Cold Turkey Treatment or Methadone?

Deciding which drug treatment program you need is a difficult choice. Some people believe that the only way to go is cold turkey while others believe in maintenance drugs like methadone. It is important to understand what is involved in each type of treatment before making the decision.

What is Quitting “Cold Turkey”?

Cold Turkey

Quitting opiates cold turkey can cause severe nausea.

Cold turkey is when you stop using an opiate suddenly and completely. Within a few hours of taking your last dose, you will start to experience withdrawal. According to the National Library of Medicine, withdrawal generally consists of:

  • anxiety
  • restlessness
  • agitation
  • muscle aches
  • insomnia
  • tearing
  • yawning
  • sweating
  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea

Although these symptoms might not seem like much they are normally very severe. Severe enough for many people to either relapse or seek medical attention.

During quitting cold turkey it is said that you feel sick for weeks. It is said to be one of the hardest ways to stop using opiates.

What is Methadone Treatment?

Methadone treatment is using a drug called methadone as a maintenance or detox drug. Methadone is a way to go through treatment without experiencing many of the withdrawal symptoms.

Although it is possible to abuse methadone, it is safe to use when you use it as directed, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Even though methadone cuts out the withdrawal it does have some problems. There are side effects to using methadone particularly if you use methadone maintenance. Some of these side effects are:

  • headache
  • weakness
  • dry mouth
  • weight gain
  • loss of appetite
  • flushing
  • sweating
  • sore tongue
  • mood changes
  • vision problems

These side effects are relatively mild compared to opiate withdrawal. Many of them go away after a few days of adjusting your dose.

Is Methadone Maintenance Treatment Really Worth the Trouble?

How Does Methadone Treatment Work?

There are two forms of methadone treatment. There is methadone detox and methadone maintenance.

Methadone detox is when a doctor uses methadone to minimize withdrawal and then weans you off of it. This happens very slowly and is known as tapering. Tapering allows your body to adjust to the different levels of methadone in your system without shocking it into withdrawal.

Methadone maintenance is when a doctor puts you on methadone and you remain on a stable dose for as long as you and your doctor agree that it is beneficial. Many people use methadone maintenance after they became addicted to an opiate due to chronic pain.

Why use Methadone over Cold Turkey Treatment?

Whether you use methadone or cold turkey treatment depends on your individual preference. There is less of a chance of relapse when you use methadone over cold turkey which is one of the reasons why many people opt for a methadone clinic rather than going cold turkey.

How to Find a Treatment Center for Either Treatment

You can find either treatment by simply calling 800-891-9360. We can help you find what you need to recover from your opiate addiction.