Josh Chandler | June 1, 2022

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect When Coming Off Methadone

What Is Methadone? 

Methadone is an example of a medication that can be used for several different reasons. In many cases, methadone is used as a prescription medication to help combat chronic pain. It’s considered in the category of being one of the many synthetic prescription opioids available today. However, in some instances, methadone can also be used to taper the drug withdrawal symptoms associated with other types of drug addictions. This form of methadone therapy can be beneficial; however, when a doctor does not closely monitor methadone use, there is a possibility that that person may be trading their prescription opioid addiction for methadone addiction. 

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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

There are several methadone withdrawal symptoms that you may experience while you’re detoxing. Just a few examples include: 

  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Cravings 
  • Headaches 
  • The possibility of seizures 
  • Sweating 

When you experience withdrawal symptoms, it won’t be easy to take care of yourself. Although it may seem appealing to go through the withdrawal and detox phase of your recovery at home, this is never advisable because of the uncertainty of how you will experience withdrawal syndrome. 

The Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

You may be surprised to learn how quickly methadone withdrawal symptoms can begin to manifest. In most cases, methadone withdrawal symptoms will start to appear within just 30 hours from when you take your last dose, so you must reach out for help from a treatment center as soon as you decide to tackle your addiction. Your treatment team will know what steps to take to get you the urgent help you need during this challenging time in your recovery. 

On average, you will need to spend at least one week in methadone detox, with the worst of your withdrawal symptoms taking hold of you within the first three days of your time in detox. Once you come to the end of your time in detox, you will be in a much better place to meaningfully commit to your addiction treatment. 

Tapering Off Methadone

Another option that may be offered for methadone recovery is to taper off methadone in a strategized way. By reducing your dose of methadone in a controlled environment, you may avoid some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms you may experience if you try to go through this cold turkey process. Tapering off of drugs like methadone is never something you should try unless you’re in a medical environment and surrounded by professionals who can walk you through the process. 

Does Methadone Require Medical Detox?

Methadone addiction often requires withdrawal management and treatment because withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly unpredictable. Like opioid withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal, there is a strong possibility that methadone withdrawal symptoms will make it impossible for you to care for yourself when you’re in drug detox properly. Therefore, the best thing you can do is commit to a treatment center that offers medication-assisted treatment MAT, which will help you taper off methadone. It will also provide you with the practical support you need to combat nausea and vomiting that you will likely feel shortly after taking your last dose of methadone. 

For information on avoiding Ambien withdrawal symptoms, check out our blog below:

Need Zolpidem for Z’s? How to Quit Ambien and Avoid Ambien Withdrawal

Drug Rehab for Methadone Addiction

It’s important to understand that when you’re ready to overcome your methadone addiction, your recovery program may differ from that of another person in drug rehab. Many people like the structure of drug detox, so they opt to commit to inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization programs. An inpatient treatment drug treatment program will provide you with around-the-clock care and support during your recovery journey. When you have developed a physical dependence on this substance, you must surround yourself with the right people who will help to encourage you that you should stop taking methadone for the rest of your life. A treatment facility that offers partial hospitalization programs will allow you to live on the campus of that facility throughout your substance abuse treatment program. By changing the people, places, and things around you, you may be less inclined to give in to any drug dependence in the future and more focused on your sobriety. Also, an inpatient substance abuse program allows you to interact with other people working through their addiction treatment program, which can help you make meaningful connections and develop a unique system of support. 

However, some people are unable to commit to an inpatient program. Many don’t feel a residential treatment program is for them because it’s too restrictive. Several others have work or school responsibilities, and as a result, they are unable to commit to this type of treatment program. However, this doesn’t mean that your sobriety goals need to fall by the wayside. Instead of committing to an inpatient program, you can work through an outpatient program that provides you with much more flexibility. Many people transition into an outpatient program once they are done with their inpatient program because it provides them with the continued care and support they need. 

Regardless of whether you opt to start with an inpatient program and transition into an outpatient one or you decide to start with an outpatient program straight away, your treatment team will work closely with you to develop a recovery program that gives you the flexibility to see to the essential responsibilities you have in your life. Whether these responsibilities come in the form of work or school or simply caring for a loved one, your treatment team will continuously check in with you to ensure you continue to move forward when it comes to your overall recovery and treatment. 

The cornerstone of any successful addiction treatment program is determining the events in your life that may have contributed to your addiction. The root cause of addiction for every person is different, so it’s vital you partner with a treatment facility that will help you work through the contributing factors of this condition. In some cases, you may have experienced some form of trauma during your childhood which stayed with you through adulthood and led you to addiction. Some things may have happened in your adulthood that may have triggered your substance abuse. 

To truly overcome your addiction, you will need to participate in different forms of addiction therapy. Although counseling is something that can feel uncomfortable or even awkward at times, it’s important that you openly and honestly participate in these various forms of therapy, so you’re able to conquer your addiction once and for all. Here are some examples of therapy that you may experience during the time that you’re in treatment: 

Group therapy 

Group therapy is arguably one of the essential forms of addiction therapy that you will experience during your time in treatment. That is because you will have the chance to interact with others working through their own treatment program and develop a bond with them. This type of interaction can help you not feel alone in your recovery process. 

Family therapy 

Unfortunately, one of the relationships that tend to suffer when you’re in active addiction is the connection you have with your family. However, they may be more open to communicating with you and redeveloping that relationship when committing to an addiction treatment program. Family therapy can help to facilitate those interactions. Family therapy will take place only once you reach a point in your recovery where you’re ready for it. 

There are also other forms of therapy that you will experience, including individual therapy, behavioral therapy, and trauma therapy. These forms of treatment will be introduced to you through the guidance of your treatment team. 

Coming Off Methadone at Muse Treatment Center in Los Angeles

If you’re struggling with opioid addiction or alcohol addiction, the addiction specialists at the Muse Treatment Center are here to help you through the process of tackling the physical and psychological symptoms that come along with this form of substance abuse. From medication management to a variety of therapy programs, our addiction treatment center can help you overcome your opioid dependence once and for all so you can live a healthier and more successful life. To learn more about the opioid dependence and alcohol addiction treatment programs at Muse Treatment, please get in touch with us today at (800) 426-1818 for more information. 

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Josh Chandler
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