Methadone is a prescription drug used to treat severe pain. It is also a medication for detox and maintenance treatment of opioid addiction, such as heroin. Methadone is itself an opioid and can be addictive.
Some people can become addicted to Methadone as they use it to wean themselves off another prescription painkiller.
Methadone detox and addiction treatment programs can help ensure a safe withdrawal process.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information , Methadone may be prescribed and dispensed by community pharmacies for analgesia as a Schedule II drug under the regulations of the Controlled Substances Act.
The best way to discontinue this drug is to undergo methadone detox with professional help to assist you to be relieved with the symptoms.
However, when used for the treatment of opiate dependence, Methadone’s accessibility is restricted to practitioners, clinics, and pharmacies licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In 2017, about 261,000 people age 12 and older reported using Methadone for a non-prescribed purpose at least once in their life. 
Once the body becomes reliant on Methadone to function normally, dependency on this drug will develop.
Those with dependence on Methadone will experience withdrawal symptoms if they quit taking the medication.
Withdrawal and dependence on these drugs can be treated with a Methadone detox program in a treatment facility.
Dependence & Tolerance to Methadone
As with other opioids, tolerance and physical dependence may develop upon repeated use, leading to dependency.
Therefore, an individual on therapy should be tapered gradually from the drug if it is no longer needed for pain control.
In addition, withdrawal symptoms may occur following the sudden discontinuation of Methadone.
According to the US Food and Drugs Administration , Methadone is a mu-agonist opioid with an abuse liability similar to morphine.
Methadone, like morphine and other opioids used for analgesia, has the potential for being abused and is subject to criminal diversion.
Also, a person who uses Methadone combined with alcohol may experience respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation, or coma.
Because of the withdrawal process and the possible presence of PAWs (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) with methadone detox, someone must engage in continued care beyond the initial detox process.
Methadone has an additive effect when used with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression.
Benzodiazepine abuse and Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium when combined with Methadone are often fatal.
Methadone addiction is characterized by compulsive use, use for non-medical purposes, and continued use despite harm or risk of damage.
Addiction to this drug is a treatable disease, and it is necessary to find a medically-assisted Methadone detox program.
Abuse of Methadone poses a risk of overdose and death. Methadone overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the average or recommended amount of this medicine.
A methadone overdose can also happen if a person takes Methadone with certain painkillers, such as Oxycontin, Hydrocodone (Vicodin), or morphine.
Medications With These Brand Names Contain Methadone:
Methadone should never disregard overdose symptoms. Different areas of the body may exhibit other symptoms:
Gastrointestinal System: The stomach and surrounding muscle structures are susceptible to several complications. These may include spasms, vomiting, constipation, and more.
Vascular & Respiratory System: One’s lungs are a primary attack point for methadone overdose. Labored breathing and a tight chest can occur.
Central Nervous System: Becoming unnaturally confused or disoriented is not out of the question. On top of this, one may experience drowsiness or fatigue.
Possible Symptoms of Methadone Overdose
Nausea and vomiting
Spasms of the stomach or intestines
Low blood pressure
Blue fingernails and lips
Cold, clammy skin
Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms
Methadone withdrawal is one of the worst forms of withdrawal because of how long a person may experience the detox symptoms.
That is why the safest way to get off Methadone is to work with a Methadone detox healthcare provider on a tapering schedule that gradually lowers the dose of the drug.
A taper helps to decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms and avoid a relapse.
It is important to note that Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids, such as Methadone, may also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal symptoms. 
Withdrawal symptoms for Methadone include the following:
Agitation, restlessness, and anxiety
Increased tearing or watery eyes
Shivering, trembling, or goosebumps
Muscle aches or joint pain
Nausea or vomiting
Methadone Withdrawal Timeline
Symptoms of withdrawal usually don’t start until at least 30 hours after the user’s last dose of Methadone, and it may take even longer depending on the amount used.
Physical symptoms, such as chills, fever, rapid heartbeat, and muscle aches, will begin during this time of Methadone Detox.
Over the next week or so, methadone cravings will be intense. Users may face anxiety, body aches and pains, nausea, insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.
Flu-like physical symptoms will continue. However, how long Methadone stays in the body often takes between 3 and 8 days for signs to peak.
At this point of Methadone Detox, additional symptoms such as depression, vomiting, and cramps begin to appear.
After withdrawal peaks, symptoms will begin to subside, although some will remain, such as irritability, diarrhea, and physical discomfort.
Users may still feel intense drug cravings, and depression may set in. Depression can become severe, and some patients may have difficulty feeling pleasure or getting motivated.
Withdrawal symptoms from Methadone such as low energy levels, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and cravings typically persist for 2-3 weeks.
After the 3-6 week detox process, many former methadone users will experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms, or PAWS.
PAWS may continue for many months, and in some cases, for up to 2 years.
PAWS may include irritability, anxiety, depression, the inability to feel pleasure, difficulty sleeping, and poor concentration.
Methadone Withdrawal or Taper
Whether you’ve been on Methadone for an extended period or a short period, a taper protocol is the choicest way to come off of Methadone.
A taper means to lessen doses in a scheduled time.
The prescribing physician will develop a taper schedule based on what is most suitable for you, your current dose, and how long you’ve been on Methadone.
It’s essential to follow your provider’s taper schedule and instructions to avoid any adverse symptoms from detoxing too suddenly.
Quitting Cold Turkey
Many people try to ride out methadone withdrawal on their own. Though opioid withdrawal may not be life-threatening in most cases, it can be excruciating.
It can also lead to cravings and a return to drug use if left untreated. One of the most significant risks of trying to stop using methadone cold turkey is relapse. 
In addition, other health complications may occur in connection with withdrawal sickness that may necessitate immediate medical attention, including:
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from vomiting and diarrhea.
Aspiration from breathing stomach contents into the lungs, which can cause lung infection.
The lack of medical care to manage withdrawal effects and any significant health issues and the strong possibility of relapse due to the distress make cold turkey an unwise detox method.
Symptoms of methadone withdrawal, also sometimes referred to as methadone detox, typically begin to appear roughly 24-36 hours after you last used the drug. A physician supervises the detox process. The duration of the process differs from person to person but may last anywhere from 2-3 weeks up to 6 months.
A schedule for decreasing methadone dosing will be best determined and potentially regulated by your treating physician.
Notwithstanding how someone becomes dependent on Methadone, the most secure way to quit is to slowly lessen the dose over time—a process known as tapering.
A taper can help prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and decrease the risk of potential withdrawal-associated medical problems.
Weaning or tapering should only occur under the supervision of a medical professional, who can assess withdrawal progress and best help the individual regulate doses.
Medical Methadone Detox
While medical detox can help a person safely and comfortably complete withdrawal, it does little to address the underlying issues of substance misuse and addiction.
Methadone detox should ideally be followed by comprehensive addiction treatment that involves behavioral therapy and complementary forms of treatment, such as 12-step meetings.
In addition, the inpatient treatment approach is aimed at changing behaviors and helping to establish social support systems and better methods of coping with stress.
A person will likely experience many different side effects from their drug use. These side effects may be emotional, physical, or mental.
For example, someone in withdrawal will likely experience many uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts about life during the process of the Methadone detox.
Unfortunately for those with dependency, Methadone detox is an unavoidable first step to recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with methadone withdrawal or abuse, help is just a phone call away.
So call us now here at Level Up West Palm Beach. We are here to help you.