Methadone has been used in the United States since 1947 as an effective maintenance treatment for opioid addiction. The reason for needing a methadone detox program is that like other opioid medications, tolerance and dependence can develop with repeated and prolonged use. Methadone is a synthetic opioid used medically as an analgesic, anti-addictive and reductive preparation for individuals with opioid dependency, as well as a pain reliever. It works by stabilizing patients and can block the euphoric effects of heroin, morphine, and similar drugs. Properly medicated methadone patients can reduce or stop altogether their use of these substances, but it has not always functioned to curb addiction so much as to redirect it and maintain dependency on a substitute medication. An individual with an intolerance or dependency on methadone will demonstrate symptoms such as drowsiness, dangerously slow breathing, irregular heartbeat, confusion, mood swings and tolerance for the drug. The long-term side effects of chemical dependency on methadone range from lung infections, impaired judgment, problems with coordination, to serious heart conditions.

How to detox from methadone

Methadone is not chemically structured the same way as heroin, morphine, Vicodin and other opiates, but the symptoms associated with dependency can be equally as challenging to overcome, and methadone detox is recommended. It’s important not to minimize the consequences of methadone addiction simply because it’s a medication, the potential for overdose and dangerous withdrawal symptoms are significant, and thousands of people suffer accidental deaths each year. Detoxing will require a tapering off of the drug, and generally withdrawal symptoms won’t set in until after a day without the drug. Typical withdrawal symptoms can include:

Feeling lightheaded

Tearing eyes

Excessive sweating

Depression and anxiety

Body aches

Uncontrollable shaking

Strong drug cravings

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

These symptoms will vary depending on duration and degree of use, and while there is no quick cure, with proper care and attention, it’s possible to successfully transition through withdrawal into recovery.

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What to expect from methadone detox at New Start

The process of how to detox from methadone at New Start Recovery begins with an initial health assessment involving physical examination, including a visual screening of patients, to establish a comprehensive evaluation of each client. Our clinical staff members have experience working with individuals detoxing from methadone, and it’s important to generate a basic knowledge of medical history, history of abuse as well as personal well-being, psychological and emotional condition. Variables such as age, number of years using, amount used per week, family history and any underlying mental disorders are taken into consideration to develop an effective treatment plan. Our team of professionals works together with clients to draw up a treatment plan incorporating daily individual and group therapy sessions. Throughout detox, we work with clients to outline a long-term treatment plan, in preparation to transition successfully to the next phase of recovery. At New Start Recovery, we are committed to providing a comfortable and safe environment, giving our patients the necessary time and tools to build a life free of addiction.

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