When I was a counselor at a methadone clinic, many patients entering treatment would ask me, “does methadone get you high?” To which I would reply, “yes and no.” There are several factors which will determine whether or not methadone will produce a methadone high.
This article will teach you everything there is to know about the methadone high and how to stay safe taking prescribed methadone. You will also learn how taking certain drugs can increase the chances of getting high on methadone, and why this can be dangerous.
Table of Contents
- Can Methadone get you High?
- Does Methadone get you high if you don’t have a Tolerance?
- Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with Benzos?
- Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with Alcohol?
- Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with other Opiates?
- Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with Illicit Drugs?
- Methadone High and what it Feels Like
- Getting High off Methadone
Can Methadone get you High?
Yes. Methadone can definitely get you high. However, it’s not intended to do so. While taking a therapeutic dose, methadone does not produce a high. A therapeutic dose can be described as the precise amount that is needed to eliminate opioid withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings. This is different from person to person.
Some people can achieve this with 40mg, while others may need 100mg and up. Also, if the person taking methadone does not have a tolerance to opioids, they can get high on a very small amount. This is very dangerous because it’s easy to overdose.
Methadone also has a long half-life. Half-life refers to the time required for the concentration of the drug to reach half of it’s original value. This means that the effects of methadone come on gradually. It does not hit you quickly like opioids with a short half-life. Some opioids with a short half-life are: oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, morhphine, etc.
So can methadone get you high?
Under normal circumstances, no. However, many individuals get high as a kite on methadone.
Here are some of the ways this can happen:
- Taking more methadone than is necessary to achieve the therapeutic benefits
- Taking methadone in combination with benzodiazepines such as: Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan etc.
- Taking methadone in combination with alcohol
- Taking methadone in combination with other opioids
- Taking methadone with illicit drugs
- The person taking methadone does not have a tolerance to opioids
Does Methadone get you high if you don’t have a Tolerance?
Getting high on methadone is possible if you don’t have an opioid tolerance. Methadone is for people that have a serious addiction to opiates.
Methadone should only be taken under two circumstances:
- When the person has a prescription from their doctor
- When they attend a methadone clinic
Note: Methadone is a very powerful drug and must not be taken for recreational use. People who take methadone without a prescription or opioid tolerance are at a higher risk for overdose.
Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with Benzos?
The chances of getting high off methadone is increased if it’s taken with benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as benzos. Benzos refer to CNS depressant drugs such as: Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan etc. Taking benzos with methadone produces a synergistic effect. This is because methadone is also a CNS depressant. The combination of these two drugs can easily lead to a strong methadone high, and in severe cases, death due to respiratory failure.
Since methadone and benzos both slow your breathing down a great deal, their combination can be fatal. This is the number one reason a person can die taking methadone. However, I will add that I had many patients on methadone that were prescribed benzos for severe anxiety. If benzos and methadone are taken together while being prescribed and monitored by your doctor, it can be safe.
Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with Alcohol?
Getting high on methadone is possible if you take it in combination with alcohol. Alcohol is also a CNS depressant. Alcohol should never be consumed while taking methadone. This can lead to methadone high, overdose and death.
Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with other Opiates?
Getting high off methadone is sometimes possible if taken with other opiates. However, this usually isn’t the case. Methadone is intended to block out the effects of other opiates. This is an interesting topic though. While working as counselor at a methadone clinic I saw patients have different reactions. Some patients could still get high on opiates while taking methadone. But many patients were not able to get high on opiates while taking methadone.
Patients on a lower dose of methadone had an easier time getting high using other opiates. Patients on higher doses were often unable to do this, much to their disappointment. Taking methadone with other opiates should always be avoided. It can lead to methadone high, overdose and death.
Does Methadone get you High if you Mix it with Illicit Drugs?
Getting high on methadone is also possible when it’s taken with illicit drugs. Cocaine, meth, PCP, and other illicit drugs can increase the methadone high.
Methadone High and what it Feels Like
Methadone high can produce the following effects:
- Pain relief
- Nodding out
- Slow breathing
- Drowsiness or energy (some people have this opposite effect)
- Difficulty or inability to urinate
Getting High off Methadone
Getting high off methadone should always be avoided. It’s simply not worth the risk. Many people have died as a result of trying to get high on methadone. Methadone can also be an amazing medication when used correctly. Patients who take a therapeutic dose under the supervision of a doctor can start the road to opiate recovery.
So there you have it…..does methadone get you high?
Yes…and No! Be safe.