Methadone is a powerful painkiller and a powerful tool for aiding those in the throes of opiate addiction. The drug works on the same brain receptors as addictive opiate painkillers, as well as heroin, so it can provide a good way to wean a person off these deadly drugs. The problem, of course, is that the same things that make methadone a good tool for fighting addiction also make it addictive in its own right.
To understand the toll that methadone can take on the body and mind, it is important to wrap your head around some of its most common symptoms and side effects. There are several worth noting.
Health Side Effects of Methadone Addiction
Methadone is not known for producing the same euphoric rush as heroin and other high-power opiates—but it does offer the user something of a high, playing on the brain’s pleasure centers just like other opiates do. While that high may be mild at first, the brain develops a tolerance for it, which means higher and higher doses of methadone are needed to get the same effect. Hence, the drug’s effect in creating deep physical and psychological dependence.
As part of that physical dependence, methadone can also create a number of adverse bodily effects. Some of the health side effects of methadone addiction include:
Low Blood Pressure
Irregular Heart Beat
Clearly, methadone can ravage the body and compromise overall health, even as its addictive effects grow more potent all the time. That’s what makes it so vital to curb methadone use as soon as possible.
Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms
Since methadone creates such powerful dependence, it can trigger intense withdrawal symptoms when it is stopped “cold turkey.” Some of the withdrawal pains associated with methadone include:
The pain of methadone withdrawal can be so intense that it makes the user want to reach for more methadone, or different drugs, to mitigate the pain—which is what makes it so necessary to seek detox in a controlled, clinical environment.
How to Help with Methadone Addiction
What can be done to help someone who is in the throes of methadone addiction? If you know a friend or loved one struggling with this addiction, continue to educate yourself about methadone and its effects. Also express your concern, in a compassionate and non-accusatory manner. Simply tell your loved one how worried you are.
Also urge your loved one to seek professional help. The first step is to seek detox, where your loved one can rid body and mind of methadone and its harmful effects. Remember, due to the dangerous and painful nature of methadone withdrawal, clinical detox, through a facility like New Start Recovery, is highly recommended over home detox.
Intervention for Methadone Addiction
The next step after detox is to seek intervention through a clinical rehab program. Depending on the individual, the best approach might be inpatient treatment or it might be an outpatient program. The best course of action is to consult with an addiction recovery specialist.
The first step toward lifelong recovery is to seek methadone detox. In detox, a solid foundation is set for ongoing sobriety. To begin this important process, and gain freedom from addiction, contact New Start Recovery today.