Shooting Methadone – Dangers and Side Effects

The vast majority of methadone created and sold within the United States is made to pass through the digestive system. Manufacturers know that oral medications require a slightly longer period of time to take effect, and as a result, these drugs don’t tend to cause the burst of euphoria associated with drugs that travel directly into the bloodstream through the pinhole of a needle. Drugs that are made to pass through the stomach are quite different than drugs made to pass through the bloodstream, and if you inject methadone, some very serious complications could take place.

Fillers and Additives

The inside of your stomach is a churning, acidic place. Anything that hits this caustic environment is broken down almost immediately. In order to help methadone reach the stomach, rather than being broken down in the mouth or in the throat, manufacturers create a bubble around the active ingredient in these oral medications. Those additives can include:

  • Glycerin
  • Food coloring
  • Flavoring
  • Sorbitol

Some of these ingredients simply won’t break down inside the veins, and no matter how much you might try to filter out all of the particulates, some tiny bits might remain and they might work like little missiles, zooming to your heart or to your lungs and causing very serious damage. Injecting this material can also damage your veins, causing them to block up and bleed.

*Why Can’t I Stop?

If you came to methadone because you were addicted to an opiate like heroin, you might have an addiction to the process of shooting drugs, in addition to the addiction to the drugs themselves. For example, a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review found that 47 percent of people who shot methadone syrup did so because they had a needle fixation. The idea of heating up the drug, tying the vein and injecting the drug was a process they were addicted to, and had trouble overcoming without help.

Infections Are Common

Needles are tightly controlled by the state and federal government, and as a result, you might find it hard to obtain clean and sterile needles you can use for your drug injections. As a result, you might be tempted to share needles with other people, and you could develop blood-borne infections like HIV/AIDS by sharing with infected people.

According to a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, people who share needles tend to be ignorant of the risks of their actions, meaning that they might truly think they’re being safe, until they are actually infected. Each time you share a needle with someone else, you’re running the risk that you’ll develop an infection through a tiny drop of that person’s blood.

Overdoses Can Occur

Medications that are meant to be swallowed often contain time-release properties, meaning that a tiny amount of the drug becomes active at a time. This allows people to take the drug and feel the effects of the drug over a long period of time. If you shoot time-release methadone, you’ll get the entire impact of the drug all at once. Even a dose you might take orally with no issues could cause an overdose if you inject it, simply because you’ll have the full impact hitting your body at the exact same time. Death can quickly follow a methadone overdose.

The best way to ensure that none of these problems ever happen to you is to get help for your addiction issue. We’d like to ensure that happens. Please call our toll-free line to learn more about how treatment works, and how we can help you find the best inpatient or outpatient methadone treatment center.