Pain Treatment and Addiction: The Extremes of Methadone Use

Methadone AddictionMethadone, a synthetic opiate, is used as a painkiller. Some of the main effects of the use of the drug include feelings of warmth and relaxation, as well as a decrease of physical and psychological pain. While it has its medical uses, it is also a commonly abused drug.

Methadone: Used in Pain Treatment for Neuropathic Pain

According to a research published in the European Journal of Cancer, methadone should be considered as a pain treatment for patients with head and neck cancer, as it may be even more effective than fentanyl.

The research was conducted by scholars from the Netherlands and they had a randomized, controlled trial of 52 patients suffering from head and neck cancer – all of whom were opioid-naive and experiencing pain with a neuropathic component.

They treated 26 with fentanyl and the other half with methadone; evaluated them at 1, 3, and 5 weeks, which showed a reduction in pain interference and average pain. Compared to those treated with fentanyl, the ones who used methadone showed a better result in the Numerical Rating Scale for pain. With methadone used at one week, there was already a 50% improvement.

Methadone Dependency and Abuse

According to Ibogaine Clinic, only a handful of drugs is approved for the pharmaceutical treatment and management of morphine, prescription painkillers, and heroin dependence and addiction.

This makes it easier for someone to be dependent and addicted to the drug as well.

Symptoms of addiction are as follows: lower pain tolerance, constipation, constricted pupils, nausea, vomiting, and slowed breathing. These develop over time and mixing it with other substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, may result in severe breathing problems – even death. The adverse effects of methadone abuse are impaired judgment, blood-borne diseases, respiratory problems, and sexual dysfunction.

Currently, there are many treatments available for methadone addiction. But of course, prevention goes a long way. You may need it, but dependency may result in abuse. Tread carefully and be responsible when handling medication.