Methadone is a synthetic drug and belongs to a class of opioids that are prescribed to treat opiate addiction or manage pain. Methadone works on the same pain receptors as other opioids, and it reduces how much pain you feel. The drug is used to replace another opioid drug such as heroin; however, long-term use does lead to dependence and tolerance. When someone is dependent on methadone, they experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Within the United States, methadone is federally designated as a Schedule II drug, which means it is used medically but also has a high potential for abuse and addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, methadone is responsible for one in three prescription pain medication deaths that occurred in 2009.
Also, about 5,000 people die every year of overdose-related to methadone and six times as many people died of methadone overdoses in 2009 than a decade before. According to a report, Drug-Related Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania, 2018, in 2018, there were 4,491 drug-related overdose deaths reported by the state coroners and medical examiners. When compared to 2017, this was an 18% decrease. In 2018 about twelve people died of a drug-related overdose each day. The drug-related overdose death rate that year was 35 per 100,000 people. However, the overdose rate decreased in 31 counties, but increased in 23 and remained unchanged in three counties. Opioids and illicit or prescription pain medication were reported in 82% of all the drug-related overdose deaths in the state in 2018.
Unfortunately, many opiate addicts choose methadone as a means of treating their opiate addiction. However, methadone is not meant for long-term use, and the sustained use of methadone does cause tolerance and dependence. Withdrawal management is essential, and Pennsylvania methadone detox programs will help mitigate withdrawal symptoms. Other detox options are medication-assisted treatment, which is effective when done with behavioral counseling. Methadone is a dangerous drug, and despite heavy regulation within the United States, addicts still manage to find ways to obtain the drug illegally. Methadone can be abused like any other opiate, whether prescribed or illegal.
How fast can you become addicted to Methadone?
Methadone addiction is a relatively fast process as the abuse of the drug leads to tolerance for it. The addiction has undesirable side effects, which makes the withdrawal process a challenge for the abuser.