Methadone is a medication that is used to help people lower and eventually quit their use of heroin or opiate drugs like narcotic pain medications. It is used as a medication-assisted treatment or MAT. Methadone works by changing how the brain responds to pain. It will reduce the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal and it also blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs that cause people to become addicted in the first place. While Methadone does help people to get off of other opiates like heroin, it also has a high likelihood of its users developing dependence as well.
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How is Methadone Used?
Methadone is a highly regulated drug. For those who have prescribed this drug in an outpatient setting, they have to go to a clinic every day to get their daily dose. This is due to its highly addictive qualities. In fact, for some people, this drug is their chosen substance of abuse. Methadone doesn’t make the same euphoric effect that heroin or morphine might do because it is meant to do the opposite. It was formulated to block the pleasurable aspects of other opiates. This means, if someone who is taking Methadone tries to use heroin, the Methadone will block the effects that make him or her feel high. Methadone itself does have a sedative effect that can become euphoric, but it is limited.
What Happens During a Methadone Overdose?
Methadone can cause an overdose, just like any other medication out there. This medication does have the potential to be misused if it is not taken properly, like without a prescription or too high of a dose. An overdose is a serious situation. The symptoms of a Methadone overdose include:
- Constricted pupils
- Blue tinted fingernails and lips
- Weak muscles
- Low blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Respiratory depression
Large amounts of Methadone can even slow or stop a person from breathing, leading to an opioid overdose that can be fatal if untreated. This is the number one cause of an overdose. The reason for this is because, in high doses, this acts as a central nervous system depressant Slowed breathing will limit the amount of oxygen that reaches a person’s brain. This can result in coma, brain damage, and even death.
Getting Help for a Methadone Overdose
The amount of Methadone it will take for a fatal overdose is dependent on the person’s tolerance as well as other factors like weight, age, and other health problems. Other drugs such as heroin or cocaine work quickly on the body, but don’t last as long. Methadone, on the other hand, works very slowly when swallowed. It can even take hours to reach its full effects and up to 24 hours or more to fully wear off. This is why a Methadone overdose is so dangerous.
The best thing you can do for a person who is overdosing on Methadone is call 911 so they can send paramedics and administer medical attention right away and they can take them to the hospital for further help.
Methadone Addiction Treatment Program
If you or someone you love has been struggling with opiate addiction, like Methadone, please feel free to give us a call today. Here, at Garden State Treatment Center we understand the struggle of trying to get off of Methadone and want to help. We will discuss treatment options, and do our best to point you in the right direction. Now is the time to turn your life around. Let us help you do it. Our team of qualified professionals is available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have. It is time to put the pain and misery of addiction in your past and rebuild your life into something you are proud of.