Get Off Methadone

Clear Detox Center

A Guide To Recovery

For many, quitting methadone is harder than quitting heroin. We know this because we field calls everyday, from disillusioned men and women who realize they can’t get off Methadone. Ironically, now they need a “DETOX” to get off Methadone.


Methadone Dependence

Methadone dependence is a biological condition, characterized by development of withdrawal symptoms following a period of cessation. You might say that methadone dependence is the supernova of drug dependencies. In fact, methadone may be the hardest drugs to quit. Unfortunately, some men and women never figure out how to get off heroin and instead stay on it for life. Among opiate addicts, including heroin addicts, most refuse methadone treatment for opiate addiction because they believe it will make their addiction worse – and that’s saying something.


Methadone Withdrawal

Methadone withdrawal is qualitatively similar to heroin withdrawal, but differs in that the onset of withdrawal is slower, and the duration is longer. After you quit, your brain must relearn how to function without methadone. The period of time it takes your brain to reestablish neurobiological balance is how long the withdrawals will last. That generally means that a professional methadone withdrawal treatment program is a better way to quit.


Methadone Withdrawal Treatment

With all addictive disorders, the sooner you get into treatment, the greater the likelihood of success. For you, we offer a Methadone Withdrawal Treatment Program that is safe, effective and comfortable. Our withdrawal treatment program bridges the gap between wanting to get off methadone and actually getting off methadone. We are committed to ensuring that you receive the highest caliber of care at the best value, without compromising quality. These are just a few of the many reasons why Clear Detox Center is recognized as a leader in methadone withdrawal treatment.


Why Do People Choose to Quit Methadone

Besides physical dependence and the negative feelings that dependency creates, there are at least five other reasons why Methadone patients choose to get off Methadone.

  1. Lack of sex drive
  2. They want to become pregnant
  3. It makes them constipated
  4. They have to visit a clinic everyday
  5. Whenever they forget to take it they get sick


Keys to Getting Off Methadone

What not to do

Do not detox yourself. The downside of cold turkey methadone detox is typically relapse. We’ve seen the results of those who insist on doing it their way and it’s often messy, but when detox is handled by professionals who are well versed in methadone withdrawal treatment it can be accomplished safely and comfortably.

What you should do

It’s important to listen to your body during the recovery process because, if you know what to expect, you can help your physician make accurate assessments. Make certain to report all adverse reactions to your physician or nurse. Physicians continuously adjust medications, which is part of the detoxification process.

Postpone Solving Personal Problems

Methadone dependence patients may suddenly decide to handle a host of personal problems during the detoxification process. The truth is, most are not mentally prepared to solve significant life problems during detox. They should defer all personal problems until later. They will have plenty of opportunities to handle these issues after treatment.

Addiction Career

Your typical methadone dependent person starts off on pain pills, graduates to heroin, tries to quit with Methadone. Goes back to heroin or pain pills, and around and around they go. In hindsight, the opiate addict career is a circuitous state of cross addiction. We now know that any solution that perpetuates methadone use is subpar to complete abstinence.


Methadone Clinics

Who really makes the decision?

Okay, think about this for a minute. Methadone patients are typically opioid addicts. Methadone is an opioid. That means the choice of whether or not to stay on methadone is really the doctor’s choice, and not the opioid addict’s. The addicted patient would never have needed methadone treatment in the first place if he or she could have made that choice themselves.

How physicians are trained

There is an inherent conflict-of-interest that Methadone Clinics have with methadone patients. That conflict is money. Physicians are consciously or unconsciously motivated to keep their patients on methadone. Methadone Clinics have a vested interest in keeping patients on methadone for LIFE.

Is Methadone bad for you?

If it’s used properly, methadone is a great recovery tool, but the problem arises when easily persuadable opioid addicts are urged to stay on it indefinitely. The truth is that methadone doctors don’t know enough about the impact that methadone dependence has on the person’s life to make that call with any certainty.

Methadone may be dangerous

What methadone clinics do know is frightening. Methadone negatively affects sex drive, sexual activity and sexual reproductive health. Additional evidence shows dysfunction of the bladder, kidneys, and adrenal glands. That sound like a few good reasons to limit methadone use to detoxification only, but clinics routinely use it as a maintenance drug.

Ending Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Here is something else to think about. We know few clinics who are inclined to help patients get off methadone. That being said, many patients are left to quit on their own. The result is often “withdrawal followed by relapse”. On the upside, if detoxification is conducted properly it can be done without major discomfort.


