What is Rapid Methadone Detox?
Methadone detox is associated with an extraordinarily lengthy and unpleasant withdrawal syndrome. Although the drug might help people with the daily struggles of seeking illegal drugs, it is essential to understand that methadone is an opioid with its own addiction risks. If you are contemplating starting or coming off methadone, you should understand the drug in its entirety, including risks and benefits.
What is Methadone?
German pharmaceutical companies first started synthesizing methadone hydrochloride during the Second World War. It was first introduced to the US in the late 40s as a pain reliever for chronic pain patients, but rapidly it became a replacement drug for those suffering from heroin addiction. Methadone is a synthetic analgesic with similar effects to morphine but much longer acting. The medication is available in tablets, wafers, and in liquid form called Methadose.
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Uses and Effects
Methadone is a narcotic often used in clinics to help those suffering from addiction to heroin, fentanyl, or other opioids. Because the drug is an opioid with an extensive half-life, it is usually prescribed in one single daily dose to prevent its users from going through withdrawals. Long term maintenance can entail a spectrum of possible side effects, including:
Furthermore, in some dangerous instances, even respiratory depression, hypotension, or bronchospasms.
Methadone Addiction and Abuse
Methadone treatment usually starts in an attempt to curb opioid drug abuse and addiction. The issue becomes that over some time, people become more resistant to the drug, requiring higher doses to prevent symptoms of withdrawal. This tolerance can lead to an entire spectrum of adverse side effects, including the development of physical and psychological dependence.
The need for more and more drugs may cause the user to engage in dangerous behavior and be at risk of overdose and even death.
Sometimes people will seek alcohol or benzodiazepines to amplify the side effects of methadone. However, the problem with is that all these drugs are known as respiratory depressants, and when combined, can pose a fatal impact.
In June 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that methadone was one of the top three most common drugs to cause an overdose. Overdoses occur more frequently at the beginning of treatment, and they are usually a cause of excessive doses.
Here are some of the overdose signs:
- Muscle spasticity
- Difficulty breathing (slow, shallow and labored breathing)
- Bluish fingernails and lips
- Weak pulse
- Low blood pressure
Trying to quit methadone can be one of the most challenging things to do. The withdrawal process for such a potent drug is harder than most people can endure.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Methadone withdrawal is often more severe and prolonged than heroin or morphine when used at comparable doses. Symptoms can last for several months, which may make the struggle even more challenging. Physical symptoms include extreme cases of:
- Aches and cramping
- Irritable moods
- Chills and shivering
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Increased heart rate and feelings of paranoia
Those with lengthier or more severe methadone addiction are likely to experience stronger symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms usually appear within 24 hrs. After the last dose, and start becoming unbearable after 48 hours. The first couple of weeks are usually the worst.
Typical Methadone Withdrawal Timeline
First 2 Days – The most prominent symptoms are hot and cold flashes, chills, upset stomach, and anxiety.
Days 3 to 10 – Discomfort will start escalating as the days go by. Most people will experience intense body aches, insomnia, muscle pain, severe nausea with vomit, diarrhea, and often desperation.
Days 10 to 14 – Symptoms might start subsiding, although exhaustion and depression can be severe.
Day 15+ – The ones that do make it through the first two weeks, now have to deal with intense cravings. Cravings, low energy levels, insomnia, and depression may last for weeks.
Because of the length and intensity of these symptoms, going through a methadone treatment program without medical assistance is not advisable. Moreover, the severity and duration of the withdrawal will vary depending on the user’s addiction, health, body chemistry, emotional status, and tolerance.
The good news is that cold turkey withdrawal is an archaic and cruel form of detoxification.
Overcoming Methadone Addiction
Physical dependence occurs when your body relies on the drug to function without going through withdrawals. When Methadone intake is interrupted or reduced, the whole metabolism tries to establish normal function. This drastic change causes incredible physiological distress that is nearly impossible to overcome without adequate medical intervention. Furthermore, the loss of fluids through vomiting and diarrhea, elevated blood pressure, and heart rate can put the patient at severe risk of an adverse medical event.
Fortunately, science has evolved, and medicine has numerous advances in opioid (opiate) detoxification protocols. Where in the past, patients were told that they would be taking methadone forever, nowadays they can actually sleep through the worst part of the acute withdrawal.
Methadone Rapid Detox
Anesthesia-assisted medical detoxification, also known as rapid detox, is a more comfortable and faster way to come off methadone, more than ever imagined possible. Rapid detoxification is an incredibly useful procedure to shorten and ease withdrawal symptoms while patients comfortably sleep under anesthesia. The process should only be provided by an experienced board-certified anesthesiologist, while in a private ICU room of an accredited hospital.
From all the available rapid detox centers, the most successful and recognized is the Waismann Method®. The center has been providing methadone detox for over 21 years, with nearly 100% detox success rate. Patients on low and high doses of methadone are treated with the utmost respect and professionalism. Rapid detox significantly reduces the possibilities of detox failure and relapse caused by prolonged suffering during a withdrawal syndrome.
Since the late 90s, we have successfully detoxed patients on methadone maintenance, even with tolerances of 400+ milligrams a day. Patients fly from all over the world and are admitted to a private room to a full-service accredited hospital for 2 to 4 days. Additionally, at the hospital, they are supervised and treated by a quadruple board-certified anesthesiologist with over two decades of experience performing rapid detox for methadone. Once medically stable, patients spend a few extra days at our exclusive recovery center, the Domus Retreat.
Methadone addiction can be one of the most challenging conditions to overcome. Fortunately, there are medically assisted detox centers where people can get help with methadone withdrawal and overcome this terrible addiction once and for all. Waismann Method offers Methadone Rapid Detox for those seeking the best and aafest detoxification treatment available.