Opioid addiction has become a common problem when we talk about mental health issues today. While opioid medicines are quite useful, they also have a high likelihood of causing addiction in patients. One such opioid medicine is Methadone Hydrochloride. Here’s everything you need to know about the medication and how to treat Methadone Hydrochloride addiction if it occurs.
WHAT IS METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE?
Methadone Hydrochloride is an opioid analgesic that can help in treating moderate to severe pain. It reduces pain by altering how our brain perceives and responds to it. It’s also used for the treatment of addiction to other opioids, like heroin. Methadone Hydrochloride is only prescribed after a careful examination of the patient.
Being an opioid analgesic itself, Methadone Hydrochloride is not recommended to be used without a doctor’s prescription. Methadone Hydrochloride works by preventing the withdrawal symptoms that are caused when a person stops taking an opioid medicine. Thus, Methadone Hydrochloride is also commonly a part of the opioid treatment and rehabilitation program.
HOW TO USE METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE
Before using Methadone Hydrochloride, make sure your doctor gives you clear instructions about how to use the medicine. You should ask all the questions that you have regarding Methadone Hydrochloride.
Methadone Hydrochloride comes in the form of a tablet and is supposed to be taken by mouth. It can be taken with or without food. However, if you’re experiencing nausea or vomiting as a result of taking Methadone Hydrochloride without food, try having it after meals. You may also lie down for a couple of hours soon after having Methadone Hydrochloride to avoid nausea or vomiting. If these measures don’t work, you can ask your doctor about what can be done to reduce these side effects.
A specified dose of Methadone Hydrochloride is prescribed based on the condition of the patient and various other factors. So, take Methadone Hydrochloride in the dose prescribed by your doctor. It is always recommended to not miss a dose. Methadone Hydrochloride should be taken consistently while following all the instructions until the course is completed.
You’re supposed to dissolve one tablet of Methadone Hydrochloride in 4 ounces of water (120 ml) or an acidic fruit drink. Drink the juice or water as soon as you dissolve Methadone Hydrochloride in it. If you see any leftover medicine in the cup, add a little more water or juice to it, dissolve the medicine and have the mixture.
You shouldn’t prepare the mixture in advance to have it later. Methadone Hydrochloride tablets are supposed to be dissolved in liquid only when you’re taking it immediately after. Do not swallow, chew, or inject the solution.
Methadone Hydrochloride is only supposed to be taken as prescribed by the doctor. While many opioid medicines are taken when the patient experiences the first signs of pain, Methadone Hydrochloride is not supposed to be taken for sudden, breakthrough pain.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE?
Since Methadone Hydrochloride is an opioid analgesic, there are certain mild, as well as rare yet serious side effects associated with it. While you can take some measures to reduce mild side effects when administering Methadone Hydrochloride, you should stop taking the medicine and report to your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects. If your loved one suffers a Methadone Hydrochloride overdose, call the emergency number of your country/state immediately. Here’s a list of the most common mild and serious side effects that you should beware of.
MILD SIDE EFFECTS
If you’re experiencing constipation because of Methadone Hydrochloride, make sure you have plenty of water. You should also have a diet rich in fiber; and, if needed, get a laxative prescribed by your doctor. In case you’re feeling drowsy soon after administering this medicine, avoid performing any task that require focus.
For nausea and vomiting, you can take the measures mentioned under the ‘How to use Methadone Hydrochloride’ section. Either take Methadone Hydrochloride after meals or lie down for a while after taking it.
While this is a list of some of the most evident serious side effects, this is not a complete list. You may experience a rare and serious side effect outside this list. When you do, make sure you stop taking Methadone Hydrochloride and visit your doctor immediately. A Methadone Hydrochloride overdose can also cause death. This is why it is important to monitor doses and take immediate action when you experience a serious side effect.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN?
