What is Methadone?
Methadone is a part of the opioid family. It is considered an opioid agonist, similar to narcotic medications like morphine. It has been used for over 50 years to help those addicted to opiates recover because it provides similar effects to opiates like codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and heroin but with milder withdrawal symptoms. It can also block the effects of opioids and reduce drug cravings.
While this may seem ideal, one of the largest problems about this narcotic is that it is actually highly addictive itself. Just like other drugs, methadone can alter the chemistry of the brain and people can develop a tolerance to it. They then have to take more to experience the same effects. Methadone also stays in the body for a long period of time. This makes methadone detox more difficult.
What Are The Effects of Methadone?
Because methadone is similar to heroin, it has similar effects on the body, even when it is used during heroin detox. The short-term effects of methadone on the body can include the following:
- Feelings of euphoria
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shallower breathing
- Poor Sexual Function
The long-term effects of methadone addiction or misuse may include:
- Brain damage
- Nerve damage
- Liver damage1
Methadone can also be addictive. People who take it often require a methadone detox to remove their dependence on the drug safely.
How Long Is Methadone Withdrawal?
Like most drugs, the methadone withdrawal timeline varies from person to person, but it is said to be one of the worst forms of withdrawal because of how long an individual experiences the symptoms of the detox. Symptoms of methadone withdrawal usually start within 30 hours after your last exposure to the drug. This timeframe is longer compared to withdrawal from other types of opiates, but the pain is just as severe. The length of withdrawal and the tapering process varies, lasting up to a few weeks or longer. Some factors that affect the length of methadone withdrawal includes the health and genetics of the addicted person, the dosage consumed, the severity of the addiction, and how long the person was on methadone.
What Are The Effects of Methadone Withdrawal?
If you go through methadone detox, the withdrawal symptoms are unavoidable. At first, withdrawal may feel like the flu. Muscle aches and pains are common after you stop taking methadone. As the symptoms of withdrawal progress, you might feel severely nauseous. Some of the short-term effects of methadone withdrawal include:
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Night Sweats
- Severe Anxiety
After a little over a week of the methadone detox, the severity of some of these symptoms should start to decrease, but you may still experience some symptoms such as:
- Concentration problems
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Drug cravings
To combat these mental symptoms and work toward long-term sobriety, our residential addiction treatment in Boca can help.
How to Detox From Methadone Safely
Detox requires a process known as taping to slowly wean your body off of the drug. Methadone, when prescribed for opiate addiction, is eventually tapered down after an extended period of time. It is known in the opiate family for having the longest detox, which also makes the typical taper a lengthy period, sometimes extending for over a year. If not done correctly, a detox from methadone can cause serious problems such as breathing difficulties, heart problems, and seizures. Because a methadone detox is a bit more involved, a professional South Florida detox center like ours is recommended.
Our Methadone Detox Center
Methadone is an extremely difficult substance to withdraw from alone because the withdrawal symptoms can last up to one month. Even with a great amount of willpower, this is usually too difficult for anyone to handle on their own. In order to assure a sustained recovery, proper medical methadone detox is required.
With our Boca Raton detox programs, our patients’ safety and comfort are our top concern during this difficult time. Our facility can help you detox from harmful medications like methadone that can cause physical dependence and produce symptoms of withdrawal when ceased. Our professional and licensed staff are there for the individual by offering healing for the mind, body, and soul. We know detoxing from methadone is quite the process and in order to ensure an individual’s safety and comfort a medically supervised detox is required.
At Banyan Boca, we believe in making our patients substance-free as soon as possible so they are able to return to their normal lives. Most methadone treatment plans include a long-drawn-out taper, but the goal at our facility is to speed up this process and give the individual a true chance at a life in recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with methadone addiction or abuse, help is just a phone call away: 888-422-1651.
- Medical News Today - Possible Harmful Effects From Prolonged Use Of Methadone