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Methadone Detoxification

Methadone happens to be a medication drug which was popularized back in the 1970s to aid patients struggling with heroin addiction. Since it is an extremely effective drug, methadone must be used under careful medical vigilance. For an individual struggling with opioid addiction, methadone can be an easy way out. In some cases, Methadone may also be prescribed for healing pain. But since the drug is pretty strong, Methadone may lead to severe dependence.

Many patients have been known to form an addiction to this drug even though they had been prescribed methadone as a pain reliever. In 2012, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, claimed that around 2.46 million people were said to be using Methadone for non-prescribed purposes at some time or the other. Methadone can easily be acquired illegally, without any prescription, as it is a drug which is used more prevalently as a pain-killer, and not just as a medication to treat addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Methadone overdose caused a number of deaths in the year 2009. Methadone stays in the bloodstream for almost a day. In cases where the individuals do not develop a sort of tolerance to methadone, addiction is a serious possibility. Even a dose as small as 40mg per day may be fatal.


When methadone is prescribed by medical professionals, individuals are required to take 10 – 20 mg during the initial days of this long detox process. This will be followed by a dose of about 2mg per day. The process of gradually reducing the drug will help to fight the various strong withdrawal symptoms that opioid addiction brings along.

They are:

  • Nausea
  • Opioid cravings
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety

The doctor may ask the patient to resort to various medicines like Naltrexone when the dose of methadone is very slight. Methadone, taken in concurrence with Naltrexone, will help the person to fight opioid addiction.

However, in case of severe dependence on the drug, the drug must be reduced gradually. In this case, Methadone may be combined with other drugs like Buprenorphine or other anti-anxiety medicines. This schedule should be strictly monitored by a professional doctor, and individuals must not attempt this on their own.

Medications like clonidine and Buprenorphine reduce the various withdrawal symptoms. This also prohibits the drugs from fastening itself to the identical sensory systems, thus, there will be no influence of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms (that are psychological in nature) may also be eased by gradually reducing Methadone consumption. Methadone is only harmless to be used under the vigilance of doctors and professionals who will be able help to monitor the dose.


Withdrawal symptoms are bound to be more acute if you choose to abruptly stop taking the drug. In medical detox, other medicines are used which can provide relief to anxiety and reduce mood fluctuations.

If you choose to quit Methadone abruptly, the initial few days are bound to witness acute and extreme symptoms. Since methadone stays in the blood for longer, symptoms might crop up even after the mentioned timeline. Long term symptoms may include severe cold, seizures, and anxiety. However, cravings can reiterate even months and years after quitting the drug.


Partial hospitalization rehabilitation centers offer medical detox to assist individuals battling opioid and methadone addiction. Antidepressants serve to keep depression and melancholy at bay while drugs may be used to keep anxiety under check. However, simply medical detox will not suffice. Once the medical detox has been completed, extensive treatment and therapy is recommended. This will include treatment by thoroughly conversing with the patient, and other adjunct therapies. It will solve the problem from the grass root levels, addressing issues like the cause behind the addiction. Thus, it will also help the individuals to deal with increasing stress and establish a favorable support system.

Medical Detox Help


The various medications that can be useful to treat Methadone addiction:

  • Buprenorphine is, in many ways, similar to Methadone. This particular drug can be used to reduce the extent and severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
  • Suboxone impermanently prohibits opioid drugs from fastening itself to the sensory nerves present in the brain.
  • Naltrexone has the same property like that of Suboxone, and it keeps theses opiates from attaching themselves to the sensory nerves in the brain.
  • Clonidine would certainly help in reducing the painful physical symptoms of withdrawal that may be encountered during the detox process.
  • Mood-stabilizing medications: Drugs like anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications fall under this category.

Though it is never recommended to quit Methadone all of the sudden, what is more important during the entire process of detox is the constant support of family and friends. A speedy recovery will be ensured by an addiction treatment method that is comprehensive in nature. This will definitely help the individuals to move forward in life, without any chances of a relapse.