Legal medications like methadone often serve as a replacement for other opioids in drug treatment programs. Generally, doctors don’t prescribe benzodiazepines, like Xanax or Valium, with methadone because they both inhibit the same area of the brain that tells your lungs to keep breathing while you sleep. It’s common for people who mix the two to fall asleep and never wake up.
The Dangers of Mixing Methadone with Benzodiazepines
Methadone is an opioid medication that is used as a pain reliever and is sometimes prescribed by doctors to reduce withdrawal symptoms in those who are addicted to narcotics. As with all legal opioid medications, it’s possible to become addicted to methadone even at normal doses.
Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety issues and may be used as a muscle relaxant when treating other withdrawal symptoms. Valium and Xanax are both examples of benzodiazepines.
While physicians are well aware of the perils of mixing opioids and benzodiazepines, those who abuse drugs may not realize the danger. For example, if a person who is on heroin goes to a doctor to get a prescription for Xanax to help with their anxiety, and doesn’t want to tell their doctor they’re also using an illegal drug, the doctor may not know they need to warn their patient of the risks of mixing the two, including:
- Lethargic Body Response
- Abnormally Shallow Breathing
- Low Blood Pressure
- Respiratory Arrest
- Cardiac Arrest
Opioids and benzodiazepines are two of the most commonly abused drugs in the world. It’s easy to mistakenly – or knowingly – combine the two.
Methadone is a Poor Replacement Opioid for Recovery
Opioid withdrawal symptoms are severe, and methadone is an opioid many detox programs use to reduce discomfort in recovering addicts. Although it’s less dangerous that other opioids, it’s still very addictive.
Replacing one drug with another is not a good solution even if the replacement drug is FDA approved. It doesn’t stop the cycle of addiction and merely creates a substitute that may be just as difficult to recover from as the one it’s meant to replace. When you become addicted to methadone, higher and higher doses are needed to achieve the desired result.
Natural Detox and Recovery
It is possible to recover from opioids naturally. While you may be on medication temporarily when you begin detox, the entire focus of our treatment is to get you drug-free for life.
Our highly-customized programs focus on restoring your health so that you can move into a brighter future completely drug-free. We work to empower our clients to make positive choices that build confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem. We know that you can become empowered to the point that you won’t need drugs to feel healthy and happy.
We use alternative drug-free therapies such as massage, aromatherapy, and nutritional supplements. They go a long way to helping you stay comfortable through your detox process as you transition off of drugs. It’s important to also include exercise and proper nutrition, which are slowly incorporated during your first month.
You are not alone on this journey. We’re here to help. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to benzodiazepine, heroin or opioids, it’s time to learn more about how our holistic treatment program can bring you out of addiction and into a life of wholeness and freedom.