Methadone

Methadone is a medication that is most commonly used to treat an addiction to heroin. If misused, it can lead the user into another addiction.

Methadone is a synthetic opiate that is used in the treatment of pain as well as to treat chronic opiate addiction. The drug was once believed to be a non-addictive substitute for morphine as well as heroin but it was later realized that methadone is just a highly plausible for causing a habit-forming nature as pretty much any other opiate available on or off the streets.

Methadone is laboratory created and is very cheap to make which is one of the reasons that it is so widely used in the treatment of opiate addiction but also a reason that it is so widely abused. Opiate addicts can take methadone as part of a maintenance treatment at a cost of about 1/200th of what the average daily cost is for a heroin or similar opiate habit.

Brand Names

Methadone addiction

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Methadone is marketed under a variety of different brand names but really the most common is the name, Methadone, itself.

Other brand names of methadone include:
  • Methadose
  • Symoron
  • Metadol
  • Dolophine
  • Physeptone

Street Names

Methadone is described on the streets under a number of different street names including:

  • Done (pronounced with a long o sound)
  • Dollies
  • Meth (though this name is seldom used to describe methadone and most often used to describe methamphetamine)
  • Junk
  • Juice
  • Drink (juice and drink are two street names used to describe the liquid methadone or to describe the way that methadone is sometimes mixed with orange juice and then taken)

Medical Use

There are various medical uses for methadone including pain relief and the treatment of opiate dependence.  The most common medical use for methadone tends to be related to the treatment of opiate addiction as the drug is used to help addicts maintain abstinence from other opiates by taking methadone to curb cravings and reduce the effects of opiate withdrawal.

For pain, methadone is used to treat mostly severe, chronic pain such as that associated with terminal illness.  Most doctors refrain from prescribing methadone for the treatment of pain unless medically and absolutely necessary because of the addictive qualities of the drug.  When methadone is prescribed properly for the treatment of opiate addiction, there lack of euphoric high paired with a lack of withdrawal symptoms allows the addict to return to a somewhat normal way of life.

Addiction

Methadone is a class II narcotic which means that it is widely abused, highly addictive and dangerous.  The drug often leads to physical dependence and even those who take methadone as prescribed as part of a maintenance program should be aware of the dangers associated with methadone addiction.  Replacing a drug with a drug does not fend off addiction and physical dependence!

Treatment for methadone addiction is similar to the treatment of any type of opiate addiction and often includes tapering the drug off gradually to reduce the withdrawal symptoms that the user feels.  Most users will require counseling and therapy as well as an extensive time period of slowly reducing the dosage of methadone week by week in order to make a full recovery from this addiction.  Treatment takes time and a commitment from the user in order to be effective.

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682134.html

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