There is an endless list of substances a person could become addicted to. If you have a genetic predisposition to addiction present in your brain, any addictive substance could cause trouble. Medical advancements in the last few decades have brought the introduction of prescription medications that are said to treat addiction to specific substances. The idea appeared to be genius, however, there is one primary problem. A person who has developed a chemical dependency to a substance isn’t just addicted to that substance. They may be right now, but if they’re given something different, they may become addicted to that, as well.
Methadone is a drug that was created during the drug epidemic in the 1960’s. It is only available by prescription and can be taken orally or intravenously. The primary purpose of methadone is to treat addictions to opiates, such as heroin, which can produce extremely severe and painful withdrawals. Typically, a person who has an addiction to opiates cannot quit cold turkey because the abrupt discontinuation could be life threatening. It is likely the addiction developed over some time, therefore it would be too much of a shock to stop without medical assistance.
Although methadone is highly effective in treating addiction to heroin, it is an opiate itself and can become equally addictive. The goal of methadone is block heroin and other opiate cravings and ease pain and anxiety that typically comes with detox. Methadone has a half life compared to heroin, and is essentially meant to ease the transition coming off opiates. It provides the ability to sedate and relax, even in proper prescribed doses. Someone who is no longer addicted to heroin or morphine, may abuse methadone long after they need it because of its effects similar to stronger opiates.
Generally speaking, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms from methadone once you stop using it. However, it is designed to be significantly weaker than illicit opiates, so withdrawals will be comparatively better. Since methadone is administered by medical professionals in a detoxification center, you may experience withdrawals symptoms for a few days, but if it was taken as prescribed, they will be much less painful than illicit opiates. Don’t let the detox process frighten you; the biggest thing standing in your way is you.
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