Methadone for Opiate Addictions
Methadone is a safe and effective treatment for narcotic withdrawal and addiction to opiates such as heroin and morphine. A synthetic narcotic that has been used for more than 30 years to treat opioid addiction, methadone has been rigorously tested and proven effective by scientific research. Methadone clinics typically dispense methadone for short- or long-term detox from the following addictions:
Prescription Drug Addiction
Although many people mistakenly believe prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs, prescription drug addiction is a growing epidemic. Some of the most commonly abused prescription opiates are:
- Oxycodone – Oxycodone is the primary active ingredient in OxyContin, a highly addictive prescription painkiller with effects that are similar to heroin.
- Hydrocodone – Hydrocodone (Vicodin®) is another synthetic opioid that is frequently abused. Vicodin addiction has been on the rise in recent years as doctors readily prescribe the drug to treat a variety of pain issues.
- Codeine – An ingredient in some cough suppressants and one of the most commonly used narcotics in the world, codeine is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, narcolepsy and acute pain.
- Fentanyl – Available in many forms, including a skin patch, lozenge or shot, fentanyl is typically used to manage chronic pain.
- Percocet/Percodan – Percocet consists of oxycodone and acetaminophen (Tylenol) and has a high potential for abuse. After just a week of continuous use, an individual can become addicted to percocet.
(Other opiates include opium, thebaine, papaverine, levorphanol, meperidine (Demerol®), hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), propoxyphene (Darvon®), anexsia, darvocet, lorcet, roxicet, tylox, wygesic, ziconotide, butorphanol, pentazocine and diphenoxylate (Lomotil®)).
Heroin is a highly addictive illicit drug. Synthesized from morphine, heroin is typically smoked, snorted or injected to produce a powerful and immediate sense of euphoria. Usually sold as a white or brownish powder, or in a sticky form known as “black tar heroin,” users can become addicted to heroin after their first exposure.
Because heroin is sometimes diluted with other substances or cleansers, intravenous heroin users can be exposed to a variety of toxins and blood-borne pathogens. Heroin addicts may share needles and engage in criminal activity to support their drug habit, making heroin addiction a disease that impacts every area of the user’s life.
Morphine is a drug derived from opium that is typically used to relieve pain. The drug’s effects also include a sense of euphoria, depressed appetite, and impaired mental and physical functioning. Addiction can develop quickly, and trying to quit using morphine without medical supervision is both difficult and dangerous.
There are many paths to recovery from addiction to heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine or any other type of opiate. Methadone clinics may utilize methadone or another form of medically assisted treatment, as well as counseling to help individuals reclaim their lives.
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