Methadone is a synthetic opioid prescribed to treat varying levels of pain and used to treat opioid addiction. Methadone acts on the same opioid receptors as any other pain medication. The drug is federally designated as a Schedule II substance, which means it’s used medically, but has a high potential for addiction. The sustained use of methadone does cause tolerance, dependence, and addiction, requiring methadone detox programs in Minnesota. Per the Centers for Disease Control, one in three prescription painkiller deaths are attributed to methadone. Approximately 5,000 people die every year of an overdose related to methadone. During 2009 six times as many people died of methadone overdose than a decade before.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, between 2018 and 2017, there was a decline in the number of drug-related overdose deaths. In 2017 there were 733 drug-related overdose deaths, which then decreased to 607 in 2018, which represented a 17% drop. The decrease in the number of deaths was due to a reduction in heroin-related deaths and the deaths that involved prescription pain medication. Overall all opioid deaths declined 22% from 422 in 2017 to 331 in 2018. There was also a 32% decline in the number of prescription opioid-involved deaths from 195 in 2017 to 134 in 2018. The number of heroin-related deaths decreased by 23% from 111 in 2017 to 85 in 2018.
However, a vast majority of the opioid-related deaths in the state involved fentanyl. Of the 195 deaths, 84% had fentanyl listed as the contributing factor. Unfortunately, many opioid addicts turn to methadone as a solution and become dependent on the drug. Minnesota methadone detox centers routinely help methadone users safely withdraw. Medically supervised withdrawal management and or medication-assisted treatment is practical solutions used to help people dependent on methadone. When searching for detox, the drug user should also attend inpatient or outpatient drug treatment. Detox alone does not sustain long-lasting recovery.