Methadone detox can cause some very serious withdrawals and should never be attempted without the guidance of a physician. This medication is used as a replacement therapy for opiate addiction. Patients become as physically dependent on methadone as they were to heroin or other opiates, such as OxyContin or Vicodin. Ironically, methadone used to control narcotic addiction or opiate addiction is frequently encountered on the illicit market and has been associated with a number of methadone overdose deaths.
Tolerance and addiction to methadone is a dangerous threat, as methadone withdrawal results from the cessation of use. Many people suffering from heroin addiction have claimed that the horrors of heroin addiction withdrawal were far less painful and difficult than methadone withdrawal following methadone addiction. Many people go from having a heroin addiction to having a methadone addiction and continue with this "treatment" for years, fearing the methadone withdrawal that will occur when they stop taking this drug. This is why seeking methadone detox is a critical choice.
Methadone does not have to be the way of life for former heroin addicts. Gradual cessation from this drug in Methadone detox, followed by a drug addiction treatment program, could be the answer for many. After several days of stabilizing a patient with methadone, the amount can be gradually decreased. The rate at which it is decreased is dependent upon the methadone withdrawal symptoms experienced by the patient.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Methadone detox can be very uncomfortable and usually begins between 24 to 48 hours after the last dose of Methadone. Withdrawal symptoms for methadone are similar to those of heroin and other opiates. Studies from WebMD have indicated that if you are going through a Methadone detox expect to experience some of the following symptoms: stomach cramps, sweating, nausea, tremors, extreme opiate cravings, sneezing and irritability, fever, chills, vomiting, anxiety, paranoia, fuzzy-headedness, hallucinations and clinical depression. Methadone detox withdrawal symptoms tend to last much longer than heroin withdrawal. It is possible, depending on the dose of Methadone that you were taking, that these unpleasant side effects could last several weeks. The best way to go though Methadone detox is to gradually decrease your dose over a period of time.
Methadone is used to aid in the detoxification process for those trying to kick a drug habit. It works by reducing the psychological cravings for heroin and similar opiates. If monitored properly, it makes detoxification easier. If not handled correctly, however, the patient can become hooked on methadone, essentially swapping one form of addiction for another. The National Institute of Health and similar medical organizations offer reliable information on methadone withdrawal. Despite the ominous implications of methadone detox withdrawal symptoms, many people still choose this medication as a form of heron/opiate addiction treatment.
Because of the dangers involved during Methadone detox and the trickiness of slowly reducing dosage, it's important to adhere to a doctor's instructions. Ideally, methadone detox and withdrawal should take place in a clinic, but if it's done at home, then the medication schedule should be followed rigidly.