What Happens If I Overdose
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or person using opioid medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, slow breathing, or no breathing.
Your doctor may recommend you get naloxone and keep it with you at all times. A person caring for you can give the naloxone if you stop breathing or don’t wake up. Your caregiver must still get emergency medical help and may need to perform CPR on you while waiting for help to arrive.
Anyone can buy naloxone from a pharmacy or local health department. Make sure any person caring for you knows where you keep naloxone and how to use it.
Can Methadone Be Used For Treating Crystal Meth Addiction
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What Are Addiction And Dependence
Its difficult to answer the question, what is methadone used for? without first understanding addiction and dependence.
Addiction is characterized by an inability to stop using a drug even though its causing problems in your life. Addiction changes the physical structures and chemical functions of the brain and leads to compulsive drug-seeking behaviors that eventually eclipse all else in life. Because of the nature of the brain changes caused by addiction, people who are addicted develop unhealthy thought and behavior patterns that perpetuate the addiction.
Ending an addiction almost always requires professional help. A high quality treatment program uses a variety of therapies to help addicted individuals re-learn healthy ways of thinking and behaving, address the underlying issues behind the addiction, and develop essential skills for coping with cravings, stress, and other triggers.
Dependence is different from addiction. Its characterized by withdrawal symptoms that set in when you stop using a drug. Dependence is a physical reliance on drugs caused by changes in brain function.
Symptoms of withdrawal from opioids include intense cravings, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, hot and cold sweats, and body aches. Most dependent people who try to quit opioids on their own will go back to using very quickly, if only to end the discomfort.
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How Do Methadone Clinics Work
The opioid crisis in our nation continues to claim lives on a daily basis. And those who pass away from death due to an opioid overdose leave behind mourning loved ones who are left to wonder what, if anything, they couldve done to help. Sadly, in many cases, loved ones have done all they can and the fact is that if only the person who is struggling with an addiction to an opioid, alcohol, or another substance can help themselves.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that between 21 and 29% of those who are prescribed opioids will misuse them, about 8 to 12% will develop an opioid use disorder , and 4 to 6% will end up using heroin. While these percentages may seem relatively low, this translates into thousands upon thousands of people becoming addicted to dangerous opioids each year.
When faced with an addiction issue, the future may seem bleak and hopeless. One seems to be living only to get their next high so they can survive. Images of happiness, joy, and being a healthy part of society are all but goneand for many, they have given up hope completely.
If you or someone you love is living with an addiction to an opioid, alcohol, or any other substance, there is hope and help for youits just a call away. Despite the overwhelming numbers of addiction, thousands of people seek treatment for addiction every day. And thousands live in recovery celebrating life once again. You can too.
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Methadone is used to relieve severe pain in people who are expected to need pain medication around the clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications. It also is used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in patients who were addicted to opiate drugs and are enrolled in treatment programs in order to stop taking or continue not taking the drugs. Methadone is in a class of medications called opiate analgesics. Methadone works to treat pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It works to treat people who were addicted to opiate drugs by producing similar effects and preventing withdrawal symptoms in people who have stopped using these drugs.
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How Is Methadone Used
If you need methadone for pain, your doctor will write a prescription for it. For an addiction, youâll get it from a special treatment program. You can find programs through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association treatment locator or by calling 1-800-662-HELP .
Methadone comes in tablet, powder, and liquid forms. You have to have a prescription to get it. Your providers will give you the dose that should work best for you. They also might change your dose during treatment. Tell your doctor how you feel when you use it. Donât stop taking methadone without talking to them.
Follow the dosage instructions exactly. If your doctor prescribes tablets that are âdispersible,â dissolve all or part of the tablet in liquid and drink it all.
Experts say people who take methadone to treat an addiction should use it for at least a year while they work on recovery. When itâs time to stop, your doctor will help you do so slowly to prevent withdrawal.
Some people take methadone illegally, without a prescription. Most of them inject it, which can expose them to diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.
Health Dangers Of Methadone Opioid Use
The array of approved methadone uses has increased the drugs availability to the public and heavily contributes to the nations growing opioid epidemic. Methadone is as potent, addictive and dangerous as the drugs it was initially used to replace.
