Methadone

Definition - What does Methadone mean?

Methadone is a synthetic drug designed to replace addiction to natural opiates like heroin or morphine. While methadone is administered for medicinal purposes, it has identical habit-forming properties as heroin. Methadone is distinct from heroin and other opiates by counteracting their intoxicating effects with simulated neurochemical responses in the brain. This includes obstructing neural receptors that trigger anxiety and pain while substituting cravings induced by opiates. Methadone addiction consists of a large number of symptoms including nausea, hallucinations, sweating, irritability, and mood instability.

WorkplaceTesting explains Methadone

Methadone is a common drug that was originally developed in Germany in 1939. It is not a cure for opiate addiction, instead it is a longer lasting and more controlled substitute for opiates. Methadone is known to be abused by some and there are health concerns with the drug. Methadone withdrawal and addiction has been described as addicts as worse than heroin withdrawal and a more powerful addiction.

Addiction clinic facilities specializing in an outpatient or ongoing rehabilitation capacity are legally entitled to provide methadone treatment to patients. With substance abuse considered a disability in some cases, people using methadone for recovery reasons can apply for or retain employment absent discrimination. However, methadone is classified as a narcotic substance included in standard 10 panel and 12 panel drug testing kits. An applicant or employee who tests positive must produce documentation to an employer explaining methadone use for recovery treatment.

The Federal Rehabilitation Act (FRA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from interfering with an applicant and/or employee’s medical needs for methadone treatment. This means the employer provides ample latitude for people who require frequent doctor appointments, attending scheduled group and/or individual therapy sessions, and taking indefinite medical/sick leave.

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