Consequences of taking methadone
Those who have even the slightest interest in the problem of drug addiction have long been on hearing the drug methadone. What is it and what is its role in modern Russia?
Methadone is a potent synthetic drug of the opioid group. It was chemically received in 1937 by German scientists, as an analgesic. In the early sixties of the last century in the United States, this narcotic analgesic began to be used to treat heroin addiction.
In the Russian Federation, methadone is banned.
According to the Russian Federal Service for Drug Control in the country, about 1.5 million heroin addicts. This is quite a serious figure. For this reason in Russia around methadone serious passions flared up. The idea of methadone treatment programs for drug dependence is actively promoted by Western human rights activists and WHO.
How Methadone Works
What is dangerous methadone and what is its mechanism of action? Methadone belongs to the group of so-called opiate analgesics. All drugs of this series have analgesic and narcotic effect, cause strong dependence and addiction. If you look at the historical aspect, then the drug chain will line up in the following order: opium - morphine - heroin - methadone. Moreover, each subsequent preparation has a stronger effect than the previous one. All of them were created for good purposes, but later they turned into a huge problem and a disaster for society.
Methadone, if ingested, is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract (up to 90%), after 30 minutes it enters the bloodstream, then its analgesic effect begins. The maximum concentration in the body reaches 4 hours after administration. When a subcutaneous injection is detected in the blood after 10 minutes, the peak is observed after 1-2 hours.
With repeated injections, methadone accumulates in the tissues. Half-life from the body is 14 hours, but the anesthetic effect lasts only 4-5 hours. The drug after taking the drug lasts from 24 to 72 hours. At this time, the addict experiences a state of euphoria, carelessness and security. Under the influence of methadone, there is a violation of higher nervous activity - hallucinations, disorientation in space, visual impairment.
Will methadone save heroin?
On the territory of the Russian Federation, methadone is not used and is included in the list of narcotic substances banned to circulation.
However, the drug is widely used in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Thailand; on a small scale - in the rehabilitation centers of Canada and Australia. In these countries, the drug is included in a special program to combat "street" drugs. The birthplace of the methadone program is the United States, where substitution therapy has been used to combat HIV infection and crime among drug dependent people.
In Russia, the methadone program is actively discussed, but has not been tested anywhere. On the part of WHO and the UN specialized committees, there have been repeated calls for the use of substitution therapy. In our country, the program has many opponents. Against the use of methadone and the principle of substitution therapy, the Federal Service for Drug Control and the Chief Sanitary Doctor of the country are speaking out. The main argument is that you can not replace one drug with another, more dangerous.
Also alarming is the fact that in the West and in the US the program is curtailed, despite the positive experience of methadone therapy in Sweden. Radical opponents of the method argue that in the US deaths from overdoses of methadone are greater than from heroin and cocaine combined, and are inclined to view the imposed opinion as an element of "drag-marketing" - advertising and promotion of drugs. What is it that scared the methadone of Russian doctors? There are several reasons.
- Treatment of methadone dependence takes longer and is more difficult than dependence on other opiates.
- The drug is taken only inwards, the dose is calculated by the doctor. Because of the ability of methadone to accumulate in the body in the case of prolonged intake, the dose is lowered, and the interval between receptions is increased. Since methadone does not have such a vivid sense of "buzz", as from heroin, drug addicts begin to increase the dose and / or inject the drug intravenously. With a slight excess of the amount of the drug, death occurs from an overdose.
- Also, methadone is more dangerous than heroin in the sense that it is easier and cheaper to produce.
- The consequences of methadone use are as destructive to health as in the case of heroin addiction.
Consequences of methadone use
Dependence on the drug develops very quickly - after 2-3 injections. Also in a rather short time, the addiction to methadone begins. The sensations of euphoria are somewhat blurred, the addict increases the dose.
In relation to heroin, we can say that the "kicks" from methadone are less, the dependence is stronger, and when going back to heroin, a double dose is required.
With regular use, there are such consequences of methadone intake:
- attacks of suffocation, edema of the lungs;
- hepatitis, cirrhosis;
- kidney failure;
- disorders of cardiac activity - increased heart rate, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction;
- impotence and infertility.
In case of cancellation, there is an abstinence syndrome. Methadone breaks last for a month, which is another minus compared to heroin (with heroin dependence - about a week). Signs of disruption of almost all organs and systems develop:
- confused consciousness;
- pain in the joints and muscles;
- nausea, vomiting;
- Pain in the eyes.
Signs of an overdose
An overdose of methadone can occur if the dose is exceeded excessively, mixed with other drugs, the first time the drug is taken, and the body's resistance is reduced. For the appearance of negative reactions, 30-50 mg of the drug is sufficient. The dose is very easy to exceed, and up to 90% of cases of overdose result in fatalities.
Symptoms of methadone overdose:
- nausea, vomiting, foam from the mouth;
- muscle cramps;
- narrowing of the pupils;
- cold sweat;
- severe pallor of the skin and weak pulse;
- difficulty urinating;
- loss of consciousness;
- stop cardiac and respiratory activity.
First aid in case of overdose
When methadone is poisoned, the addict is unable to help himself. Nearby people should take the following measures aimed at saving lives.
- The victim should be awakened using a loud voice, if necessary rub his ears, press the painful point under his nose.
- Immediately call an ambulance, as in most cases, an overdose of methadone ends with coma and death.
- At loss of consciousness to put the victim on the right side, the head is on the bent arm, the left leg is bent at the knee. Lower jaw push forward to the upper level, tongue to pull out, cleanse the mouth of vomit.
- An antagonist of opiates is the drug Naloxone. It is sold in pharmacies by prescription or distributed by organizations that help drug addicts. In case of loss of consciousness, you need to inject "Naloxone" intramuscularly in a dose of 1-2 ml. Effective after 1-3 minutes, the effect is observed 30-60 minutes. If no effect, repeat the injection at the same dose after 7-10 minutes. When overdosing with methadone, enter "Naloxone" again 30 minutes after the injection.
- If a person does not breathe, do artificial respiration.
- If there is no pulse, start an indirect heart massage.
Resuscitation should be carried out before the arrival of the ambulance team. Be sure to tell the doctors what the victim did and what measures have been taken to provide first aid.
Treatment of methadone dependence
How to get rid of methadone dependence? At home, it's almost impossible. The clinic is taking a number of measures:
- drug therapy;
- psychological rehabilitation;
- control of treatment.
Treatment for methadone requires a long time - from 8 to 12 months.
The drug can be detected in the blood, urine, hair and nails. Therefore, if you have suspicions about a loved one, take measures to identify addiction. The earlier to begin treatment, the higher the chances of success.
Let's sum up. Methadone is a dangerous synthetic drug from the group of opiates. In Russia it is banned, but spreads on the "black" market. Overdosing with methadone often ends with death, and treatment of dependence takes a long time - about a year.