Individuals who use methadone to overcome heroin are at a higher risk of use because of their prior history of opioid dependence. Abusing methadone may result in increased tolerance, which means that a person needs more of the drug to get the same results. What many people dont realize is that one 10-milligram tablet of methadone can stay in the system for up to five days.
Taking a second dose of methadone within 12 hours of the first dose increases the risk of overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of methadone overdose skyrocketed 600 percent from 784 deaths in 1999 to 5,406 deaths in 2006.
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Use To Abuse And Addiction
Because many individuals receive prescriptions for strong painkillers every year, more and more people find themselves suffering from addiction to prescription pain medications. These are often an oxycodone- or hydrocodone-based medication, such as Vicodin, Percocet, or OxyContin. Lawmakers and regulators now say that prescription pain medications are over-prescribed for problems that may not be fixed by this medication, such as chronic back pain, or they are prescribed in large quantities for post-surgery pain treatment. Although the Food and Drug Administration does not recommend methadone as a prescription painkiller for these types of pain, over 4 million prescriptions were written for methadone in 2009. The rise in methadone prescriptions, specifically for use as a painkiller, is due to the fact that methadone is cheap, especially compared to hydrocodone and oxycodone. Insurance companies are sometimes more willing to cover the cost of methadone instead of brand name opioid painkillers, and that has driven many people to switch their prescriptions to methadone.
Because methadone is designed to be a long-acting drug, it can build up very quickly in the body, and that can mean that taking even one more dose than prescribed can lead to an overdose. Unless carefully monitored by a medical professional, methadone use is dangerous, and abuse or addiction can lead to very serious consequences.
Methadone May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- extreme drowsiness
- agitation, hallucinations , fever, sweating, confusion, fast heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, or dizziness
- inability to get or keep an erection
- irregular menstruation
Methadone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Why Is Methadone Used To Treat Addiction
When faced with an opiate addiction, many people begin to realize that finding a solution would be in their best interest. This starts with settling on a treatment method that puts them in position to overcome their addiction and regain control of their life.
While some people are able to stop cold turkey, this is extremely difficult, especially for those who have been abusing opiates for an extended period of time. For this reason, it is often times necessary to consult with a reputable treatment facility and/or methadone doctor.
Methadone was first used in the 1930s for the treatment of pain. However, during the 1960s it was found that this drug could also be used to treat heroin addiction.
Dr. Vincent Dole and Dr. Marie Nyswander were the first doctors to research the treatment of opiate addiction with methadone. They soon found that a patient could substitute the abused drug, such as heroin or morphine, with methadone. Doing so would allow them to overcome their addiction without dealing with the many severe withdrawal symptoms and side effects. Soon enough, they opened a methadone maintenance program to help those in need.
Over the years, many people with an opiate addiction have turned to methadone treatment. Here are three of the reasons why this has become a treatment method of choice:
Note: the strongest withdrawal symptoms typically set in within 24 to 72 hours of last use of an opiate.
Methadone For Opioid Addiction: Everything You Need To Know
Medication assisted treatment, which combines specific drugs with interventions such as counseling and behavioral therapy, can provide a holistic approach to treating opioid addiction, also known as opioid use disorder. Methadone is one medication that is FDA-approved for use within an opioid addiction treatment plan. Read on to learn more about how the drug could help you quit opioids for good.
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Can You Get Addicted
Because methadone has similar effects to heroin, you can easily become addicted especially if you are taking methadone to get high. You can build a tolerance to it, needing higher doses to get the same effects and can develop marked withdrawals, particularly if its use is stopped suddenly.
However, if methadone is used appropriately as part of treatment of a painful condition, there is much less chance of becoming addicted. The patient is usually monitored by their doctor and the dose of methadone is reduced over time as the painful condition improves.
What Is Methadone Treatment For Fentanyl Addiction
Methadone is one of three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid use disorder . It has been used for over 70 years and is the most widely used to treat OUD.3,4
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For fentanyl, in particular, methadone is a first-line treatment and may be preferable to other OUD treatment medications. This is because methadone treatment for fentanyl addiction is associated with higher rates of treatment completion.
