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Methadone is one of the drugs typically used to treat people who are addicted to opiates. In most cases, methadone rehabilitation centers work by replacing heroin or other opiate-based pain relieving prescription medicines with methadone - a longer lasting legal alternative - to help addicted individuals attain more normalcy in their lives.
Yet, methadone can also prove to be highly addictive and mood altering. Additionally, it can be difficult to detoxify your body from this drug - even harder than some prescription opioids and heroin. In fact, the unbearable withdrawal effects from methadone might last for over a month before symptoms begin to subside.
Because of this, irrespective of how badly you might want to stop using methadone, the month of intense and severe withdrawal effects might be too difficult to manage on your own. This is particularly so if you have responsibilities and things to do. As a direct result, the majority of individuals will relapse either back on methadone or on the opiate drugs they were dependent on originally.
Going through methadone detoxification might reduce the accompanying effects and make the methadone detox process more safe for you.
Understanding Methadone Withdrawal
Methadone is a particularly physically addictive drug, particularly if you take it in large doses or for a long period of time. Although, it is still often used in the treatment of opiate addiction - which many people argue that it is merely trading one type of addiction/dependence for another.
Therefore, if you take methadone daily, you will become tolerant to it quite quickly. This means that you may experience the need to consume more of it to achieve its desired and good-feel effects.
After your body becomes tolerant and requires the drug to operate normally, you have developed dependence. This means that you will experience negative withdrawal effects upon cessation of methadone.
Withdrawal will happen because your body and brain must re-adjust and re-learn how to operate normally without the substance in its system. As your body tries reestablishing its usual functions, you will experience uncomfortable withdrawal - which makes it very difficult to appropriately accomplish any type of rehab.
Since withdrawal is accompanied by adverse symptoms, you are highly advised to undergo medical detox. This will in all likelihood be an inpatient medical detoxification program, and it will help you experience less intense withdrawal symptoms.
In fact, the withdrawal process for methadone is never the same for every person. In fact, how long it lasts and effects of withdrawal are different from one individual to the other depending on the length and severity of the addiction. Additionally, your tolerance and body chemistry will also impact your symptoms as well as the duration of withdrawal.
Who Needs Methadone Detoxification?
Withdrawal from methadone is accompanied by symptoms that are similar to withdrawal from other opiates - such as morphine and heroin - but which are typically less intense and intense, although they last a much greater duration of time.
Hence, if you experience any of the following symptoms, which can either be moderate or severe, you might want to go for methadone detoxification:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Muscle aches
- Muscle pains
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomach cramps
If your addiction to methadone is more intense, you are extremely likely to experience more intense withdrawal effects. Additionally, if you are dependent on another drug, your withdrawal might take longer and feel more intense.
In the same way, in case you decide to quit cold turkey, you might experience more severe withdrawal. This is why doctors recommend that you taper off your use of the methadone to make sure that the withdrawal process is easier for you to bear.
Duration Of Methadone Withdrawal
Methadone's withdrawal symptoms will likely show up within 36 hours of your last dose. Although, methadone will take anywhere from 2 to 4 days to be out of your body. Still, other individuals take a bit longer to begin experiencing withdrawal.
In either case, the symptoms will usually last anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks, although it will take more time if your dependence was more intense. In most instances, the first 7 to 10 days may be the worst since this period is typically characterized by unbearable psychological effects - such as paranoia and anxiety - and flu like physical symptoms. However, these effects might start going away over the next few weeks.
- First 72 Hours: The methadone withdrawal symptoms will begin a day or so after your last dose; these effects include muscle aches, rapid heartbeat, fever, and chills
- Days 3 to 10: Over the next seven days or so, your cravings for methadone will become more severe; you might also feel symptoms of anxiety, irritability, extreme insomnia, nausea and other flu like symptoms.
- Days 11 to 21: By this time, some of the physical withdrawal symptoms might have begun to fade. Although, you might still feel strong cravings for methadone as well as depression which may cause you to have difficulty getting motivated or experience pleasure.
- Days 22+: Any physical symptoms that persist should be relatively mild; Although, the depression and insomnia can still be intermittent as your body readjusts to a life without the drug.
It is always safest to undergo methadone detoxification in a hospital or alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility. When possible, you should only choose to get detoxification services while under supervision and monitoring of a physician to ensure that the withdrawal doesn't become life-threatening.
Most medical detoxification services will taper you off methadone or reduce your dosage over a period of time. Tapering off or weaning will reduce the severity of your withdrawal and is the best choice, especially in comparison to stopping abruptly. The only problem you have to deal with is that it just might take more time.
In closing, undergoing methadone detox in a certified clinic will ensure that you to take advantage of the expertise, advice, and supervision of medical personnel and physicians. After that, you can begin working with detox administrators to formulate a personalized treatment and rehabilitation strategy.
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