After going through so many months or years of methadone treatment, the notion of having to undergo yet another round of treatment just to get off methadone may well seem unnecessary. Considering how methadone works to stabilize a person’s emotions and physical well-being, it’s easy for a person to feel as if he or she can stop methadone treatment altogether and be fine. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Methadone detox centers act as a transition point between methadone treatment and living a drug-free life once and for all. Whether you’re coming towards the end of methadone treatment or want to stop treatment altogether, there are certain things you should know about how methadone works and the range of difficulties you’ll likely encounter when coming off the drug.
Methadone’s Treatment Purpose
Methadone treatment serves two main purposes: restoring a normal chemical balance in the brain and relieving withdrawal and drug cravings effects. According to the Western Journal of Medicine, methadone produces long-acting effects, which enables a person to overcome compulsive drug-using behaviors while stabilizing his or her emotions and overall physical well-being.
During the course of methadone treatment, a person learns how to cope with daily life without the need for the “highs” that addictive opiates bring. In the process, brain chemical imbalances left behind by chronic opiate abuse return to normal.
If you’re considering going off methadone and feel you may need help, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-530-0431 for information on available treatment options.
The Effects of Stopping Methadone “Cold Turkey”
Methadone works as a type of replacement therapy in terms of replacing the brain’s need for highly addictive opiates (like heroin) with methadone, a synthetic opiate that carries a lower addiction potential. This means, a person will still experience some form of withdrawal when stopping methadone use, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Stopping methadone “cold turkey” will bring on the same types of withdrawal effects as other opiate-based drugs, including:
- Drug cravings
- Aches and pains
Under these conditions the risk of relapse runs high regardless of how long a person has spent in methadone treatment. Herein lies the need for methadone detox center treatment.
The Need for Methadone Detox Center Treatment
Methadone’s long-acting effects stem from its ability to stay in the body for a long period of time compared to highly addictive opiates. Likewise, the methadone detox period can run for as long as 30 days compared to the average two-week withdrawal period for other opiates.
During this time, a person stands to experience considerable emotional turmoil, not to mention intense drug cravings. In the absence of need treatment supports, all the work put into overcoming opiate addiction can quickly go down the drain.
Rather than stopping methadone altogether, methadone detox centers taper dosage amounts over the course of weeks at a slow rate to reduce the severity of withdrawal and cravings effects. This process takes place within a closely monitored treatment setting to ensure a person’s comfort and reduce the risk for relapse.
At all stages of the recovery process, ensuring needed treatment supports are in place goes a long way towards increasing your success in recovery.
If need help find treatment that meets your needs, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-530-0431 to speak with one of our addiction specialists.