Methadone is a pain reliever similar to morphine that belongs to the group of drugs known as opioid. Opioids have chemical structures and actions similar to morphine. Methadone’s effects are longer lasting than that of heroine and are considered to be safe, well-tested medication for treatment of opioid addiction withdrawal and dependence state.
Methadone as an opiate has something in common with Heroine. They occupy the same mu opioid receptors in the brain. Methadone is a synthetic drug, long-acting opioid whose effects last for 24 hours. It was proven to mimic heroine’s action in the brain without necessarily occupying all the mu opioid receptors. It therefore leaves enough of these receptors free to perform their specific roles and is the reason why methadone patients do not experience high. Methadone reduces the cravings with heroine and blocks the high from heroine use.
Benefits of Methadone
Methadone has its own cost benefit by which a patient will only incur $13 per day because of its duration of action and very low cost (ONDCP 2000). This is taken a better and cost effective alternative to rehabilitation and incarceration. Withdrawal is much slower than that of heroine. The government finds it much possible to maintain an addict on methadone without undesirable harsh side effects. Methadone detox is only effective for addicts of heroine, morphine, and opioid drugs. Patients may require continuous treatment over a period of long years. Withdrawal symptoms may be regulated by gradual reduction of dosage medication.
The truth about Methadone
Methadone is a synthetic drug which is habit forming. Methadone brings about a biochemical balance in the body but the patient remains physically dependent on the opioid. Regular usage develops certain tolerance. Methadones do not cure heroine addiction it only sustain addicts habit by its long-lasting effect characteristics. Methadone has this side effect that may impair thinking and reactions since it still is a form of opioid synthetic drug. The only success that can be attributed to Methadone is its ability to harm some mu opioid receptors while leaving others free to function. But what if the occupied receptors cannot accommodate Methadone anymore? Will it result to giving more harm by affecting the free receptors?
The dos and don’ts of Methadone usage
Methadone shall be used solely with no other drug combinations. The patient must avoid drugs that contain narcotics that may induce one to get drowsy or sleepy like cough, cold or pain relievers, muscle relaxants, medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety.
Allergic reactions are known to be difficulty in breathing and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Serious side effects are known to include hallucinations or confusions, swelling of ankles or feet, urinating less than usual, chest pains, and feeling light headed or fainting.
Overdose symptoms were observed to be shallow or decreased breathing, slow heart rate, small pupils, cold clammy skin and coma or even death.
The drug can be taken as a liquid or as a tablet for oral administration. The correct dosage shall be measured with a marked liquid measuring spoon or medicine cup. It can be also administered through injections.
I do not believe that government has been helping its people by the introduction of methadone. Tolerance means the possibility of a tolerant person to function normally with a dose that may prove fatal to a non tolerant person. It does not treat nor cure the addiction but only sustain the habit economically for 24 hours because of its long-lasting effect. Methadone can proved fatal when the patient is out on the streets and may not be known to be using it. When plagued with cough and colds, there is a very big possibility that his mind and control defenses will go lax and buy over the counter drugs to treat the illness which is a big NO for this kind of treatment.
The way I see it, it is the highway to free addiction and free fall to individual fatality. The free fall may not be on its effect as a treatment but purely on its established harmful effects when combined with other drugs that may be bought over the counter for relief of mild ailments. The harm is laxity and ignorance of the person being held responsible for his own treatment. Methadone may increase the effects of these other drugs and make drowsiness and dizziness even worse. The danger is from the aspects of over dose and side effects.
Methadone only reduces cost for treatment some aspects of drug addiction. It also reduces crime and violence but do not ultimately reduce the misuse of this drug and of the other drugs. We don’t hold the thoughts and the hearts of our patients. They have a different meaning for responsibility and laxity of control. Patients do not actually follow what you teach. It has been established that their sense of responsibility and control are not outstanding by the addiction that they were in. The treatment can serve as a freeway to the highway of unknown, uncontrollable, fearsome consequences. What will become of this nation then?
I do not mean harm with the theory that the government may find relief in the patient having to commit government assisted unwanted induced suicide. How will the government justify the danger of the treatment? How will they be able to justify giving aids to third world countries when they are limiting financial aids to their citizens themselves? I cannot see the reason of helping first other people then trying to limit own cost of rehabilitation of drug addiction centers and people with mental illness.
How can a group of senators and scientist fail to underestimate and assess the relation between over dose and the patient’s sense of responsibility? I absolutely will not deregulate and increase methadone availability. There is already an array of harmful drugs over the counters that were regulated, we cannot add more to these dangers. I see human sacrifice and cost effective governmental measures that were not helping to the health of these people. It is frantically pushing them to their ends. We cannot justify harm with cost effectiveness.
We need to STOP methadone treatment and be back on the basics of rehabilitation strategy. Relapse and withdrawal will never be a problem if we continue to clean our body, our environment, and our policy. If we find it hard to change policies, then we need to push the change on the persons that made it to their seats so we can effect proper changes.
Finn, S. & Tuckwiller, T. (2006, June 4). The killer cure: Deaths tied to methadone escalate4across State, Nation. The Charlestone Gazette. Retrieved May 21, 2007 from the
website of Medical Assisted Treatment Website: http://www.medicalassisted
ONDCP. (2000). Methadone April 2000. Retrieved May 21, 2007 from the website of ONDCP.
“Methadone, once given mostly to heroin addicts to ease their cravings is being prescribed now by more doctors to treat pain. Insurance companies favor it because it is cheap and effective. But methadone helped to kill three times as many Americans in 2003 as it did in 1999, death certificates reveal, and medical examiners blame it for more overdose deaths than any other narcotic drug except cocaine. This previously unpublished information comes from an analysis of death certificates requested by the Gazette-Mail and conducted by the National Vital Statistics System, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. West Virginia led the nation in accidental overdose deaths blamed on methadone in 2003, with a death rate four times higher than the national average, the data shows. It was followed by Kentucky, North Carolina, Maine and New Hampshire. Methadone contributed to 2,992 deaths nationwide in 2003, up from 790 four years earlier, according to the data. That’s more deaths in one year than the U.S. military has suffered during the conflict in Iraq. Medical examiners ruled 82 percent of those deaths accidental.” (Finn & Tuckwiller 2006)