Methadone Detox

Methadone detox can make it much easier for people to overcome methadone addiction and withdrawal. Methadone withdrawals can be particularly devastating, causing severe physical withdrawal symptoms that often lead people to relapse before they can achieve lasting abstinence. 

Thankfully, several different treatment methods at Gloria Rehab can make the methadone detox process much simpler.

What Is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is often used to help treat withdrawal from opioid addiction. Yet paradoxically, methadone has a high potential for addiction and causes intense withdrawal symptoms of its own.

Methadone treatment is used to address opioid use disorders for a few key reasons:

  1. It activates the same opioid receptors as drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone
  2. It has a long half-life, meaning it can provide relief for several hours at a time
  3. It is generally considered safer than illicit opioid use

Yet the first two reasons for methadone’s effectiveness in addiction treatment make it addictive in its own right, and many people report that methadone detox is much more difficult to overcome than the opioid withdrawal it was designed to treat.


Methadone Addiction

Methadone is a controlled substance and is typically prescribed by physicians and addiction specialists at sites known as methadone clinics. People who enroll in a methadone maintenance program often attend these clinics every day to get their prescribed dose of methadone, which can range wildly between different patients.

In addition, methadone is often sold on the street, making it relatively easy for people to abuse the substance and develop a methadone addiction.

Yet, even if you are taking your methadone prescription as instructed by your doctor, it is possible to develop a serious substance use disorder by taking this synthetic opioid.

Methadone addiction can have several debilitating consequences, including:

  • Intense drug cravings
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that used to be important to you
  • Damaged friendships
  • Losing your job
  • Worsening mental health symptoms
  • Increasing tolerance for methadone
  • Financial problems

Many people living with methadone dependency and addiction will face severe withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop, making it all the more likely that they relapse before ever achieving recovery.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone withdrawal symptoms closely parallel the withdrawal symptoms associated with other opiate addictions. This includes both flu-like physical symptoms and debilitating psychological symptoms.

Physical Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

The physical symptoms of methadone withdrawal include:

  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Pain sensitivity
  • Aches
  • High blood pressure

The physical withdrawal process of methadone can be incredibly difficult to get through on your own, but professionals are available to help you manage the symptoms.

Psychological Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

In addition to severe physical symptoms, most people will experience a host of debilitating cognitive symptoms as well. This includes:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Drug cravings
  • Mood swings

Many of these uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms occur for an extended period, even after the physical symptoms of withdrawal have resolved. These are known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms and can last months if left untreated.

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

Due to the long half-life of methadone, methadone detox can last significantly longer than detox from other opioid drugs. This is part of the reason why many people have such a hard time quitting methadone, even when they’ve successfully completed detoxing from drugs such as heroin.

Most people experience discomfort from methadone detox for between two to three weeks, with post-acute withdrawal symptoms lasting for six months or even longer.

The First Week

The first week of methadone detox is often the hardest, with severe physical symptoms peaking between days six and seven. This could include vomiting, cramps, and several other intense, flu-like symptoms.

Week Two

The second week of methadone detox is when symptoms begin to recede, but they can still be incredibly uncomfortable and taxing. Many people who detox from methadone will experience severe depression or anxiety during this period and can have difficulty focusing or finding the motivation to do their everyday tasks.

Week Three

Week three and beyond is when people begin to feel better physically after withdrawal. Lingering mental health symptoms may still be a pressing concern at this point, and symptoms past the three-week mark are considered to be attributed to post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Medical Detox for Methadone Addiction

Fortunately, medically assisted detox can greatly reduce the severity of both physical and psychological withdrawal effects. Medical detox centers have several treatments, therapies, and tools available to drastically reduce symptoms of withdrawal and a team of medical professionals and addiction specialists who work together to help people feel better.


First Stage: Assessment

Medical detox starts with a thorough assessment phase. This helps our team determine the severity of methadone addiction as well as discover co-occurring factors, such as:


This information helps our team develop a targeted and personalized treatment plan to help people detox from methadone and start feeling better straight away.

Second Stage: Stabilization

Following assessment, clients enter a stabilization phase. During stabilization, the focus is on alleviating physical and psychological symptoms. This can include specific medications that can help opioid withdrawal, as well as therapies and treatments designed to help ameliorate cognitive symptoms.

Third Stage: Transition

Finally, the last stage of methadone detox revolves around transitioning to a substance use treatment center. At Gloria Rehab, our inpatient treatment program covers the full spectrum of addiction care, which means that our clients can transfer directly into our residential treatment program and begin building the skills needed for a lifetime in recovery from substance abuse.

Start Treatment at Gloria Rehab Today

If you’re struggling with addiction to methadone, beginning treatment at Gloria Rehab can make the detox and withdrawal process much easier. Our team has the experience, tools, and expertise to help anyone achieve recovery.

Reach out to Gloria Rehab by filling out our confidential online contact form to learn more about our treatment options. From the moment you get in touch, we’ll be there to help you through every step in your recovery journey — from detox to residential treatment to conquering mental illness and beyond.

Start Treatment at Gloria Rehab Today

When you’re ready to begin treatment, reach out to Gloria Rehab by filling out our online contact form. You don’t need to go through ketamine withdrawals alone. You can receive targeted and effective treatment from a team of professionals who truly understand and can help you achieve recovery.

Currently, we are unable to accept: Medi-cal, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, Kaiser, Healthnet, or Humana at this time.


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