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Methadone Addiction Signs

Most commonly, methadone is used for patients who have developed an opioid addiction. A drug similar to heroine or morphine, methadone will cause the body to believe that it is taking the harmful opiates, eventually causing the cravings to decrease. Patients who are on a MMT, Methadone Maintenance Treatment, will eventually develop an addiction to the methadone instead of the other opiates, which is ultimately what doctors hope for. While there are many positive factors in the use of methadone to rid patients of addiction, there are also many negative and potentially harmful side effects. Methadone is also used to treat pain, generally in a hospital. If the amount that is taken is not monitored in a controlled environment, the person taking it will not know how to properly measure the correct amount, which could be potentially fatal. Most times, patients have to take the medicine in the presence of a doctor or a nurse, but if taking it for pain, they are given a prescription and are able to take it at home. This is how methadone usually ends up being sold on the streets, and also how people are able to use it combined with other substances.

The signs of an addiction to methadone vary from person to person. Some continue to crave it after the treatments are over, which is one of the main reasons that critics of the treatments believe that the use of methadone to rid one of an addiction is counter productive. Not unlike other addictions, the person that is dependent is unable to function without the drug, and the thoughts of getting more essentially takes over. Once a person develops a tolerance for the drug, sometimes they start to take more to achieve the same high that they did when they first started to take it. This could be dangerous due to higher doses causing harmful side effects. Another sign of addiction is if the person is taking the methadone with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs, again with the goal of achieving a greater high. If the person is using methadone along with the continued use of heroin, there is a greater risk of health problems and even death, and should be dealt with immediately.

Universally alike, addiction causes a person to simply lose interest in activities that they would normally enjoy. Friends and family may notice that they seem withdrawn and may be struggling with work or school. Simple signs of addiction to look for is if the person seems to complain about being warmer than usual, is frequently tired, has irrational anger, or seems to have quite keeping up with their appearance and personal hygiene. The physical signs of an addiction are also easily identifiable. Sudden outbreaks of a rash or hives, upset stomach and vomiting, and swelling of the extremities are all things to look for. When approaching someone who you may think is addicted, keep in mind that most often they will not be quick to admitting that they have a problem, so having a group of people that are genuinely concerned and are able to look for addiction signs may prove helpful.

Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as twelve hours after missing a dose, and usually include muscle soreness, heightened anxiety and paranoia, nausea, and diluted pupils. There are facilities available to people that are addicted to methadone, and there are many twelve step groups and outpatient addiction centers that can help in the process of overcoming the addiction and moving toward recovery.

The most important thing to remember is that when seeking help for a heroin addiction, the purpose of it is to stop the dependency on drugs altogether. Methadone can help, but needs to be taken supervised or as the doctor has prescribed it. While this will be a lengthy process, sometimes taking up to three years for a full recovery from addiction, it is not without its reward at the end. A strong support system is also important during this time. Make sure that you have someone who will be able to talk when you need them to. If taking methadone for pain, never take more than the recommended dose, and if you start to notice that you are craving it more than usual, speak with your doctor immediately.


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