Methadone dependence: signs, consequences, treatment
Methadone is a drug related to an opioid group.The drug has an analgesic effect and was created to replace morphine.But as it turned out, methadone as well as morphine can cause addiction.From pharmacies, the medicine leaked to the black drug market, which is why people with methadone addiction still fall ill to narcologists.Table of Contents: Causes of Methadone Dependence Symptoms of Methadone Dependence Abstinence Syndrome Treatment of Methadone Dependence
Causes of Methadone Dependence
In many foreign countries, methadone is used by narcologists as substitution therapy for opiate addicts( dependence on heroin, codeine, Morphine). This method of treatment is also practiced in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.In the Russian Federation, methadone maintenance therapy is prohibited.
Methadone replacement therapy is administered under the supervision of an expert in narcology.The patient comes to the doctor's office and there he takes the prescribed dose of methadone in the form of tablets or syrup.Ideally, the dose of the drug is gradually reduced and canceled.However, to abandon methadone to a drug addict is often not so easy.
The founders of the methadone rehabilitation program expected that using methadone would allow the addict to abandon a more dangerous drug - heroin. Since methadone has a lesser narcotic effect, it was assumed that patients using such an alternative remedy could return to a full social life. But as it turned out, the methadone substitution program does not work perfectly.Methadone in itself causes a strong dependence.
It is worth noting that methadone also walks around the black narcotic market. In the society of drug addicts cultivate the opinion that methadone is a safe alternative to heroin.This is not so, because methadone is still a drug and causes dependence.But the drug dealers are actively propagating this idea.So, to beginners, methadone is advertised as an "easy and safe drug".As a result, people looking for new experiences start taking methadone and soon become addicted.
Symptoms of methadone dependence
The first phenomena of methadone intoxication is manifested after 15-20 minutes.The patient has a feeling of complete tranquility and relaxation.There is confidence in their capabilities, there is a desire to get down to business, start working. For methadone intoxication, unlike heroin, the emergence of pronounced euphoria, elevation of mood, drowsiness is not typical.
Objective signs of methadone intoxication are:
- pupillary narrowing,
- heart beat,
- coordination disorder.
Methadone is distributed throughout the body and accumulates in the tissues.The drug lasts for 48-72 hours.
However, after five to ten days of using methadone no longer causes a pronounced sense of calm and well-being.The usual doses of the drug can only cause a "normal" condition.The patient has a feeling that something is missing and life as a whole is not developing.That is, the used dose of methadone does not cause the drug addict a sense of satisfaction.Soon the person becomes irritable, constantly thinking about the drug, appetite and sleep worsen.
This encourages the patient to increase the dose of the drug.With the same goal, the patient begins to inject methadone intravenously, which very quickly affects the veins and causes their sclerosis.Psychological dissatisfaction encourages a person to try other drugs, because of what develops polydrug use.
The withdrawal syndrome with methadone dependence begins to appear one day after the last drug dose.There are unpleasant feelings of anxiety, uncertain fear .Gradually, mental tension increases.There is an increase in heart rate and an increase in blood pressure.
On the second or third day there are vegetative disorders.Namely characteristic of the appearance of "caustic" tears, while the patient is constantly rubbing his eyes and thus even more irritates them.There is also a blocked nose, although there are no secretions from the nose or they are observed in small amounts.
Many patients at this stage experience nausea and vomiting.Soon, a pronounced pain syndrome joins, it seems to the person as if his whole body is twisting. In this period there is a strong attraction to the drug, patients often become aggressive and restless.
On the fifth or seventh day, the addict may experience intoxication psychosis with confusion and hallucinations.In consequence, in the clinical picture of withdrawal symptoms, depression, insomnia and a strong attraction to the drug prevail. In general, methadone withdrawal lasts about four weeks.
Thus, the use of methadone causes drug addiction.And attempts to stop methadone are accompanied by a very severe withdrawal syndrome.
Treatment of methadone dependence
A patient with methadone dependence is referred by the doctor to a narcological hospital. For the relief of the withdrawal symptoms, as well as the withdrawal of the drug from the body, opioid detoxification is carried out using Naloxone.According to the indications, they start symptomatic treatment.
Even prolonged abstinence from the use of methadone is accompanied by an obsessive attraction to the drug.To eliminate attraction, long-term psychotherapy is carried out.The formation of healthy plants and the final recovery is a long process, the success of which depends not only on the qualifications of physicians, but also on the efforts of the drug addict himself.
Grigorova Valeria, medical reviewer