Methadone is the most common medication used in the treatment of heroin addiction. It outnumbers the other medications by approximately 250,000 users. Before you consider taking it, you need to know what it is, how it is used, why it is used, and the dangers of taking it.
What is Methadone?
Methadone is a full opioid agonist. This means it completely blocks opioids like heroin. According to the National Library of Medicine, it relieves severe pain to those who need pain medication 24 hours a day and treats opiate addiction.
Like many of the opiate addiction treatments, methadone is regarded as a controlled substance. You use methadone under strict supervision. To find a treatment center for your heroin addiction, call 800-584-3274.
How Do You Use Methadone for Heroin Addiction?
Methadone comes in a few different forms. You can receive your methadone in the following forms:
- Dispersible (to be mixed with liquid)
- Injectable liquid (only used in hospitals)
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, methadone has been around since 1964 and is only available via substance abuse treatment facilities and certified doctors, due to some of the dangers associated with methadone.
Why Do Treatment Centers Use Methadone to Treat Heroin Addiction?
Treatment centers and doctors use methadone to treat heroin addiction because, in most cases, it completely blocks withdrawal symptoms. Most of these withdrawal symptoms are due to a lack of opiates in the brain. Methadone tricks the brain into thinking it has the same amount of the regular opiate.
What Are the Dangers of Methadone Treatment?
Methadone is a very strong medication. Many of the dangers associated with it are due to its strength. These dangers are:
- Drug interaction
- Herbal interactions
- Organ damage—when you take it if you have liver, kidney, heart, or respiratory disease
- Intestinal blockage
- Respiratory failure
All of these dangers may present themselves if you take methadone without a prescription or take more than is prescribed. Mixing methadone with other medications or alcohol is extremely dangerous.
What Are Alternatives to Methadone?
If these dangers discourage you, there are some alternatives to methadone. These alternatives are:
Each of these medications acts like methadone, but these options do not always offer the risks of methadone treatment.
The reason methadone is the most common heroin withdrawal medication is that it works. To find a heroin addiction treatment center, all you have to do is call 800-584-3274. We can help you find the right medication.