When taking an opioid analgesic like Methadone Hydrochloride, it is important to follow the instructions from your doctor. Knowing and following precautions helps in reducing the likelihood of side effects. With that said, here’s a list of precautions that are to be taken when taking Methadone Hydrochloride.
The most important precaution that one must take is to take the prescribed doses seriously. A doctor prescribes an opioid like Methadone Hydrochloride only after ensuring that it would benefit the patient. The doses are determined after assessing the patient’s health condition, weight, and many other factors. Thus, the dose that has been prescribed is supposed to work the best for you. So, make sure you don’t take Methadone Hydrochloride more frequently than suggested or miss a dose.
Your doctor may prescribe other pain medications or even other opioid analgesics for conditions like cancer. Make sure you ask your doctor about administering all the prescribed medicines in a way that prevents a chance of a negative drug interaction.
If you’re taking Methadone Hydrochloride or any other opioid medications for the first time, it always has to start with low strengths. This is because administering high strengths of Methadone Hydrochloride suddenly can result in a potential overdose, which can have dangerous outcomes like shallow breathing, fainting, and even death.
Patients are supposed to stop taking Methadone Hydrochloride as soon as their course ends. When a patient takes Methadone Hydrochloride even after the course is done or takes the medicine in higher doses or strengths than prescribed, it indicates Methadone Hydrochloride abuse.
Store Methadone Hydrochloride such that it is out of the reach of children and anyone else besides the patient or the caregiver of the patient. This is because people might recognize opioid medicines for their ability to cause intoxication, and thus abuse Methadone Hydrochloride.
Many patients may feel drowsy after administering Methadone Hydrochloride. This is why it is always recommended to avoid any task that requires focus or good vision. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery as this can cause an accident when you’re under the influence of the medicine.
DOES METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE CAUSE ADDICTION AND ABUSE?
Since Methadone Hydrochloride is an opioid analgesic, it carries with it a high risk of Methadone Hydrochloride addiction and abuse. When patients take this medicine for a long time or in increased strengths, they might develop dependence, and thus addiction.
Opioid drugs have a peculiar way of acting on our brain. We have opioid receptors in our body, and when we take an opioid analgesic like Methadone Hydrochloride, opioids in the medicine attach to the receptors. Gradually, these receptors get habituated to their interaction with opioids. In higher than prescribed doses, opioid medicines may also cause a feeling of euphoria. These combined effects can lead to Methadone Hydrochloride addiction in patients.
Once patients get addicted to Methadone Hydrochloride, they start taking the medicine in higher doses or continue the medicine even after the course is completed or when the doctor instructs the patient to stop administering the medicine. As a result, patients start acquiring Methadone Hydrochloride through illegal means or go to many doctors to get a prescription to buy the medicine. This is what we call Methadone Hydrochloride abuse.
Many people also use Methadone Hydrochloride and other opioid drugs for recreational reasons. Since opioids have the ability to cause intoxication, it becomes one of the choices for many young adults and teens who look for recreational substances. Thus, the general population is also prone to Methadone Hydrochloride abuse when taking it without having a health condition that requires the drug as part of treatment.
WHAT ARE THE SLANG NAMES FOR METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE?
People who abuse Methadone Hydrochloride may purchase the medicine illegally. When purchasing opioids, both sellers and buyers use certain code names for different kinds of opioids so that the transaction can be carried out without drawing attention. These code names are known as slang names or street names.
If you hear a loved one using these slang names on calls or exchanging texts that have one of the names, you might suspect possible drug abuse. Knowing the slang names can help you identify addiction and abuse problems and take needed action. With that said, here’s a list of common slang names that might be used for Methadone Hydrochloride.
DOES METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE CAUSE WITHDRAWAL?
When patients take Methadone Hydrochloride or any other opioid medications for a prolonged time, they can develop Methadone Hydrochloride tolerance as well as withdrawal symptoms when they stop administering the medicine. Tolerance can be defined as a need to administer a drug in higher doses for it to deliver the desired outcomes. As we keep taking an opioid medicine, it gradually fails to provide relief from pain or withdrawal symptoms of other opioids. Thus, we feel the need to administer medicine in higher doses to maintain the desired effects.
