Help with Methadone addiction. Used by addicts detoxing from heroin in rehab centres. It had now become another popular drug on the streets. This has created a new breed of methadone addicts who are now at high risk of overdosing on opiates as they use Heroin on top of taking Methadone. In our residential rehab centres we treat Methadone addiction. This is a highly addictive drug, and while a client is being treated with Methadone, we also need to make sure we treat the psychological effects at the same time. Also this maximises the success of the recovery.
Understanding the Risks and Seeking Effective Treatment
Introduction: Methadone is a medication primarily used to treat opioid addiction, including heroin addiction. While methadone has been proven effective in helping individuals recover from opioid dependence, it carries the risk of its own addiction. This article aims to shed light on methadone addiction, its causes, effects, and available treatment options. By increasing awareness, we hope to encourage understanding and support for those facing methadone addiction.
Understanding Methadone Addiction: Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that works by binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opioids, such as heroin or prescription painkillers. It helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing individuals to stabilise their lives and engage in treatment. However, methadone itself can be addictive if not used as prescribed or if misused.
Causes of Methadone Addiction:
Several factors can contribute to the development of methadone addiction:
Medication mismanagement: Methadone addiction can occur when individuals do not follow the prescribed dosage or frequency, taking larger doses or using it in ways other than directed.
Prolonged use: Over time, the body can develop a tolerance to methadone, leading individuals to increase their dosage to achieve the desired effects. This can escalate the risk of addiction.
Psychological factors: Underlying mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, can contribute to the misuse of methadone. Individuals may use the medication to self-medicate or cope with emotional distress.
Methadone withdrawal refers to the set of symptoms that occur when an individual who has been using Methadone, a medication used in the treatment of opioid addiction, abruptly stops or significantly reduces their Methadone dosage. Methadone withdrawal can be uncomfortable and challenging, but it is an essential step in the recovery process for individuals who wish to discontinue Methadone treatment or transition to other forms of treatment.
Here’s an overview of Methadone withdrawal:
Onset and Duration: Methadone withdrawal symptoms typically start within 24 to 48 hours after the last dose, although it can vary depending on individual factors such as the dosage, duration of Methadone use, and metabolism. The intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can also vary widely. Acute withdrawal symptoms usually peak within 3 to 5 days and may gradually subside over the course of 1 to 2 weeks. However, some individuals may experience lingering symptoms for several weeks or months.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Methadone withdrawal symptoms can include both physical and psychological symptoms, which may include:
- Flu-like symptoms: These can include muscle aches, joint pain, sweating, chills, runny nose, and watery eyes.
- Gastrointestinal issues: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping are common during withdrawal.
- Anxiety and depression: Many individuals experience increased anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and depression during Methadone withdrawal.
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, as well as vivid dreams, are common.
- Physical discomfort: Restlessness, tremors, and feelings of discomfort or unease can occur.
- Drug cravings: Intense cravings for Methadone or other opioids may be experienced during withdrawal.
- Management of Withdrawal Symptoms: Methadone withdrawal is typically managed under the supervision of healthcare professionals to ensure safety and provide support. Medical monitoring and assistance can help alleviate symptoms and provide guidance throughout the process. Depending on the severity of withdrawal symptoms, healthcare professionals may recommend various strategies, including medications to manage specific symptoms, such as anti-nausea medications, sleep aids, or medications to alleviate anxiety or depression. Emotional support, counselling, and behavioural therapies are also crucial during this time to help individuals cope with the psychological aspects of withdrawal and develop effective coping mechanisms.
It’s important to note that Methadone withdrawal can be intense, and attempting to quit Methadone abruptly or without medical supervision can be dangerous. Sudden discontinuation of Methadone can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms and potential health risks. Therefore, it is strongly advised to seek professional guidance from healthcare professionals who specialise in addiction medicine or Methadone treatment to safely manage withdrawal and provide support throughout the process.
Remember, Methadone withdrawal is a temporary phase, and seeking proper medical assistance and support can help minimise discomfort and increase the chances of successful recovery.
Effects of Methadone Addiction:
Methadone addiction can have various physical, mental, and social consequences:
Physical health: Prolonged methadone abuse can lead to respiratory depression, constipation, cardiovascular issues, hormonal imbalances, and an increased risk of overdose.
