Last updated on July 15th, 2020 at 08:08 pm
Methadone is an opiate that is legally prescribed by doctors to help treat severe pain. While doctors typically rely on opioid treatment options as a measure of last resort, this is especially the case with methadone. Doctors will usually only prescribe methadone to those who require pain management around the clock and to those in which all other pain management options have failed.
As an opioid, methadone works to change the way in which the central nervous system and the brain react to pain. Although it is an opioid medication, when used properly, methadone could be used as part of a detoxification program for drug addictions. That’s because the medication can reduce the withdrawal symptoms typically experienced when someone is trying to quit heroin or other opioids. The most common brand-name prescription of methadone is Dolophine.
Uses Of Methadone
Although it can be beneficial to those who are looking to curb their opioid addiction, it’s imperative that the drug is taken under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. A doctor can tell a patient to take the medication in different ways. Methadone comes as a dispersible tablet so that users can dissolve it in a liquid. It also comes in liquid form or as a concentrated solution that users can ingest orally.
Regardless of your reason for taking methadone, it’s imperative that you follow your doctor’s instructions for doing so. If your doctor has prescribed the medication to help manage pain, you should take the pill every eight to 12 hours. If your doctor has prescribed the drug to you as part of a detoxification plan, he or she will come up with a schedule to which you must adhere.
Failure to take methadone as intended could have a host of adverse effects. You should never take more than the recommended amount. This is why it’s crucial that patients take the drug under the care of a licensed professional and never try to self-medicate or abuse the drug. If there are any parts of the doctor’s instructions that you do not understand, be sure to follow up and seek clarification immediately.
Effects Of Methadone
Even though methadone is used to help reduce a patient’s reliance on opioids, it could still prove to be habit-forming. This is primarily due to the way that the drug interacts with the brain and the central nervous system. By targeting specific receptors in the brain, users can grow addicted to the medication. Thus, they should not take the drug in any other way other than the one as described by their doctor.
Because it is so habit-forming, your doctor will likely work with you to come up with a dosage that can control your pain or manage your withdrawals. If your doctor needs to increase the dosage, he or she will likely do so gradually, increasing the dosage by a few milligrams every week or so. Once you’ve achieved the proper dosage, your doctor will check in with you to ensure that you are not abusing the drug and that this dosage is adequate.
Similarly, you should never cut yourself off methadone cold-turkey. Instead, you should work with your doctor to construct a treatment plan that allows you to take yourself off the drug naturally. Failure to do so could increase the likelihood that you suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms that could occur if you stop using methadone immediately could include teary eyes, runny nose, and widened pupils. You could also find yourself considerably more irritable. Many also find that they sweat excessively or suffer from chills and muscle pains, similar to if they had a fever. Backaches and joint pains are also similar signs of this. Users may find it difficult to fall asleep, and could also suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Symptoms Of Methadone Use
No matter if you’re taking the drug under doctor’s supervision or abusing the drug, everyone is subject to symptoms and side effects. These can include headaches, vision problems, mood changes, and a disrupted sleep cycle, including difficulties falling or staying asleep. Additionally, users can suffer from symptoms such as weight gain, dry mouth, sore tongue, stomach pains, flushing, and difficulty urinating.
If you find that these symptoms are severe or persist for an extended period, you should contact emergency responders immediately. This could be a sign that you have taken too much methadone. Failure to address the situation could lead to more severe complications with long-lasting effects.
For example, some of the more severe symptoms associated with methadone use include itching, rashes, hives, and swelling of the mouth and throat. Users may find it difficult to speak, noticing that they have become hoarse. Furthermore, people who have overdosed on methadone may find it difficult to breathe or swallow. They could also discover that they are incredibly drowsy, agitated, or suffering from hallucinations.
If the issue goes unaddressed, users could begin suffering from seizures. This could result in suffocation and potentially death. Methadone is not a drug that someone should experiment or try recreationally. Doing so could have severe health implications.
Testing For Methadone
If you are an employer looking for a methadone drug test, it’s critical that you specially request testing for Methadone. You should also follow all state laws concerning methadone drug tests. If you’re a parent, friend, or concerned family member interested in a methadone drug test, you do not face nearly as many restrictions. You can order a methadone drug test immediately.
A methadone drug test will likely require a hair, urine, or oral fluid sample. Conducting a methadone drug test is easy. Doing so could allow you to see whether the person you care for has been abusing methadone. If the test comes back positive, be relieved that you found the issue before it is too late. You can now get this person the help that they need to start down the road to recovery.
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