What is Methadone?
Methadone is a medication used to treat people with addiction such as heroin, oxytocin etc. It was developed by Gustav Ehrhart and Max Bockmuhl in Germany in the year 1941. The drug was introduced in US in the year 1947. Methadone is WHO recognized medicine and has been used for over 60 years to treat people who are addicted to heroin and other opiates.
How does it Work?
Methadone changes the way brain and nervous system perceives the pain caused due to opiate withdrawal symptoms. It specifically blocks the receptors of the brain affected by the opiate usage, thus relieving any sort craving or urge to use the substance.
Methadone can be taken as a pill or in liquid form. The effect of the medicine generally can last for 24 hrs. But in cases of severe addiction higher dosage of the meds are prescribed.
How to Recieve?
Methadone comes under Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and requires medication to be taken under the supervision of a physician.
Clinics which are SAMHSA certified can only dispense these meds. When you go to the methadone clinic for the first time, the physician would be assessing your addiction levels. And based on that he/she would formulate a tailor-made plan.
Generally, the medication has to be taken in the Clinic only. But after the patient has proven stability there is an option to take the meds home as well.
How much time does it take Recovery?
It totally depends from person to person. In some cases, it takes 90 days and in some cases, it can take over a year. Depending on the addiction and mental framework, recovery time can vary.
How much does it Cost?
The cost of methadone varies. In case of public clinics, the medicine is administered for free. However in public clinics usually there is a waiting period.
In private clinics, the meds usually charge between $20 to $80/ week.
May insurance company partly cover the medication cost. Medicaid is also available in some states.
What are the side effects of Methadone?
While there are not many serious side effect of the medicine but users can experience:
- Sudden weight gain
- Memory loss, Headaches
- Nausea, diarrhea, cramps
It is important to consult a physician before starting on methadone.