If you've turned to the use of a physician-prescribed synthetic opioid like methadone or suboxone to combat your addiction to heroin, you may find that these drugs are highly effective in treating heroin addiction -- but kicking the methadone or suboxone itself can be much more of a challenge. What should you do if you find you've developed a physical or psychological dependence on your anti-addiction medication? Read on to learn more about the treatment of suboxone and methadone addiction.
Why are these drugs prescribed to treat heroin addiction?
Both methadone and suboxone are synthetic versions of the opioids present in heroin, as well as in prescription narcotics like oxycodone and hydrocodone. However, unlike these other drugs, the effects of methadone and suboxone are much longer-lasting -- allowing these drugs to be administered on a daily basis by a certified medical facility that can help track withdrawal symptoms and ensure that treatment is progressing as it should. Because methadone remains in your system longer than heroin and other drugs, you'll also be able to minimize the symptoms of heroin withdrawal even while taking a low dose of methadone.
Can you become addicted to methadone or suboxone?
Because these drugs affect the serotonin receptors in your brain just like other types of opiates, they do carry the risk of chemical dependence. If you miss an appointment at the methadone clinic, you may find yourself suffering unpleasant withdrawal symptoms -- shaky hands, cold sweats, nausea, itching, and physical pain. This physical withdrawal can lead to psychological dependence as you desire to hoard the drug or purchase extra pills to ensure you're not caught without access to methadone.
While methadone clinics are designed to allow users to lower their dosage over time, this can be more difficult for those who started with a very high dosage. You may find that physical withdrawal symptoms begin to kick in whenever your dosage is lowered to a certain level, even if it has been done in very small increments.
What can you do to treat this addiction?
Fortunately, with medical and psychological intervention, an addiction to methadone or suboxone can be treated. In some cases, you may benefit from an inpatient detox -- this involves being admitted to a hospital and given intravenous opiate-inhibitor medications that will lower your tolerance and flush any remaining traces of methadone or suboxone from your system. While you may still have a psychological desire for the drug, your risk of physical withdrawal will be eliminated.
You'll likely also want to seek mental health treatment when managing your condition. By creating a strong support group, cutting out bad influences, and ensuring that you have good coping mechanisms in place for when you feel the urge to use, you'll have the tools to fight against one of the most powerful addictions known.
For more information, visit websites like http://www.olalla.org.