Methadone Hydrochloride Addiction

Methadone hydrochloride is a synthetic opioid that has a mechanism of action similar to morphine. Methadone hydrochloride is specifically the hydrochloride salt version of methadone, meaning it’s a tablet. Along with the tablet version, methadone is available as a powder and a liquid. Since it is an opioid and a controlled substance, methadone has to be prescribed by a physician. In the past, methadone was used to treat severe pain. Now, methadone is often used as a medication-assisted treatment, or MAT option, for people addicted to narcotic pain relievers or heroin. When someone takes methadone hydrochloride, it changes the response of the central nervous system and the brain to pain, providing a sense of relief.

The reason methadone hydrochloride can be used to treat opioid dependence and addiction, despite the fact that it is also an opioid, is that the effects are slower, and it blocks the high of other opioids, like codeine, heroin and oxycodone. As well as being used to treat opioid addiction and dependence, methadone can also be prescribed for pain stemming from illness, surgery or injury. For someone who’s receiving treatment for opioid addiction, methadone hydrochloride can help prevent withdrawal symptoms. It has milder effects than other opioids, and it’s also often referred to as replacement therapy. Methadone is sometimes used for a year or more as an opioid addiction treatment, and it should only be used under medical supervision and direction. When someone is prescribed methadone hydrochloride as part of opioid addiction treatment, they will usually take a daily dose. That dose depends on their opioid tolerance and history of use.

Methadone hydrochloride is a tablet, available in different strengths. A methadone hydrochloride 5 mg tablet is round and white, with the imprint “54 210.” A 10 mg dose is round and white and is imprinted with “54 124.” A 40 mg dose of methadone hydrochloride is orange, four-sided and printed with “M 2540.” There is also a 5 mg version of methadone hydrochloride, which is a white rectangle and is imprinted with “M 57 55.”
When someone is prescribed methadone hydrochloride, either for pain or as an opioid addiction treatment, there is a potential for misuse. The long-term goal of using methadone hydrochloride is to help someone stop using opioids, but sometimes they may replace one opioid with another. That’s why there is controversy surrounding the use of methadone as an addiction treatment. Methadone comes with a warning about its addictive nature. It’s also a Schedule II drug in the U.S., meaning it is a controlled substance. This classification indicates the DEA sees methadone as having a high potential for severe psychological and physical addiction. It’s very difficult for people who use methadone to get off the drug, although careful medical supervision can be helpful.

The reason methadone is addictive is that it acts on the brain and central nervous system like other opioids. While the effects, such as euphoria, are milder, they are still present. Methadone binds to opiate receptors in the brain, and along with euphoria, it can cause changes in mood, relaxation and drowsiness. These are all effects patients might find desirable. Despite the fact that methadone is potentially addictive, it is less addictive than other opioids.

To learn more about addiction treatment, contact The Recovery Village. Our treatment programs are individualized and effective so that participants can make real, long-term changes in their lives.

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