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Methadone dependence is twice as deadly as all other opioids, says CDC study
Thinking of getting into a methadone replacement program for an opioid addiction? Has your doctor prescribed methadone for a routine pain problem? Or has recreational methadone entered your life? Or do you already have a methadone dependence and avoiding methadone detox?
No matter what the situation, you should reconsider trying or continuing methadone for any reason, after you read these statistics:
- Methadone accounts for twice as many fatalities as all other prescription painkillers.
- In the decade 1999 to 2010, methadone accounted for only 2 percent of all painkiller prescriptions, but was involved in more than 30 percent of all prescription painkiller deaths.
- Methadone was responsible for four out of every ten deaths – twice as many as any other prescription painkiller – in fatalities involving only a single painkiller rather than a combination.
These statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are a strong incentive for anyone needing an opioid detox to pass on methadone replacement therapy and get into a proper medical detox program right now.
These stats should also discourage anyone from taking methadone for a pain problem unless the pain is very serious – cancer, for example – and even then, not unless it’s very closely supervised by a doctor.
And they should certainly keep anyone from playing around with methadone to get high. This is one very dangerous, non-recreational drug. It’s far more dangerous than the notorious OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and all the opioid-acetaminophen painkiller combos, like Vicodin, Lortab, and Percocet.
Why methadone is so dangerous
Here’s the reason methadone is so dangerous. Methadone stays in your system long after its effects have worn off. All you know is, your pain has come back, your high is fading, or whatever. So you take another dose. The next thing you see are the bright overhead lights in the emergency ward and some strangers peering down at you. That is, if you’re lucky. Otherwise, you will never see any light again, ever.
Chief among the reasons for so many methadone fatalities is the fact that, unlike other opioids, methadone builds up in the body and stays there after the intoxication or pain relief wears off. So when it feels like you need some more, and you take it, it can lead to unintentional, and often fatal, overdose.
The potential for overdose and fatality involving methadone is a prime reason for anyone with an opioid dependence or addiction to think twice before embarking on the thin ice of methadone replacement therapy or methadone as a party drug. And physicians should never prescribe methadone when other, less dangerous painkillers will do.
People dependent on methadone, who are in methadone replacement programs, already know that the longer they take it, the more they will need of that drug to do its job of staving off methadone withdrawal symptoms. They also know that the more they take, the more difficult it’s going to be to find a methadone detox clinic that will accept them when they want to get off, because their dosages are so high. It’s a terrible kind of prison, a methadone prison. You want out, but you can’t get out.
There is a bright side to all of this, and it’s called Novus Medical Detox Clinic, just a little north of Tampa, Florida. Novus offers an escape from the methadone prison, specializing in even the high-dosage methadone prison of 150mg a day or more. Patients seeking methadone detox come to Novus from all over the country and routinely achieve successful results.
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