Methadone Withdrawal and Detox North Jersey Recovery Center - A young woman is beginning to feel the effects of methadone withdrawal as she sits on her couch with her hood up and her face in her hands.

What is Methadone Withdrawal?

When methadone was introduced to help people manage their addiction to opioids, few knew about the effects of methadone withdrawal.

But much like the drugs it helps you get off of, methadone can also be addictive.

When used appropriately, it can help those addicted to opioids effectively beat their addictions over time.

But when it is not used appropriately, methadone can be just as dangerous.

Let New Jersey Recovery Center help you learn more about methadone, how it can affect your health, and ways we can help you overcome your addiction.

Methadone Withdrawal and Detox North Jersey Recovery Center - A young woman meets with a methadone addiction specialist to discuss her methadone withdrawal symptoms and determine the best way to go about breaking free from her addiction to the substance.

Understanding Methadone

Methadone has two uses. First, it can be used as a strong, long-lasting pain reliever for people with chronic pain.

More often, methadone is used to help people with addictions to opioids. It is frequently used in recovery centers as part of a medication-assisted treatment program. When taken under the direction of a doctor, methadone is safe and effective.

Methadone is a synthetic opioid that does not produce a high. Instead, it binds to the opioid receptors in your brain and can relieve symptoms of opioid cravings.

It also prevents you from getting high if you take other opioids. But because it is a type of opioid, it is still addictive.

And if you are addicted to methadone and stop taking it, you can experience methadone withdrawal.

How do You Abuse Methadone?

Methadone is available as a pill, a liquid, or a wafer, all of which are intended to be taken orally.

Some people abuse methadone by injecting it with a needle, which makes its sedative effects stronger.

Methadone is so strongly regulated that most people in medication-assisted treatment must get their daily doses directly from their treatment facility.

This is true even for people who are in out-patient treatment programs.

This regulation is because of how addictive and dangerous methadone can be when not taken appropriately.

Methadone abuse occurs when you take methadone more often than you are supposed to, in larger doses, or without a prescription.

While methadone actually helps to block opioid high when taken in appropriate doses, when someone takes a lot of methadone it can actually give you a high.

And if you are injecting methadone, you are far more likely to experience serious methadone withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it.

How Methadone can Affect Your Body

Much like other opioids, methadone is very effective at relieving serious pain when taken appropriately.

But when it is taken for long periods of time, or in high doses, methadone can be just as bad for your body as other opioids.

Some of the side effects of methadone use include drowsiness, confusion, constipation, depression, nausea, vomiting, and slowed breathing. The longer you take methadone, the worse your symptoms can become.

And if you are misusing methadone, you are at a higher risk of experiencing an overdose. This is especially true if you mix methadone with other painkillers.

Signs of a methadone overdose include tiny pupils, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, slow or labored breathing, drowsiness, and blue lips or fingernails.

Without immediate treatment, methadone overdoses can be fatal.

Mental Illness and Methadone

For many people who are addicted to opioids, their issues are not just physical. People who suffer from an opioid addiction are twice as likely to suffer from a mental health condition.

This is a result of the way that opioids affect how your brain works. Opioids like methadone change your brain chemistry, making it more difficult for your brain to regulate your emotions.

Common mental health diseases for methadone abusers include depression, anxiety, mood swings, and even hallucinations. And if you suffered from mental health issues before you began using opioids, you will likely find that methadone makes your symptoms worse.

People who deal with severe depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety are at a much higher risk of developing an opioid addiction.

This happens when a person tries to treat their mental health symptoms with drugs.

While you may feel better in the short term, opioids just make the imbalances in your brain that cause your mental health symptoms even worse.

We believe that it is important to our clients’ recoveries to treat both the physical and mental health symptoms of their addiction.

The Effects of Methadone Withdrawal

While methadone was created to help people stop abusing opioids, it is not without its own risks.

Methadone withdrawal is not as severe as opioid withdrawal. This is because methadone stays in your systems much longer than other opioids. Methadone withdrawal symptoms usually start one to three days after your last dose.

Just because it is less severe that withdrawing from other opioids does not mean it cannot be unpleasant.

Common methadone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Fever or chills
  • Sweating
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat

What makes an addiction methadone and other opioids so difficult to overcome is how long withdrawal symptoms can last.

For most people, symptoms go away within three to six weeks. But for some, they can last up to six months.

With the support of a qualified recovery program, like those offered at North Jersey Recovery Center, your withdrawal symptoms are more likely to be far less severe.

How Can You Get Off Methadone?

Like any opioid, methadone addiction can be very difficult to overcome.

Even though it is not as addictive as other opioids, quitting can lead to unpleasant methadone withdrawal symptoms.

These can be very difficult to deal with on your own. That is why North Jersey Recovery Center has treatment programs designed specifically to help clients with a methadone addiction.

Even if you started methadone treatment in order to treat an opioid addiction, we can help.

We offer a range of methadone withdrawal and addiction treatment options, including:

  • Inpatient and Outpatient Support Programs
  • Behavioral Counseling
  • Group Therapy
  • Family or Couples Counseling
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Aftercare Services

We work with each client to design an individualized treatment plan that is right for them.

We often recommend medication-assisted treatment, which helps people find other medications that can help lessen methadone withdrawal symptoms.

No matter what your needs, we are here to help you deal with methadone withdrawal as comfortably as possible so that you can overcome your addiction.

Methadone Withdrawal and Detox North Jersey Recovery Center - A group of individuals are engaging in a group therapy discussion in an open and safe environment led by an addiction specialist to discuss methadone withdrawal and detox and support one another through their recovery process.

Let Us Help You Overcome Your Addiction

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we know that while methadone was created to help people overcome an opioid addiction, that doesn’t mean it is without its own risks.

We have spent years creating a highly effective treatment plan to help people addicted to opioids like methadone. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we know that addiction does not just affect your physical health, it also affects your mental and spiritual health.

That is why we tailor all of our treatment programs to fit the unique needs of every client.

We offer multiple levels of care, which allows us to help even those who have professional or educational commitments.

Our facility was designed with our clients’ comfort and success in mind, providing unique amenities, privacy and a supportive recovery environment.

You can trust our team of experienced, highly-qualified addiction professionals to help you through every step of your recovery journey.

We realize that many of our clients worry about how they are going to pay for their treatment.

That is why we accept most private & commercial insurance plans.

Simply reach out to use and we will complete a free verification of your benefits and coverage for addiction treatment. If your insurance plan will not cover our services, we will not simply stop helping you on your recovery journey.

Instead, our admissions team will work with you to make sure you get directed to a rehab center that your insurance plan will be willing to cover.

If you are wondering how to get off methadone, we are here to help.

North Jersey Recovery Center is here to work with you to design your recovery plan for maximum success.

Let us give you the tools you need to overcome methadone withdrawal and addiction, and get back to leading a happy, healthy life.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Medical Reviewer

Laura comes to NJRC with 23 years of vast clinical experience in hospital, residential, outpatient, and community outreach settings where she has worked, supervised clinical teams, and volunteered. She has provided substance abuse and mental health counseling, clinical coordination, and advocacy to individuals, families and groups, and specializes in co-occurring disorders for both adults and adolescents.