Methadone Detox

When it comes to addiction recovery, the first step is often admitting, or for some, realising you have a dependence problem. Knowing you have to go through a methadone detox can be a difficult thing to accept.  With any addiction to opiates such as heroin/morphine, or methadone, there are going to be significant symptoms of withdrawal.  Although methadone, is often used to treat heroin addiction methadone itself is still an addictive substance, and for some it can be more readily controlled and is much safer that using street heroin intravenously.

Withdrawing from opiates such as methadone, heroin, codeine and morphine can be very dangerous and should always be done with medical help as these are very addictive drugs.  When a person enters a methadone detox treatment program and starts to undergo it, the first thing done is determining the required dosage.  It is common practice to give the patient 30 mg which is then increased by 5 mg a day until the patient no longer has withdrawal symptoms.  Once the patient has reached their appropriate dosages they can begin therapy sessions and gradually reduce the amount of methadone required over time.  This is the beginning of the methadone detox, gradually weaning the patient down at a comfortable level that causes the least distress mentally and physically. For some, a methadone detox can be a long process and some of the symptoms of methadone detox withdrawal can include:


Some patients undergoing a methadone detox may experience excessive sweating, this is just the body’s way of getting rid of the toxins. And there are medications such as clonidine that may help stop the excessive sweating.


Methadone use for many patients has resulted in psychological dependence. Therefore a sign of methadone detox is a change in mood, which may result in feelings of stress and anxiety.

Muscle Aches and Pains

One of the initial painful symptoms of a methadone detox can be felt in the patient’s muscles. This is often described as symptoms of the flu, and it will usually begin within 12 to 30 hours of the last dosage of methadone depending on the level of dependence. A medical practitioner will moderate the rate of the methadone detox through slowly weaning the patient off the drug as this can minimize some of these symptoms, or at least, make them more tolerable.


Methadone detox can also cause sleeping problems i.e. insomnia; this is typically one of the early symptoms of methadone withdrawal during detox. Some doctors and methadone detox clinics may prescribe sleeping pills to help the patient get some rest during their methadone detox.

Stomach Upset

Towards the end of your methadone detox some patients can expect to experience various kinds of stomach upset. Including vomiting and diarrhoea, whilst this is not life threatening it can be very uncomfortable.

If you want to help an individual or yourself get methadone free please call one of our trained advisors. Although the detox process seems frightening, nothing can compare to being reborn living a healthy, peaceful life. Take the first step to sobriety by calling +44 (0) 7586 805 221 to receive free, confidential advice from one of our friendly advisors.

Author 'John


Trained in addictionology in the Johnson Model, and specializing in substance abuse for individual and couple counselling. John's personal experience has given him a wealth of insights, which he integrates into practice. His extensive training has allowed him to gain expertise in individual and group counselling, concurrent disorders, case management, executing treatment plans and relapse prevention. He started this free helpline as a result of a life change and to help others get sober and live a life free from drugs and alcohol. John covers a variety of topics relating to addiction and recovery in his articles.


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