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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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278 thoughts on “Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration”

  1. Good to find a place where people get it. Was on methadone for 11 years. Set me free from 20 year codeine addiction . 35mg. Decided to be opiate free so went to specialized rehab March 2017. Wonderful 12 step program. Have been clean 18 months.

    Have also been sick all this time with w/d symptoms. Constant dizziness remains. (Have had ears tested, MRI, even dizziness physio) Was tired of hearing that it couldn’t be methadone related. So I went back to the clinic and asked my doctor. He said the only way to tell is by taking a dose of suboxone.

    If it takes away the dizziness I have my answer. I told him I don’t want to go back on drt but that I need to know. Took 4mg there at clinic. Went home and eureka I felt better than I had in 18 months. However 4 hrs later I threw up and felt like the worst flu. Doc said sorry it was too much.

    He had given me 2 pills to take home. Next day I took fraction of one pill and I felt better. But I called him to say I wasn’t coming back. (He didn’t want me to stop methadone in the first place. ) . I am a grateful member of NA since returning from that rehab.

    In spite of not relapsing on my doc… codeine… I picked up a white keytag July 19 to rededicate myself to the program. My sponsor told me to because of NA’s stance on drt. I humbled myself but am grateful that I have my answer: I am still having paws as my brain heals.

    That means I have hope that eventually I will feel great. Thanks for letting me share. Love, Cindy

  2. I was on methadone for a little over 2 years, before that on heroin for about 10 years. My dose was 160mg and over an 18 month period I dosed down to 0. I took my time and did it slow. I never experienced any kind of withdrawal. I was very nervous when I got to 1mg, but I have been discharged for 2 months now and have had absolutely no withdrawal symptoms. Just take your time and don’t rush it!

  3. I became a heroin addict several years ago. I have not used at ALL since being on methadone. I have been on Methadone for 4 and 1/2 years and moved up the dosing ladder quickly to 110mgs, once a day in the AM’s… I’m tapering from 110mgs at rate of 10mgs a day because I cannot afford my clinic bill anymore and have gotten behind.

    I’m being administratively separated from the Clinic. I’m scared to death that when I’m done in 8 more days that it’s gonna be the worst time I could ever imagine. I’m petrified that I won’t feel normal ever again or basically feel right ever again. I’m absolutely starting to panic in a way, I continually think about it, and it’s gonna be hell.

    I don’t feel bad at all now that I’m down to 80mg, and that’s 10mgs a day reduced everyday for a total of 30mgs in 3 days from being at 110mg for 4 and a half years. Can someone tell me if this is gonna be pure hell when I’m done? I’m really scared unbelievably scared!!

    Also has anyone else tapered this fast? Am I gonna feel like I’m dying? Can I handle this? How long till I feel better/tolerable/right again? Some feedback would be very appreciated. Thank you, Chad

  4. 18 years at 130mg, then I decided I’m ready to “wake up”. I weaned to 20mg then jumped. It’s day 24 now methadone free. The WD’S are still here. They are not as bad as the first 2 weeks, but still lingering. I’m chatting with a guy that said around day 40 that it’s over.

    He’s on day 103 and says he’s back to normal. He was on it for 20 years. It looks like methadone stores in fat, so it may take 2 weeks to leave your system. Waxing and waning is the word with methadone WDs. I already know it’s going to be a long haul.

    I know one commenter said withdrawal will last forever, that’s bull. I’m on a forum that has many people that have successfully quit methadone and went back to a normal lifestyle.

    • Hikfromstik I was on between 50 and 85 mg for 15 yrs. 8 days ago I made the decision to stop cold turkey. Right now I’m still experiencing sweats, diarrhea, NO FREAKING ENERGY, my legs are numb and tingling, and my pulse is staying between 90 and 146.

      Did you experience these symptoms as well? And how much longer you think I will experience them?

  5. I cannot stand the rules at my methadone clinic here in Colorado. I’m on a taper and they took my weekly “take homes” away from me because I had a bottle dated July 5th and did not take it because they gave me 7 “take homes” instead of 6. So this is the nurse’s mistake.

    I asked to speak with the director and this nurse ran from her station to the lobby where the director was. I could hear my name and the nurse stating that I need to lose my phase because I did not drink the bottle before I came down. I was not supposed to. The point here is that a nurse made a mistake of giving me an extra.

    I’m so angry I just want to jump off! I’m on 18 milligrams. BTW the entire waiting area heard and witnessed this incident. I’m at the point where I want to hit the street to get some Percocet so I can do it by myself. Nobody cares and nobody listens.

