Methadone is a medication used in medication-assisted treatment programs and prescribed for pain. It is also sometimes considered to be a street drug because it does prevent withdrawal from opioids and may provide a high. As far back as 2003, the National Drug Intelligence Center was warning the county about methadone abuse. Today, we continue to see methadone addictions spiral.
What Is Methadone?
Methadone is an opioid just like many prescription painkillers and street drugs such as heroin. The theory behind opioid maintenance therapy, which often involves methadone, is you replace drugs that are hard to withdraw from with one that is easier. It’s not a system that works for everyone, though.
In part, this is because methadone is just as addictive as other opioids. You still need treatment for substance abuse disorder if you take methadone. There are also the long term side effects of methadone to consider.
What Are Some Methadone Side Effects?
All drug use has the potential of side effects, even prescribed medication like methadone. People who take methadone even for a short time can experience:
- Weight gain
- Sore tongue
- Skin flushing
- Dry Mouth
- Stomach pain
Short term use can be unpleasant thanks to methadone side effects. It’s the long-term problems that really stand out, though.
What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Methadone?
One of the most serious potential long-term side effects of methadone use is addiction. Technically, you are merely replacing one habit with another as part of an opioid replacement program. Or, if you are using street methadone, you are putting yourself at risk for substance use disorder.
Long-term side effects of methadone use are very similar to what you see from any opioid. They can cause changes to the brain. It can also damage key organs like the liver and cause nerve problems.
Psychological Effects of Methadone Use
Methadone is a drug that can cause psychological damage, as well. Some people experience hallucinations from taking methadone. You may develop sleep disorders or delusions from it. For some, methadone side effects include thoughts of suicide and mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Methadone, when used properly, may have a positive effect on those who experience chronic pain or who have an opioid use disorder. Some studies show a positive outcome for those that use methadone as a replacement drug for heroin addiction.
The problem is two-fold: people misuse it because it can make them feel good, or they use it right and become dependant. Unfortunately, the chances of abuse are very high with this drug, which means people may experience long-term side effects from methadone use.
Those who develop a methadone addiction or are sensitive to methadone side effects may need treatment in a program at San Antonio Recovery Center. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we offer a wide variety of treatments, including plans for those with an addiction to opioids.
As a client at San Antonio Recovery Center, you have access to:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Residential services
- 12-step meetings
- Aftercare services
- In-home telehealth therapy programs
We do our best to keep our program affordable, and we work with many insurance companies.
At San Antonio Recovery Center, we believe the best path to healing provides a full spectrum of services. Our whole-body approach to treatment focuses on the 12-step philosophy that teaches you to recognize behaviors that lead to drug use and change them. Once you know your triggers, you are that much closer to recovery.
If you have a methadone use disorder or any addiction, give us a call today. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we can help. Call 866.957.7885 for more information.