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Methadone Addiction

German scientists synthesized methadone during World War II because of a shortage of morphine.
Although chemically unlike morphine or heroin, methadone produces many of the same effects.
Introduced into the United States in 1947 as an analgesic (Dolophinel), it is primarily used today for the treatment of narcotic addiction. It is available in oral solutions, tablets, and injectable Schedule II formulations, and is almost as effective when administered orally as it is by injection.
Methadone's effects can last up to 24 hours, thereby permitting once-a-day oral administration in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs. High-dose methadone can block the effects of heroin, thereby discouraging the continued use of heroin by addicts under treatment with methadone. Chronic administration of methadone results in the development of tolerance and dependence.
The withdrawal syndrome develops more slowly and is less severe but more prolonged than that associated with heroin withdrawal.
Ironically, methadone used to control narcotic addiction is frequently encountered on the illicit market and has been associated with a number of overdose deaths.

Methadone addiction is severe and very hard to break. Once a person has become addicted to methadone they will discover tremendous withdrawal associated with any attempt to quit using the drug and often will revert back to heroin or their original drug of choice to prevent these withdrawal symptoms. This begins the original cycle of addiction again and methadone has only become a part of it.

Methadone treatment facilities traditionally service the patient on an outpatient basis, administering medication with a drive-thru mentality. A patient's vulnerability, compounded by a lack of sufficient medical supervision and psychological support, can sometimes result in the emergence of the new dependency. More so, a doctor may have difficulty judging the proper Methadone dose for a first-time user. Additionally, patients are escalated to Methadone doses much higher than the original opiate in order to allow for 24-hour dosing. The consequence of this is that Methadone patients are much more difficult to detox.

Medical professionals urge that people who are prescribed Methadone for addiction to heroin or other opiate type drugs can lead normal lives and should be praised for giving up their addictions. However, these people may need to suffer now with Methadone addiction forever, unable to function in life without it. Like any other addiction, attempting to break free from Methadone can cause withdrawal symptoms because the user is still addicted to opiates. Methadone treatment neither addresses nor reverses the basic issue of addiction or addiction treatment, and studies of former heroin addicts have proven that withdrawal from heroin was far less excruciating and lengthy than withdrawal from Methadone.

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