Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is used to assist with addiction recovery and lower withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is a painkiller, and when used as prescribed it can be useful in supporting addiction recovery. Even though its function is to treat addiction, it can be addictive in itself. When not used under the supervision and guidance of medical professionals, methadone can put you at high risk of developing an addiction.
In the case of methadone addiction, methadone detox is a crucial step in the recovery process. Intrepid Detox Residential offers in-house detox programs that can help you on your journey to sobriety.
What is Methadone?
Methadone, also referred to under brand names like Dolophine or Methadose, is a prescription medication that is used to help treat opioid addiction. Its effectiveness comes from its ability to block opioid receptors in the brain. Essentially, this means it’s able to eliminate the euphoric effects of opioids and decrease the desire to use.
Methadone is also prescribed as a painkiller separate from other opioids. It changes the neuropathways in the brain to block messages of pain, similar to opiates. It’s synthetic, meaning it’s created purely from a lab.
Methadone is a long-acting drug. Its opioid receptor blocking effects can last up to three days when administered properly. Pain relief from methadone typically lasts four to eight hours. It can come in multiple forms including tablet, liquid, and wafer. Methadone treatment has been shown to be an effective therapy for opioid recovery, especially when integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan.
How is Methadone Administered?
Methadone should only be prescribed by a certified medical professional if it’s deemed a beneficial addition to a treatment program. In many cases, methadone is not a safe option for individuals with a severe history of addiction.
The length of methadone treatment will vary from person to person. By law, methadone may only be administered by a certified treatment facility that follows the guidelines of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Those trained under these guidelines will be able to professionally recommend and administer a treatment regime.
Dosages range between 5 and 40mg and are given either orally or by injection. When methadone is injected, effects will begin around 30 minutes after administration and last up to 8 hours. When taken orally, effects typically begin an hour after consumption and can last up to two days. This will depend both on dosage and the individual’s physical makeup. Methadone stays in the body for around four days.
Depending on the dosage, methadone may be administered multiple times a day in order to keep the effects from fading.
How Safe is Methadone?
When used for short durations and as prescribed, methadone is considered a safe medication. It does, however, come with risks. If methadone is abused, it can lead to serious side effects and overdose. For this reason, methadone is government-regulated and not allowed to be prescribed outside of addiction treatment centers.
Methadone obtained from outside of a clinic has risks of being combined with other drugs including heroin, fentanyl, and morphine. These drugs alone are dangerous, and when combined with methadone, they’ll reduce the overall function of methadone and lead to methadone addiction if taken for extended periods of time.
When taken properly in a clinical setting, methadone has shown to have a wide range of health benefits for opioid users. Studies report that methadone may help to improve sleep, anxiety, energy levels, and appetite.
Regardless of the benefits, methadone can be an addictive drug. When someone becomes addicted to methadone, they are at risk of the same health complications that other opiate addictions cause. Seeking a detox program for methadone addiction is the safest way to begin recovering from this addiction.
Side Effects of Methadone
A methadone high can produce a wide range of side effects, some of which are similar to an opioid high. Although methadone is a synthetic opioid, it’s still a painkiller and will have some similarities to opioids.
The most common effects of methadone include:
- Brain Fog
- Altered sensory perceptions
- Dry mouth
- Hot flashes
- Stomach pain
Not everyone will experience these side effects, and those who do will experience that at different levels of severity. Co-occurring health conditions, addictions, the severity of addiction, and body composition all play a role in the effects of methadone on each individual. It’s important to keep open communication with your provider so any changes to dosage can be made as needed.
How Addictive is Methadone?
When taken as prescribed, methadone is safe to use for short periods of time. Those who abuse methadone or take it for extended periods of time are at higher risk for addiction. It can cause both physical and psychological addiction, resulting in withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly. Taking methadone under the supervision of a medical professional will ensure that the chances of forming an addiction are lowered. Supervisors will be able to monitor usage and dosage and stop prescribing if any signs of addiction-forming habits arise. If someone does become addicted, a full detox is needed in order to begin recovering.
Addiction to methadone can cause a lot of psychological symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Although it is physically addictive, many people seek sobriety for additional reasons beyond just the physical. Methadone blocks the “negative” feelings in the mind and body, so stopping it could lead to severe anxiety and depression.
If you are wondering how long it takes to get off of methadone, there is no one answer. A combination of factors plays into this. On average, the detox length should be between two and four weeks. In some cases, it can last up to six months. The time it takes to get off of methadone should not discourage you from seeking treatment. Any amount of time spent working towards sobriety is worth it.
How Long is Methadone Withdrawal?
Methadone withdrawal can be an uncomfortable experience. Withdrawal symptoms typically begin 24 to 48 hours after the last dose and can last up to three weeks. Some symptoms that may be experienced during methadone withdrawal and detox include:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle pain and weakness
Symptoms tend to be the most intense in the first week of methadone detox. From there, the physical symptoms begin to subside and the psychological symptoms may be more prevalent. In some cases, methadone is better to wean off of by administering it in lower doses rather than quitting cold turkey. Discussing your physical symptoms, addiction history, and other relevant health information will give your medical supervisors insight into what methadone detox program is going to be best for you.
Withdrawal from methadone can cause health implications. For this reason, it’s crucial to ensure that the methadone detox program in Florida you choose is adequately staffed with medical professionals and resources.
Methadone Detox at Intrepid Detox Residential
Intrepid Detox Residential offers in-house detox programs of varying lengths to help clients safely and effectively detox from methadone. Although we follow the standard protocols for addiction detox, we tailor each program to the individual needs of our clients. We understand that more than just drug use plays into addiction. We take a comprehensive look at each client’s full profile and build a program to address all mental, physical, and emotional aspects of their addiction to methadone and opioids.
Our facility integrates hospital-level quality service with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere. We want to ensure you are emotionally and physically comfortable during the entirety of your stay. We offer state-of-the-art treatment services that combine medical and alternative therapies to sustain a well-rounded program.
Our staff is available 24/7 to help you with anything you might need. Our services include medicated assistance, psychological therapy, relaxation techniques/classes, as well as holistic therapies. We will supervise and adjust all treatments, and maintain clear communication so we can make any necessary adjustments to your program.
Whether you’re receiving methadone to assist in your recovery from opioid addiction, or if you’re recovering from methadone addiction, our staff is equipped to support you every step of the way.
Detox from Methadone with Intrepid Detox Residential
Intrepid Detox Residential understands the complexities of addiction and recovery. We treat all of our clients on an individualized and personal level. We take all aspects of clients’ lives and addiction into consideration when building a treatment plan.
When you arrive at our facility, we will ask you lots of questions about yourself. We want to be sure we gather any relevant information that could help us understand how we can support you best.
You will be given a full tour of our facility and given time to adjust to your new surroundings. Our hope is that while you are receiving treatment, even though it’s a difficult and scary process, you feel as at home and safe as you possibly can.
Find Out More About Our Detox Program
If you or a loved one is seeking sobriety, our facility is a great option for detox programs in Florida. We take pride in our facility, our staff, and our promise to keep you on the right track from day one. To find out more about our detox program for methadone, or any other services, contact us anytime.