It’s not easy to help addicts of heroin and other opiates. Methadone clinics were started because the drug can be used quite successfully to wean people off of their opiate addiction and ease withdrawal symptoms. In fact, there are a great number of people who have benefited from programs just like these.
Unfortunately, though, methadone is a powerful drug on its own, and many patients shift to abusing it instead of using their opiate of choice. Alternatively, methadone abuse occurs when the drug either doesn’t reach the correct patient or the addict gives or sells it to someone else. Plus, many doctors give it to non-addict patients as a pain reliever, and these patients can then become addicted.In fact, the CDC discovered that six times as many people died from methadone abuse overdoses in 2009 than in 1999 – despite the fact that methadone prescriptions only make up two percent of all painkiller prescriptions! (CBS Philadelphia)
Why Is Methadone Abuse Such a Big Problem?
There are many reasons why methadone abuse continues to increase, and people are starting to pay more attention and do something about it.Learn more about Heroin treatment rehab
Doctors see it as a viable alternative painkiller
With all the bad press around addictive pain drugs like OxyContin, many doctors started prescribing methadone. This made it a lot easier for addicts to obtain and facilitated more widespread methadone abuse.
Thieves steal it
Three of the most stolen drugs from pharmacies are Vicodin, OxyContin, and methadone. Criminals know that they can easily sell it and make a profit, but it also may not cause them as much legal trouble in most states as other, more well-known illegal drugs.
Methadone is cheap
One big reason that doctors started prescribing methadone is because it’s cheap. How cheap? Each dose costs only a few pennies. Unfortunately, this means that it’s also quite affordable when it’s sold illegally – especially when compared to heroin, cocaine, and other “serious” drugs.
People think it’s safe
Because of its use in curing opiate addicts at methadone clinics, there are a lot of people out there – even medical professionals – who see it as a “safe” drug. But even though the effects of methadone can be gradual and it’s good at helping heroin addicts, it’s still an addictive drug.
If you or someone you know is suffering from methadone abuse, getting treatment is not just important – it could make the difference between life or death. Methadone can be toxic not just from taking too much, but also if you happen to mix it with the wrong drugs. The risk isn’t worth it. Find a treatment center and get help.
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