Methadone is used for medical purposes, including as a treatment for opioid drug addiction. Sadly, some people choose to abuse this drug and become addicted. Should a person abruptly discontinue the drug, withdrawal may occur. Withdrawal can become intolerable and painful, leading to agitation, gastrointestinal distress, muscle aches, and more. In the case of addiction, medical detox works to alleviate these and other symptoms, while preparing a person for treatment.
How Is Methadone Used?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug used to treat around-the-clock pain in individuals who don’t respond to other pain regimens. For addiction treatment, methadone is considered an evidenced-based medication by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Within this role it’s used to treat withdrawal in opioid addicted patients and within opioid maintenance programs.
Unfortunately, as an opioid, it can also be abused in a way which can lead to addiction. In any of these circumstances a physical dependency may form, which can lead to withdrawal, should the drug be abruptly ceased.
Can Methadone Be Abused?
Methadone possesses many of the characteristics hallmark to other opioid drugs, for better and for worse. These similarities are what make it an effective painkiller and treatment for addiction, however, they are also what set the stage for misuse, diversion, and addiction. Like other opioid drugs, both used as prescribed and recreationally, methadone can lead to tolerance and dependence.
Though by design methadone doesn’t create the intensity of euphoria that other opioid drugs of abuse (like heroin) create, it still entices recreational drug abusers. Also, some individuals who begin taking the drug for a prescribed purpose unintentionally stumble into abuse and addiction.
These individuals may begin to misuse their prescription how they see fit in an attempt to self-treat their pain. Using your own prescription in this way is not safe and does not protect you from addiction. On the contrary, these behaviors are considered abuse and significantly increase the risk of addiction.
What Are The Symptoms Of Methadone Withdrawal?
Physical dependency occurs when your body adapts to the constant influx of the drug, in the capacity it relies on the methadone to function. This doesn’t just happen within addiction. Even individuals who take methadone as prescribed may become dependent on the drug.
In either instance, should a person refrain from tapering the drug and suddenly stop it instead, their body’s systems will go haywire. What physical and mental symptoms result are referred to as withdrawal (addiction most commonly creates more severe symptoms). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comments on these states, noting that “Withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other opioids but are less severe, slower in onset, and last longer.”
These symptoms include:
- Dysphoric state
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Suppressed appetite
- Teary eyes
While some of these symptoms may seem fairly benign in nature, combined they can become extremely unbearable and many times painful. To avoid these, we recommend you never quit “cold turkey” (suddenly) and also that you never attempt to withdrawal on your own.
What’s The Best Way To Withdrawal From Methadone?
If you’re taking methadone for a prescribed purpose you should never determine on your own when to discontinue the drug. And secondly, when it’s time to reduce or stop methadone, you should only do so under the direct supervision of a physician.
When used as a medical treatment, the prescribing doctor should gradually taper you off of the drug as to avoid unpleasant side effects of withdrawal. These professionals are trained and understand how to best do this to avoid any complications and further strain to your physical and mental states.
If you’re using methadone illicitly and are struggling with an addiction and want to stop, please refraining from detoxing on your own. Doing so can become overwhelming, as the withdrawal side effects cannot adequately be self-treated, leading to immense pain, discomfort, and even various dangers. If you want to begin living a drug-free life, we can help you find a program which offers a medical detox and an accompanying treatment program.
How Is Methadone Withdrawal Treated During Addiction?
For those individuals who are seeking to overcome a methadone addiction, the first step will likely be a medical detox. A medical detox helps those with a moderate to severe addiction to progress through withdrawal by minimizing the discomfort and pain which would otherwise overcome them. As chronic drug use continues, toxins from the drug build up within your system. A medical detox supports your body while it cleanses itself from these damaging substances.
The facility’s highly-trained medical staff will administer medication-assisted therapies, quite commonly by aid of buprenorphine, to help you stabilize during withdrawal. Nutritive and emotional support will also be provided to help your physical and mental states find greater balance during this time.
Should You Seek Treatment For A Methadone Addiction?
Contrary to what some people may think, detox is not enough to create a sober life. Detox does help you to find physical sobriety, but it’s critical that you address the psychological aspects of addiction as well. To do this, we strongly recommend that you progress to an inpatient drug rehab program. Many facilities even offer both medical detox and treatment, that way you can transition smoothly into the next stage of your recovery.
An inpatient program will remove you from the stress and triggers of your outside life, so that you can focus only on elements which enhance a sober and positive life. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and motivational interviewing (MI) may be used to help you overcome and cope with the negative behaviors and thoughts which could fuel the addicted state. Other unique and engaging modalities may also be offered, including:
- Adventure therapy
- Art therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Equine therapy
- Family therapy
- Pet therapy
- Wilderness therapy
Whatever the circumstances that brought you here, know that DrugRehab.org can help you build a treatment plan which will support you as you pursue a drug-free life.
Find An Effective Program Today
Methadone is best treated within a good rehab program which offers both a medical detox and inpatient treatment. If you’d like to learn more about how to safely detox from methadone so that you can overcome your addiction, contact us now. Your call is confidential and DrugRehab.org has the best resources and treatment options to help you today.
For More Information Related to “Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:
- The Psychological Effects Of Methadone
- Methadone vs. Suboxone: Pros And Cons Of Both
- The Long-Term Effects of Taking Suboxone
- The Dangers of Snorting Suboxone
- What is Methadone?