According to the Centers for Disease Control, heroin and other opiate addiction has reached epidemic proportions. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to stop opiate addiction. One of the more common addiction treatments is using methadone to stop the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Like most medications, it has some side effects of its own. One of the more troublesome side effects of using methadone to treat opiate addiction is addiction to methadone. Fortunately, there is a very simple solution to methadone addiction and you can be well on your way to being methadone free before Christmas.
Methadone Maintenance Programs
Once you are off the opiate and on methadone, you will not suffer the symptoms of withdrawal. You can remain on a methadone maintenance program indefinitely and many people due. Methadone treats chronic pain without many of the unpleasant effects of heroin or other illegal opiates. Many people who take methadone to treat chronic pain do so for many years without any adverse effects.
It is possible to stay on methadone for as long as the chronic pain exists. Methadone has been in use for over 50 years and although there is some long term damage from using it, the damage is far less than traditional opiate painkillers and illegal narcotics.
Methadone Tapering Programs
Depending on the level of methadone you are on, you could potentially taper off methadone by Christmas. This would leave you drug free for the holidays. In order to taper off the methadone, you need to talk to your doctor. He or she will decide on the tapering schedule at works best for you. Tapering is a gradual reduction of methadone over a period of time. Usually a doctor starts at full dose and then reduces it by a fraction every few days or over a week.
It is important to follow the doctors tapering schedule exactly to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and cravings. By tapering it off bit by bit, your body gets used to the lack of methadone gradually. This gradual decrease stops the methadone cravings and withdrawal.
It is important to remember that if tapering is not done right or if you continue to use more than the tapered amount tapering will not work. It is very easy to slip off a tapering schedule if you attempt to do it on your own. Tapering does not work as well for people with chronic pain who need some form of painkiller to function normally.
Tapering and starting a maintenance schedule are the two most popular ways to deal with methadone addiction before the holidays.
Stopping Methadone Cold Turkey
It is important not to stop methadone without first consulting a doctor even if you want to stop by Christmas. Stopping methadone abruptly can cause serious harm or relapse into opiate use. You can only stop an opiate addiction quickly by tapering or by settling on a methadone dose that is just adequate.
For more information on what to do about a methadone addiction before Christmas, call us at 800-530-0431. We can help you review your options and come to a decision on methadone addiction and treatment.