How to Overcome Methadone Cravings

Methadone has been a highly effective treatment for opiate addicts for decades. In time, though, addicts will need to get clean from this replacement drug. Methadone cravings, as is the case with all opiate cravings, can be intense and difficult to manage. Getting and staying clean is possible with the right help.

How Methadone Cravings Work

Methadone was developed to help those addicted to heroin, morphine or other opiates get clean. It is a synthetic opiate, or opioid, that satisfies the brain’s need for opiates without the attendant intoxication. Patients are given doses of methadone in specially sanctioned clinics, and then are allowed to work their job, stay in their home and otherwise engage with life. Because opiate addiction is both physical and psychological, both aspects must be confronted in order for the individual to experience lasting recovery.

Methadone satisfies the physical need for opiates and fends off symptoms of withdrawal, but the psychological elements are still present. The most successful treatment facilities address this condition through a wide variety of therapeutic approaches including counseling, education, 12-step programs, support groups and the establishment of healthy new habits and diversions. Once the psychological addiction is under control, the physical addiction must be confronted if the addict is ever to get clean from methadone. When that time comes the person will likely be weaned off of methadone gradually. Physical cravings will arise that may trigger psychological cravings.

Getting Clean from Methadone

When a methadone addict begins the process of getting clean he will experience some withdrawal symptoms. The better treatment facilities can alleviate many of these through medically supervised detox. Cravings may return even long after a person has gotten off of methadone. These are usually short-lived, but can be intense. This is why one of the most important treatments for long-term opiate recovery is the combination of a one-on-one sponsor relationship and regular support group meetings. Often all that is needed for someone to get past a strong drug craving is for someone else who is watching out for their recovery to help them through it. When cravings strike, talk about it. Call your sponsor or get to a meeting. Verbalizing your struggle takes it out of the realm of secret shame and into the light where it can be defeated. Other techniques for avoiding cravings are taught in rehab.

Get Help with Methadone Addiction Today

If you are a methadone addict wanting to finally put the last of your opiate problems behind you, we can help. If you are a recovering methadone addict experiencing cravings and unsure what to do, we can help you too. Our toll-free helpline is operated 24 hours a day and our specially trained counselors are ready to talk any time. If you need to find a treatment program, call us. If you’ve been through treatment and need some help staying clean, we can help. We are here for you.