A man on methadone wonders about his addiction to the synthetic opioid

Methadone is a prescription opioid commonly prescribed for severe pain or as an addiction treatment medication. Despite this use, methadone is an incredibly powerful and addictive narcotic drug.

Here we take a look at methadone addiction, methadone effects, and methadone withdrawal.

What is Methadone?

Methadone belongs to the fully synthetic opioid class, which also includes other drugs such A woman sits down next to a bottle of methadone pillsas fentanyl.

Methadone has a particularly long half-life of approximately 24-55 hours, depending on whether the individual is tolerant to opioids or not.

The long half-life of methadone has made it a popular medication for treating heroin addiction, along with chronic pain.

Is Methadone addictive?

Like all synthetic opioids, methadone has a high potential for abuse and both mental and physical addiction. (1)

Users who ultimately stop usage of Methadone will also experience withdrawal syndromes related to the drug, a telltale sign of physical and mental dependence to Methadone.

Effects of Methadone

Methadone effects are similar to most other opioids, and includes the following symptoms:

  • Euphoria
  • Sense of well-being
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • Constipation
  • Nodding out
  • Slowed breathing
  • Sweating
  • Pinned pupils (2)

Methadone Addiction

Methadone use leads to a rapid tolerance to the drug. This means the user will need ever-increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the same effect as previously had. Methadone, like other opioids, causes a serious physical and mental dependence to the medication.

This means that is the user suddenly stops taking the drug, they will experience a severe withdrawal syndrome.

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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone withdrawal typically lasts much longer than other opioids, with symptoms presenting around 24 hours after the last dose and continuing for up to a month.

  • Severe anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Teary eyes and frequent yawning
  • Agitation
  • Severe drug craving
  • Cold and hot flashes (3)

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


Sources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3171821/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/what-is-methadone#1
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm