What is Methadone?
Methadone hydrochloride has been available by prescription for around fifty (50) years. Methadone is a synthetic “opioid” and is chemically similar to opiates like certain painkillers and heroin. The two main uses for methadone are:
- Management of chronic pain
- Maintenance treatment for opiate/opioid dependence (so-called “Methadone Maintenance” programs)
Who Needs a Methadone Detox?
Whether used to treat pain or opiate addiction, Methadone is addictive. Methadone detox and rehabilitation treatment are recommended for people trying to come off of methadone, so that they have the best possible chance of avoiding relapse.
Once someone makes the choice to ask for help getting off of methadone, they should seek guidance from their physician or medical provider before beginning the detoxification process. If you need help, we can refer you to a qualified provider.
Methadone detox is usually followed with counseling and behavioral therapies, like one of the treatment programs offered at Advanced Health and Education rehab center in NJ.
How to Recognize Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms
Methadone withdrawal can be emotionally and physically challenging, but is not usually considered to be life threatening. At Advanced Health and Education, we coordinate placement for our clients in a safe and secure detox environment that can help with methadone detox.
Methadone withdrawal syndrome (the name for all of the symptoms of methadone withdrawal, taken together) can last up to two (2) weeks. Methadone withdrawal symptoms generally include:
- Yawning and sneezing
- Runny nose
- Tearing eyes
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- Profuse sweating
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea/abdominal cramps
- Body aches
- Moodiness and irritability
- Thoughts of suicide
- Insomnia/sleep disturbance
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Panic attacks
How is Methadone Different from Other Opiates/Opioids?
Methadone works on the same parts of the brain as opiates like heroin and morphine, which makes it very effective for pain management. When taken as prescribed, methadone does not cause the same feelings of euphoria as other opiates/opioids.
While a person is taking methadone, the effects of other opiates/opioids are blocked and withdrawal symptoms from drugs like heroin are reduced. In that way, methadone maintenance can be a useful tool in diverting people away from illegal street drugs and painkillers and into substance abuse treatment.
Methadone also has a long “half-life” and stays in the user’s system for an extended period (from 8-60 hours). Heroin has a short “half-life” and lasts about 6-8 minutes in the body. Then, heroin breaks down into morphine, which lasts 3.5-4 hours. Because of that difference, managed methadone users do not experience the same short cycle of drug taking and cravings that afflict users of drugs like heroin or painkillers.
Call Us for Methadone Detox Referrals and Addiction Help
Please call our New Jersey rehab center today for a FREE consultation and referral to a detox therapy programs where you your loved one can get help. Call our rehab facilities in NJ 24 hours a day at 888-687-6977 or contact us here.
Advanced Health and Education can assist you with placement in a professional, licensed, insurance-friendly methadone detox center in New Jersey that will provide you or your loved one with much needed medical assistance on the road to recovery.