Methadone Addiction: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment for Methadone Abuse

Methadone is an opioid painkiller that works by binding to receptors in the brain. It stays in the body for an extended period, blocking the euphoric effects of other opioid receptors and lessening the painful symptoms of withdrawal.

Methadone addiction starts when a person takes the drug excessively and becomes dependent. A person addicted to opioid drugs should seek opioid treatment from a healthcare professional skilled in methadone maintenance. Professional help is the best way to avoid further addiction.

A Note on Methadone and Alcohol

Methadone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Therefore, methadone can interact with other drugs, including alcohol. When methadone and alcohol are mixed, the combination can lead to respiratory depression and dangerously affect the nervous system. In extreme cases, patients may even die from the risk of overdose. Methadone has become a highly addictive medication; it is essential to use it exactly as prescribed by a medical professional.

Many treatment programs are available to treat methadone addiction in our facility, The Haven Detox-New Jersey. Patients are monitored closely by our professionals to ensure safety and comfort throughout the recovery process. This prevents the patient from accidentally taking more methadone than they should. Thousands of patients feel relief once they get treatment from an authorized and organized facility. Call (856) 565-3102 for more information.

Treatment Services

Treatment is available for methadone addiction, including inpatient methadone treatment. Inpatient treatment involves 24-hour medical supervision. Treatment may also involve medical detoxification for methadone, which reduces the substance level in the body.

The goal of The Haven Detox-New Jersey is to restore a patient’s mental health and physical well-being. So, our methadone addiction and opioid treatment programs combine behavioral therapy and pharmaceutical therapy into treatment.

Treatments for different types of addiction are accessible at The Haven Detox, including a tapering-off period. Patients must be motivated to complete their rehabilitation and have a strong support system to remain sober. Patients who stop methadone treatment too soon are at risk of relapsing. Therefore, a medical professional should plan and supervise the tapering process through medical detox first. Learn more about treatment options by calling (856) 565-3102.

Symptoms of Methadone Addiction

Methadone withdrawal is different for each person. It can be more complicated if the patient has been taking the drug for a longer time or has increased the frequency of their dose. Once the patient has become dependent on the drug, they will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when the medication is suddenly discontinued. Some of the major withdrawal symptoms of methadone addiction include:

  • Restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slow breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat

In some severe cases, someone in methadone withdrawal may experience heart problems, seizures, or even death. You can consult with a professional physician if you experience the symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation

Symptoms may vary from person to person and can be caused by several factors. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms are physical and include shaking and a rapid heart rate. They may also have decreased respiration.

Timeline of The Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms from methadone begin between 24 and 36 hours after the last dose. Methadone withdrawal symptoms may take four to six weeks. In severe cases, methadone withdrawal symptoms may last more than a month.

During the methadone treatment program, the dose of methadone is reduced gradually. Patients who want a controlled taper should tell their treatment provider before detox begins.

How Severe is Methadone Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms are most severe during the first week of methadone withdrawal. For some, the symptoms last for several months. However, for others, it may take as long as a year to kick the habit completely. The intensity of the symptoms peaks after three days and decreases over three weeks.

While withdrawal from methadone is less severe than withdrawal from other drugs, it can be a challenge. It is a good idea to undergo withdrawal gradually under the supervision of a medical professional through medical detox for methadone.

Methadone Dosage and Use

Patients need to follow the directions for methadone dosage. Individuals should take the medication as their doctor directed and never crush, chew, or snort the drug. If the symptoms recur, they should increase the dose by five to ten mg daily. However, the total daily amount should not exceed 40 mg.

Additionally, methadone should never be combined with any other medicine or substance, as other medications can interact with methadone, leading to a dangerous overdose.

When to Seek Treatment…

Methadone addiction is a severe condition that affects the brain. It distorts thinking and causes a person to compulsive drug-seeking. It can affect both physical and mental health and a person’s career and personal life. You must seek treatment for this condition as soon as you think you may have a problem.

There are various reasons someone may need to seek treatment for methadone addiction. This prescription drug is a powerful pain reliever and is very effective at treating opioid addiction. The drug works in the brain by affecting how it responds to pain. It also prevents addicts from experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

If you cannot stop using methadone alone, you should consider enrolling in a rehab center to get a treatment program. These programs follow guidelines and federal and state laws. Contact The Haven Detox-New Jersey for methadone help at (856) 565-3102.

If A Loved One Needs Help…

If you’ve discovered that a loved one is struggling with methadone addiction, it’s time to seek help. Fortunately, there are many options available. In addition to seeking treatment, you can encourage the individual to find recovery support from friends and family. This is especially helpful in the early stages of recovery. Support groups and therapy sessions will help you and your loved one stay healthy.

One of the best ways to help your loved one is to call The Haven Detox-New Jersey and speak to our trained professionals at (856) 565-3102. Our staff will help you identify the best treatment option for your loved one and give you the answers you need to make the best care plan.

Causes of Methadone Addiction

Methadone is prescribed to treat addiction and withdrawal symptoms caused by heroin or other narcotics. It is also used to treat pain due to certain medical conditions. It should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision and is only intended for the treatment of chronic, severe pain. Methadone should not be used by people with severe respiratory problems, asthma, or blockages in the stomach or intestines.

Methadone is a powerful opioid used to treat addiction to opiates, but it is also sometimes diverted for illicit use. If you or a loved one is using methadone, you should know about the causes of Methadone addiction, including when this medication risks illicit drug use.

