Misuse Of Methadone
Medicine abuse is defined as using a medication for a purpose other than that for which it was prescribed, or taking it in higher dosages than recommended.
Medicine abuse is defined as using a medication for a purpose other than that for which it was prescribed, or taking it in higher dosages than recommended. Misuse is the first step on the road to losing control and developing OUD. Methadone is no exception to the rule that any opioid can be abused. If it's being used to "get high," relax, or sleep, for example. Up to a third of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain abuse them, 10% acquire an opioid use disorder, and 6% of those who develop an opioid use disorder go on to use heroin.
Misuse of methadone, as well as its most dangerous side effect, overdose, is on the rise.
Other opioid-related deaths climbed from 2,757 to over 7,035, between 1999 and 2006. Methadone-related deaths climbed from 786 to 5,416, a substantially larger increase.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the number of methadone overdose deaths climbed from 26 in 2000 to 103 in 2008.
In a San Diego medical examiner study, methadone was responsible for 46 of the 254 total deaths due to unintentional prescription (18.1%); 100 percent of this methadone was prescribed by primary care specialists, highlighting the high risk of overdose when used for chronic pain rather than OUD treatment.
Overdosage on Methadone
Since the 1990s, overdose deaths involving any prescription opioid have been on the rise. In 2020, the number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States was nearly double that of motor vehicle fatalities.
Methadone was the most common substance found in single-drug overdose patients in the San Diego sample, demonstrating its particularly high level of hazard. When patients take benzodiazepines and drink alcohol at the same time, there is a greater risk of serious side effects including overdose. Sedation, respiratory suppression, and, ultimately, death are all risks associated with this combination.
Unfortunately, benzodiazepines are commonly used by patients on methadone for OUD. Because they are both processed by the same enzymes in the liver, methadone interacts with a wide range of antidepressants, antibiotics, and other medications, changing blood levels. When people misuse methadone, they may have an unforeseen interaction that results in high methadone blood levels and an accidental overdose.