Achieving Long-Term Recovery from Methadone Addiction

Achieving long-term recovery from Methadone addictionMethadone is a synthetic opioid with properties similar to morphine and heroin. Methadone is prescribed to treat severe pain after serious injury or major surgery. It works by decreasing the sensation of pain and muting the emotional response to pain in the brain. Methadone is also used as a substitute for patients undergoing detox from drugs such as heroin, codeine and other opiates. Methadone is effective for this purpose but is itself addictive and use can result in an additional or substitute addiction. Recovering opiate users may have to complete a second detox to free themselves from physical dependency to methadone. This makes methadone a less than ideal form of addiction treatment and should only be used for severe cases of opiate addiction or for individuals who have attempted opiate detox multiple times.

Side Effects of Methadone Use

Some side effects of methadone use include the following:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

The dangers of methadone use are increased dramatically, possibly leading to death, when it is combined with alcohol. The following drugs can also be dangerous when combined with methadone:

  • Diuretics
  • Antibiotics
  • Heart or blood pressure medication
  • HIV medications

Detoxification from Methadone Use

There are typically two stages of recovery from methadone. The first is detox, which is the process of allowing the drug to be fully removed from an individual’s body. During this time, recovering methadone users will experience withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms associated with methadone detox can be serious, and detox should be medically supervised to ensure safety. Methadone withdrawal symptoms can include the following:

  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Sweats
  • Body aches and pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Mood swings
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea

Methadone Treatment and Addiction Recovery

Successful methadone detox is a vital first step to recovery, but those who stop at this stage and do not go on to receive further addiction treatment are likely to relapse. Treatment after detox typically includes:

  • One-on-one counseling sessions
  • Group sessions
  • Group therapy involving family and friends

Patients are assessed on an individual basis to determine their specific needs. They will receive counseling that will teach life skills and responsibility. Counselors work with patients to identify and confront underlying issues that may have led or contributed to addiction. The goal of such treatment is ensure long-term recovery from methadone addiction.

Need Help Achieving Long-Term Methadone Addiction Recovery?

If you or a loved one are addicted to methadone, long-term recovery is possible. Don’t let addiction control your life. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline now. A representative will be waiting to provide you with the information you need and get you started on a path to recovery.