Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication prescribed for mild to moderate pain relief and addiction treatment. It blocks the euphoric effects of narcotics like morphine, heroin, fentanyl, and codeine. It provides a similar action to these drugs and prevents withdrawal symptoms, making it effective as a replacement therapy tool. Methadone also changes how the body responds to pain and is helpful in treating pain caused by surgery, injury, or chronic illnesses.
Although used for treating opioid withdrawal, methadone also carries a potential for abuse and addiction. Using methadone without a prescription or combining methadone with other drugs is considered substance abuse and may cause severe physical and mental health effects. Individuals who use methadone for treating opioid addiction carry a higher risk of abuse because of their history of opioid dependence.
Methadone comes in tablet, powder, or liquid form and is often used in opioid addiction treatment. Individuals with a methadone prescription are monitored closely to ensure they use the medication safely. Misusing methadone will lead to tolerance and dependence, as users often transfer their drug addiction to methadone. They may also experience methadone withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop or reduce their use. The Canadian Centre for Addictions offers methadone addiction treatment and rehab in Ontario.
Getting Help for Methadone Addiction
If you or a loved one is dealing with methadone abuse or addiction, the Canadian Centre for Addiction can help. At CCFA, we offer the most sophisticated treatment for methadone addiction in an environment that inspires lasting change. We also help people understand their addictions and healthier coping strategies available by engaging them in one-on-one counselling with certified counsellors, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. Call 1-855-499-9446 to learn more about how we treat methadone addiction.
How We Treat Methadone Addiction and What to Expect
At CCFA, we understand that the ideal addiction treatment is designed to meet the individual’s specific needs. We tailor our treatment strategies to meet the unique symptoms of the client. Our visitors can expect a full range of quality services that provide flexible therapy and counselling for addiction. We also know that addiction can negatively impact every aspect of your life, so our specialists will assess you to provide an individualized, client-centred approach to treatment.
Our addiction treatment centres offer inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, individual and group counselling, intervention counselling, and lifetime aftercare, all designed to give you the best chance at recovery.
When to Seek Help for Methadone Addiction
Most methadone abuse and addiction cases start with a prescription, and it’s often challenging to spot when a person has formed an addiction. People addicted to prescription medications also tend to deny the problem, making detecting addiction more difficult. Seeing any of the following signs could indicate that an individual needs professional addiction help:
- Using methadone with alcohol or other drugs
- Attempting to get more prescriptions from other doctors or illegal sources
- Using greater amounts of methadone than prescribed
- Having intense cravings for methadone
- Spending a great deal of time getting, using, and recovering from the effects of the methadone
- Skipping doses to take one at a time for a more potent high
- Decreased productivity at work or school due to methadone
- Continued methadone despite adverse consequences on one’s health, finances, or relationships
- Needing increased amounts of the drug to get the same effects – tolerance
- Becoming drug-dependent: unable to go about your daily activities without the drug
Why Should You Choose the Canadian Centre for Addictions?
Addiction is a disease that requires professional care to overcome. The stigma associated with addiction also makes it challenging to speak up or determine the right place to seek help. Addiction disrupts your life and disconnects you from the things that matter. At CCFA, we offer a patient-centric approach that keeps you connected to your life and responsibilities, so that your transition to regular life is as smooth as possible.
We take our work seriously because we understand that our clients are at a vulnerable point in their life. We are open, honest, and communicative about what we deliver and take the first step towards building the trust needed to form strong bonds with those who need our help.
We also understand that addiction affects not only the individual but others close to them. So, our therapists and staff extend their care to helping families cope with addiction while treating their loved ones. We not only help people overcome their addictions, but we also help them navigate the hurdles that addiction creates for those who care about them.
Treatment at CCFA doesn’t end but evolves when you leave. We offer a place where people can return to if things get hard. Our combination of quality inpatient care and the sense of community from our aftercare services provide a balance you can rely on year after year.
The Canadian Centre for Addictions Success Stories
At CCFA, we have recorded tremendous success in treating people with different addictions. Here are testimonials from some of our satisfied clients:
“The highly competent staff is able to provide emotional and physical support as well as effective addiction therapy. With an open mind, I found I was able to draw healing from each of the well-balanced and skillfully presented meetings and activities. During my stay at CCFA, I learned how to regain control of my life. I left with skills I require to keep moving forward in my recovery. The facility is spacious, comfortable and clean, and the community is exceptional. The fitness and activities, as well as the delicious meals, are outstanding. By far, this was the most productive 30 days of my life. A gift from me to me!”
