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Methadone is a double-edged sword in medicine that’s been around since World War II. Because of its ability to relieve pain without a powerful high, like other opioids, it’s been prized both as a traditional pain medication and as a means of recovery from addiction to more severe opioids, like fentanyl, heroin, and morphine. Even without the aggressive high, however, methadone can still be an addictive medication, especially when it’s used in lieu of other substances rather than going sober altogether. Our detox and rehab in Orange County can help you find freedom from methadone by managing withdrawal symptoms and providing.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate developed as a pain reliever in wartime. Since then, it’s found use universally as a pain medication, but also as a treatment for more severe opiate addictions. As a synthetic chemical, methadone has less severe withdrawal effects to heroin or fentanyl and therefore can be used as a stepping-stone in gradually reducing addiction and withdrawal symptoms to levels that can be managed with treatment and therapy. As an opiate, methadone creates a similar high to morphine which itself can be addictive, if less intense. The long active period of methadone means users have to chase an “opiate high” less often than they would with other drugs, but it’s still not a perfect option. Many rehabs have been leaning away from methadone use in favor of less addictive substitutes like suboxone in combination with therapy.
Buprenorphine and naloxone-based medications like suboxone are convenient alternatives to methadone because they offer the same withdrawal relief as methadone, but at milder levels that can only increase to a certain amount before the effect plateaus. Because of this, there is less risk of overdose, less dangerous overdose symptoms, and a longer active duration which spreads out the time between doses. Overall, these drugs are safer and more reliable alternatives to methadone that allow for greater freedom and longer periods without the need to use.
Because buprenorphines are safer and less prone to addiction, these drugs can also be prescribed over the counter in many cases. Unlike methadone, which has to be administered by a licensed clinic, buprenorphines can be distributed more easily and in greater number of environments, such as doctors offices and correctional facilities.
Methadone has been an essential treatment for millions of people for nearly a century now, which explains why it’s so widespread and why so many people have developed addictions and dependencies to the drug. Ultimately, freedom from methadone and pure, simple sobriety is always the end-goal. You can find your freedom from methadone, and opiates in general, through treatment and recovery. Less addictive substances can be used to make withdrawal more comfortable, while techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be used to manage cravings and symptoms. Programs like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are also available as a means of long-term sobriety support for those looking to finally quit their dependence on opioids for good.
If you or a loved one needs help getting sober, Experience Recovery can help. Our admissions line is open 24/7.