What is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic (man-made) narcotic. It is used legally to treat addiction to narcotics and to relieve severe pain.

What does Methadone look like?

Methadone can be a tablet, oral solution, or injectable liquid.

How is Methadone used?

When used to treat narcotic addiction, methadone suppresses withdrawal symptoms for 24 to 36 hours. Individuals who are prescribed methadone for treatment of opiate addiction experience neither the cravings for opiates nor the euphoric rush that are typically associated with use of that drug.

What are the risks?

Individuals who abuse methadone risk becoming tolerant of and physically dependent on the drug. When these individuals stop using the drug they may experience withdrawal symptoms including muscle tremors, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.

Overdosing on methadone poses an additional risk. In some instances, individuals who abuse other narcotics (such as heroin or OxyContin) turn to methadone because of its increasing availability. Methadone, however, does not produce the euphoric rush associated with those other drugs; thus, these users often consume dangerously large quantities of methadone in a vain attempt to attain the desired effect.