Methadone Detox

Methadone detox and addiction treatment programs can help ensure a safe withdrawal process. Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is traditionally prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. However, as mentioned in the intro, it is also commonly used to help in treating certain opiate addictions, such as heroin.

Therefore, methadone is considered a Schedule II drug, the same as other opioids such as morphine and hydrocodone. As a result, a person abruptly stops or attempts to reduce methadone use sharply; they may experience various withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone Detox
Methadone Detox and Addiction Treatment Programs

Methadone Detox Withdrawal 

It is a medication that is prescribed to manage opioid addiction.  However, methadone itself can be addictive, and people who take methadone over some time can become physically dependent on it.

Common Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Cravings
  • Muscle Aches and Pains
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach Issues

A person might need to go through medically assisted methadone withdrawal for two reasons: either they have been misusing methadone or have been maintained on the drug and ready to end their maintenance.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse [1], methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) should last at least a year, and after this point, a person can decide with their doctor whether to stay maintained on the drug or be weaned off it.  Withdrawal from methadone usually starts later than other types of opioid withdrawal because the drug’s effects are so long-lasting.  However, you will likely begin to see withdrawal effects start around.

Thirty hours after your last use of the drug.  After this, symptoms may last between two and three weeks.

Dangers of Methadone Withdrawal Perilous Symptoms

  • Depression:  It is always challenging to know how severe the symptoms will become beforehand because every individual is different.
  • Anxiety:  The issues associated with withdrawal-induced stress are similar. 
  • Dehydration:  Methadone withdrawal can potentially make you sweat profusely, vomit, and experience diarrhea.  Your body will lose considerable liquid, putting you at risk for dehydration if you are not replenishing these fluids.

Relapse: Naturally, relapse is always the most dangerous potential side effect of withdrawal.

Methadone Overdose (mg)

Methadone is one of the safest and most effective medications around when used correctly and as prescribed.  However, the dose makes the poison, and when it comes to methadone, in particular, you have a somewhat clear picture of what a lethal amount looks like.

Methadone should not mix the two substances under any circumstances.  The same can be said for methadone and benzodiazepine concoctions.  As bizarre as it may come across, many experts also suggest that methadone patients or users avoid drinking grapefruit juice while on the drug. 

Methadone Detox Withdrawal Timeline

According to the typical methadone withdrawal timeline, when you are in the early withdrawal stage, symptoms can include agitation or anxiety, muscle aches, tearing eyes, runny nose, inability to sleep, and excessive yawning.  As withdrawal progresses, you may have symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, goosebumps, and dilated pupils.  Methadone is a long-acting opioid, and withdrawal symptoms generally appear around 30 hours after the last dose.  Acute methadone withdrawal can last for about 2–3 weeks, with symptoms improving gradually around the 10th day of departure.

You may experience a protracted withdrawal period or post-acute withdrawal syndrome, in which withdrawal symptoms may persist for weeks or months.  Physical symptoms of post-acute withdrawal can include fatigue.  Cognitive symptoms, such as having difficulty focusing on a task, may also occur.  Protracted withdrawal can consist of emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and constant irritability.

Signs of a Methadone Overdose

Signs are comparable to overdose symptoms and may include:

  • Low blood pressure and a weak pulse
  • Constricted or pinpoint pupils
  • Body spasms at irregular intervals
  • Dizziness or sloppy behavior
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Absence of breathing or consciousness

You may insinuate that they feel no pain whatsoever.  This may be the residual effects of the methadone masking their actual discomfort.  Overdose signs may present themselves up to 10 hours after methadone use. 

Methadone Overdose Symptoms

Methadone should never disregard overdose symptoms.  Different areas of the body may exhibit other symptoms:

  • Gastrointestinal System:  The stomach and surrounding muscle structures are susceptible to several complications.  These may include spasms, vomiting, constipation, and more.
  • Vascular and Respiratory System:  One’s lungs are a primary attack point for methadone overdose.  Labored breathing and a tight chest can occur.
  • Central Nervous System:  Becoming unnaturally confused or disoriented is not out of the question.  On top of this, one may experience drowsiness or fatigue.

Methadone Detox Overdose Treatment

Depending on the severity, physicians may choose to use activated charcoal to neutralize the drug in the stomach or perform gastric lavage to remove stomach contents entirely.  Victims will then be put on a regimen of IV fluids and monitored until overdose symptoms dissipate. 

Then, immediate procedures must take place to remove it.  Fortunately, several methods exist to do just that.  Getting a methadone overdose victim to the nearest emergency room is priority number one.  Overdosing on methadone means that a large amount of the medication is in the system.

Methadone Detox

Detox can do methadone detox at several facilities.  These include a medical facility such as a hospital, a dedicated detox center, or even a treatment facility that also provides detox services, such as We Level Up. However, attempting to self-detox at home can be incredibly dangerous and even life-threatening. It can also increase the likelihood of a relapse.

You struggle when it comes to getting off methadone for a couple of reasons.  First, you might be afraid of the symptoms that will come along with withdrawal.  Second, they might have even attempted to detox at home, and the side effects were so harmful they decided to continue using.  But, if you tried to get off of methadone and have struggled, the best and safest way to withdraw from methadone is by detoxing under the care and supervision of trained medical professionals.

Benefits Of Undergoing A Medical Detox

One of the most significant benefits of undergoing a medical detox is the around-the-clock medical care and supervision because you have trained medical professionals constantly checking on you, they can make the entire withdrawal and detox process as painless and comfortable as possible.  They will also make sure that you are slowly weaned off the methadone instead of just quitting cold turkey.

At We Level Up Treatment Center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope.  We work as an integrated team providing support through methadone detox and other aspects of treatment.  Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life.  Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.  Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.

Sources:

[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-long-does-drug-addiction-treatment