Anyone who is on a lot of Methadone and wishes to be free from the drug will need to go through methadone detox. This is easier said than done as detoxing from methadone can be quite a challenge. In fact, it can be much more difficult than detoxing from heroin because the half life of the drug is so much longer. In other words, the methadone sticks into your system for a longer period of time and it leaves your body much more slowly. In comparison, heroin leaves the body fairly quickly and so the detox is not as drawn out.
If you are planning on going to drug rehab in order to detox from methadone then here is what you should do: ween yourself down to the lowest dose possible before you go into treatment. If you are taking, say, 60 milligrams per day, then try to cut down a little bit each day so that you are taking less than half of that before you go into treatment. Ideally, you want to be taking less than 30 per day when you go into rehab.
Because if you are taking more than that, then it is almost impossible to detox you quickly.
Consider the problem here: rehab is expensive. Every day in detox is costing someone several hundred bucks. It is not cheap. Now, if you are taking lots of methadone every day, and then go right into rehab, then you will probably not even start going through withdrawal on your second day of detox. In fact, it will probably be more like day 5 or day 6 when your withdrawal really kicks in from the methadone leaving your body. It is a sticky drug and it takes time for it to move out of your system. Most other opiate drugs like heroin move out of your system much quicker than Methadone does, making them a quicker detox process. But the sticky nature of this drug makes it very difficult to come off of, even if you are in a controlled rehab setting. It just takes time for it to leave your body.
What usually happens in this case is that addicts do a few days in detox and then they move into residential treatment and start attending groups and lectures so that they can learn how to live a clean life in recovery. Well if you are detoxing from methadone then the day that you get to the groups is going to be when you are probably the sickest. The only way to prevent this is to:
1) Reduce your level of methadone dosage to very low levels before going to treatment.
2) Quit taking the methadone a few days before going into treatment.
Both of those options are fairly difficult to do, but the second option is near impossible. If you could do the second option then you probably don’t really need rehab at all. So try your best to arrange to go to rehab, and try real hard to cut your dose down to under 30 milligrams before you check in. If you can do this then your detox will be much smoother.