Detoxing Off Methadone – How Will I Know When I’m Ready?

Anyone in methadone treatment has likely seen a hard road as far as opiate addiction goes. Both chronic and long-term opiate abuse leave a person unable to function in the absence of the drug unless some form of treatment support is in place.

While methadone’s use as a long-term, maintenance treatment offers much needed support, at some point the time for detoxing off methadone will come. As coming off methadone too soon leaves a person wide open for relapse, it helps to know what signs to watch for so you’ll know when you’re ready for detoxing off methadone.

If you need help finding a methadone detox treatment program, call our toll-free helpline at 800-994-1867Who Answers? to speak with one of our addiction specialists.

Methadone Maintenance Treatment Objectives

Detoxing Off Methadone

Taking part in healthy recreational activities is a sign you’re ready to detox off methadone.

Methadone maintenance treatment serves two main objectives: to reduce withdrawal and drug cravings effects and break the cycle of compulsive drug-using behavior, according to National Academies Press. Methadone, the drug, works to reduce withdrawal and cravings effects, the two main drivers behind compulsive drug use.

Methadone programs also employ behavioral treatment interventions, which help recovering addicts replace compulsive drug use with healthy ways of coping with everyday stress and pressure. In effect, the drug and behavioral components work together to support a person’s efforts to maintain abstinence from drug use.

Things to Consider Before Detoxing Off Methadone

Life Circumstances

Much of what’s learned in the recovery process has to do with developing the type of stable lifestyle that makes drug-free living possible. By the time a person is ready for detoxing off methadone, he or she will have developed a daily routine of work, maintaining a home and engaging in drug-free recreational activities.

If your home life is chaotic and/or wrought with conflict, or your employment status is unstable, now might not be a good time to consider discontinuing methadone treatment.

Emotional State

It’s not uncommon for chronic opiate addiction to cause full-blown psychological disorders to develop during the course of drug use. If you’re recovering from a depression or anxiety disorder on top of an addiction problem, it’s especially important to ensure you’re able to manage depression and/or anxiety symptoms in your daily life before even considering detoxing off methadone.

Detox Method Used

Most all methadone maintenance treatment programs include a tapering phase that’s designed to help you wean off methadone once your ready. This is typically done on an outpatient basis and mild withdrawal effects will likely develop along the way. Ultimately, a person has to really be ready for detoxing off methadone in order to maintain continued abstinence under these conditions.

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, inpatient methadone detox programs provide ongoing monitoring and support and offer the safest means for detoxing off methadone, especially in cases where co-occurring psychological disorders are a factor.

Treatment Considerations

After all the work you’ve put into methadone maintenance treatment, the last thing you want to do is discontinue treatment prematurely and face the risk of relapse. As a general rule, a minimum of one year in methadone treatment gives a person the best chance at a successful recovery, so it’s best to not even consider detoxing off methadone until you’ve reached the one-year benchmark.

If you have more questions about detoxing off methadone or need help finding a methadone detox program, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-994-1867Who Answers?.

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