Methadone is used to block receptors in the brain from the euphoric experiences of narcotics street drugs such as heroin. Because it is methadone’s job to keep these drugs from affecting the body it is not common for people to mix street drugs with methadone. In other words, mixing methadone with other street drugs would be counterproductive. It is far more common for someone to mix methadone with a substance like alcohol. When mixed with alcohol, methadone increases its effects on the body. It also does the same with prescription drugs like antidepressants, painkillers and sleep aids.
Methadone actually has the effect of reducing the use of street drugs as well as other criminal activities associated with them.
Cannabis use is extremely common in the general population and those in methadone/suboxone treatment.
There is currently little evidence to support the therapeutic use of smoked cannabis (Gurley et al. 1998; Watson et al. 2000) Recent, high-quality, long-term, robust research involving thousands upon thousands of people over generations of time, in several populations and countries, has shown that marijuana, especially in teen boys, leads to a measurable increase in the future development of schizophrenia. Marijuana also impairs your ability to drive. The data is clear that people who drive while high are definitely impaired, the data on how long someone is impaired after using marijuana is highly variable to the individual.
Gurley RJ, Aranow R, Katz, M; Medicinal Marijuana: A Comprehensive Review. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 30 (2), 137-147. 1998
Watson SJ, Benson JA jr, Joy JE, Marijuana and medicine – Assessing the science base: A summary of the 1999 Institute of medicine report. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57 (6), 547-552. 2000
Because of the potential for addiction and abuse, methadone is only given to patients when they walk into a clinic to receive their daily dose. They are not able to take it home or get their prescription refilled by a drugstore. Not only does this help to prevent patients from becoming addicted to methadone, it also helps keep the drug off the streets. Though it is not a drug of choice because it has a slow reaction time and does not give users a big rush, many users know that a cocktail can be created out of methadone.
Those who are desperate to get high from methadone will either take it in greater doses or break it down and dissolve it so that it can be injected into the vein. Though this will significantly increase the use speed in which methadone takes place in the body, it will never actually match the rush that drugs like heroin give users, and thus only the most desperate of users are likely to use methadone in this way.
In order to keep methadone off of the streets, doctors must be vigilant with patient care.
Even when extremely desperate, drug addicts will likely stay away from methadone because they know the next time they get their hands on something like heroin its effects will be dulled by the methadone that is in their system. Because it is part agonist, methadone has a ceiling effect even at higher doses, there is a cap on how effective it will be.
Doctors do everything in their power to keep methadone off the streets. The last thing they would want to see is a drug that is intended for the good of those who want to get clean, do more damage to those who are still struggling.
In order to keep methadone off of the streets, doctors must be vigilant with patient care. They must be skilled enough to know when a patient no longer needs higher dosage and when they are finally ready to be taken off methadone completely. When properly used, is like a kind of anti-street drug which can literally be a lifesaver for addicts who are looking to get clean and get their lives back to normal.