Focused & Individualized Detox
Medically Assisted Methadone Detoxification

The initial step on every journey of addiction recovery is admission to a medically assisted detoxification center. Those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any period of time almost always undergo some degree of withdrawal upon abrupt cessation of use. More often than not, the symptoms of withdrawal will lead a person back to substance use before the detoxification process is over. This is part of the reason why entering into an inpatient detox program is so important. At Immersion Recovery Center we provide a comprehensive detox program; one that focuses on more than a safe, pain-free drug and alcohol withdrawal. In addition to providing around the clock medical care, we actively prepare our clients for the next appropriate stage of their personal recovery journeys. During methadone detox, we conduct an individualized, in-depth evaluation, which helps us determine the length of our clients stay, what kind of medical intervention is necessary, and the next step for each client once they become physically stabilized.

If you or someone you love has been suffering from a methadone use disorder, detox is an important initial step, and we are available to help. At Immersion Recovery Center we effectively treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with methadone withdrawal, making the entire detox process as comfortable as possible from start to finish. We utilize a combination of evidence-based medications, therapeutic practices and holistic treatment methods to provide the most integrated and effective care available. To learn more about our program of methadone detox or to learn more about our multi-staged addiction treatment program as a whole, contact us today.

What is Methadone?

Methadone is medication used in medication assisted treatment (MAT) to help people wean off of more dangerous opiates like heroin or prescription painkillers like oxycodone or hydrocodone. Methadone has been used in this context for decades, and when taken exactly as prescribed it can be beneficial to those who are struggling with life-threatening opioid addictions. For optimal results, MAT should be combined with intensive behavioral therapy and peer support groups. However, it is important to note that methadone isn’t for everyone. If a person has been struggling with a mild or moderate opioid use disorder, they might not require MAT — they might benefit more from an extended stay in an inpatient treatment center followed by continued therapy and 12 Step group involvement. While methadone can be effective when taken as prescribed, it also has a high potential for abuse, and is categorized as a Schedule II chemical substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Is Methadone Addictive?

Methadone works by changing how the central nervous system and the brain respond to pain. Not only does methadone prevent the feelings of euphoria that coincide with heroin and certain painkillers, but it alleviates the more severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal. In most cases, methadone is administered once a day in a designated clinic or by a licensed physician. Its effects last up to 8 hours, curbing drug cravings and allowing a person to function normally throughout the day. Despite the fact that methadone does not lead to feelings of pleasure or euphoria when taken as the proper dose, it can still be addictive. This is why it is so important for licensed medical professionals to administer the medication. If it is taken without supervision, the medication is likely to be misused. Because methadone can be addictive, many medical detox centers and treatment centers have made the switch from methadone to Suboxone. Suboxone provides a similar function, but has less potential for abuse. If you would like to learn more about the difference between methadone and Suboxone, reach out to Immersion Recovery Center today.

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Signs & Symptoms of Methadone Addiction

If you believe you or someone you love has been suffering from a diagnosable methadone use disorder, there are several signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria used to identify the presence of a methadone use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, seeking professional help from a medical detox center is likely a good idea.

  1. Do you sometimes end up using a higher dose of methadone than you originally intended, or do you use methadone more frequently than you intend to?
  2. Have you wanted to cut back on your dose or quit entirely, only to find you were unable to do so for any significant period of time?
  3. Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining methadone, using methadone and recovering from its effects?
  4. Do you often think of using methadone/do you ever experience intense cravings?
  5. Has your drug use interfered with your ability to fulfill personal obligations or negatively impacted your performance at work or at school?
  6. Have you experienced interpersonal problems as a direct result of your methadone use?
  7. Have you given up activities which were once interesting or important to you in order to engage in methadone use?
  8. Have you been engaging in risk-taking activities more often than normal, like driving while under the influence of methadone or combining methadone with other substances like alcohol or opioid narcotics?
  9. Do you continue to use methadone despite physical or psychological health concerns directly related to the prescription medication?
  10. Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  11. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when methadone use is stopped abruptly?

Methadone Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

There are both physical and psychological symptoms associated with methadone withdrawal, though symptoms typically only develop if a person has been misusing the medication for a prolonged period of time. The severity and duration of the symptoms will vary on a person-to-person basis, but most people can expect the same general symptoms.

The Physical Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

The most common physical symptoms of methadone withdrawal include:

  • Flu-like symptoms including runny nose, low-grade fever, upset stomach, chills and body aches.
  • Profuse sweating/night sweats.
  • Persistent headaches.
  • Uncontrollable shaking/body tremors.
  • Severe stomach cramping.
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Sleeplessness and insomnia.
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate.

The Psychological Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

The most common psychological symptoms of methadone withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and panic attack.
  • Depressed mood.
  • Mood swings, typically characterized by irritability and agitation.
  • Confusion and disorientation.
  • Intense opioid cravings.

