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How Does a Methadone Addiction Start?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug that is used for both pain management and medication-assisted therapy for those who are struggling with opioid addiction. Methadone’s long half-life, or the amount of time that the drug works within the body make it effective in blocking off pain and staving off opioid cravings for up to 36 hours.

Methadone is effective for those who have a high tolerance to pain medications or have severe pain issues. Although methadone can be helpful in opioid maintenance therapy, it also has a potential and considerable risk for abuse. Unfortunately, because methadone is a rather strong opioid compared to others, it is possible for an individual to overdose unintentionally. Methadone comes in either liquid or pill form.

For those who are prescribed methadone for addiction treatment of, they will most likely be given liquid methadone. Methadone can corrupt the mind in the same way as other opioid medications or illicit drugs if it is abused.

Methadone clinics that supply the drug to those who are combating an opioid addiction often require the individual to come in 5-6 days a week until trust has been established to avoid abuse or diversion, many times these clinics have level systems that go based off program compliance, attendance and drug tests coming up clean. Some individuals benefit greatly from methadone programs, while others may divert or sell their drugs on the street to trade for others.

Methadone can be one of the hardest addictions to overcome on your own. If you or someone you love find themselves addicted to methadone, please give us a call today.

Methadone FAQ’s

What is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic opiate analgesic that is used a substitute drug in the treatment of Morphine and Heroin addiction.

What is Methadone’s origin?

During WWII there was a shortage of Morphine, which was used medicinally at the time. German scientists created Methadone, and it was introduced in the United States shortly after as a pain reliever.

What are Methadone’s common street names?

Methadose, Maria, Fizzies, Amidone, Pastora, Wafer, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Salvia, Dolls, Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How is Methadone abused?

Methadone can be swallowed, snorted, or injected.

What is Methadone’s effect on the mind?

Methadone causes psychological dependence.

What is Methadone’s effect on the body?

Methadone use puts the person at risk of becoming tolerant, which leads to physical dependence. Additionally, the user may experience sleepiness sweating, and itchy skin.

What are Methadone’s overdose effects?

Methadone’s overdose effects include convulsions, stomach spasms, blue fingernails, blue lips, clammy skin, coma, weak pulse, slow/shallow breathing, and possible death.

Which drugs cause similar effects as Methadone?

Methadone shares similar characteristics as Morphine and Heroin, and have practically identical signs of intoxication.

What are the withdrawal effects of Methadone detox?

When the user stops taking Methadone, he/she could experience withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, muscle tremors, diarrhea, and anxiety. Methadone withdrawals are said to be some of the worst opioid drug withdrawals out of all the opioid substances.

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What is Methadone?

Methadone is a long-acting synthetic opioid and works by changing the way the brain responds to pain. It can help to greatly prevent withdrawal symptoms from other opioids as well as reduce craving significantly. Methadone is sold under the brand name Dolophine.

It was developed in Germany in 1937 and approved by the United States in 1947. Methadone is currently listed in the United States as a Schedule II drug; it’s used as a medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependency in all but 3 states. Methadone can be abused by ingesting, snorting, and injecting. Developing an addiction to methadone can happen rather quickly and result in escalated tolerance.

Once the body becomes physically dependent on the medication, the real trouble begins. Methadone is one of the most difficult opioid medications to withdraw from, and compared to other opioids, has a long withdrawal period of 30 days to 3 months.

How is Methadone Utilized for Substance Abuse Treatment?

Methadone has a long half-life, meaning that its effects last for a significant amount of time in the body. Because of this, methadone is often used in the treatment of opioid dependency. One dose of methadone can prevent an individual from experiencing opioid craving and withdrawal for up to 36 hours.

Methadone can be used in short or long-term treatment of opioid dependency. Methadone is given daily doses and is usually dispensed in liquid form when used to treat opioid dependence. When on a steady, appropriate dose, without abuse or diversion, methadone can be effective as medication-assisted therapy.

It can help stop the cycle of drug-seeking behaviors and help an individual stabilize themselves so that they may be able to begin the process of recovery. Methadone treatment is known to most effective when coupled with individual or group therapy and should never be used alone to treat opioid dependency.

Medical Detox

Effective medical detox experts focus on taking the discomfort out of the detox and withdrawal process. We understand that each patient has different needs. Patients can usually choose to either undergo medical detox or social detox. You deserve an effective and realistic addiction treatment plan.

