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5 Common Signs of Methadone Addiction

Methadone can be a highly beneficial medication for treating different issues related to pain and addiction, but abuse of the drug can lead to addiction to methadone itself. Here are 5 common signs of methadone addiction of which you should be aware.

  1. Withdrawal Symptoms

  2. methadone abuse

    If you are constantly preoccupied with thoughts of methadone you may be addicted.

According to Columbia University, “Regardless of whether you started taking methadone to treat a drug addiction, pain, or for recreational purposes, it is one of the hardest drugs to quit cold turkey.” Withdrawal symptoms do not necessarily mean that the person is addicted to methadone, but someone who is addicted to the drug will experience them. The symptoms will likely be even more unbearable than they are for those who are merely dependent on the drug.

Methadone withdrawal symptoms include abdominal, muscle, and bone pain, chills, insomnia, sweating, runny nose, nausea and vomiting.

  1. Strange Behavior

Methadone addicts will always be looking for their next fix. This means that they will behave strangely or sometimes even dangerously in order to get it. Some of the behavioral signs of methadone addiction are:

  • Drug-seeking behavior which involves dangerous and illegal acts in order to obtain more methadone:
    • Buying methadone illegally
    • Doctor shopping
    • Faking prescriptions
  • Only wanting to spend time with others who abuse methadone
  • Being secretive and paranoid about methadone use and becoming hostile when someone asks about it
  • Experiencing legal, work, school, financial, and/or relationship problems as a result of drug use
  1. Sexual Dysfunction

According to CESAR, those who abuse methadone, especially over time, experience sexual dysfunction as a side effect of their abuse. It can occur in those who take methadone as directed but usually is a physical side effect that mostly affects abusers of the drug.

Methadone addicts will not stop taking the drug, even if this occurs. They will likely try to find another way around the sexual dysfunction, perhaps attempting to get a prescription from their doctors or try another kind of treatment. Regardless of what they do, if they are addicted to methadone, they will not want to give up the drug even in this case.

  1. Overdose

Someone who overdoses on methadone is likely addicted to it. While methadone “does not cause euphoria or intoxication itself (with stable dosing)” according to the CDC, it can be very dangerous in the hands of methadone addicts who are not taking it as it has been properly prescribed. Someone who overdoses on methadone may be doing so for other reasons (for example, they could have been trying to harm themselves), but there is an extremely high likelihood that they are already addicted to the drug and trying to feel its effects more strongly.

  1. Apathy

Methadone addiction will cause a person to become very apathetic. The individual will begin to neglect their responsibilities in favor of abusing the drug and then slowly stop caring about anything else that they formerly cared about. Fun activities and any other former interests will subside until the individual cares about very little except getting their next methadone fix.