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Methadone | What is Methadone?
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Methadone

 

What is methadone? After meticulous studies and experimentation methadone was confirmed as a safe and efficient treatment for dependence and withdrawal from narcotics. More than 30 years of its use in the market has proved its efficacy in helping heroin dependents to modify their behavioral mechanisms and eventually bring to an end their dependence on the drugs. The drug mechanism is simple: when a person on methadone uses opiods like heroin and morphine, it immediately causes the release of surplus dopamine in the body resulting to mitigated withdrawal syndrome of opiod.

 

How Methadone works

 

Methadone is also an opiate like heroin and morphine. When this drug is introduced in a person's body, it will act on the same brain center that heroin or morphine acts on. The body will believe that is taking the said opiates and will eventually reduce the craving for the drugs. Sooner or later, the person would be satisfied with the regular and controlled use of methadone until the cravings for heroin is eliminated.

 

Methadone also blocks the euphoric effects of heroin. If a person injects heroin while on MMT, he will not experience the euphoria that it usually produces. In turn, it will help the person resist the urge to use the illicit drug.

 

Opiods and Methadone

 

Since time immemorial, opium poppy has been frequently utilized as an analgesic. The World Health Organization recognized opiods like morphine and heroin as crucial in pain management. Consequently, it coordinates with different countries to create laws that would regulate its production and prescription. It also encourages the training of health workers concerning the administration of opiods.

 

The primary purpose of Methadone Maintenance Treatment is to reduce or eliminate illicit use of opiates. But, why control opiate use?

 

1. Due to drug misuse

 

Opiod is principally misused due to its euphoric effects. Opiod dependence can result to the following symptoms:

 

Physical signs

 

• Akathisia or restlessness

• Rigors/ Chills or shaking

• Cramps or painful muscle contractions

• Diarrhea/ three or more LBM per day

• Extreme Pain

• Influenza-like illness

• Itch/Pruritus

• Perspiration/Sweating

• Priapism or inability of the erect penis or clitoris to return to its flaccid state for four hours

• Restless legs syndrome

• Stuffy nose

• Tachycardia

• Vomiting

• Weakness

• Yawning

 

Psychological signs

 

• Anxiety/Panic Attacks

• Cravings

• Depression

• Dizziness

• Dysphoria or uncomfortable mood

• Insomnia

• Malaise or uneasiness

• Nausea or feeling sick

• Paranoia or irrational persecutory beliefs

 

2. Non-clinical use of opiod is a criminal act

 

The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 penalizes the non-clinical use of opioids. This was reinforced by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. It classified opiods as Schedule II Drugs because of three factors:

 

1) It has an increased potential for abuse

2) It is currently accepted in the US for its medical use but with severe restrictions

3) Its use may lead to physical and psychological dependence.

 

Development of Methadone

 

Methadone was invented by German Scientists in 1937 and was known for its original name "polamidon". In 1947, the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association named it methadone. The drug was confirmed to be a probable substitution therapy by Professor Vincent Dole and partners after extensive studies conducted at the Rockefeller University. This discovery resulted to the pervasive use of methadone maintenance therapy at the present time.

 

General Benefits of Methadone

 

Studies and testimonials of patients on MMT have proved that no drug is comparable to methadone for helping addicts in breaking free from opiates. Though this drug is not a side-effect free medication and it has certain restrictions, MMT provides noteworthy advantages over the use of opiates.

 

Methadone can keep you away from jail

 

Methadone can be legally purchased. Unlike heroin, you have no need to fear criminal prosecution as long as you are on an MMT. In spite of its efficacy and fast-relief, MMT is also very affordable. Anybody who switches from criminal drug use to methadone will be able to save money. Furthermore, he or she will no longer be tempted to resort to criminal activities just to buy expensive heroin and other opiates to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

 

Methadone restores health

 

A patient on Methadone treatment can start to live a healthy lifestyle. Unlike heroin and morphine, methadone promotes good sleep and restores appetite. It gives complete relief from the withdrawal symptoms of opiates. Even the emotional bounces due to opiate addiction are also eliminated. When used properly, this drug will completely eliminate the desire to use opiates. It does not affect the motor and cognitive functions of an individual. It is safe to drive while on this medication and this treatment will not come in the way of one's career pursuits.

 

Important Considerations

 

Since methadone is an opiate itself it is imperative to guard against addiction. Methadone withdrawal symptoms can be twice as severe as heroin and morphine. Physical signs of methadone withdrawal may include chills, diarrhea fever, hypertension, joint pains, nausea and vomiting, sweating, and yawning. Immediate medical attention is required when a patient experiences reduced breathing since this is a fatal condition.

 

MMT must only be implemented by trained and skilled professionals to ensure that the administration of Methadone is done in a controlled and safe manner. The individual's health history including drug use, metabolism, BMI and other pertinent facts are taken into consideration before prescribing this treatment. Because fatal repercussions may result from drug interactions, MMT is best administered in an inpatient treatment facility.

 

Looking for methadone treatment centers and/or methadone doctors close to home? You'll find them in our convenient web directory updated weekly.

 

 

 







 

 

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