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Methadone Treatment for Heroin Withdraw - Essay Example

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Methadone Treatment for Heroin Withdrawal Methadone is a synthetic opioid that has come to be primarily used to aid individuals recovering from heroin or morphine addiction. Methadone was first in Germany in 1937 and has many of the same effects as heroin or morphine…
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Methadone Treatment for Heroin Withdraw

Download file to see previous pages... Methadone’s effects can last up to 24 hours, thereby permitting administration only once a day in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs” (“Methadone and Methadone Side Effects”). In addition to treating individuals recovering from heroin or morphine addictions, methadone has also gain usage as a painkiller in a variety of situations. This essay considers a variety of elements related to the usage of methadone for the treatment of heroin withdrawal, including the side effects of this treatment method. The use of methadone for the treatment of heroin has a specific treatment process. This process is referred to as Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) and is a form of opiate replacement therapy. Broadly speaking, the treatment functions by replacing the usage of illicit opiates by allowing the individuals internal organs to function without the reliance on the opiate that had been established through consistent heroin usage. It’s been noted that withdrawing from heroin is a painful process that involves, “Nausea, vomiting, pain, sweating, fatigue, depression and insomnia” (More). Methadone functions to greatly alleviate these symptoms. In addition to alleviating the patient’s withdrawal symptoms, methadone treatment for heroin has the advantage of allowing the patient to avoid the potential danger of infectious disease that is oftentimes a result of injecting heroin. While methadone lacks the all-consuming power of heroin, it does have the ability to reduce cravings for heroin and stop the euphoria associated with heroin usage. Most importantly, United States and European medical officials have determined methadone is safe and non-sedating. In terms of dosage, the dosage levels are determined as a relation to the extent of the individual’s heroin usage. Similarly, the duration of the MMT program is proportionate to the extent and length of heroin usage. Even with the Western acceptance of methadone as safe and effective treatment method, some countries continue to remain cautious of its use. For instance, Russia has outlawed methadone use and they encourage immediate heroin withdrawal. Still, most major medical entities support the use of methadone as a viable treatment for heroin withdrawal. While methadone is recognized as a strong treatment option for heroin withdrawal, it’s still recognized that there are a number of potential side effects. Because of the potential side effects, it’s necessary for individuals to taper off methadone just as they attempt to taper off of heroin. Still, it’s noted that, Methadone generally entails the entire spectrum of opioid side effects, including the development of tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. Respiratory depressions are dangerous. The released histamines can cause hypotension or bronchospasms. Other symptoms are: constipation, nausea or vomiting, sedation, vertigo, edema (Joseph, p. 459). Indeed, methadone has been reported to have similar addictive effects as heroin on some individuals. In addition to these base side effects, there have been rare instances wherein individuals have reportedly died from methadone usage. Generally, it’s understood that deaths as a result of methadone are the direct result of extreme over usage, or the combination of methadone with illicit drug use. In addition to these side effects, methadone use also has some similar withdrawal symptoms as that of heroin. For instance, heroin and methadone users have been reported to experience ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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