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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration

Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug that is used primarily in opioid replacement therapy. It is also commonly used as an analgesic drug due to its pain-relieving properties. For individuals with chronic pain, taking Methadone may provide effective pain relief. This is a drug that acts on the same opioid receptors in the brain as both morphine and heroin – which leads people to experience similar effects from this drug.

Many individuals that have serious addictions will go on Methadone as an alternative to a more powerful drug like heroin. In other words, a person will stop using heroin and instead start taking Methadone. The idea behind using this medication is to serve as a safer replacement for an illicit drug like heroin. A person will take this drug over a period of time and a doctor will eventually help that person gradually reduce their dose – thus helping them defeat their opiate addiction.

A common problem associated with Methadone is that many people find it to be just as addicting (in some cases more addicting) than illicit opiates like heroin. People end up taking this drug and ironically become addicted to the drug that was supposed to help them kick the other addiction. However, research does support the idea that this is a less powerful substance than illicit opioids and in some cases, this is the most effective option for hardcore addicts.

Factors that influence Methadone withdrawal include:

When withdrawing from a drug like Methadone, there are going to be a number of different factors that affect the severity of your withdrawal experience. Various important factors include things like: time span over which you took the drug, dosage, individual factors, and how gradually you tapered off of it.

1. Time Span

How long have you been taking Methadone? Some people have been on it for years as a means to provide pain relief. Others have been on it years to help them cope with opioid dependence. If you have been on Methadone for a shorter duration, the withdrawal should be easier than someone who has been on this drug for an extended period of time (i.e. years). Whenever you take a drug like this for a long period of time, it changes your nervous system and you become physically and psychologically dependent on this drug for daily functioning.

2. Dosage (15 mg to 120 mg)

For opioid replacement therapy, usually a dose between 20 mg and 120 mg is prescribed to be taken daily. For people taking Methadone for pain relief, a dose between 2.5 mg and 10 mg is usually taken every 12 hours. Generally, the greater the dose of Methadone you are taking, the greater the difficulty of withdrawal. Higher dosages require longer tapering periods and when you have built up a tolerance or dependency to high amounts of this drug, it will take your body much longer to adjust to functioning without it.

3. Individual Physiology

Many individual factors play a role in determining how you respond to withdrawal. Some people may not experience nearly as many symptoms or as intense of symptoms as others. With that said, most people experience a pretty profound withdrawal when they have been taking Methadone for an extended period of time.
A lot depends on individual factors including, physiology, nervous system, genetics, environment, habits, etc. These factors are part of the reason that withdrawal is a unique experience for everyone.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

It is never recommended to quit a drug like Methadone cold turkey, but there have been people that have successfully done it. Some people swear by withdrawing from opiates cold turkey because the symptoms are intense for a shorter duration of time. However, most people have a seriously difficult time with “cold turkey” withdrawal – additionally the symptoms that you could experience from quitting cold turkey may be dangerous.

It is professionally recommended to gradually taper off of Methadone – some suggest reducing your dosage by 10% every 2 weeks. Although tapering is going to be unpleasant as well, it is going to make for a much less intense, less severe withdrawal than if you were to quit cold turkey. People tend to tolerate withdrawal symptoms better when they gradually reduce their dosage.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Included below are some common symptoms that people experience when they withdraw from Methadone. Keep in mind that everyone is affected differently and that you may not experience all of the symptoms on the list below.  I already wrote a post detailing “Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms” that you can also reference for further information.

  • Anxiety: For some individuals, Methadone helps keep them calm and anxiety at bay. When the person withdraws, they may experience severe and/or intense feelings of anxiety and panic. The panic is likely a result of the person feeling and experiencing all of these withdrawal effects.
  • Body aches: It is common to feel aches throughout the body when you withdraw. These aches may be mild or intense. Just know that the achiness should gradually improve and become less intense after you have been off of the drug for awhile.
  • Chills: You may feel chills throughout your body when you stop taking Methadone. This is a common experience that will usually last a couple of weeks.
  • Concentration problems: Not only will you likely have an array of physical symptoms to deal with, your focus and concentration will plummet. This is because your brain is trying to function without stimulation from the drug. Your focus should gradually start to return after a few weeks.
  • Confusion: Many people report feeling intense confusion when they quit this drug. This is a result of them experiencing so many effects both physically and psychologically upon withdrawal. The cognition of the individual that withdraws is likely to be significantly reduced.
  • Cramps: You may get cramps throughout your entire body when you stop taking this drug. Most people report severe “abdominal cramps” when they quit. These cramps can be painful in their own right – so do your best to fight through this pain.
  • Cravings: If you were addicted to opioids, it is extremely common to experience drug cravings. Not only can a certain level of psychological addiction be created, but physical addiction occurs as well. During withdrawal, you may have intense cravings for this drug and/or other opioids. Do your best to fight through the addiction and avoid going back on the drug at all costs.
  • Depersonalization: You may feel depersonalized when you quit taking this drug. This means you may feel unlike your natural self and feel as if you have transformed into a zombie or alien. This is a result of neurochemistry changes and physical changes that your body is enduring. This feeling will go away following an extended detoxification period.
  • Depression: Some individuals have claimed that Methadone works to treat depression. Clinical evidence has found that drugs like this one have been used with success at treating refractory depression (i.e. Suboxone for depression). Since most people receive feelings of pleasure and/or an antidepressant effect from taking this drug, it is no wonder that they experience depression when they withdraw. The depression may become very severe because not only are neurotransmitters in a state of chaos, endorphin levels are likely to be lower than average.
  • Diarrhea: It is almost guaranteed that you are going to have pretty intense diarrhea during your withdrawal. This diarrhea may strike early within the first few days and may be pretty severe. The best way to cope with this is to go get some Imodium (available over-the-counter). While on Methadone, you may have easily become constipated – during withdrawal, the opposite happens.
  • Dilated pupils: While taking any opiate drug, your pupils will contract. When you stop taking it, your pupils will naturally become dilated.
  • Dizziness: The dizziness you experience may be incredible and tough to deal with. It may feel as if you have no balance and/or your motor skills are affected by withdrawal.
  • Fatigue: Do you feel excessively tired after you quit Methadone? If you feel tired, lethargic, fatigued, etc. – this is because your body is trying to heal itself. It recognizes that it is no longer receiving the drug and is resting in order to restore natural functioning.
  • Headaches: A side effect that most people experience during drug withdrawal is that of headaches. If you are experiencing headaches, just know that this is part of the withdrawal process. Working to rest, relax, and stay properly hydrated can go a long way in helping manage these.
  • Insomnia: Some people report intense sleepiness, but insomnia is also very common. You may have both sleepiness at times, and insomnia at others. If you are unable to fall asleep at night, this may also have something to do with the anxiety and symptoms you are experiencing. Your best bet is to fight through these symptoms and focus on relaxation if your insomnia is caused by anxiety.
  • Irritability: The irritability that is experienced during withdrawal is pretty difficult to tame. When you are being irritable, recognize it as being a withdrawal symptom and try to not let it get the best of your character. It is a result of the depression that you experience when withdrawing.
  • Lightheadedness: Another reported symptom is that of feeling lightheaded. This goes hand in hand with feeling dizzy. You may get surges of extreme lightheadedness that prompt you to lie down and rest.
  • Mood swings: The moods that you experience when coming off of Methadone may feel totally out of your control. One minute you may feel extremely depressed and like crying, the next you may feel angry and irritable. Eventually you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and your mood will begin to improve and stabilize.
  • Muscle pains: If you were taking this drug for pain management, you can expect a lot of the pain to return. In some cases the pain you experience will be even worse than before you started. This is because your body’s natural painkillers (i.e. endorphins) have been depleted by the consistent use of this drug. It will take awhile for your body to re-establish proper endorphin functioning.
  • Nausea: If you feel nauseated you are certainly not alone. Many people feel extremely nauseous when they first quit Methadone. The nausea may be intense enough to cause vomiting. Realize that this is your body’s response to coming off of a powerful drug – it will fade.
  • Restless legs: It is common to experience restless legs during withdrawal. In other words, your legs may constantly shake or appear restless. This is a symptom that may take a couple of weeks before it starts to subside.
  • Runny nose: Another common symptom to experience is that of a runny nose. Although this will eventually dry up, your nose run like a faucet. You can prepare for this by keeping extra tissues around.
  • Shakes: Your body may shake in an almost uncontrollable manner and this may be uncomfortable. Although this is going to be uncomfortable and the shakes are difficult to cope with, they will eventually subside. Give your body time to work out these withdrawal effects and it will eventually begin to function without shaking.
  • Sleepiness: Most people report feelings of excessive tiredness and sleepiness. During this time your body is trying to recharge itself and re-establish drug-free functioning. This sleepiness may be intense during the initial couple weeks of withdrawal. Over a period of time, your energy levels should return to normal.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Both the physical and mental depression can become so severe during withdrawal that you may become suicidal. If you are having constant suicidal thoughts, be sure to seek help or talk to someone about it. Realize that these thoughts are not normal and will not last forever – they are merely a result of withdrawal.
  • Sweating: Many people report profuse sweating throughout the day and while they sleep (i.e. night sweats). If you are sweating, just know that this is a very common symptom and it’s your body’s natural way of detoxifying itself.
  • Vomiting: Some people report intense vomiting when they stop taking this drug. The vomiting is a result of the person feeling nauseous and sick because their body doesn’t know how to cope without the drug. If you are vomiting and feel sick, these symptoms should go away within a week or two.

Methadone Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

The withdrawal process affects everyone differently, but can take a long time. Methadone has a half life ranging from 8 to 59 hours. So at the longest half life, Methadone stays in your system for up to 2 weeks after you’ve discontinued.  The first week might be difficult, but the bulk of the withdrawal symptoms will likely become most severe once the drug has fully left the body (this could take several weeks). Expecting to feel fully recovered after a few weeks of withdrawal is typically not realistic.

Long after the drug has been cleared from your body, you can experience what is called a “post-acute withdrawal syndrome” or PAWS. In the event that you experience PAWS, it is likely that it will take an even longer period of time for you to fully recover. My rule of thumb is to give the withdrawal process 90 days before you judge whether you are really starting to feel “back to normal.”

If you were on this drug for an extended period of time, it may take an extended period of withdrawal time for you to completely recover. If the withdrawal process becomes too difficult for you to cope with, consider working with a professional. A psychiatrist may be able to prescribe you with some much-needed medications (e.g. Clonidine) that will help you cope with some of the intense symptoms that you are experiencing.

During withdrawal, make sure you are doing your best to engage in healthy activities. Consider doing some light exercise, try to make sure you are getting sleep, socialize, and stay as productive as you can. As time continues to pass, your body and mind will continue to heal and you will eventually return to normal. If you would like to share your withdrawal experience, feel free to do so in the comments section below!

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{ 221 comments… add one }
  • Hunter June 9, 2014, 6:27 pm

    Methadone PAWS, do they sometimes never go away? Can you have long term effects? I have been off for 4 years and still have many psychological disorders that are worsening. It changed me forever.

    • GLOOM June 10, 2014, 4:08 am

      Most literature suggests that PAWS should eventually subside. However I don’t want to discount nor undermine your experience, so I will say that the PAWS MAY have caused changes that have lead to long term effects – thus preventing your mind/body from achieving homeostasis and fully healing/recovering. However, just because you are experiencing long term problems does not mean that you will never fully heal. You may also still feel stuck in a state of “depersonalization” or feeling unlike your true self. This can be very frustrating to cope with and can trigger an array of other problems like anxiety and depression… Keep trying, doing your best, and trust that you will eventually heal. If necessary, seek out the help of a licensed professional. Best wishes Hunter.

    • Rick September 9, 2014, 3:38 pm

      how much were you taking?

    • Eric May 13, 2015, 3:07 pm

      I was on methadone for over 8 years, 150 mg. I got off of it in 18 days, I went nuts and was hospitalized for 2 weeks. I was put on suboxone (short term) that saved my life, but months after I still am having trouble, depression, no energy, anger, confusion. This drug is the worst thing to stay on for a long time. It will change you forever, stay away from it. Please.

      • Sharon February 7, 2016, 4:12 am

        Yes it’s terrible. It really serves no purpose. It’s all about the money. Some states such as Ohio don’t have methadone clinics. Medical doctors now are also your drug dealer. So what we have to do with this disease is stay proactive & vigilant.

        • Kelly April 16, 2016, 10:29 pm

          I’m sorry but that information is incorrect, the state of Ohio has at least 3 methadone clinics that I know of.

        • klepp0906 May 4, 2016, 6:32 pm

          No purpose? You mean other than helping to restore severe addicts to a functional life at worst? Helping them get clean at best? 10 years of my life gone between lortab –> oxy –> opana –> insufflated heroin –> IV heroin –> methadone. The last 4 years have been on 155mg of methadone. The last year I’ve tapered down to an as of today 3mg.

          Saved me and my relationships and my family. Just because your bitter for whatever reason doesn’t validate making fictitious statements like “it has no point” or similar. I go to the clinic one more time to pick up 13 bottles filled with 2mg and 1mg. This month I’ll be free and struggling with having hit pause on the best 10 years of my life (23-33).

          Hopefully in time I’ll lose the weight I put on, restore my libido to pre-use standards, and regain the self esteem I had prior. Either way I’m 100x better off than those still hustling for drugs or drug money, risking health and safety, in jail or prison, or like a half a dozen of my closest friends – dead. No reason for it? I beg to differ…

          • Godbless all May 24, 2016, 6:37 pm

            Was browsing on info to get insight on these problems that SO many of my friends and loved ones are struggling with when I came across this page/comments. I just want to say to you, klepp0906, God bless you through all your struggles and praise for all your accomplishments in recovery. No one truly knows what one is going through except the person themselves.

            I appreciate all these comments and “war” stories because I think it will help those close to me with their struggles. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and I’m glad to hear you are and learning from yours. Again, God bless and be proud.

          • Michael June 14, 2016, 8:44 pm

            My story is very similar. Idk when this was posted, but I hope all is well and you are finally free…

          • FinallyFree62 August 11, 2016, 11:09 pm

            I’m with you on that! I wasted a lot of my life using drugs! I used since I was 23 and on and off since then. This last run started because of Brown Recluse bites so my Dr started giving me 240 10mg vicodin a month then cut me off so I used Heroin for a few years had a shoulder surgery and a spinal fusion the whole time using pain killers and heroin.

            Then I got on Methadone and for awhile it worked. My highest dose was 130mg for about 3 years AND then it made me kind of not care about anything anymore. Not sex, I got fat and looked bloated. My teeth started breaking. So it got to be to much . So I took about 8 or 9 months to detox to 7 mg and I got tired of being sick so I have been totally clean for 5 weeks tomorrow!

            I still don’t feel a hundred percent but, it’s getting better! I still deal with anxiety and sometimes I don’t sleep well. I’m a pain patient so sometimes it’s hard because I’m always hurting but, I’d rather be the way I am now on my worst day than my best day not feeling anything at all like I was on drugs!!

          • Leia Fortygin September 9, 2016, 2:34 am

            Good for you. That’s incredible. I have been at the methadone clinic for 4 months, myself. I used heroin for a year after years of pain pill addiction, and now here I am. 4 months clean. I’m on 60mgs, and I am feeling better than I have in a long long time.

          • Martine September 10, 2016, 6:14 pm

            Nice that it worked for you. I gained almost thirty pounds on Methadone, which caused more problems in my relationship, and feelings of self worth then any drug ever could. I looked like a pig. I was on Methadone for three years, and it was more difficult to get off of then Heroin. They should at the very least warn you that Methadone causes weight gain (and NO I was not eating more, and I did not have any cravings).

            My metabolism just completely halted. Also, it causes hair loss, constipation, edema, and problems with circulation. By the time I noticed that everyone in the clinic was unhealthy, and decided to read up on it, I was on 75 mg of the poison. It took me over a year to get down to 30 mg, and after that I simply was too afraid to keep taking it. I went off it fast. Best thing I ever did even if it did ruin two years of my life.

        • Jon May 8, 2016, 11:37 am

          Ohio has numerous methadone clinics and doctors that will prescribe methadone and suboxone.

      • monique May 27, 2016, 4:39 am

        Eric, I see its been a year now since you posted. My husband is in the same scenario, 8 years on methadone at the highest dosage. He began to taper over two years, and has now gotten off and is 9 months clean but the depression and PAWS related symptoms are taking a major toll on our life and his relationship with me and our 3 year old daughter. He feels helpless. Can you please email me, monique.trudeau[@]gmail.com. I would love to hear that after another year there is some light at the end of this tunnel. Thank you.

        • Denise October 31, 2016, 12:33 pm

          Kudos to him for realizing he needed to save his own life! I am 5 months sober from methadone, I did it for the 2nd time…cold-turkey!!! I have been using/relying on something since I was so young that it’s scary:-/ I have had several close calls with my life due to overdose, and became sick & tired of the demon CONSTANTLY on my back. I couldn’t take another night of sleep, with my demon after me there too!!!

          I am so very intelligent, I couldn’t stand the thought of letting myself die! If you really want to rid yourself of this… then do it! I’m not going to say it’s a cake walk because it’s completely NOT!! I went through the shakes, vomiting, sweats, goosebumps, seizures, along with sooooo many other unpleasant issues. I kept telling myself this time…and be patient with myself! Give myself time, and go moment by moment with what you need.

          Withdrawal is fickle, at best! The way you feel/think is going to change so fast…BE PATIENT with yourself & symptoms. Just don’t back down from this disease, PLEASE!!! Like I said, I have 5 months under my belt…I still have a ton of issues;-/ However, I am sooooo much better NOW than when I was using! With all of the drug use I have wrecked myself.

          I have to take daily medicine just to live… without it my heart wouldn’t allow me to live! All the pills have caused me to have such bad stomach issues that it saddens me to think I allowed this to happen to me, but live & learn;) I will tell you also that it can take about 2 years to get back to what a person once was. If the person is having major trouble at that point…it’s time to head to the doctor for a few tests to check for permanent damage caused by the drug(s).

          I AM NOT MEDICALLY TRAINED, I just have a lifelong, personal knowledge with a ton of drugs. With that being said, If anyone needs someone to chat with, for any reason… or questions…I will happily help with what I can;-) I want to say one more thing here….NEVER, EVER ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL LIKE JUST AN ADDICT OR A WASTE OF LIFE DUE TO AN ADDICTION!!!! WE ARE ALL HUMAN, AND TO ERROR IS HUMAN! I TRULY LOVE AND PRAY THE BEST FOR ALL ;-)

      • Kim June 13, 2016, 2:16 am

        I was on methadone for 8 years. Today is my 9th day off cold turkey. I’m starting suboxone next week, did it work for you?

        • Kasey September 2, 2016, 4:08 pm

          How many days did it take for your physical symptoms to subside? Today is day 3 cold-turkey off methadone after one year’s use/80mgs. Pretty rough, but dealing with it. Any advice? Thanks so much.

          • Cy September 27, 2016, 4:38 pm

            Have been cold turkey a couple of time but my pain takes me back after a few years. I have come to the conclusion that Drs love to get me addicted and then bail on me and this has happened for the last time. The pain is bad but the humiliation that you go through and the non-trust isn’t worth it for me, this time I will just deal with my pain and leave the opiates and methadone alone.

            I will say that weight gain, loss of interest in passion… not sex, passion not to mention that the pains are still there so last time!!! I will say this hot bathes do help, long walks help and for the RLS now this will blow your mind but it will work…pickle juice…yes I said pickle juice not the sweet kind but regular pickle juice worked for me. I don’t know why for sure, the mother or what exactly but try it.

            Good luck to all of you and pray for the end of dependency/addiction, it is the same thing I don’t care what they say. It must be dependency because they make a lot of money from it. I am going to get even if only a little, by cutting them off of my money.

        • Wes October 22, 2016, 9:14 pm

          Why on earth would you quit methadone to only go on suboxone? That’s counterproductive at best. They both are hell to come of of. Don’t be a slave forevor, quit while you can.

          • Denise October 31, 2016, 12:47 pm

            Wes, I agree with you…somewhat. I recently, and currently have the option to start Suboxone to help stay off methadone. I have never touched Suboxone, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it’s place, for some, in medicine. My niece, who was 24, died April 1st due to heroin addiction. She left behind 3 babes…not to mention all the others that love her!!

            I am NOT God, but I often wonder if she might be alive, able to fight for her sobriety & life today if she had the ability to receive Suboxone. With the help of the Suboxone…maybe she could’ve had the strength to start heading her life in a sober/healthy area.

            Oh yeah!!! I wanted to give my email…if anyone needs someone to be there, that’s been there & done that… dawnbates23[@]gmail.com. You can also get in contact with me through my Facebook… Dawn Bates. Happy Halloween all:-)

      • thankful65 August 15, 2016, 9:19 am

        I’m posting to help all I can. I went into MMT 15 months ago and went from 20 mg up to 120. I stabilized there and after about 4 weeks started to taper. I had such a hard time with the staff as they want you to continue coming and paying and counseling and setting goals so that they can continue to charge you and take your money all the while keeping you almost like a zombie coming in daily…

        Anyways, I tapered down at 5 mg every 5-6 days until 35 mg; I hit the RLS between 35-30 mg. My primary care doc started me on Gabapentin at night and I was able to sleep; I slowed my taper to 3 mg until 10 mg and then went to 2 mg at a time. I heard horror storied from everyone, my counselor, the doc at the clinic, read the forums – I was scared to death… but it seemed like the clinic always had an excuse to miss my taper day as I had it mapped out for them from 10 mg down.