Psychological health: Methadone addiction can exacerbate or trigger mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and mood swings. It can also impair cognitive functions, memory, and decision-making abilities.
Social and financial impact: Addiction can strain relationships, lead to isolation, and cause financial difficulties due to the high cost of acquiring methadone illicitly or diverting prescribed medication.
Treatment Options for Methadone Addiction:
Recovering from methadone addiction requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction:
A supervised detoxification process can help individuals safely taper off methadone while managing withdrawal symptoms under medical supervision.
Behavioural therapies: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and contingency management are effective in addressing the underlying causes of addiction, developing coping skills, and promoting positive behavioural changes.
Supportive services: Engaging in support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or participating in counselling can provide a valuable network of individuals who understand the challenges of addiction and can offer guidance and support.
Dual diagnosis treatment: If individuals have co-occurring mental health conditions, integrated treatment that addresses both the addiction and underlying mental health issues is essential for successful recovery.
Conclusion: Methadone addiction is a serious concern that requires professional help and support. Understanding the causes, effects, and available treatment options is crucial for individuals and their loved ones facing methadone addiction. Seeking early intervention, engaging in evidence-based treatment, and accessing a support network can significantly improve the chances of overcoming addiction and achieving lasting recovery. With the right resources and a commitment to change, individuals can regain control of their lives and embrace a healthier, drug-free future.
how do I know if I need Methadone addiction help?
If you are uncertain whether you need Methadone addiction help, it’s important to consider the following signs and symptoms that may indicate a need for assistance:
Dependence on opioids: If you are dependent on opioids such as heroin, prescription painkillers, or other opioids and find it challenging to stop using or reduce your dosage despite negative consequences, it may indicate a need for help.
Failed attempts to quit opioids: If you have made multiple unsuccessful attempts to quit opioids or have experienced relapses after periods of abstinence, it suggests that addiction is interfering with your ability to achieve and maintain sobriety.
Frequent opioid cravings: If you experience intense cravings for opioids, particularly when trying to quit or cut back on your use, it suggests a physical and psychological dependence on the drug.
Tolerance and escalating dosage: If you find that you need increasing amounts of opioids to achieve the desired effects or that your current dosage no longer produces the same high, it may indicate the development of tolerance, which is often a sign of addiction.
Health issues: Opioid addiction can have a range of negative health consequences. If you are experiencing physical health problems related to your opioid use, such as infections, respiratory issues, or deteriorating overall health, it is important to seek help.
Interference with daily life: If your opioid use is interfering with your ability to fulfil responsibilities at work, school, or home, or if it is negatively impacting your relationships and social functioning, it suggests that addiction is affecting your daily life.
Financial difficulties: Opioid addiction can be costly, and if you are experiencing financial problems due to spending a significant portion of your income on drugs or engaging in illegal activities to support your addiction, it may be a sign that you need help.
Legal issues: Involvement in illegal activities, such as drug possession or theft, to obtain opioids or support your addiction can lead to legal problems. If you have encountered legal issues related to your drug use, it is crucial to seek help to address the underlying addiction.
Emotional and psychological changes: Opioid addiction can cause significant changes in mood, behaviour, and mental health. You may experience increased irritability, anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
If you recognise one or more of these signs in yourself, it is important to reach out for professional help. Methadone addiction help can be obtained through addiction specialists, treatment centres, healthcare professionals, or opioid addiction helplines. They can provide you with the necessary guidance, support, and treatment options to address your addiction, manage withdrawal symptoms, and help you begin the journey of recovery. Remember, seeking help is a courageous step towards regaining control of your life and well-being.
Withdrawal from Methadone addiction
The withdrawal symptoms when stopping Methadone are as follows. Pain in the clients joints and muscles. Stomach cramps and upset stomach. Feeling cold and sickness yet sweating and restlessness. Depression. Loss of appetite, and suicidal thoughts. Irritable and anxious. Runny nose and tears plus Dilated pupils.