“I came in with a broken soul, full of self-pity, not liking who I was, full of fear and low self-esteem. During my stay, I learned so many valuable lifelong lessons. The counsellors challenged me to feel again; to think and understand those feelings, to express my feelings and thoughts. They have taught me the strategies and tools that I must apply to my new life going forward. For the first time in my life, I feel calm, relaxed, strong with the new me, and most importantly, HAPPY. Thank You.”
“My involvement with CCFA has been an absolute lifesaver for me. The entire program and one-on-one sessions have given me the look and strategies to leave with and have a clean and sober life going forward. A very warm, welcoming, home-like environment.”
“The CCFA has showed me a new way of life. The counsellors here are amazing, love working with all of them. I had a great stay and can’t wait to continue my road to recovery with the tools I have learned. Thank you.”
Types of Treatment for Methadone Addiction
Methadone addiction is difficult to manage without help. At CCFA, we offer multiple treatment options for methadone addiction recovery. Our treatment programs are designed to address the client’s specific needs and include the following:
Medical detox is the first step in methadone addiction recovery. It is the process of getting every trace of an addictive substance out of the client’s system. Quitting methadone use can be pretty challenging, and the associated withdrawal symptoms increase the possibility of relapse. We monitor clients closely during the detox process and take the necessary steps to minimize the effects of withdrawal. Individuals may need to be tapered-off the drug or switched to a less addictive substitute like buprenorphine. Clients who experience psychological effects due to withdrawal may also be administered medications for anxiety or depression.
Most people with a methadone addiction will require residential care. The existence of co-occurring disorders may also necessitate inpatient rehab – an intensive treatment with round-the-clock monitoring for addiction cases. CCFA provides a sober and secure environment for treatment and recovery. Our treatment centres utilize patient-oriented protocols to set our clients on the path to complete healing. We employ a holistic approach that combines medical treatment with other relevant treatment options.
Clients who have completed part of their inpatient methadone rehab may transition to outpatient treatment. Those with kids or responsibilities outside may also consider this option. In outpatient treatment, the individual lives at home but attends scheduled appointments and meetings. Outpatient treatment is ideal for clients with manageable symptoms and sufficient motivation to get better. It often requires a reliable support network of friends and family to encourage and help the patient stay on the path to full recovery.
Addictions arise from negative thinking patterns that fuel harmful behaviour. Finding and modifying the root cause of these thought patterns is often crucial to overcoming addiction. Our addiction counselling programs involve individual or group counselling sessions that help participants identify and change these thought patterns and behaviours. It also helps spot and resolve past trauma that may be promoting addictive behaviour. CCFA’s counselling and intervention programs help those struggling with addiction develop positive attitudes and skills, which they’ll use as they begin their journey to sobriety.
Addiction recovery does not end with treatment. Recovering addicts require continuous aftercare services to prevent relapse when they face challenges. Our relapse prevention programs equip patients with the tools and coping mechanisms to remain sober when they inevitably encounter triggers. An aftercare treatment plan depends on an individual’s situation and may include outpatient treatment, counselling, and 12-step programs.
What to Expect in Methadone Addiction Treatment
CCFA offers rehab for methadone addiction in an environment that inspires lasting change. The first thing we’ll do when you come in for treatment is to evaluate and understand your situation so that we can design a specialized recovery plan. We will assess your medical history to determine whether you’re addicted to other opioids or drugs besides methadone.
You’ll be screened for co-occurring mental health disorders and tested to determine the quantity of drugs in your system. We will start your treatment with detox to eliminate all toxic substances from your system. If your situation is severe, you will be admitted to our facility so our staff can safely monitor and manage your withdrawal symptoms. Otherwise, you’ll be allowed to go home and return for scheduled appointments.
We offer individual and group counselling sessions to help clients identify and change thought patterns that may fuel substance use and addiction. Our holistic treatment programs incorporate meditation, mindfulness, and yoga to help our clients stay grounded. You may also be encouraged to join a support group where you connect and interact with others at different stages of recovery.
Your treatment does not end when you leave our Centre. At CCFA, we provide aftercare and relapse prevention services as part of our treatment program. We teach our clients to identify their triggers and design strategies to avoid or get through them. We also offer bi-weekly in-person aftercare visits and teleconferencing options to ensure long-term recovery.
