Methadone Rehab – Finding the Right Treatment Center and Starting Recovery

Last Updated: June 24, 2020

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Methadone is an effective and useful painkiller in the correct dosage. However, many users of the drug get hooked. That is when it becomes necessary to have a methadone recovery plan. Rehab for methadone users is the clearest path to recovery. Methadone rehab helps to guide users away from excessive consumption of the drug with the aim of making their life drug free. Despite this, many users don’t know where to start when it comes to methadone addiction. That is why this article aims to clarify the different kinds of methadone rehab, what to expect during rehabilitation and how to take a first step to getting help.

Importance of Rehab for Methadone Addiction

Woman with head bowed in to knees, spilt pills beside her.
Methadone rehabilitation is vital for recovery from methadone addiction. Without rehab treatment, there is a risk of making an addiction worse by continuing to take the drug or even overdosing methadone. Due to methadone being an opioid drug, it is incredibly addictive, and without supervision, many users will struggle to quit at all. The controlled conditions individuals undergo while rehabilitating allow the person a much higher chance of effectively getting off methadone.
There are some different recovery programs to aid in recovery from methadone addiction. Each program differs slightly, so there is always something to suit each person, for example, someone who needs to maintain a daily routine can choose outpatient care and still get essential support in a home environment. A person should aim to choose the best program. It will aid in a recovery and help an individual to improve a health by getting off methadone for good.

How to Start Methadone Rehabilitation?

As an opioid, methadone is a very useful but also an addictive drug. According to SAMHSA, methadone is often prescribed to help guide addicts off the use of other drugs such as heroin. However, many users get hooked on methadone by taking it as medication initially, before becoming tolerant. This tolerance leads them to take more of the drug so that they receive the same painkilling effects. This then triggers them to become addicted.
If methadone addiction does set in, then it is essential to overcome it. Recovery from methadone addiction can be challenging but it necessary it is done as soon as possible.
The first step to solving an addiction problem is recognizing it as an issue. A person can then get the methadone addiction help they need. An individual should contact a medical professional. They will guide one through the steps needed to start a recovery from methadone addiction. One also needs to be in the right mindset. Overcoming addiction isn’t an easy task, so a person needs to be both mentally and physically prepared, before also putting oneself in a positive environment where one can be treated.

Methadone Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabs

Glass of methadone on a blue background.
When it comes to getting treatment for methadone addiction, a persons needs to ensure they get the right type of methadone rehab center for. There is a range of treatment options and rehabs for methadone users, including inpatient and outpatient rehab.
Inpatient Centers – Methadone inpatient treatment is ideal if an individual has suffered addiction for an extended period. It offers structure, as well as round the clock medical care. Furthermore, inpatient treatment usually includes both physical and psychological help, including group therapy, counseling, and medication.

  • Constant medical care
  • Daily structure
  • Various inclusive support programs


  • More expensive
  • Can be quite full on
  • Structure means one cannot continue day to day life

Outpatient Centers – Outpatient centers are effective rehab for methadone users in their home environment or similar. They allow the person to visit and get treatment a few times a week, to keep track of them, while the patient stays at home. This will enable them to maintain a healthy routine and have more flexibility.

  • Flexible structure
  • Cheaper
  • Lets the patient carry on with a healthy life
  • The more relaxed form of treatment
  • Helps inpatients to stay on track after they finish their treatment


  • Less structure, so patients are more likely to relapse
  • Medical care isn’t round the clock so may not be as effective as the care for inpatients

What to Expect During Methadone Rehab?

One of the most daunting parts of rehab is not knowing what to expect from it. Firstly, many people are unaware of the rehabs costs in both time and money. Secondly, the process is often unclear. So what are the true costs and processes of rehab?

How Much Does Rehab For Methadone Cost?

methadone rehab
Rehab for methadone can cost different amounts depending on a few factors. If a person decides to get private care, then it will always cost more than if one accepts public care. Furthermore, the cost is also higher with inpatient treatment, due to receiving round the clock care, counseling and therapy. Outpatient care still carries a cost due to therapy sessions and staff time, though it is much lower. The price of rehab for methadone will also vary from facility to facility, but the most expensive option may not necessarily offer the best care.

Is All Rehab For Methadone Private?

An individual can receive private care if they are recovering from methadone addiction, though there is also a public treatment option. However, general care treatment may vary, whereas individual will have a level of consistency due to the fee one pays covering staff wages and facility upkeep.

What Are The Stages Of Rehab?

The stages of rehab for methadone will slightly vary from one treatment to another. However, they will all have similarities are following similar patterns. An example of this is inpatients. They will always have to option to take up therapy and group counseling. This will have a set date and time that they attend every week, possibly on more than one occasion. This is the same with outpatients.
Outpatients will continue with their everyday lives when not receiving therapy or counseling. However, inpatients will still engage in activities which help them to avoid methadone relapse, such as coping strategies.
At first, when a patient undergoes treatment, they will be taken off the drug and experience severe methadone withdrawal symptoms. This is the hardest part of rehab, and once this stage has been overcome, it does become a little more comfortable. After that, it is all about the therapy and finding ways to deal with cravings for methadone.
If that is overcome, the final stages will be all about reintegration into a normal routine and ensuring there is no relapse, by utilizing group meetings.

Methadone Addiction – After Rehab

Overcoming addiction, including methadone addiction, can be challenging. Despite this, it is vital that a patient does not leave it another day to get help. By waiting just that little bit longer, addiction gets worse. That small elapse of time may even be the moment that causes an overdose. So it is important to seize the day and beat methadone addiction as soon as possible. The benefits for the health will be second to none.
Rehab for methadone addiction will not only help a person get over the drug but teach one how to deal with the cravings. It is vital that these cravings remain dealt with after rehab otherwise it can cause a relapse.
Fighting addiction after its gone can be one of the most challenging things as even the smallest thing can cause a lapse in sobriety. So remember coping techniques and make sure any counseling meetings are attended. Staying sober is best for the health and will help to give a freedom from drugs in the future.

It is always better to choose a recovery program rather than ignoring the adverse health effects addiction is having. In many cases, the longer a person leaves rehab then, the more difficult a recovery from methadone addiction will become.

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Published on: March 13th, 2017

Updated on: June 24th, 2020

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.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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