It might surprise some people to find out that prescription medications are often used to treat people with addictions to drugs. If that sounds counterproductive or dangerous, you shouldn’t be too concerned given that the prescription drugs will be administered by a medical professional who works for the rehab center.
If you are wondering what kinds of prescription medication is being prescribed, there are some very important medications that doctors will prescribe to help clients go through detox. While some of these medications are intended to help clients deal with pain and sleeping issues, there are other medications that are used to help them safely wean clients off very dangerous illicit substances like heroin and fentanyl. One such medication is called methadone. Methadone is an opiate that’s used to help opioid addiction sufferers taper away from other opiates.
In rehab, clients might also have to continue taking medications they need to help them deal with psychological or mental disorders. A good example of such a medication would be a drug like Xanax. Xanax is a benzodiazepine used mainly for the treatment of anxiety.
Moving forward, the discussion is going to center on both methadone and Xanax and the dangers of using these two medications at the same. This discussion is relative because of the likelihood it could occur in rehab and does occur sometimes on the streets.
How Lethal Is a Methadone and Xanax Combination?
Before starting this discussion, it’s important to note that at no time should someone take multiple drugs without first consulting with a doctor. There are significant risks associated with combining substances without a clear understanding of how the substances are going to interact with one another. The combination of methadone and Xanax is a clear example of how dangerous combing substances can be.
To be very clear, no one should combine methadone and Xanax without a prescription from a doctor. Furthermore, it’s vitally important that the client strictly follow the doctor’s prescription as written. The following information will clarify why that’s so important.
The first area of concern in regards to the combination of these two substances is the effect the combination will have on the individual’s respiratory system. You see, both methadone and Xanax have properties than tend to suppress a person’s respiratory system. If someone were to take both medications at the same time, it would have the effect of doubling up on those the properties that suppress respiration. Even the slightest error in dosage could lead the client to have great difficulty breathing. Effectively, it could lead to the individual dying of an opioid overdose.
Both methadone and Xanax acts as sedatives. That would make sense given methadone is an opioid and Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders. Again, taking both substances at the same time would have the effect of doubling up on the sedation. While that unto itself is not terribly dangerous, the sedative effect combined with any interruption in breathing could be lethal.
In an addiction treatment setting, doctors would be leery about allowing clients to keep taking Xanax while using methadone to wean off opiates. Does that leave the client exposed to issues with their anxiety disorder? Yes, it probably does. However, there are other medications the rehab facility’s doctor could prescribe as an alternative to Xanax. It could be a medication that significantly cuts down the risk of harm when combined with methadone. The solution would be temporary given the likelihood the client could resume taking Xanax once they have completed their methadone treatment program.
Dealing with poly-substance Abuse
Both methadone and Xanax are high on the list of medications that get abused. They are both also high on the list of substances that have addictive properties. When someone enters rehab with an addiction to multiple substances, they are said to be victims of poly-substance abuse. Rehabs have programs to deal with such addictions, but the process is obviously complicated by the fact doctors and therapists have more issues they have to consider during treatment.
As stated above, you would be taking a terrible risk if you decided to start abusing Xanax and any type of opiate substance at the same time. If you find yourself addicted to either or both of these types of substances, you need to contact us as soon as possible about coming in for treatment. You can reach us 24/7 by dialing 800-737-0933. Given the risks you are facing with addiction, now is the time to call.