Are There Long term Effects of Methadone?
Methadone use can be helpful to people who have a heroin addiction, or an addiction to another opiate drug. However, some people abuse methadone just like other opiates, and this can lead to addiction and dependency. On the other hand, some people use the drug as prescribed, but continue to take the drug for long periods of time to cease their cravings for the opiate that they used to be addicted to. No matter why a person is using methadone, they may experience negative consequences from their use of the drug, and some of these effects may be long term.
Damage to the Brain
Methadone is a depressant and impacts opioid receptors throughout a user’s brain and body. In addition, methadone abuse can cause impairment to a person’s reward system in their brain, and over time if the drug is continually abused, damage to a person’s brain chemicals can occur. Damage to the brain can cause a person to have mood swings, have difficulties dealing with emotions, and can cause a person to become more sensitive to pain.
Addiction and Dependency
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, although methadone is meant to stop narcotics dependence and addiction, methadone is an extremely addictive drug; however addiction is not common when under the supervision of a doctor.
Addiction to methadone will cause a person to compulsively seek out and use methadone regardless of the consequences. Addiction is a lifelong disease, and if a person develops an addiction to methadone, they will have to learn to manage their disease, and they will most likely require professional treatment to help them stop using the drug.
In addition, a person who has developed an addiction to methadone may also develop a dependency to the drug. If a person has a dependency to methadone they will go through withdrawal symptoms every time the drug is not in their body. This can be a long and dangerous process if an individual does not receive help for their dependency or addiction.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, one of the most common long term effects of methadone use is lung and respiratory problems.
Methadone is a depressant which means that it slows down a person’s respiratory system and nervous system. This is what causes a person to feel sedated while using methadone. If a person continues to use methadone they can experience respiratory problems, and if a person accidentally takes too much methadone, they can overdose causing their respiratory system to fail, which is fatal if help is not received in time.