Methadone Toxicity Deaths
Methadone is a synthetic opioid used for analgesia and in opiate replacement programs, also called methadone clinics. Methadone is a central nervous system depressant. Methadone toxicity occurs when the load of methadone in a person’s system, is so great that it slows down the respiratory drive—the drive to breathe.
Thousands of patients die each year in every state from methadone toxicity, because methadone can have a long half life. This means that the time it takes for a patient to eliminate half of the methadone from his body may be as long as 100 hours. If a person has a slow metabolism of methadone, and takes several days to eliminate just half of it, then repeated dosing on a daily basis can lead to a toxic, or poisonous buildup.