        I jumped off at 4 mg over 72 hours ago and except for a little shotgun sneezing I am symptom free. Let me add that my primary care also has me on Wellbutrin SR 150 mg x 2 daily – although I can only take it once it has also allowed me to stop smoking during this jump off. Between the Wellbutrin, Gabapentin, tons of vitamins and water and exercise I promise I have NO SYMPTOMS.

        Let me also add that I am a 50 year old female – So please don’t be afraid, listen to your body… I did and it feels so go to be free of that monster.

        • Chris September 24, 2016, 5:00 pm

          I am scared to death to come off below 40mg a day. been on 120mg for 20 years, now down to 40mg for last 6 yrs. I’m a 63 year old man with pain & extreme panic attack & depression syndrome. No money to get pro help, so I guess I’ll die from this addiction, eventually. I hope people will see how they will f-up the rest of their life by staying on methadone.

    • Felicity November 11, 2015, 1:02 am

      Hi there. I am at my lowest at the moment. And I’ve lost my self like you. How old are these comments?

      • Laura November 17, 2015, 10:19 pm

        I’ve been on methadone for 5 years and going down currently on 3 mg. I have my bad days and my good days but it’s important to stay busy talk to people who will be supportive and eat healthy exercise. I’ve been dealing with depression anxiety lost of focus and feeling like a zombie. It’s hard but I try to think positive when these feelings occur. Don’t try to deal with this all on your own…bad idea. Talk to someone and good luck to all of you!

        • Oknut February 12, 2016, 5:00 pm

          Hi Laura, I am exactly where you are right now. I have been on done 4 years. Started at 40 mg’s now on 3 mg’s the past 3 months. Good & bad days. I am wanting to stop so bad. What a waste of these years. I am in continual withdrawal. Good Luck to everyone out there that is on this awful stuff.

      • Jake January 7, 2016, 9:52 am

        Felicity, are you okay? I have succesfully removed myself from this demon. If you would like some support or someone to talk to please feel free to do so.

        • Leslie Anne January 23, 2016, 6:25 pm

          Jake, I saw your post about being free from this and I would appreciate you telling me how you did this and what you experienced. I’ve been going to a methadone clinic for the last 3 months and am up to 90 mls but quit cold turkey 5 days ago. They will only taper you 5 mls a week and recently I have discovered an awful medical condition that will not give me a year to be free for this. I will not spend time tapering that I don’t have. Did you quit at once or taper? Please feel free to email me, as it would be helpful. Thank you… jamie7springs[@]gmail.com

          • Nick January 29, 2016, 3:44 am

            Hey Leslie, I’ve recently completed the methadone program and trust me tapering is the best way. Your withdrawal will be hell unless you take it slow. I suggest getting down to 20mg, then drop 1 mg per 2 weeks. It’s slow, but you don’t want to use again.

          • Drea January 29, 2016, 6:29 pm

            Leslie Anne, I wish I had some info for you on how to make detoxing easier to hear. I am currently on 70 mg after slowly tapering from 85 mg. I know it’s just a tiny bit and I’m nowhere near the end,but we all have to start somewhere I suppose. Anyway, I just wanted to wish you the best and lots of luck on getting off. It is good that you have only been taking it for 3 months, I have been on the past 5 yrs. You will get through!! Much love, Drea

        • jacquelynn February 3, 2016, 9:10 pm

          I’d love to get some feedback from someone that’s gone through it. I’m coming off between 120mg-180mg (self medicated myself) and I’m on day 16 without it cold turkey. The first 14 days actually weren’t horrible, but I’m starting to feel really nauseous and weak… but I’m trying to stay as positive as possible. Please tell me about your experience. Thanks.

          • Jason February 5, 2016, 7:03 pm

            I was on Methadone for over 12 years. I was on 90mgs. I never abused it. I used it just as the doctor recommended. I had major back surgery in 2001 and was put on the methadone to manage the chronic pain (which I still have). I weaned myself off the methadone in about 4 months. I stopped my last dose in September. At the end of September I had to check my self into a 5150 clinic.

            I was having suicidal thoughts, bad anxiety, and depression. Five months later (we are in February now) I’m still battling severe anxiety and depression. I’m even on Klonopin and Wellbutrin XL. Doesn’t seem to help much. The mood swings are horrible. My poor wife has been through so much because of me. Today I emailed my doctor asking for more help. We will see what happens. I’m almost certain I have PAWS.

          • James May 23, 2016, 10:07 pm

            Hey there. I know what your going thru! Just hang on. I was at the clinic for fourteen years. For ten of those I was at a dose of 130 milligrams. I was able to get myself down to 46 milligrams before entering a detox. Because of my insurance I was only able to get into a non medical detox where the only thing I could take was ibuprofen.

            It was hell!!! Had every symptom imaginable. Best way I could describe my bones was that I injected them with Icy hot. You have to have an iron will to get off this cold turkey. At the same time I came off methadone I was coming off a 14 year benzo habit too. Shook violently for about 7 days. I finally slept about three hours on the sixteenth day.

            I am on my ninety first day clean and completely sober. It was well worth the fight! I still suffer from PAWS a few hours every day. Restless legs. Some days extreme fatigue. And most night only sleep 3 hours. But I know it will get better. Never give up.

          • Kelly June 30, 2016, 5:26 am

            I was taking methadone tabs for pain for 12 1/2 years. My doctor’s license was suspended and I was taking 120 mg to be cut off cold turkey because Illinois has nothing in place to help patients like myself get my meds and a new doctor. The DEA has a war on opiate pain meds and when I went to the ER by ambulance for severe withdrawal, I was refused care for withdrawal.

            My life has now become a living hell and I’m unable to function. No pain doctors will prescribe any opiate pain meds and approximately 22 veterans kill themselves daily due to intolerable, excruciating pain they cannot get any relief for. Seems the government wants to keep us down, poor and in pain! They should be focusing on the war on terror not the war on opiate pain meds.

            My last dose was May 20th 2016 and I still feeling the milder affects of withdrawal. After the first few days I began to hallucinate and called 911 for an illusion in my mind. They were going to take me to a psych ward until I informed them of going trough withdrawal. They sure don’t want to deal with that at a psych ward. No one cares either.

            They just look down on you and treat you like you don’t matter. Very hard on me. Still sneezing, the pain is daily and my muscles started to atrophy. I injured myself quite bad through the withdrawal process. I will never be the same I don’t believe.

        • Sara June 16, 2016, 1:11 am

          Hi, I’ve been using liquid methadone for 20 years, I’ve weaned myself down gradually. I am currently taking less than 1 ml. Such a small dose, today I didn’t take any. There was a time I would never consider skipping a dose. My fear right now is what happens when I make the “jump off”. I’ve been down to 1ml for over a month. How severe will my withdrawals be?

          Also, I’ve been feeling the slow detox all along, (panicky, achy, trouble falling asleep). It’s all been manageable except the trying to fall asleep. so again, my question is once I jump off and it completely leaves my body, will the withdrawal be intense or not so bad because of the low dose? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I’ve done this all myself, nobody to talk to or WANT to talk to at this time.

          • Sara June 17, 2016, 12:34 am

            Ok, so today makes 2 days in a row that I did NOT take any methadone. Like I said, I was below 1ml. I may have felt a bit anxious but I don’t know if it was in my head or not. Whenever any discomfort, I just said to myself “embrace it, it’s leaving your body, good days are coming.” I have to say that to myself every day until I know I’m in the clear. I’m not sure but I think I’ll do good. I was under 1ml for 3 weeks then jumped off 2 days ago. Thoughts or feedback would be greatly welcomed!!

        • Anneke Willems June 17, 2016, 10:38 pm

          I really need some support. I was on 34 mils & now on 8. Really struggling. I have a 3 year old daughter & a fiancé I’m wedding in 3 months. I’m absolutely terrified. I already have severe stomach cramps, leg cramps & these spasms where my whole body goes rigid & then I shake. If it’s this bad at 8mils how the hell am I going to cope on smaller amounts? I’m so so scared of hurting or losing my family. Any kind words or helpful suggestions would be so valued right now. Thank you.

          • Sarah Martinez June 26, 2016, 2:42 pm

            I would not recommend going off entirely if you’re wedding is in 3 months. That last 8 milligrams needs a very slow taper, maybe 1 mg every two weeks at most until you get down to a few mg’s then .5 mg taper every two weeks after that. I was on 70 mg per week for 5 years for pain. Was doing a slow taper with my doctor then had to change doctors.

            The new one put me on an accelerated 50% taper at 40 mg and it threw me into full withdrawal at 10 mg. She abandoned me at 2.5 mg. I’m now four weeks free of it but the symptoms are still quite difficult. Insomnia, fatigue, headache, stomach problems are all still there. I know only time will help. There is no shame in a slow taper. I wish you the best…

        • Grace July 18, 2016, 5:04 am

          I was on 110mg a day and now I’m currently at 14mg. I’m not feeling the best but I’m taking drugs for anxiety and depression and I also take a lot of vitamins, and drink a lot of water. Is there anything you would recommend to be as successful as possible? I have a very strong drive to detox from this.

          • Clinton August 5, 2016, 1:50 pm

            Seriously…kratom is a fantastic remedy for opiate withdrawal. You definitely have to treat it with respect, but it is a plant from southeast Asia. Do some research on it and see if it piques your interest.

    • Russell February 27, 2016, 9:44 pm

      I am going through my 2nd cold turkey withdrawal from methadone. The first time took 45-55 days. This time it is taking longer. I am not as young as I was the first time. I think it will be more like 60-70 days before I really feel like myself again.

  • Dude76 August 25, 2014, 8:15 pm

    Thanks for the thorough layout of withdraw from methadone. My question is if you taper from 80mgs at 10mgs every two weeks and less at 20 mg such as 1 or 2 mgs to finish the process. How intense will or what can I expect as far as withdraw. Will it be as bad as cold turkey? Am I delaying the inevitable? I’ve been on it two and a half years. I keep reading that it’s way less intense but is that just physical or mental or both? Your insight is welcome.

    • canadianaaaa February 18, 2015, 6:01 pm

      I tapered off 100 at 10 mg per 2 weeks until I was at 20. Then 2 mg every 2 weeks until 0. My roughest part was when I was at like 50 to 40 to 30. And then I felt crappy at work when I was at 0 for about 3 weeks. But I’m glad I’m done now.

      • joel July 24, 2015, 8:40 pm

        I tapered down to 10mg and then dropped off. I am on my 14th day clean. I don’t have any cravings, but my skin is crawling and I feel like I’m losing my mind. How much longer does this last? I was on 50 mg for 3 years. Thanks.

        • Chad July 28, 2015, 3:18 pm

          You shouldn’t stop altogether at 10mg. That’s way too sharp of a drop. If you go down 1mg a week from 10mg to 0, you will feel almost no withdrawal just a few weeks of fatigue. Even 10mg is a lot of methadone and you can feel like crap for months after without properly tapering off. I tried to get off methadone several times and was finally successful when I dropped from 30mg all the way to 0mg only 1mg a week. Your cannot rush getting to the finish line you will get very sick and probably end up back on opiates.

          • Bigmac 1766 August 4, 2015, 5:48 pm

            I got to 2.5 a day down from 90 mg a day. I am 5 weeks clean still having minor withdrawals, hot cold flashes, sleeplessness, and minor mood swings.

          • Kelly August 10, 2015, 3:12 am

            Here’s my experience. I was on 95mgs for 2 years. Went from 95 to 0 at 9 mgs a day in 10 days due to non payment. Took about 18 days to feel somewhat OK. Now am 40 days off and feel almost 100%. Just waiting to be able to sleep without seroquel and get my appetite back along with solid bowel movements which happens sporadically but it is improving. The fear of the withdrawal was worse than the withdrawal itself. Glad it happened. I am finally free.

        • Jade January 8, 2016, 10:18 pm

          I made the mistake of dropping off at 15 when I thought I had things under control. The sickness became too much for me, I never told anyone and after 2 years clean I relapsed and hit rock bottom so much faster the second time around. I went back to methadone for 3.5 years and tapered VERY slowly, all the way down to 1 mg. My last dose was 2 weeks ago and I’m still feeling very lethargic, not sleeping at all (because methadone makes you sleep like a baby) and I feel like I want to jump out of my skin.

          Stomach aches and diarrhea aren’t helping either. BUT, if you can make it through a couple weeks of that shit, you will finally feel like a normal human again. Try going to the gym, yoga and meditation is very helpful. Try not to lay around because that’s the worst thing to do- even though it’s all you want to do. Biggest piece of advice, it does get better but we have to be tough enough to get through this part and come out on the other side.

          Using once to fix the pain is NOT an option because you won’t do it once, I speak from experience. Tall about how you feel, take Imodium for your stomach, ibuprofen for body aches, take baths to relax and I even take ZZZQuil at night to help me sleep now. You have got this, you already made it through the worse by getting off what you were doing, just gotta grin and bare it until it’s over. You will one day notice, hey, all these things I am feeling I what being normal feels like.

          • Mannie May 9, 2016, 8:06 pm

            I think this has been the most insightful, and helpful advice that I’ve seen!! I’m having an extremely hard time with it, and the things that you have recommend will do me a lot of good!

          • Martine September 10, 2016, 6:37 pm

            Seriously? I think getting off Methadone is far worse then getting off anything. I wish I was still using. At least then I looked like a human being. I tried going off slowly, but it wasn’t working at all. I was sweating constantly, and couldn’t even go to work. What do you do different that you can do yoga?

            I almost fainted trying to make the bed, and had to sit still and just breathe for twenty minutes, I am that weak. I should never have touched this poop. Vitamins do not help. Exercise makes it worse, and socializing…how? I am sweating buckets. How will I explain being wet when it isn’t raining?

          • Martine September 10, 2016, 6:40 pm

            Being on Methadone is not really being clean is it? In what way are you clean? If only laws on drug use were reasonable. Why should a medication as dangerous as Methadone be legal? It would be healthier to prescribe Heroin, or Opium, or really anything that doesn’t screw with your body like this.

        • RAEANN January 31, 2016, 2:31 am

          I just had my 6th full day off 10 from 90, tapering 80, 60, 50, 40, 35, 25, 15, 10, done – that took about a year. I was on it for 4, including the year I was tapering… I’m wigging out, my legs are messed and I hate these chest pains. I had my aortic valve changed and pacemaker put in October 2014, that’s what killed my desire to only be a 2 year patient and turned me into a 4 year.

    • Jake January 7, 2016, 10:08 am

      @Dude76, I was on methadone for only 15 months. My situation may be a little different but maybe it will give hope and inspire. I started treatment with a methadone clinic in September of 2014 for help with my addiction to opiates. I ended up leveling off at only 60mg. Thats low for some, but everyone os different. Once I was mentally, and physically ready, I started a taper.

      I thought I could do it quick. So at first I did 1mg every 3 days. I was okay until I got to 30mg. It was like night and day. I was okay with 33mg but 30mg was a nightmare. I stabilized and then changed my taper from 1 every 3 days to 1 every 2 weeks, and finally 1mg a month. Take it slow. Don’t rush your body. Then less aggressive the taper the less aggressive the withdraws.

      Surround yourself with good people too. It really is mental games. Stronger minds succeed quicker. Take inventory of your surroundings and remove yourself from stressers. Feel free to ask any questions. Good luck.

      • Jake January 7, 2016, 10:10 am

        I failed to mention that I got down to 7mg and walked away cold turkey. It was a little rough, but it was easier to control because of the non-aggressive taper.

        • Bob April 17, 2016, 1:36 pm

          Just figured that I would share my experiences. I started on oxy & eventually maxed at 30’s 2-3x per day. While I was on it I felt amazing.I thought it was the best thing to ever happen to me. Now that I am off of it (the oxy) I noticed a change back to my normal self. No longer high, I was able to think rationally for the first time in what I felt was forever.

          In converting over from Oxy I was placed on 10mg methadone 2-4x per day. When I first got on methadone I was taking the max allowable per day. It got to a point that I could not stand stand being at the mercy of a small pill. I could not accept that those little inanimate objects held such sway over my happiness & progress towards a better future.

          It was only after switching to methadone that this transformation in thinking began. I quit cold turkey from 2-4x (10mg) per day. It resulted in a large amount of pain associated with my back (the original reason I got on the meds in the first place). I began to associate the pain I was feeling with the meds, which furthered my resolve to be rid of them.

          Trouble sleeping, etc. made it more difficult & equally frustrating for me. Thankfully I live in an area where marijuana is legal, so utilized that immediately before bed so I could get a restful night sleep. Took about 60 days or so for the pain to do away to the point that it can be managed with OTC pain meds that don’t have dependency issues.

          Once the withdrawals were gone & I was able to sleep at night, I stopped the MJ without any issue at all. As lame as it sounds, mentally associating the pills with the pain that I was experiencing really did help. Every pang & shooting pain that I experienced caused me the hate the meds more.

          In doing so it also allowed me to focus my anger & frustration to the pills, which thankfully helped me maintain focus to not take it out on those around me. Everyone is different, and will conquer this mountain in their own way.

    • chris May 11, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Try to taper off the methadone with a low dose of suboxone for a few months. Also learn all the information and attend classes on relapse prevention. Try getting closer in your relationship to God. He is the only thing that has the power to give you the strength to go through this. Combine all these and you should come out fine but it’s going to be an everyday struggle.

      I’ve been clean from all opiates for 2 years now after a 6 year heroin addiction and 4 years at methadone clinic. This worked for me, so good luck and remember it’s not going to be easy but ask God for strength.

  • Jessica September 7, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Hey, just thought I would offer insight from my experience. I was on methadone for opiate addiction for almost 3 years. About 6 months ago I started tapering down, first at 1 mg a week, then to 2mg a week, then 3mg a week. That went on for about 2 months. After not having any withdrawl symptoms and being comfortable, I put in for a decrease to 5mg a week (this started at about 60mg). Never did I have any problems with withdrawl until I went from 8mg to 3mg, and even then it was not that bad.

    Mild backache, some chills and moodiness but not bad at all. Then I went to 1mg the next week, stayed on it for 2 days and then jumped. I had 2 takehomes of 1 mg but I poured them out. I felt like I was just prolonging. It was comical to watch the dose come out of the machine lol. Today is day 3 of no methadone at all. I wake up early, I am somewhat moody, have slight aches in my back, and feel drained at times during the day. BUT, all in all, it has not been anywhere near the nightmare I thought it would be!

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that I take a multi-vitamin and usually 2 Aleve throughout the day. I mean I still don’t feel 100% but I it has not been as bad as I imagined. Good luck, my advice to you would be that if youwant to get off of it, start now and taper down. Your body will thank you! Good luck!

    • Rick September 9, 2014, 3:41 pm

      Lol thanks…you have given me hope!

      • Shannon October 21, 2015, 8:48 pm

        I did the same thing as Jessica, I have been off 1mg since Friday which is now almost 5 days. I feel achey in my arms and legs and plus where I work in on my feet from 6-2…today was a hard day for me. But at night my arms and legs get real restless. I can deal with it but I totally wish I could feel normal again. I feel I should of never did methadone and should of stuff to the suboxone.

        I was on methadone for 5 years. I have hear the if you drink a cap full of Apple vinegar it help get it out of your bones and system but also take a vitamin…does anyone know how long it take to get your receptors back to normal??

        • Jade January 8, 2016, 10:19 pm

          I was told to do a detox bath with Epsom salt and lavendar. Also to make a drink with apple cider conegar, honey, and cayenne pepper drops. Apparently it will pull it out of your system faster. Haven’t done this yet but my counselor has highly recommended it.

        • Kyle May 23, 2016, 1:37 pm

          There’s a lot of misconceptions here about methadone. I too am on it and almost fell for the “gets in your bone” or “rots your teeth” or “makes you gain weight”. Although these thing do happen when you trade street drugs for steady, and clean levels of a drug in your system, it is because when you become stable on whatever your dose is, you get back normal appetite, hence the weight gain myth.

          Most meds including methadone cause dry mouth, which I turn allows more bacteria to grow and cause cavities, I always was down my drink with a full glass of water to prevent this. Lastly, moths done doesn’t get into your bones, they just ache when coming off opiates in general, not methadone! Hopefully this can be helpful to anyone having doubts about getting in the programme because of some of these myths. The purple CAMH methadone book is extremely helpful!

    • eoin September 29, 2014, 7:55 pm

      My sister done de exact same thing got herself down to 2mls had to take true syringe she was getting takeaway of 14mls a week 2mls a day and after taking 2 mls for a week she just stopped and hasnt looked bk she is now a health and fitness trainer so u can do it mate just do it at ur pace but at a steady one best of look mate hope u get clean

    • Lindsey December 25, 2014, 6:28 pm

      I completely agree with Jessica I was on Methadone for 6 years. When I came down to 80mg in July I started a taper of 1mg every other day. When I hit 40 I started the taper at 1 mg a day.. I felt totally fine.. I have been officially off methadone since Dec 16.. I do have some fatigue, but I sleep. I have no RLS. Its only been 9 days but I’m good!

