Can I Drive to and from My Methadone Clinic?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Properly prescribed, methadone is not intoxicating or sedating and does not interfere with ordinary activities like driving a car.” Therefore, there should be no issue with the concept of driving to and from your methadone clinic.
Does Methadone Cause Issues that Would Interfere With Driving Ability?
Normally, methadone, when taken by individuals who are not tolerant and as a treatment for pain, does cause significant reductions in concentration and reaction time, making it dangerous for someone to drive while taking the medication. However, “no significant adverse effects were measured with addicts stabilized for at least 1 year on daily oral doses of methadone,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
How is Methadone Safer When Used in This Way?
When methadone is prescribed as a maintenance treatment, it is given in doses low enough to avoid euphoria, relaxation, and the other symptoms associated with abuse, yet in high enough doses to reduce cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and the chance of relapse. Methadone doses, when given in treatment, fall between 80 and 120 mg per day. This dose allows patients to be stabilized but not to experience severe or dangerous side effects.
Methadone is used this way on purpose so individuals receiving the treatment can live their day-to-day lives safely and efficiently without having to experience severe withdrawal symptoms and while being protected from the high potential for relapse. In most cases, it is perfectly acceptable for individuals to drive right after receiving methadone treatment, but it is also important to be vigilant as well.
When Will I Know It’s Safe to Drive?
If you’re currently taking methadone, consider the following elements to help you determine whether it’s safe to drive while using the medication:
- Do not drive until your methadone dose has been adjusted to a proper dose that does not impair your ability to react quickly.
- Do not drive unless you have been taking methadone for a prolonged period of time and already are fully aware of how it will impact your ability to react.
- Most people take about 3 months to fully stabilize on the medication, driving should be avoided during the first few months of methadone use.
- If you need a ride, don’t be afraid to ask.
If you or someone you love is on methadone or considering methadone treatment, call our helpline toll-free for assistance in determining what the safest options in treatment may be. We can help if you call 800-891-9360 today.