Methadone is a synthetic opiate used to help those addicted to heroin and other narcotics get clean. This type of replacement therapy has helped people by satisfying their physical need for opiates without providing the intoxicating effects of other narcotic drugs. As the recovering addict’s mental and emotional health is restored, the methadone doses are reduced until the addict can quit. Opiate addiction is a powerful disease, and even though methadone can be a step toward freedom from drugs, at some point the user will need to quit.
What to Expect during Methadone Withdrawal
Methadone withdrawal symptoms can be just as intense as heroin withdrawal symptoms. Because methadone and other opiates replace naturally occurring chemicals that manage a variety of psychological effects, when the drug leaves their system people will not be able to feel “normal.” Symptoms of methadone withdrawal include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and cramping
- Fever, chills and cold sweats
- Intense muscular, bone and head pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Paranoia and mental obsession
- Nightmares and sleeplessness
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Methadone withdrawal can be dangerous or life-threatening. Quitting cold turkey without the medical supervision and care of doctors can be painful, dangerous and ineffective. Even after a person successfully endures this detox phase, he or she will face a challenging struggle when it comes to overcoming the psychological aspects of the disease.
The Safe Way to Ease Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms
Some methadone addicts may attempt to undergo detox on their own. This can be particularly dangerous and ineffective. Some may self-medicate or use other substances such as alcohol to diminish their withdrawal symptoms. This will undermine recovery efforts and may result in accidental death by overdose. The only safe way to ease the symptoms of methadone withdrawal is through medically supervised detox services in which a patient is closely monitored by addiction treatment staff and symptoms are addressed as they arise.
Beyond Methadone Withdrawal to Lasting Addiction Recovery
Many people mistakenly believe that the process of withdrawal and the ending of physical addiction are the hardest part of recovery. While detox can be intense or even dangerous, methadone addiction changes thoughts and behavior on a deep and emotional level. Too many people endure the misery of detox only to relapse days, weeks or even months later, because the psychological aspects of their disease have never been treated. Lasting recovery requires focused, professional help in a safe environment. The most effective treatment programs understand the psychological aspects of the disease and develop individualized treatment plans for each addict.
Find Methadone Withdrawal and Recovery Help Today
If you are struggling with methadone addiction and fear the symptoms of withdrawal, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. Our specially trained addiction experts and doctors are ready to not only relieve the symptoms you are facing but to help put you on the path toward lasting freedom from addiction. Don’t try to get clean on your own, and don’t delay treatment another day.