      • Matt March 6, 2015, 11:10 am

        7 years ago I tried many different non-narcotic pain killers… Nothing worked. I was sober from heroin addiction 9 months and refused narcotics. I was a 12 year addict. My pain level increased 10 fold in my lower back and I sought out a pain specialist. He prescribed me methadone. 6 years later I’m up to 180 mg a day and very uncomfortable. I’ve become dependent physically and emotionally.

        With the help of my new physician I weaned down, at my pace, 10 mg every month. Until I reached 10 mg a day… From 180, cool huh! Well I was able too cut into half then half again till I was at 2.5 mg a day. Remember this was a long tapering process. It was mentally beneficial for me. I had too do it. I was tired of taking a ‘healthy pill’ and and feeling like sh*t… Well after my last dose I refocused on work and tried to keep my cool. I started too lose my concentration and repeatedly wanted to leave… Just too sleep.

        Finding I was restless I would toss and turn all night. Unable to sleep for 13 days… I ate a lot of comfort foods and gained 20 plus pounds… It was the only thing I wanted in my my body. Today 5 months later I no longer need a dose too carry me through the day. I live with constant back pain and would rather…than be on methadone. Peace does come when you anticipate it. See what today will bring… Eventually you will sleep, in peace.

        • Amina October 26, 2015, 9:47 am

          I hope u see this but I just wanted to thank you for your positive feedback and experience. Your attitude is great and by the end of the article it gave me a bit more hope. I have been on methadone for 5 years and got down to 4mg on my own and then had to just cut off 4 days ago and I haven’t slept at all since. Ok well, I’ve slept a total of 8 hours, maybe. In fact it’s 2:45am amd I’m on here reading/writing this. Anyways, just saying thanks for your comment.

      • Kelly September 13, 2015, 3:48 pm

        I’m trying to taper off of Methadone. I’ve been on it for about five years to treat a chronic pain condition. My question is…how do you decrease one milligram every other day? I’m having such a hard time cutting it, it just seems to crumble. I asked my doctor if he could prescribe it to me in a liquid form and he didn’t feel it was necessary, he told me to just taper off a half a pill at a time and when I felt OK decrease another half a pill, however I’m having a lot of withdrawal symptoms tapering at this rate.

        I would appreciate any advice you could give me! I need surgery on my shoulder and was told I can’t get the surgery until I’m off the methadone because the doctor is concerned that he won’t be able to relieve my post-op pain if I’m on methadone. This is something I’m confused about as well since I know of people that have had surgery while on methadone and the doctor was able to treat their post-op pain with another medication? Thanks so much for any advice you can offer!!!

        • Kevin September 29, 2015, 3:48 pm

          Kelly, If the MG amount of your pills is large, then half a pill may be too much to decrease all at once. Your doctor probably doesn’t have much training in dealing with addiction. Very few doctors do. The best approach would be to get some literature to show him. Make sure it is from reliable sources… he or she will not be impressed with comments or forum posts. The Mayo Clinic’s website might be a good place to start.

          I haven’t looked up this issue there, but they usually have very up to date information, and it is a very highly regarded institution. Also, you could seek out help finding such liturature at a methadone clinic if you have one nearby. Contact them and explain your need for literature. Clinic workers, like everyone else, vary in helpfulness. But it might be worth trying if your doctor is resistant to information you find online. As for the surgery, many people have surgery while on methadone.

          Again, the problem here is the doctor’s lack of training/experience in this area. Oftentimes the hospital (if it is an inpatient procedure) will take you off of your methadone and give you larger-than-usual doses of post surgical pain medication. The dosage must be increased to first be sufficient to replace the methadone, then on top of whatever amount is required for that, more is needed to treat the pain. With so much pain medication involved, you can see why it makes doctors who aren’t familiar with the process nervous or uncomfortable.

          If it is outpatient, I’m not sure how it is handled, but it probably also required higher-than-usual doses of opioid painkillers, which doctor’s are leery of. You can try to find a different surgeon (if you have that kind of flexibility with insurance and live in an area with many doctors (not rural, basically)), or wait it out. Good luck with everything! Sometimes you have to work hard as your own advocate. It’s a crime that the majority of doctors don’t know much about addiction, but it’s a fault of the way they are taught, not of the individual doctors. Hang in there. It’s hard going. I know.

        • marty March 13, 2016, 4:10 pm

          Read and have your doc do the same. Best to you. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1892816/

    • jeremy December 1, 2015, 9:52 pm

      I will share my experience with you as any good it does is needed. I detoxed in a rehab from 30mg, I was on 45mg but self detoxed to 30mg in the community. The rehab dose was a 5mg a day reduction to 15mg and then a 3mg reduction a day to 6mg and then 4mg and 2mg to finish. I refused the 2mg dose as I was feeling fine with minor symptoms and left the next day traveling 100 miles on bus and train to my home.

      The journey was a nightmare and the next 5 days have been hell, real hell. I used alcohol on one night it was so bad and I am an alcoholic so risked things by doing this. I would have used heroin if I could have got it, in fact I would have done anything to relieve the pain and anxiety, it was hell, still off it now after 6 days and feeling rough but better than yesterday, And not drinking.

      • RAEANN January 31, 2016, 2:40 am

        I won’t drink if you don’t!!! I did the same nearly, Day 6 for me also.

        • Alex February 7, 2016, 3:58 am

          Thanks for mentioning the alcohol. It only provides a very short term relief. Then your left with a hang over on top of your withdrawal symptoms. Hang in there it has been 2 weeks for me stopped after tapering from 90ml to 20ml to 0. I feel a lot better than I did a week ago just have to keep going and don’t look back. Best wishes, hang in there.

    • Yvette Gonzales April 3, 2016, 5:32 pm

      After reading all the scary comments, I finally find a ray of hope! I’ve been on for 6years, @40mgs, now I’m on 15mgs for the last year and I hope and pray when I taper down I feel like you. Honestly I’m so scared of the withdrawal, I’ve broken off methadone twice and omg it was hell!

      I know why get on it again…well it was that or break and my body was in no condition to break. This third time around I’ve been really happy in my life and its been working out, me being clean, but I know I have to come off and I’m just really scared. Good luck to us all!!!

    • chris May 11, 2016, 2:29 pm

      You haven’t been off it long enough yet, wait until your on day 7 and it’s really out our system. That’s when it really starts happening hard. It’s not going to be easy so go ahead and give up on that idea. Good luck.

  • Lane September 8, 2014, 11:52 pm

    I was on Methadone for almost 3 years, and after tapering down at 1mg/week for a year I decided to quit cold turkey. It’s been 42 days since my last dose and I’m still having some symptoms. After reading this article, I believe I’m in the PAWS phase of the withdrawal. The first 20 days were very hard, I averaged about 2 hours of sleep at night and had very intense chills/sweats and restlessness, it felt like I had pins and needles all over my body. For me, that was the worst part and the insomnia has been hard to deal with as well.

    The anxiety was relentless for about 30 days. I was a constant nervous wreck 24/7. After about 35 days I started to sleep through the night ( average 5-8 hours) and I started to feel somewhat better. My legs are still hurting and I still have cold/hot flashes here and there but I can definitely say I feel better. Not 100% but I’m getting there. I started counseling and antidepressants which has really helped the psychological aspect of the withdrawal.

    • Finished October 25, 2015, 2:35 pm

      I agree with your post. It’s been a little over 6 weeks for me and everything you’ve said is a mirror of my symptoms. I quit cold turkey from 50mgs. I think the taper may be better for some and cold turkey for others. Do you slowly pull the band aid off the skin or real fast? Depends on the person. To me the best decision is that you want to quit. RLS is a problem I forgot about or just fidgeting when trying to sleep is very annoying which causes my insomnia. My Dr prescribed me Hydrazine to help sleep. It kind of works.

  • Rick September 9, 2014, 3:51 pm

    I have been trying to kick the methadone for a few months, very slowly, 5 mg per every 2 to 4 weeks. I have been on this for 9 years, I have trouble sleeping and I now have discovered cannabis extract (phoenix tears) not bho, this stuff has really made it easier for me, sleep great now and no withdrawal so far… I eat it don’t smoke it.

    • Kelly June 26, 2015, 5:44 am

      Cannabis can help the withdrawal tremendously! I was on 120mg daily, for pain, for 5 years. This drug is nasty, I tell ya. I dropped 30 lbs in a month when I was withdrawing. Smoking cannabis and taking cannabis tinctures was what really helped with the nausea, insomnia, pain, anxiety…a lot of things. I couldn’t have got off of methadone without it.

      I’ve been off of methadone now for 5 years. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but also the best thing I ever did for myself. It took me being off of it for 3 years before I found myself again. Like I said, nasty nasty drug! Cannabis is my pain medication now, (and yoga). *I wouldn’t wish methadone withdrawal on my worst enemy! Good luck in your journy. It’s so worth it!

      • Serena February 27, 2016, 11:48 am

        I’m so glad you commented!! I’ve been doing a slow taper for 2 years now down from 90mg (on it for 15 years!) Managed to leave the clinic at 6 mg with my take home bottles & wean myself down to .75mg (not exact but close). Today is day 2 no methadone 👍. Honestly, I feel the same amount of WD as I’ve been feeling for months while tapering… which surprisingly hasn’t been that bad!

        WEED definitely got me this far! It takes the edge off so you can function. I don’t know what the future holds for me in terms of PAWS but honestly, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it… and smoke a bowl for relief! Also, my doc prescribed me low dose ambien to sleep at nite. Allows me to sleep past the usual 2-3 hours I’d normally be getting w/out it… all in all, I’m strong & ready to put this poison behind me!

        • marty March 13, 2016, 4:30 pm

          Love your attitude!! How are you feeling after 10 or more days without methadone? I am tapering 1 mg a day started at 100 now I’m at 67 and still not feeling real badly… yet. All these comments are frightening but encouraging .

        • chris May 11, 2016, 2:32 pm

          You haven’t been completely without yet, wait until you have been a week or so without. That’s when withdrawals become real bad. And the whole point is to come off of all drugs not switch from one to another. Good Luck.

      • jason phillip edwards September 13, 2016, 2:54 am

        Totally agree. Cannabis has helped reduce my withdrawal symptoms. My muscle aches, stomach cramps and insomnia are massively reduced when I smoke good indica (northern lights).

  • Mary September 18, 2014, 8:38 pm

    I was taking 10mg 2x/ day for nearky 7 years fot pain management. I stopped cold turkey 21 days ago. The first few days were easier than expected. But the 3rd day, the pain, nausea, restlessness, insomnia, chills etc became very intense. It is the battle of my life! Today I still have intense body aches, lots of sneezing, stomach cramping, diarrea, fatigue, and lack of concentration. But it’s getting better every day now. To all those trying to kick this powerful drug, my advice it to hang in there. I know I have several more weeks if not more until I feel “normal” again but all I can do it keep keeping on. It’s definitely the hardest thing I have had to endure but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing really helps but time. Hang in there….

    • Engzor November 10, 2015, 6:51 pm

      Try and get a script for gabapentin. It’s not a controlled substance and will take away the withdrawal symptoms…

      • Andrew November 14, 2015, 5:23 am

        The gabapentin is a lifesaver. I broke my back at 17, had a bad car wreck the following year, then shattered my left leg at 32 which required 3 surgeries. I’ve taken a lot of pain meds over the years but have had years of not being on them as well. Ive detoxed a few times. Even methadone once before I’ve been on 10mg of methadone now 4x/day for more than five years for pain management. I realized I was still in pain but missing my life.

        I quit cold turkey after my Doctor bumped me for testing hot for marijuana. Ironic isn’t it? I was getting way more benefit from the pot than I was the methadone and the doctor kicks me out for taking the drug that’s better for me, non addictive, and works. He never even talked to me. Despite other medical issues he kicked me out completely with no counseling, no medical help or guidance to come off of the drug he put me on.

        We have a serious problem in this country with the government interfering with what people can take and can’t take. The government shouldn’t have their noses in our medical business. But that’s another thread. It’s been over two weeks now and I’m having some issues but not nearly as bad as if I didn’t have the gabapentin and kratom. I take 10-12 mg of kratom in the morning and 800-1400 mg of gabapentin at night. I’ve slept every night so far for at least 8 hours.

        This combo has been better for me than loperimide, phenibut, as well as black cumin seed oil. All of these help the symptoms though. I’m feeling like I’m waking up. I talk more, laugh harder, but can get emotional easier too. Also I’m taking 5- htp to try to stave off PAWS. Even though I’m probably not at that stage yet. I’m realistic in knowing it’s going to take sometime to be normal again but I’m optimistic about waking up.

        The methadone had me in such a fog I’ve forgotten a lot of things I’ve done. Everyday gets better though. I urge anyone trying to get off this crap to take kratom and get a script for gabapentin. It works guys. Best wishes to anyone dealing with withdrawals and please don’t give up. I won’t, ok?

    • Jennifer April 24, 2016, 12:40 am

      Mary, my situation is very similar to yours. Been taking the tablets (never liquid) once or twice a day for a few years. Started tapering down a few months ago (my idea- if it were up to the greedy doctors, they’d keep you on it for life) went from 10mg a day, to 5 mg then eventually 2.5 mg. I’m on day 4 of withdrawal and I’m ok, a bit uncomfortable but it’s tolerable during the day.

      However the nights are hell. I can’t lay still. Can’t sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time, but it’s the prickly restless legs that are killing me more than anything. I guess what I want to now is – am I close to over the worst of it (day 4) or is the worse yet to come? I have never taken more than 15-20 mg a day over the years, so I’m hoping my low dose and tapering means I’m in for a tolerable withdrawal session.

      Luckily I work from home. Hats off to you that work feeling like this! Thanks for any advice. (:

      • Timmie September 23, 2016, 5:00 pm

        The VA put me on drugs when I joined the Army. The military doctors turned me into a drug addict!!! My doctor knew I had been on Methadone and Hydromorphone for several years because of my intestinal disability. Those doctors told me I would not live a very good quality of life, but, they did promise me that they would make my bad days better! Liars! As soon as Ol’ Do Nothing Obama gets in office he decides to take all the vets who are elderly, I’m 65, off opioids!

        My doctor took me off at 5 mgs. Not even a 3 or a 2mg. They only gave me one year! Because Obama threatened the VA doctors with their licenses! Now I’m on my fifth day of withdrawals and they could give a s*** less! I hope I don’t die from this! I have severe PTSD! No fun! I just threatened the VA doctor with them paying for my civilian Doctor treatment for Methadone and Hydromorphone withdrawals!

  • Rick Robinsn September 26, 2014, 10:33 pm

    I started taking Methadone in Late June 2010. After moving to Tampa, I continued for 4 more years at a peak of 60mg and the last year at 35mg. Each week I came down to 30mg then 20mg then 15 and finally 10mg for only a day before calling it quits. I’m 9 days into w/d and have only had a few really bad nights. My rough nights were night 5, 7, and 9. My biggest issue now is the lightheadedness and dizziness I feel from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Sensitivity of light is also difficult. Luckily the cravings are nonexistent! Any help with the dizziness is greatly appreciated.

    • Steve October 10, 2014, 1:13 am

      Man, i’m really dreading this misery starting… I pray that mine goes as well as yours.. Heck, i’ll take days 5,7,9, rather than every day in hell… Good luck brotha!!!

  • Okie86 October 8, 2014, 6:21 am

    I’m on day 20 of methadone withdrawal and it seems to be getting worse. I didn’t miss a dose for 4 years how can this be? I’d give anything to be normal again but I am just not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! 20 days with only a couple hours of sleep sucks! So if anyone is considering methadone DO NOT DO IT!!!

    • Eric May 13, 2015, 3:22 pm

      Hey okie, listen man, believe it or not there is light at the end of your tunnel. I know what you are going through, I wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits too. This is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am so glad I can finally say I’m off methadone. How many people do you know that can say that, not a lot, if any. Stay strong, it gets a little easier each day. Good luck buddy.

    • Kevin September 29, 2015, 3:59 pm

      Okie, Consider checking yourself in to a detox ward if you can spare the time. They can ease the symptoms a bit (not too much, I’m afraid) and they can also check and make sure your health and nutrition is where it needs to be. Something as simple as a vitamin deficiency can make you go from feeling better every day to feeling worse.

      Just tell the admissions staff that even though you’re 20 days clean, you’re in hell and afraid you will relapse and take something if you don’t get help. They will find a bed for you. Good luck. Sometimes looking for outside help is the best thing you can do. It’s hard to keep track of things like vitamin intake when your thoughts are scrambled and you hurt so bad you just can’t take it.

  • Steve October 9, 2014, 7:39 am

    I’v been on Methadone for 4 yrs non stop for pain mgmt. I live out in the sticks of Nebraska and I have one Doctor that got in all kinds of trouble for getting normal people all addicted to this sh*t and now has put me in the position of cold turkey. My question is this: I have been on 90 mgs for the whole time, I have no way of getting to a detox, or rehab.

    I have about 45 / 10 mg tablets left in a hat I have sashed over time. Does it make any sense at all for me to spread these out during the withdrawal? Like say… Take one a day just to feed the dragon (so to speak) or a half a tab? Would this be considered a form of tapering? Or will I just turn a month long ordeal into 2 or 3 months? Thanks for advice.

    • Adam November 24, 2014, 2:23 am

      Taper down as far as you can. 5 or 10% every few weeks. Any opiate use between this time is not a good idea as your just feeding the habit. 90mg is a lot to come off and will hurt like hell for a few weeks. Good luck man. Suck it up and get off it in your own time.

      • Finished October 25, 2015, 3:01 pm

        To be honest its going to suck no matter what. I really didn’t believe withdrawal would last beyond a few days. I was totally wrong. A Dr can help with symptoms even if you have to drive to another town’s Dr. No matter how long it takes there are two things that help me. A few months for the rest of my life and how long did I use drugs vs getting sober. Getting sober is definitely shorter but like others say it is a fight! Good luck.

    • Mirriah December 7, 2014, 8:14 am

      I was taking 100mg everyday for three years. My doctor ending up dropping me saying that I broke his pain management contract. The first two days were ok because the methadone levels in my blood were still high enough to delay withdrawal symptoms. By day four and into day eight were excruciating. The worst symptom for me was the restless legs and body. I felt I was going to lose my mind.

      I was so thoroughly exhausted and every bone in my body ached but I could not sleep because it felt like electric jolts going through my legs. They were so painful I ended up in the ER for help. The gave my fluids and Ativan. The Ativan really helped with the restlessness. However, the one medication that tool away almost all withdrawal symptoms was Neurontin (Gabapentin). Don’t go cold turkey. Taper down as far as possible.

      • jacquelynn February 3, 2016, 10:18 pm

        Im on day 17 of going cold turkey off of 120 mg of methadone. I’m nauseous, my body really aches, and I’m having trouble sleeping – but that’s the worst I’ve dealt with. Am I lucky or has the worst yet to come?

  • JJ October 15, 2014, 7:56 am

    I was taking between 100 and 120 mgs of oxycodone a day for 4 years…my Dr. thinks switching to methadone is best way to get off them. Started me on 2- 10mg pills 3x a day… total 60 mgs. I have been taking less because they are making me feel high and do last very long. I’m thinking of stopping after only 1 week now and trying to wean off the percocets instead, as I think that will be easier than withdrawing from methadone. Anyone have experience with either withdrawals?

    • MP October 19, 2014, 11:31 pm

      I was in a similar position- I fractured 10 vertebrae and OxyContin was replaced with MS Contin, and eventually I topped out in that & was switched to Methadone. After 5 or 6 years of Methadone (top dose 80 mg, dropped to 60, 40, then 30 for most of this year), I’m now at 10mg. I’ve gone down by 10 mg each of the past couple months, & this month- week 2, actually, is the most uncomfortable. So far, it is just very uncomfortable – aches, restlessness, pins and needles, chills, altering insomnia and exhaustion, varying GI difficulties-though nothing debilitating.

      I’ve been sick since I was 10 yrs old, and there have been varying sorts and severity of pain. There have been episodes of difficulty when I would have been completely incapacitated and totally bedridden, not to mention the deeper level of hell I’d have experienced had I not been treated with opiates. I did have a doctor that was well meaning, though a little too generous in her prescribing. I began seeing a different doctor, and asked for help reducing my opiates. I have thanked God from the start that I never developed a true addiction.

      At that, I obviously became physiologically dependent, though never really craved the drug, short of stopping the ensuing pain and minor withdrawal That eventually would remind me of a missed or very late dose. I had, many years ago during a sever flare up of my disease, been treated with darvocet, then lortab, and when narcotic headaches set in, I (unwisely and without medical supervision), decided to quit cold turkey. That was the WORST two weeks I’d ever experienced. It was wrenching and excruciating, but afterwards, I felt better-healthier – than I had in years.

