Methadone Addiction Detox: Heaven or Much More of A Hell

Methadone Detox

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If a person is struggling with a Methadone addiction, then it can be extremely helpful to understand the process of detoxing and healing from this health issue. Methadone addiction can be extremely serious and therefore, the Methadone detox and withdrawal processes can be difficult. Here is a closer look at all of the things one needs to know about how to detox from Methadone.

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Table of Contents

What is Methadone Detox?

The bottle of methadone on a table.

Methadone is a drug that is often prescribed to people to help them get over an opioid addiction. However, even though Methadone can help people get off of dangerous opioids, it can also be addicting in and of itself. Methadone addiction can be a very serious problem. Methadone detox is the process of getting a person off of Methadone and allowing the body to clear the Methadone from the system. This often involves an addict entering a Methadone clinic and going through detox under the supervision of a doctor.

Detoxing from methadone can be a very intense process due to severe withdrawal symptoms that can occur. Also, using the drug in general can be dangerous. It is common for there to be over 10,000 Methadone-related hospital visits per year in U.S. hospitals. Because of the strong risks of addiction and dependence and overdosing on Methadone, people who believe that they may be abusing Methadone should enter treatment and go through detox.

How Long Does it Take to Detox From Methadone?

Unlike other drugs, such as stimulants, Methadone detox can take a very long time to go through. This is because oftentimes, Methadone addicts cannot simply stop taking the drug cold turkey. This is because the symptoms of withdrawal can make the person feel extremely sick and the risk of a Methadone relapse may be too high. So, instead, Methadone doses often have to be tapered down, over a period of weeks or months, extending the detox period.
A quick detox using Methadone is not usually possible unless the person has only been taking a small amount of Methadone. Otherwise, a medical detox from Methadone can last from one month up to many months. If a person has been wondering how to detox from Methadone quickly, the answer is that one might not be able to. In fact, it is often recommended that people with severe Methadone addictions get treatment for up to twelve months to increase the chances of a positive treatment result and to prevent a relapse.

Are There Any Dangers of Methadone Detox?

Methadone Detoxification

In general, it is far safer to detox from Methadone than to simply keep using it for an unlimited amount of time. This is because the longer that a person uses Methadone, the greater the chances will be that one will overdose or do permanent damage to the body. Methadone withdrawal is significantly more intense than withdrawal for other types of drugs.

All of the following symptoms can occur with Methadone withdrawal:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Mood Swings
  • Lightheadedness
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

In some circumstances, these symptoms can be medically serious. For this reason, if an individual is going through Methadone detoxification, then it is much better to do it at a treatment facility under the care of a trained and professional staff. Medical detox from Methadone is much safer than non-medical detox from Methadone.

Methadone Detoxification Treatment

Methadone addiction therapy in groups.
If a person is addicted to Methadone, then it is extremely important that a person gets off of this drug and get into Methadone detoxification treatment. This is because every day that one continues to use Methadone, they are putting themselves at risk of adverse health effects. However, if one enters an inpatient Methadone detox, then they have a strong chance of beating an addition and getting the life back. There are treatment program options all across the country. In fact, there are even some free Methadone detox programs.

Methadone Detox Centers

These are places where one can detox from Methadone safely and under the care of medical professionals. It is much better to do detox this way then at home with no medical supervision. If one attempts to detox with no medical assistance, then one could put oneself at serious risk of suffering a health problem in the event that the detox resulted in a medical complication.

Methadone Detox Programs

Methadone detox programs are another option for methadone detoxing. These programs may involve group therapy or long-term planning for how to avoid Methadone. They may also involve individual counseling with a therapist, etc. Methadone treatment can be done in an inpatient facility, which involves patients living at the treatment center, or it can be done at an outpatient facility which involves patients coming for treatment during the day and going home at night.

Final Thoughts

Methadone detox can take months. However, after it is completed, patients often have a brand new outlook on life. When Methadone addiction goes untreated, it often ruins people’s’ lives and can even result in their deaths. For this reason, it is highly advisable to go through Methadone detox. With a successful detox, a complete recovery from Methadone addiction is possible.

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Olivier George

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


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