methadone pills

What to Expect from Addiction Treatment With Methadone Pills

Opioids claim the lives of 115 Americans every single day. In fact, hundreds of thousands of families in the U.S. mourned the lives of 630,000 people who died from drug overdose between 1999 and 2016.

So, yes, the threat of opioid is real, and it’s as life-threatening as it can get.

Granted, achieving sobriety may seem impossible, especially to those who fear opiate withdrawal symptoms. But the possibility of a losing your life due to overdose is much scarier.

The good news is, you don’t have to become part of the statistics. Treatment through methadone pills can combat narc addiction and let you live a meaningful life once again.

What exactly are these pills though? What can you expect from methadone treatment?

We’ll address all these questions and more in this post, so, read on.

What is Methadone?

Methadone falls under the opiate or narcotic class of analgesic medications. Its roots trace back to the Second World War. Its introduction to the United States led to its wide use as a treatment for people suffering from extreme pain.

In terms of pain treatment, this drug works by altering the processes behind the brain’s and nervous’ system response to pain. To put things in perspective, 31 million Americans are suffering from back pain alone. As if that’s not enough, as much as a third of U.S. adults experience more pain than people from other countries.

No wonder methadone has become a go-to for millions of Americans with chronic pain. But that’s not all that the drug can do.

It now also sees use in the world of addiction treatment. It may sound counter intuitive, but studies confirm its benefits in people recovering from opiate addiction.

How Does Methadone Work?

So… How does methadone treatment help you become sober? First, let’s take a look at how someone feels when on this medication.

As mentioned above, methadone affects the brain’s and nervous system’s pain response processes. These changes then result in relief from pain. Note that the drug needs more time to take effect than more potent painkillers, such as morphine.

Contrary to popular belief, methadone doesn’t deliver “euphoric” effects. In fact, it has the opposite effect; it blocks these highs that codeine, morphine, and oxycodone are notorious for.

It does, however, give similar sensations. But what’s more important is its ability to prevent symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal.

In essence, methadone replaces the more dangerous opioids in a patient’s system with milder or reduced effects. In the world of addiction treatment, this is (or part of) “medication-assisted” or “opioid replacement therapy“.

How Opiate Treatment Works with Methadone Pills

Methadone is available in several forms, with the pill and liquid being the most common. You’ll also find this drug in wafer form.

In most cases, doctors instruct their patients to take the drug once a day. How long before the effects wear off depends on how high the dose is. In general, though, the pain-relieving effects last between four and eight hours.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends higher doses of methadone for patients with heroin addiction. According to the organization, higher doses can help them stick to their treatment programs.

Methadone maintenance treatment is more effective when administered as part of a more comprehensive treatment program. That said, it’s best that you also receive counseling and participate in other drug addiction support programs.

You can only receive methadone under physician supervision. This means you can only take the medicine in the presence of a doctor. But once your body has acclimatized to it, such as when you’ve shown consistent progress, you may receive permission for at-home methadone treatment.

Keep in mind that the law only authorizes SAMHSA-certified opioid treatment programs to dispense this drug.

How Long Does Methadone Treatment Last?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to methadone treatment. You may need the treatment longer (or shorter) compared to other patients.

However, most doctors opt for a 12-month length of methadone treatment programs. There are even some who need to undergo the treatment for longer than one year.

What’s important is to avoid going cold turkey or suddenly going off the drug. Methadone is still a drug, so a sudden cease of its use can cause withdrawal symptoms. That would only defeat its main purpose.

As such, even if you feel fine and ready to stop treatment, talk to your doctor first. Methadone can pave the way for your opiate recovery, but only if you take it as instructed.

Potential Side Effects

Like with any other medication, methadone side effects can still arise. You should take these seriously, as some of they may warrant professional medical help.

Contact your doctor if you or someone you know on methadone exhibits the following:

  • Shallow breathing or breathing difficulties
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rashes or hives
  • Swelling affecting the throat, tongue, lips, or even the entire face
  • Chest pains
  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Confusion or hallucination

Although methadone is safe (doctors have prescribed it for many years now), some people may have adverse reactions to it. So, keep a lookout for these side effects of methadone and react promptly if you notice them.

A Promising Outlook

Without treatment, those who have an addiction to opioid has a 90 percent chance of relapse. Medication, such as methadone pills, cut this rate by half. However, methadone patients need to continue their medication as directed, or they also run the risk of relapsing.

As such, you need to prepare yourself for long-term treatment with methadone. It may take a year or more, but the benefits that you’ll enjoy are more than worth it.

If you’re ready to talk about your opiate addiction or know someone who needs intervention, don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. You should also check out our methadone blogs to find out more about methadone treatment.

You can also give us a call at  (855) 976- 2092.


[1] Understanding the Epidemic | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center. (2018, December 19). Retrieved from
[2] Back Pain Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[3] Khazan, O. (2017, December 20). Why Americans Have More Pain Than People in Other Countries. Retrieved from
[4] Bart G. (2012). Maintenance medication for opiate addiction: the foundation of recovery. Journal of addictive diseases31(3), 207-25. Retrieved From
[5] Methadone | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015, 28). Retrieved from
stress relief in sobriety

8 Sober Techniques for Stress Relief Without Opioids

For those who use drugs or drink alcohol, stress relief is a no-brainer. Crack a bottle of beer, light a joint, or pop a pill. Of course, as addiction to intoxicating substances takes hold, the individual’s stress level rises as they scramble to find and pay for their drug of choice, keep their habits hidden from family and friends, and watch their life crumbling before them. It’s a textbook example of a vicious cycle, and sooner or later people with opioid addiction will hit a bottom.

