Having an addiction to methadone means that a person is physically dependent on the drug, cannot stop on their own, and compulsively seeks out the drug.
How to Recognize Methadone Addiction Symptoms
Methadone, while proven effective in the treatment of opioid addiction, can also be addictive itself. When administered by a medical professional and the dosage is managed properly, it can help addicts to begin the recovery process and safely stop using opioid drugs. However, if abused the user can develop dependence and become addicted. It is important to recognize the methadone addiction symptoms if a loved has been misusing methadone.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, individuals who abuse methadone can build tolerance and develop dependence to the drug. When these individuals stop using methadone they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
What Are Common Methadone Addiction Symptoms and Behavioral Changes?
If a loved one has been using methadone and you suspect that they have become addicted to it, but are not sure, below are some common methadone addiction symptoms and behavioral changes to look out for:
- Taking methadone more often than prescribed or even doubling the dosage without the doctor’s approval
- Lying about their misuse when questioned
- Buying methadone from someone else –which is illegal
- Stealing money to get more methadone
- Lying to doctor’s about symptoms to increase dosage
- Have mood swings often
- Complain frequently about headaches, stomach pain, nausea, or other symptoms, especially if they have not taken a dose and experience withdrawal
- They have developed tolerance and now need to take more to have the same initial effect
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Rash or hives may develop
- Act hostile if they cannot get more methadone
- Unable to focus
The methadone addiction symptoms and behavioral changes are not limited to the ones mentioned above, some people may display other symptoms not listed here. To avoid negative consequences of methadone addiction -it is best consult with an addiction counselor or medical professional.
Can A Person Just Stop Using Methadone On Their Own?
If a loved one or friend is showing some of the methadone addiction symptoms mentioned above, then they need to seek professional medical help. Trying to abruptly stop using methadone can bring on the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal -which can be hard to manage on their own.
The decision to stop further abuse of methadone is a good one, but it needs to be medically supervised so that withdrawal is easier to handle, or maybe even eliminated through the use of certain medications. The withdrawal symptoms can affect both the mind and body. Methadone addiction can be both physical and psychological. The safest way to overcome addiction and manage withdrawal is by entering into an addiction treatment program for methadone.
What Are Some of the Withdrawal Symptoms from Methadone Addiction?
Some of the unpleasant symptoms a person may experience when they abruptly try to stop using methadone may include:
- Increased heart rate
- Suicidal thoughts
- Abdominal pain
- Uncontrollable cravings for methadone
Other more serious signs of withdrawal may become present. Each individual is different and the severity of the symptoms can vary depending on length of time using the drug, among other factors. However, if a loved one has been showing the methadone addictions symptoms above, then it is imperative that they seek treatment to avoid further complications to their overall health. They can begin a better and healthier life once they commit to enter into treatment.