      So, in that respect, it was worth it. I would not advise detox without supervision- especially cold turkey, and NEVER cold turkey from anything like Methadone. My doctor warns me every time I see her about possible disasters resulting from up and down, or detoxing too quickly- cardiac and respiratory failures, never mind the “normal” withdrawal symptoms. Anyhow, I’ve rambled on a bit. I think you were asking about whether it is worth replacing oxy with Methadone. I can honestly say that in my case, it absolutely was.

      Compared to the insane dose of Morphine I was requiring to manage my pain, the Methadone dose was a bit more reasonable. My side effects were markedly reduced- I became clearer, more alert, more “present”. For me, it was a vast improvement. The bottom line FOR ME was that I was not in a state of health, and my pain was such that detox was not yet possible for me. Thankfully, now it is. As unpleasant as detox is, Methadone helped me to a quality of life that would have been impossible without it.

      I didn’t even realize the stupor I was in with MS Contin until I was off it and on Methadone. And I have found on a few occasions that I wanted to drop my dose, and I told my doctor and that’s what we did. Maybe 60mg is just more than you need. You may find you feel better with a lower dose, or you may feel an unwanted “high” no matter the dose – my Mom with MS just can’t stand Methadone at all- too much “high”. I hope that this helps. Good luck!

    • Angela July 19, 2015, 11:48 pm

      Get AWAY from the methadone. Smart to approach withdrawal at all but methadone lasts longer and are WAY worse than any other withdrawal I’ve experienced (speedballing and 30 30mg blues a day). You should definitely taper down off the percs and leave the methadone alone. This country doesn’t care for the user, some Dr’s don’t research enough and it’s only setting you up to fail!

      Ask him instead for Baclofen. It’s a very mild muscle relaxer but definitely helps with withdrawal. Good luck to you and definitely stay away from the All Powerful Methadone.. It’s stronger than heroin and 1000 times worse to quit.

    • Finished October 25, 2015, 3:29 pm

      My names JJ as well. I’ve done both and my experience is that withdrawal from oxys is more intense but only 4-5 days with me taking them daily for 3-4 years. I really can’t say when I got addicted and needed them. I just know when heroin entered the picture I went for help. Methadone is a mixed bag. At the time it really helped and I was on it for 4 years. The clinic is a nightmare in itself but that’s a different tale. Although methadone helped me; getting off of it has been much harder. It’s been just over 6 weeks and I am still going through withdrawals.

      Sleep and energy are my biggest problems. After not sleeping for 3 weeks except an hr here and there at time I went to Dr. He gave me Hydrazine which kind of works. It makes you tired but didn’t always make me sleep and not for very long. This may be a taboo topic but sexual release helps release endorphins similar to xanax that helps you sleep. Its natural and helps rebuild testosterone. Exercise to will help although you will not want to do any damn thing.

      • Gracey November 5, 2015, 6:47 pm

        I’m currently trying to come off of methadone that I’ve taken for 4 years. I never took mor than 40mg a day and for the past several months only 20 mg. My last dose was last Friday (6 days) ago. I was put on this for Crohn’s disease. I have fought depression for years because of all the above. Right now I feel worse than I’ve ever felt. My doctor gave me Percocet to help get me off of this.

        I feel like this is inviting more trouble. I know I’m rambling but this is my mindset. Lack of sleep, diarrhea, no energy and the horrible thoughts. Any advice? Can’t afford to go in a hospital gotta get it together before Monday. Can’t lose everything on top of this. Thanks, Much love, Grace

  • Mary October 24, 2014, 1:14 am

    This is Mary again…I’m on week 8 and still having withdrawl symptoms. They are nothing compared to the first month but still have body aches, chills, sneezing, stomach issues, lack of concentration and worst of all, troubke sleeping. I agree with what is posted, if you can, get professional help. The symptoms seemed to return with avengence after one month. Maybe because it took that long for methadone to clear my system. Don’t lose hope… it does get easier and I feel like a new person. I can actually feel things again and my emotions are finally regulating. Please do not start taking methadone if you can help it. It’s the hardest drug to kick and if I knew it would take this long, I may not have had the courage to stop. Please get professional help when you are ready to stop methadone.

  • Keith Caughorn October 25, 2014, 1:00 am

    43 days clean, jumped at 75 mg. Has been hell to say least. Day 1-16 really hurt. Day 21 anxiety turned up to an 11 for about 10/12 Days – adrenal fatigue – look it up. Day 38-43 feel little better unless I do something – fatigue. Still sneezing all the time. Still have much discomfort but tolerable at this point. First month was bout intolerable. Consensus says 60-90 days before real relief. Chugging along. Methadone evil, evil, evil.

    If thinking about jumping make sure you plan no less than month off of life. Have someone that can literally take care of you for at least first couple weeks. Don’t expect sleep for a while, even with sleep meds. AND when all else fails, lay in a hot bath/shower. Gives me chills thinking about that first month. But all in all it was worth it. See light at end of tunnel. No way possible I would or could do this twice.

    • Steve W November 16, 2014, 5:41 pm

      I’m at 35 days, and I jumped at 90 mgs. Our two experiences were pretty much exactly the same.. Whats with the sneezing? I sneeze like 10 times one after another… my only difference is I’m a single dad to an 8 yr old. Needless to say, I haven’t been the best father figure the past month. He’s been a real trooper and says he’s proud to be my son! That made the whole gut wrenching experience, more than worth the pain.

    • SMad February 18, 2015, 1:05 am

      Oh! What a relief! I’m on day 28 and for the last week I have had worse symptoms than the week before. Truly thought I was through the worst, slept some, was happy and energetic then WHAM no sleeping and anxiety and exhaustion that feels as bad as earlier – well not AS bad, but different. It’s great (in a completely twisted way, I apologize) to hear from someone who knows what is going on.

      I’ll look for some adrenal support, maybe acupuncture… FYI to all you folks that are breezing through and feeling great, I really didn’t have any troubling symptoms until day 5 or so and yet you are fresh and determined and strong for another week or so. But then it starts to get intolerable from an exhaustion and stamina standpoint.

      My point is no one gets through this easily, and if someone says they did they aren’t being truthful. Be grateful if you have a couple of good days but keep up with the vitamins and fluids and internal pep talks. I think I will stick with the 60-90 day estimate, it still comes one day at a time and I will take the W/D’s over that soul-stealing methadone every day.

    • Finished October 25, 2015, 3:47 pm

      Hmmh? Not to disagree but I kept going to work. If I sat around and didn’t have some distraction I’m sure I would have used. Taking a month off to go to rehab is a different story. If I had it to do over I would go to rehab. After 6 weeks I still think of going to be honest. You will not want to do anything and fatigue sucks but you have the will to quit just power through it. Walk, find a hobby but occupy yourself as soon as you can. The first month really sucks with week 2-3 being the worst. The first 5 days was pretty easy because of the half life.

  • Matthias Nomoredone November 6, 2014, 6:00 pm

    Hopefully this will help you guys. So much to tell but I’ll try to put it quick and simple. 33 years old I was on H for 11 years and done for 13. I was very tired and decided to get my life back in 2012. I stopped occasional H highs and stood on my 110 mgs for about a year was building my confidence and strength to overcome what felt impossible. I tapered down from 110 to 3mgs (basically I started with 10% rule until I was feeling ready for another reduction) from 110 to 60 it was pretty easy.

    Then at 60 I reduced by 5 to. At 30 I slowed down and was reducing by 3 every week or 2 (careful depression and anxiety started there so you take time until you feeling ready) at 20 I learned that 1 mg reduction every week is OK, but take 2 weeks if you need. At 10 it starts, you begin feeling minor w/d but you are champ beating this! BTW I work construction work 6 days a week 12 hours a day. I reach 8 mgs and I take it well because tapering got me ready for it and I know I will jump off soon.

    At 6 – 4 I feel what it is hard, but nothing I can’t take. I just take time socialize and keep optimism because I won’t turn back. I got through the 6-4 crisis and jumped off at 3! I’m tired and I know I’m delying inevitable. No time off from work I decide to take it cold turkey on my chest and I go to work the very next day after no sleep for 36h. I used Thomas’ Recipe but skipped benzos for sleep after 5 days. I sleep a bit and I still work hard at work (I learn that work, exercise, music on my ears most of the time muffles all mental stuff).

    I was surprised that it was all bearable. If you keep one thought in your brain “I put my self into it and I will take my life back at all costs and nothing will stop me.” Use the Thomas Recipe, drink lots of Gatorade and waters with electrolytes, minerals and be patient. It gets better every day. You are the Champ and you can do it! My 26 day off methadone and I keep going forward I wish you all the same motivation and strength I got. If you know that you can do it, you will and nothing can stop you :) siupak[AT]comcast.net If you’re going through this and need help.

  • Ams November 20, 2014, 4:08 pm

    I’ve just came off a 5mg dose of methadone that I’ve been tapering down over the past 8 years. I’m at day 5 now and have had very little withdrawal symptoms. I kept putting off coming off my tablet because I was so scared of the withdrawals that I’ve had in the past coming off heroin. I’m not sure why I haven’t been a blubbering mess this time and sat in a pool of my own vomit and sweat.

    The only thing that I can think of is that I’m fit and strong now and my state of mind was completely prepared for a whole heap of pain. I keep thinking at the minute that it’s all going to go down hill and hit me hard but so far I’m good. To be honest I’m board out of my mind and looking forward to going back to work.. Has any one else ever heard of this happening to a long term user before?

    • Adam November 24, 2014, 2:16 am

      Day 8 – I’m feeling normal… Still not sleeping but I’m dealing with that with nitrazipam and the odd Valium. My biggest issues is twitchy legs but have found that quinine is sorting that out really well. It’s been a long road but I’m now finally there. I’m finding it really hard though with all the praise I’ve been getting from my family and how proud they are of me beating this. I don’t feel that I can accept any of this because it was my own stupid fault for ever getting into H in the first place.

      A good way I also found of getting some closure was to get all my medical records from the doctor and drugs team that have worked and helped me though this. It was good to actually see the progression I’ve made and see the points in which I made really good progress. Good luck to everyone out there who are getting there life back. Remember your state of mind is everything. If your not mentally there don’t do it but if your stable in your life and have real goals to work towards, you’re 90% of the way there.

      • Adam December 7, 2014, 6:49 pm

        It’s been 3 weeks!!! Life is pretty much back to normal.. Still got twitchy legs but it’s somthing I’m able to live with.. I’ve changed over from quinine to naproxen to see if that helps as I found out after a bit of reading that quinine is not a good drug to be taking and I was getting some side effects from taking them. Mainly raining in my ears.. Good luck to everyone out there battling this. Just remember suck it up get on with life and it’ll all be good in the end.. In the words of buzz lightyear “Never give up. Never surrender.”

  • Dan November 30, 2014, 3:06 am

    This is the best blog I have read! I was on 80 mgs a day for couple of years. Been married to the woman of my life for 25 years. Lost my sex drive, was in my own world, had no feelings, cloudy mind, couldnt think sharp, lost a couple of good jobs,ect… I wanted my life back and started dropping 10 mgs a week until I hit 30mgs. Then all of the withdrawels started. No sleep, felt like I had the flu, nausea, runny nose, depression,cramps ect… I am still on 30, been 3 weeks. Have an appt. with doctor soon in which he suggested suboxen to finish taper. I dont know if that is wise. Does anybody know if the suboxone would be better then just continuing the done?

  • jeremy December 1, 2014, 1:07 am

    I’m detoxing off of Methodone now after 3 years and I’m using elimidrol. I’ll let you know how it goes in a week. I will know by then.

  • Jessica K December 1, 2014, 7:41 pm

    I was on methadone for 10 years. There are no clinics in the area where I live, so my doctor would write a prescription for a month of tabs at a time. My biggest fear had always been withdrawal. There were times when the doctors office did not have my script ready, or the pharmacy would be closed, and I had to go a couple of days without it. The law doesn’t let a patient pick up narcotic pills more than a couple of days early, and sometimes my doctors office would take 2 days just writing the prescription. That was rough.

    So, I knew how awful withdrawal could be. That us what took me 10 years to quit. I knocked down my dose slowly over those years, leveling out at 5mg. I had discomfort and fatigue each time I cut back, but it was not as bad as completely being without it. Six weeks ago I quit. The first week was the worst, but it was not as hard as I had imagined it would be. I didn’t sleep without benadryl – I had crawling sensations in my arms when I even tried to sleep, I would sweat profusely, and I felt fatigue and restlessness at the same time. There were also stomach problems, like diarrhea, cramping and nausea, but these symptoms were manageable.

    My brain was a little fuzzy and I did have a few mood swings, but I am taking antidepressants to make quitting easier. I still have a runny nose and the sneezing is getting ridiculous. I sneeze all of the time! My body feels better though. I sweat a lot still but most of the discomfort of withdrawal is gone. It’s weird, but sometimes I will have short lived bouts of fatigue/flu-like symptoms. This only lasts about a half hour or so, then it’s gone. I will never take this poison again, or any opiates for that matter. I learned the hard way. I realize that I still have a couple of months before I’m back to “normal” but I’m still happy.

  • Dan December 2, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Jessica, That is awesome what you have done!! Nobody will understand it until they have to go through it. I am still on 30 mgs daily and I feel exactly like you said. First couple weeks were bad, then after that I would sometimes feel the flu symptoms for 30 minutes or an hour then I would start feeling better. I am scared to go down any until I feel better every day. Its hard at work just to make it through the day. It is an evil drug. The question I have is when I go from 30 mgs to 25mgs daily will the flu like symptoms come back on such a little drop of 5mgs? I have always dropped 10 mgs at a time but at 30 mgs I am shocked how long the sick feeling has lasted. Thank you so much for your information. You know as well as I, nobody has the answers unless they have done it themselves. Very PROUD of you!!!

    • Finished October 25, 2015, 4:01 pm

      Wow. If you and Jessica are going through all that then just stop now. Others may disagree but I stopped at 50 MG’s and had all those symptoms except GI problems and no problems eating. I forget how much I sneeze. It’s annoying. I had a little nausea and headaches but nothing aspirin didn’t cure. After 6 weeks fatigue and sleep are still a problem but after reading all these posts it has really helped. Just got to be stubborn. I was stubborn by not quitting drugs now I got to be stubborn by not going backward.

  • Casie December 12, 2014, 12:57 am

    I wish I had listened to everyone when they warned me about methadone!!! I was addicted to oxys and roxys and eventually when they became to expensive I switched to Heroin, I’ll add, I was an iv user. I’m not ashamed of my story, where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I went to jail for prescription fraud, spent 10 months, had really no issues with withdrawals while in there, truly showed me a lot was mind over matter. HOWEVER, I was a heroin/opiate addict, the girls in there coming off of methadone…whole other story. So long story short…I get out, I stay clean for 2 months, and all I could think about was that needle. I spent 2 months back on heroin and decided, no more.

    So decided to go to methadone clinic. I worked, no insurance, so paid full price, $15/day. I did this for almost 2 years, a prisoner to the methadone clinic. I finally had enough. Decided to start down dosing. I was at 90mg daily, the agreement was I’d go down 3mg a week until down to only 3mg and I’d be done. Was a six month commitment, i had the choice to stop the down dosing at anytime and hold the dose…never had to!! I never had any issues with withdrawals, my last weeks when I was down to 10mg, they gave me rx for Zofran (like phenergan, but no drowsiness) and Baclafan (like flexeril, muscle relaxers). I immediately started taking those along with Aleve and Tums 2 days prior to my final doses).

    That was a over a week ago, I’m doing good, pupils are severely dilated (look like a straight tweaker) but I’m able to sleep, I’m NOT HUNGRY AT ALL!! I believe in the taper down method with Methadone, everything else I say screw it. Get some xanax, Gatorade, a trash can and a bathroom close by. It’ll suck for 3-4 days but you’re done. Methadone is NO JOKE….I WOULD NEVER, I MEAN NEVER RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE!! Regardless of your past, remember so much of this withdrawal is truly in our minds. We obsess, we panic, we know there’s someone out there with that drug that’ll make us feel better…YOU GOT THIS, YOU’RE NEVER ALONE!!!!

    • Finished October 25, 2015, 4:05 pm

      It’s only been a week. I hope to see your posts in a month or two. My first 5 days were fine. Days 8-11 were really bad.

      • Cold stop December 3, 2015, 1:12 pm

        I hope this gives inspiration to others. I was on 120 mg for a year or more. I was forced to quit by law. If you know what I mean *ah hum*!! Let’s just say it was a tough way to do it. At least I thought it would be. There is something to be said about mind control forced!!!

        Well knowing I had no option, and no little pill or bag I could open to get me through, I was on my way cold turkey. Somehow my symptoms never came on like I thought it was going to. Not that I didn’t feel like shit and I didn’t get sleep for 50 days. Legs ached sneezing and all that wonderful stuff. But I know that if I was home all these symptoms would be magnified by a thousand.

        And I probably would not have made it. Having to work and just life’s obligations. With all of this said. If you are even thinking of going the methadone route. Please don’t. Go to a proper rehab. And don’t I say don’t substitute with Suboxone, Subutex, or dope. You may have to hit bottom. Like me. To want this. But. It REALLY DOES GET BETTER I never thought. I am 90 days cold turkey. NOTHING. ONLY SOME ADVIL AND HOPE.

        Still sneezing end of day fatigue not the best sleep. Remember. SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE!!! There are people that will never get the chance to feel good ever!!! Cancer, arthritis, chronic pain in general. Us addicts can. It just takes a few months or so. SUCK IT UP. Fool. Good luck all. And don’t die!!!! Someone needs you and loves you!!!

    • Jennifer April 24, 2016, 12:54 am

      Casie, so you would say after day 4-5 it got better?

  • Mattadone December 12, 2014, 1:29 am

    Day 26 off methadone. Topped at 80mg… 3 month taper of 5mg a week. Stopped at 5mg after 3 days at that dose. 20 months and 1 day in the methadone program. Before methadone I had a 400mg/day oxy habit. Day 7-9 were the hardest, but everyday is getting better. Most noticeable withdrawl symptom is still having diarrhea. Random insomnia… but better than oxy withdrawal.

  • Kristy December 17, 2014, 7:19 am

    I was taking Methadone for severe headaches and cyst. I got tired of the medical system (it’s become BAD) and dealing with the fear of coming bad times. The weather and economic collapse about to occur made me quit. Not to mention you pay them to essentially make you HAVE to come back so they over schedule and if they make a mistake WILL NOT rectify it, even if they admit they’re wrong! I am an RN who had to quit working due to extreme migraines and I was attacked with a 10 to 15 pound metal padlock on my R jaw years ago which caused extreme TMJ.

    Anyway, I’m on 30 days and have no strength. I threw up non-stop for a week and had horrible cluster headaches. At times I thought I might die. But now here it is, a month later and my stomach, weakness and just being worthless due to it. My husband is supportive but doesn’t understand how I feel. I want to know from others if they experienced this and how long before I’m of use to anyone. I try to do what I can but…..$&@! God bless all of you!

    • Finished October 25, 2015, 4:14 pm

      I encourage you to keep going. I’m saying the same things. I keep wondering when this will end especially sleep and fatigue. Sometimes the feeling of “impending doom”. This website and blog is awesome. Everybody’s posts are very helpful. Don’t give up. Try and remember all the bad crap looking for drugs, getting ripped off, waiting and spending money. The clinic might be worse in some ways. Tomorrow will be better. That’s how I think.

  • Matt December 19, 2014, 6:10 pm

    I’m in my 4th day of withdrawal off of methadone. I’ve been on it for more then a year (55mg) which isn’t such a high dosage. I tapered rather fast approx 5 mgs a week. The first 2 months we’re rather easy, little aches and pain nothing I couldn’t handle. The last week of my taper was the start of hell on earth. I went through all of the symptoms that are posted above.

    The worst was depression, I have a 3 year old daughter I have to look after while my fiancee works. It’s hard enough going through it by yourself, even harder when you have to be a loving father. Like I said before I’m on the 4th day, my symptoms are slightly easing. It seems like I’ve been depressed for more then a month. I hope I get better for me and my family.

  • Christopher December 29, 2014, 10:01 am

    I’ve been taking methadone for 2 years for my recovery from heroin. My max dose was 45mg but I’m proud to say I’m at 2! I did slow taper over a year. 1 mg every 11 days. I felt nothing til I hit 3mg. Have had diarrhea for over a week, chills, sneezing, nausea. But no restless legs…thankfully. Wish me luck, I’m almost there!

  • smooth January 9, 2015, 5:29 pm

    Keep in there homie. It’s because of the 4 years of use. Non stop!! Hang in there G!! It will get better. I am going through the same thing. Who ever came up with this methadone SH#T should be thrown to the f*cking wolves!!!!

  • kendall January 12, 2015, 8:42 pm

    Anyone in the boat? I was prescribed methadone 15-25mg daily for sever endometriosis pain. WORSE MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. Years prior to that I unfortunately was addicted to oxycontin, crack and heroin. I thought that was the hardest withdrawal. WRONG. It’s been almost three months since I’ve been sober. So horrible and hard to deal with. I still have cold sweats, and major hand tremors. Does anyone else experience this too? How long will this last? I was told probably 1 year. HELP

    • Dawn January 29, 2015, 10:57 pm

      I was at a methadone clinic for 7 yrs recently I tapered off for good end of November and I did it the right way slow taper down to 1 mg. It has been the hardest struggle besides my chronic depression that I’ve ever gone through! So it been almost 3 months and still, still having stomach problems with diarrhea, trembling, shaky hands, extreme fatigue, severe irritability, and worse depression! My doctor increased my antidepressant, but no change. But the aches finally got better.

