The Methadone Program- Liquid Handcuffs In A Cup

The Methadone Program- Liquid Handcuffs In A Cup

Methadone is a pharmaceutical drug and is typically prescribed to help heroin users come off heroin. The idea is that given the right support, one can take methadone as a preventative to using heroin. So in other words methadone can give a similar high to heroin so the user wont go out and score heroin.

Methadone is an opioid in the same way that heroin is. Specifically it is a ‘Synthetic Opioid Analgesic’. Methadone was first synthesised in in 1937 in Germany. It was developed as a solution for pain relief due to a shortage of morphine and opium which was a problem during wartime. In the 1950’s it was even used as a cough suppressant. It was initially used as a substitute for heroin addiction in the 1960’s.

Often hailed as a great solution for heroin addiction you may even hear that it is LESS addictive than heroin. If you speak to someone that uses methadone you will likely find that that this is not true. Methadone is extremely addictive and one should be at a lower dose to jump off it. Jumping off a high does can cause hallucinations, severe vomiting, acute muscle spasms and the sensations of hot and cold. Much like coming off heroin but perhaps a little more intense. Coming off methadone can have latent withdrawal symptoms. Things may be going along okay and a few weeks in a depression can hit so things need to be monitored closely.

Weening off

Some choose to come off methadone by using heroin. Yep its true. Starting a methadone program is signing into a contract – once you are on a dose you are addicted physically and its not so easy to just jump off. As you need to take it everyday going on tripos away can be difficult as the dose is administered by a chemist.  Weening off methadone can take a very long time. If on a high dose of say 80 or more mg, it may be that it takes a person up to a year to ween off. As opposed to someone that is coming off heroin which is not easy but takes alot less time. One can jump off a high amount of heroin and be through the worst of the symptoms in 4 days.

The treating doctor will usually adjudicate how much methadone can be weened down from each week. Its also up to the confidence of the addict themselves  and how much they feel they can ween down. The last say 30 mg is often the toughest as the body is getting used to a lower dose.

The long term effects of methadone use can be dental problems, lowered sex drive, depression and possibly an addiction to something else. Methadone is a leveller. It levels someone out so that they do not have an itch to go out and score. Replacement therapy not handling the reason why someone is addicted and that is where the program falls short. For some very very dedicated people who use counselling vigilantly along with the maintenance dose then there is a sliver of success This success but often this is not workable for many using methadone.

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation

Getting the tools for handling life with more know how and confidence is a better foundation for sobriety. They need physical support in the way of sound detox and help to resolve the issues that surround their addiction and the problems that existed before that.

Our program offers a solution for people that wish to rid of their addictions. We are a long term residential facility specialising in helping people to learn the skills necessary for drug and alcohol recovery. Please call 1300 88 7676 for more information about our drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.


DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this article are of the owner.  All content provided in this article are for informational purposes only.




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