Methadone can be an important tool in treating opiate addiction, but it can also cause mixed feelings. In fact, the majority of people on methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) do not plan to take the drug for the rest of their lives, although a period of 12 months is the minimum recommended rate...
However, MMT providers often have the opposite goal: They want to keep you on methadone, as research consistently shows that you are less likely to relapse into heroin addiction. People who participate in MMT programs are less likely to spread diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C if progress on methadone is sustained over the long term...
Methadone maintenance programs
Methadone maintenance programs vary widely, as do the methadone doctors who prescribe them. Some are extremely supportive and follow all-round service best practices in addition to prescribing the drug, such as:
- Drug counseling
- Health services
- Help with financial problems and welfare when you need it
- Home help
Others just check that your urine doesn’t contain any illegal drugs and refill your methadone prescription.
If your primary reason for wanting to get off methadone is the attitude of your doctor or the staff at your methadone clinic, you should seek out another methadone service provider..It may even be worth moving to another area to access really good service that suits your needs.
This is very risky when it comes to removing a cold methadone turkey. While it’s not as dangerous as stopping alcohol or benzodiazepines, it is usually very uncomfortable. Depending on your dose, you can feel very sick. Withdrawal from methadone is similar to heroin withdrawal.If you.
On the other hand, it is possible to gradually withdraw from methadone. There are several ways to do this, including cutting down on methadone and using another drug like Suboxone to aid the process over several weeks. When done properly, rejuvenation is slow and gradual enough for your body to adjust to lower and lower levels of methadone without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Always take your methadone as directed and talk to your doctor about any adjustments to your dosage...
Your doctor’s goal will be to walk slowly enough so that you don’t feel uncomfortable, cravings and relapse, while your own goal may be to get the drug out of your system as quickly as possible. Research shows that working slowly and steadily is far more likely to work than tapering off too quickly. So it is important to be patient.
How effective is tapering?
The research on the success of people breaking down MMT is very mixed, generally ranging from around 10% to nearly 90%. The most common success rates are between 25 and 50% of people who successfully break down methadone without using opiates.
Some research suggests that many people who try to quit methadone on their own experience a relapse into opiate use, and that success occurs most often when methadone is decreased very slowly with periods of stabilization..If you
Obviously, this large variation in success shows that methadone stripping is not a simple physical process and involves many other factors. Of course, it only makes sense for your doctor to prepare for a relapse simply because it’s very common.
Talk to your doctor
When you are sure that you are ready to stop methadone, let your doctor know and consider slow tapering. Also, plan how to deal with a relapse – which can be much more life threatening if you reduce your dose – and plan how to re-initiate methadone if it turns out that you are currently unwilling to go without methadone.
People should also be aware that if they discontinue methadone maintenance and resume opioid use, there is a significant risk of overdose, including an increased risk of death.If you.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-662-4357 Information about support and treatment facilities in your area.
Additional mental health resources can be found in our National Helpline Database.