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How to Detox From Methadone

How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone

Overcoming Methadone Addiction

The opioid epidemic has resulted in millions of misused prescriptions and thousands of deaths each year since it began in the late 1990s. Opioids are an addictive group of painkilling drugs that can be legitimately prescribed for numerous reasons, often to treat acute pain. But, if these drugs are misused or taken for prolonged periods, addiction can develop. People may resort to obtaining drugs from the illicit market if they can no longer get the medication prescribed by a doctor.

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How to Detox From Methadone

For some who struggle with drug addiction, what’s meant to be the answer only leads to a bigger problem. This is the case with methadone. This prescription medication is often used to help those who have an addiction to heroin or other opioids by mitigating withdrawal symptoms. However, clients who misuse their methadone prescription can become dependent on this drug instead, leading them to trade one addiction for another.

The dangers of opioid addiction are well-documented, but recovery is possible. Methadone is often used as part of the treatment plan for treating opioid addiction, helping to curb cravings. However, methadone is also an opioid itself.

If you have a methadone addiction, you should never attempt to quit on your own. A medically supervised detoxification program is an essential first step to breaking free from the drug’s grip. The team at Diamond House Detox provides a comfortable facility where those struggling with methadone addiction can allow the drug to work its way out of your body’s system in a safe environment. Learn about methadone use and what to expect when detoxing from methadone.

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How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone

What Is Methadone and How Is It Used?

Methadone is a synthetic agonist, which means it helps decrease the cravings associated with the detox process. This drug also blocks the effects of opioids. Methadone is commonly used as a part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is a comprehensive treatment approach that integrates medication, counseling and behavioral therapy to address substance use disorders.

Methadone is administered with doctor supervision. The medication can come in different forms, including a powder, liquid or diskette. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) involves taking the medication daily to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The duration of methadone treatment varies from person to person. Some people may need to see their care team in person to take their methadone, while others may be able to take doses at home.

How Does Someone Become Addicted to Methadone?

This medication is used to help treat addiction, but is methadone addictive? Methadone is still an opioid, which means it is addictive, and there is potential for misuse. When administered by a doctor, a methadone treatment plan will include steps for safely tapering off the medication. Once someone begins misusing methadone, addiction can quickly become possible. Taking more methadone than prescribed and seeking prescriptions from multiple sources are both forms of misuse that can lead to addiction.

If you have a methadone addiction, you should never attempt to quit on your own. A medically supervised detoxification program is an essential first step to breaking free from the drug’s grip. The team at Diamond House Detox provides a comfortable facility where those struggling with methadone addiction can allow the drug to work its way out of your body’s system in a safe environment. Learn about the history of methadone, methadone use and what to expect when detoxing from methadone.

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How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone

Detoxing From Methadone: An Individualized Treatment Plan

If you are recovering from methadone addiction, undergoing an individualized treatment plan is essential. Our team at Diamond House Detox works with you to create a personalized treatment plan that includes personal goal-setting and post-treatment abstinence. To ensure success post-recovery, it’s essential to identify any underlying causes of substance use. What are the triggers or stressors that encourage use in the first place?

Our goal is to address the medical, mental, psychological and spiritual needs of our clients through dual diagnosis treatments. Dual diagnosis treatment is an integrated approach that seeks to address an individual’s co-occurring substance use disorder as well as any underlying mental health issues they may have. The initial goal of dual-diagnosis treatment is to address any underlying mental health issue. It’s almost impossible to be treated for a drug and alcohol addiction if you are not in control of the mental health issues that may have contributed to the addiction.

Examples of mental illnesses that co-occur with drug or alcohol addiction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Detoxing from methadone can be different for different people, but the process poses several common symptoms. Following your last use of methadone, you can expect to begin experiencing withdrawal within a day to a day and a half. Initial symptoms can include lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, sweating and a runny nose.

As time goes on, symptoms can become more pronounced and unpleasant. You may experience muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and severe cravings. Symptoms typically peak within three days, but you may experience some issues for a week or more following your last use of methadone. With people experiencing different symptoms on various timelines, detox calls for an individualized treatment plan.

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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone withdrawal symptoms can be tough. In addition to providing 24-hour medical supervision, our team at Diamond House Detox offers emotional and mental support programs to ease symptoms and encourage abstinence. After the initial medical detox, our guests enter formal substance abuse rehabilitation programs, which include counseling, rehab, social support meetings and other forms of post-detox recovery.

Methadone is usually prescribed to help individuals overcome opioid addiction. In some cases, people can become addicted to methadone in the place of the previous drug. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 3,194 people in the United States passed away from a methadone overdose in 2017 alone. Methadone is usually prescribed to help ease the withdrawal symptoms of other substances, including heroin and painkillers. Unfortunately, even people that are legally prescribed methadone can experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using it. These, in turn, can lead to addiction.

Although withdrawal symptoms associated with methadone are not as severe as what’s seen with other opioids, like heroin, recovery can still be nuanced and uncomfortable. Withdrawal symptoms may take 2-4 days to develop and ease over ten days. At first, symptoms may feel similar to having the flu. Methadone withdrawal can peak around three days and can include cravings, depression, diarrhea, cramps, nausea and vomiting.

