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The Dangers of Methadone Withdrawal

Using Methadone To Manage Pain

NOTE: This section is about the widespread practice of prescribing methadone to manage pain and the dangers of that practice. It is not a guide to using methadone for pain. Using methadone to treat pain is incredibly dangerous, and can lead to life-threatening complications.

The synthetic opioid methadone is a widely-used pain reliever that is intended to be prescribed primarily for severe chronic pain like terminal cancer or following a major surgery. However, its significantly lower cost has led many doctors to prescribe methadone for more common pain management, and because of this, its use has been increasing in recent years.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone withdrawal symptoms can be the most severe of any drug.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Tearing
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • Aches and pains, often in
    the joints and/or legs
  • Elevated pain sensitivity
  • Elevated blood pressure

Mental Symptoms:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Depression
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Prolonged insomnia
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Increased perception of odors, real or imagined
  • Marked decrease in sex drive
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Delusions

Call Novus Detox Medical Centers at (855) 464-8550 to speak with one of our experienced & caring drug detox advisors today!

Why Methadone Withdrawal Has Such Effects

The long-term use of methadone causes adaptations within the body that lessen the effect of the drug over time. This is known as “drug tolerance.” Drug tolerance can require ever-increasing doses of methadone to prevent painful methadone withdrawal symptoms.

However, when the methadone dose is increased, the negative effects on the body caused by methadone are increased, including:

  • Dulling of emotions
  • Inability to get refreshing sleep
  • Blacking out at times
  • Loss of sex drive and interest
  • “Cloudy” thinking
  • Slower reaction time and increased likelihood of accidents
  • Dehydration and inability to properly nourish the body

Methadone also depletes the body of nutrients, amino acids, and minerals, which can lead to additional complication and contribute to the list of withdrawal symptoms.

Painful and exhausting methadone withdrawal symptoms are the primary reason that most people cannot complete withdrawal on their own or even through a methadone clinic.

Methadone Withdrawal At Novus Medical Detox Center

After years of helping countless people withdraw from methadone, our staff here at Novus Medical Detox Centers have a deep understanding of the devastating effects methadone can have on the body. We know how to make withdrawal comfortable and not difficult, from even the highest dosages.

We treat our patients with our unique individualized protocols, our proprietary compounded medications, natural supplements and IV treatments to replenish and restore them to health in a nurturing, spa-like environment.

From a patient:

“[Before Novus] I finally was convinced I was beaten by methadone. Words cannot describe the miracles I have gone through and witnessed during my stay.”

Getting Off Methadone

Quitting the narcotic painkiller methadone can be the most frightening, most painful, and ultimately the most discouraging journey for anyone who has a problem with methadone abuse, methadone dependency or methadone addiction; however, all that is changing. Recent advances in medical methadone detox protocols are making methadone withdrawal not only possible but routine at specialized detox centers such as Novus.

Today, people unfortunate enough to be hooked on the drug are getting off methadone easier and faster than they imagined possible.

New Advanced Programs For Quitting Methadone Even For High Dose Users

Novus’s secret is in new methods used to assist and ease the methadone detox process from start to finish, based on each person’s unique metabolic needs. Even people on high-dose methadone maintenance, with tolerances at 200 mg a day and more, can successfully quit their methadone habit for good following our new medical detox protocols.

From one of our patients:
“I was taking 300 — 600mg of methadone daily. Up to 1200 at times along with 10 — 20 mg of Xanax when I entered Novus. All hope was gone, no detox would take me. 14 days after, I leave here drug free and miraculously, my detox was 99% pain free. I leave with hope and full support of my family. Words cannot describe the miracles that I have gone through and witnessed during my stay.”

Why Getting Off Methadone Is So Important

Methadone dependence is spreading like wildfire across the country, and quitting this harmful drug has never been more important.

Nearly a quarter of a million opiate addicts have been put on methadone as “treatment” instead of receiving real treatment so they can quit methadone and become drug-free—and the numbers are growing every day. Because of its relatively low cost, too many doctors are prescribing methadone for common, every-day pain—a practice resulting in thousands more needless dependencies and addictions and methadone abuse.

Methadone is one of the top 2 to 3 drugs most associated with accidental overdose injuries and deaths in the country.

Every time someone becomes dependent or addicted to methadone, they risk a ruined life, a broken family, descent into drug-related crime and prison time, and a methadone-related death. Continuing to take methadone for pain can kill you. If you haven’t yet, we highly encourage that you read The Methadone Prison for more reasons you have to get off methadone now.

Don’t wait to take the next step towards sobriety and freedom from addiction by calling Novus Detox Medical Centers at (855) 464-8550!

Why Quitting Methadone Is So Difficult

Most people who have tried to get off methadone shared the same experiences:

  • Methadone is extremely addictive, and therefore it is extremely difficult to detox from methadone.
  • Methadone produces among the harshest withdrawal symptoms of any drug.
  • Methadone side effects usually include malnourishment, which can make withdrawal symptoms even worse. Unfortunately, addiction reduces awareness of failing health which leads to additional problems.
  • Methadone withdrawal can take many weeks, and can take even longer for people with high-tolerance, high-dose methadone habits.
  • Quitting methadone on your own is almost impossible, and it isn’t much easier at run-of-the-mill detox centers.
  • Many quit methadone detox before finishing because most clinics don’t understand how to minimize the pain and misery of withdrawal.
  • Most methadone medical detox centers do not accept high-tolerance, high-dose patients.

Getting Off Methadone The Novus Way

At Novus Medical Detox, we use the cutting-edge technology to help our patients overcome their addiction to methadone and complete their withdrawal faster and easier than they ever thought possible.

