Plugging Methadone | Effects & Dangers Of Rectal Methadone Use

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on March 11, 2023

Plugging methadone can cause strong numbness and euphoria. However, rectal use of methadone is a likely form of drug abuse with a high risk of infections and drug addiction.

Plugging methadone can lead to strong side effects such as sedation, drowsiness, dry mouth, euphoria, and constipation. Rectal use of methadone can lead to an increased risk of overdose, infections, and methadone addiction.

Methadone is an opioid agonist that can reduce the effects of opioid withdrawal symptoms when taken as directed. Methadone is also a Schedule II controlled substance with high abuse potential. When not taken as directed, methadone can be abused to get high.

While methadone maintenance programs offered by methadone clinics can reduce cravings caused by opiate addiction, drug abuse involving methadone can worsen your opioid use disorder. 

Opioid dependency treatment programs for methadone-tolerant patients may utilize a variety of treatment options.

Plugging Methadone

Methadone solution can be obtained through illicit means, or through an approved addiction treatment center. 

While methadone solution can be approved for oral or intravenous use, the solution can also be inserted into a suppository or syringe, and either inserted or injected into the anus.

Snorting, smoking, injecting, or plugging methadone may cause faster effects compared to oral use. 

The bioavailability of methadone during oral use may be high, while it may be slightly higher through rectal use. You may feel the effects of methadone faster, while effectively ingesting a higher dose of methadone.

Rectal methadone use is an approved form of drug use in Ohio, and may be done to get high on methadone.

Effects Of Rectal Methadone Use

Rectal methadone use can cause intense central nervous system depressant and analgesic (pain relief) effects, such as sedation, euphoria, and numbness. You may also feel side effects of opioids such as:

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • difficulty concentrating
  • low blood pressure
  • irregular heart rate

These effects may be stronger in high doses of illicit methadone use.

Dangers Of Rectal Methadone Use

Rectal administration of methadone can be harmful to your health in both the short-term and the long-term. Over time, the health risks of plugging methadone can outweigh the short-term benefits.

Physical Health Effects

Inserting or injecting methadone into the anus can place stress on rectal tissue, which can increase your risk of rectal bleeding and pain. Sharing syringes can also increase your risk of infections, such as HIV or hepatitis.

Methadone Overdose

Rectal administration can lead to stronger effects and higher doses of methadone entering your body, which can increase your risk of methadone toxicity and overdose.

Signs of a methadone overdose may include:

  • trouble breathing (respiratory depression)
  • clammy skin
  • blue lips and fingernails
  • loss of consciousness
  • weak pulse

Naloxone can be given to overdose victims to restore their breathing and stabilize them while medical help arrives. Naloxone may be available as the nasal spray Narcan, which the statewide distribution program Project DAWN can provide to Ohioans.

Methadone Addiction

Methadone addiction is a type of substance use disorder, or a mental health condition where you are unable to stop taking methadone despite ongoing health problems. 

Similar to other Schedule II opioids such as fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone, the abuse potential for methadone is high outside of medical environments.

Opioid dependence, a physical condition where your body requires methadone to function, may occur alongside a substance use disorder. 

Methadone-dependent patients may experience withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, and worsening chronic pain when trying to quit.

Methadone addiction can be difficult to treat without professional help. 

For information on our inpatient opioid addiction treatment options, such as opioid detox, mental health services, and daily doses of buprenorphine, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

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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