Research indicates that completing an opioid addiction treatment program is crucial at reducing the risk of relapse and overdose. Using fentanyl is an identified risk factor for dropping out of treatment because the potency makes it even more addictive compared to other opioids and the withdrawal symptoms can be severe.5
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Dosage For Heroin Addiction
Doses vary from person to person. Your starting dose is based on:
- the amount of heroin you are using
- whether you are using other drugs or alcohol
- your physical and mental health
- whether you have had treatment for drug addiction before
You will usually start on 10mg to 30mg, taken once a day. This can be increased slowly, until your withdrawal symptoms are under control and your cravings stop.
Many people then take a regular dose of between 60mg and 120mg a day. However your dose may be different. Always follow your treatment plan.
When Is Methadone Maintenance Recommended
Methadone maintenance may be recommended for individuals with a history of opioid dependence or who have not had success with treatment previously.
Methadone maintenance is also safe and effective for women who are pregnant. In fact, it is typically safer than detoxing or continuing to use illicit opioids. Of course, women should talk with their physician and behavioral health counselor to determine if methadone maintenance is safe for them.
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What Other Drugs Will Affect Methadone
You may have a fatal methadone overdose if you start or stop using certain other medicines. Tell your doctor about all your medications.
Many other drugs can be dangerous when used with opioid medicine. Tell your doctor if you also use:
sleep medicine, muscle relaxers, or other drugs that make you drowsy or
What Are Side Effects Of Taking Methadone
Methadone as well as other medications like buprenorphine, naltrexone, and lofexidine, can be very effective in helping an individual with opioid dependence to overcome their addiction. However, as methadone is a narcotic, it can also be abused. This is why methadone is a highly regulated drug. For this reason, patients who are prescribed methadone as a maintenance drug have to go daily to clinics for their dosages.
If anyone uses methadone outside of how it is prescribed, it is considered to be abuse. In fact, methadone has become the drug of choice for some. When someone is taking methadone, one of the side effects is the blocking of the effects of heroin. However, methadone itself produces euphoric effects and for that reason, it is sometimes abused.
Other side effects of methadone include:
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The Number Of Us Health Care Providers Certified To Prescribe Buprenorphine More Than Doubled In The Past Four Years And Treatment Advocates Hope To See That Trend Continue
Andrea Storjohann is glad to see that shes becoming less of a rarity in rural America.
The nurse practitioner prescribes medication to dozens of patients trying to recover from addiction to heroin or opioid painkillers.
The general-practice clinic where she works, housed in a repurposed supermarket building, has no signs designating it as a place for people to seek treatment for drug addiction, which is how Storjohann wants it.
You could be coming here for OB-GYN care. You could be coming here for a sore throat. You could be coming here for any number of reasons, and no one in the waiting room would know the difference, she said.
Privacy is an important part of the treatment. And so is the medication Storjohann prescribes: buprenorphine, which staves off cravings and prevents withdrawal symptoms for people who have stopped misusing opioid drugs. The central Iowa clinic, owned by the nonprofit agency Primary Health Care, has offered buprenorphine since 2016. We were kind of a unicorn in this part of the state, Storjohann said, but thats changing.
The opioid crisis has deepened in the past decade with the illicit distribution of fentanyl, a powerful, extremely addictive opioid. Its prevalence has complicated the use of medication to treat opioid addiction. Patients who have been misusing fentanyl can suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when they begin taking buprenorphine, so health practitioners must be careful when starting the treatment.
What Are The Risks Associated With Methadone
Methadone is an opioid medicine and can cause life-threatening breathing problems.
People who take methadone may become dependent on this medicine if they take it regularly, even after a short period of time.
People can also develop tolerance when they take methadone this means they need to take larger amounts of the opioid to get the same effect. As the dosage increases, so does the risk of side effects.
If you stop taking methadone suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone may make it difficult for you to drive or operate heavy machinery. If you have recently started taking an opioid medication or changed dosage, you may be at higher risk of having an accident.
If you have kidney problems or your kidney function is impaired, your doctor will need to adjust your dosage of methadone.
There are other factors that may limit your use of methadone for example, if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that can cause drowsiness.
Your doctor is the best person to advise you on whether methadone is the right medicine for you, how much you need and how long to take it for.
If a person is not breathing, or if they are unresponsive, seek help straight away. Call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.
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