Signs and Symptoms of Methadone Use, Abuse, Addiction & Facts

What is Methadone? How is it Ingested or Used?

Methadone, an opioid drug, is used for opiate addiction but it can also be used as a pain reliever. When a person begins use of methadone, medical professionals carefully monitor them to make sure the dose is the right level. Because methadone is quite dangerous when the dose is too high, medical supervision is necessary for administering this drug. When a person abuses methadone, however, there is no medical professional around to help them. They user is “playing with fire” when guessing the dosage of the drug.

Methadone is quite controversial due to the fact that it is typically prescribed as the “lesser of 2 evils” to someone who is abusing opiate drugs like heroin and OxyContin.  However, while it might seem counterintuitive to prescribe an addictive medication to take the place of another, the amount of risk involved is much less with methadone (as well as the benefit of the increased monitoring the individual can receive when they get the methadone via legal outlets).

Methadone can come as a small pill that can be taken orally or dissolved. Sometimes it is administered as a liquid that can be drunk, diluted or injected. Most people who become dependent on medthadone are prescribed it to help wean them from opiates such as heroin.

What Are Some Of the Other Names for Methadone?

  • Methadose
  • Done
  • Junk (more commonly refers to heroin)
  • Jungle Juice
  • Fizzies

The drug may be known by other street names in different part of the country.

What Are the Symptoms of Methadone Use or Abuse?

Although methadone does not have the same powerful euphoric rush that heroin and other opiates five users, a person who abuses methadone will probably feel an initial high when they begin the drug. They will quickly build a tolerance, and sometimes they will begin to take more and more of the drug to try to feel a high again.

Many of the physical symptoms of methadone abuse are similar to other opioids and can be a sign of an addiction to other drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or morphine. Opiates such as these drugs often cause the user to become drowsy and nod off. They may experience muscle weakness, drowsiness, weakness, disorientation and slurred speech. Opiate users often have trouble sleeping and other physical symptoms such as constipation, headache, dry mouth, itchiness and lack of appetite. They may have trouble thinking, talking or walking normally.

What Are the Long-Term Effects and Dangers of Methadone Use?

A person who is uses methadone for a long period of time may sweat a lot and suffer other unpleasant side effects such as weight gain. They may have mood swings and outbursts. Methadone users often complain about skin rashes, water retention or difficulty urinating.

When a user starts taking doses too close together the likelihood of overdose increases. Thousands of people who use methadone accidentally overdose every year. Many users suffer from dangerously slow breathing and an irregular heartbeat, which necessitates a trip to the hospital to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The drug can also cause kidney damage and liver failure after long periods of usage.

Signs and Symptoms of Methadone Dependency/Abuse

A person who is addicted to methadone will develop a tolerance that causes them to seek out more of the drug. They will continue to seek the drug more often, and their quality of life suffers as a result. They may lose a job or have trouble with their finances. They may lose interest in what used to be their favorite activities. They become increasingly withdrawn and disinterested in daily life. They’re most interested in where their next high will come from. They may doctor shop or steal to support their habit. Their main preoccupation will be the finding and using of methadone (or an opiate substitute).

Physical symptoms of methadone addiction include weight loss or retaining water. Users with liver damage from using methadone may suffer from yellowing skin and/or eyes (jaundice) and have limbs that retain water. The user may have withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, yawning, muscle aches, restlessness and insomnia. While detoxing from the drug, they may have bouts of vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. Because of these miserable symptoms, it’s advised that a person trying to get clean from methadone do so in a supervised clinical setting. Doing so will help prevent any complications that may arise from detox and help alleviate many of the symptoms through medication.

Getting Help for an Opiate Addiction

Many people who become addicted to opiates can use methadone to begin the recovery process and eventually detox from the methadone’s effects as well.  If you or somebody you love is faced with an opiate addiction, it’s time to reclaim your life. An inpatient treatment program has been shown to give the highest likelihood of long term recovery Pick up the phone to call us at the phone number above. We’ll be happy to help you explore your treatment options and help you start the path to recovery.