Yes. Methadone can get you high. Methadone is an agonist-opioid with a similar risk level for abuse as morphine.
Because methadone is used to help treat opioid addiction, many people take it to help manage pain.
Abusing methadone to get high poses a risk of overdose and death. This risk is exponentially increased when methadone is mixed with other depressants, such as alcohol or benzos.
Find out more about using methadone for maintenance therapy
How Does Methadone Get You High?
Methadone is different from other opioids, like fentanyl and heroin, in several ways. Its chemical makeup and the way the body absorbs it can make it difficult to dose.
When someone takes many doses of methadone, as individuals on methadone maintenance treatment often do, the substance begins to build up in the liver.
This happens because the body can only process so much methadone while other opioids are present in the nervous system.
Because methadone is stopped in the liver, it can take three to five days to feel the full effects of the methadone dose.
A high degree of opioid tolerance doesn’t eliminate the chance of a methadone overdose, which is likely to occur when someone illicitly takes more methadone than is prescribed.
Street Methadone Vs. Prescribed Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Street methadone, or methadone found for sale on the street illegally, is often sold or given to someone who does not have a prescription for the medication.
Because methadone is water-soluble, individuals who sell it on the street often “cut” it with water or juice so that they can sell more.
But no matter what the homemade label says, it’s nearly impossible to tell how much methadone is in a given street dose.
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How People Obtain Methadone Without A Prescription
Doctor shopping is a common phenomenon among the individuals who sell methadone on the street. They will often look to get as many prescriptions from local physicians as possible.
This way, they have a continuous supply and can continue to sell their prescriptions. This can be extremely dangerous, as each person’s body handles methadone absorption differently.
A small dose for one person could easily kill someone else who is not prescribed the medication.
How Should Methadone Be Used?
When methadone is used to alleviate pain, it is typically taken every eight to 12 hours.
If someone is taking methadone as part of a methadone maintenance treatment program, they will be prescribed a dosing schedule that makes sense for their unique situation.
If there is anything you do not understand about your prescribed dosing directions, be sure to consult your pharmacist before taking the medication home.
It is crucial not to skip or miss doses, as this can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Finding Treatment For Methadone Abuse
There is always help available. Many rehab centers across the United States offer treatment programs geared towards helping those with addiction to opioids like methadone.
Contact our substance abuse treatment helpline for more information on how to start your sobriety journey today.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Center for Addiction and Mental Health — Street Methadone
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — DOLOPHINE® HYDROCHLORIDE CII (Methadone Hydrochloride Tablets, USP) 5 mg, 10 mg
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Methadone
- National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI) - Methadone maintenance treatment