Thinking About Getting Off Methadone? Here’s How
There may come a point during your methadone maintenance treatment that you realize it is no longer working. You could also realize that you are taking more methadone than your doctor prescribed. You might even be a methadone addict. Regardless of the reason, you might be thinking that it is time to consider getting off methadone. There are several ways that you can do this safely and comfortably.
One way to get off methadone is to switch to a safer and less addictive alternative. There are a variety of medications that you can use as an alternative to methadone.
The most common of these medications are buprenorphine and Suboxone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this switch is sometimes problematic when a person is severely addicted to medications such as methadone because buprenorphine acts differently than methadone does.
It is still an option that both controls chronic pain and can help with the withdrawal symptoms. The dose can be adjusted to decrease the symptoms of withdrawal. The National Library of Medicine recommends starting with just buprenorphine and then gradually moving to Suboxone for maintenance.
For those with chronic pain, this is the best method for treating both the chronic pain and avoiding the withdrawal symptoms. To find a treatment center to help you change medications call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?). We can help.
Tapering off Methadone
Another way to get off methadone is to taper or wean off it. This is only a good solution when you do not suffer from chronic pain or your chronic pain is controlled by another mechanism. In this process a doctor gradually lowers your dose.
Depending on your addiction or methadone use, each time you visit your doctor, the doctor gives you slightly less methadone. This reduces your body’s dependence on the drug gradually and helps you avoid the full impact of methadone withdrawal.
Counseling is an important part getting away from methadone. If you are on methadone for chronic pain or addiction, chances are you’ve been exposed to counseling before. In order to get off methadone, counseling is vital. It can help you:
- deal with potential problems that you are having
- work through problems that the methadone use caused
- find out why you are having a problem with methadone
- allow you to deal with the mood changes associated with withdrawal
- help repair any relationships that methadone caused
There are a variety of counseling methods that a therapist might employ. These are:
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- individual talk sessions
- guided relaxation and meditation
- group therapy
- self-esteem building
- tapping therapy
All of these methods are effective for dealing with opiate or methadone withdrawal.
Finding the Treatment Center that is Right for You
In order to be successful in getting off methadone, you need the right treatment center that offers the programs that you want. For more information on finding a treatment center call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?). We can help.