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
methadone clinic information

Methadone Clinics | 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Treatment

If you or a loved one struggle with opioid addiction, methadone treatment may be the right option for you.

Methadone treatments have a very high success rate (60-90 percent). This is especially significant when compared to other, non-drug treatment modalities, which have only a 5-10 percent success rate.

Before you start looking for methadone clinics near you, it’s important to fully understand what it entails. Many people don’t do their research beforehand and have a harder time sticking to the program because they didn’t know what to expect going in.

To increase your chances of success, read on to learn about some of the most important (but under-shared) things you need to know about methadone clinics and methadone treatment.

What is Methadone Treatment?

Before getting into specifics about methadone treatment clinics, it’s important to understand exactly what methadone treatment is.

Methadone is a drug that has been used for years to help fight opioid addiction.

Methadone is a narcotic, but it has a different effect on the brain than other addictive drugs.

Methadone actually “unplugs” the opioid receptors. As a result, it stops symptoms of withdrawal and helps recovering addicts resist cravings.

This drug is highly effective when it is used under a licensed physician’s supervision. In fact, there are more than 100,000 Americans who use methadone to help them maintain their sobriety.

What You Need to Know About Methadone Treatment

There are a lot of things that people don’t understand about methadone and methadone treatment. Listed below are ten important facts to know before you seek out this type of treatment or recommend it to a loved one who’s struggling with addiction.

1. Clinics Offer Comprehensive Treatment

Many people don’t realize how comprehensive methadone clinics are. It’s not just about prescribing someone a drug and leaving them to their own devices.

Clinics offer a variety of additional rehabilitation treatments, including:

  • Counseling, both in individual and group settings
  • Vocational counseling
  • Resocialization opportunities
  • Medical treatment
  • Additional counseling for specific mental health disorders
  • Education and housing help
  • Aftercare transitional assistance
  • HIV care and prevention

Clinics offer a well-rounded approach to help addicts enter recovery and get on track to start improving their lives for good.

2. Methadone Treatment Does Not Cause Euphoria

Because it is a narcotic, some people believe that methadone is no different from other habit-forming drugs. This simply is not the case, though.

It’s important to note that methadone does not cause a feeling of euphoria when it’s taken in therapeutic doses.

Methadone is dispensed at a clinic in a very controlled amount at the beginning, so there’s virtually no risk of an individual receiving too much of it.

Methadone allows individuals to participate normally in society without any kind of “high” feeling.

3. Dosages are Individualized

It’s important to work with a clinic when using methadone to stop taking opioids. One reason for this is that, at most clinics, each person receives an individualized dosage that is right for their needs.

That dosage is calculated based on several factors, including how high their dose was when they were abusing drugs and the specific dosage that allows them to see the best results.

4. Methadone Treatment is Very Cost-Effective

The opioid addiction in the United States costs$1 trillion, and that cost is only expected to go up.

Methadone treatment is an economical solution — both for patients and the country as a whole — that will help reduce costs across the board.

5. Methadone Treatment is Long-Lasting

On average, a methadone dosage lasts between 24 and 36 hours. This helps individuals who are taking it maintain some semblance of normalcy since they’re able to go longer stretches without having to visit a clinic for their next dose.

6. Methadone is Safe for Pregnant Women

Methadone treatment has been deemed safe for pregnant women. It also improves pregnancy outcomes. Babies who are born dependent on the drug are usually able to grow without permanent side effects when they’re monitored by a qualified physician.

7. Methadone Has Been Used for Almost 70 Years

Methadone has been around for a long time. The drug was first introduced in the 1960s, and it has helped millions of people change their lives for the better.

8. Methadone Reduces the Risk of a Fatal Overdose

For many people, relapse is part of the recovery process. Methadone helps addicts who relapse avoid fatal overdoses. In fact, the risk of accidental overdose due to drug poisoning mortality goes down significantly in people who use methadone.

This is because methadone helps people maintain their tolerance to other opioids. This is helpful because, in the event that they do relapse, they receive less of a shock than they would if they had gone cold turkey.

9. Methadone Treatment is Not the Same as Addiction

Some people believe that methadone treatment isn’t an addiction treatment at all. This is because they see the use of methadone as simply trading one addiction for another.

This belief stems, in part, from the fact that some people have to stay on methadone for years or even the duration of their life.

In reality, though, methadone treatment is not the same as an addiction.

When methadone is taken in proper doses, it does not cause harmful consequences that are the same as those brought on by addiction. People who receive treatment are able to live their lives normally and contribute to society.

10. Methadone Clinics Can Improve Family Stability

Finally, working with a clinic and starting methadone treatment can be instrumental in helping families and friends reconnect.

Addiction can be incredibly isolating, but having the support of loved ones makes a major difference in a person’s chances of recovery.

Since clinics often offer family and group therapy options, addicts and their loved ones can make amends and develop new and healthier relationships.

Want to Learn More?

Do you want more information on methadone clinics and methadone treatment? Are you still on the fence about whether or not this is the right approach for you?

If so, check out our blog posts today or call us at (855) 976-2092 for more resources to help you make an informed decision about how to navigate the recovery process.


