NOTE: This article is about the widespread practice of prescribing methadone to manage pain, and the dangers of that practice. It is not a guide to using methadone for pain.

The synthetic opioid methadone is a widely-used analgesic (pain reliever) which is intended to be prescribed primarily for severe chronic pain, such as terminal cancer.

However, its significantly lower cost has led many doctors to prescribe methadone for more common pain management, and such use has been increasing in recent years.

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Methadone for chronic pain

Because methadone is highly addictive, and presents significant other dangers in the way it works (see Methadone Horror Story below), some doctors are becoming concerned about methadone pain management for anything less than severe and debilitating chronic pain — and even then methadone can be treacherous.

The problems of expanding the use of methadone for pain management include:

If you or someone you know has become dependent or addicted because of methadone pain management


Find out how Novus breakthroughs in methadone medical detox are saving people’s lives every day.

The Methadone Pain Management Horror Story

Don’t let this story become yours

Methadone is chemically different from morphine, heroin and other narcotic painkillers, but it acts much the same way to block pain signals in the brain.

Because it so successfully blocks pain for many people — and especially because its cost is so low — methadone is now widely prescribed for even moderate, everyday pain.

But with that simple prescription, a horror story begins, and it goes roughly like this:

  1. Methadone remains in your body tissues as much as eight times longer than heroin and other narcotic painkillers, but — and this is a big but — it’s pain-killing effects wear off LONG BEFORE it has cleared out of your body.
  2. Because you’re feeling the pain again, you decide to take more methadone to try to lessen the renewed pain.
  3. Every time you do this, the level of methadone in your body rises. It can accumulate to dangerous levels before you, or anyone else, know it.
  4. Eventually, and usually sooner rather than later, one of two things happens:
    1. Suddenly the level of methadone in your body passes your tolerance level. Your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing slow down, and without immediate life-saving aid, you can enter a coma, and die. . . .or . . .
    2. Somehow, you are lucky enough to avoid a coma, or you survive and recover from a brush with death. You continue methadone pain treatment, but now, suddenly and unexpectedly, you realize you have become dependent on the drug. Without immediate medical drug detox, you could arrive at a full-blown addiction.

To learn more about why you need to get off methadone, read The Methadone Prison.

NOTE: Methadone is also lethal if it is combined with other drugs and/or with alcohol. Narcotics and alcohol are central nervous system suppressors or depressants, and when ingested together, the combination can shut down the system. Just as in the Horror Story above, coma and death can result.

Methadone Pain Management: Withdrawing From Methadone Dependence

Because using methadone for pain can lead to dependence and addiction, it is important to know the real story about methadone withdrawal — called methadone detox:

  • Methadone is extremely addictive, for some people even more so than heroin.
  • Methadone withdrawal, especially from a high average daily dose, is more difficult than withdrawal from any other narcotic.
  • The number of methadone addicts who successfully detox without professional help is almost nonexistent.
  • Most methadone detox clinics offer little help in reducing the misery, and won’t accept higher-dose addictions at all.
  • Few people understand why it is so difficult to successfully withdraw from methadone.
  • Full recovery from methadone dependence and addiction is achievable through new medical drug detox protocols pioneered and perfected at Novus Medical Detox Center.

Methadone for pain can lead to addiction.


Talk to an experienced methadone addiction counselor today.


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