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:
- It activates the same opioid receptors as drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone
- It has a long half-life, meaning it can provide relief for several hours at a time
- 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 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
It may be difficult for those addicted to methadone to quit independently (especially cold turkey), and the best way forward is to detox from methadone under the care of a reputable treatment center. 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 Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
Methadone users generally experience withdrawal symptoms similar to the withdrawal symptoms associated with other opioids. This includes both flu-like physical symptoms and debilitating psychological symptoms.
Physical symptoms of methadone withdrawal
Common physical symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramps
- Hot and cold flashes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Severe pain
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle aches
- High blood pressure
The physical withdrawal process of methadone can be life-threatening and incredibly difficult to get through on your own, but professionals are available to help you manage the symptoms.
Psychological symptoms of methadone withdrawal
Most people will experience a host of debilitating cognitive symptoms as well. Common symptoms include:
- Drug cravings
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
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.
Medical professionals typically use medications such as buprenorphine to help alleviate symptoms of withdrawal, and psychological counseling to help patients cope with their cravings. By treating both the physical and psychological components of addiction, individuals can find lasting recovery from methadone addiction.
At Gloria Detox and Rehab Center, we often incorporate medication-assisted treatment into our detox program to help our patients through the withdrawal process. Withdrawal medications such as buprenorphine and other medications are most effective when they are part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes individual therapy, group therapy, and lifestyle education. These comprehensive treatments help individuals develop the skills to live a life of sobriety and learn how to cope with triggers for relapse. Withdrawal medications such as buprenorphine are also used for long-term maintenance treatments to help prevent relapse when combined with psychosocial support.
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.
During the first week of detox, many individuals report an increase in physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. As these symptoms begin to subside, psychological withdrawal kicks in with the onset of depression and cravings. The final stage is when post-acute withdrawal symptoms start to present themselves, including insomnia, anxiety, agitation and drug cravings.
By understanding the withdrawal timeline and seeking professional help, individuals can work towards long-term sobriety from methadone addiction. With proper treatment, individuals can develop the skills necessary to manage their addiction and cope with any triggers for relapse. With time and determination, lasting recovery from methadone is possible.
If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms associated with chronic methadone use or other opiates, it is important to seek professional help immediately. The team at our methadone detox center in Los Angeles will ensure your safety while providing the necessary care and support throughout the detox process. We understand that this is a difficult time, but with the help of the experts at our treatment center, you can overcome substance abuse and move on to a healthier, happier life. For more information about our treatment programs, health care providers, or how we treat addiction at our treatment facility in Los Angeles, call (818) 659-9444 today.
Medical Detox for Methadone Addiction
For those who are struggling with methadone addiction, professional medical detox services can be incredibly beneficial. When done under the supervision of a licensed medical professional, this form of treatment helps to minimize some of the more dangerous symptoms associated with withdrawal while also helping the patient stay comfortable and safe.
Methadone detox services also provide additional support through counseling and therapy sessions to help the patient develop new coping mechanisms for dealing with addiction triggers. This can go a long way in helping individuals vulnerable to relapse during early recovery.
Methadone addiction is a difficult condition to overcome, but it’s not impossible. With the right combination of support, professional medical detox services, and therapy, it is possible to make a full recovery from methadone addiction.
Medically assisted detox can greatly reduce the severity of both physical and psychological withdrawal effects. Many people find that the combination of physical and psychological treatments helps them achieve long-lasting sobriety. With professional support and a personalized treatment plan, individuals can gain a better understanding of their addiction and learn how to cope with triggers for relapse. With the right treatment plan, lasting recovery from methadone addiction is possible.
Methadone Detox in Los Angeles for Addiction Recovery
Take the first step toward a successful recovery by calling our drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA at (818) 659-9444. Our detoxification services are tailored to your unique needs and can help you find a deeper understanding of the challenges that drove your addiction, so you can make lasting changes in your life. With the right care, you or your loved one can safely and effectively achieve sustainable recovery. If you’re ready to begin living free of drug use, contact Gloria Rehab today to begin your journey.