[1] Harvard Health Publishing. (2017, February 8). Treating opiate addiction, Part I: Detoxification and maintenance – Harvard Health. Retrieved from

[2] Cost Of U.S. Opioid Epidemic Since 2001 Is $1 Trillion And Climbing. (2018, February 13). Retrieved from

[3]  Opioid Overdose | Medline Plus U.S. National Library of Medicine (n.d.). Retrieved from



Physical effects of methadone use

The Effects of Methadone on the Body

In the US, the government is always battling with opioid overdose crisis. So, how many die from opioids each year? According to NIDA, about 130 people die every day due to this problem.

That’s serious, right?

The misuse of opioids affects the public health and economic welfare of the country. One of the opiates that people commonly misuse is methadone. This drug is available in different brands, including Methadose, Diskets, and Dolophine.

It’s used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Doctors can also prescribe it to treat narcotic addiction.

Sadly, some patients misuse their methadone prescription for a variety of reasons. This affects them and their health in different ways. For that reason. This post is going to cover the possible effects of methadone.

What’s Methadone?

Methadone is prescription medication use in the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program to help patients with opiate addiction. The dose usually starts at 10 or 20 mg and adjusted in 10-mg increments.

German doctors created this medication during World War II. When it finally arrived in the US, doctors used it to treat patients with severe pain. Today, patients can use it to manage addiction to heroin and narcotic painkillers.

When taken as prescribed by your doctor, use of methadone medication is safe and effective. For patients with addiction, it works effectively if used together with comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program, which includes social support and counseling.

How Does it Work?

Doctors say this drug works like morphine, but its effects of methadone on the body are slower. Patients can take it as a tablet, powder or liquid.

It works by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. This makes you feel relief. Methadone blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs, such as codeine and heroin. It also lessens the withdrawal symptoms of opiate.

The pain relief from this drug lasts for about eight to 12 hours. Studies have shown that methadone is effective in higher doses, particularly for those patients with heroin addiction.

How Patients Misuse Methadone

Methadone is an effective treatment for suppressing cravings and reducing pain. That’s the factor that makes it risky. This makes it an agonist.

First, it’s has a long-term treatment period, usually a year or more. This makes it easier for patients to become dependent on it. Its highly addictive nature makes patients ignore other treatment options in favor of it.

Some people take it illegally. For example, some HIV patients can inject it into their body.

What Are the Effects of Methadone?

The effects are wide and varied as they depend on the individual’s body.

Those who are taking methadone as a prescription can experience side-effects, especially during the first phase of their methadone treatment.

  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Irregular sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Dependency
  • Fluctuating weight
  • Sleep problems
  • Cognitive changes
  • Harmful drug interactions
  • Fatigue

It is also important to note that these side-effects are less likely if methadone is taken as prescribed – at a therapeutic dose.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reaction to methadone is rare. However, patients are encouraged to see a doctor if they experience symptoms of allergy such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching and swelling
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms in your loved one, be sure to get medical attention.

Drug Interactions

You’re likely to experience certain effects of the medicine and possibly even methadone interactions with other drugs. During your medical appointment, your doctor will want to know all the drugs (prescription and non-prescription) and supplements you are currently using.

Interactions can change the action of one or both drugs. Common symptoms include drowsiness and stomach aches.

Effects of an Overdose

Some patients may take more of their medication to get quicker results or maintain the relief the medication offers. This could result in an overdose. When you overdose, the possible symptoms include:

  • Twitching muscles
  • Cyanosis (bluish fingernails and lips)
  • Coma
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing

Methadone Addiction

If you use the drug without any medical supervision or guidance, you’re likely to develop an addiction to methadone. This is viewed as a severe psychiatric disorder, and you’re likely to experience moderate to severe symptoms.

Addiction can lead to several physical effects such as poor self-care and hygiene. Addicts will share needs when injecting methadone and other drugs, which increases the chances of contracting a blood-borne disease like hepatitis or HIV.

Those who combine methadone addiction with other illicit drugs risk suffering from organ damage and long-term health issues. These can be brain damage, cardiovascular system damage, hypertension, and liver damage.

Withdrawal Treatment

If you’re suffering from methadone addiction, you don’t need to give it to the temptations and its relief. Withdrawal and addiction treatment can help you regain control of your health and improve your lifestyle.

Treatment usually involves reducing your daily dose. If your dose is 40 mg, you can start dropping it down by 3 mg. When you get to 20, drop it by 2 mg. Continue this until you get to 5 mg a day.

These steps ensure a slow but comfortable withdrawal process without resulting in severe withdrawal symptoms. Of course, you’ll experience some symptoms after withdrawing.

Effects of Methadone – The Takeaway

Methadone is an opiate medication for people who have developed opiate use disorders. Fortunately, when methadone program requirements are followed and medication is taken as prescribed, it can be a huge help in recovering your life after addiction.

If you’re short on time and looking for help contact (855) 976-2092.

Do you have any questions or thoughts about the effects and risks of methadone addiction? Free to share them with us in the comments section below.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from

[2] Methadone: MedlinePlus Drug Information. (2018, March 15). Retrieved from

[3] Hilke Jungen, Hilke Andresen-Streichert, Alexander Müller, Stefanie Iwersen-Bergmann; Monitoring Intravenous Abuse of Methadone or Buprenorphine in Opiate Maintenance Treatment (OMT): A Simple and Fast LC–MS-MS Method for the Detection of Disaccharides in Urine Samples, Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 41, Issue 1, 1 January 2017, Pages 22–31,