One third of all prescription painkiller overdose death involve methadone, a figure six times greater than it was 10 years ago (Inaba & Cohen, 2014). Although methadone is a legally authorized opioid used to treat heroin addiction, there is still danger to this. Methadone is an addicting drug, and must be monitored closely to prevent diversion into illegal channels. There has been proposals and research about making methadone treatment more convenient to bring it into the mainstream of healthcare, instead of limiting recovering addicts to receiving treatment only at methadone clinics. However, methadone is commonly sold among the streets and addicts tend to combine methadone with other opioids and non-opioids which intensifies the high and reminds them the feeling they get when they took heroin (Inaba & Cohen, 2014). Therefore, methadone is just as dangerous and can still be as addictive as other drugs. Although it is used to help heroin addicts, one still must be extremely careful and cautious that the addict does not continue to use methadone after treatment.
Substance abuse and dependence have an enormous impact on society, stated by Reske & Paulus. “Neuropsychological studies of substance abuse treatment outcome have found that individuals who recover successfully show intact functioning on most measures, whereas those who relapse do poorly on tests of language, abstract reasoning, planning, and cognitive flexibility” (Reske & Paulus, 2008). Relapse is complex and multi-dimensional process and there are many assessment domains related to relapse.
Many addicts rely on methadone to help feel better again. Studies have shown that places like methadone maintenance treatment is effective in improving quality of life and physical health (Kaminer, 2010). Their sleep, appetite, general health, weight, sexual desire, etc. all seemed to show positive outcomes when attending this type of treatment. It also helps lessen withdrawal symptoms when taking methadone. However, in the this journal entry, it also states how now they are worried about their dependence on methadone and they frequently request an increase in their dosage over time. With methadone, counselors must really be on top of their usage and be aware if their client is still taking it or not. It may be good to take methadone with detoxing from heroin, but continually taking it afterwards is where the new addiction begins.
Inaba, D. S. & Cohen, W. E. (2014). Uppers, downers, all arounders; physical and mental effects of psychoactive drugs. CNS Productions, Inc. Medford, OR.
Kaminer, Yifrah. “Challenges and Opportunities of Group Therapy for Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Critical Review.” Addictive Behaviors, vol. 30, no. 9, 2005, pp. 1765–1774., doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.07.002.