women looking at ocean after attending our methadone detoxification facility in floridaMethadone is one of the most difficult drugs to quit despite its qualities as a pain reliever. Patients treated with this drug for pain regularly develop dependence that requires detoxification. Just like any other drug detoxification, the process can be challenging and at times painful. Without qualified medical professionals, it can be riddled with withdrawal symptoms.

First Step is a highly effective residential Florida methadone detox facility that can help free you from addiction. We run an intimate detox center with 16 beds, creating the potential for close one-on-one treatment that gets results. We have private rooms available, and you’re able to socialize in a designated communal area. Call us today to talk about our program or fill out this form to learn more.

Methadone is a popular prescription drug used to treat non-cancer related pain. It’s also used to manage opioid addiction such as heroin. Despite being an effective treatment, the drug itself can be addictive. In 2011, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that more than 5,000 deaths were attributed to overdose. It’s reported that in 2012, more than 2 million people used it for non-medical purposes.

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Methadone Cleansing

Detoxification is the first step towards full recovery. While the drug can be a lifesaver for people struggling with opiate addiction, the problem is that it’s also highly addictive and acts as a mood-altering narcotic, which makes it difficult to detox from. A single dose can take over a month to leave the body.

Taking small doses or failing to take it all together could lead to withdrawal symptoms that occur due to the body undergoing chemical changes. Detoxification treatment helps to provide stabilization both psychologically and physiologically.

At First Step, we believe in taking a natural approach to healing. We take into account the patient’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Our medical professionals and counselors are always there to assist and supervise, which is why we should be your first choice when looking for a methadone detox center near me.

Methadone Detox Methods and Process

It takes time before it’s fully eliminated from the body. To manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, medical professionals taper off drug levels in the body, giving the body time to process it out of your system.


A simple taper during detox involves:

  • Determining the levels in the system once you’ve been admitted.
  • Reducing dosage by up to 50% a day, until it’s down to 30 milligrams a day.
  • Decrease dosage by 5 milligrams daily for five days until it’s down to 10 milligrams.
  • Reducing dosage by 2.5 milligrams a day every five days until it’s down to zero.

Medical Assisted Treatment

  • Patients may benefit from receiving drug substitutes such as Suboxone and Buprenorphine. These substitutes are less potent and have a longer duration of effects than commonly abused opioids.

Medical Management of Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Medical professionals can provide medication such as neuroleptics, anxiolytics, or clonidine to relieve some psychological and physical symptoms of withdrawal.

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Methadone Detoxification Symptoms

Certain withdrawal symptoms may be experienced as a patient’s body eliminates all signs of the drug through the detoxification process. The symptoms can be mild to intense depending on the level of usage and a person’s medical history.

Some of the common methadone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea and stomach cramps
  • Becoming angry or irritable
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Sweating and chills alternating with fever

It’s essential to note that a sudden stop of the drug can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms require medical supervision as they can lead to a relapse. Medical professionals can use IV medications, which can reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms. Severe withdrawal symptoms one could experience include:

  • Grand Mal seizures
  • Depression, which could lead to suicidal tendencies
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Visual hallucinations or vivid auditory
  • Cravings for methadone that could lead to an overdose or a relapse

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

One of the most common questions we get is how long does methadone withdrawal last? The truth is that there’s no exact timeframe as everyone’s experience is different. The timeline depends on how often, how long you have been using, and in what amounts. One’s body chemistry and emotional state may also determine the length of withdrawal symptoms.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that withdrawal can last for up to three weeks on average.

Here is a timeline of what may happen.

First 24 Hours: Being the onset of your symptoms, you may experience relatively mild symptoms at first.

Day 2-10: You’re likely to experience increased cravings that are hard to control. Hallucinations and paranoia may be experienced during this time and this could lead to a relapse.

Day 11-21: Physical symptoms begin to reduce, but you could start feeling anxious and depressed as cravings persist.

Day 22-30: At this point, most of the symptoms may be gone, but depression can still be a constant reminder that you’re off methadone.

Beyond the first thirty days, you may experience good and bad days as symptoms come and go. However, as time passes on, you’ll notice some changes.

Intense cravings and emotional lows during withdraw may push someone to a relapse. Relapse after a period of abstinence could lead to life-threatening overdose. According to CDC, more than 14,000 Americans died from a fatal prescription opioid overdose.

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Why Choose First Step For Treatment?

Treatment is not easy when doing it on your own. Fortunately, at First Step, we’ve got you covered.

We have a team of qualified and experienced medical staff who provide supervision and assistance round the clock. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, call us today at 877-389-1135 to learn more about our unique detox program.