Methadone - a heads up
Methadone is a similar type of drug as heroin and morphine, but it's usually prescribed to help people reduce the harm of illegal heroin use.
Methadone is most often used as a substitute for heroin, and is sometimes called done or the done. It’s the same type of drug as heroin (an opiate) but its man-made rather than coming from an opium poppy. It is usually prescribed by a doctor so that you don’t need to use an illegal opiate like heroin.
Like heroin, methadone is a depressant which means it slows down your body's reactions. It also produces effects such as reduced physical and psychological pain, feelings of warmth, relaxation and detachment. It can also cause sweating and digestive issues. The effects usually last around 24 hours.
If you use too much methadone you might have shallow breathing, bluish lips, or an inability to be roused or woken. An ambulance should be called if anything like this happens to you or someone else.
Methadone is only legal with a prescription but is sometimes ‘diverted’ and used illegally. It comes as coloured liquid or a tablet, and is geneally dosed by a chemist with cordial or fruit juice. If it’s used illegally, it’s also injected.
If you use or are prescribed methadone then if nothing else, make sure you know these ways to be as safe as possible.
- Try to stick to the prescribed program and talk to your doctor
- Drink water
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly
- Avoid mixing with other drugs, especially depressants like alcohol or benzos which dramatically increase the risk of overdose.
- Call an ambulance if an overdose is suspected
- Avoid diverted methadone - it can contain all sorts of bacteria and germs which can cause serious infections and illness