Methadone Detox Programs in Florida - Suboxone Treatment Clinic

Methadone is a medication that is used for the treatment of opioid addiction during medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs. Methadone is a full opioid agonist, meaning it activates opioid receptors in the brain. This medication is used to taper individuals off of opioids they have become addicted to. While methadone treatment can be successful, individuals can become addicted to this drug.

Individuals who abuse methadone will become dependent and addicted to the substance. As a result, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal when they stop taking methadone. While the symptoms of methadone withdrawal are usually not life-threatening, they can be extremely unpleasant and difficult to deal with. People who are addicted to methadone should always attend a professional methadone detox program.

Methadone Addiction and Withdrawal

While methadone is traditionally used for the treatment of addiction, this medication has become a known substance of abuse. As previously mentioned, methadone is a full opioid agonist. This means that the individual who takes methadone will experience the full effects of opioids. While methadone is prescribed by the dosage the individual needs to begin tapering off of a drug, many patients begin to take more than they are prescribed. This is what leads to methadone abuse and the development of tolerance, dependency, and addiction.

When someone is addicted to methadone and decides to stop taking it, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal. Typically the symptoms of methadone withdrawal are not life-threatening, however, they are extremely unpleasant. This may cause an individual to relapse without proper medical intervention.

The symptoms of methadone withdrawal include:[1]

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Pain or aching of the muscles and joints
  • Cold sweats and goosebumps
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Anxiety

Some of the symptoms of methadone withdrawal can lead to adverse physical and psychological consequences. For example, excessive vomiting or diarrhea can lead to dehydration without proper medical attention. Additionally, insomnia and depression may cause an individual to experience suicidal thoughts. Because of this, attending a professional methadone detox program is vital for one’s safety.

Overview of Methadone Detox

Professional methadone detox programs in Florida provide patients with a safe and comfortable experience during the withdrawal stage of methadone addiction recovery. The symptoms of methadone withdrawal can be extremely difficult to deal with, often causing individuals to relapse.

Methadone detox programs typically taper their patients off of methadone. This means gradually decreasing their dosage of methadone to prevent the individual from experiencing severe side effects. Medical staff will monitor the patient’s vitals and determine a tapering schedule that is safe and appropriate based on their findings. The tapering schedule may be adjusted if the physician determines that the patient’s system is responding well to lower dosages.

If an individual is experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during their tapering process, additional medications may be utilized. Medications used to soothe withdrawal symptoms during a methadone taper include:

  • Clonidine for high blood pressure and rapid heart rate
  • Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen for pain and inflammation
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol) for diarrhea
  • Benadryl and trazodone for insomnia

Recovery from methadone addiction does not end once an individual completes detox. Detox is only the first step of treatment, as it only addresses the physical aspects of addiction. Once a patient finishes their detox program, they should immediately begin traditional addiction treatment in the inpatient or outpatient setting.

Safer Alternatives to Methadone

Because methadone is addictive, it is important to understand that there are safer alternatives to this medication. During medication-assisted treatment, individuals receive medications to lessen uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal and eliminate cravings. While methadone is effective in doing so, this medication is a full opioid agonist. This means individuals will experience the effects of the opioid during detox. Instead of using a full opioid agonist, experts recommend partial opioid agonists that do not allow the user to experience the euphoric effects of opioids.

The two most common partial opioid agonists used during MAT are Suboxone and Sublocade.

Suboxone is a combination medication that includes the substances buprenorphine and naloxone. This medication is given orally and daily throughout a detox program. It effectively limits withdrawal symptoms and prevents cravings without providing the patient with the euphoric high that methadone does.[2]

Sublocade is a monthly injection that contains buprenorphine. Sublocade is given after an individual has taken suboxone for 7 days to ensure that the individual’s body tolerates the medication.[3]

It is important to note that Suboxone and Sublocade are not cures for addiction. These medications are intended to provide patients with relief from their withdrawal symptoms to allow them to progress to the next stages of addiction treatment. They should be used in combination with behavioral therapies, group counseling, addiction education classes, and 12-step support groups. This ensures that the individual is recovering from the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of their addiction.[4]

Find Help for Methadone Addiction at a Florida Treatment Center

Struggling with methadone addiction can be extremely disheartening, especially when the individual was taking the medication to overcome an opioid use disorder. Oftentimes, this causes the individual to experience feelings of shame and guilt. While it is normal to feel this way, individuals should never allow such feelings to prevent them from seeking help.

Suboxone Clinic of Palm Beach understands how difficult methadone addiction can be. We consider this by offering our patients 24/7 support and a safe environment to heal in. For more information on our methadone detox program, contact us today.