Methadone is a substance that most people have heard about but often aren’t exactly sure what it is or how it works. Basically, methadone is one of the opiate analgesics, or painkillers. Sometimes people misuse opiates and quickly become addicted and methadone can then be used to help break the addiction cycle. It works by preventing some of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can be felt if opiates are stopped without any assistance. It can also be used for those who have actually stopped taking opiates as it also reduces cravings that may cause them to return to the habit. Whilst that covers the basics, How Is Methadone Prescribed?
As methadone is used to reduce or prevent withdrawal problems in people who are addicted to opiates it obviously is a specialized area that requires monitoring closely. It works because it mimics the opiate by occupying the receptors in the brain and is used for those who are addicted but also those requiring long term pain medication. As it is so powerful it can only be prescribed by a licensed physician. When prescribed for pain relief there are no restrictions in its use however it is a different matter when begin prescribed to drug addicted individuals.
The doctor prescribing must be registered with the DEA and involved in a Narcotic Treatment Program. This allows the treatment to be monitored carefully and prevents any individual misusing the methadone they have been prescribed.
It is given as either tablets or a solution and is taken by mouth and should be taken in exactly the way the doctor as prescribed it, never reducing the dose yourself or missing out doses without seeking help.
When the program is followed correctly there are huge benefits to the individual and society as a whole. As the person starts to improve they become more stable and the risk of problems from injecting drugs, and the associated medical problems, is removed. Society also benefits as crime is reduced and the individual starts functioning well in the community.
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