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Jul 302013

Dangers of Methadone and Drug Rehab

Methadone is commonly referred to as the “drug solution for the drug problem” or a type of out-patient drug rehab. Methadone is an FDA approved drug that is commonly used to help detox patience with opiate dependence, and it is also used as long term replacement therapy for opiates, such as heroin, and various prescription pain killers, like oxycodone, percoset, dilaudid, hydrocodone, etc. This method of replacing one drug for another comes with severe risks, and although it is legal, it is not advised for anyone looking for a long term solution to a drug or alcohol problem.

The Dangers Of Methadone Overdose even With Drug Rehab

Methadone is dangerous; not only because of the high risks for accidental overdose, but it reinforces a lack of self control and feelings of powerlessness over drugs. This, in turn, hinders your ability to eventually discontinue methadone and often leads to the return use of the original drug of choice such as heroin. Many people have overdosed and died from taking methadone, and currently almost 40% of opiate related deaths are caused by methadone.

So why would a doctor or rehab center prescribe you methadone if it could lead to overdose? Statistically, heroin users increase their chances of accidental overdose by going in and out of detox and rehab programs. This is dangerous because many heroin users are told in rehab that if they relapse, they will go back to where they left off.  Even those prescribed methadone out of rehab are at risk when they go back to using heroin. Jumping back into using a large amount of heroin can cause a sudden and deadly overdose. It is also extremely dangerous to combine methadone with heroin and other drugs. This polysubstance use greatly increases the risk of accidental overdose.

It is important to know that many drug rehab centers, as well as physicians, prescribe methadone to their patients and when the person overdoses, medical personnel simply claim the person was just a hopeless “drug addict” and a heavy user. While it is a choice to use methadone, the individual was told by addiction professionals that it would help them to stop using illicit drugs and block opiate cravings. As cravings are nothing more than habitual thoughts, this claim is outrageous. The results don’t support their claims as relapse rates remain high for people prescribed methadone as a long term solution. There are no quick or instant fixes to a methadone or any drug problem for that matter.

A primary factor in the high rate of accidental overdose with methadone is the fact that it is time-released, which means over a 6-8 hour period, small amounts of methadone are released into the body. This slow release of drug does not provide a quick high, leading those who wish to get an immediate high to use more and more methadone at once or mix it with other drugs to achieve the high they are seeking. Due to the time release nature of the drug, survival rates from accidental overdose are much lower than for some opiates;  even if a person is found alive but unresponsive.

For someone who is truly seeking to overcome a problem with opiate dependency, replacement therapy drugs such as methadone are unnecessary and not recommended. Ask a drug rehab center if part of their rehabilitation plan is to prescribe replacement therapy medications such as methadone or suboxone. Individuals thinking about entering a rehab, detox or clinic should educate themselves on methadone clinics and the dangers of methadone. Ask about long term success rates of their patients and how long they think you should be on methadone. Keep in mind that thousands of people overcome serious opiate dependency without replacement therapy – and you can too.

The best alternative to drug rehab is Saint Jude Retreats, a program that is strongly against replacement therapy and prolonged use of methadone. This program has researched the industry for numerous years and knows that methadone use as well as other substance use problems can be overcome permanently without the need for replacement therapy. There is no need to settle for a lifestyle that trades one type of drug use for another. Continued use of methadone is not a solution and you don’t need it to stay off opiates. There are programs that can help you to overcome opiate problems for good, like the Saint Jude Program. Visit the Saint Jude Retreats Website for additional information on drug rehab.

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