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In this post we will discuss in depth how to detox off of methadone.
If you were looking to find information about finding methadone clinics then visit this post where we discuss methadone clinics in depth.
So you’re ready to stop using methadone?
While Methadone has proven helpful for opiate addicts and for those in pain, there comes a time when it’s best to get off of the drug completely.
It’s not the worst drug to detox from, but methadone has proven to be a difficult drug for many people to stop using. It’s a narcotic painkiller after all. And withdrawals from painkillers can be incredibly uncomfortable.
If you’ve had problems abusing narcotics and/or experienced methadone abuse, dependency and addiction you likely know what it’s like to be off the drug. The sedated, calm feelings that you’re used to while high get replaced by nasty withdrawal effects.
It’s not fun.
Luckily there are some steps we can take to become better informed about dealing with methadone detox withdrawals. There are ways we can better handle it if we are going to detox on our own and there are many specialized detox clinics which will make the process as easy as possible.
Below we’ll discuss the use and abuse of methadone. We’ll also cover some important things for you to know while you go through detox.
Why Now is the Right Time to Get Off of Methadone
Methadone is only a stepping ladder in opiate addiction treatment – not a solution.
Because it is a relatively low cost drug it is being prescribed more and more. But not without risks.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been put on methadone to treat opiate addiction. And while this has helped plenty of people quit hard drugs like heroin, many are now left addicted to methadone.
But it’s not just hard drug users who have become hooked on methadone. Maybe you’ve just experienced chronic pain and your doctor decided to prescribe methadone to you for pain management.
Now you too are hooked on an opiate. Not really fair, huh?
Regardless of how you got to this point, you are right to seek out detoxing and freedom from the grips of methadone.
Methadone is one of the most commonly abused drugs that lead to intentional or accidental overdose.
There have been thousands of deaths caused by methadone and more occur every day.
Every day you continue to use methadone you run into increased risk of your life falling apart. Your family facing ruin. Your addiction escalating into heavier drugs. The harshest reality is that methadone can kill you.
Maybe you can manage your use of it okay. Your not facing ultimate ruin by using methadone. But we’re pretty sure that in the least you will experience a decrease in quality of life over time as you use it.
At any rate, it’s time to get off the stuff.
Why is it So Hard to Detox and Ultimately Quit Using Methadone?
Methadone is incredibly addictive.
People may not realize this when they start using the drug. It’s also extremely uncomfortable to stop using it.
This combo of addiction and a daunting withdrawal typically catches people off guard.
What makes withdrawal and detox even more challenging is that it takes a long time to feel better after stopping the drug. Many drugs have intense withdrawals, no doubt, but few share both an incredible intensity and a long duration attributed to quitting the drug.
Sadly it will take weeks to feel normal again once you’ve stopped taking methadone. If you’ve been a high-dose user then your overall withdrawal period could potentially last for a number of months.
This leaves plenty of time for relapsing.
Because of the challenges associated with detoxing it’s not recommended to undertake this on your own.
One of the reasons its so hard to quit the drug is because many people do not have the support or skills to follow through on their own. Most people are unprepared f0r the painfulness and distress that awaits them when they quit using painkillers.
For that reason it is highly recommended to seek additional help from inpatient or outpatient detox centers.
So, What are the Best Methods and Strategies to Detox Off of Methadone?
After a heroin or heavy oxycontin user has successfully freed themselves from their drug use, they might surprised to hear that methadone is actually the most difficult opiate to detox from.
A bit ironic that doctors use such an addictive opiate therapeutically.
Like we’ve said before it is highly recommended that a methadone user seek help from a professional clinic due to the difficulties involved with detoxing. An inpatient center for methadone provides the tools and expertise to get you through a rapid detox procedure and come out safe and sound.
Rapid Detox Centers
Most clinics will put an addicted patient on an 8 day treatment protocol that gently weans them off of the drug. These detoxification protocols provide a comfortable way to get through the hardest parts of the recovery period.
Rapid detox involves supplementation of medicines that promote detoxification and withdrawal, followed by anesthesia to help you get through the initial discomfort of withdrawal unencumbered.
Instead of waiting multiple days for withdrawals to kick in, rapid opiate detox procedures will ensure that the hardest part (the peak) of your withdrawal occurs while you are asleep under general anesthetics.
Longer term Inpatient Detox Centers
Long term treatment suits some people better than rapid detoxification.
Rather than stopping cold turkey with medicinal and anesthetic support, long term treatment will allow you to gradually taper off of the drug while you develop healthy habits and a new, drug free routine.
In addition the longer term approach ensures that you’ve developed the tools to lead a healthy, drug free life over time. This protects against the possibility of relapsing again once withdrawals have began to diminish.
A typical methadone detox schedule is to drop roughly 10% of the amount taken every 4 weeks.
When your body is full and taken care of nutritionally then your recovery will be much easier.
It’s recommended to eat 3 square meals a day and get plenty of exercise and rest when warranted. Also drink lots of water!
A good clinic will also provide supportive medicines for your mind and body.
One of the most helpful things to do when detoxing is to get your mind focused on other things.
Channel your energy and focus into support groups, therapy, self-help books.
Even work related stuff, if you enjoy it.
If you focus on the drug and how much you miss it, your mind will be preoccupied with the drug.
If you focus on the pain and discomfort, you’re mind will be consumed by pain and discomfort.
If you instead focus on the future and all the ways you are going to improve your life once your clean, well, that’s the direction you will be heading.
It takes a lot of time and effort to return to a fulfilling life that’s free of opiates.
Try not to let any fears of withdrawals get in your way of committing to recovering.
Once your clean and have made it through the withdrawals you will not look back and wish you were still using. You’ll be glad – and proud – that you made the choice to give up using drugs.
One last warning:
Once you successfully detox it’s important that you don’t relapse and start to abuse opiates again. Those in recovery are at the highest risk of death if they start using again. This is because tolerance levels adjust when a person isn’t abusing a drug. If they don’t realize this they can easily overdose and quickly pass away.Methadone Detox: Advice for Getting Off Methadone for Good by admin