      I’m sleeping a little better and my restless legs are getting better. But shouldn’t I be feeling better by now? I know it can last awhile and I just read about “PAWS.” Maybe that’s it, but I’m frustrated! My family is not understanding and tired of me not feeling good. Its been like a flu that never goes away. I’m proud of myself that I did it and glad to be done. I don’t have cravings (thank god). But I feel alone with this. Please reply if you have answers or are in my same position.

  • Pablo January 25, 2015, 6:46 pm

    Hello all I’ve been on methadone for about 2.5 years for the purpose of addiction to Oxys at first which then turned into Oxys/cocaine. I’ve been clean and sober for about 2 years now thanks to methadone although now I’m also hating the fact that I ever jumped on methadone. My highest dose on methadone was 150mgs and I was cruising at that dose for about 6 months, started to lower the dose 5mgs a week until I reached at 90mgs. Held that for about 10 months, I felt fine no withdrawal symptoms yet, but I am still eager to come off methadone.

    I returned to my doctor and we started to lowering my dose now at 7 mgs a week until I reached 19mg. I started getting mood swings, wasn’t really sleeping much at that point I was fed up with this damn chemical so I picked up my weekly supply of methadone a week ago Saturday, took it Sunday and I had one of those moments where I wanted to make a drastic change so I tossed out my entire weeks worth of methadone, I know now that was stupid but I just want to get my life back. Since being on methadone my personality as changed, I’ve picked up smoking cigarettes at almost a pack a day, etc.

    Anyways so it’s been exactly 7 days without a dose of methadone and I must say the first 3-4 days I felt horrible. I was depressed, trouble sleeping, back aches, Restless legs, sneezing, shivers, constipation now diarrhea. Now that I’m on day 7 I feel a lot better in terms of body pain and restless legs, however I can’t sleep! And I’m still depressed with slight mood swings, I feel like now I’m pretty much finished with my body withdrawal symptoms, but now mentally I’m suffering.

    My doctor prescribed me Ativan at first but didn’t really work for me that well, now I was prescribed trazodone HCI 50 mg, and it has helped me a little bit with sleeping but not much I still lie awake tossing and turning and can’t shut my brain off. I HATE not being able to sleep and being depressed with mood swings! I guess my question is… Its been 7 days since I had a dose of methadone and my body pains are pretty much gone. However, can somebody please tell me realistically how long will my depression and sleeplessness last? And is there more that I can do that will help?

    • SMad February 18, 2015, 1:31 am

      I’m only on day 28 (I tapered though over 6 weeks and my last dose was 28 days ago) and am only now feeling depression and continuing anxiety. I think it just wears you down because it just goes on for SO LONG. My heart goes out to you and I can feel the pain in your posts. Hang in there! I do know that I feel better when I exercise (and I sleep better!, but not great). It creates natural endorphins which our brains don’t do well after methadone.

      I sometimes even walk the neighborhood in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and my body is wide awake, then take a hot bath and try again. Try magnesium flakes in the bath. During the day I try to get out in the sunshine when there is some. Good luck to you and everyone else too. Keep telling yourself you can do this and remember ALL the reasons why methadone made you feel bad. You have come so far, so I know you already know what it means to dig DEEP. Just keep it up.

  • Cheryl Krewson February 7, 2015, 10:41 pm

    I took my last pills of Methadone last Friday and a new script on Saturday. The Doc said I wouldn’t have to wean myself off the meth and that the new med Hydrocodone/acetaminophen 7.25 would cover it. I was taking 15 mg per day of the meth when I switched. I have had one hell of a week. Finally Thursday I called the Doc. My BP was out of sight and my heart rate was high at 104. He called in a BP script and another drug called Promethazine and I’ve been better. I was screaming and crying with the massive restless leg problems.

  • mattg February 12, 2015, 7:00 pm

    Four weeks clean after 21 years on meth… Was back at work two weeks later which kept me busy but now recognize just how much rest and recuperation my body needs. I know each day will get better, but I get frustrated and am fearful in thinking I will always feel anxious, tired, depressed, aching, etc. Ultimately I am in control and although I said I’d be clean by 21 (when in fact it took 21 years), I have no regrets, life is to short. I’m 40 soon and as they say, that’s when life starts – bring it on! It’s never too late!

  • Godnose February 22, 2015, 4:20 am

    Most of these withdrawal philosophies are propagated by the corrupt methadone industry trying to keep patients addicted to methadone. Anyone can stop methadone yeah your going to be sick for a little bit – man up or woman up and Fight. Better that then giving your money to these totally fake “treatment” centers who treat people in a weakened state like dogs. Methadone clinics especially any tied to CRC Health Group will be held accountable one day for their horrid mistreatment of patients or “customers” as they classify patients. I never experienced such blatant corruption as I experienced at various CRC clinics. Blatant overcharging. Violation of patient rights, and corrupt accounting.

  • Ssac February 27, 2015, 11:48 pm

    Today is day six after jumping off Methadone at 29mg. I tapered down from 45mg at 2mg per week. I am a certified hard-head and finally got sick and tired of Methadone and Methadone Drs. controlling my life! So far, day 3 was absolutely the worst, but now I can honestly say that I feel better than the day prior. The worst symptoms (for me at least) has been the chills. My goodness I hate the chills. I have basically been in a constant state of “goosebumps” the entire week. I still have the chills today but not nearly as frequent. I even got some much needed exercise today. FYI: Insanity is not the best choice of workout while in W/D’s. Trust me. Hopefully each day gets a little better.

  • Meh March 4, 2015, 2:27 pm

    I’ve been taking a 10mg methadone everyday for a month and a half. Today is my 3rd day of not taking it. The past two days been amazing actually. I felt aches but I convinced myself all I need is my mind to fix this problem – so I kept busy, took Xanax (prescribed to it) as instructed & these withdrawal ease supplements. Last night I kept waking up with aches and restless leg but always fell back to sleep so now I’m scared that this is the beginning of my withdrawal (the 3rd day). Other pain meds usually I feel better after the 3rd day but as I read I realize methadone is different. I’ve taken it in the past and got addicted and my withdrawal didn’t start till the 3rd day but I was taking 4 or more 10mgs a day for a few months. I’m just hoping this is the worst day I have and tomorrow will be better.

  • Rita March 15, 2015, 11:37 pm

    I am on day 11 after jumping off at 2.5mg every 12 hours. I had been on 30 mg a day for 12 years as prescribed by my VA providers for pain. Never increased and never failed a drug screen as required by pain management agreement. Nevertheless, a provider decided I should no longer be on it and cut my dose to 15mg a day, that was my first decrease. One month later I was cut to 10mg a day. Then two weeks later told to decrease to 7.5, so I went ahead and dropped to 2.5 twice a day, then when they started giving me crap about how I shouldn’t be having withdrawal symptoms I just stopped completely.

    I feel like crap. Of course when they call and ask tomorrow if I have suicidal thoughts I am going to ask why they think I would trust them with my personal thoughts. I haven’t had diarrhea(big surprise), just hurt like hell, I am irritable, emotional, confused, lightheaded, feel out of body, and can’t sleep. Top it off by I am normally this crazy up person, all old hippy (I am a 55 year old grandma) who preaches and usually lives Law of Attraction, and I can not hardly even get into the frame of mind to meditate. I am simply going crazy.

    • Alex February 7, 2016, 3:39 am

      Ask your doctor for some Gabapentin… it’s worked for me. Also Lyrica for when things feel really bad. Hang in there, some day you will feel like yourself again. Thank you for all the positive comments, it helps to not feel alone.

  • andi March 17, 2015, 4:42 pm

    I went from a methadone clinic at 70mg to a pain management clinic on 30mg of methadone overnight. It has been over three weeks and I can barely get out of bed. I have taken clonidine, Adderall, and kratom capsules to feel better. I’ve even stooped to taking heroin. And nothing works. The doctor won’t call me back. How long can this go on?

  • akdub March 19, 2015, 3:54 pm

    Day 11 with no methadone! I’m 22 weeks pregnant and was taking 130 mg of methadone daily for about 8 months then started tapering as soon as I found out I was pregnant. 3 months later, 11 days ago, had my last dose of 10mg of methadone. I went from 10mg to nothing cold turkey while pregnant, totally against all unsolicited professional advice. I haven’t taken anything not pregnant safe for withdrawals. Its been hell. Without the support of my family and the love for my baby I wouldn’t have come this far. I can say that this is the best thing for me and baby.

    Who wants to take care of a screaming baby withdrawing? No one. Plus now CPS can’t pry into my life AND I get my life back too. Being on methadone is a prison! Going to the clinic every day is no way to live nor is withdrawing from methadone. If your reading this, just know someone out there knows what you’re going through and just hang on, it’s all worth it in the end! You’re getting your life back! What helps is a lot of cannabis, valerian root, vitamin B6, prenatals, sex, walking, massage, vitamin C, lots of protein, hot baths and doing normal things. Hang in there. If I can detox at home with no prescribed medication while pregnant you can do it too!

  • Jane March 27, 2015, 6:58 pm

    I have been withdrawing from Methadone since October 2014. I have been taking 80mg for over 10 years for pain. I am down to 1 mg every other day mow and it has been hard. It has been hard the whole time but now I am getting worse. Any suggestions?

  • Myka April 6, 2015, 3:25 pm

    Day 7 of methadone withdrawals. Was on 130mgs for 2 years then rapid detoxed to 15mg in 15 days. (THAT SUCKED by the way!). I then switched to different clinic, worked my way back up to 40mg then slowly to 28mg then 21 day detoxed to 1mg on March 30, 2015. The diarrhea sucks, the insomnia sucks, the mood swings suck. Also: chills, always cold, sneezing, muscle twitches everywhere all the time, dry eyes & nose, no energy, feeling like the end stages of a flu…which blows. And am I only one that keeps getting “zapping” sensations all the time especially in the morning? I know it’ll get better but the symptoms start to mess with your head after a while.

    • Mike September 25, 2015, 4:57 pm

      Hi Myka, You are doing great. I felt zaps in my head for weeks and I hated them until my doctor told me to consider them a part of the healing process. Let the zaps come. Every zap is an indicator that you are getting better and better and one day soon you will feel good again. Better. Happier than you ever felt on any drug.

  • johnboy April 14, 2015, 2:50 am

    This is the worst I’ve ever felt in my life…I thought coming off subs was bad; this is worse.

  • Josh April 15, 2015, 10:49 pm

    I was an addict for 15 years (started with pills then quickly escalated to IV heroin use, my life fell apart over and over again, and I came clean with my family about my addiction. Started methadone at 35mgs a day and went up to 70mgs. Methadone robbed me of my mind after 5 months on methadone I began to taper went down to 49mgs before I just couldn’t take the prison that is clinics in America. So I jumped off cold turkey at 49mgs a day on my own.

    Acute withdrawal started 5 days after my last dose, intense vomiting, chills, body aches, pins and needles in the whole body, restless legs, stomach cramps, and of course other digestive issues. Days five through 14, I couldn’t eat sleep or drink, I was sure I would die, nothing would stay down not even with the use of phenagren. This was the worst period sleep wouldn’t come no matter what I did for more than an hour.

    At this point I quit even trying to take Benadryl or Tylenol as they both seemed to escalate the withdrawal issues particularly the pins and needles and RLS. Day 15 was the beginning of feeling better, I hadn’t left bed for days except to sit in a bath or vomit, (the showers/bathes are life savers) but was compelled by the fact that the sun was out and crawled out of bed to sit in the sun. The sun really helps I would bundled up even though it was 70+ outside I loved the warmth I felt.

    By day 15 I was still experiencing insomnia, body aches, chills, goosebumps, and had no energy it hurt to do anything. Also at this point I had lost 36lbs. Day 16-21, was a recovery period for my body, was very weak had trouble standing up for any amount of time. But could eat again, was sleeping 2-3 hours a night and my acute withdrawal symptoms started to fade a bit at a time. Your body is struggling to heal itself it can take a long time, but stick with it just gotta do your time and pass the hours however you can.

    Days 21-35 were much better, stomach cramps dissipated, but was left with some insomnia, needles and pins feelings and body aches, had zero drive to do anything but forced myself to get out of the house everyday. Days 36 and on, I was still achy but slept. I did have days where PAWS would rear there ugly head and just feel like death, but by then I had my mind back and was feeling much sharper and aware symptoms seemed to decrease daily and are far less severe when they Do come on.

    Things you should have before going cold turkey or even tapering:
    -Heating pad, this is essential great for putting on your legs at the end of the day.
    -A really comfortable bed pillows and blankets, it’s calming to have nice comfy sheets and blankets. I loved fleece blankets the whole time I went through bad withdrawal I built a nest of them and would stay there for hours.
    -Imodium trust me you need this, makes things much more bearable. The digestive stuff is no fun just don’t over do it, try to take only one.
    -As much human contact as you can handle, and patient understanding friends and family. I would force myself to sit and talk with the people I was around, it always made me feel mentally better.
    -Hydrate! Drink Gatorade and water as much as you can your body needs this more than sleep.
    -Rest, insomnia is terrible for the first weeks, I found even if I couldn’t sleep I would sit with my eyes closed and just try and breathe through it. Take any rest you can get even 10 minutes of sleep is better than none.
    -Xanax if you can come by it, this really helps, one don’t over do it, take mainly at night, and you might get some sleep.
    -Bravery. Quitting junk of any kind is really nasty business and everyone goes through it differently but it will be quite an ordeal. Be brave stay strong and man up, know it’s going to get better that it won’t last forever.

  • Vanessa81 April 18, 2015, 2:54 am

    I’ve been on methadone for 6 years for an opiate addiction. I did a very slow taper, started on 140mg/day for a year, tapered to 30mg/day by the 4th year, down to 10mg/day for a year. This past week I went to 1 mg/day, I was dropping 1mg every six weeks since 5 mg/day. It’s been pretty good. My biggest problems are fatigue and muscle/body aches. I feel like an 80 year old in a 33 year old body and a bit of depression. I just don’t want to do anything.

    I hate the thought of getting up in the morning and going to work…but I do! I really hope these things go away sooner rather then later. After reading all these posts, I hate the thoughts of withdrawal symptoms lasting for months. Just gotta bite the bullet and make myself go out and face the world eh!? It won’t last forever. I hope… Hope everyone is doing well! This article is really helpful and all the posts are good to read! Thanks all!

  • Stan May 8, 2015, 12:25 pm

    I was on methadone for about 2 years for pain management. When I quit I was taking between 80-100mg per day depending on my pain levels My prescribed dosage was 200mg per day. I went through severe withdrawal symptoms for about 2 weeks. Then I was hospitalized. My wife talked me into going to the hospital because my heart was pounding like I was running a non-stop marathon for about 4 days straight, on top of feeling suicidal, unspeakable pain and Sickness.

    When I was admitted into the hospital they had to put me on about 10 different medications to stabilize my body. After 5 days they let me go home. While in the hospital I was diagnosed with Grave’s disease, which is a thyroid disease. The doctors told me that prolonged use of methadone was likely what caused my thyroid problem. My family doctor disagreed, but was also the one who started me on methadone. It has now been 1 year and 10 months since I’ve been off of methadone.

    Before taking it I didn’t have insomnia issues, which ever since I quit I’ve struggled majorly with. As far as the way I feel physically, I’ve never felt the same as I did before starting the drug. If the thyroid disease truly was a result of methadone use, that drug has changed my life forever. I’m 29 years old. I’ve seen an alarming amount of friends, family, and people around this small town have their lives turned upside down from methadone, opiates, benzo’s, and psych meds they never should have been prescribed in the first place.

    Just in the past 4 years off the top of my head I can think of 9 people that have died from overdoses. Thats no exaggeration, the sad part is all but 1 was younger than I am. Some much younger. Anyway, I can relate to the hell this drug can bring about. I can also relate to the feeling that a person has no other choice when dealing with severe chronic pain, that you think and feel drugs like that and their consequences are better than the suffering your in when starting them.

    It truly helped me ignore the pain for a long time, at least enough to do the only work I’ve ever known to support my family. But in the end It just made everything worse! I could go on and on about this but this is a situation that so many people , and many many young people are dealing with and suffering from. I’m willing to bet anyone from junior-high on through adulthood knows at least one person that has gone through the same type of thing, or knows someone that the drug ended up taking their life.

    My advice is DO NOT TAKE METHADONE UNLESS YOUR ALREADY ON YOUR DEATH BED! There are many lighter drugs and herbal medicines you can look into. I learned that sometimes you have to suffer with pain and find the strength within yourself, because if I can do it, many others can too! I hope this can be at least somewhat of a deterrent someone, or help you get some insight before you get too deep. Good luck everyone!

  • James May 31, 2015, 10:57 pm

    Hello Guys. I want to give all of you some hope. I had been on methadone for approximately 5 years at a dosage of 190MG at year 5. I decided it was enough. I ended up quitting cold turkey. I will tell you it was one of the hardest things I have done. But I am now on week 5 and feeling much much better. Focus is returning. Shakes are minimal and fading. Still some occasional diarrhea. The interesting thing is… It took 14 days of trying and on the 15 day after last dose, I SLEPT.

    Now my strength is returning and sweats/chills/crawling skin is almost gone. Depression was tough but if you have strong willpower, NO MATTER YOUR DOSAGE you will be fine with time and healing thoughts. TIP. when trying to sleep, use meditation music or nature sounds. You may not sleep but you will feel physically rested. I wish you guys out there good luck who are going through their little bit of hell on earth. Just remember where there is a will there is a way. Peace be upon you all.

  • Katie June 2, 2015, 3:18 pm

    I quit Methadone cold turkey after 2 years at 30mgs a day. The first few days were pretty tough, but, I tried Loperamide which is the active ingredient in Imodium AD. I took about 30mgs the first time and within an hour I felt 85% better. I have took it every day that I felt badly, drank plenty of water so I didn’t get backed up, and I have not had a sleepless night, no RLS, no sweats, no stomach problems, the overall feeling like crap.

    Only symptoms I’ve experienced were body aches (nothing Aleve can’t handle) and no energy. I’m on day #15 clean from Methadone today and I don’t feel too awful, but, I know my body is still going through some rough stuff. The mental part only gets bad when I’m alone and bored. As long as I stay busy the anxiety doesn’t take over.

    • Lisa June 25, 2015, 3:45 am

      Your message made me so happy. I was prescribed up to 30 mg a day, but quickly settled on 10. This was 4 years ago or so, and I went from 10 to 7.5 on Sunday and have no symptoms, which I am hoping continues. Congrats!

  • MikeGee June 2, 2015, 6:27 pm

    I started meth for a Heroin addiction that really wasn’t all that bad. 6 bags a day. I needed four just to get by. I let a friend talk me into going to a meth clinic. I started at 30, went up to 60 and decided right away I wanted off. So I have been on meth a total of about 3 weeks. This last week was tapering down to 30. Today is Tuesday I haven’t dosed since Sunday. I am starting to feel the start of w/d symptoms: sweating, anxiety, dilated pupils. Not sleeping. I am determined to get through it.

    Not sure how bad this is gonna be but I am gonna make it. Tomorrow I see a regular doc to see what I can do to ease some of the symptoms. Does anybody know how bad it will be having been on it for 3 weeks? I only spent 3 days at 60 then started going right down. The whole meth clinic thing, in my opinion is a scam. Help from anybody with info would sure help me a lot. God bless all of you who are trying to get your life back. Good luck and God speed.

  • James June 13, 2015, 9:54 am

    I started taking methadone 8 years ago for a benzo and gear habit. At the height of my addiction I was on 140mg and whatever else I could get my hands on. I stopped taking illicit substances 6 months ago, and started tapering of my 60mg daily dose at 5ml a week. I’d already been down to 25mg before and found one of the hardest parts of the reduction going from 25-20mg which makes me wonder how much of my symptoms were psychosomatic.

    Once I got down to 10mg I had a 4 week breather, then started again at 1ml a week. Was fine apart from waking early till I got down past 4mg, then things started getting more uncomfortable. When I got down to 2mg I stopped of my own free will as I just felt that I was prolonging the discomfort. I’m seven days 100% clean and if I had enough money now, I would now be sourcing Ibogaine Hcl.

    Whilst I don’t think it’s a magic ticket to a pain free withdrawal, I do believe that if you’ve already put in the hard work it can help to reset you to a more comfortable ambient state of being. It works on the NMDA receptors. For me I think resetting my perspective is going to be key to alleviate any long term psychosomatic symptoms such as restless sleep and anhedonia. Other things that may help this are ayahuasca and kambo.

    A single psychedelic dose of ketamine (which also works on NMDA receptors) has also been proven to help in studies to help, as have all of the aforementioned. But something worth noting is that in every study, the participants who received these substances, did so under the supervision and guidance of trained psycho therapists. While I believe these things can help I do not advocate the use of illicit substances.

