverse affects to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bones, brain, blood, or any other vital body organs. Some of the patients will experience minor side affects but they are not life threatening. Some of the side effects are constipations, drowsiness, water retention, excessive swelling, skin rashes, and some changes in libido. These symptoms will usually subside once the methadone dosage is adjusted and stabilized or tolerance increases in the individual.

Drug rehab programs like Narconon and other facilities that use drug free methods to handle addiction advise against Methadone as a continual maintenance issue.

Are There Benefits to Using Methadone?

Some will say that MMT has many benefits. Depending on each person you encounter, each will have a different opinion on if there are actual benefits. Here are a few of the benefits provided by the Office of the National Drug Control Policy:

•        It is a cost effective alternative to incarceration
•        There are fewer needles shared, providing fewer diseases to be spread
•        Decrease in heroin use
•        Decrease in criminal activity
•        Employment increased

While many people think that these are wonderful benefits, others would disagree. Many will ask why a person just wants to decrease these things and why they would still want to be dependent on an opiate. Why wouldn’t they just stop all together and become a productive member of society again? Are these actual benefits or are we just sweeping the problem under the rug?

Finding Help Through Other Avenues

When a person is fighting an opiate addiction and is tired of getting the run around and can’t seem to get help, many will give up hope and stop looking for help. Effective treatment can be gotten and a person can be no longer dependant on any opiate. For more information on Methadone or painkiller addiction, call Narconon today at 800-468-6933.