Methadone was created as an alternative to heroin in the treatment of heroin addiction. It’s a synthetic opiate which has similar effects to heroin, but doesn’t deliver the same high. Its other purpose is to act as a pain killer, and like other opiates, the feeling sit produces are: ‘feelings of warmth’, total relaxation, feelings of detachment, and reduction of pain – both mental and physical. In addition, they actually depress the nervous system – slowing everything down. Methadone is often prescribed to patients that are addicted to heroin; it’s used as an alternative. The dose is reduced little by little, thus avoiding the inevitable withdrawal symptoms. Due to recent changes in UK drug treatment policies, a number of people have become dependent on significantly high doses of methadone. The usual detox time is 5mg per week, if a patient were to be on 70mls, this would take approximately 12 weeks. Methadone overdoses can be fatal, due to breathing complications; as well as leading to a coma. Used illegally, it carries risks. Prescribed by a doctor however – it can be supervised, the correct dosage, and you can be sure that it hasn’t been altered in any way. Street methadone, like many street drugs are completely unpredictable and can be very potent. The risk of stillbirth and miscarriages are greatly increased with opiate users; and often they give birth to smaller babies. If you are using whilst pregnant however, it’s dangerous to suddenly withdraw, as this can cause premature labour and miscarriages. The use of methadone can be carried on throughout a pregnancy to minimise the associated risks. Combining methadone with alcohol, or other sedatives can have fatal consequences. It is easier to overdose, and it can lead to respiratory failure or even a coma. Without a prescription, possessing or supplying methadone is illegal. It’s controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Like other Class A drugs, you can face up to 7 years in prison and an unlimited fine for possession. For supply, there is also an unlimited fine, as well as life imprisonment.