Addiction to methadone is as serious as addiction to any other illegal substance, including heroin.  In many cases, it is even harder to break a methadone habit than a heroin habit. Methadone withdrawal is an extremely uncomfortable state for a drug user to be in, and it is that discomfort that drives that individual to continue using the drug again and again. When the methadone addict’s body gets methadone back into its system, the pain and anxiety of withdrawal subside for a brief while. Unfortunately, those withdrawal symptoms return again all too soon.  This cycle doesn't end until a user makes the decision to quit and truly sticks with it.

The Painful Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

Methadone withdrawal can bring a world of hurt, which is why many users have such a difficult time quitting. To a user, it seems easier to take more methadone to ease the pain than to stop taking the drug and suffer through the symptoms of withdrawal.  Individuals going through methadone withdrawal will feel anxious and uncomfortable and they will have trouble sleeping. Excessive sweating, spasms, general pain, and even vomiting can also occur. It is important to seek assistance in overcoming this otherwise never-ending cycle.

How to Stop the Discomfort and Get Clean

The best way to minimize the pain of going through methadone withdrawal is to undergo a safe and successful five-day detox program. With a detox, you will be under the care of professionals who can administer pain medication and sedatives to you as needed. With the proper care, you can be safe and calm as you work to eliminate all the methadone toxins from your system and break the ties to this addictive substance. A detox center can also provide you with safe drugs like naltrexone to block the effects of methadone, making it easier for you to give up the habit.

What to Expect After a Detox

Insomnia and depression are common after a detox, and it is important to recognize these side effects and resist the urge to go back to taking methadone to suppress them. Don't be alarmed if you feel lethargic or if you cannot sleep, and don't turn to other drugs to try to feel better. Most reputable detox centers will actually prescribe an anti-depressant to deal with these symptoms. Nobody likes to be depressed, but rest assured that this depression and lethargy are only temporary, and it is much better to feel a bit down than to be hooked on an illegal and dangerous drug like methadone. A former user may also experience flu-like symptoms after a detox, but these symptoms will also pass in a short amount of time. After around three weeks, the individual will begin to feel “normal” again and will not struggle with feeling sick or depressed.

Methadone addiction is a serious problem, but with the right mindset and the right resources, you can make it through methadone withdrawal and return to a comfortable lifestyle.

Image Credit: title=”Model Morgan (Creative shoot)Teenage Drug Abuse Project…” by ©Moon Photography by Mel, on Flickr

Helen Hoefele is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her at: @For_You_To_Know.

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