Methadone is a prescription opioid. However, that does not make it any less addictive than other opioids. According to a 2016 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it was among the three prescription opioids with the highest number of overdose deaths. The other two opioids were Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.
Methadone detox should be through professional administration and monitored due to the drug’s highly addictive nature and high chances for relapse.
What is Methadone?
Methadone is an opioid prescribed for opioid withdrawal symptoms. It was mainly engineered to treat cases of severe pain and withdrawal in heroin addiction. The federal government classified it as a schedule II drug. This means you can only access it legally under the control and prescription of medical professionals.
Methadone is consumed as either a liquid, as a tablet or powder form. Regular abuse will easily lead to dependence.
Common Behaviors Associated With Methadone Addiction
You can watch out for behavior and know when a loved one is headed towards methadone addiction. The loved one will be able to get help early when you note and approach them about methadone addiction. You will mainly note three major behavioral changes.
1. More Tolerance for Methadone
An increase in drug tolerance means that you will need to consume more of the drug to be able to experience its effects. You will easily and note this warning sign before any other.
2. Prioritizing on Methadone
A methadone addict will prioritize methadone before family and other essential activities and responsibilities.
3. Withdrawal Symptoms
When your friend or family member is dependent on methadone, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms within a few hours after their last use.
Signs Your Methadone Dosage May Be Too High
When your methadone dosage is too high, you will need to take part in a detox program. The program will help you to withdraw safely from the substance and avoid long term dependence. What signs show that you are taking too much of methadone?
- Pinpoint pupils
- Nodding off
- Listless mental status
- Itching of scratching
- Reduced breathing and heartbeat
- Flushed skin
Dangers Associated With Methadone Abuse
There are multiple dangers you face when abusing methadone. They include:
1. Addiction — You can easily get addicted to methadone. Methadone addiction poses various health risks and will interfere with various aspects of your life, which includes your social relations, your professional competence, legal implications, and finances.
2. Serious Breathing Problems — You could experience life-threatening breathing challenges within the first 24to 72 hours after intake. This is one of the reasons why you need to use methadone under the care of a medical professional.
3. Existing Medical Conditions — Previous cases of asthma, breathing problems, lung complications, a condition that puts your brain under pressure such as head injuries, may risk your life when you take methadone.
4. Life-threatening Side Effects — Some of the side effects of methadone will put your life in danger. Examples are sedation, breathing complications, and a coma.
5. Use of Methadone Alongside Other Medication — You may put your life in danger if you take methadone alongside other medications like muscle relaxants, mental illness medication, sedatives, nausea medication, anti-psychotic medicine such as Xanax, and other pain medication.
6. Methadone and Alcohol — Taking methadone and alcohol or any medication with alcohol threatens your life.
7. QT Interval — A QT interval is a heart problem that may lead to fainting, irregular heartbeat, or sudden death.
8. Methadone and Pregnancy — You should avoid using or abusing methadone when you are expectant. Abuse during pregnancy will expose your child to methadone’s side effects and could threaten his or her life.
What Is Methadone Detox?
Methadone stays for a long while in the body. Moreover, it will present side effects and withdrawal symptoms that could threaten your life. Methadone detox is needed to help methadone addicts and abusers to safely withdraw from the substance.
Methadone detox is a process that aims to:
- Ease opioid withdrawal symptoms on your body. An example of methadone withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Make you able to avoid triggers of methadone abuse.
- Restore your health
- Help you recognize methadone addiction
- Motivate you to change your lifestyle.
How Long Does it Take to Detox from Methadone?
The methadone detox period will depend on your level of abuse and addiction. The more dependent you are on methadone the longer it will take to detox. Moreover, the method used to detox will influence the detox period.
Common methods of methadone detox are reducing the level of intake over time or tapering off. Cold turkey detox is NOT advisable for methadone detox. This is because you will experience the full withdrawal symptoms, which may turn out to be severe.
Methadone’s withdrawal symptoms usually ease off after 3 to 6 weeks of detox. However, withdrawal could take longer for those with severe symptoms and addiction.
