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Methadone Category: Opioids

Also called: meth, juice, phy.

How it’s used

Methadone is a green or blue liquid which you drink. It can only be prescribed by certain GPs. Methadone can help you reduce your cravings if you are addicted to heroin. It is an opiate, from the same family as heroin and morphine.

Short-term effects

Long-term effects

Other dangers

If you are pregnant

If you are addicted to heroin, your doctor can prescribe methadone to stabilise you before your baby is born. Your baby may go through withdrawal symptoms after birth. Only use methadone under medical supervision and only during your middle trimester (3-6 months of pregnancy).


Methadone is physically and psychologically addictive, so your body craves it and you feel you can’t cope without it. You can build tolerance so you need to take more to get the same effect.


You will start withdrawal within 72 hours of your last dose. Withdrawal is less severe if you reduce your dose gradually rather than stop suddenly. Opiate withdrawal symptoms include aches, tremor, diarrhoea, sweating and chills, sneezing, yawning and muscular spasms. You may have sleep problems, cravings and mood swings for weeks.

How long does it stay in your system?

Methadone shows up in a urine test for 2-3 days. (The length of time depends on the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only).

What help is available?

« Back to Types of Drugs page
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