Many heroin addicts turn to methadone a way to treat their addiction; however, some become physically dependent on or addicted to methadone. The treatment process for methadone addiction involves withdrawal management and or medication-assisted treatment. The withdrawal management process mitigates withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for an addict to transition to inpatient or outpatient drug treatment. However, detox alone does not sustain long-lasting recovery and sobriety. It is essential for anyone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction to address the underlying issues of addiction or the reasons why they began using drugs or alcohol. Methadone is not meant for long-term use, and, unfortunately, the drug can also be purchased illegally for illicit use.
According to the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, heroin and other opioids are reported in more than half of substance abuse admissions in the state. In 2016 the local substance abuse treatment providers identified heroin as the drug of choice in close to 30,000 treatment admissions. When compared to 2015, this was an increase from slightly over 27,000 treatment admissions for heroin. Approximately 46% of all treatment admissions were identified as heroin, and the drug was reported more frequently than alcohol. Heroin and other opioids accounted for 52% of all substance abuse treatment admissions. The average age of clients receiving treatment through the local programs was 41 years old, and there were twice as many male clients as there were female clients.
There are a couple of reasons why someone begins to use methadone, such as to manage pain or treat opioid addiction. Methadone is an opiate and acts on the same opioid receptors as other opioids. The long-term or sustained use of methadone does lead to dependence, tolerance, and addiction. Methadone addiction can also develop through the illegal use of the drug, and like other illicit pain medication, it can also be obtained illegally. Methadone addiction is a severe problem and has a long-lasting impact on the person. It is challenging to stop taking methadone, and suddenly stopping its use does cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Some of the physical side effects of methadone include hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia, depression, and even anxiety.