Methadone works by binding to the same brain receptors that other opioids such as heroin or oxycodone attach to. This action blocks the effects of other opioids, relieves withdrawal symptoms, and reduces cravings. The symptoms and cravings associated with withdrawal can be very difficult to overcome, which is why methadone is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Trying to manage methadone withdrawal on your own is difficult. While it most likely will not be life-threatening, without treatment, the intense cravings will be hard to fight off. Further, when a person stops using the drug cold turkey, relapse is almost guaranteed. Therefore, no matter how or why you began using methadone, the best and safest way to cease use is through a methadone detox program.
During methadone withdrawal treatment, at a medical detox center, like Magnolia City Detox, patients will be weaned off of methadone. They’ll work with a team of professionals who will help to make sure that they’re as comfortable as possible during withdrawal and detox. This process of weaning is also referred to as tapering.
When someone is tapered off of a drug, it means that they are given a reduced dose over time. At the treatment center, a schedule for reducing your dose will be determined by a medical professional. You will then be monitored to evaluate progress and potentially have your dose adjusted if necessary.
Tapering yourself may sound appealing, but it’s important to note that methadone withdrawal is a difficult process. It can be dangerous and even life-threatening if not done under medical supervision. No matter what, it is important to speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your methadone dose. Getting off methadone is possible, but the best way is the safest way.
- Clonidine: This medication helps treat methadone withdrawal symptoms such as high blood pressure, nausea, rapid heart rate, and cramps.
- Tylenol, Aspirin, and ibuprofen: Over-the-counter pain medications can help ease methadone withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches and pains.
- Sleep aids: During methadone detox, you may have trouble sleeping. Sleep aids can help you get the rest you need to feel better during this difficult time.
- Bismuth subsalicylate: Also known as Pepto Bismol, this medication can help treat methadone withdrawal symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea.
Medication is effective at treating the physical symptoms of methadone withdrawal, but it is also imperative to address the underlying cause of addiction. This is why methadone detox should always be done under the care of a medical professional. At a drug detox center, complementary treatment such as counseling can provide emotional relief along with the physical relief that detox aims to achieve.
Drug detox can help you get through the initial withdrawal period and start you on the road to recovery. After detox, you will likely enter a methadone treatment program. This will help you stay off the drug and avoid relapse in the future.