    I’ve never had a hot UA, been late, or caused any problems. So I filed a complaint with the Joint Commission so we shall see if they care at all. This methadone clinic is just an excuse to create jobs. Doctors are so paranoid to help.

    Now I feel like healthcare is to cover the agency’s ass as a mission statement instead of advocating for patients. I am so angry I can’t stand it! So now I have to go Monday’s Wednesday’s and Fridays what a pain in the ass!!!

    • I’m on methadone here in CO I’m at 5mg right now and I’m miserable but getting there. My clinic is the same way they expect you to follow by the book but they control you – an old timer called them “liquid handcuffs”.

      I went on vacation last year and they didn’t UA me before I left and then when I got back, on the 3rd, I lost my phase 5! I feel horrible the first three days but it gets better. I’m on a fast taper though. Good luck with you taper or detox. ❤️ I completely understand.

  6. I’ve been on methadone since 2003. I was prescribed it at Stanford Clinic in calif. when nothing else would work. It’s now 2018 and I have been trying to reduce my dosage of 40 mg down to zero quickly. I recently had to change from Kaiser to a Blue Cross Medical plan and the doctors on Blue Cross won’t prescribed methadone.

    Over the years that I’ve taken it, I have a built up a supply of pills that have lasted me for two months now. When I found out I wouldn’t be getting any new refills, I had planned to cut my 40mg dosage to 20mg to zero or as when needed. But after the shelf life period wore off, I’m still having to take at least 10 mg, and I’m still suffering from severe withdrawals.

    I hurt, I can get maybe one to two hours of sleep at night, and I’m so fatigued that my 11 a.m. I’m done for the day. These are very severe symptoms, and I’m starting to go crazy. Every time I try to make plans, I have to cancel out because I’m too tired.

    Did anybody find anything to help through the withdrawal symptoms? Even anything natural would be good, if not better. I just don’t know how long I can go on like this. Makes me want to go to the black market to find some methadone LOL. Good luck to everyone who’s having the same problems or more.

  7. I have been on 40mg. methadone for nearly 50 years. I never used illicit drugs but was prescribed methadone for chronic pain. Now the pain is minimal and there is no way I can get off of methadone. I have tried several methods.

    Rapid detox in the 80’s – almost killed me – woke up and felt like I was beaten with a baseball bat – no kidding. Then clonidine – almost killed me – wound up in the hospital with a dangerously low blood pressure – passed out in the street. Tried acupressure and acupuncture to no avail.

    Then there was my own method which was lowering my dose by 1mg. every 2-3 weeks. I did get down to 8 mg. but couldn’t get out of bed for a year or so. Then suboxone – didn’t agree with me!

    Now I live with my 40mg. from a pain clinic and try my best to not let it get me down. Another 20 years and I’m out of here. Don’t take methadone. There are better drugs for pain control that don’t have the half life of methadone.

    • My dad is in the same boat. He was on methadone for 20 years for chronic pain. Always took as prescribed. With all of the new Methadone regulations, his prescribing doctor has decided to no longer prescribe it at all. For 2 years now he has tried various other things to help his pain with no success. Doctors here in Arkansas will not prescribe it to “new patients” which he is considered. His pain is unbearable! We need help!!!

  8. I was addicted to heroin for about 20 years, with a few interruptions when I sought treatment. I tried inpatient detox, 12-step groups, suboxone and cold turkey(when I found myself in prison for 32 days). Nothing worked until I went on methadone maintenance at 80mg daily.

    It saved my life, my finances and my sanity, but after 2 years I felt limited by my inability to travel for more than a week or so. I started a taper of 5mg every 2 weeks until I got down to 30mg and then I slowed it down to 2mg every 2 weeks. I am down to 10 mg and I feel fine except for some muscle aches and hot flashes.

    These symptoms are not severe and the trade-off is well worth it. I am grateful to the clinic for saving my life, but I no longer crave dope and don’t wanna be a slave to methadone forever.

    I highly recommend this very slow taper as a way to successfully get off maintenance. I believe that taking my time accounts for my success so far. Good luck to all. If I can do it anyone can!

    • Good to know. I’m at 5mgs and have been tapering 1 mg a week and this last mg decrease made me feel like I was in early withdrawal. The physical symptoms were fine, but the mental part was almost more than I could take.

  9. I was currently on 85mg for 3 years now I am on 9ml and going down 2mg a day. My Methadone clinic is detoxing me at this pace because for the life of me I cannot take a piss (drop) with someone behind me watching. According to their policy all drops have to be watched directly. For the first 2 years and 7 months my counselor would just stand outside the door and I would drop every month no problem.