Intensive Outpatient

Different outpatient programs, such as intensive outpatient and evening intensive outpatient programs, can help patients receive treatment while living at home. Connecting you to a safe and therapeutic program is our top priority. Learn More

Residential Treatment

Residential facilities are the perfect place to start your journey to recovery. At high-quality residential treatment centers, expert clinicians and medical providers assess your needs and provide an individualized plans tailored to your needs. Learn More

Quality Treatment for Methadone Addictions

For methadone addiction, individualized treatment is the best course to take to begin the path to recovery. Individualized treatment can help you start off the road to recovery right and get back control of your life by addressing the root cause of addiction.

In many instances, addiction is linked to unresolved issues of past trauma, or there is an underlying co-occurring disorder of which the person is unaware.

Individualized treatment is a way to ensure that your needs are addressed, and you get treated as an individual. At A Better Today Recovery Services, we understand that what may work for one person may not work for the other. When you come into enter a treatment facility, you will have experienced clinical and support staff to help you through each of the stages of treatment.

We understand how difficult detox from a strong opioid such as a methadone can be, and we are committed to making your experience as comfortable as possible. We will help you find an effective treatment center that will provide the best services for you.

When you begin attending effective therapy groups, you will be immersed in a healthy, therapeutic environment where you can meet other peers to share your story with, encouraging and supporting each other along the way. Effective treatment centers also provide individual therapy, where patients can process more private issues one on one with a master-level clinician, many of whom have been in your shoes.

Overall, we want you to understand that there is life after addiction to methadone and you can succeed in recovery. Give us a call today to find out more about recovery from methadone.

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Common Behaviors Associated With Methadone Addiction

Methadone is one of the stronger opioids that are used as medications today. If an individual is abusing methadone, they will usually have a very difficult time staying awake and keeping their eyes open during the normal day to day activities. For example, your loved one may frequently almost fall asleep when driving.

Overall, a person may seem constantly drowsy and often become less active in their lives. Many individuals share that while using methadone, they experience intense sugar cravings which can result in weight gain. If an individual has the tendency to gain weight while on methadone, it can be very difficult to lose weight without completely stopping the drug.

When an individual abuses methadone, one dose will normally keep them from craving and withdrawal for about 24 hours but once withdrawal kicks in, it’s known as one of the most difficult and painful drugs to withdrawal from.

The Dangers Associated with Methadone Abuse

Signs & Symptoms

One of the most telling signs that can indicate methadone abuse is increased fatigue and sleepiness. When an individual is using methadone, especially at high doses, they can be drowsy much of time, and in extreme cases may even fall asleep while driving.

Eyes may become heavy, pinpointed, and glassy. For those who are newly abusing methadone, they may experience increased nausea and vomiting.

Methadone is also known to cause constipation, labored breathing, disorientation, muscle twitches, limp muscles, general weakness, cold, clammy skin, and dizziness.

These signs and symptoms tend to get worse as the individual begins to abuse methadone at higher doses.


Methadone withdrawal symptoms are the same as the classic symptoms an individual would experience with other opioids drugs, and symptoms include a runny nose, yawning, watery eyes, fatigue, depression, goosebumps, profuse sweating, anxiety, twitching, restlessness, and agitation.

Compared to the withdrawal of other opioids, Methadone withdrawal lasts longer and can be more severe. Those who have prescribed medication in the treatment of opioid therapy can be slowly tapered off the drug over time to avoid any discomfort.

If not done on a taper plan, and if stopped abruptly, Methadone withdrawal can last up to 3 months.


Methadone is an opioid that is incredibly strong and even in small doses, Methadone can easily cause an individual to overdose if they do not have a high opioid tolerance.

If an individual finds themselves using the methadone liquid, it can be very difficult to tell how much of the medication they are ingesting.

The signs and symptoms of methadone overdose are confusion, disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, involuntary muscle twitches, drop in blood pressure, cold skin, faint pulse and can eventually induce an individual into a coma.

Death occurs after the brain has lost oxygen due to an inability to breathe.

Reliable Sources Matter to ABTRS

Rely on Trusted Sources to Learn About Methadone

When considering in investing in drug and alcohol treatment for you or your loved one, getting information that you can trust is important. It is vital to know where your information comes from and whether or not the information that you are learning will help you make life changing decisions. ABTRS takes pride in providing knowledge from reputable sources that are up to date and relevant so when you make the decision to seek treatment for an addiction, you know exactly what will happen and how rehab is life changing. Check out the list below to learn more about where ABTRS got their information for this webpage.

Samhsa.gov. (2019). Methadone | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. [online] Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment/methadone [Accessed 27 Feb. 2019].

NIDA. (2018, June 19). Methadone and buprenorphine reduce risk of death after opioid overdose. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2018/06/methadone-buprenorphine-reduce-risk-death-after-opioid-overdose on 2019, February 27

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