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Can a person overdose with methadone?

Overdose does occur with methadone. Obviously there are more deaths from non-methadone opioids, but methadone deaths do receive more media attention.

If you look into the deaths from respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmia in methadone individuals, you’ll find that more than half of them had benzodiazepines (central nervous system depressants) in their system. Alcohol can also be found in overdose situations. In other words, overdose cases often do not involve just methadone.

Many studies have examined detoxification versus methadone. One study showed that methadone maintenance resulted in greater treatment retention than abstinence-only counseling sessions, and a lower use of heroin. There are also fewer human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behaviors among methadone users versus an abstinence group. This is probably because they’re using less and aren’t sedated and euphoric.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.