How long is Methadone addiction withdrawal
This depends on the amount the client is using. As a rule 8mm of Methadone will require an 8 weeks detox in rehab. And a 40mm will require a 4 weeks detox, and so on. Methadone takes the longest time to detox out of all the drugs. If you were just to stop (cold turkey) you would be suffering on your own for a minimum of 30 days. But you can also get Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, which will last for a year. Trust me. If you want to get off Methadone. Go to a proper rehab centre. That is your best option.
Methadone Drug Class
Methadone is a class A drug. (The highest category available). It is made from opiates which in hospitals is generally used for pain relief, as are all opioids. Heroin works in a way where it changes the brains thinking, and removes pain through the opioid receptors. It is also administered legally as a synthetic Heroin, stopping withdrawal from Heroin for clients.
The higher the dose of Methadone you are taking, will mean the longer you will need to detox from it. So reducing as much as you can before you come into rehab will reduce the length of your stay in treatment. and also reduce the costs of your treatment.
Methadone from your local Chemist
It is also used as a medication to substitute heroin addicts use of Heroin. So it is administered on a daily bases by your local chemist (Prescription only) to clients who are suffering from a Heroin addiction. This way the client is not at risk of an overdoes.
Plus the Methadone issued is much safer as not mixed with other substance like Heroin will be. It also means the client can carry on a normal life without having to find money etc for Heroin. Methadone lasts 24 hours, so only needs to be given once a day.
By using prescribed Methadone, the idea is to help reduce the governments cost of treatment programs. It also stops the chances of catching HIV. It stops the client committing crime, to get money for drugs which in turn keeps the prisons less full. Plus it reduces people dying from overdoses.
The side effects of Methadone addiction
Help with Methadone addiction. The main idea of putting Heroin addicts on prescribed Methadone was, so they could get back into work. But the problem with Methadone is the side effects. These include weakness, depression (which seems to go hand in hand with all illegal drugs, and alcohol) tiredness, no motivation, sleepiness. This does not really help if the client wants a normal life.
Reduction program changed
For some crazy unknown reason. The government decided to stop scrips of Methadone, and told clients they had to get treatment. This completely backfired, and the rate of overdoses sawed to it highest level for many years. Then on top of that, also HIV started to climb. Glasgow was the worse hit region. So Methadone is now back on a script.
Prescribed Methadone benefits
Help with Methadone addiction. Once a Methadone script is at the correct level for the client, then the benefits are really quite good.
They stop the client committing crime. It reduces Heroin withdrawal, It amount of Methadone can slowly be reduced, as and when the client is ready. Stops the risk of HIV. It works as a powerful painkiller, so stops all the aches and pains, which go hand in hand with a Heroin addiction. It last for 24 hours, so only needed to be taken once a day. Unlike Heroin which does not last long, hence you need to keep buying it. Also Methadone is free on prescription. There is no sharing needles, and you drink Methadone, so no injecting.
There are downsides to taking Methadone
Despite the good things about taking Methadone to stop a Heroin addiction. There are downsides. These consist of mainly still the fact it is addictive. Plus the client will still crave for Heroin. Other side effects are tooth decay. Feeling shattered, and still being unable to work due to side effects.
What is Methadone addiction treatment?
Methadone addiction treatment, also known as Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), is a comprehensive approach used to help individuals who are dependent on opioids, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, overcome their addiction and achieve long-term recovery. Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication that has been used for decades in the treatment of opioid addiction.
Here’s an overview of how Methadone addiction treatment works:
Assessment and Induction: The treatment process begins with a thorough assessment by healthcare professionals to determine the individual’s suitability for Methadone treatment. If deemed appropriate, the individual is initiated into the treatment program through a process called induction. During induction, the healthcare provider carefully determines the appropriate Methadone dosage to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing euphoria or sedation.
Medication Stabilisation: Once the Methadone dosage is established, the individual enters the medication stabilisation phase. They receive daily Methadone doses, typically in a controlled clinic setting, to manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and stabilise their opioid use. Regular medical monitoring is conducted to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the medication.
Counselling and Behavioural Therapies: Methadone addiction treatment is most effective when combined with counselling and behavioural therapies. Individual counselling, group therapy, or a combination of both may be utilised to address the underlying psychological and behavioural aspects of addiction. These therapies help individuals develop coping skills, identify triggers, and address co-occurring mental health conditions.