    Then out of nowhere they said he has to be in bathroom directly watching me.I decided to tapper down to not go threw the hassle and embarrassment of not being able to drop. 2 months ago I cheated by taking a bottle of my own piss the counselor didn’t notice so I got away with it. After that drop Thats when I asked to be tapered down I was doing 3mg every 3 days from 85mg to 26mg.

    I did feet withdrawals but I sucked it up. I can bear all the withdrawals the ones I can’t and make it hell is the anxiety and not being able to sleep. But nonetheless I stuck it out. I stopped at 26Mg because I couldn’t bare not being able to sleep. For a whole month I was at 26mg.

    Then it came time for me to drop I decided to not cheat simply to just not go threw the hassle of having to worry about getting caught cheating. I was not able to drop. The clinic has a policy if you don’t drop you will be on a fast detox of 1 mg a day for 1 week then after that week 2mg every day till you reach 0 then terminated from the program.

    So I went from 26mg to 9mg today then 7mg tomorrow and by Friday I should be off. I’m wondering if anyone has came off methadone at this fast pace before and after my last dose of 1-2mg how long will it take for the withdrawals to start kicking in and how long will they last on average?

    • Hi, Alex withdrawal can last up to 6 months depending on a variety of factors. Usually sets in within 24 but can be up to 3 days for some. Also, I would be at the clinic 3 hours sometimes trying to pee. It made my anxiety worse. They had cameras in the bathroom and I still had problems.

      Someday, I hope they make things easier for people. I wasn’t hiding anything. I begged for a blood test but of course I would have to pay for that and couldn’t nor should I have to. I went in ’09 and it was 75 dollars. By the time I left it was $160 just for the medicine.

      They weren’t making enough off of cash patients. They cared more about billing insurances. It’s sickening. I was all for clinic until I knew how they treat people. Most people want to get off. But it’s so unbearable people jump back on even if they want off.

    • I’m not sure what state you’re in, but in Connecticut and Florida it is against the law for them to watch you pee, unless it’s for probation. You might want to look up the laws for your state.

      • My clinic in SWFL watches you pee if you have had a dirty urine or a tampered test. I had tried everything and even looked into it being illegal, but it is not.

    • I just did a 3 week detox off 70mg. Within 2 weeks I was off it. It’s been 5 weeks now. There’s no letting up with the withdrawals for me yet. Really wish I’d have tapered slowly at home, but what’s done is done. Don’t have these liquid handcuffs on me anymore. Good luck mate.

  10. I’m on day 12 of detox. I can not believe that I was awake 5 days straight! I did get about 3 hours sleep yesterday. It’s been hell. Very HOT showers are my friend-sometimes 5 a day. Does anyone experience SMELL sensations? I smell diesel fuel all the time.

  11. Guys that have been on Methadone – I need your help and advice, please. My husband had a back surgery 2 years ago. For a full year leading up to the surgery, until the doctors had figured out what his solution should be, he was put on Hydrocodone pills (4+ a day & highest dosage) plus a Fentanyl patch. By the time the surgery was over, he was addicted to the pain pills.

    He detoxed from the Fentanyl patch within a matter of weeks, but struggled with and abused the pills for 6 months after the surgery before realizing he needed to go to a Methadone treatment center. He was started at 30 mg of Methadone and weaned down at a rate of approximately 1-2 mg a week and has now successfully been clean for exactly 50 days.

    His biggest symptoms were 1-2 weeks afterwards, in which he felt some flu-like symptoms and was very fatigued. My question is this: How long after you’ve been clean from the Methadone does sexual desire return? Obviously with his pain level and being in a fog with the pills over the last couple of years, our activity in that department decreased to once every 3-4 months, at best.

    Everything that I’ve read though, seems to imply that after one is completely done with methadone or any kind of opiate/narcotic after a couple of months, their sex drive is through the roof. My husband is extremely irritable and will make up almost any excuse to still NOT want to have sex. Is this normal?

    He has no drive and when I even mention sex, he gets angry and starts a huge fight. I have suggested that perhaps he talk to a doctor, which begins an even bigger argument. Just looking for some advice.

  12. I took Methadone for 12 years for possible nerve damage of stomach from chemotherapy. I was on 20 mg a day for 10 years and then tapered to 5mg a day. I have been off of it for 6 weeks. I am still experiencing back muscle spasms and 2 – 3 episodes of diarrhea every morning. I have abdomen pain but feels like it is coming from the intestinal area.

    I can’t take muscle relaxers because they hurt my stomach. Is this normal to have them a much pain after 6 weeks? Really struggling and discouraged, and would appreciate any advice you might have to help me deal with these issues. Thank you in advance.

