Are you worried that you or a loved one has developed an addiction to methadone?
A methadone addiction is extremely serious. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, methadone overdoses kill approximately 5,000 people per year. This number is 6 times as many as it was in the late 1990s.
It is considered the most addictive of all the opiates.
Yet, well over half of the states in the U.S. make it easy for doctors to prescribe methadone as a pain reliever medication to Medicaid patients with no questions asked.
Due to the lax regulations surrounding methadone, it's very important to be extremely cautious when taking the drug as a pain reliever.
To make sure you are using methadone correctly, you need to watch out for the signs and symptoms of addiction. Let's take a look at the top ones to be aware of.
Tolerance is most often the first sign of a methadone addiction.
Tolerance occurs when a person "gets used" to a substance and then feels the need to take more to achieve the same effects.
For example, a doctor may prescribe methadone and warn of dizziness in the first couple days. Once the dizziness has worn off, tolerance has been achieved. In order to keep feeling this dizzy feeling or "high", some patients will take more of the drug.
If you've been upping your dosage without consulting a doctor, it may be a sign that you are addicted to methadone.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Because methadone is an opiate, its withdrawal symptoms are similar to heroin.
These symptoms occur once you stop taking the drug but can take several days to develop.
Some of the top physical withdrawal symptoms to watch out for include:
- Sore muscles
Lack of Control
Unlike physical symptoms, lack of control can be a little harder to recognize.
Oftentimes, a person doesn't realize that they've lost control over their addiction until it is too late.
If you or someone you know is unable to stop using methadone until there are no drugs left, then it's likely that all control has been lost.
Another telltale sign of losing control is someone claiming they could "stop anytime" but then never does.
Methadone Becomes Top Priority
Oftentimes, you can tell if someone is suffering from a methadone addiction if they've lost all sense of priorities in their life.
An addict will often spend their entire day preoccupied about methadone. They will spend a great deal of time figuring out how to purchase the drug, using the drug, and even attempting to recover from the drug.
Those who are addicted will often lose sight of things in life that were previously extremely important to them, such as friends, family, and career achievements.
You may notice that they frequently begin to miss birthday parties, holidays, and meetings.
Methadone Addiction: Wrap Up
Unfortunately, spotting addiction signs and symptoms can sometimes be very difficult for the addict to do on their own.
Therefore, if you know someone who you believe is addicted, it's important to reach out and offer support.
One of the best ways to offer support is to help your loved one find a treatment center. Check out this directory to find one near you. You may also want to consider a family support program, as addiction affects not only the addict but their loved ones as well.