Supportive Services: Treatment programs may offer additional supportive services to address various needs. These may include case management, vocational support, housing assistance, access to healthcare services, and assistance with legal issues. These services help individuals address the social, economic, and environmental factors that can impact their recovery journey.
Ongoing Medical Monitoring: Regular medical monitoring is an essential part of Methadone addiction treatment. Healthcare professionals assess the individual’s progress, adjust the Methadone dosage if needed, and monitor any potential side effects or medication interactions. They may also conduct periodic drug screenings to ensure adherence to the treatment plan.
Gradual Tapering (Optional): For individuals who wish to discontinue Methadone treatment after achieving stability and sustained recovery, a gradual tapering process may be implemented. This involves gradually reducing the Methadone dosage under medical supervision to minimise withdrawal symptoms and ensure a smooth transition.
Methadone addiction treatment is a long-term commitment, and the duration of treatment can vary depending on the individual’s needs and progress. Some individuals may remain on Methadone maintenance for an extended period, while others may eventually transition to other forms of treatment or complete abstinence.
It’s important to note that Methadone treatment should be conducted under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals in specialised clinics or treatment centres. This ensures proper dosing, medical oversight, and comprehensive support throughout the recovery process. Methadone addiction treatment has shown to be effective in reducing illicit drug use, improving health outcomes, and supporting individuals in their journey toward recovery and improved quality of life.
How does Methadone Addiction Treatment Work?
Methadone addiction treatment, also known as Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), is a comprehensive approach designed to help individuals overcome their dependence on opioids, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, and achieve long-term recovery. Here’s an overview of how Methadone addiction treatment works:
Assessment and Induction: The treatment process begins with a thorough assessment by healthcare professionals who specialise in addiction medicine. They evaluate your opioid use history, physical and mental health, and treatment goals. If Methadone treatment is deemed appropriate, you will enter the induction phase. During induction, the healthcare provider determines the appropriate Methadone dosage that effectively reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing euphoria or sedation.
Medication Stabilisation: Once the Methadone dosage is established, you enter the medication stabilisation phase. You receive a daily dose of Methadone, typically in a controlled clinic setting, under the supervision of healthcare professionals. Methadone acts as a long-acting opioid agonist, binding to the same brain receptors as other opioids but in a controlled and safer manner. It helps prevent withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and stabilise your opioid use.
Counselling and Behavioural Therapies: Methadone addiction treatment is most effective when combined with counselling and behavioural therapies. Individual counselling, group therapy, or a combination of both may be utilised to address the underlying psychological and behavioural aspects of addiction. These therapies help you develop coping skills, identify triggers, and address co-occurring mental health conditions.
Medical Monitoring: Regular medical monitoring is an essential component of Methadone addiction treatment. Healthcare professionals assess your progress, adjust the Methadone dosage if needed, monitor potential side effects, and ensure the overall effectiveness and safety of the medication. They may also conduct periodic drug screenings to ensure adherence to the treatment plan.
Supportive Services: Treatment programs may offer additional supportive services to address various needs. These services may include case management, vocational support, housing assistance, access to healthcare services, and assistance with legal issues. These services help you address the social, economic, and environmental factors that can impact your recovery journey.
Gradual Tapering (Optional): For individuals who wish to discontinue Methadone treatment after achieving stability and sustained recovery, a gradual tapering process may be implemented. Under medical supervision, the Methadone dosage is gradually reduced over time to minimise withdrawal symptoms and ensure a smooth transition.
Methadone addiction treatment is typically considered a long-term approach, and the duration of treatment can vary depending on your needs and progress. Some individuals may remain on Methadone maintenance for an extended period, while others may eventually transition to other forms of treatment or complete abstinence.
It’s important to note that Methadone addiction treatment should be conducted under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals in specialised clinics or treatment centres. They will ensure proper dosing, medical oversight, comprehensive support, and an individualised treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Methadone addiction treatment has shown to be effective in reducing illicit drug use, improving health outcomes, and supporting individuals in their journey toward recovery and improved quality of life.
We offer a full Methadone detox and rehabilitation through our residential rehab centres. Call us now for more details on Tel: 07811 606 606 (24 hours)