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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Facts about Street Methadone

Street Methadone
Methadone is used as a treatment of addiction to opiates such as heroin and morphine. Due to the severe withdrawel symptoms, there is a trend towards the reduction of a patient's methadone dosage to a point where they can be switched to another opiate with an easier withdrawal profile.

Methadone Maintenance Treatment, MMt, is a form of opiate replacement therapy. It is a corrective but not a curative treatment for the addiction. The principal effects are to relieve narcotic craving, suppress the abstinence syndrome, and block the euphoric effects associated with opiates. MMT has been found to be medically safe and non-sedating.
It reduces and/or eliminates the use of illicit opiates, the criminality associated with opiate use, and allows patients to improve their health and social productivity. In addition, enrollment in methadone maintenance has the potential to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases associated with injection, such as hepatitis and HIV.

Withdrawal symptoms have shown to be up to twice as severe than those of morphine or heroin at equivalent doses and are significantly more prolonged; methadone withdrawal symptoms can last for several weeks or more. A general guideline is a 1:1 ratio for trouble free detox. Being on a constant dose of say 100 mg. for one year, can take 18–24 months for safe detoxification. At high maintenance doses, sudden cessation of therapy can result in withdrawal symptoms described as "the worst withdrawal imaginable," lasting from weeks to months.

Withdrawal symptoms include: lightheadedness, severe Itching, aches and pains, often in the joints and/or legs, elevated pain sensitivity, elevated blood pressure, fever, sweating, chills, depression, panic disorder, Suicidal ideation, auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia, and reduced breathing which may be fatal between 2–4 hours.

Like with any other drug, Methadone can also be bought on the streets. Doctors have to watch their clients very carefully because it's a secondary source of income for a lot of them.

Methadone is also complicated to prescribe. Doses are often difficult to calibrate, because of the way the drug accumulates in fatty tissues and is slowly released in the body. Methadone's delayed narcotic effect and its lack of a potent high are important reasons the drug can be so dangerous. Some people, in particular recreational users, unaware of the drug's delayed effects, "take methadone, don't get the effect that they want, take more methadone, still don't get that reaction, so they take even more and, they end up overdosing.".

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