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Aren’t I just substituting one opiate for another?
While Methadone is an opiate just like heroin, morphine and oxycontin it is much safer and better tolerated. It does not produce the euphoria of other opiates and therefore allows people to function normally and reclaim their lives. This is something that is not possible with other opiates like morphine, oxycontin, and heroin.
Will Methadone make me ‘High’?
Methadone was developed with the intention of minimizing the euphoria or ‘High’ one experiences with other opiates. As such, people usually report feeling ‘Normal’ on Methadone. When someone first starts taking methadone it is common to feel sedated or sleepy after taking their dose. However, this effect usually stops fairly rapidly after progressing in the program. If it does not, one should inform their physician as it may indicate the dose is too high.
When you start methadone is it hard (or impossible) to get off of it?
When (or if) a patient decides it’s time to get off methadone, it will be done on a scheduled taper of the methadone dose. It will be done in such a way that the effects of reducing the dose of methadone, such as opiate withdrawal, are minimized or eliminated. This usually requires a slow step-wise reduction of the dose over weeks to months. It can sometimes be difficult, and may take some time, but certainly not impossible. The same cannot be said of other opiates like morphine, heroin, and oxycontin. It is highly unlikely for someone to be successful tapering off of these drugs.
Will methadone rot my teeth?
There is a widely held misconception that methadone will rot your teeth. While there is a higher incidence of tooth decay in people suffering from drug addiction there is no increased risk when starting methadone. Many people suffering from addiction tend to neglect many aspects of their personal health, and especially attention to dental hygiene. It is important to follow the same good dental care that is recommended for everyone: brush after every meal, floss daily, and see your dentist at least twice a year. Opiate drugs, including methadone, and especially stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are known to cause dry mouth. This can accelerate tooth decay, therefore it is always recommended when someone starts the methadone program that they drink plenty of water.
Will I gain weight on methadone?
Another misconception of methadone is that one will gain weight on the program. People suffering from addiction tend to neglect many aspects of their lives and very commonly will neglect eating a proper and healthy diet. This, along with the fact that opiate drugs are known to cause a reduction in appetite can cause pronounced weight loss in people suffering from addiction. If the individual also suffers from an addiction to stimulant drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine the weight loss can be profound since these drugs cause an increase in metabolism and an even further reduction in appetite. The goal of starting a methadone treatment program is to become abstinent from all drugs of abuse and return to a normal functioning life. When this happens, a healthy appetite returns and one’s metabolism returns to normal. Consequently, a patient regains the weight they lost when they were addicted to drugs. If they are not careful they may even surpass their pre-addiction weight. It is important to eat a healthy diet; high in fibre, fruits and vegetables and low in fat. It is also important when a patient returns to normal functioning to start an exercise program in consultation with their physician.