Methadone for Illicit Use

Methadone is a widely available opioid medication that is sometimes abused. The drug has caused thousands of deaths, mostly from overdoses. It is deadly when combined with other drugs and is also dangerous when taken against a doctor’s orders. The number of deaths associated with methadone abuse has increased in the United States since the late 1990s.

The reasons why methadone is diverted for illicit use vary widely. A 2005 survey of prescription opioid abusers found that 86 percent of the participants obtained the drug from a dealer, friend, or relative. Another 25 percent received the medicine through a prescription from a healthcare provider. In addition, 13 percent diverted the drugs from an emergency room or theft.

Misuse of Methadone

Using methadone against the instructions of your physician can result in methadone addiction. Methadone misuse can look like mixing methadone with alcohol or other drugs, taking more than the prescribed dose, or using it for longer than advised. All of these actions increase the risk of dependence and addiction.

When a person becomes addicted to a particular substance, getting help immediately is essential. There are several options for methadone addiction treatment. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe methadone replacement therapy. This is a treatment that gradually weans a person off the drug. This therapy can help a person overcome the addiction and lead a drug-free life. Call The Haven Detox-New Jersey to learn more at (856) 565-3102.

Risk Factors

Teenagers who start using drugs at a young age are at an increased risk of developing substance use disorders later in life. The human brain undergoes rapid and dramatic changes during adolescence and early adulthood, and early exposure to drugs can cause long-lasting effects on the developing brain.

Many risk factors for methadone or other substance use disorders can be prevented or reduced. The best way to avoid a deadly overdose is prevention. Sobriety prevents the activation of addiction genes and limits the effects of other risk factors. However, some people find abstinence difficult to maintain and may not be realistic. If sobriety is not feasible, seek professional help to avoid addiction.

Drug Availability

Drug availability is one of the most prevalent risk factors for addiction problems. The fact is, people can’t start using drugs if the drugs are not available for use.

Drug availability creates an environment that encourages “experimentation” with different substances. The availability of substances also affects the risk of addiction. The longer a substance is used or the larger the quantity, the more likely it is to become addicted to it. Again, if there is no access to the substance, you cannot develop an addiction to it.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is often considered to be an issue that affects young people, but the reality is that it applies to all age groups. Whether a person is a child or an adult, peer pressure can lead to unhealthy habits. Peer pressure is often difficult to resist. It can come from reasoning or hints that someone will be rejected if they don’t participate in a specific activity. It can also be a result of fear of ridicule or losing friends.

Peer pressure may also occur when a person is a member of a group of peers with a common interest in substances. Young people who say no to drugs may fear being labeled as “boring” or that their friends will not want to hang out with them.

Lack of Supervision

Lack of supervision is a significant risk factor for methadone abuse or addiction. Children and adolescents left unsupervised by their parents are more likely to develop drug and alcohol problems later in life. Parents are role models for their children, so they can help guide them in the right direction. While they may not always be present for their children’s activities, a supportive environment allows children to develop healthy habits and resist peer pressure.

A family’s environment can also play an important role in determining the risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Children exposed to drugs and alcohol early are more likely to emulate their parent’s behavior later in life.

Effects of Methadone

Addiction causes significant changes to the person involved, negatively impacting their safety and relationships. People addicted to methadone often neglect their needs and prioritize their addiction over other important things, including their jobs and relationships. They become less trustworthy and may lie to others, making communication more difficult. During a relapse, their partner can feel strained and lose faith in them.

Drug and alcohol addiction can also have significant effects on relationships. Family members may question their abilities to protect their loved ones, feel angry or blame themselves, or even feel fearful for their safety. In some cases, the addicted person may start avoiding the family and withdraw into their own world, ignoring all communication.

Effects on Safety

Methadone can increase risky behaviors. In extreme cases, methadone can cause hallucinations. These hallucinations can make it difficult for someone to determine what is real life and what is a dream. This can lead them to behaviors that are uncharacteristic of them, with little regard for their mortality.

It is dangerous to drive a car when you are under the influence of substances like methadone. You may have to face road accidents or other severe incidents and may lose your life or have a severe injury.

Effects on Relationships

There are various warning signals that a partner’s methadone use is hurting the relationship. Numerous disagreements could occur, including issues connected to behaviors, such as financial difficulties, staying out late, and neglecting household duties. The cognitive behavioral therapy at The Haven Detox-New Jersey can help you rebuild trust with your partner.

Children of addicted parents may exhibit post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and trouble trusting adults. They may also develop substance use disorders. Because of the damaging effects of substance abuse, society must no longer ignore the negative effects of this devastating condition.

Effects on Employment

Methadone, drug, and alcohol use costs American companies and organizations $81 billion in lost income annually. Contrary to popular belief, not all people with substance use disorders (SUDs) lack a home, a job to go to, or friends. In fact, employment rates for substance use disorder sufferers exceed 70%.

Even when they continue to work, people with SUDs are not necessarily excellent performers at their jobs. Forty-two percent of people with substance use disorder who work report a decline in productivity due to their addiction. Employers lose out on an estimated $25.5 billion in productivity every year. Not all of the problems caused by an addicted workforce are financial. The list of issues at work brought on by addiction is extensive and hurts everyone involved.

Effects of Methadone Use Disorder on Health

Methadone addiction can harm one’s medical and mental health. When taking methadone, people suffer different health problems, like hallucinations. It may cause you to experience delusions or sleep difficulties. Suicidal thoughts and mental health conditions, including sadness and anxiety, are some of the methadone side effects that some people experience.