Methadone Addiction Treatment Stages
The stages involved in treating methadone addiction are:
- Medical detox
- Inpatient/Outpatient treatment
Understanding Methadone Addiction
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that binds to the same receptors as other opioids. Its binding effect blocks the actions of opioids like morphine and heroin, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
However, methadone also causes dopamine release, which regulates pleasure and motivation. While not as potent as other opioids, unregulated methadone use can lead to tolerance – the brain becomes accustomed to increased dopamine levels, causing the user to need more of the drug to get the same effects.
With continued use, the individual becomes dependent on methadone as they can no longer feel pleasure without the drug. They will also experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they stop or reduce their methadone use.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Methadone
Methadone withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant side effects that occur when an individual decides to stop or reduce their methadone use after they’ve become dependent or addicted to the drug. These symptoms are less severe than those of other opioids like heroin or morphine and do not set in quickly due to methadone’s longer acting-time. Methadone withdrawal symptoms show up one to three days after the last use and are similar to other opioids. They include:
- Sweating and chills
- Intense cravings
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Anxiety or irritability
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
Methadone Addiction Symptoms
Methadone addiction symptoms are similar to those of other opioids and may be physical or behavioural.
- Physical symptoms include:
- Constricted pupils
- Dry mouths
- Track marks
- Injection sites
- Vision problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Daytime drowsiness
- Changes in sleeping patterns
Behavioural symptoms include:
- Inability to communicate
- Memory problems
- Confusion or impaired cognition
- Loss of control
- Mood swings
- Social isolation and reduced participation in activities
- Forging or stealing prescriptions
- Anxiety and paranoia
What are the Causes of Methadone Addiction?
There is no single cause of addiction, and methadone is safe when used as prescribed. Some factors that can cause methadone addiction include:
History of Opioid Dependence
Individuals who are addicted to opioids like heroin or morphine typically have methadone included in their treatment plan. Without close monitoring, they may transfer their previous addiction to methadone.
Recreational Methadone Use
People who use methadone to get high need larger doses of the drug than recommended, which can quickly lead to tolerance and dependence.
Family History and Genetics
A person with a family history of drug abuse may be more likely to abuse and become addicted to opioids. Between 40% and 60% of a person’s risk of opioid addiction may be linked to their genes.
People who use methadone without a prescription to treat pain from surgery or injury are more likely to develop an addiction.
Environmental and Social Factors
Peer pressure and easy access to drugs may compel individuals to abuse methadone, increasing their chances of forming an addiction.
Long-term Effects of Methadone Addiction
Prolonged methadone use can lead to severe long-term adverse effects even when used correctly. Long-term effects of methadone use include:
Lung and respiratory issues
Hypoxia (low oxygen) due to respiratory depression
Brain damage and other mental health complications
Complications during pregnancy
Issues with menstrual cycles
Overdose leading to cardiac arrest, coma, or death
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Methadone is a prescription drug that can be habit-forming if used without a prescription. Using methadone in any way other than prescribed comes with a risk of dependence and addiction.
No. Methadone is prescribed for chronic pain and opioid withdrawal and is not approved for treating other mental health conditions. Studies show that methadone blunts both elative and depressive emotional reactivity and can help balance depression and other co-occurring health conditions. However, methadone is not approved for this purpose.
No. 80mg of methadone daily is within normal limits (60mg to 120mg) for optimal maintenance dosing. Some people may need more or less depending on personal factors.
Methadone affects the brain causing pain relief, sedation, euphoria, and relaxation. Like with other opioid use, however, methadone may also impair intellectual functions such as memory, attention, and learning.
You should not take methadone with other drugs or substances that may interact or interfere with its actions. These substances include benzodiazepines, alcohol, antibiotics, neuroleptics, and other opioids.
Yes. Methadone affects brain chemistry, and its effects may trigger mood swings, anxiety, depression, and other emotional effects.
Methadone is safer than morphine because it is less addictive and causes less intense adverse effects. Its longer half-life also means it offers extended pain relief, translating to less frequent dosing and reduced risk of overdose.
Methadone was the first pharmacological treatment for heroin addiction and has been used for over 60 years. It was developed in 1937 by German scientists looking for a synthetic opioid to solve the country’s morphine and opioid shortage problem. It was officially introduced in Canada in 1964.
You should speak with your prescribing doctor if you miss your methadone dose. Your doctor may likely recommend that you skip the missed dose and continue your dosing schedule as usual. Missing multiple doses may require a restart which involves lowering the dosage to assess your tolerance to withdrawal.
Yes. Methadone may affect sperm moztility. Studies show that as much as 65% of people on methadone may have abnormal semen, with the most frequent abnormality seen in sperm motility (78%).