Methadone use has increased in pain management and drug replacement therapy for addicts despite hundreds of people dying each year from black market use.
According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administrations Drug Abuse Warning Network, in 2001 there was in excess of 10,000 individuals who turned up to emergency rooms following methadone abuse. This was double the amount of emergency room visits from the previous year.
Alarmingly, Methadone has become the most lethal drug in the state of Oregon while deaths are rising in Nevada, Montana, Maryland, West Virginia, Florida an North Carolina.
Methadone was developed by German chemists as a painkiller during World War II and has been widely used as drug replacement therapy to get addicts off heroin and other opiates. There are currently more than 1,200 facilities that dispense methadone to addicts, totaling approximately 200,000 patients. While methadone may not produce the same high as heroin or Oxycontin, it is more physically addictive and more difficult to withdraw from.