Methadone is a prescription drug commonly used for helping opiate addicts wean themselves off heroin or other opioids such as painkillers. It is a synthetic opioid known for its anti-addictive and analgesic properties. It can be prescribed as an analgesic for pain relief. There are many other analgesic alternatives for pain relief so methadone is not commonly used strictly as a painkiller.

Methadone is a Schedule II Narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act. A narcotic is defined by the DEA as a substance that is or derived from opium and its synthetic counterparts. While this drug may legally be used under a doctor’s supervision, its non-medical use is illegal.

Street names for this drug include:

  • Amidone
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Fizzies
  • Juice
  • Jungle Juice
  • Maria
  • Methadose
  • Pastora
  • Salvia
  • Street Methadone
  • Wafer

History and Trends

Methadone takes various forms: tablets, discs, oral liquids or injectable solutions. As of 2008, pharmaceutical companies who manufacture methadone tablets voluntarily agreed to distribute only to facilities authorized for detoxification and maintenance treatment of opioid addiction, and hospitals. This makes it necessary for most people who are under a doctor’s care have methadone treatment administered by a qualified drug treatment center.

Effects of Use

    • Sweating
    • Itchy skin
    • Insomnia
    • Physical dependence
    • Psychological dependence

Symptoms of Abuse & Addiction

When this drug is abused and not taken as directed by a doctor, the following can occur:

    • Slow breathing
    • Shallow breathing
    • Blue fingernails
    • Blue lips
    • Stomach cramps
    • Clammy skin
    • Convulsions
    • Weak pulse
    • Coma
    • Death

Methadone can be a primary addictive drug for individuals who are addicted to opiates. It can be a secondary drug for those under a doctor’s care for addiction to heroin and other opioids. Abuse can occur by swallowing tablets or by injection.

The rate of addiction can run high with methadone as people overcoming addictions to other drugs need it long-term, treating the withdrawal and continued avoidance of the addicting drug, like heroin. According to the CDC, approximately 20 percent of methadone patients continue the treatment for more than 10 years

Withdrawal Process & Symptoms

As users continually turn to this prescription drug as a way of avoiding the return to illicit drugs, they can become increasingly dependent on it. Abuse of street methadone can lead to an unsafe level of the drug present in the body. Methadone doses can be large and withdrawal from this type of long-term use can be up to six weeks.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

    • Aches
    • Fever
    • Sweats
    • Chills
    • Anxiety
    • Cramps
    • Diarrhea
    • Depression
    • Flushing
    • Paranoia
    • Agitation
    • Insomnia
    • Hallucinations
    • Drug cravings
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Restlessness
    • Tremors
    • Vomiting
    • Suicidal thoughts

Addiction Treatment

It is critical to have qualified medical and drug treatment professionals on hand when a person is withdrawing from methadone. Since a rapid decrease in this substance or completely stopping all together can be dangerous to a person’s health, a weaning needs to be done by people who are knowledgeable and have been trained in this field. A methadone rehabilitation and treatment facility has the staff and knowledge to assist someone withdrawing from methadone, located in a safe and comfortable environment, with minimal risk.

A supervised natural detox is the first step. Then counseling and behavior therapy while the person steps down their doses, preferably under the guidance of a treatment facility, will help the client withdraw and heal in a healthy and secure situation. Addiction need not be suffered alone and we can help. Please call 877-855-3470for more information on how we can help you and/or a loved one. We are here to assist so no need to wait any longer to have a better, sober life.