Methadone Is Worse Than Heroin
People sometimes go onto methadone temporarily to help them get off heroin. But rarely do they actually get off the methadone. In fact, methadone is so hard to stop taking that many addiction help facilities won’t even accept people who are taking it.
Why Do People Take Methadone to Quit Heroin?
Using methadone to help people get off heroin was started decades ago. Methadone doesn’t have the same kind of high that heroin has, but it stops the heroin craving. The idea was that once the person stopped craving heroin physically, they’d be able to go through the rest of the rehabilation process to get rid of the psychological addiction. Then, once the addiction problem was successfully addressed, they could be weaned off the methadone.
Is Taking Methadone to Quit Heroin Successful?
Generally speaking, it is not – for a few reasons.
First, instead of being gotten through the rehabiliation process, most people who do a ‘methadone program’ are just parked on methadone. In other words, one drug addiction is traded for another.
This somehow became acceptable. Unlike when people were taking heroin – which is usually injected, not in pill form like methadone – they were no longer shooting up in alleys, no longer dying on the streets, no longer getting AIDs from dirty needles, no longer creating social embarrassment and disruption.
In fact, many people on methadone were holding down a job and living a more or less normal lives – except for having to go to the methadone clinic every day to get their drug.
Long and short of it, they were quiet. They weren’t causing trouble. They were no longer squeaky wheels. And they fell between the cracks.
Second, methadone is harder to stop taking than any other drug.
Why Is Methadone So Hard to Quit Taking?
Methadone has a longer halflife than heroin and other opiates. A halflife is the length of time it takes for the amount of the drug in the body to be reduced by half. The halflife of heroin is about four hours. The halflife of methadone can be as long as seven days.
People on a methadone program take the drug everyday, but each dose is accumulating in the body, lodging in the fat cells.
This results in so much methadone being in the body, that the withdrawal period goes on and on. Withdrawing from heroin might take seven or eight days. Withdrawing from methadone can take as long as two months!
That’s two months of going through abdominal cramps, body aches, tremors, fevers, nausea and more. When people on heroin try to quit on their own, 95 percent of them give up and go back on the drug. That’s how difficult the withdrawal can be. So getting off methadone – which is going to make you suffer for two months instead of eight days – is almost impossible.
Some people believe they need methadone for the rest of their lives. You can see why they would think that if they tried to get off it. They would know, having probably been heroin addicts before they started taking methadone, that withdrawal took eight days or so. If it goes on for months – as with methadone – it’s logical that they think they just aren’t capable of it.
Is It Possible to Get Off Methadone?
Yes. There are some facilities that are experienced with methadone withdrawal and can get you through in relative comfort.
Call us today and we’ll help you find a facility near you that can help. Call 855-889-0555.