  13. I was on methadone for 4 years at a clinic, on 110 milligrams a day. I went to rehab to get detoxed. I’ve got through the worst of it but it’s been 40 days and I’m still not feeling good. I still have insomnia and there’s time I’m so tired. I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin and I have no motivation at all. I feel like I have the flu and sneezing all the time. How long is this going to last? Does anyone know? I’m tired of feeling like this.

    • You will be okay!!! I detoxed off methadone by myself coming off of 90mg daily… it sucks but now it’s been 2 years and my life is so much better without having to take something to feel normal. Keep up the good work!!!

  14. This thread was intense. Some comments have made me anxious and others have made me hopeful. Everyone here is an effing BEAST. Even though there’s been pain and misery, you all are pushing through it and that’s admirable.

    I was addicted to heroin (snorting) for 2 1/2 years. Started methadone in July of 2014. I only went up to 40mgs and started tapering after a month or two. Due to pregnancy and life in general, it took me awhile to taper all the way down to 2.5mgs. It was August of 2016 that I got down there. It is now January 3, 2017 and I’m on Day 6 (10:30pm) without methadone.

    The first 3 days were bearable, day 4 sucked anxiety and achy wise. Day 5 was amazing and normal for the most part. Last night I slept okay and woke without aching but as the day progressed, my anxiety and body aching has worsened. I don’t have diarrhea, vomiting or anything extreme (yet) but I feel it’s going to come for me.

    Today was just a mentally weak and negative day. A lot of this is mental work and you have to surround yourself with people and things you love. Music helps, sex (or masturbation) helps, getting out even when you feel like sh-t helps, weed has helped me, and just going into every struggle with a strong mentality helps.

    I don’t know if tomorrow will be better or worse. I don’t know exactly what’s coming for me but if it’s hell, then it’s hell and I’ll keep fighting. There is hope out there guys!

  15. Coming down from 95/mg, two years ago. Now I’m at 9/mg, and cramping like crazy! The Canadian taper is the best. I was able to call most of shots during my long taper, now I’m going down 1/mg every 14 days. No clinic fees, no cutting you off when you can’t pay the bill. All my six carries are no charge at all. Everything is free in Canada with methadone. I abused hydromorphone like crazy, never again, I’m 62…

  16. I have been an opiate addict since I was 17 years old. It started with prescription pain pills of Oxycontin which I had about a three-year run until the doctors realized I was full-blown addicted and using them by IV. So naturally I went to heroin and battled with that and Fentanyl and any opiate I could get my hands on.

    After 10 years of constant opiate abuse by IV decided to go on methadone which I was on for a year-and-a-half and 160 milligrams. It came to the point where I simply couldn’t get to the clinic every day. I’m a single mom with two kids so I decided to stop. They wind me down to 40 milligrams and had me jump.

    The first week was just mild body aches a little insomnia and I thought to myself, geez this is awesome, I can do this. Day 13 comes and I end up hospitalized for severe withdrawals, dehydration, infection, etc. It is now three weeks and I’m still experiencing horrible physical and mental withdrawals.

    When will it ever end? I just wish I would have stopped before the methadone. I think this withdrawal is worse than heroin.

  17. Methadone withdrawals will depend on length of time taken, dosage taken. Withdrawals can last a few weeks, a few months a few YEARS, the rest of your LIFE! Anyone who disagrees with the rest of your life are either MD BS liars, or uneducated.

    Do research into the real world and you will see this, that Methadone changes your mind and heart, some for a few months others the rest of your life. Those that put you on Methadone are fools, unless you are terminally ill. 

    • I have a spine collapse condition which can not be successfully operated on to correct. The neurosurgeon who diagnosed me in 1998 said to go to pain mgmt via methadone. So I did and same year I was on 130 mg per day, plus morphine, for 16 years.

      I finally left and found a new clinic with better doctor where I went to 90 mg a day (2014 – 2016) It took two years to drop that 40 mg. Then that doctor lost his practice so my family doctor rx me 70 mg a day for a few months and cut me off. Also, 2nd doctor got me cannabis license and it helped.

      But family doctor threw a fit over using POT, a plant, so I found a doctor who will Rx other meds I take but not schedule 1 narcotics. He cut me off to zero mg, after on it 20+ years, offering no help with withdrawal. I am 67 and I am considering that death is better than this.

      What about my sciatica and nerve pain? State of Michigan has banned use of opioid and schedule 1 pain meds. So, someone else decides how much pain I live with till I die? I have had no methadone for eleven days and I have all symptoms you all have. It is getting worse. I will give it 30 days total to see improvements or I will check out.

