Does Methadone Get You High?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on March 11, 2023

Methadone is an opioid medication that can be abused, creating a “high” that consists of sedation and euphoria. Additionally, methadone abuse can lead to a range of serious side effects.

Methadone (brand names Dolophine and Methadose) is a prescription opioid painkiller that can be used to assist those in need of pain relief for a prolonged period of time. 

Those who participate in methadone abuse may experience a high that produces euphoric effects and feelings of drowsiness and sedation.

Getting High On Methadone

Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist which acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. This creates the euphoria and other sensations a person experiences when they ingest the drug in high doses.

Those with an opioid addiction may take high doses of methadone by injecting, smoking, plugging, or snorting methadone. This type of opioid use may cause a high but can also increase the risk of overdose.

Methadone, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is a Schedule II controlled substance which means it has a high potential for abuse which can lead to psychological or physical dependence.

Side Effects Of Methadone Abuse

In addition to euphoria and sedation, methadone creates a variety of side effects which can range in severity depending on the methadone dose taken.

Common Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of methadone, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), may include:

  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty sleeping
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • vomiting

Withdrawal Symptoms

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), methadone withdrawal symptoms may consist of:

  • cravings for the drug
  • irritability
  • body aches
  • tremors
  • anxiety or depression
  • sleeping difficulties
  • fever
  • excessive yawning
  • chills

Withdrawal of methadone can occur when the drug is stopped abruptly or “cold turkey.” Consult your primary healthcare physician before stopping your medication.

Methadone Overdose

Those seeking to achieve a methadone high may experience an overdose if large doses of the drug are taken. 

As stated by the National Library of Medicine, a methadone overdose may present the following symptoms which can be life-threatening:

  • respiratory depression
  • cardiac arrest
  • slow heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • coma

If a methadone overdose is suspected, contact 911 immediately. Seeking urgent medical attention can help avoid an overdose death. Once at the hospital, a medical professional may administer Narcan (naloxone). Naloxone is used to help reverse the effects of an overdose.

Drug Interactions

In addition to euphoric sensations, serious adverse effects may take place if other medications or illicit drugs are combined with methadone. For instance, the following substances should be avoided when taking methadone:

  • buprenorphine
  • benzodiazepines
  • alcohol
  • antihistamines
  • fentanyl
  • illicit opioids
  • certain prescription drugs

Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Methadone is sometimes used in opioid maintenance treatment to help prevent withdrawal symptoms in those with opioid dependence. With methadone treatment, those suffering from opioid withdrawal may experience less symptoms.

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), methadone can be prescribed when a person receives medication-assisted treatment as part of an opioid addiction treatment program.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one live with drug addiction, accredited treatment centers like Ohio Recovery Center can help. At our inpatient facility, we provide specific treatment plans depending on the type of substance use disorder a person suffers from.

For opioid use disorder, we offer various treatment options like detox, medication-assisted treatment, and other evidence-based services. To get help and speak with one of our healthcare professionals, please reach out today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration — Methadone https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/methadone/methadone.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration — Dolophine https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/006134s038lbl.pdf
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction https://nida.nih.gov/publications/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Methadone https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682134.html
  5. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Methadone https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562216/
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Methadone https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions/methadone

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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