methadone IS NOT heroin, sure they are both opiod type drugs with the same main concerns, addiction, respritory failure, death. When you look at methadone next to heroin try and think of it this way.
The "half-life" or how long the drugs works in the body for methadone is an extremely long one. That means that an addicts time span between needs for dosing is longer. The methadone also has a slow onset, there isnt a big rush its onset is slow (which has caused a lot of overdoses in addicts and even patients in pain waiting for it to work thinking nothing is going to happen). Also because of the slow onset using hypodermics and "snorting" the pill is not much of a concern with methadone. I will not argue that addicts do not replace methadone for the heroin, sure they do just like an alcoholic that prefers vodka would drink beer if that is all they can get, with no intentions of stopping the vodka.
Heroin, aka diamorphine, is one of the shorter acting opiods. Heroin gives addicts that fix in seconds as compared to methadone when injected, and minutes when "snorted" or taken by mouth. The overdosing risk is very high because one day the heroin could contain 5% and the next day or next bag could contain 75% or more. Risk of contracting HIV and Hepatitis are totally in the odds with anyone who shares syringes. Heroin contains many "cuts" to make the drug weigh more or to make the bags look bigger, this could be anything under the sun. The "need for a fix" is always increasing in frequency and higher dosing. In the United stated heroin is not sold here most likely because we dont need it, although there are a lot of Rx drugs are very comparable to the effects of heroin, and are more sought after rather than methadone for the body cannot se much difference in drugs like : vicodin, oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl (which is a lot more potent than heroin on a weight by weight basis" There are many countries that still use diamorphine (heroin) for moderate to severe pain. Another drug that has been known for decades to replace heroin is hydroMORPHONE (dialudid is the name brand) and has about the same properties as heroin and morphine. Its is FDA approved for moderate to severe pain and is widely used in long term chronic pain clinics, post operative, and cancer pain, its more effective with the lower side effects, and is generally more preferably by addicts than morphine, about the same deal with oxycondone/OxyContin.
Methadone is a better way of detoxing a patient from heroin or other short acting narcotics like heroin, dilaudid, oxycodoe, or fentanyl.Its once a day dosing allows a patient to go down to the clinic and follow a program if they really want to stop using, the titration period is easier given the long acting and once a day dosing and there. Most feel that a methadone alternative can have some social benefits to a community and crime.
I just think its time we sit down and educate ourselves on methadone used for detoxification and pain management when we shoot out words like "liquid heroin" or "legal heroin. There is a difference
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