QUALITY TREATMENT & CARE

Methadone Detox


Methadone addiction is no joke. And methadone detox is not an easy journey to complete. That is why an experienced and committed partner is essential in recovering from methadone addiction. Compass Detox is that partner. Our medical and therapeutic teams are uniquely positioned and skilled at guiding you or your loved one through the withdrawal and recovery process of a methadone addiction.

Unfortunately, a physical addiction to methadone doesn’t take long to develop. This is made doubly unfortunate by the fact that the withdrawal symptoms can be powerful. Methadone users usually start feeling withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of their last dose. However, others don’t feel the pangs of withdrawal for several days after their last dose.

The first seven to 10 days are the most painful days of withdrawal. The entire withdrawal process takes three to six weeks, or longer for those with a severe addiction and for those who have been taking a higher dose than 40 milligrams.

The First 24 Hours of Methadone Withdrawal

  • Chills, fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle aches
  • Flu-like symptoms

Days 2-10

  • Strong methadone cravings
  • Paranoia, hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability, anxiety
  • Flu-like symptoms persisting

Days 11-21

  • Most physical symptoms are over
  • Strong methadone cravings
  • Depression – sometimes severe
  • No motivation, no feelings of pleasure

Days 22+

  • Intermittent depression may occur
  • Other mild symptoms may remain for several weeks

This timeline is for someone taking up to a maximum of 40 milligrams. For those using more than that dosage, the timeline will likely be different.

Methadone Dosing

Methadone is most commonly used for two reasons: detox from opioid dependence and opioid replacement therapy. Dosage depends on the goal of treatment. The medically approved dosing information below applies to adults.

Short-Term Detox with Methadone

When medical professionals use methadone to detox a patient from opioid addiction, they are encouraged to treat it as a brief course to stabilize the patient. After stabilization, a period of medically supervised withdrawal is supposed to occur with a gradual reduction in dosage.

Methadone Dosing for Opioid Dependence

When methadone is used for detoxification and maintenance treatment of opioid addiction, the dose administered is different than in short-term detox. When seeking treatment for opioid addiction, patients should only use methadone in conjunction with appropriate medical, social and psychological services.

Why Methadone May Be Given for Opioid Detox

The goal of using methadone to detox someone from heroin or other strong opioids is to:

  • Titrate to a dose that prevents opioid withdrawal.
  • Reduce the patient’s hunger and craving for their addictive drug of choice.
  • Block the euphoric effects of recreational opioid use.
  • Ensure the patient is tolerant of the sedative effects of methadone.
  • Reach a commonly targeted range of 80 to 120 milligrams daily for therapeutic efficacy.

For cessation of therapy, abrupt discontinuation is not advised due to severe withdrawal effects. Decreasing the patient’s dose should typically be only 10 percent at a time every 10 to 14 days.

Whether you or your loved one’s methadone addiction stems from medically prescribed methadone, or other avenues of procuring the drug, makes no difference. At Compass Detox we are ready to tackle this methadone detox with you, supporting you every step of the way, and ensuring that your methadone addiction ends the moment that you enter Compass’ door. Freedom from this addiction awaits. Call us today!