For decades, methadone has been used to help in the treatment of opiate addiction, from street-level heroin, prescription opioids and morphine to name a few. A synthetic analgesic, methadone (also known as symoron, dolophine, and methadose) acts as a replacement or substitute for the opioid drug that an individual is addicted and it lessens the withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is seen as a harm reduction tool, allowing the addict to stabilize and ideally find a favorable long-term recovery outcome. While methadone is safe when taken as prescribed it is a powerful drug and if abused can be highly addictive and can cause significant bodily damage. In those cases, methadone detoxification will be needed to physically and mentally stabilize the addict.
Methadone Detoxification Options
Ideally, the process of detoxing from methadone should take place at an inpatient treatment facility that includes consistent medical monitoring around the clock. Since methadone affects each individual differently and differs regarding overall health and previous drug history, the detox process is crucial for both monitoring and adjusting the protocol. There are two main types of methadone detoxification; gradual methadone detoxification and rapid methadone detoxification.
With gradual methadone detox, the dosage of methadone is gradually decreased until usage of the drug is stopped entirely. The gradual method of methadone detoxification is typically carried out in an outpatient treatment facility, and there is little or nothing done to treat the patient’s withdrawal symptoms. This approach is not the most effective unless carried out in an inpatient methadone addiction treatment program.
With rapid methadone detoxification, the process is typically carried out in an inpatient treatment facility. A general anesthetic is administered in order to sedate the patient during the first hours of detox. This sedation typically lasts about an hour and the methadone withdrawal symptoms are eliminated or significantly reduced. Following the sedation, the patient’s physical and emotional well-being is closely monitored by doctors and therapists in order to ensure they are ready to enter into methadone addiction rehab and recovery.
Hydration and its Role in Methadone Detox Process
In the detoxification process from methadone addiction, adequate hydration should be an important factor to consider in the fact that detox can cause upset stomach and other digestive complications. Regular consumption of water can help alleviate those concerns and aid the process. Adequate hydration can be achieved by the use of administering liquids intravenously along with the addition of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.