What Is Methadone?
Methadone is part of a category of drugs called opioids. German doctors created it during World War II. When it came to the United States, doctors used it to treat people with extreme pain. Today, you might also get it as part of a treatment program for an addiction to heroin or narcotic painkillers.
Even though it’s safer than some other narcotics, your doctor should keep a close watch while you take methadone. Taking it can lead to addiction or abuse.
What Does Methadone Do?
Methadone changes the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain so that you feel relief. Its effects are slower than those of other strong painkillers like morphine. Your doctor may prescribe methadone if you’re in a lot of pain from an injury, surgery, or long-term illness.
It also blocks the high from drugs like codeine, heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. It can give a similar feeling and keep you from having withdrawal symptoms and cravings. You may hear this called replacement therapy.
It’s usually just one part of your treatment plan. It isn’t a cure for addiction.