Once you have achieved sobriety, you may struggle to deal with everyday problems. Unless you have learned about sober techniques to keep stress in check, the risk of relapse is high.

Here are some good alternatives to drugs and alcohol that can help you banish stress and remain sober.

8 Sober Techniques for Dealing with Stress As an Addict

Which of these techniques works best for you depends on your interests, and it may take some trial-and-error before you find the most effective way to cope with stress. Keep an open mind and give all of these a try before you dismiss them!

Focus on the Moment with Meditation

Although the practice of meditation is ancient, in the Western world it has been soaring in popularity over the last few years.

Meditation and mindfulness emphasize living in the present moment, as well as accepting whatever feelings you are experiencing. This can be particularly difficult for recovering addicts and alcoholics who are accustomed to doing anything it takes to avoid their emotions. However, that’s exactly what makes meditation so valuable and effective as a sober technique for stress relief.

There are many meditation apps available. Check out Headspace and Stop, Breathe, Think. However, you don’t even have to use an app to harness the power of mindfulness or meditation as a stress buster. Simply sit still, close your eyes, deepen your breathing, and try to empty your mind. When thoughts arise, acknowledge them and bring your attention back to the breath.

From “Oh No” to “Ohhhmmm”

Yoga is a form of exercise that can run the gamut from gentle stretching to a vigorous workout. It is similar to meditation in that it asks the practitioner to focus on their breath. Yet yoga does much more than tone the physical body. It can be a truly transformative emotional and even spiritual practice.

Best of all, even a few minutes’ worth of yoga goes a long way. Once you learn some of the basic poses, you may find yourself doing them at intervals throughout the day, whenever you need a mini-break. Try some of the beginner videos offered by Yoga with Adriene, a popular YouTube channel.

Sweat the Small Stuff — Literally

If yoga and meditation aren’t your thing, how about a good, old-fashioned sweat session? Go for a run, lace up some skates, or hit the elliptical trainer. Working out is a wonderful way to recommit to your physical health in the early days of sobriety and managing stress levels.

Need a little help getting to the gym? Enlist a workout buddy who will motivate you to get regular exercise. And when your stress spikes or you’re dealing with addiction triggers, get your sweat on for immediate relief.

Take To the Natural World

Spending time in nature can be incredibly restorative for your mind, body and soul. Find a serene spot near the water or in the woods where you can retreat when your tension threatens to get the better of you.

You don’t need to backpack to Walden Pond to reap the benefits of the Great Outdoors, either; take a ten-minute walk and feel the sun on your face, or sit in a park and listen to the birds singing.

Tap Into Your Creative Spirit

Remember how it felt to be a kid, to open a fresh 64-pack of crayons and spend hours coloring or doodling? Guess what? That feeling is still available to you. Adult coloring is all the rage, largely because of how soothing and stress-relieving it is. So treat yourself to a set of colored pencils or markers and let your inner artist come out to play!

Many addicts find that bullet journals in recovery is a great way to track their mental and physical states and unleash their creativity. Of course, regular journaling is also immensely helpful as a relaxation technique. Writing and/or drawing your thoughts and emotions is one of the best ways to combat stress.

Give Back to Your Community

Find yourself with a lot of spare time on your hands? It’s a common occurrence for newly sober people; acquiring and taking drugs is surprisingly time-consuming. Why not put your time to good use by volunteering it?

Whether it’s walking dogs at the local shelter, mentoring at-risk teenagers, helping sort donations at a food pantry, or building houses for veterans, volunteering will do your heart good. Find an organization that needs a helping hand, and pitch in.

Lose Yourself in a Fictional World

Have you ever gotten so engrossed in a book that you’ve lost all track of time? Reading can transport you out of your own life and into another world — which is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.

If television or movies are more your speed, start working your way through that Netflix queue! Or try a podcast or audiobook to leave your hands free while you journal or take a walk. No matter what the genre, entertainment can be a godsend when you’re trying to take your mind off your own problems or chill out after a stressful day.

Spend Time with Sober Friends

Sobriety isn’t easy, and it’s nearly impossible if you are isolated and alone. Seek out the company of fellow recovering addicts, who will understand what you’re going through. By surrounding yourself with caring, supportive, and sober people, you increase the odds of staying clean even in your most stressful moments.

Support groups are a good way to find friends, of course. But don’t limit your social life to meetings. Meet a pal for coffee, make plans to go for a bike ride or a hike together, or invite friends over for a sober poker night.

A Few Final Thoughts

Stress is a fact of life, but by developing some good habits and learning what sober techniques for stress relief are most helpful, you will be able to ride out even the toughest times.

How do you like to relax and destress? Have we left any essential techniques off our list? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below! If you need help with an addiction to opioids, please reach out at (855) 976-2092.


[1] Yoga With Adriene | Free Yoga Videos & Online Yoga Classes. (2019). Retrieved from

[2] Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, July 13). Exercising to relax – Harvard Health. Retrieved from

[3] Bullet Journaling in Recovery. (2017). Retrieved from

[4] VolunteerMatch – Where Volunteering Begins. (2019). Retrieved from