Consequences of Methadone Use
Methadone is an incredibly powerful drug. In many countries around the world, methadone is promoted as the solution of heroin addiction. Unfortunately, only a few people mention the consequences of switching from heroin to methadone. This article is written based on surveys from addicts who took heroin and methadone to explain the truth about the effects of this drug.
Is methadone worse than heroin?
A survey of drug addicts shows that withdrawal from methadone does not last a week, as with heroin addiction—but a month. At the same time, the torment which a person goes through on methadone is much more than the torment of a heroin addict.
Drug addicts recall that in order to get rid of methadone addiction, they had to increase the dose of heroin twice, but as a consequence, it was then much easier to feel withdrawal symptoms from heroin.
The study Mortality Associated with Methadone Program in South Wales, states:
“The risk of death from drug poisoning with methadone during the first two weeks of the methadone maintenance program of 1994 was 6.7 times higher than the risk of death by poisoning before entering the program.
“Methadone was detected in 89 cases of sudden death in New South Wales in 1994. Of these, 41 people were patients of the methadone follow-up program. One was a newborn who was breastfed by one of the patients of the methadone follow-up program, 29 people took methadone syrup obtained from methadone resources programs (methadone given to addicts at home), and 18 people took pills that included methadone.”
As an example of the effect of methadone, let’s consider the death of one young man. This case demonstrates that a dose of 30-50 mg. methadone is dangerous for patients with low tolerance. This was a classic fatal case, caused by methadone toxicity.
He was prescribed 30 mg. methadone with a daily dose increase of 5 mg. Within 6 days the victim had clear signs of methadone poisoning: drowsiness, unsteady gait, vomiting, and a general unhealthy state.
The guy vomited several times after he took his second dose (35 mg.). The next morning he was hard to wake. He had difficulty walking and urinating, and he fell asleep all the time. His father was unable to contact the methadone distributor (who was on vacation), and the medical staff at the private methadone clinic did not seem to notice the seriousness of the situation.
However, he still had difficulty urinating. He went to bed at 22.45. At about 6.45 in the morning, his father tried to wake him, but he could not. After 15 minutes, his breathing stopped and he died. This type of death was also quite typical: prolonged coma, which occurred after sleep; very slow, deep, uneven, noisy breathing; brown liquid, indicating oedema of lungs that was coming out from his nose and mouth.
At the autopsy, the body of the young man weighed 72 kg. No traces of recent injections were found. The lungs weighed 960 g. (Right) and 860 g. (Left), and were described as “extremely swollen and filled with blood.”
Methadone effects on health
Methadone, like any other drug, is not a vitamin. All drugs are strong poisons and lead to physical intoxication. How does methadone work?
- destroys the liver
- deprives a person of vital nutrients and vitamins
- harms the bones and bone marrow of a person by washing out calcium
- the skin of a drug addict becomes waxy and yellowish
- one experiences bone pains—they become fragile and break easily
- mental disorders
- 60% of those taking methadone become sexually incapable
- 75% of women break or completely stop their menstrual cycles
- methadone inhibits in the respiratory system of drug addicts.
If the mother has methadone addiction, then the newborn may develop withdrawal syndrome: increased muscle tone, tremors, vomiting, hypothermia, respiratory disorders, crying and seizures. The syndrome usually develops in the first 48 hours after birth.
Consequences of methadone: the word of drug addicts
Pavel P., 28 years old
“I had a heroin addiction—a very serious one. It was 1993-94 (the first wave) when Moscow and the Moscow region started using heroin.
“On television, there were several reports about the methadone program in Holland. In the company in which I used drugs, the idea was that methadone is like a panacea and that with it you can quit heroin.
My friends and I bought methadone (by the way, it was more expensive than heroin then). We began to try it, and since the goal of every drug addict is to get high, so we didn’t feel any abstinence from heroin, we decided to try a little more, and more and more.
“At first I took methadone just to hold on. I injected a little bit and went on to look for money for drugs. I just ’healed’ a little bit and went on to look for money again to get high.
“After about six months of taking methadone, when I tried to quit, I realized that it was just impossible. Believe me, if heroin withdrawals can be somehow transferred, then methadone is simply impossible. It creates very strong physical discomfort, pain in the joints, and the psyche is simply shaken.
“How did the whole thing end? To get off methadone, I had to double the dose of heroin that I was taking before I started using methadone!”
“The ’methadone program’ is just legalized suffering. It is not aimed at treating emotional and spiritual disorders, which is drug addiction. A heroin addict who turns to methadone ’treatment’ is the same as a person transferring from one place to another on the Titanic.”
If you or your family or friends need rehabilitation from methadone addiction, get help now. Call us.