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The Truth About Methadone Statistics

Methadone is a heroin like painkiller which is often prescribed to treat chronic pain. For decades, doctors have also been prescribing methadone to patients in order to replace heroin as an addiction treatment. However, methadone statistics show that it causes twice as many deaths as heroin due to so many people becoming addicted and using it incorrectly. The drug creates a massive calming effect on a person and it is therefore easy for a patient to want to hold on to these feelings of calm. Unfortunately long term use of methadone can cause the drug to have less of an effect so the body becomes tolerant to it, and this is when people end up becoming addicted.

Methadone Statistics

A report by the National Center for Health found that methadone overdoses increased by 500 percent between 1999 and 2005. According to Federal government findings, it's also the fasted growing cause of narcotic deaths and ranks highly amongst drugs which have been implicated in the skyrocketing rates of USA prescription drug addiction. Not only is methadone a painkiller, it's also a people killer.

Methadone is extremely potent, has a longer lasting effect inside the body than other drugs. It is relatively cheap to buy and this is the reason that so many family physicians prescribe it. It actually remains in the bloodstream long after the pain has worn off. This can lead to a patient noticing that the pain has returned and therefore taking more of the drug. By taking too high a dose in a short period of time, methadone can be fatal, as simple as that. Too much methadone also commonly leads to coma and overdose so it's vital to seek help and guidance from a health care provider before taking more of the drug that has been prescribed.

This drug is as addictive as heroin and can stay in the bloodstream much longer than heroin, which is why it's so common for methadone users to overdose. Methadone can stay in the body for up to 59 hours, whereas heroin only stays in the blood for 4 to 6 hours. Users don't actually realize that the drug is still very much present in their system and they unwittingly take more of the drug. This leads to the drug reaching toxic and sometimes fatal levels.

Using Methadone with Caution

Methadone should not be used in conjunction with other pain relieving drugs or alcohol, and there are certain anti-depressants which should not be taken alongside methadone. Users should never drink alcohol at the same time as using methadone because this can cause overdose which can lead to coma or death.

Dying because of taking too much methadone is considered a form of poisoning. Between 73 and 79 percent of methadone related poisonings are unintentional. Users don't realize that they are building up dangerous levels of the drug each time that they take another dose. Doctors need to make patients aware that they must strictly stick to the prescribed dose and never consider taking more before consulting them first. Patients need to hear these terrifying methadone statistics to make them more aware of the dangers and therefore practice more caution.

Methadone Statistics - side effects and withdrawal

Unfortunately, taking methadone for chronic pain or as a heroin substitute can bring some shocking side effects. Sex drive is lowered and it can be near impossible to drop off to sleep naturally. Other more common side effects include heart palpitations, shallow breathing, confusion, hallucinations, nausea, dizziness and fainting. The majority of these side effects can be scary, so a person who is worried should always consult their physician if they have any concerns.

Nobody should stop taking methadone without professional help. Health care providers will put patients onto a methadone detox program where they are monitored daily. Nasty withdrawal symptoms can affect a person both mentally and physically and these include tremors, rapid heartbeat, visual and auditory hallucinations, high blood pressure, delusional behaviour, paranoia, anxiety and depression.

Given the seriousness of the side effects and withdrawal symptoms its imperative that methadone users always tell someone else that they are taking the drug, other than their doctor. This allows a friend or family member to keep a close eye on their health and possibly notice any change to behaviour. A person taking methadone cannot be left to their own devices because of the potentially fatal repercussions of taking the wrong dose.


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