Methadone is a physically dependent medication which came into existence in the 20th century. Chronic fatigue, aches, sleeplessness and pains, anxiety, depression are all symptoms and signs of such deficiencies that include the use of methadone. Methadone also intensely effects brain neurotransmitter function and production. It is also found that it produces havoc in what is known as the hypothalamic pituitary axis…which is responsible for the chronic fatigue. And just similar to all other opiates, methadone regulates the opiate receptors in a human body hence the long lasting pains and aches linked with withdrawal. Methadone withdrawal is specifically dangerous because, if it is left untreated; these symptoms can literally last for months.
There are various ways to get off methadone & be free from its addiction, but none of these are free from pain. Even when your body gets free from methadone, the withdrawal symptoms may persist due to the inability of the brain to produce the neurotransmitters that are mimicked by the drug. Many people wishing to be totally free will look to rehab and detox in order to get help overcoming the addiction.
Go cold turkey?
Others opt to try and go cold turkey to get off methadone which can be quite difficult and painful regardless of the dosage that you might have been taking. This is also a risky thing to attempt and special care is required from a specialized doctor. If you feel up it and want to go cold turkey the best place to attempt this would be in a rehab clinic under the watchful eye of a doctor. You should never try going cold turkey on at home or on your own as you could endanger your life.
What not to do?
You should never carry out the process for getting off methadone on all your own as this could be dangerous and may lead to various complex problems.
Foods, Medication and Exercise
The withdrawal from methadone should be accompanied by certain drugs, vitamins, a special diet and mild exercise. Some of the things to do are:
- Take: Clonidine 0.1, or 0.2 mg, twice to three times per day
- Intra-Venous Nutritional therapy
- Oral nutrition
- Neuroreplete/D-5 protein formulas
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Avoid candy
- Drink water in large quantities, green tea, avoid soda and coke water for 3 weeks.
- Start swimming and exercising, daily walking etc.
- Mineral complex.
- Fish oils.
- free amino acids.
- Antioxidants with Full Spectrum.
- Vitamin C.
- Reduced L-Glutathione 300mg per day.
- Adrenal Support.
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid with Milk Thistle.
Steps to follow in the process of getting off Methadone
- While you are on methadone, you can start reducing your dose slowly to about 30 mg and change to suboxone (buprenorphine)/subutex, get stable on it for sometime, and then slowly get off the subutex.
- You must know that getting off long term opiates (subutex, methadone) will require good planning. You are more likely to be successful with a long term plan to taper off slowly.
- Taking some clonidine is also useful for some addicts, particularly with the chills and anxiety and restless legs. This is a non opiate and non addictive medication which is also used for high blood pressure.
Spiritual and Emotional support are also very important in the journey to getting back to your normal & healthy self. Very often trying to get off methadone will stretch an individual’s mind, spirit and body to the limit and without the support of loved ones it becomes even harder. Those who try to go it alone very rarely ever succeed. It is important to have the support of friends and family or at least a 12 step program to successfully get off methadone.