What to Expect During Methadone Detox
You’ve thought about it, but you’ve never taken the plunge.
While you’d like to get off methadone, you’ve always been too afraid of what methadone detox will be like.
Luckily, there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Yes, there might be some withdrawal symptoms.
Yes, it won’t be easy.
However, it will be 100 percent better than the current situation you are in. Once you are finished, methadone will no longer rule your life.
By knowing exactly what methadone detox is like, you won’t have any excuses left for getting started with your treatment.
And when you’re ready to begin, we’ll be here to help. Just call us at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to find the nearest methadone detox center.
The Difference Between Methadone and Other Opioids
In case you weren’t aware, methadone is an opioid drug. This means that it behaves similar to other drugs, like heroin, morphine, or oxycodone when it’s in your system.
However, one big difference between these drugs and methadone is the amount of time methadone stays in your system.
While you might only feel the effects of methadone for four to eight hours, it actually stays in your system for eight to 59 hours at a time.
Because of this, it means that methadone requires a longer and slower detox than these other drugs.
The Side Effects
When you start detoxing from methadone, your body is going to go into withdrawal.
This is the dreaded part of detoxing that everyone hates.
However, most of the symptoms aren’t that bad. They might be unpleasant, but they aren’t life-threatening and shouldn’t require a hospital stay.
Generally, you’ll begin to feel symptoms about 30 hours after your last dose of methadone. Most people start feeling better after a week, but some effects can linger for up to a month.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Anxiety and agitation
- Yawning and sweating
- Runny nose and increase tearing
- Muscle aches and stomach pains
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Dilated pupils and goosebumps
Ways to Deal
Obviously, the first step of any detox is to get in touch with your doctor.
That way, they’ll be able to monitor your progress and prescribe a tapering method that can minimize your symptoms.
For methadone, this will be a slow but purposeful process that might take several weeks. An example tapering plan involves the following steps:
- Decrease your daily methadone dose by 20 to 40 percent until you hit 30 mg
- Decrease by 5 mg a day every three to five days until you reach 10 mg
- Decrease by 2.5 mg a day every three to five days until you are taking nothing at all
In addition to prescribing a tapering plan, your doctor can also recommend medications to help, such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, or clonidine to manage symptoms.
In addition to tapering, you’ll also need to go to other forms of treatment, such as self-help groups, outpatient counseling, or support groups. These will help you adjust to a normal life and are not as menacing as they might sound.
As you can see, methadone detox is nothing to be worried about. Compared to your current drug use, it will be a walk in the park.
Still curious about how it all works? Call our hotline now at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to talk with a specialist that can answer your questions in depth.