Drug testing for Methadone

These days, when a man or woman applies for a job the employer often requires a drug test as part of the hiring process. You could easily add in a dozen or more random drug tests throughout an employment career. The question that often comes up is, “ Am I protected by hippa laws for Methadone?” The answer is no. The lab does not say whether or not you passed or failed a drug test. The lab only gives results. If you take methadone, your blood or urine will indicate the presence of methadone metabolites. Many employers know what the presence of methadone indicates, which is a history of substance abuse with opioids. It’s unlikely that you will get a job as a pilot, train conductor, bus driver or nurse with methadone in your system.


How we do it

Methadone clinics want you on methadone, and most clinics are unwilling to help you get off methadone. Conversely, we believe you’re better off 100% clean and sober, and we believe your brain prefers it that way.

Tips for Quitting Methadone

  • See a doctor – diagnosis
  • Do what the doctor says – prognosis
  • Drink a lot of water, as much as 2-3 quarts a day
  • Eat a protein rich diet – steaks and pork chops are your friend
  • Eat a ton of berries – blueberries are the best
  • Rest quietly for one hour in the early afternoon – every single day
  • Shower with a little bit hotter water than you’re used to
  • Avoid coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas – caffeine free is the best



Methadone has a complex range of effects that can vary widely among individuals. It has a slow onset of peak blood levels of about 4-hours. The elimination half-life averages 24 to 36 hours at steady state, but may range from 4 to 91 hours. It also has a low therapeutic index (overlap of toxic and therapeutic blood levels).

Oral methadone is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and is fat soluble. It undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism in the liver. It binds to albumin and other proteins in the lung, kidney, liver and spleen, and there is gradual equilibration between these tissues and blood over the first few days of dosing. Repeated dosing leads to accumulation.

The FDA has reviewed reports of death and life-threatening side effects such as slowed or stopped breathing, and dangerous changes in heartbeat in patients receiving methadone.

Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms and they’re severe.

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain



Now we know, that repeated dosing of methadone can lead to accumulation. In fact, the FDA has reviewed reports of death and life-threatening side effects such as slowed or stopped breathing, and dangerous changes in heartbeat. Basically, they’re talking about overdosing on methadone. Two of the worst things you could do while you’re consuming methadone would be to drink alcohol or consume another narcotic drug, such as heroin, Xanax, Klonopin, or sleeping pills.

Get Emergency Medical Help If You Have:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Chest Pain
  • Swelling of your Face, Tongue or Throat
  • Extreme Drowsiness
  • Light Headedness When Changing Positions
  • Feeling Faint

Methadone hazards

The major hazards associated with Methadone consumption include but are not limited to, respiratory depression, systemic hypotension, respiratory arrest, shock, cardiac arrest and death.

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Poison Cocktails

One of the problems with methadone is that it tends to build up in your body, which can disrupt your breathing and heart rhythm. Moreover, physicians called attention to the “poison cocktail” which resulted from the intake of multiple psychotropics (“mind-acting”) drugs, including methadone. Interactions can be additive, in which the net effect is the sum of the substances individual harmful effects, or supra-additive (synergistic or potentiating) when total effects are greater than if just additive.

In cases of methadone-associated death, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and/or other opioids are frequently implicated (Zador and Sunjic 2000). In themselves, these other substances can be relatively moderate respiratory depressants, but when combined with each other and/or methadone the effects may be lethal (White and Irvine 1999). Numerous factors affect toxic drug interactions and their lethality, including: health status and pre-existing tolerance of the person, the number and type of drugs taken, and drug dosages (Roizin et al. 1972).


History of Methadone

Methadone addiction is a pernicious foe. Over the passed 5000 years opioids consistently claim the highest recidivism rate of any drug including alcohol.

Methadone (Dolophine) was originally created and manufactured by the Germans during WWII, to fill a gap of depleting morphine stocks. However, the war ended before methadone ever made it onto the battlefield.

Eli Lilly brought Methadone into the USA as part of its wartime booty. Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) and Methadone Detox have been controversial treatment modalities ever since their inception.



get-off-methadoneBuprenorphine therapy is one of the most promising treatments for methadone dependence and addiction. Whether you or someone you know is trying to get off methadone for the first time or ready to try it again – buprenorphine therapy can help. Buprenorphine acts on the same brain structures and processes as methadone, but with protective and normalizing effects. This enables buprenorphine to reverse the effects of methadone withdrawal but without intoxicating the patient. Of course, other medications are generally used previous to buprenorphine induction, in order to comfortably get you to the point when induction can be safely initiated.

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