Methadone Treatment: Risks And Benefits

Methadone treatment saves lives. Decades of research and thousands of success stories show that methadone is one of the best treatments for opiate addiction. As with all medications, methadone comes with some risks. Educate yourself about the risks and benefits of methadone treatment, and decide what is right for you.

What Is Methadone?

Methadone is a man-made opiate drug that can be used to relieve moderate to severe pain. The drug is also a well-known way to minimize withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings associated with addiction to opiates such as heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin and prescription painkillers.  Doctors administer methadone once a day, by mouth, and monitor the effects and adjust the dose as needed for a comfortable opiate detox.

While individuals in methadone treatment are physically dependent on methadone, they do not experience intoxication or withdrawal as they would with heroin or prescription drugs. Unlike other opiate drugs, methadone is released gradually and lasts up to 36 hours, enabling the individual to function normally, work, attend school and fulfill daily responsibilities.

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Side Effects of Methadone Treatment

Most people in methadone treatment report minimal side effects, and find that the benefits of methadone detox significantly outweigh the side effects. The most common side effects of methadone treatment are:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Skin rash
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea

Methadone Detox – Detoxification

Detoxification from opiate addiction can be painful and dangerous without medical supervision. Opiate withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Tremors
  • Irritability

In methadone detox, individuals take methadone each day under the close supervision and direction of a licensed physician. Methadone treatment eases opiate withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings without producing a “high.” Over time, opiate addicts can choose to gradually wean off methadone, or may safely continue to use the medication as part of a long-term methadone maintenance program.

Finding a Methadone Treatment Program

Methadone treatment is one of the best treatments for opiate addiction. In addition to being highly effective, particularly when combined with therapy or outpatient opiate rehab, methadone treatment is affordable and easy to find.

There are methadone clinics and opiate treatment programs conveniently located near you.