    Above all else exercise, diet and meditation have been key for me. To all those who wish to live a life of sobriety, I would say it’s more than just possible it’s easily attainable. You just have to want it, remain positive and thankful you have the opportunity fix yourself. Love and Light to you all :)

  • James June 30, 2015, 6:50 am

    So after three weeks 100% clean I decided to take ayahuasca. What I was expecting and hoping for was a kind of emotional and physiological reset and to finally sleep normally with no RLS. What I actually got was hard to deal with. The experience was far from pleasurable, I relived deep seated emotional traumas that I had long since buried. However I don’t feel I managed to successfully let go of these emotions. It showed me there are many layers to my psyche, that need stripping away like an onion, before I can move on to a happier place.

    It was not a magic reset and did not help with my withdrawal symptoms. I guess I’m writing this as a warning after dogmatically advocating it’s use. I do feel it has had some positive effects, it has opened me up emotionally and showed me the work that needs doings. But if you think you might not like what’s in the Pandora’s box that is your mind then maybe its best not to open it.

  • Brian July 8, 2015, 4:59 pm

    I had been addicted to opiates for 3 years before getting into the methadone clinic. I was on a dose of 70 mg/day for about a year before I started to taper off. I went down by 5 mg every 2 weeks and got sick for a couple days almost every drop. At 20mg I began decreasing my dosage by 1 mg every 3 days (much easier than 5mg at once.) I stopped at 10 mgs. The first week was rough. I was pretty much useless.

    The 2nd week wasn’t easy but definitely a lot easier. I was able to go out and socialize for a couple hours, started eating more solid food and mostly stopped throwing up. Towards the end of the 2nd week I was mostly back to feeling how I was before dropping the last 10 mgs. Still couldn’t sleep more than 5 or 6 hours though. After those first 2 weeks its still uncomfortable, some days more than others, but its bearable. Now, 1 month in, still can’t sleep more than 5 or 6 hours, low energy, still having diarrhea and stomach cramps but its really not that bad.

    I’ve found that anything you’ve heard is healthy will help you get through withdrawals easier. Eat good unprocessed food. Stay away from greasy, fatty, sugary or spicy food, especially red meat, cheese stuff like that. EXERCISE!! It helped kick-start my appetite and helped the cramps and restless legs like crazy! It was hard to force myself out the door but once you do you’ll find that being active will actually give you more energy.

    Socializing with good friends will help keep your mind off being sick and will keep your spirits up. Those things have helped me get through this mentally and physically. Just keep in mind that it WILL suck and be mentally prepared to jump through that wall of fire to get to the other side. After all, you gotta die first if you wanna be reborn so kill that addiction, keep your head up and push through! See you on the other side!

  • sarah July 9, 2015, 9:53 pm

    Hi, my name is Sarah and I have been on methadone for 5 years. I am on day 33 of methadone free! I tapered down from 120. I started by decreasing by 20 milligrams every other week until I reached 60 milligrams. Once I reached 60. I started to decrease by 10 every other week until I reached 20 milligrams. I then started to decrease by 1 milligram every week until I got down to 4 milligrams. I was getting take homes for the whole week. I picked up on a Friday for the week.

    I dosed Saturday and didn’t dose after that. I returned my unopened bottles the following Friday and asked my counselor to discharge me. I was scared at first from all my research online. After day 1 I didn’t feel any withdrawals, next thing I know day 6 still nothing. After about 3 weeks I had some body aches in my neck. That lasted about a week. I used a heating pad and took ibuprofen. I never use to go to the restroom regularly. But I did start to as soon as I stopped dosing. I wouldn’t say it was diarrhea like I have read online and was expecting.

    I sleep through the night and never had this restless leg BS I have been so scared to get. Not saying it doesn’t exist. Because I have missed days when I was dosing and witnessed it. All I can say is tapering down DOES work. I didn’t believe it would. But it really does. I have been working full time through all of this and swear that it is possible to get off that sh*t! Please if anyone has any questions ask. I would love to help anyone through their drug free life change!

    • Mical September 25, 2015, 3:46 am

      Thank you – you cannot imagine how much reading this post meant to me! I have tears in my eyes <3 I am bookmarking this page so I can come back time and time again just to read how it is possible to get off of opiates. I have read too many articles about how once on methadone you will never be right and never be able to get off of it and live a healthy drug free life. I'm going to start my tapering off tomorrow – please say a prayer for me and all the other addicts that want to be free of these chains.

    • Kevin August 22, 2016, 12:26 am

      Hi Sahra, I just read your post. Not sure if your still active but I just wanted to say thank you. After reading your post I was encouraged. All the others were depressing. Is like to ask you some more questions if you wouldn’t mind responding. I’m at 7ml right now and want to keep dropping I’d like to be off by Christmas.

  • krystal July 25, 2015, 9:18 pm

    I’ve been tapering for the past few months. I’ve been on methadone for 10 years now, and finally had a mental awakening if you will. I thought I’d be a lifer, then one day I was just done with it. I’m down to 2.5 mg twice daily. It’s been pretty symptom free, but it’s getting hard now. I have zero energy… I know it could be so much worse, but my mental state and will power has gotten me this far. I just want to sleep all day. Ugh I hate it. I should be going down again now, but as I stated, it’s getting harder. I could really use some motivation to take this next step…. I just want it to be done!

    • Bigmac 1766 August 4, 2015, 5:57 pm

      I was in the same situation 5 weeks ago. I made the cut from 5mg to 2.5mg, I stayed there a week and a half then stopped. The first 2 weeks were bad, not as bad as a lot of cold turkey quitters I read about. At 5 weeks the only symptoms I still have are minor leg shakes, some sleeplessness and periodic hot cold flashes. At first I was put on gabapentin to help with the pain I was still feeling, then a muscle relaxer to help the leg shakes. I figure 2 to 3 more weeks of mild symptoms and I should be done. -BigMac 1766

  • shaddai222 August 8, 2015, 6:47 am

    I was on heroin (high dose daily by nose) and methadone (30mg and under) in varying amounts and combinations for about 25 years. The past 5 years has been mostly low dose methadone: under 20 mg, with at least weekly heroin use. After tapering down to less than 5 mg of methadone over several months, and then down to less than 2 mg over a few weeks, I dropped off and prepared to get clean.

    I still feel classic withdrawal symptoms 1 1/2 weeks after total cessation of heroin and methadone. Withdrawal includes transient restless leg syndrome at night, which clears up during the day. I am still having serial sneeze attacks of 3-5 unstoppable sneezes many times a day, and strangely, my eyes can still appear pinned. I wonder if these sneeze and leg attacks indicate some methadone remaining in my system (I’m pretty sure all the heroin is gone). Based on the rate of overall symptom reduction, I expect to be totally clean in about another week or so.

    Hoping the sleep will be better soon, and more energy will develop. One factor playing against me is that I’m not young anymore at age 63. I was a dope addict since age 17, with a 2 year break. But recently I was feeling like I couldn’t handle the heroin so well anymore, as a dose of a few decent bags would make me lose all sleep, and completely render me useless for the following day or even days. Hopefully I’ll be able to walk away from this before August is finished.

    I must become drug free – undetectable in a urine test – to be approved for a new Hep-C drug. Right now it feels like I could make it, as the mind makes minor withdrawal symptoms far worse than they really are. And the thought that easy relief is available on the next street corner. Still fighting back – no terrible symptoms, only those gnawing ones that can wear you down in a weak moment.

  • Jerry September 17, 2015, 9:20 pm

    This is my story. After a long run with opiates I decided to go to my local clinic to get “clean.” “Many methadone patients live productive lives” my counselor said. After 2 years of being on 80mg methadone I detoxed for 9 days. Suboxone and meds for 9 days at detox and then I was off to a faith based “no medicine” facility. Basically, I was only allowed Tylenol for 2 months. It was complete hell cold-turkey and I wouldn’t recommend the hell I went through.

    I didn’t eat for 2 weeks, didn’t sleep for over a week. The pain in my legs, the hot and cold flashes and the anxiety was unbearable. I continuously told myself It would get better. FINALLY, after 45 days I could live a somewhat normal life. Any other opiate WD lasts 7 days tops. I would have been much better off never stepping foot in the clinic. This was 3 years ago and it changed me as a person. Stay away from methadone. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

    • Laurence October 7, 2016, 11:17 pm

      Hi, I’ve been off methadone for three years now. When you say it changed you as a person what did you mean? Are you back to normal or do you have any paw symptoms? Thanks!

  • will September 24, 2015, 11:47 pm

    I know most of you are going to disagree with what I’m about to say but here’s my story with methadone. I was on 96 mg per day for like 3 years then wanted to taper down which they make almost impossible at the clinic I went to came down to 86 mg for like a year. 30 days ago I woke up and said I’m not going back. I felt like crap anyway. So why keep taking the evil stuff?

    So I cold turkey came off 86 mg which is dangerous. I went to detox for 6 days. My blood pressure and pulse were all over the place. Didn’t sleep or eat for 9 days. But after that I gradually began to feel better. After day ten I could keep some light food down and went on walks with my mom. I feel ok at day 30 not a spring chicken but I’ll get there. Tapering is too slow and it’s too easy to go back up on your dose or stop the taper etc…

    I go to meetings and pray and try to stay healthy. No other drug can save you… not suboxone, subutex, naloxone or any other BS they wanna get you hooked on. You just gotta want it. If anyone on here needs any help or advice email me anytime. Remember methadone and opiates is just a chemical we are much stronger than they will ever be. P.S. Drink as much water as possible and eat crackers if you keep anything else down.

  • Kevin September 29, 2015, 4:17 pm

    To the author(s), This is a very helpful article in many ways. I just have one serious caveat: under withdrawal symptoms,you list depression (very true), but you say, “Since most people receive feelings of pleasure and/or an antidepressant effect from taking this drug, it is no wonder that they experience depression when they withdraw.” Saying that most, or even many, people receive feelings of pleasure when on this drug is wildly inaccurate.

    I have no experience with taking methadone for pain relief, but as someone in my second (and hopefully final) year of taking methadone as a maintenance drug for opioid dependency, I can assure you that Methadone Maintenance Therapy patients receive no pleasure or high of any kind from their methadone. It is very slightly pleasant during the first few days, up to two weeks for some patients. After that there is no high.

    Only unpleasant side effects and the staving-off of terrible suffering. This is true for me and everyone else I know. More importantly, the consensus among knowledgeable physicians is the same. This is a wonderful and helpful article, but stating that methadone patients receive feelings of pleasure just adds to the mistaken belief that MMT patients are just exchanging one high for another.

    This is one of the reasons such patients are so stigmatized. I hope I have convinced you to change what you’ve written, as the stigma is brutal and we need all the help we can get spreading the truth. Thank you, -Kevin

  • Michael October 22, 2015, 5:37 pm

    I’ve been on methadone for 20+ years, I was injured in the Military in 1997. I’m 55 years old and I’m Done!! This drug has diminished my life to a point that I’ve decided finally to stop. This is day 18…I didn’t know Hell until now. If it wasn’t for my wife I would never had made it this far, I tried to do the taper several times with no luck. I decided to go cold turkey, I’ve done this several times but never got past 5 days…this drug is so strong that I can smell it coming out of my skin, I’m so sick.

    I haven’t slept more then 2 hrs in 18 days. I really don’t know how I’m writing this because I can’t think at all. My mind is so blurry, my eyes can’t hardly focus on anything. My legs feel like they are on fire and the rest of my body feels like I’ve been ran over by a truck. I have headaches, I can hardly keep anything down including water of which I drink constantly.

    I’ve tried to exercising but I can’t get a 1000 feet from the front door without the feeling I’m going to crap my pants, I’m not sure I can do this? I’m starting to doubt it! I have methadone 10 steps from me…maybe being on this drug 20 years has change me forever. Thanks.

  • finished October 25, 2015, 2:14 pm

    I quit cold turkey from 50 MG’s of methadone. To be honest the symptoms weren’t as intense as when I quit from pills but drawn out longer. It has been 6 weeks and I still have trouble sleeping and no energy. I do get tremors which is annoying but no big deal. I do get cravings a lot but not to intense. They just pop up out of nowhere. That’s kind of hard because you keep thinking let me get a few of whatever (drug of choice) and I will feel better.

    Your mind is powerful but you have to make the choice and want to stop. I keep asking myself when the withdrawals will end and so far it hasnt. All I can say so far is that it gets better a little everyday. I have good days and bad days but from what I read that’s normal. I just try and keep as positive as I can and have friends and family cheering me on. Believe it or not when you quit it gives others something to believe is possible.

    Your doctor or a therapist can really help maybe even support groups. Support groups may not sound like a thing to do but no one else knows what we go through. My “good” friends can never hope to understand. Its not something they can comprehend. Good luck to you all!

  • Guido November 6, 2015, 2:34 am

    I was on 100mg for 7 years. I developed anxiety issues this year in January and was put on 1mg of Klonopin twice daily. The clinic I attended was ran by a crazy doctor. You literally had to battle to drop. After 4 months they dropped me 5mg. That was April. Then in August she gave me shit about being on Klonopin. I was forced into a rapid detox without a fair hearing or appeal.

    They dropped me 10mg every 3 days until I hit 20mg and then they dropped me 5mg every 3 days. Last Saturday was my last 5mg dose. I feel like killing myself, but lack the constitution for suicide. I have extreme pain, cravings for opiates, insomnia, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. It sucks. So far it’s been 6 days without anything other than my 2mg of Klonopin. How long will these withdrawal symptoms last?

  • paintrade November 7, 2015, 2:38 am

    I am in awe of each and every one of you who has posted! You are indeed a strong and brave group. I have been on methadone for 12 (yes twelve) years for chronic pain. The dose was no longer working (10mg 2xday) but my doc was unwilling to change the doseage. I went to a pain clinic where they have switched me to MScontin and percocet. I asked about tapering the methadone and the possibility of wd.

    The dr said nobody knows…no study to really tell an amount of MScontin to keep me from withdrawing. I am miserable. This is day 6 since my last methadone. The bone pains, abdominal pain and GI symptoms and the headache are awful. Has anyone else traded methadone for another opiate? Did that help with the wd symptoms? The doc isn’t being tremendously helpful.

    He advised to increase the ms contin by one pill and the perc by one pill daily and to go to the ER, if I get into trouble or the symptoms are unbearable. Im not sure what the ER could do other than send me a big bill that I cant afford…lol. Has anyone gotten help from the ER with wd? What did they do? Thanks to all who read this.

    • Michael November 13, 2015, 9:45 pm

      Compassion from family and close friends is essential to effectively withdrawal from this medicine. If alone, I recommend turning your attention to the One that will always listen when you need Him to, His name begins with a “J” and his first miracle was to turn water into wine for a wedding. As for quitting “cold turkey”, it is usually painful, highly dangerous, and only for those that wish to be truly miserable or worse than miserable.

      I know a person that tapered down from 45MG to 5MG of methadone per day in 6 months time. This person still has chronic pain from accidents, but did stop taking the medicine at the end of the 6 month taper. BTW, this person was on the meds for 11 years due to MVA and back issues that were unresolved. For a good long while (months actually) this person suffered from; no energy, stomach issues, headaches, insomnia, lots of pain and depression (to name a few).

      Surely this proves that long term exposure to this medicine has grievous effects. Possible Solutions: If cannabis oil is legal in your part of America (or world), then you might find “tincture elixirs” (which are placed under the tongue) to be helpful. I’m told these are VERY helpful for night time as they help you separate yourself from the pain; so I’m told. :) I’m told the headaches & muscle aches will not be so blaring, because the headache will seem far away.

      I believe this is true. I’m also told that Indica strains are much better than Sativa brands as Indica Tuncture is about relaxing, comfort, and calmness, as opposed to getting high. Choose your strain accordingly. You can always or ask your local legal pot store (if you live in WA, OR, or CO) about the best strains to use for tincture liquids. For sleeping, I’m told melatonin supplements are good, so is having a nearby fan to help with hot spells, and a good blanket for cold spells.

      Also, I’m told you should stay “hydrated”, and be sure to encourage yourself daily. If you can find nothing to encourage yourself with, may I say, I believe that God created each of us with unique gifts. There is no one like me, and there is no one just like you. Take heart in this… When you recover you will get your second wind, and you will rise up and press on. :) I pray that anyone going through withdrawal from that medicine has a connection with “J”, because WD is hell on earth, and because of “J” it can be the last hell you ever know. -Michael

  • Nate December 19, 2015, 11:59 pm

    Around February 2001 I began taking methadone at a Denver addiction research treatment service. I had been taking hydrocodone and oxycodone 5mg or 7mg for severe back injury, hip, and knee pain. I withdrew from the pain pills numerous times, but my refractory depression and 30+ years of being on every antidepressant, mood stabilizer, anti-anxiety, anti-seizure drug ever manufactured, the intense depression that lasted for months after opiate withdrawal terrified me. At the time a lot of resources and support groups, online forums, research papers on PubMed were extolling the virtues of methadone, even letters from advocacy president describing how methadone “cured” bipolar symptoms that didn’t respond to conventional treatments.

    Many doctors and their research stored online in those days are no longer hosted by existing web sites (Lindesmith Library). Long story short, I eventually found myself on 160 mg twice daily. I still didn’t have relief for years until I got off Effexor that did not mix well with the methadone for me. For 15 years I never took any opiates, drugs, alcohol, or argued with clinic staff, and had 2 week or 1 week takehomes for the better part of 9 years.

    Still for the games and abusive nature of people who work in the clinic system, between 2-3 years ago my split dose was dropped from 320mg day to 240 mg in a single step, less than a year from then from 240 mg (120 x 2/day), I still experienced violent withdrawal within 7 hours of my first daily dose, and relief never came for 2-3 hours after any dose. Less than a year from that my dose was reduced another 40 mg in a single day. For the purpose of this post reasons would be too time consuming how clinic directors, nosey nurses, and 3rd parties with no medical licenses orchestrated these crimes against human rights, and utter cruelty reserved for Nazis and communists.

    Just 2 weeks ago my split dose was reduced from 200 mg daily (100 mg x 2/day) to 120 mg once daily, no taper just one giant step again. I would describe the last 15 years of my life I did everything those clinic operators, counselors, and nurses told me with complete loyalty and devotion. Only 2 of those years I got the relief from withdrawal I was seeking. If I could get a do-over, I NEVER WOULD HAVE SOUGHT METHADONE AS A TREATMENT FOR MY FEAR OF OPIATE WITHDRAWAL, AND INADEQUATE PAIN MANAGEMENT.

    Am I the ONLY person out there who gets more constipated during withdrawal, and needs 200mg of methadone just to have a bowel movement? When I was on hydrocodone or oxycodone, I experienced diarrhea during withdrawal, on methadone I get dangerously constipated during withdrawal, sometimes not going for up to 2 weeks or longer. The only way I can choke food down my taut esophagus and stomach, is the life threatening hypoglycemia I experience almost around the clock from childhood to young adult anorexia & bulimia.

    I screwed up my metabolic and endocrine systems badly from that behavior. There have been several days I couldn’t even swallow ½ liter of water I was so sick. ANYONE ELSE EVER BEEN CONSTIPATED JUMPING OFF HIGH(er) DOSE METHADONE OR TAPERING? Did you suddenly have the urge to go (move your bowels almost without warning) with a near adequate dose of methadone?

    Too many doctors and clinics prescribe this medicine that when administered thoughtfully and kindly, restored me to a quality of life I haven’t experienced in years. They are angry, hate the people they serve, and feel violently abusing us in more than a few ways is actually helping us. I believe it merely vents their mortal misery. I strongly admire any person who doesn’t want or need this medication who can kick this foul poison. I feel my life expectancy and time lost to withdrawal, is not worth the grim prognosis my short life has been given.

  • Larry Rand December 22, 2015, 10:50 pm

    I’m taking Methadone for Chronic Pain from Nerve Damage from Cancer Surgery (Double Mastectomy). Tapering is HELL!!! I have severe pain all over, confusion, and memory loss. Nobody can explain the memory loss. Has anybod experienced his?

  • Robin December 27, 2015, 12:18 am

    The fear of detoxing from opioids led me to start taking methadone through the clinic. I was on 120 mgs a day and in a constant slumber for 2 years. When I decided to detox I immediately cut my dose in half only taking 60 mgs a day, which I felt fine on that dose. But, the thought of slowly tapering down until I was off…I didn’t have time for that.

    So, I stopped taking it, and the detox began. Yes, it was miserable and I thought I was dying, but after the first 2 weeks the hardcore symptoms were gone. The things that helped me during those 2 weeks we’re ativan, HOT baths and lots of water to flush, and hydrate. It’s been 42 days, and I definitely lack motivation, but it’s key to get some sort of exercise and stay busy.

    I’ve painted my whole house, and walk everywhere that I can. I feel much better than I have in a long time, but still have a long road of recovery ahead of me. I’m so happy that I’m no longer a slave to that nasty drug!

  • Amy December 30, 2015, 3:17 pm

    I had quit methadone cold turkey after being on it for 3 years. It’s the hardest withdrawal that I have ever experienced. I had EVERY withdraw symptom that a person could get, and it literally took about 6 months for me to feel “normal” again… whatever “normal” is. I was clean for 3 years as well, but the methadone cravings never subsided after 3 years. Eventually I would start self medicating with Loratab and Percocet only to start getting addicted again and doing Roxys! The whole time telling myself that I would never touch Methadone again!!

