The Dangers And Effects Of Methadone

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Morphine (MS Contin®, Avinza®, Kadian®,
Embeda®, others)
Morphine treats moderate-to-severe pain and is a Schedule 2 opioid. Although once available only as a rapidly acting formulation, long-acting products are now routinely prescribed to treat chronic pain. Morphine is the most prominent and active ingredient in opium. It was first extracted from opium some 200 years ago.
Morphine is as easy to abuse as heroin and carries the same risks as heroin. To reduce the potential for abuse, the newer product Embeda adds naltrexone to the formulation. Naltrexone will induce withdrawal symptoms if the product is chewed or injected. However, the vast majority of morphine products contain no abuse-deterrent medication.
Historical Note: Morphine was isolated
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Methadone should never be taken with benzodiazepines.
• Infants, children, the elderly, and females are especially sensitive to the toxic effects of methadone (
The magnitude of the toxic effects of methadone is unpredictable. All users of methadone should know of these risks.
Dangers of using or abusing methadone are reflected in these statistics (
• Methadone overdose deaths increased six-fold between 1999 and 2010 (
• Methadone accounted for only 2 percent of painkiller prescriptions in the United States in
2009 but was responsible for 30 percent of prescription painkiller overdose deaths (
• Methadone was responsible for two of every three opioid overdose deaths in 2004 and nearly one of every three deaths from prescribed painkillers in 2009 (
You should be aware of these dangers if you use or abuse methadone.
Methadone is so frequently abused that it is referred to as “street methadone” to distinguish it from methadone prescribed by a physician and used appropriately.
Hydrocodone (Vicodin®, Lorcet®, Norco®, ZoHydro ER®,
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Toxicity greatly increases when fentanyl is laced with heroin.
Fentanyl is becoming the new killer in the opioid family of drugs.
Fentanyl is frequently and purposefully mislabeled as heroin, putting users at even greater risk than if they were ‘just’ receiving heroin.
Acetyl Fentanyl (and Close Relatives)
Acetyl fentanyl, a cousin of fentanyl, is not approved for medical use. However, every few years there is a cluster of overdose deaths from this very potent opioid. As with fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl manufactured in home laboratories may contain dangerous contaminants and the dust can be lethal.
Acetyl fentanyl is about ten times more potent than heroin.
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and North Carolina recently experienced a rash of overdose deaths from acetyl fentanyl (
Compounds similar to acetyl fentanyl are as much as 5,000 times more potent than morphine or heroin, greatly increasing the toxicity. Overdoses for this group of opioids may not always favorably respond to the antidote naloxone.
Fentanyl and its analogs, alone or in combination with many other drugs, are as deadly as they

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