Methadone, Get The Facts!
Methadone is often used to supposedly treat opiate addiction. Methadone is a synthetic opioid. It was developed in Germany in 1937. Although it is chemically like morphine and heroin, methadone also acts on the opioid receptors and thus produces many of the same effects. Methadone is sometimes used in managing chronic pain.If you are addicted to opiates, such as heroin, then you can’t get methadone from your family physician. You have to go to methadone clinics.
Methadone is usually thought of in terms of opiate drug detox, but its addictive nature has led it to be a cash-cow for legal drug pushers that would rather justify over-medicating an opiate addict than guide him towards a drug-free withdrawal and treatment. (methadone Clinics) Therefore, Methadone has become much more than an aid in pain relief or an adjunct to detox. Here is more information on the difference between detox and withdrawals. When you are thinking about going to a Methadone Clinic, think hard before you chose another drug.
Methadone is usually distributed from methadone clinics. Patients most often have to go get their methadone dose daily and they are drug tested to ensure that they do not also take other drugs. Testing positive for other drug use often results in being disbanded from the methadone clinic and its program and can cause addicts to go into wretched withdrawal symptoms.
The code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Section 8 states that “Methadone products when used for the treatment of opioid addiction in detoxification or maintenance programs, shall be dispensed only by opioid treatment programs (and agencies, practitioners or institutions by formal agreement with the program sponsor) certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and approved by the designated state authority.”
This means that using methadone to support someone that is addicted to opiates is illegal unless it meets that definition. A physician can prescribe methadone to aid in ameliorating pain, but cannot do the same if the patient admits that they have an addiction to opiates, such as heroin or OxiContin.
This law is written in the strongest sense of Federal Regulations and states that anyone dispensing methadone in any way other than following these regulations will be prosecuted on criminal charges, therefore, the penalties in this area of the law are such that drug seeking addicts are not likely to find methadone being prescribed to them by their local family doctor, however, it is well known that methadone is always available on the streets if a person can afford the elevated prices.
Methadone isn’t a drug that is sought after for its high, because it is known for not having a true “high” like heroin, but it will last longer in the body before one is experiencing withdrawal symptoms and that is valuable when the Drug of Choice can’t be obtained.
One danger that needs to be pointed out is the fact that methadone has a long half-life, meaning that it stays in the body longer and creates the desired effect longer than other opiates. The duration of the painkilling actions of methadone is approximately four to eight hour, depending on many factors, the main one being the mount of methadone or opiate tolerance that has been developed over the time of taking opiates. However, the plasma elimination half-life is much longer: 8 to 59 hours, which means that a person can be accumulating this drug in the bodies while there are no signs that it is still active in the body, therefore, a person can then find their DOC (drug of choice) and more easily overdose because they are unaware that the methadone is still lingering in their blood stream.
It is argued that the plus in using methadone is that the person is not anymore criminal and is able to function because the methadone keeps the withdrawal symptoms away. Methadone may be prescribed for a very short period of time to help an addict through a detox program off of opiates. It is also used for long term maintenance for heroin and other opiate addicts who have attempted to get clean but not been able to.
The withdrawals from methadone when a person has been on maintenance for a while, is harder than from any other opioid including heroin and morphine. Addicts complain that they have pain all the way in the bones and the withdrawal symptoms can last for several weeks with heavy flu-like symptoms and difficulty getting sleep and rest.
Giving out methadone is easier and often cheaper than treating an addict in residential and in-patient centers. Many clinics have been established all over the nation where methadone is administered together with some counseling to help the addict. Its merit can be argued as the addict really is not off drugs and thus perceptions are dulled and the person cannot live a fulfilling life. For one, he has to show up at the methadone clinic daily (usually early in the morning) 7udays a week. Some patients who have been very compliant are allowed to take a weeks dose home.
Methadone does have a value for street sales which is the reason that the administration is so stringent. It is feared that if an addict gets more than his or her daily dose, it will be sold in the street. Methadone clinics are usually closely monitored by the Office of the DEA.
Should an addict who is on a high dose of methadone decided that he wants to become drug free and off the methadone, the clinic will usually start dropping the methadone with 5 mgs at a time and it may take several months to drop down to nothing. The addict will then still experience withdrawal symptoms and may have a prolonged period of inability to sleep. Getting the stories of addicts, one will often hear that the addict either gets back on the methadone or resorts back to street drugs as they have a very hard time functioning and living a decent life.
Someone who is thinking about getting on methadone should study the effects and side effects very carefully as once it has been taken for a ten or more days, it is very tough to quit and the withdrawals symptoms are many time more severe than those of heroin and OxiContin. Wiki has a fairly good description of the history of methadone and other considerations about the drug. Click Here