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Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

How long does methadone withdrawal last? The answer to this question is dependent on several factors, including the duration and severity of the methadone use disorder. In most cases, symptoms begin within 12 to 24 hours after the final dose and completely subside within one full week. However, protracted symptoms of methadone withdrawal can last for several months, and might include insomnia, anxiety, depression or lingering drug cravings.

Methadone withdrawal and methadone detox options

Is Methadone Detox Always Necessary?

Even though the physical symptoms associated with methadone withdrawal are rarely severe or life-threatening, it is often necessary for the drug cravings that lead to relapse to be treated with a combination of medication and therapy. There are numerous benefits which go hand-in-hand with inpatient detox, including:

  • Clients have access to professional, around the clock medical care.
  • Clients are able to relax in comfortable, private bedrooms.
  • In addition to medical care, clients can take advantage of professional therapeutic care by way of individual, group and family therapy sessions.
  • Clients have 24/7 access to a fully stocked kitchen and daily, chef-prepared meals, including highly nutritious foods geared towards physical healing.
  • Clients work directly with a case manager who helps them develop a personalized aftercare plan, including an immediate transition into the next appropriate level of care.
  • If a potentially dangerous symptom develops, clients have access to medication assisted treatment options.
  • Physically and psychologically uncomfortable symptoms can be effectively treated as soon as they develop.

Treatment Options for Methadone Withdrawal

The best treatment options for your unique case depend on several factors, including:

  • What dose of methadone you were taking on a daily or near daily basis.
  • Whether or not you were combining methadone with other chemical substances.
  • The duration and severity of your substance use disorder.
  • The presence of any underlying physical or psychiatric health conditions.
  • Your age, body weight and gender.

In most cases, the symptoms associated with methadone withdrawal can be effectively treated with a combination of rest, relaxation, over-the-counter pain relievers, non-addictive sleep aids and behavioral therapy. However, if a person has a history of seizures or another major medical condition, additional medications might become necessary.

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Medications Used for Methadone Withdrawal

Because the symptoms associated with methadone withdrawal are rarely severe, they can often be treated effectively with a combination of over-the-counter medications, behavioral therapy and holistic treatment methods. However, if a person has been misusing methadone for an extended period of time, a more involved degree of medication assisted treatment might be necessary.

Methadone withdrawal and methadone detox options

The following medications might be used:

  • Buprenorphine – This long-acting partial opioid agonist attaches to opioid receptors in the brain, mimicking the effects of methadone and other opioids in order to reduce physical symptoms of withdrawal. Although buprenorphine does not result in a “high” the same way prescription painkillers might, use is closely monitored by a prescribing physician in a medical detox setting.
  • Naltrexone – This medication is an opioid antagonist, one that actively reduces the drug cravings which often lead to relapse. It is important to note that Naltrexone is only effective after all traces of other opioids have been removed from the system.

Long-Term Methadone Addiction Recovery

At Immersion Recovery Center we break our medical detox program down into three distinct stages: evaluation, stabilization and preparation. Upon admission to our detox program each client undergoes a detailed and in-depth addiction assessment, or evaluation. We ask a series of pertinent questions, including:

  • What type of substance/substances were being used, and for how long?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed or treated for an underlying mental or physical condition, such as a mental illness or chronic health concern?
  • Have you undergone treatment for a substance use disorder in the past?
  • How much methadone were you using on a daily basis?

The questions we ask during the initial assessment help our clinical and medical team determine which detox methods are the most appropriate for each unique case. Next, we focus our attention on physical stabilization. Clients are able to relax in their private or semi-private bedrooms, and they have the opportunity to participate in group workshops and behavioral therapy sessions if they are feeling up to doing so. The physical and psychological symptoms of methadone withdrawal are treated as soon as they develop, seeing as our team of licensed medical professionals are available 24-hours a day. Our main priority is making the detox process as comfortable as possible. Once physical stabilization has been achieved, clients make a smooth transition into the next appropriate level of clinical care. In most cases, this means transitioning into a residential inpatient treatment center.

At Immersion Recovery Center we offer a multi-staged program of recovery, which includes:

Long-term drug addiction recovery is always possible. With an individualized and effective treatment program in place, even the most severe cases of methadone addiction can be overcome. Contact us today to learn more or to get started with our simple and straightforward admissions process.

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    Immersion Recovery Center provides a licensed, individualized and integrated detox program to people of all ages who have been struggling with addictive disorders of all types and severities. We offer a step-down curriculum of clinical care, designed to help our clients make a smooth and seamless transition from medical detox into the next level of care and eventually back into independent living. We understand how difficult it might seem to choose the best drug and alcohol detox in Florida for your unique personal needs. Fortunately, we are available to help make the decision easier. The moment you contact us, either directly through our website or over the phone, you are put in touch with one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors. They ask a short series of questions, ultimately helping you determine which level of care is the most appropriate for your unique case. If we believe our program is a good fit we conduct a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and facilitate local travel to our Delray Beach, Florida treatment center. Contact us today to begin.

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