Methadone Detox & Withdrawal Information

Last Updated on November 20, 2023
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Writer: Adam Zagha
Clinical Reviewer: Ariana Gravanis

You may not think about it much, but a particular prescription drug has been causing serious fatalities in recent years. Methadone attributed to 23% of all prescription opioid deaths in 2014 alone. With prolonged methadone use either for physical dependence or its euphoric effects, some users fall prey to methadone addiction.

NUMA Recovery Centers' experts provide an in-depth look at the drug and how people can survive quitting cold turkey while they avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms as they treat addiction and so much more. Read on below.

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Why is Detoxing from Methadone Important?

When people take Methadone, their bodies are flooded with an artificial opioid that can be very helpful for people who are addicted to heroin or other opiates. But when someone stops drug use, their bodies aren't prepared for it. Sometimes, they go through severe withdrawal symptoms (sometimes, life-threatening) as they try to cleanse themselves of the foreign substance in their system (or plainly, methadone addiction.)

Medical detox from methadone and other forms of opiate addiction can be a painful process. However, undergoing methadone treatment isn't just about getting rid of the drug; it's about preparing your body for life without it by teaching it how to function sans methadone dependency.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms to Expect in a Methadone Detox

Physical withdrawal symptoms similar to opioid and opiate detox can be experienced by people recovering from substance abuse. These methadone withdrawal symptoms (physical) may include:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • weakness

  • abdominal cramps

  • muscle and bone pain

  • chills and goosebumps

  • runny nose

Meanwhile, a person who is weaning from methadone use through medication-assisted treatment may also have psychological withdrawal symptoms happen to them. Here are the most common symptoms (psychological) that a recovering individual may feel:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Anhedonia (difficulty feeling pleasure)

  • Social anxiety

  • Feelings of restlessness and agitation

  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)

  • Intense cravings

  • Concentration problems

  • Nightmares and hallucinations

  • Severe mood swings

As the methadone withdrawal process is a difficult path to tread, it's always advised to consult with medical professionals and health care providers to help ease withdrawal symptoms. This also ensures that you can properly undergo methadone maintenance treatment.

Some individuals may benefit from a personalized treatment plan as part of their recovery process to achieve complete methadone dose detoxification. At the end of the day, what matters is your comfort (as you ease symptoms) and how your body responds to the type of medical detox it receives.

Timeline to Expect in Methadone Detox

Methadone detoxification typically lasts 4-5 days or so, but some factors can affect how long it takes. For example, if you've been using methadone for a long time and have built up a tolerance, it may take longer for your body to clear it out of your system.

Day 1-3

Day One

Just like how others describe alcohol detox, The first day of methadone detox is the hardest, as it involves the most drastic decrease in dosage. The withdrawal symptoms that you're experiencing are real, but you have to remember that they will subside.

Day Two

The second day of methadone detox can be a little easier than the first, but it can also be more difficult. Some people experience extreme fatigue, while others feel fatigued but unable to sleep.

Day Three

You will begin to feel better as your body begins to adjust to its new state of being without opioids in its system. This stage may seem like a relief after two days of withdrawal symptoms—but this isn't a time for celebration just yet! You still have a long way to go before you're completely free from addiction and ready for sobriety.

Day 4-5

Day Four

The fourth day is when your body has finally become accustomed to being without methadone. You will start to feel more energized and functional.

Day Five

If you've made it to the fifth day, congratulations! You're officially past the worst of withdrawal symptoms. Most people can go back to their daily lives at this point, though some may find that they need a few more days before they feel back to normal.

Day 6-7

Day Six

Your body is beginning to adjust to not having methadone in it anymore, and you might feel more tired than usual. You may also be experiencing some of the symptoms of withdrawal. This is normal and you may receive medical attention or treatment to address issues like muscle aches and joint pain.

Day Seven

You are continuing with your methadone detox program. If you have experienced any withdrawal symptoms so far, they should be subsiding by now.

Post 7 Days

During the second week, most people feel better. They have more energy and are less likely to need naps during the day. By this time, most people will be able to get through the day without experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms at all—though they may still have cravings for opiates.

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Call (888)-344-6862

Signs for Considering Detoxing from Methadone?

If you're thinking about getting clean from methadone/receiving medical detox but aren't sure if you're ready, here are some signs that might mean it's time to detox:

  • You feel like your body needs the drug just to function normally.

  • You've noticed that your tolerance has increased dramatically in the last several months or years.

  • Your body is dependent on the drug for you to feel normal—this means that if you go without methadone for too long, you'll feel nauseous or otherwise ill.

These signs may be hard to accept especially when you realize that there is an actual substance abuse problem, but always remember that every detox center would do its best to help individuals receive the appropriate treatment to avoid a fatal methadone overdose.

Can NUMA Help with Methadone Abuse Detox?

Yes - NUMA has various treatment options involving addiction medicine, behavioral therapy sessions, and other evidence-based therapies to help achieve successful recovery for every individual suffering from whatever form of addiction, (whether it's methadone or opioid addiction.)

Every detox process is unique as we tailor them to the needs and conditions of each individual. To learn more about what the team does, talk to our medical professional to find more information on things such as tapering schedules and supportive treatment services to help enlighten you even more.

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Writer
Adam Zagha
Adam Zagha is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles with over a decade of experience in addiction treatment and recovery. He holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and is certified in EMDR therapy, CBT, DBT, and ACT. Prior to Numa Recovery Centers, Adam was CFO and the Director of Clinical Outreach at Transcend Recovery Community. Adam is committed to providing top-quality care to individuals seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues. He also provides trainings and workshops on addiction, mental health, and mindfulness.
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About Numa
Numa Recovery Centers is a leading drug and alcohol detox and rehab company based in Los Angeles, providing evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and addiction. With a team of experienced professionals, Numa offers a comprehensive range of personalized services to help clients overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery.
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