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Methadone Treatment In Canada

Drug Rehab Services is a no cost referral agency to inform you and help you find the proper treatment for methadone addiction. We have helped thousands of persons getting the proper help in the following services:

  • Outpatient treatment
  • meetings
  • Residential treatment
  • Methadone Detox centers
  • Private drug treatments
  • Long term treatments

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Our goal is to provide you the best advice possible to attend a rehab centre so you or a loved one get a drug free life. Because of the many types of drug rehab centers, some might have trouble knowing which one is best suited for their needs. It is okay to ask for help as the choice of the type of drug treatment program is often crucial in getting an individual through withdrawal and off drugs.

If you are looking to get on methadone or calling for a loved one who wants to get on methadone maintenance. Drug Rehab Services will not refer you to a methadone clinic. The whole purpose of methadone was to switch people from heroin or opiates to methadone and then weaned them off of the methadone so they can be drug free. In reality, this is not what is happening. People are put on methadone and then they get increased to really high dosage (we have seen up to 400mgs a day) and then people call us to get off of it. In Canada, there are no facilities that takes people off of high dosage of methadone. We have to refer people to the U.S where they have specialized clinics to get people safely off of it.

We have had people calling us on long term methadone maintenance who does not have a life anymore. It is a strong pain killer so it does not just kill the physical pain but also the emotions. People are numbed emotionally so they feel like robots. And that is why it is important to help them by referring them to a good drug rehab center where they can safely get off the drug.

Methadone information

Methadone which is formally known as Dolophine is a powerful narcotic which is mainly used in cancer patients to relieve pain. This drug effects can cause drowsiness, dizzy or light headed, nausea, and vomiting.  Individuals who abuse methadone risk becoming tolerant of and physically dependent on the drug.

Methadone is not an innocent substance. This drug has been the fault of many deaths and is not safe. It is increasingly being abused by recreational drug users and is causing an alarming increase in overdoses and deaths, federal and state officials say. This has floored drug experts.  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.

Methadone overdoses are associated with severe respiratory depression, decreases in heart rate and blood pressure, coma, and death. The Drug Abuse Warning Network reports that methadone was involved in 10,725 emergency department visits in 2001--a 37 percent increase from the previous year. In Florida methadone-related deaths jumped from 209 in 2000 to 357 in 2001.
Here we have some statistics from the Centers for Disease Control:
The number of all poisoning deaths (death from methadone is considered being poisoned) increased 54 percent 72 percent from 1999 to 2004. The number of poisoning deaths involving methadone increased 390 percent.
The number methadone related poisoning deaths were 4 percent of all poisoning related deaths in 1999, and by 2004 they measured 13 percent.
Between 2003 and 2004, all poisoning deaths increased 6 percent, while methadone related poisoning deaths increased 29 percent.
Between 73 and 79 percent of methadone related poisoning deaths were unintentional. Had they done a methadone detox program earlier, they might still be alive today.
By 2006, the situation had become so severe the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health warning about methadone. Here’s what it said:

Patients should abuse the recommended dosage and take methadone exactly as prescribed by the physician or health care provider. Greater doses can slow or stop breathing and can be fatal.
Patients taking methadone should not start or stop taking other medications or dietary supplements without consulting their health care provider. Taking other medications or dietary supplements may reduce pain relief. They may also cause a toxic build-up of methadone.

Health risk indications: difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue or sleepiness, blurred vision, inability to think, talk or walk normally, feeling faint, dizzy or confused. If these signs occur, patients should seek immediate medical help.

Many people believe that because methadone is prescribed by a doctor, it is safe. Statistics tell us otherwise. Whether you are taking methadone as treatment for heroin addiction or for pain (majority of prescriptions are now a days) and you do not think you have a methadone addiction, you might want to consider some options. Methadone detox is not just for the highly addicted, it is for the medicated patients as well. We want to ensure that you have zero percent of this toxin in your system when you leave our facility.

In Canada, there are only 7 % of the residential treatments that will accept people whom are on methadone. For many years methadone has been a controversial solution to the drug addicts.

What is Methadone Addiction?

Methadone addiction is a major problem in Canada, both because of medical and recreational use. In some drug rehab centers, methadone is used to treat drug addiction but due to its addictive nature, this sort of treatment often leads to methadone addiction. So the methadone epidemic in Canada is two-folded. Some people just plain abuse it and become addicted, and others are taking it for medical reasons and develop a methadone addiction. In 2003, a survey was made all over Canada with people between 14 and 23 years old, and it reported that 33 % had abused methadone in a recreational context. Which also means that many of them could be struggling with methadone addiction.

In 1999, in Vancouver, just in one part of the city, there were over 170 patients on methadone, most of them men. Nowadays, there are almost 3,000 patients located in Vancouver that are on methadone treatment. And a lot of pharmacies actually can dispense methadone to people who have a prescription. These kinds of numbers are very alarming because a majority of them will develop an addiction to methadone, to a lesser or greater degree.

Now for the province of Quebec, there are also a lot of people dealing with methadone addiction. Just to give you an idea of how many are struggling with methadone addiction, in 2002, there were 1,795 people that were on methadone in Quebec. In the city of Montreal, a survey was done with young people living on the streets and 8 % of them reported having taken methadone at some point in their lives.

Methadone used to treat drug addiction will more often than not create a strong physical addiction. That is solving a drug problem by creating another one. When a person becomes addicted to methadone, there are various symptoms, such as drowsiness, constipation. When one actually abuses methadone frequently, it can get dangerous when things such as respiratory problems happen.

Methadone Treatment

In Canada, there is definitely a problem with methadone and its abuse and addiction. There has been an increase of methadone use as even some of the rehab centers use methadone to treat addiction to hard drug. In 2002, there were almost 2,000 people undergoing methadone treatment in the province of Quebec alone. A survey done in Montreal city showed that eight percent of the young population had at least taken methadone once in their lives.

Methadone is an opioid, and is both used as an analgesic and an anti-addictive. It is also used as a drug that helps with chronic pains. It is very effective and of very low cost compared to some other substances. This makes it a lot easier for people to abuse it. It can easily create a physical dependence and tolerance so it is to be avoid if possible. Methadone was first tested in the 1940s in Germany, but now it is used internationally and a lot of people have become addicted to it. Some of those people might need to go to a drug rehab in order to handle their methadone addiction.

Methadone, even when used medically, produces some undesirable effects, some of them are listed below:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Constipation
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Euphoria
  • Headaches
  • Mood Swings
  • Insomnia

There are of course many more effects than those mentioned above produced by methadone consumption.

If a person stops or tries to stop taking methadone after having consumed a lot of it, certain things will happen during withdrawal. Below is a list of some of the possibilities.

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Paranoia
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Chills

Where can I find a methadone treatment?

There are several places where you can find help for methadone addiction in Canada. There are different settings such as residential, outpatient etc. Is a detox needed? There are many options to treat methadone addiction and one should think before choosing a drug rehab to make it is what they are looking for. One of our counselors can do an assessment and give you the best option on methadone programs for you or someone you love. Let us help you.

Meet an Expert

Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More