What is Methadone?

What is Methadone?

Methadone, otherwise known as dolophine, is a synthetic opiate used to prevent and relieve moderate to severe pain.  It comes in a number of different pill forms with the following names:  Symoron, Dolophine, Amidone, Methadose, Physeptone, and Heptadon.  Methadone acts to relieve pain by binding to the opiate receptors in the brain, which communicates pain signals to the body. Like Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet and other common pain relief prescriptions, Methadone is a drug that is highly addictive.  Within weeks, the human body develops tolerance to the drug, requiring higher and higher doses of Methadone to fully block your pain receptors. Physical dependence also involves withdrawl, which can lead to the uncomfortable physical symptoms when the medication is decreased or stopped.

What is a Methadone Detox?

A Methadone detox allows your body to comfortably get off Methadone without withdrawl symptoms.  Withdrawl symptoms occur when you stop taking Methadone or when you miss your dose or take a smaller dose than you need. Withdrawl symptoms are minimal at first and include nausea, diarrhea, runny nose, abdominal cramping, and hot and cold sweats, but if you don’t take another Methadone dose soon, these symptoms will get worse.

At Palm Beach Outpatient Detox, we don’t think you should have to fear getting off Methadone because of withdrawal symptoms. There’s a way that you can detox off of Methadone in the comfortable setting of your own home with a subutex or suboxone initiation followed by a gradual taper of the medication and finally, no medication.

Why Do I Need a Methadone Detox?

Long term use of Methadone can have a number of social and physical consequences.  As tolerance to Methadone develops the body requires more and more Methadone or withdrawl symptoms will occur.  As more Methadone is needed daily, a person often spends a great deal of time and/or money obtaining more medication.  The need for Methadone can turn into an obsession.  Often important social and recreational activities are given up or reduced to obtain and use Methadone.  Methadone can also take a physical toll on the body and has a number of side effects including the following:  fatigue, sedation, liver damage, constipation, nausea, confusion, delirium, respiratory depression, and even death.  A Methadone Detox can allow a person to take control of their life again and to once again obtain a “clear-headed” perspective on life.

What Can I Expect From a Methadone Detox?

Without medical supervision, a Methadone detox can be an extremely difficult, uncomfortable, and even painful. You can expect stomach cramps, runny nose, agitation, irritability, sweating, hot and cold flashes, and muscle and bone pain. The symptoms begin within hours of your last dose, peak after a few days and last for as long as a few weeks.

With a prescription to Subutex or Suboxone, you can detox off of Methadone without experiencing these symptoms. Subutex and Suboxone are partial agonists, which mean that they bind to the receptors in your brain just like Methadone would; stopping the withdrawl symptoms, but not causing the potent effect that Methadone does (“the high”).  Subutex and Suboxone stay on the opiate receptors for a long time and leave the receptor slowly, thus diminishing withdrawl signs and symptoms on discontinuation.  This medication will allow you to break your physical dependence to Methadone as your doctor slowly lowers your Suboxone or Subutex dose over two to three weeks and eventually stops it.

Palm Beach Outpatient Detox offers outpatient detoxification treatments for opiates, alcohol and benzodiazepines in a comfortable office setting that is both affordable and allows clients to continue to work and be at home with their families. For many individuals this offers a way of easing back into daily living over a several weeks and into a recovery based way of life. Palm Beach Outpatient Detox covers areas which include Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Martin and St. Lucie Counties in the South Florida area.

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