Methadone Myths and Realities

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Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction by eliminating withdrawal symptoms and helping to control cravings. Although methadone has been proven as an effective treatment for over 50 years, there is still a lot of stigma and misinformation around its use. Here are some common myths about methadone and the truth behind the myths.

1. Methadone Gets You High

Methadone, at a therapeutic dose, does not make you high. When you first begin taking methadone, you may experience drowsiness and/or feel lightheaded, but that will pass as the dose is adjusted to find what works best for you. Overall, you will function normally on methadone and not experience the “high” that opioids create.

2. Methadone Makes You Feel Sick

When you first begin your methadone treatment, you may experience mild withdrawal symptoms. Once your methadone dose gets adjusted to your needs, those withdrawal symptoms will quickly disappear.

Like anyone else, you will still be vulnerable to common colds and viruses while you take methadone. But overall, methadone use will help you feel better as you develop a new, healthier lifestyle.

3. Methadone Makes You Gain Weight

Some people experience weight gain when they start taking methadone, but this is not due to the methadone itself. People usually start putting on weight because methadone helps improve your appetite and overall health.

In some cases, methadone will slow your metabolism slightly and cause you to experience water retention. You can prevent and control this by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.

4. Methadone Will Rot Your Teeth and Bones

Methadone does not rot your teeth, but it does cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can often lead to a build-up of plaque on your teeth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. However, you can avoid any serious problems by maintaining a consistent dental routine. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and see a dentist twice a year. You can also increase your water intake to help with dry mouth.

Achy bones, sometimes referred to as a feeling of bone “rot,” typically occurs when you’re not taking enough methadone, as the achiness is a symptom of withdrawal. When you find a therapeutic dose, you should not experience achiness or other withdrawal symptoms.

5. Methadone Will Damage Your Memory, Liver and Thyroid Over Time

When you get the right amount of methadone, it will not affect your memory, liver, thyroid or any other internal organs. In some cases, methadone can even help treat other conditions. For example, if you have cirrhosis, methadone use can help you manage that liver condition.

Learn More About Methadone Treatment With BAART Programs

At BAART Programs, we are committed to providing patients with evidence-based treatment options. We have helped thousands of patients recover from opioid addiction for over 40 years. To learn more, contact our staff to ask us questions or schedule an appointment.

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