    Right, that’s what I thought. I ran across some liquid methadone about 2 months ago and took about 15 mg. Absolutely loved it!! The next week I was back at a clinic! WTF is wrong with me? Like why am I so week of a person that this stuff literally controls my life? Now I love in fear that I’ll have to experience withdrawals again. I’m taking in consideration that I need to be on suboxone! I talked to my counselor about suboxone and I’m thinking about taking the leap. Thanks for listning.

  • Bilbo January 6, 2016, 1:45 am

    I have been on illicit liquid methadone for 18 years and have been shooting it up. Now no veins, have HepC and missed out on free trial to cure this disease because they found the done in my system when I did a urine and worked out I wasn’t registered at the Methadone clinic. I finally decided I’ve got to stop so went CT nearly 2 weeks ago.

    My Dr prescribed codeine tablets because he said at least they are legal and he can wean me off those. I’ve had the sneezes, the shits, massive heart palpitations and lethargy also trouble sleeping (it’s 2am and I’m writing this). Not to mention RLS but it’s not unbearable yet. However after reading all your threads it going to be a long road to freedom from the liquid handcuffs.

    To All of you that have made it through – you rock! Methadone is the most insidious drug and no-one should go from heroin to done like I did. I just hope I have the strength to stay off it like you guys. I want to feel real again and not nod off all the time. Thanks for all your tips on what to do, I know it’s going to be a nightmare but I’m going to get clean before I leave this earth.

    • Fred Bolo January 7, 2016, 1:42 pm

      So I decided to leave a comment since these posts seem to be pretty recent. All others I find seem to be dated. My story is very similar to many of you, but I wanted to give my input to how I tapered off. I went from 75 to 0. I cannot stress how important it is to go slow and let yourself stabilize before your next reduction. The clinic I was at was very good for me.

      I actually sat at a dose of 2mg for several months, (maybe 6) and them 1mg for about 4 months before stopping altogether. Of course there is/was some fear seeing how I had a failed attempt few years back, but honestly, I feel pretty good now being off a few weeks. It was mostly in my mind waiting to feel sick. Some broken sleep here and there, and slight fatigue, but easier than expected actually.

      Routine, support, diet and stay moving as much as you can, and you can do it. I wish the very best of luck to all of you.

      • Dan J February 25, 2016, 7:41 pm

        Thank you Fred!

  • Richard January 11, 2016, 2:46 am

    I’ve been on methadone for 3 years at 155 milligrams a day. I quit cold turkey with no taper and I’m on week 5 now. My withdrawals are still very severe and I want to know how long is this going to last… Am I ever going to go back to normal? If I take subutex will it make my withdrawals last longer?

  • Vivacious January 18, 2016, 7:42 am

    I’ve been off methadone since October 19th. Only thing that got me through my withdrawal was taking at least one 5mg hydrocodone. It’s now been 3 months off methadone, but I still can’t feel anything when I take an opiate. Any ideas as to how long before I’ll be able to feel the euphoria of alcohol and pills? How long does the opiate blocker last? Please help!!

  • Russell January 31, 2016, 1:31 am

    I am on day 5… well day 5 is just about over. Been on methadone for 8 years opiates all together for 14 years. Was at 150mg got down to 10mg past few years. I feel so horrible right now. I hope it goes away in next few days; I’m going crazy.

    • Jan February 3, 2016, 5:55 pm

      Russell, it’s Jan… how are you doing?

  • Jan February 1, 2016, 12:47 am

    I wanted to thank all of you for helping me through some rough times. This is day 17 for me coming off methadone. This has been the worst thing I’ve ever had to do! I am exhausted and can’t believe that this is taking so long to feel better. Just about the time I think I’m ok… I’m not. I’m depressed and the antidepressants aren’t doing anything for me. Now I’m having dizzy spells where I feel like I’m gonna pass out.

    I’m starting a new family doctor on Thursday that hopefully can help me through this. I don’t trust pain management doctors anymore. They are just drug dealers with a medical license… they don’t care about you at all. Just pump you full of poison and turn you loose. I’m worried about my brain healing… anyone have any suggestions???

    • Scott April 19, 2016, 6:52 pm

      Hi jam my name is Scott. I was in methadone treatment for about 3 years and was using pain pills on the street for about the same. Ironically I’m on day 17 of no methadone. I dosed down to 2mgs a day and did it for week an then walked away.

      I’ve had very limited withdrawal symptoms but have had the lazy, anxiety, depression, and the self esteem issues that appear to go hand in hand with leaving treatment. Just curious how long it took you to feel slightly normal?

  • Lizzie February 4, 2016, 12:55 am

    I’ve been on methadone for 4 years. The last 2 and a half at 95 mg. I had my daughter Oct 26th 2015 . The week after she was born I started a taper. I’ve been tapering 10 mg a week. I’m not at a 10 mg dose next week I go to 5 and then I’m done. I’ve definitely felt a bit rough. Today has been the worst by far. My body aches so bad and my cold sweats are getting to the point of being unbeatable.

    Now picture all that and taking care of a 3 month old, and she’s teething. I feel physically awful but I have no cravings to go out get heroin. I’m just wondering if that will change. How long are these aches going to last? I take advil but it doesn’t help. I’m not sure if these posts are old. Hopefully I’ll hear from someone.

    • Dan J February 25, 2016, 7:44 pm

      How are you doing Lizzie? I have a new post on here about my experience right now. God bless let me know how you are?

  • amber February 5, 2016, 8:42 pm

    I’ve been on methadone x4, almost 5 years. My treatment was successful, kept me out of relapse etc. 2 yrs ago I started tapering from a 125mg dose 1 mg a week. I got down to 44mg, but staff changes and the takeover of the clinic by another company caused policy and staff changes. All of the sudden, it was a 2 wk process to get a dose change approved. Then the new dr made a rule against standing taper orders.

    This meant each time you wanted to come down, you had to go through the entire 2 week process again and get approved by the dr… I started feeling trapped. So at 42mgs, I found a subutex doctor willing to out patient detox me with all the appropriate comfort medications and, once I reach a 26 score on the cows scale, subutex x2 weeks, then actual suboxone until I feel it’s time to taper on that. My last methadone dose was on Monday.

    It’s now Friday evening and I am still not in a state of withdrawal. I’m only beginning to feel mild headaches and some muscle cramps, but very slight.
    This is days without methadone, so I’d expected to be in active withdrawal. Does this mean it’s going to take much longer than expected? The Dr. had anticipated active withdrawal by 72 hrs. I’m getting scared. I never thought it could stay in my system at such a level to still be comfortable for this long.

    • Dan J February 25, 2016, 7:39 pm

      I think you will be alright, 5 days and no major withdrawals? I Think from my opinion you’re pretty much out of the woods. Things is, I’ve been off for two days, weaned down, and I’m have worse withdrawals. Today, then yesterday being my first day at zero mg. I’m scared at what’s ahead of me. Let’s both hang in there.

  • Andy February 25, 2016, 1:34 am

    I’m on day 12 and not doing too bad. I had a wicked bad opiate addiction for almost five years when an old back injury left me in bed for too many nights. My street dealer happened to sell me some methadone not knowing what it was. After two outpatient back surgeries the pain was all but gone, but I still had the addiction.

    Tried a quick 4-10mg a day for 15 days but never took any opiates in the time, stayed clean for two months, and fell off the wagon. Got my doctor to prescribe me 160 Loricet a month but that was just a supplement. After two years of roughly 40 opiates a day for another two years and the passing of my father in law, it was time to ask my personal doctor for legal methadone.

    She started me on 4-10mg a day for about a year. The cravings for the opiates were null as long as I took it, and I was able to function fairly well. After that I took 2-10mg a day for about the next six months and 1 pill a day for the last 6 months. A month ago my wife cut them in half for just 5mg a day for two weeks and then 1/4s for a couple days to finally quit 11 days ago.

    Figured I was ready for the aches, pains, fatigue, moodiness, and nausea. 11 days and so far so good. My withdraws are a 4 out of 10 at worst. My biggest fear is going back to opiates. Methadone saved my life, quite by accident.

  • E March 8, 2016, 4:17 am

    You’re all the bravest folks in the world! I’ve been on methadone for about a year now for cancer and surgical pain. Cancer is totally removed (for now? Prayers prayed and fingers crossed it never returns!), and surgery is long done (again, I so hope forever). I have semi-permanent nerve damage down my left arm, which is partly why I’m on methadone. I’m also on Gabapentin for the nerve damage.

    Gabapentin is a LIFE SAVER! I’m still on 1200mg Gabapentin a day. I’ll work on weaning off that once I’ve rid myself of the done. At my max methadone dose, I’ve only ever been at 5mg/day (but I’m only 5′ tall and just over 100 lbs). Over the past two months I’ve tapered to 2.5 (down 1.25 once then again 6 wks later). I’ve been at 2.5 for the past two weeks. It sounds crazy to my doc, but I swear I’m STILL having mild withdrawal symptoms.

    It’s not terrible, but I get random bouts of mild nausea or faint dizziness, random hot or cold sweats, night sweats (not awful but kinda annoying), very tired but not sleeping well (again, not terrible, just noticeably worse than usual), and what feels like an incurable cold or stuffy nose. Has anyone else had a stuffy nose? I’ve also felt more anxious and depressed than usual. And I’m having frustrating leg pains / restless legs — especially when trying to fall asleep.

    I’m working full time and carrying on fairly normally. Again, none of these symptoms are severe or overwhelming, but all piled together they’re pretty annoying. Especially given how low my dose is (has ever been) and how slowly I’m tapering. I literally chop a 5mg tab into 4 pieces of dust, it seems! Such potent dust! I’m thankful that this drug was there for me this past year — it worked where no other drugs did (morphine didn’t seem to do anything, fentanyl patches made me keel over dizzy/sick, oxy wasn’t strong enough, and one other — forgot it’s name — made me soooo hazy I kept forgetting what I was saying).

    So, glad to have had this drug when I needed it. That said I’m also soooooo thankful I only ever needed 5mg! I think I’m far enough past surgery to be not needing this (6 months, though they removed half of two vertebrae, a vertebral artery, and put rods from C3 to T2). Anyway, you’ve all made me feel so much more determined to get off (albeit as slowly as I need!), and so much better about what seem like kinda phantom symptoms!

    I’ll post again in a couple of months when I’m hopefully off and update about how it’s going. I’m such a wimp compared to you folks! But after a year of chemo, radiation, and surgery, the last thing I want is mega nausea again. Hahaha. I want to reiterate that even though I have the best doctors in the world, NONE OF THEM have talked about how intense the withdrawal is nor have they really acknowledged that I might be experiencing symptoms WEEKS after even reducing my dose by a sliver.

    I’m going to send them a link to this site so they can better educate other patients. Again, so many congrats to all who’ve gotten off and wishing so much strength to those who are in the throes! <3

  • Justin March 18, 2016, 4:41 am

    I was in the methadone clinic for a year and a half and I was at 85mg a day and when I hit my one year mark I started my taper. It started at 85mgs and went down 5mgs a week till I got to 50mgs. Then it went to losing 2mgs a week all the way down to 2mgs and after a week at 2mgs I decide to skip a day then go a day and skip a day. Well my first day I skipped I felt the same as any other day so I didn’t go back.

    Day 6 of being out of the clinic my mom passed and that was the hardest day I have had staying clean. Now I’m on day 18 and I’m still having aches in my arms and legs and trouble sleeping. Weed has helped me with the withdrawals that I do have. As long as I smoke weed I don’t really notice them. But as the pot wears off I start to feel the aches coming back.

    To everybody hope you are still fighting for your normal life or have found your normal self. I know I’m ready to…

  • Gayla March 24, 2016, 7:10 pm

    I have been on 110mg of methadone for about 18 years. I have been withdrawing for the past 60 days, and am now down to 5mg per day. I am miserable, shaky, muscle aches, joint pain, insomnia, nausea, and many more. I pray that this will not last more than the 3 months, after I am completely off this horrible medication. I am taking 2.5mg 2 times per day, and plan to bee off within 2 weeks. I am taking Clonidine. Any advice or encouragement would be appreciated. Gayla

    • Rachel Larkin March 27, 2016, 2:08 pm

      Try fellowship meetings and surrounding yourself with good, non-judgmental people!!

  • Alex March 29, 2016, 7:05 am

    Hi. I have been using opium on/off for three years. I stopped a week ago. The first 24 hours I took 5 mg of methadone, and decreased it on daily basis. Now it is day 8 and I am on 1 mg of methadone. Today I tried not to take the 1 mg and I felt so dizzy that I could not walk. By taking 0.5 mg of methadone I felt great after one hour. I read comments on this page. It was said to decrease it by 10%… Since my requirement for first 24 hours was 5 mg, I thought I was not that dependent and I could taper off faster. Am I doing it right? When should I stop the 0.5 mg? Thanks.

  • Nico March 29, 2016, 4:45 pm

    I’m in the process of methdaone detox. I’ve been on it for 10 years gradually detoxing from 120mg. I began detoxing approximately 6 months ago. I didn’t feel any withdrawal symptoms until a few weeks ago. Now they are getting increasingly worse as I continue to detox. I’m on 14mg decreasing by 2mg every week. I’ve been experiencing restless legs mostly my ankles (and also my wrists), anxiety, and insomnia.

    Also, this is so weird, I don’t know if it’s related, but my mouth is constantly full of saliva. I keep drinking water trying to make it stop. I am so scared to continue with this detox, but I am so ready to just be done. I hate going to the clinic everyday (I don’t have take homes because I owe them so much money, even though I haven’t relapsed in 7 years.)

    I’ve been hearing so many different things about how long it will take to feel normal again after I’m completely off of it. I’ve also heard that some people can never return to normal as something to do with the opiate receptors being “broken” after being on Methadone for a long period of time. I’m desperate for any kind of advice. I also don’t have health insurance, so I can’t even go to the Dr. for clonidine and my clinic doesn’t offer any prescriptions. Any advice would be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance.

  • Dorothy April 6, 2016, 1:56 am

    I was taking methadone for 3 years. Seven years before that I was on Oxycotin and Hydrocodone, I went to methadone because my doctor got busted. Methadone was cheaper and lasted longer than percs. I tried to stop cold turkey three times an always on the third day I would have a seizure. I finally went to a detox and rehab place. It has been almost 60 days and I feel like crap.

  • maryjane May 1, 2016, 2:03 pm

    I had been on methadone or previously oxy after my spine was basically rebuilt. I want to be drug free. Had tapered down from 20mg to 2.5. No sleep for 5 weeks. Then my other Dr. said why prolong it just stop completely.

    Full withdrawal for a week. How much longer until I can work? Totally broke and must work. I’m taking a non opioid muscle relaxer at night. I don’t have another month of this in me. Will it lighten up soon?

    • Lori May 5, 2016, 12:39 am

      How are you feeling now Maryjane? I’m in withdrawals too, and I’m miserable. I think your doctor is a real jerk to have said what he did. Is he giving you comfort meds at least? There’s no Hell after this life for us, because we’ve already lived through it right here on cozy little earth. What a horrible ride this is. Loripoo 😢

  • Lori May 5, 2016, 12:36 am

    I really feel like I’m losing my mind. I have been on Methadone for 12 years now for pain management and addiction problems. For the past 6 of those years, I have been titrating down from 120mgs to 13mgs. I was going down around 3-5mgs every month and stopping in between to level out when I felt really sick. Now, for the past 5 weeks, the measly little one milligram drops are unbearable, as my mental state is that of an absolute crazy person.

    I’m so uncomfortable in this PAWS-ey state that is NOT waning or lessening, quite the contrary. I feel so bad, with the cold chill, hot sweats, gooseflesh, and severe mood swings that I’m considering putting myself in a detox to just finish off the last 12 mgs. My counselor is supporting me, as is my pain care doctor who is amazed at my strength and sheer determination. I don’t feel strong at all.

    I feel like a fucked up mess, and I don’t know who the hell I even am anymore most of the time. I have somewhat good hours, but I always end up going back to feeling sick with the damn cold hot chills and sweats. I’m exhausted from this withdrawal. Is anyone out there going through this hell? What can we do besides Clonidine and sheer white knuckling and teeth gritting through this Hell? Help! I need advice!

    Thank you in advance, Loripoo suffering 😵😭😱

    • Tony May 12, 2016, 11:18 pm

      Hi Lori, I’m feelin ya! – going through the same at the end of 18 years of Biodone addiction (as high as 235ml) – I’m down to 10ml this weekend and the last week has been a shit sandwich. I need a neural disrupter of some kind. Clonidine with a little diazepam (valium) will help greatly, people have already suggested hot baths, and I find heat packs (you know the wheat ones) across both ankles and wrists relieves from the outside, but from the inside that half awake spasm electric buzzing is incessant.

      I found myself sitting in the lounge at 2am this week holding a packet of Codeine forte and knowing that it would give me some relief, but managed to convince myself that the quick fix will only be far worse tomorrow. I resisted! I feel like the walking dead and know that there is still 2 months of reductions, and then whatever 1/2/3 months of whatever after that.

      I run a site to support people in foreign prisons, oh the stories I have heard of cold turkey in Thai (etc) prisons with no meds and bodies pressed against you with an open sh#t pit in the corner. Anyone here tried IBOGAINE? – I was in contact with a guy years ago called Howard who was researching it for addiction treatment. Hold tough Lori – were all in this together! Tony

  • Harry May 6, 2016, 9:04 pm

    I’ve took my last 10mg tab yesterday morning and am feeling bad. Was on a low dose of 20-30 mgs daily for 6 years for a back injury while in military service. I’m feeling bad and want to know for how long I’ll feel this way. Also, have appointment for suboxone Monday. Having second thoughts about putting that in my body.

  • Tony May 11, 2016, 11:15 pm

    Hi Everyone, I’ve been holding off posting, but today is the day. I have been an addict for near on 40 years, I am a 50 year old man. I was on Heroin for near on 20 years then on the methadone program for 8+10 years. Sexual abuse as a 10-13 y/old drove me to pills at 12, which quickly escalated to stronger opiates, which led to a young man having to find large sums of money on a daily basis.

    Anyone who has been there will know the chaos and danger and the desperation of finding yourself doing things you never dreamed you would do. Like a lot of people I tried various ways over the years to get off the opiates, cold turkey, weaning, even managed to get a Dr to prescribe me morph, none of it stuck. While I had friends who could use on the weekends, it was always me who kept going (and going).

    Finally after years and years of addiction I bit the bullet and went on the Methadone program. As a rapid metabolizer that started a long process of increasing doses, I would never ask for an increase, but my stats indicated I was withdrawing, the Dr would say 10ml, I would say 5ml, I ended up eventually on 235/ml/day (the largest dose at the clinic). One day a new doctor came onboard at the clinic and saw my dose.

    He freaked out and immediately sent me to have my heart checked, sure enough I had QT prolongation and was told I could have a heart attack any tick of the clock! In the middle of the years of being on the M/Done program I did a rapid detox (naltrexone) that nearly killed me and resulted in my convulsing on the table for 5 hours of sheer hell. I couldn’t walk for 2 weeks and was still passing liquid for 2 months.

    They had never treated anyone over 40ml, and I was on around 160 at the time. It was so bad, and the trauma on my body and mind was so full on that I went back on the program again rather than go back to illegal opiate use. People think that Cold Turkey is like some Pavlov’s Dog aversion therapy that will stop them using again, while there will always be exceptions, my own experience is that it is unnecessarily punishing yourself.

    Medically it has a high relapse rate as it is so full on that people turn to all sorts of other meds to make it thru. I have done the hard yards, and am now over punishing myself. People say lots of things about the Methadone program. Bottom line, without it I would still be a full time Heroin addict. I run a successful business with many staff, my home life and relationship is stable and good, I exercise and live an active life, as well as being a good father to 2 daughters.

    I even managed to cure myself of Hep C with healthy living and no alcohol, I have had 3 blood tests that are now clear of it completely!! I have learned to accept myself, and love myself again. The space that being on the program had given me was invaluable. I have been drug free of everything other than Methadone (and a little of mothers natures ‘happy’ herb) since I first went on the program.

    This allowed me to sort my head out, and forgive myself for the sh#t things that I did to myself and others and gain a greater understanding of the things that happened to me. Being sexually abused by a male at such a critical point of becoming a man threw up all kinds of issues for me. I could tell no one, and the abuser played on that. I blamed myself for many years, even though I was a dissociated puppet for most of it.

    The subsequent abuse that happened in the course of finding hundreds of dollars a day for drugs was also something I blamed myself for, and somehow thought I deserved nothing better. Being on the program saved my life. I am not saying its the best option by any means, or the right thing for everyone, and in the realm of Methadone users I seem to be an exception as I never used other pills or opiates after going on the program.

    I know of many people who use it as a quick fix when they cant score of run out of money, and then back to the illegal drugs again ASAP. I can’t judge as every situation is different. I am the only one alive from the users I knew when I was younger, they have all passed away from drug related issues or related misadventure. All of the above would have gone out the window had I stayed on Heroin spending over $1000 a day just to be normal (sic).

