There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of methadone for the treatment of opiate addicts, a practice prevalent since the early 60s. Here we present you with the facts about methadone.
- In blind trials, users who were given both drugs orally were unable to distinguish between the effects heroin and methadone.
- Withdrawal from heroin should be over after seven to ten days. Withdrawal from methadone though, can take up to a month or even longer.
- Many former heroin users have claimed that the horrors of heroin withdrawal were far less painful and difficult than withdrawal from methadone.
- Methadone is a synthetic drug. It was first invented in Germany during the Second World War by scientists who, having discovered pethidine some years earlier, were developing other similar compounds.
- The effects of methadone last longer than those of morphine-based drugs.
- Methadone's effects can last up to 24 hours.
- Deaths occur more frequently at the beginning of treatment in methadone programs; they are usually a cause of excessive doses (i.e. erroneously estimated tolerance).
- Methadone generally entails the entire spectrum of opioid side effects, including the development of tolerance and physical and psychological dependence.
- Individuals are as physically dependent on methadone as they were to heroin or other opiates, such as OxyContin or Vicodin.
- The most common side effects of Methadone are: drowsiness; lightheadedness, weakness, euphoria, dry mouth, urinary retention, constipation, and slow or troubled breathing.
- Ironically, methadone used to control narcotic addiction is frequently encountered on the illicit market and has been associated with a number of overdose deaths.
- Methadone comes as tablets, dispersible tablets, liquid, and liquid concentrate.
- Methadone is one of the most difficult drugs to detox from since its effects are long-lasting and it is readily stored in the body's tissue.
- Today, an estimated 1 million Americans are addicted to heroin. About 120,000 people take methadone to control their heroin addiction. Their average age is 40.
- About 20 percent of methadone patients continue the opiate-substitute treatment for more than 10 years.
- Methadone restricts the production of saliva. Saliva protects your teeth from plaque, the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
- Methadone patients are still addicts and that methadone therapy does not help addicts with their personal problems.
- Some addicts find ways to resell their prescribed methadone on the street
in order to buy heroin.