Methadone has helped saved the lives of many addicts who have fought and overcome opiate addiction. But since methadone is also an opiate, some recovering addicts find themselves developing a new addiction to methadone during treatment. Recovering from methadone is not unlike recovering from morphine or heroin, meaning getting through the methadone addiction recovery process can also be a long and difficult journey.
As a synthetic opioid drug that mirrors the effects of morphine without producing the same euphoric high, methadone helps addicts stop taking dangerous opiates by minimizing withdrawal symptoms. Under careful medical supervision, methadone can be highly effective at helping addicts recover from more dangerous illicit drugs.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to methadone or opiates such as heroin, morphine, or codeine, call our helpline at 800-530-0431 to access guidance and resources that can help you recover in a safe and healthy manner. Our helpline is available 24/7 for your convenience.
Keep reading to learn more about how to safely and effectively recover from methadone addiction.
What to Expect From Methadone Withdrawal
The symptoms you experience from methadone withdrawal will vary depending on your unique personal relationship and history with methadone. Symptoms will vary based on factors such as the amount of methadone you’re taking at the time of detox from other opiates, the types of other medications you’re currently using, and whether you’re suffering from any underlying mental health disorders. In most cases, your physician can provide you with more insight as to what you can expect from methadone withdrawal based on your personal situation.
Methadone withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as 12 hours after your last dose, and can last for up to several weeks, unless your physician prescribes another medication to help minimize symptoms.
Common methadone withdrawal symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Irritability and moodiness
- Anxiety and/or stress
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramping
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and pains
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Dilated pupils
Choosing a Methadone Detox Method
There are several options available for methadone addiction recovery, depending on your unique needs as an individual. Most medical professionals suggest detoxing in a controlled inpatient medical environment where you have 24/7 access to medical support, especially if you’ve been addicted to methadone for a long period of time.
This helps ensure you have access to physicians in the event your health is jeopardized due to symptoms such as excessive vomiting and diarrhea, which can increase your risk for dehydration.
Most methadone addicts experience the worst symptoms during the first two weeks of quitting methadone. After the first seven to 10 days, withdrawal symptoms eventually start to subside and improve.
Tapering is another effective way to detox your body from methadone. Tapering is when your physician gradually lowers the methadone dosage over time, allowing your body to adjust to normal, healthy function without the use of medication. Tapering can take up to several weeks or several years — depending on your tolerance level — and is often a preferred detox method among doctors and their patients.
Surviving Methadone Addiction
The methadone addiction recovery process is different for everyone, as are the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms. Your best option is to talk to your physician to gain recommendations on the best recovery and detox method based on your health history.
Methadone abuse can be a serious life-or-death situation for you or your loved one. The best way to become healthier is to stop taking methadone, but it doesn’t mean you have to quit abruptly, or “cold turkey.” In most cases, working closely with your doctor can improve your recovery outcome and lower the risk of relapse.
If you’re scared or worried about struggling throughout the methadone addiction recovery process, keep in mind that its long-term benefits far outweigh the problems you’ll face with ongoing methadone addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with methadone addiction, please call our helpline at 800-530-0431 to learn more about the methadone addiction recovery process, and to locate a nearby methadone treatment center that can help you recover in the safest possible manner. Your privacy is guaranteed, and no commitment is required.