People who are used to having a certain dose of Methadone Hydrochloride experience Methadone Hydrochloride withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medicine. Withdrawal symptoms typically start a few hours after the patient stops taking the medicine. Early Methadone Hydrochloride withdrawal side effects are mild and don’t cause much discomfort. However, about a week after quitting opioid consumption, people tend to experience more intense Methadone Hydrochloride withdrawal side effects.
While some common early withdrawal symptoms of Methadone Hydrochloride are nausea, fevers, flu, etc., the later Methadone Hydrochloride withdrawal symptoms can be as extreme as severe body aches, diarrhea, anxiety, and opioid cravings. Many people go back to administering opioid medicines because of the cravings can continue for days after stopping.
Since health professionals who are licensed to prescribe opioids understand the nature of opioid withdrawal, they only prescribe opioid medicines in the right doses and strengths that shouldn’t cause withdrawal symptoms. However, the problem can arise when the patient doesn’t follow the doctor’s instructions properly.
This is also one common reason a doctor doesn’t prescribe a high dose and suddenly ask the patient to stop taking Methadone Hydrochloride. This creates a high likelihood of causing Methadone Hydrochloride withdrawal symptoms which can then lead to a cycle of relapse and other addiction problems. Instead, doctors gradually decrease the dose or strength of the medicine as the patient approaches the completion of the course, so that his body is able to deal with the absence of the medicine.
HOW TO TREAT METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE ADDICTION
While methadone has a reputation as one of the medicines that help in treating opioid addiction by preventing withdrawal effects, this medicine also carries its own risk for addiction since it is an opioid analgesic.
Methadone Hydrochloride addiction is a critical problem and can have serious repercussions when left untreated. This is why identifying opioid addiction and seeking professional help is imperative. Since opioid addiction is so complicated and has the potential to cause problems on all levels–physical, mental, emotional, social, etc.–doctors always counsel their patients before prescribing Methadone Hydrochloride.
A doctor would always tell the patient about how taking higher than prescribed doses or taking the medicine even after completing the course can be dangerous. Our bodies respond to opioids in a way that the patient would need a lot more than just willpower to fight the addiction and abuse problems.
Since opioid addiction affects the patient on both physical and mental levels, professional intervention is often needed to treat Methadone Hydrochloride addiction. Mental health professionals who have experience in treating opioid dependence come up with a systematic approach to treating abuse and addiction so that the root cause of the addiction can be addressed and dealt with.
A Methadone Hydrochloride rehab will offer treatment that involves imparting counseling to the patient such that the patient develops healthy life skills to deal with the addiction. Rehab care primarily focuses on therapy or counseling to bring about this change. Medicines may be used to make sure the patient doesn’t have to deal with painful Methadone Hydrochloride withdrawal side effects.
The mental health professional picks one of the therapies for the patient based on a careful assessment of the problem and the patient’s specific needs. Some of the common kinds of therapies involved in treating Methadone Hydrochloride addiction are listed below.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This therapy aims at identifying negative patterns of thinking associated with opioid addiction and resultant behavioral issues. Through this treatment, the therapist assists in helping the patient make mental and cognitive changes to unhealthy patterns thereby helping to modify addictive thoughts and behavior.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Some patients most evidently lack motivation more than any other factors involved in quitting their addictive habits. For such patients, Motivational Enhancement Therapy aims at keeping them constantly motivated so that they cooperate with the health professionals and stick with their treatment plan.
Many people are motivated to adopt healthy habits and work on their addictive habits only when they get the incentive to do so. With the help of Contingency Management therapy, therapists look for the factors that would serve as an incentive to the patient. When the patient shows a positive change in behavior, they receive an incentive which further entices them to repeat such behaviors.