Methadone Withdrawal Timeline
You may experience methadone withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours since the last use. Methadone could be out of your system within 15 to 60 hours. However, this depends on your level of dependence.
The withdrawal symptoms will be more severe after 7 to 10 days of withdrawal. They will then fade after this period. Methadone withdrawal timeline proceeds as follows:
- 1 to 2 days — It will take at least 30 hours for the withdrawal symptoms to kick in. They could take longer for higher methadone intake. During this period, you will experience symptoms like rapid heartbeat, chills, muscle aches, and fever.
- 3 to 8 days — Cravings get stronger during this period. The symptoms usually peak during this period. You will experience symptoms like insomnia, nausea, anxiety, body aches, cramps, vomiting, and depression.
- 9 to 15 days — The symptoms will begin to subside during this period. During this period, people usually experience physical discomfort, irritability, and diarrhea. The cravings will still be intense and depression may start and get severe in this period. You may find it hard to feel motivated or experience pleasure.
- Over 15 days — Within the next 2 to 3 weeks, you will experience anxiety, cravings, low energy, and trouble sleeping. Some people experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) between 3 and 6 weeks. However, they may extend up to 2 years. These symptoms are poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, irritability, and inability to experience pleasure.
Effective Methadone Detox Treatment
You can safely detox and withdraw from methadone abuse and addiction despite the withdrawal symptoms. Detox treatment centers in Los Angeles, like Novo Detox, offer 24/7 detox and rehabilitation facilities. These institutions provide comfort and a safe environment to detox. Furthermore, there are trained and experienced medical professionals to oversee the detox and treatment process.
Methadone detox treatment has two main approaches:
1. Inpatient treatment
Inpatient treatment calls for detox within the Novo Detox rehab facilities. Medical professionals will be able to monitor you closely and provide quick care. Inpatient treatment is recommended for those with severe cases of methadone abuse and addiction.
Novo Detox offers detox treatment options for methadone, such as rapid opioid detoxification. This is a process where the medical professionals sedate the patient and give medication such as suboxone to help ease the withdrawal symptoms. Other medicines used in methadone and opioid withdrawal symptoms include:
- Pain killers
2. Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatment is recommended for minor substance abuse. Moreover, patients advance to outpatient therapy after inpatient treatment. Detox facilities offer various outpatient programs. Treatment levels depending on your case. The levels include:
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Standard Outpatient programs
You should note that methadone detox treatment does not rely entirely on medications. This is because some methadone withdrawal symptoms target your mental health, for example, anxiety and depression. Such signs will call for therapeutic treatment options. Novo Detox offers various forms of therapy to tackle these symptoms with various approaches.
- Individual Therapy — This helps to address your abuse or addiction case specifically and helps you to deal with personal issues related to addiction.
- Group Therapy — This form of therapy gathers you alongside your peers and helps you to tackle common challenges. You get to motivate each other towards detox and drug-free life.
- Family Therapy — Families are usually significantly affected when a member abuses and gets addicted to methadone. However, family therapy helps to strengthen the family bond and inspire the patient to lead a drug-free life. Family support is a reliable cornerstone of any treatment and recovery.
Methadone is a prescription opioid that is very addictive. It was developed to help ease withdrawal symptoms from stronger opioids like heroin and to act as a painkiller. However, it is very addictive, and as a result, the government classified it as a schedule II drug. This means that you can only access it under prescription and administered by medical professionals in a controlled environment.
Methadone may present various dangers such as exposure to major diseases like HIV when you share needles, danger to unborn children, aggravate existing medical conditions such as asthma, and risks of using it alongside other substances like alcohol.
Moreover, you will face withdrawal symptoms whose severity progresses with time. Examples of withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, breathing problems, muscle pains and cramps, insomnia, nausea, anxiety and more. These symptoms start within 24 to 30 hours after the last use. They will be most intense within seven days and will subside within 2 to 6 weeks.
You can find methadone detox treatment in Los Angeles. Novo Detox is a reliable licensed facility that can help you overcome Methadone addiction and abuse. Available treatment includes medication to counter the physical withdrawal symptoms and therapy to counter the mental symptoms.