How To Help Someone Stop Using Methadone
Most methadone users began taking the drug to avoid heroin use or other opioids. Unfortunately, it is common for methadone maintenance to last a long time, which means the individual becomes physically dependent.
Stopping the use of methadone requires slowly tapering off the drug with medical guidance and a medical detox to manage painful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
If methadone maintenance was initially combined with rehabilitation, medical detox is likely the only option needed. However, this is not always the case. It is common for many heroin addicts to be placed on methadone without receiving any drug rehabilitation.
Helping someone stop using methadone requires the following:
- Medically supervised detox and withdrawal management
- Inpatient or outpatient drug rehabilitation, depending on addiction history and severity
- Aftercare support such as 12-step meetings or sober living homes
Our experts recommend a well-rounded approach and taking the time to successfully detox from methadone and address underlying issues connected to the addiction.
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What type of drug is Methadone?
Methadone is a prescription synthetic opioid medication used to treat severe, chronic pain. It’s also given to people recovering from opioid addiction to help them get off illicit opioids or as a long-term substitute for more dangerous opioids. But that doesn’t mean Methadone is safe. The drug is still potent and addictive and kills many people yearly due to overdose.
What does Methadone look like?
Methadone usually takes on two primary forms: pills or liquid. In pill form, Methadone is usually a white, oblong tablet, but it can also be in the form of a round tablet or a wafer. Liquid Methadone is most commonly administered in a clinical setting where the drug is given to people previously on illicit opioids like heroin. Known as a Methadone clinic, the substance is often found in a red syrup that resembles cough medicine.
How long does Methadone stay in your system?
Methadone stays in the system longer than most opioids and can be detected in the urine for as much as two weeks. It can be detectable even longer than two weeks for people who take higher doses of Methadone and have been on the drug long-term. For this reason and the drug’s long-term health effects, Methadone clinics have spurred controversy about the efficacy and morality of medication-centric approaches.
Why is Methadone so addictive?
Methadone was created as a pain reliever and has the same addictive properties as other opiates. Furthermore, Methadone is given to many patients as a means to get them off other opiates, so many people taking Methadone already have a dependency when they begin taking it. Once one starts to take the drug, tolerance develops rapidly as the drug slowly accumulates in the bloodstream. Methadone takes a long time to leave the system, and with regular use, dependence occurs. Methadone can be more difficult to quit than many other opioids due to severe withdrawal that can last for weeks.
How is Methadone used?
Methadone is primarily ingested orally as a pill or liquid. However, when the drug is abused illicitly, it’s often injected. IV Methadone use presents the same risks as other IV drug use. The drug is notorious for combining poorly with other depressant substances and causing overdose and death.
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