Methadone is a drug often used to treat opiate addiction. Many people switch one addiction for another. The difference between the two drugs is that the former is often prescribed under the care of a doctor. The latter is an illegal street drug. Prescription drug abuse has increased in recent years, but many people who abuse methadone are addicts who abused heroin, opium or prescription painkillers in the past. When someone wants to make sure that an individual is not abusing methadone, he needs to know the signs.
Doctors will be able to spot the signs of methadone abuse more easily than people in other professions will. The professionals know what counts as drug seeking behavior and they watch out for it. When someone is not able to obtain the drug through legal channels, he may try to obtain it through illegal ones. If a loved one suspects that an individual is engaging in abuse, he or she should watch for the following symptoms.
Patients abusing methadone often lie to their medical doctors in order to get a supply of the drug. If a patient cannot get the drug, he or she may move onto combining it with other substances. Combining any prescription drugs with recreational pharmaceuticals is extremely dangerous. It can cause severe medical problems or even lead to death. If someone knows that his or her loved one is doing this, he or she needs to find a way to correct the situation quickly.
Doctors and loved ones should also pay attention to how much of the drug a person is taking. People abusing the substance may run out of the drug more quickly than normal. They may also take more pills than prescribed. A person who has become addicted to the drug may take more than he or she is prescribed or he or she may take multiple doses per day.
Initial symptoms of being under the influence of the drug are not easy to spot. Contentment and a mild feeling of euphoria are not noticeable under many circumstances. The drug, which works on the pleasure centers of the brain, also causes drowsiness.
Long-term Effects of Methadone Use
Pregnant women who use methadone have a good chance of passing the addiction onto their child. Anxiety and depression are other common, long-term side effects. These symptoms get worse when an individual stops taking the drug.
Spotting methadone abuse or addiction in a loved one is not always an easy thing to do. Many people detect it after repeated patterns of behavior. The repeated patterns of behavior may mean that a loved one has a problem. When someone does have a problem, help is available 800-303-2482.
The problem is getting the individual to realize that he or she needs help. If someone has been through the program before, he or she may have realized that they have fallen off the wagon and needs to stop taking the drug. If he or she has abused the drug for a while, they may need to go through the detox process again.
It is not pleasant to go through detox, even if someone has been through it before. Methadone, like other opiates, is physically and psychologically addictive. A body that becomes deprived of the substance will go through the common symptoms of withdrawal. It will start with a headache and go to shaking. The symptoms of withdrawal vary for each drug.
The methadone detox process is similar to the detox process for other drugs derived from opium. A patient will need to be watched by hospital staff to make sure there are not severe complications. Methadone abuse should not be taken lightly. If someone suspects that a loved one is abusing or has become addicted to the drugs, he or she needs to take action now.
If the abuse has been caught early, it may simply be enough to remove access to the drug, but if it has gone farther than this, more extreme measures need to be taken. Forcing someone into treatment may be the only option in some situations. An individual knows how difficult it can be, but it is also important to know that there is help out there. Neither he or she nor the addict is alone.
An intervention is one of the best ways of getting through to someone who has passed into the serious phases of addiction. There are certain ways that this is done that are the most effective and they usually aren’t the normal inclinations that people would think are the best. A loving, calm and honest approach is most usually better received that one through aggression.
Hiring a professional interventionist or bringing in someone you know that has done this before is the best idea, as they can help moderate it and direct it the way it should go, otherwise they can prove to be counterproductive. Prior to an intervention, a treatment facility needs to be selected, and some basic needs of the individual ready to go, such as clothes and a toothbrush. There is excellent help available out there, and in the case of methadone, one will need to make sure the facility they are inquiring into deals with that. Speaking with someone at the facility will also be able to offer some great suggestions.