Novus Medical Detox provides 24/7 medical supervision of each patient’s progress, follows a methadone detoxification protocol that works to deliver our patients more comfortable withdrawal, and we always complete a full medical evaluation of each patient’s health status before embarking on the regimen to detox off methadone. Once you’re in our care, we provide proper hydration, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and medicines based on each patients unique DNA and metabolic needs.

Unique Methadone Treatments Tailored to You

Our staff understands that treatment is not one-size-fits-all, and will make frequent adjustments to each patient’s tapering-off rate to minimize discomfort. We will help you complete lower dose methadone detox in six to eight days, and higher-dose patients often in less than fourteen days.

Our patients do not need to take home additional drugs after completion. We offer a peaceful, home-like facility located on 3.25 treed acres where patients regularly take walks or sit outside, complete with several designated smoking areas, and we provide private or comfortable shared rooms with telephone, television, and internet access.

More from our patients:

“I challenge anyone who truly wants to break free from the heavy chains of opioid addiction to come to Novus and see for themselves that you can be free. There is hope and it is here at Novus. I thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. You gave me control of my life again.”
"Everyone here treats you with the utmost respect and professionalism. I was blown away by everyone and everything. Here you are treated like a person and not a number. Without a doubt the best place anyone with an addiction could come.”

Methadone For Chronic Pain

Because methadone is highly addictive and presents significant other dangers in the way it works, some doctors are becoming concerned about methadone pain management for anything less than severe and debilitating chronic pain — and even then methadone can be incredibly treacherous when used improperly, and sometimes when used as directed too.

The problems of expanding the use of methadone for pain management include:

  • Soaring numbers of methadone injuries and deaths from overdoses and lethal interactions of methadone with other drugs or with alcohol.
  • Increased cases of dependence, commonly requiring weeks of uncomfortable withdrawal (drug detox) to get off the drug.
  • Increased numbers of addictions leading to ruined lives, requiring not just weeks of painful withdrawal, but also a lengthy stay in drug rehab to fully recover.
  • After some months on methadone, the pain often starts increasing. This is called opioid-induced hyperalgesia.

The Methadone Pain Management Horror Story: Don’t Let This Story Become Yours

Methadone is chemically different from morphine, heroin and other narcotic painkillers, but it acts much the same way to block pain signals in the brain. Because it so successfully blocks pain for many people — and especially because its cost is so low — methadone is now widely prescribed for even moderate, everyday pain.

With that simple prescription, a horror story begins, and it goes roughly like this.

Methadone remains in your body tissues as much as eight times longer than heroin and other narcotic painkillers, but, and this is a big but, its pain-killing effects wear off long before it has cleared out of your body.

Because you’re feeling the pain again, you decide to take more methadone to try to lessen the renewed pain. Every time you do this, the level of methadone in your body rises. It can accumulate to dangerous levels before you, or anyone else, know it.

Eventually, and usually sooner rather than later, one of two things happens:

  • Suddenly the level of methadone in your body passes your tolerance level. Your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing slow down, and without immediate life-saving aid, you can enter a coma, and eventually, even death can occur, or;
  • You continue methadone pain treatment, but now, suddenly and unexpectedly, you realize you have become dependent on the drug. Without immediate medical drug detox, you could arrive at a full-blown addiction.

To learn more about why you need to get off methadone, read The Methadone Prison.

NOTE: Methadone is also lethal if it is combined with other drugs and/or with alcohol. Narcotics and alcohol are central nervous system suppressors or depressants, and when ingested together, the combination can shut down the system. Just as in the Horror Story above, coma and death can result.

More Facts About Methadone

Most methadone users continue taking the drug not because they get “high," but because they don’t want to experience these painful withdrawal symptoms. If someone is addicted to methadone, they will have painful withdrawal symptoms but will also crave the drug because of the way methadone makes them feel. Methadone withdrawal pain has been compared to the worst case of the flu, only ten times worse than that.

Almost no one is able to complete a methadone withdrawal on their own or at a methadone clinic. Many methadone users have given up on ever being able to withdraw from methadone. Most worrying of all, taking methadone for pain can kill you.

Call Novus Medical Detox if you or a loved one is dealing with withdrawal symptoms from methadone - we can help!


We develop an individualized medical detox program specifically for each of our patients, which means no recovery will look the same. Our delicious food, nutritional IVs and supplements, and specialized detox protocols are all designed to quicken the healing process. We understand that various addictions present a number of issues for the human body, so we create our IVs and diets to fit the needs of specific withdrawal symptoms.

Our process is all about you, which is why we have private and shared rooms available for our residents. Each room is outfitted with a TV, telephone, and access to the internet. We also provide educational classes that will show you how the drug or alcohol of your choice affects your body. We believe that to effectively fight off your withdrawal symptoms, it is important to know what you are fighting against and what to be prepared for.

To learn more about how we can help you,
call (855) 464-8550 today!

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  • We Offer Private or Comfortable-Shared Rooms

Success Stories

For a Sustainable Sobriety™
  • Methadone Detox Successes - Graphic Artist (Methadone)

    Mostly every person was very supportive and more than willing to help me with anything. I detoxed from 65 mg of methadone and I ate everyday. That is ...

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  • Methadone Detox Successes - Self-Employed (Methadone)

    Novus is the best place I could have ended this hellish journey. I want to acknowledge all of the Novus staff! Can I please come back and work here! I ...

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  • Methadone Detox Successes - Student (Methadone)

    Novus has helped me in a way that I thought was impossible . My stay was very comfortable and time flew. The food was top notch and the company and ...

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