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What Is Methadone?

Last updated: Wednesday, 30, September 2020

Methadone is a synthetic opioid and does work a lot like morphine.  It is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain.  The drug is widely used to treat opioid addiction, such as an addiction to heroin.  Unfortunately, this is simply replacing one opioid with another.  Methadone is given to opioid addicts because it stabilizes withdrawal symptoms.  The drug acts on the same opioid receptors in the brain as other opioids.  The Drug Enforcement Agency has it classified as a schedule II drug, which means it's legal but addictive.  The drug will lead to severe mental impairment and physical dependency.

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Methadone is a heavily regulated drug, which means the average patient goes to a clinic each day for their dose.  Methadone is a powerful opioid and most methadone users become dependent on the drug.  When it is being used to overcome opioid addiction, the person is more likely to become addicted to it.  Some addicts rely on methadone as their drug of choice.  Methadone provides the user with similar euphoric effects as other opioids.  These effects are more sedative then become euphoric.  In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states methadone users are not fit to operate a vehicle. 

Addiction and methadone are not always talked about.  Much of this problem is because many in the medical community see it as necessary to treat opioid addiction.  Yet, opioid addicts become addicted to methadone as they became addicted to heroin.  Methadone will ease physical and emotional pain and this becomes addicting.  It is a central nervous system depressant and does not react well with other depressants such as benzos and alcohol.  It is common for methadone users to continue to abuse other drugs such as alcohol or illegal street drugs.  Methadone does not cure addiction but simply replaces one drug problem with another.


Nickolaus Hayes - Author

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