Understanding Methadone and Other Drugs in the Same Class
If you’re struggling with an addiction to opiates such as heroin or prescription painkillers, you’ve probably heard of methadone as a treatment option for addiction.
But do you really know what it is or how it works?
Even more important – what makes methadone and similar medications in this class different from each other?
Before beginning treatment, it’s important to understand these concepts so you can have a better idea of how your recovery will go.
What Is Methadone Classified As?
Methadone is officially classified as a narcotic analgesic. Also known as opioid pain relievers, narcotic analgesics are ordinarily used as painkillers in cases of moderate to severe pain.
Unfortunately, narcotic analgesics are extremely addictive and can lead to abuse if you take them for more than three to four months. Taking them for longer than this is only safe if you are under the care of a doctor, as is the case with methadone.
How Does Methadone Work?
Methadone works by attaching to the opioid receptors in your brain. Because these receptors help regulate the nervous system, taking methadone can change the way your brain responds to pain, creating a euphoric feeling or high.
Unlike other narcotic analgesics, methadone has a much longer duration of action, meaning that it will stayed attached to your opioid receptors for a longer period of time.
This is good for those using methadone for withdrawal symptoms, as a single dose can last up to 24 hours before you need another dose.
Do you have more questions about how methadone works? Don’t worry, because we can help. Simply call us at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to speak with a knowledgeable representative that will answer all of your questions.
What Are Some Other Opiate Analgesics?
Methadone isn’t the only narcotic analgesic available. In fact, you’re probably infinitely familiar with some of these other drugs, as many of them are abused for their euphoric properties.
- Morphine – can cause changes in mood, sleepiness, and mental fog. It’s primarily used as an anesthetic for surgery or illness.
- Codeine – commonly used in cough syrup because of its ability to suppress the part of the brain that controls coughing.
- Heroin – as a partially synthetic opiate, this drug is much stronger than natural opiates. It’s commonly abused on the streets in order to get high.
- Fentanyl – a highly abused synthetic opiate that is dangerously potent even in small doses.
- Hydrocodone – normally used as a painkiller, this drug can be abused if patients continue to take it after their pain subsides.
- Oxycodone – similar to hydrocodone, in that it is a painkiller that has highly addictive properties.
- Meperidine – as a fast-acting opiate, meperidine is used to help with moderate to severe pain.
While most of these drugs have legal uses, when taken without supervision from a doctor, they can quickly become deadly.
Now that you know a little more about methadone and other drugs in the same class, you can feel more prepared as you enter your addiction treatment.
With the proper knowledge, nothing will stand in the way of you living a better life.