The longer the use, the longer the tapering process will be for methadone detox. Tapering refers to the process of the body being weaned off of a drug to ensure a healthier, more successful withdrawal. Often, withdrawal symptoms start to decline after the tenth day during the acute methadone withdrawal stage. Finally, in the post-acute withdrawal stage, most symptoms are emotional and can include anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Withdrawal symptoms for methadone may consist of:

  • Depression
  • Yawning
  • Increased tearing or watery eyes
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness or anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Shivering or trembling
  • nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches or joint pain
How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System?

Methadone is typically taken daily during MMT, but how long does the medication stay in your system? Once you take a dose of methadone, you will likely feel the benefits of the medication, such as reduced cravings, for about 24 hours. While you may no longer feel the effects of the medication, that does not mean it is completely cleared from your body.

The half-life of methadone is subject to debate, and factors like age, weight and gender affect the amount of time the medication stays in your system. The medication may be present in your body for days after you last take it.

How to Detox From Methadone

Some people want to detox in the privacy of their own homes, but the client’s safety and well-being are top priorities during the withdrawal process. Detox is always best overseen by medical professionals. When experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you are at increased risk of returning to opioid use to lessen your pain and discomfort.

If you undergo detox in a safe, supervised environment, a care team can help you manage your symptoms and ensure you do not have access to opioids. Going through methadone detox at a treatment center can also provide clients with the motivation and support they need from staff and others going through the same process.

Quitting methadone cold turkey can be difficult. If you are wondering about methadone detox vs. cold turkey, detox is the safer, more effective choice. The cold turkey route is likely not dangerous, but it does mean you will experience severe withdrawal symptoms, which can increase your risk of relapsing.

A carefully laid out plan for tapering your doses will mean any symptoms you do experience will not be as pronounced. You can discuss your symptoms with your provider, who can make adjustments as needed throughout the tapering process.

Detoxification is the process of allowing a drug, like methadone, to work its way out of your system. The length of this process varies depending on how long you used the drug and how high your dosage was. But in general, most clients are able to detox in a few weeks. However, many avoid detoxing because they fear the withdrawal symptoms. When your body becomes dependent on methadone, it reacts strongly when you either decrease your usage or quit cold turkey.

A detox program, like what you’ll find at Diamond House Detox, ensures you are monitored 24-hours a day for your safety and so our medically qualified team can address your withdrawal symptoms as they arise.

Here are a few things you can expect during the detox process:

How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone

To ensure we can provide you with an individualized treatment plan, we need to understand everything we can about your condition. That’s why the first step in your detox involves an evaluation performed by either a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Some questions that the medical professional conducting the evaluation might ask a client include:

  • What is your current dose of methadone?
  • Where are you in your overall addiction recovery

Once health care providers understand your needs, they can begin to build a detox plan that works for you. Not only can they assess your level of addiction and where you are in the withdrawal process, but they also use this time to determine if you have an underlying mental health condition. Many clients come to us with undiagnosed psychiatric symptoms, and we can treat them during your stay. This is called a co-occurring disorder.

Learning about a client’s co-occurring disorders can help us personalize their treatment plan and ensure they receive care for their mental health condition and substance use disorder. Treating both conditions can help make the road to recovery successful.

We recognize that no detox plan is a one-size-fits-all treatment. Everyone is different and has individual goals, concerns and needs. That’s why we work with you to customize your methadone addiction treatment plan. A customized treatment plan will involve a precise timeline and dosage for tapering off methadone.

Detoxification is always the first step, but how we attempt this process varies from person to person. Certain clients may require more supervision and medical attention, while others are relatively OK during the entire detoxification process. However, all guests are monitored all day, every day to ensure their safety and to make sure their withdrawal symptoms and cravings are under control. Since certain withdrawal symptoms can become too strong for some clients, medical staff may need to provide more care and attention to their detox treatment plan.

For some guests, we also recommend therapy sessions. These times of counseling allow you to identify any problem areas that may need to be addressed during your recovery process.

Substance use disorder is a chronic condition, which means relapse is possible. It’s beneficial to continue ongoing care after the initial treatment is complete to stay on track and continue living a healthy lifestyle.

We are committed to the sobriety of each of our guests, even after your time with us is over. That’s why we encourage you to enter some sort of post-detox treatment, whether it be rehab, counseling or drug addiction meetings. These programs allow you to identify stressors that may have led to your methadone addiction and to come up with skills and methods to avoid a relapse.

Your care team will discuss other medication options, as well as counseling and behavioral therapy options for you. Once you detox, you will want to continue to move forward with your recovery, and regular follow-up care will be important.

With Diamond House Detox, You’ll Never Detox Alone

Detoxing alone is dangerous. Although the withdrawal symptoms associated with methadone use are considered moderate, patients may encounter some severe health risks. Medical supervision ensures that if an issue arises, you have a team on hand to care for you. Detox clinics also help mitigate symptoms and put you on the road to a successful recovery.

At Diamond House Detox, we offer you a safe, comfortable place to go through detox. We aim to address substance use and the mental health and spiritual needs of all our guests. We take an individual approach in a residential setting designed to make you feel ready to rebuild your life.

How to Detox From Methadone

How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone
How to Detox From Methadone

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If you’re ready to break your methadone addiction, then it’s time to contact Diamond House Detox. We have two luxurious facilities located in Northern California where you will find the help you need.

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