Methadone is a very controversial drug, as it is commonly given to those who are recovering from an addiction to Heroin and other opiates. It is a synthetic form of an opiate drug and so many people see it as being unhelpful in the long term for those who are in the throes of an addiction as it is basically swapping one illicit substance for another.
The experience of taking Methadone is very much like the experience of taking Heroin or another form of opiates. It gives a feeling of well-being, contentment and users will feel warm and drowsy. However it also has the same sort of experience on the body, the core temperature will drop, heart rate slows, respiratory rate also slows and low blood pressure is experienced. Long term use affects the body even more and users can experience symptoms such as stomach pain and constipation, rashes and decreased libido. Female users may also experience an irregularity to their menstrual cycle, this may even stop completely.
Signs Of Addiction
Signs of addiction to methadone are the same as for any other opiate but because Methadone use is monitored so carefully by medical professionals, users will lie to their doctors to try and get a higher dose prescribed, they will then abuse this dose and take much more than they should, which in turn only makes things worse as they will have to suffer through withdrawal until it comes time to be prescribed some more. If they feel that they are not getting the right effects from Methadone they may start to combine it with other drugs or alcohol or even use both the Methadone and Heroin simultaneously.
There are alternatives to Methadone and in the case of an addict starting to abuse it then the chances are that a switch to these alternatives will need to be made. Buprenorphine is another synthetic opioid however the difference is that this drug can be combined with naloxone to make Suboxone. Suboxone both treats the withdrawal symptoms of an opioid addict by giving them a dose of opiates, however the naloxone works to reverse any effects felt by an opioid drug, therefore the withdrawal effects will be taken care of but the accompanying high and feeling of euphoria will not be experienced. This makes the drug much less likely to become addictive to even those with the highest risk of drug abuse.
Rehabilitation for Methadone addiction is a bit of a double edged sword, buprenorphine use can be monitored in an outpatient setting. However, if people have already been found to be abusing Methadone treatment which was set up to help them then it may be more beneficial to them and to others if the care is set up on an inpatient basis. This may be on a short term basis, for a number of weeks, or it could be for many months whilst the patient is slowly weaned off of buprenorphine by tapering the dose slowly.