Pain Killers: Getting off is hard to do...

Is Methadone An Opiate?

Is Methadone An Opiate?

Well yes and no. The question “Is methadone an Opiate” is a little misleading. An Opiate is usually referring to natural opiates made from the resin of the Opium Poppy plant. An Opioid refers to synthetic or man-made drugs that act or mimic opiates. Such synthetics are Methadone and Fentanyl and some semi-synthetics are Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. Some believe and it may be true that opiates made from Opium Poppy resin such as Heroin, Codeine and Morphine may actually be easier to kick than the synthetic counter parts because the fact that the synthetics are man-made, in a purer state and engineered for one purpose which is to kill pain. This being said it may explain why synthetics have been historically harder for people to kick than natural opioids.

Is Methadone An Opiate?

So asking the question “Is Methadone an Opiate” is technically No, but is it addictive like regular opiates? YES, and then some! If you look at the news and the nations epidemic of painkiller abuse you can see the main pills of choice are hydrocodone and oxycodone because they are so addictive. Methadone is also a synthetic but it is used for maintenance programs known as “Methadone Maintenance” for people who are “trying” to get off heroin and other opiates. Methadone is supposed to be used for a short term and used to ween a person off of heroin, but the issue of it being harder on the body and way more addictive is a contributing factor of people remaining on methadone for many years at a time, sometimes not ever being able to get off.

The same equation goes for Suboxone or Subutex. These drugs, also synthetic opioids, are used to help people ween off of and get away from regular opiates they have become addicted to. Many times people stay on them way too long and by long that can mean just a few short weeks to several months. The result can mean many years of use of these drugs that were meant for short term usage.

Is Methadone An Opiate?

Is methadone an opiate? Well at this point does it really matter? Yes and No but the fact remains it is still a highly addictive substance that people don’t know the magnitude of the

Is Methadone An Opiate

Methadone Pills

ramifications of its addictive powers. Stay away from methadone if you can, in fact you can stay away from it, just don’t do it at all. The reason they use it for treatment of opiate addiction is it has the effect of blocking the euphoric effect of opiate drugs. This means the person who does methadone and then tries to go get high, will experience nothing except maybe an overdose is Symoron, Dolophine, Amidone, Methadose, Physeptone, Heptadon and Phy.

The effects of methadone are long lasting and longer than that of opiate based drugs. The withdrawal time from methadone is also shown to be twice as severe than regular opiates. It’s not surprising that people who become addicted to methadone stay on it for a long time before getting off, if they successfully get off.

See this post for a list of methadone withdrawal symptoms  and then ask yourself is methadone an opiate?

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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

When it comes to getting off of methadone it is important to know it will take time. It does not happen overnight. This is tough because of the way our world is now, we want everything right away. We want a quick fix if at all possible.

Many people want a quick fix when it comes to getting off methadone. They may think that trying to quit cold turkey is the best way to go. It is not really suggested. It is important to come off of it slowly, especially if you have been using methadone for a long time and/or large dosages. Getting the right help will make the process a lot easier. During the process the body needs to detox off the drug itself. Detox is having the body come down off the drug. It is not putting any more of the drug in your body. Detox can take awhile depending on how long the drug has been used and how much has been used.

Going to an inpatient treatment center is one of the best options. This option is great because they have support and medical personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows the person going through the treatment to have support and help anytime they need it. Having medical personnel all the time also allows them to watch the people who are detoxing and making sure that nothing out of the ordinary happens and is there to help when difficult times come up.

Another thing about treatment centers is they want to make sure you are ready for the world when you are done. They do not want to release you until they feel and know you are ready to deal with the world outside the treatment center. They will release you when they see and feel you are ready. Some go through treatment faster than others. No one should compare themselves with someone else. It is when you compare yourself to someone who is doing better that you can slow the process or even relapse.

Having a support system will also make a huge a difference. You want people who will encourage you and support you not only in the bad times, but also the good times. It is important to have people there who will help when things get rough, but also to congratulate you when you are on the right track.

There are many things that are not a quick fix. Being willing to wait and work through issues and problems will only make it better and help you in the long run. This is no different with coming off methadone. Do expect there will be withdrawal symptoms with methadone.

Withdrawal symptoms

Physical symptoms

  • Lightheadedness
  • Tearing
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe Itching
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Akathisia
  • Tachycardia
  • Aches and pains, often in the joints and/or legs
  • Elevated pain sensitivity
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Reduced breathing (may be fatal between 2–4 hours)

Cognitive symptoms

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Susceptibility to Cravings
  • Depression
  • Reduced breathing (may be fatal between 2–4 hours)
  • Spontaneous orgasm
  • Prolonged insomnia
  • Delirium
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Increased perception of odors, real or imagined
  • Marked decrease in sex drive
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions

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