Besides these common therapies, many health professionals also include family therapy so that the patient can receive unconditional support from loved ones to encourage the development of healthy life skills. There are two types of Methadone Hydrochloride rehab solutions: inpatient/residential and outpatient services.
While inpatient services aim at providing housing along with treatment, the patient only visits the therapist a few times a week when they opt for outpatient rehab service.
IS RESIDENTIAL METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE REHAB BETTER?
For patients with opioid addiction, inpatient or residential rehab treatment is sometimes better than outpatient services. The biggest problem with opioid addiction is drug cravings that cause patients to go back to their addictive behavior over and over, despite their efforts to quit. While outpatient rehab centers offer the same therapeutic solutions to their patients, after the patient walks out of the center, they can easily access opioid medicine, which then defeats the purpose of therapy.
A residential Methadone Hydrochloride rehab center would not only impart the needed therapy to the patient but also give the therapist or other health professionals the ability to monitor the patient’s behavior 24/7. Such observations can lead to better behavioral assessments as to whether or not the treatment plan is progressing as planned.
The patient has absolutely no access to opioids or any other addictive substance during their stay at a Methadone Hydrochloride rehab center. This compels them, even more, to be responsive to therapies and medicines and develop healthy life skills. Thus, over time, the patient gains the ability to refuse drugs and resist cravings. This can yield better outcomes and high chances of the patient living a drug-free life, even after they leave the rehab facility.
What’s more, the patient lives with other people who struggle with addiction. Patients experience a more comfortable living environment that is away from social prejudice and stigmatization. Gradually, as the patients develop life skills to manage their addiction problem, they are better equipped to adjust to social norms and conform to society.
HOW TO FIND A SUITABLE METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE REHAB CENTER?
While it is clear that residential Methadone Hydrochloride rehab is often more useful in treating opioid addiction, it is also tricky to find one that actually helps in a complete recovery. Two of the major issues that people consider while looking for rehab centers are effective treatment and the costs involved.
While many rehab centers would take in opioid addicts and claim to offer the best Methadone Hydrochloride addictiontreatment, you can’t go by words alone. Make sure you check if the therapist and health professionals in the rehab center have experience in treating opioid addiction specifically. This is because opioid addiction is very different in nature from other kinds of addiction. Thus, only a specialist would be able to come up with an all-inclusive treatment plan that ensures the highest possibility for recovery from Methadone Hydrochloride addiction.
We often hear that rehab facilities are only for the rich. However, there are decently priced rehab facilities as well. The cost of a rehab treatment depends greatly on the amenities that the facility provides. While you can find many Methadone Hydrochloride rehab centers that offer decent living conditions and effective treatment approaches at a fair price, you can also find high-end facilities that offer all manner of luxuries. The choice greatly depends on the financial capabilities of the decision-maker.
You can also check if your insurance company covers rehab expenses. Many insurance companies have changed their policies and now also cover mental health disorder treatment to encourage more people to take mental health problems seriously. This also depends on the laws and regulations of your state or country.
Methadone Hydrochloride can be useful to manage moderate to severe pain as well as opioid addiction. However, it is up to your doctor to decide whether or not to prescribe the medicine. When taking Methadone Hydrochloride, it is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions. This reduces the chances of side effects as well as Methadone Hydrochloride addiction, abuse, dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms.
If a patient develops Methadone Hydrochloride addiction or a person abuses the medicine, rehab treatment can be helpful in treating addiction. In fact, it is highly recommended to get treatment, since addiction can lead to bigger problems like an overdose. An opioid overdose can cause death. Methadone Hydrochloride rehab centers help patients in recovering from addiction by designing a treatment plan that best suits them. By integrating physical and mental treatment, the therapist and other health professionals strive to help the patient develop healthy life skills.
As a result, when the patient returns home from a residential rehab center, they are more able to live in society without succumbing to drugs, and carry on a normal life.