of Methadone in Drug Rehab
When it comes to drug addiction, admitting, or even
realizing you have a problem, can be a difficult thing. With an addiction to
opiates such as heroin or morphine, generally pharmaceuticals are used to subdue
the effects of withdrawal. One of the most used and studied methods to break an
addiction to opiates is to use the treatment called
maintenance treatment in which the drug methadone replaces the heroin.
Methadone, while still an addictive substance, can be more readily controlled
and is much safer that using heroin intravenously.
such as heroin, codeine and morphine are very addictive drugs. When a person
enters a drug treatment program with an heroin or painkiller addiction it is
common to prescribe a synthetic opiate called methadone. Methadone binds to the
same opioid receptors that heroin, and morphine do which is methadone breaks
your dependence on the drugs. When first undergoing
the first thing done is to determine the addict’s required dosage. First the
patient is given 30 mg which is then increased by 5 mg a day until the addict no
longer has withdrawal symptoms. Once the appropriate dosage is reached the
addict can begin therapy sessions and gradually reduce the amount of methadone
required. While it is a long process, methadone treatment has been the
successful treatment type of people addicted to opiates. A similar
procedure called suboxone treatment uses a similar but weaker drug to remove the
cravings for heroin or painkillers.
Methadone isn’t a miracle drug however, with some addicts
reporting that methadone is even harder to quit than heroin is. Because
methadone is slower to act than other opiates and lasts longer, it is easier to
overdose. When a person takes methadone and doesn’t feel the slow-acting drug
working in beginning they may be inclined to take more, causing life-threatening
changes in breathing and heart beat. First time abusers of methadone are also
in danger of overdosing if they take the same dosage an addict would take.
discovery in the 1930’s, methadone has been used in the treatment of millions of
patients, both for its painkilling effect and for opiate drug rehab. Every year
roughly 20% of the opiate addicts are on a
methadone maintenance treatment, around 20% of the total opiate abusers.
treatment programs employ the use of methadone in
treating addiction to heroin.