      P.S. My second doctor said having been on large dose for close to quarter of century, one can never mentally get back to feeling okay – and I believe it. My life has been ruined due to methadone, which I never abused and only took as prescribed.

      My advice: Do not ever take opioids and if on them for less than 5 years, get the Hell off now. Don’t let them ruin your life. It left me unable to function – especially with abruptly stopping. That’s all I got. Hope to see improvements, but not living like this much longer. JILL N

      • Jill Neuman I hope you made it sister!! I was on and off opioids in the end years, plus down to 70 mg of methadone when I was incarcerated and cold turkey detoxed (mostly) in med ward.

        After maybe 10 days I went to GP and was ok. I didn’t sleep great, but within 30 days my energy was back. In 5 months I was fully human again, ready for the world. I was completely restored. How are you now?

        • I know the thread is old but I am 2 weeks into cold-turkey (by choice) from 50mg methadone. It wasn’t helping my pain anymore. I only took the methadone 6 months, but I took oxycodone on and off for 6 years after a doctor got me hooked and left me to figure it out.

          I should have quit there. I keep hearing 4 months is the average, but that’s a long way off with no energy and 3 kids.

          • I was at 185 and 2 years later I’m at 4mg. I don’t feel great waking up, but once I do I’m okay until I get to the clinic to dose. I feel fine throughout the day except a light bit of fatigue, but I’m having some irritability.

            I go down to 2mg in 2 days, then off after that. I have a 2 year old son that is my absolute heart and soul, but is very hard to deal with right now because he’s in his terrible twos full on. I find myself leaving him with his dad for about 2.5 hours a day because I just get sad.

            My son would never know it but I just leave and cry. I’m hopeful though and doing well. You can do it too <3

          • Tiffany, how are you now? Better I hope! My husband and I are both tapering down at our clinic, I was at a much higher dose than he was, with me at 120 & he at 45, so now he is at 3 mg and I’m at 81. It feels like I’ll never get off! We have both been so angry! We say things we do NOT mean at all, we fight at least 3 or 4 days of the week for the last year, right when we started tapering down, I just realized the timing coincides.

            We’ve been together 13 years and up until a year ago, we had maybe 10% of the amount of fights that an average couple has in that time period. We’ve fought more this year than all 12 other years combined, doubled, even tripled! If say we had maybe 20-25 fights in that first 12 years and in this past year? Probably 175. Of those about 40 were bad, REALLY BAD!

            I’ve never seen my husband like this, it makes me so sad, I hope so badly his anger is only temporary! He is always such a positive, optimistic, forgiving, glass half full kind of guy, but now he only sees the bad in me, when I’m being mellow he is just waiting for me to mess up instead of relaxing and hanging out happy for however long it lasts.

            He wants me to change and STOP telling him the things I take issue with in our marriage, he suddenly developed an ego and it gets bruised so easy! Our fights have all been about one thing this whole past year: sex. Or lack of it. I want more, he says once a week is plenty and I don’t have anything to complain about.

            Yes, for some people, that’s enough, but for me, it just isn’t. From our start on methadone until a year ago, we were sexless. Neither of us wanted it, neither cared or missed it, no fighting or frustration. We realized last year we were wasting our good years and we hated that we lost our real closeness with no physical relationship.

            We went from lovers to roommates, and we didn’t want to be there. I have always loved sex until the stupid methadone! Well, maybe it was a mistake to start sex back up, he awoke a fierce drive in me! I don’t know if it’s because I’m in my early 30’s and my so called “sexual peak” but if he would oblige, I’d take it twice a day and maybe more!

            I feel like a wild animal! However, I’d be happy at a compromise of 3 times a week, well, if it mattered what I want, that’s what I’d like. We had a knock down drag out last night where he finally said I need to go find me a new man that will give me what I want and meet my needs because it will not be him.

            I said really? That’s the only option you’re willing to entertain? I’m just supposed to divorce and find someone new? Like you won’t even try twice week? After apologizing profusely today he said he doesn’t know why he says these crazy, horrible things, it’s never what he wants, really wants.

            He feels like Jekyll and Hyde, which I’d agree! Sorry for rambling on, I don’t know of anyone that would actually understand to talk to about any of this. I figure fellow methadone patients would understand! I hope everyone that may read this is doing well keep it up, your hard work and suffering WILL pay off!

    • I was just on Methadone for 8 months 70mg and came off cold turkey! I was a zombie on Methadone, literally had no feelings, motivation or desire of any kind. The worst part is I didn’t know most of it!! That’s pretty bad.


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