Is Methadone Treatment Better Than Quitting Cold Turkey?

In almost every case, it is much safer, more beneficial, and much more likely to create a strong foundation of recovery to attend methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) than to quit your opioid use cold turkey. Call 800-530-0431Who Answers? now to learn more about rehab centers where you can receive access to medications, behavioral therapies, and other treatment options for addiction.

Quitting Cold Turkey is Dangerous

It is safer to attend MMT, or to choose some sort of professional treatment option for detox and addiction treatment, than to attempt to quit cold turkey. This is because quitting opioid abuse suddenly and without the use of professional medical care is dangerous.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Withdrawal from these drugs on your own can be very hard and may be dangerous,” which is why treatment requires a well-rounded program including “medicines, counseling, and support.”

The symptoms caused by opioid withdrawal are not considered to be life threatening, but they can be so painful and physically uncomfortable that many individuals return to abusing opioids. When this happens, an individual who has been attempting to withdraw will often now have a much lower tolerance but will not always know it. As a result, they are very likely to overdose, which can be deadly due to the respiratory depression caused by high doses of opioids.

Quitting Cold Turkey isn’t the End

Quitting Cold Turkey

Behavioral therapy is an essential part of MMT and addiction recovery.

Even if you are able to get through withdrawal by quitting cold turkey, this is not the end of your recovery, and it does not mean you have beaten your addiction. While you may no longer be dependent on opioids at this point, your body will still be highly addicted to them, meaning you will still experience cravings, constant thoughts about the drug, and a high potential for relapse. The only way this can be treated is with professional rehab.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, even going through medically assisted detoxification is not enough and is “only the first stage of treatment.” Therefore, a successful withdrawal is not enough to create a successful recovery. You will require professional treatment where you can receive access to:

  • Medications
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Holistic treatment options
  • Care from medical professionals
  • Aftercare options
  • Help for any vocational, financial, educational, housing, and legal problems you may have

While it is dangerous to quit abusing opioids cold turkey, those individuals who are able to do so often skip addiction treatment, believing they do not require this step because they are no longer dependent on opioids. But without the options listed above, your recovery will be much more fragile and relapse a much stronger likelihood.

Choose Professional Methadone Maintenance Help

Don’t try to go through withdrawal alone in order to avoid professional treatment. Call 800-530-0431Who Answers? now to find rehab centers that will cater to your needs and ensure that you are treated for and can withdraw from opioids as safely as possible. We can help you put an end to your substance abuse for good.

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How Our Helpline Works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.