What is methadone?
Methadone is a man-made (synthetic) compound. It is a narcotic (opioid) analgesic. This means it’s made by man for the purpose of treating pain. However, it is also used to treat opioid dependency. As an anti-addictive, this medicine may be obtained from a physician or from a methadone clinic.
Frequently used for the treatment of chronic pain and drug addiction because of:
• Low cost
• Powerful effects
• Long duration
Methadone is available in both pills and liquid forms. Pills are most often used for chronic pain while the liquid form is used to treat opiate addicts. As one of the longest acting narcotics, Methadone can stay in the system for more than 20 hours.
Although there are good points to the medication, the downsides are extreme as well.
• Combined with alcohol can increase risk of addiction and abuse leading to death
• Deaths which involve painkillers – Over 30% involve methadone
• Death toll increasing
As a percentage of all painkillers prescribed Methadone prescription numbers vary throughout the states. In varying strengths, Methadone accounts for the following median percentages throughout the nation.
• 15% – 14 states
• 10% – 11 states
• 7.6% – 13 states
• 5.5% – 12 states
One can see from the numbers this drug is used quite extensively and also contributes to a significant number of deaths throughout the nation. Anytime narcotics are used at these rates abuse and addictions are certain to follow. These manifest in both psychological and physical signs and symptoms.
The Psychology of Abuse:
• Need for money – stealing or borrowing
• Losing interest in normal activities
• Loss of interest in personal self – hygiene, general upkeep
• Becoming standoffish from friends and loved ones
Physical Presentation of Addiction:
• Sweating / flushing
• Nausea / vomiting
• Trouble sleeping / drowsy
• Rashes / hives
• Decreased sexual interest
Physical signs of Withdrawal:
• Very small pupils
• Limp muscles
• Shallow breathing
• Can’t stay awake
• Losing consciousness
• Cold, clammy skin
• Blue tinged skin
Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal:
• Overly anxious
• Dilation of pupils
• Pain in muscles
• Becoming paranoid
• Agitation out of context
Clinics for methadone exist throughout the nation treating around 250,000 people or more. Though treatments may be legitimate or may not be, the act of being treated does not indicate who is or may be addicted to Methadone.