    Luckily I had the means to earn money, but it was all wasted on the quick fix, with little left for anything meaningful, and the endless cycle of having to score day in day out is enough to wear anyone down. I was in corporate IT and hid my addiction from everyone, associates who knew me for years had no idea at all. After so long on opiates I was of the opinion that I would be on opiates for the rest of my life and no doubt end up with a William Burrows long service card at the clinic (for those of a younger vintage you can ask the great god google who Mr Burrows is), the doctors I consulted supported that idea.

    After finding out about the heart problem I found myself a private Dr. With his assistance we started reducing. It was pretty scary as I already knew what it felt like to miss a dose and it was bad! I didn’t know what to expect at all, and my poor partner copped the brunt of my fear and insecurity, still I knew it was the right thing to do. Having a private Dr also allowed me some measure of trust as an individual, and over time allowed me to split doses across the day rather than taking it in one hit.

    This helped with the peaks and troughs (for me it is 1/4 morning, 1/4 around 5pm and 2/4 before bed). It also allowed me to get all takeaways and collect them a couple of times a week rather than having to stand there and dose at the chemist in front of judgmental eyes. This made me feel more like a normal person rather than an outcast! I have been in a constant state of detox now for around 3 years. I go down around 2.5ml every 15 days.

    While it’s uncomfortable, its certainly manageable and I can still have my wits about me and work complex tasks (and long days). On occasion we have stabilized for an extra few weeks, and even a month at times, but the progress has been constant and unrelenting. I have sucked it up and aside from an occasional joint (I don’t drink alcohol) I have had nothing else to elevate withdrawal symptoms. Some months stabilize faster than others. It has not been a party, or comfortable, but certainly manageable.

    I am now on 12.5ml/day, about to go to 10ml, so I am by no means at the end of this journey, and in fact am finding it harder than ever. The physical symptoms are terrible and I have had to resort to using some Catapress/clonodine – (blood pressure tablet – also used to mitigate hot flushes in menopausal women – It has been used for years in detox to increase the power of other drugs and alleviate anxiety. It has done little for me so far and the nights are so very bad.

    I want to chop my legs and arms off, the body shocks, spasms and constant central nervous system buzzing is endless. I feel like I am walking on a high wire of anxiety and know that if I fall it will be hard, so i keep balancing and taking the next step. Because of my history of drug use I have not wanted to take any other drugs along the way, but I feel that I am at the point where to keep functioning I may need something to help get through the very bad nights.

    The days are bad too, but it is the nights that are the pits. Believe it or not, this is the short essay *hehe*. So why have I posted? I want to add my voice to the various stories, info, mis-info, and also ask advice (even tho I’m pretty sure I know the answer). If anyone has any tips on making it past the pointy end of this detox I am grateful and thank you in advance. Likewise any tips on recovering and making it past the 2/3 months once the doses stop.

    Really hot baths do certainly help (if only I could live in a hot spring), exercise likewise helps, so be as active as you can. Massages are good, but for me they are relieving while they are happening, but back to business as usual afterwards. If you don’t have to work, then clonodine/catapress will certainly help, but don’t just stop taking it when your done, wean off it over a week. I am speaking from personal experience so check anything critical with a trusted Dr.

    My advice to addicts is to find a way out of the daily cycle, unfortunately that sometimes means breaking clean from your drug using friends and associates (who enable and are enabled by you). Remember drug use is most often the symptom, ask yourself what is the root cause. Delve into the icky stuff in a safe environment, get it out on the table, get informed and educated about it. Fear is broken by education and understanding.

    That will leave you with the physical addition to deal with. Methadone users have hope, there is a way back! Don’t punish yourselves with cold turkey, like any med its always better to wean than to cease cold. If you can, find a private GP rather than a one-size-fits-all clinic, but only do it if your ready because you need to be trusted and have trust and the worse thing is breaking peoples trust (no matter how understanding they may be). It makes you feel bad inside and results in further seeking of relief from pain.

    Finally, I have become a firm believer in ‘post traumatic growth’. The research I have done indicates that generally people who go through trauma have a period of self awareness and growth that is beneficial. I’m not going to blow smoke up your behind by telling you that everyone is here for a reason, but I am going to say that its up to you to find your passion, and helping others is a great way to start. Random acts of kindness will help you to feel like a human again.

    Find your art no matter what it is and practice practice practice. Stay the course and be true to yourself, and love those around you. If you have kids, invest in them, and give them hope. Its been 10 days since my last reduction and the nights have been horrific with little sleep, and the last 10ml is not going to be a party, let alone the 2/3 months after that while my body finds its own chemical balance again after so long.

    I am so emotional as the opiates leech from my system, all those raw opiate suppressed feelings. My partner deserves a nobel prize for support, midnight massages, nutritious food and unconditional love (thanks so very very much baby – oh dear here come the tears again). The light at the end of the tunnel is not a truck heading straight for you, but a beautiful sunrise waiting to fill you with joy and hope and the warmth of a new day.

    Take the time to stop and smell the flowers. You are not alone! Peace & love & hugs, Tony

    • Derrick June 15, 2016, 12:11 pm

      Tony, I would like to thank you for your post. Your story is very similar to mine, and I appreciate a site that exposes me to people who can empathize.

    • Leigh August 17, 2016, 8:56 pm

      Thank you Tony for this post.

  • Leigh May 14, 2016, 3:11 pm

    Hi, so I say stay away from methadone if you can! I regret ever touching it. I had no choice. I was a single mom working a full time job and had already been to rehab twice. I had to support my family and my kids came first so I went through the program. I have been on methadone 10 years now. I was on 75mg and every few months came down until I finally reached 15.

    I have been on 15 for 3 years now. I felt normal and thought I could go down to 10 easy. Well I have tried 10 mg for 3 weeks. As the night time gets here I am in such bad withdrawal I can’t lay still. I swear my body feels like it is seizing. Restless leg symptoms try restless body!! I get maybe 2 hours of sleep before I wake up and my body won’t lay still.

    I usually have to take next days dose about 3 am so that I can sleep for 2 hours. Some I have actually had a few nights where I have been awake 48hrs straight. This is hell. I went down 2 mg to get to 15 and was stuck a few years. I just went back to 15 yesterday because after almost a month I was still in withdrawal. You want to talk about being depressed… this made mw realize I will be stuck the rest of my life!!

    Please do not take this unless you have no other choice. If you do take this please taper off within 2 years. Never go past 2 years or you will be be in liquid cuffs the rest of your life. Good luck.

  • Cody Tonjes May 14, 2016, 9:19 pm

    I am on day 2 after coming down from 130 to 0 in 14 days was on for 3 years exactly. Got the shakes, confused and little nausea. Trying to keep busy and focused but can’t. I’m hungry but don’t feel like eating. The 14 days were so so. I can’t stop thinking about the next few weeks and whether or not I’m gonna lose it.

    • Tony May 19, 2016, 4:47 am

      Wow – very brave Cody. What was your thinking in reducing so quickly (aside from just wanting to be rid of it)? Was that 130 ml or mg? Try to distract yourself, as the anxiety monster can be the difference between making it or breaking it. Stay strong!

  • Jessica Hutchinson May 25, 2016, 7:18 am

    I went from 120mgs to 8mgs in eight days after being on methadone for 4 years. I’m 2 weeks in and I’m not going back EVER but my legs are still hurting and I’m not sleeping well. I can honestly say my head feels clear for the first time in years and that’s what is keeping me holding on.

    I tried NA but the meetings just aren’t for me so instead I’m seeing my drug counselor and my mental doctor twice a week. Nothing helps. You just have to keep telling yourself that tomorrow will be better although that’s not necessarily true. I have no cravings and no pain because from the detox. Believe if I can do it anyone can.

  • bryan May 31, 2016, 4:02 am

    I hate this stuff and wish I was never on it. I’m a slave to it and if I don’t take it I’m super sad and upset and emotional. If your on drugs or are addicted to something look within yourself before doing this methadone. I haven’t taken any other drugs for over a year but at the same time. I’m just a slave to a different drug now that I get over a counter.

    I don’t know. See I’m all emotional LOL. JK. If I could do it over I would have just tried special foods or natural ingredients. It would have been worth me being in bed for a week straight, than to be addicted to methadone now.

  • Alexander June 4, 2016, 3:31 am

    I started at 60 Mgs slightly over a year ago, and I am currently on 7mgs. I tapered down 1mg every other week, and it was fine until recently. I wake up (clockwork) around 5 AM and cannot go back to sleep. I feel crazy in public at times, but as long as I am occupied in something it doesn’t bother me. However, I am still aware of their presence. I hope going from 1mg to 0 won’t be worse. I hope you all get better as well.

  • Derrick June 15, 2016, 9:58 am

    I have been on methadone for about a year and a half. The highest my dosage has ever been was 90mg. I am now at 19mg and I go down 2mg every 2 days. It’s uncomfortable, but seems to be the best for me.

  • Methadone sucks July 3, 2016, 7:47 pm

    I just cold turkey 120 mg of methadone. On day 16. It’s brutal and not for everyone. I just can’t taper. I did this 2 yrs ago had a brief relapse 8 months ago got back on and couldn’t live anymore on that garbage. Heart is racing, and serious muscle cramps are my worst SXs. You can do it tho. Just set your mind to it.

  • Beth July 8, 2016, 12:49 pm

    I have been taking methadone for 8 yrs. for fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. My doc. decided to retire and left me in the hands of a baby doc. Long story short, he didn’t want to continue prescribing me methadone and the plan was to ween me off. I started a new job, new ins. which he didn’t accept and my slow ween happened in a month. I am now on day 7 of 0 methadone. My withdrawals are absolutely horrific!!!

    I went from 240 MG a month to 0!! I am experiencing every symptom but the worst are my legs, the feeling of having no desire do anything, the EXTREM mood swings as well as the depression. My legs feel weak like they don’t want to hold me up and I have to keep stretching them. I have no will to work, clean or leave my house. I have to go to work or I’ll lose my job, so getting ready and leaving is a major push. I’m crying all the time.

    I HATE this feeling!!!! Last night the sleeplessness started. The new doc I am seeing prescribed me clonidine .5 mg. and gabapentin 100mg.at night, which I’ve found to be completely useless! The only thing that remotely works are hot baths for my legs. It has taken all my will power to not take 1 of the 5 pills I have left just to get me through work everyday.

    All I can say is at this moment 1 week in is that I wouldn’t wish this misery on anyone and if I make it through this without getting fired or killing myself it will be a miracle!!!

  • gia July 12, 2016, 4:34 pm

    Hey all you warriors! My experience is that a serious brain disorder, Chiari Malformation, along with a collagen disorder, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, both went undiagnosed for over 30 years. I was put on every psych med known to man to treat my “depression, somatoform disorder, bipolar, OCD, blah blah blah” in my 20s, none of which I had. I have been on opiates since I was 18.

    I went on methadone, 10 mg, to replace fentanyl, norco, and oxys. It was my choice to switch. I thought it would b3 better. Bah!!! 3 years ago, I found a doctor who ordered an MRI and discovered the Chiari and diagnosed related disorders. We did the first brain surgery April 2015. I had my left shoulder done 2 months ago. My right is scheduled for aug. And a neck surgery in Oct. I may just skip it all.

    I am writing a book about a murdered child, and other horror stories in our chiari community. The goal is patient awareness. In writing about medical abuse, I began feeling like a hypocrite. How can I write against this, and show up at the pain clinic every month? It didn’t mesh. I am also outraged by the new FDA and DEA guidelines and how so many people are being dropped and blamed for their addictions and or dependency.

    So I decided to detox. I went from 10 to 5 pretty easily. It has been 15 days since I have had any methadone or opiates at all. The withdrawal has been brutal. My pain doc, prescribed 0.1 clonidine at our exit appt. It helps with the watery eyes and sleeplessness, although I have only taken it 3 times. Trying to keep pharma out of me altogether. The worst has been the anxiety, restless arms, depersonalization, and of course, the worst pain and spasms in my neck and muscles ever. Headache and fever and now the craps.

    I have a feeling it is going to take months to feel normal again. I have been feeling pretty good the last few days because a friend recommended kratom. (Legal in most states). It is a opioid mu agonist. What a lifesaver. I am not endorsing anyone here use any herbs or supplements. Just saying what is working for me. It took awhile to get the research done to find the right strains and dosage to make me feel even.

    From what I understand, prolonged use can cause addiction in some people. Tolerance can build as well. I also had some nausea and dizziness when learning what is the right amount for me. But anyway, I could not deal with this without the herbs I am supplementing with. My heart goes out to you all. If I had cravings for methadone, on top of these physical symptoms, I would not be able to do it.

    I am in awe of those of you who have beaten addiction. I am pulling for everyone here trying. Sorry for the long post, but I thought some of this may help. Big Love.

  • Laura July 12, 2016, 7:45 pm

    Want you all to know that this is a brand new comment… I was on methadone for 19 years! Yes 19!! And I successfully got off with NO SYMPTOMS. It can happen! But you must be patient and stay Clean. I did 1mg every 10 days but everyone is different…

  • Mitzi July 19, 2016, 3:24 am

    I was on Opanas and Roxies for five long, LONG years, then finally dragged myself to the clinic, where I’ve been for the last three years. Eight years total of some type of opiate in my system. The methadone helped me get my life under control, but I was tired of driving 2 hours round trip just for a week’s worth of methadone. I was also tired of taking the nasty stuff, so I tapered from 130mg to 10mg over the course of a year and a half.

    I dropped from 10 to 0, because 5mg did nothing for me. I started kratom 3 days before my detox date, along with Calm Support. The kratom was a life saver. I slept fairly well, and had no nausea. You can tell you’re detoxing, but it’s ridiculously tolerable with kratom. I’m at day 29, and I still have occasional chills, yawning, machine gun sneezing, watery eyes and my energy has never been lower.

    But, I’m off methadone, which makes it worth it. I’m hoping in a few more weeks these last symptoms will subside. You CAN get off methadone if you do it the right way for YOUR body.

  • Meagan Daly July 24, 2016, 2:52 pm

    Hi, I’m meagan. I was on opioid treatment for my back, due to an injury, was hooked, it made me feel like superwoman! Even people at work started calling me that, lol. But I wish I hadn’t,I became an addict and was popping them like the pez candies, I got tired of withdrawing when I have the money, or for whatever reason. I was hell bent on quitting, so I enrolled myself into an out patient methadone facility. For the first year and a half, of the 3.5 years, I was miserable, tired, fatigue, you name it, they kept putting me up, up, up.

    I got to 195mgs a day add was on that for my last year, I had had enough, having to go there everyday was fine at first, but I have a family, and am happily married. It was starting to effect my family and was creating tension between my husband and I, he’s never taken so much as an aspirin, so naturally he hated me there every morning, totally get it. I decided to go against medical advice and get off, so I went down 7mgs a day for 28 days. (Tomorrow is my last day, whooooo hooooo!!)

    Honesty, my symptoms weren’t and aren’t nearly as bad as oxy or any other opioid. The worse thing to effect me is that my body doesn’t want to move, it hurts! And my back pain was gone and is now coming back, and is a quick reminder of why I started the first place, but I refuse to let drugs dictate my life! Honestly it wasn’t as bad as I could’ve been, considering I’ve been on opioids;methadone is an opioid; for 20 years!

    I was numb it was nice, key word WAS, but I wrote this to try to inspire people to be strong, the human body is a delicate machine and if you mess with it, it will kick your butt in the end. One last thing,I think that hydration played a huge role in the overall withdrawal process, and I know you’re body will hurt, but i promise all of you, that a few weeks of torture is definitely worth it, just knowing that I can now be woken by my child and not by my alarm clock, waking me to go get my drugs, no way!!

    My son and daughter serene so much better, they deserve the real me, not the person that the drugs turned me into, stay strong and believe in yourself, and there won’t be anything standing in your way, to freedom and a new start to a long happy, drug free life! Thank you for asking me to tell my story. ;)

  • carmine July 26, 2016, 6:13 pm

    I am on day 26. Cold turkey from 90 mg methadone a day and about 20-25 pills of H. I am still going thru it. No energy, runny nose, severe body pains and lack of focus. One day at a time. I cant wait til its over. Good luck everyone.

  • RBBR August 14, 2016, 5:27 am

    Has anyone tried lessening/softening the withdrawal symptoms of methadone using F.E.C.O. (Fully Extracted Cannabis Oil), aka R.S.O. (“Rick Simpson Oil”), aka Hemp Oil, (NOT hemp seed oil)? I have been very successfully helping my husband treat ongoing methadone withdrawals. He was on it for 11 years to treat chronic, intractable pain, resulting for an auto accident After slowly completing tapering off, he was being haunted with violent restless leg, sweats, insomnia, and so on.

    He also found that he was in no more pain once off methadone, than when he was on it. My husband would not have considered getting a Medical Marijuana designation, but since our state of residence, Oregon, had recently legalized Cannabis for recreational use, I did some homework, (research), bought some material, (marijuana “bud” or “flowers” as it is currently called), and made some Oil.

    I put a small amount into an empty gel cap, (as it doesn’t taste good), and am giving it to him twice a day. The medicinal compounds, particularly the cannabinoids, seem to be working their soothing and healing qualities. He is no longer experiencing restless leg or terrible sweats, (including sweating palms). Insomnia is lessening and his disposition is overall hopeful and becoming more cheerful.

    By selecting medical strains of cannabis with a 2:1 ratio of CBD:THC, he does not become “stoned”. I highly recommend looking into this wonderful, natural medicine if you are suffering from these horrible withdrawals. It is truly an amazing medicinal plant when used for comfort and healing.

  • Michele Daffron September 4, 2016, 8:30 am

    I was on the Methadone Program for 15 years in Maryland and those were the worst days of my life. I have been off for 114 days but unfortunately I started drinking a gallon of vodka a day to deal with the withdrawals. I know that was stupid and the worst decision I’ve ever made. Guys please try and deal with the withdrawals and know that I think of all of you every day and wish I had the guts, courage and strength you all have had. Pray for me and sorry for my sad story.

  • Phillip September 10, 2016, 1:45 am

    I was on methadone for 9 years at 150 mgs. It’s been 5 months and still having symptoms.

  • Sarah September 18, 2016, 1:58 pm

    Hi, I’m hoping someone will be able to share some info or past experience to answer my questions. I’ve been on methadone for 3 years now- at 75mg. I am now tapering at 5mg every 3 days and have gone down twice (total of 10mgs) in the past few days. I am already having trouble sleeping, severe anxiety, headaches, watery eyes, fatigue, and dilated pupils.

    My question is – its only been a few days and a 10mg drop of my normal dose, is it normal for me to be feeling the detox symptoms already? Or is it all in my head because I’m panicking about going down so fast ? Can I trick my body into withdrawal just from overthinking and panicking about it? Thanks – Sarah

  • Melissa Marshall October 1, 2016, 4:43 pm

    Day 15 quitting cold turkey after 13 years of methadone. Will this pain ever end?

  • Cassie October 15, 2016, 6:37 pm

    I was on methadone for about a year after having 2 spinal surgeries that didn’t go as planned. I have chronic pain and mobility issues. I switched to morphine because on the methadone I would wake up every morning and vomit. The morphine was too weak so after 2 moths I transitioned back to methadone and was on only 10 ml 3 times a day.

    My new Dr office took a while ween to write me a refill and since I live and hour from them I was forced to go through cold turkey withdrawals after 2 1/2 years of taking the drug. NEVER AGAIN!! I spent 18 hours violently vomiting. Then another 2 weeks losing my mind, I was suicidal, angry at everyone, lashing out over nothing. It took 3 weeks for me to sleep for more than a couple hours a day if I was lucky. This was about a month ago.

    I’m still having physical withdrawals and I have trouble eating. I miss being able to walk without the use of a cane or walker lime I could on the drug but it’s not worth it. This stuff is poison. This is a terrible way to come off other drugs too. Do yourself a favor and call the hospital on check into a treatment facility for help. Not everyone can do what I did. P.S. The withdrawals from Methadone can be deadly.

  • Karen November 13, 2016, 9:16 pm

    Thank you for this article. I was put on low dosage of Methadone by my Doctor for migraines. If I would have known that the withdrawal was going to try to kill me I would have never taken this drug. I appreciate the fact that this drug help those with serious addictions and issues. I have never felt this type of pain, confusion, the immense lack of energy as if I had my power unplugged.

    I hate feeling weak, like I have no control over my own body. This article is exactly what I needed to know, I went Cold Turkey off 10mg thinking it would be easy. I WAS SO VERY VERY WRONG, now I am humbled by my own Bravado. Thank you for always giving the upside to this hell of withdrawal.

  • Amanda November 26, 2016, 1:13 am

    I’m having a hard time. Been on methadone 1 year as of August 16th, 2016. Used pills for 10 years & heroin the last year of my addiction. Up to 125 mg of methadone. Felt good & stable so decided to start to taper down. This morning I had my first lower dose of 120mg.

    As of a few hours ago I’m sweaty, anxious, shaky, nervous, diarrhea. Mind is racing. Can this really be accurate after just going down 5mg? Or am I losing it?! I feel so lost right now, I’m feeling very emotional & don’t know what to do. I hate all of this.

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