What Is the Best Way to Detox from Methadone?
Methadone is a form of medication that can treat moderate to severe pain. For drug addicts, it is more commonly used to help you overcome the agonizing symptoms of withdrawal from opiate addiction.
However, like any narcotic, methadone can cause you to become physically dependent on opioids, causing you to experience extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you try to get off of it.
In order for your body to clear itself of methadone influence, you will need to go through the detoxification process to fully eliminate opiates from your life.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Some questions that may need to be answered before determining the best ways to detox from methadone include:
- What is the amount of methadone that you are currently taking?
- How long have you been on that dose, and what were the previous doses you were taking?
- How long have you been using methadone?
- Why do you want to get off of methadone? Whether it’s for your health, family, and so on – keep this reason in mind throughout the process, and stay motivated by reminding yourself why you’re doing this.
Effective Detoxification Methods
Detox in a Medical Environment
Medically assisted detoxification is one of the best ways to detox. You will get expert treatment from licensed medical and mental health professionals, generally in a hospital setting. Studies have shown that detoxification from methadone is more successful in controlled environments, such as hospitals or special institutions.
Getting medical detox is recommended over quitting cold turkey due to the intensity of methadone withdrawal symptoms without additional medications.
Detoxification, which can also be referred to as “tapering,” can come in a variety of regimes based on what opiate withdrawal symptoms need to be treated.
The suggested tapering regime for methadone includes the slow decrease of methadone dosages over the course of a few days, with different incremental changes at different lengths of time, depending on the way you respond to the detox process. If need be, you may stop or reverse methadone tapering depending on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.
Taking Other Detox Medications
There are a few medications that can help when you’re trying to get off methadone. These include:
- Clonidine hydrochloride treatment – This is an inpatient treatment that can effectively reduce the symptoms of withdrawal from methadone, allowing you to experience complete detoxification by the end of two weeks.
- Naltrexone – Naltrexone is another detox medication that can be used to ease away your body’s dependence on opioids like methadone.
- Buprenorphine – Although similar to methadone, this drug is different in that it is only a partial agonist, but it will also provide symptom relief.
- Antidepressants or medications for anxiety.
Other Helpful Detox Resources
Joining support groups can connect you with addiction recovery resources and allow you to express yourself and interact with others in similar situations.
Complementary therapy sessions along with your medical detox can help guide you through the process of recovering from your addiction to methadone.
Stay Strong and Remember Your Goals
Everyone’s body is different and everyone will have different levels of physical and mental reactions to opiate withdrawal and the detoxification process. It’s important to find a detox method that works for you as an individual. Part of successfully detoxing from methadone is avoiding relapse during that uncomfortable threshold in the tapering process.
Remind yourself of your motivations and stay strong. If you’d like more information on finding the best program for detoxing from methadone, call our hotline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) and a skilled and friendly representative will talk with you about your options.