Methadone a fix for prescription drug cravings but stigma exists - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Methadone a fix for prescription drug cravings but stigma exists

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CHARLESTON, SC -

   The number of those addicted to pain killers continues to climb. In some cases pill addiction is the second most treated addiction behind alcohol. For those who can't stop taking the powerful meds there are treatments that can work, including the most common one used for heroin addicts.

Jonas Coatsworth runs the methadone program at Charleston Center and he says the opiate addict is not the addict of years past.

"Our primary population today tends to be younger, between the ages of 18 to 35. They tend to be male slightly more so than female and they tend to be educated. We still have our IV heroin users that come in here but primarily its prescription drugs; taking it orally.

If an addict is looking to stop the taking the pills they will need some help. Coatsworth says the side effects of withdrawal are the same as heroine both mentally and physically.

"The same type of withdrawal whether if its heroine or prescription opiate. You have symptoms either with diarrhea, nausea, chills, the leg cramping."

But because of the different walks of life addicted to the prescription form there may be a sort of, "That's not me" attitude towards the methadone clinic. Methadone a synthetic drug treatment, has for years, been known to counter powerful heroine cravings and effects.

"They think methadone they think of a clinic, they think of IV heroin use. They think of people who are less advantaged, living the proverbial under the bridge or in a shelter just not having a lot of resources, but that couldn't be further from the truth." Said Coatsworth

The Charleston Center is at located in downtown at 5 Charleston Center Way. The center can be contacted at 843-958-3300.

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