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How Does Methadone Work?

Taking methadone is one of the best ways to end your drug addiction. Since its inception in the 1960s, it has helped millions of people get off of opioids for good.

However, before jumping on the methadone bandwagon, it is helpful to know how it actually helps you get off drugs.

By understanding the way that methadone works, it will reduce some of your fear and anxiety about the detox and recovery process. You’ll feel more knowledgeable about the whole process and will be able to take a greater interest in your health.

What Exactly Is Methadone?

Methadone Work

Taking methadone once a day can prevent withdrawal symptoms so you can go about your normal life.

Methadone is what’s known as a synthetic narcotic analgesic, meaning that it is manufactured drug that is typically used to reduce pain. It’s classified as a schedule II controlled substance, meaning that it does have the potential for abuse and addiction.

Usually, methadone is prescribed as either an oral solution, tablet, or injection, depending on what you are using it for. In the case of drug addiction recovery, it is usually given to patients once a day in the liquid oral form.

What Happens When You Ingest Methadone?

As you may know, methadone effectively blocks the effects of other opioids while also lessening opiate withdrawal symptoms. But how does it do this?

When you take methadone, it acts as a agonist in your body. What does this mean?

Your brain has certain opioid receptors. When you take opioids, these drugs bind to and stimulate these receptors, causing you to feel euphoria and other pleasurable side effects. Over time, your brain gets so used to this stimulation that it can’t function without it – this is known as dependence.

Therefore, when you stop taking opioids, you’ll begin to go through withdrawal.

Methadone acts as a replacement for other opioids. It binds to these receptors and prevents other opiates from attaching, which is why you can’t get high when taking methadone.

Because methadone has such a long half-life, it stays in your body for at least 24 hours, which is why daily doses are necessary.

Want to learn more about how methadone works in the body? Just call us at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to speak with a methadone specialist.

How Much Methadone Is a Usual Dose?

When you start taking methadone, you will begin at a low dose to let your body acclimate to the new drug.  In most cases, you will begin taking around 10 mg a day, with the dose being increased by 10 mg or 5 mg each day until your withdrawal symptoms are under control.

Most patients end up needing around 40 mg a day to stave off their symptoms, though this will vary depending on the severity of your addiction.

What Are Some Side Effects of Methadone?

As with all medications, methadone can have some side effects. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Drowsiness or trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

In some cases, you might be having a more serious reaction to methadone. Always call a doctor if you’re experiencing:

  • Depressed respiration
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Stupor
  • Coma

As you can see, methadone is a powerful drug that works wonders in the human body.

Now that you know more about methadone, it’s time to put an end to your addiction.

Call us today at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to learn more about methadone treatment centers in your area.

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Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) could be forwarded to SAMHSA or a verified treatment provider. Calls are routed based on availability and geographic location.

The helpline is free, private, and confidential. There is no obligation to enter treatment. In some cases, could charge a small cost per call, to a licensed treatment center, a paid advertiser, this allows to offer free resources and information to those in need. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses.

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