Methadone has got a reputation as a drug that is difficult to detox on. But research has shown that it can be as effective as other prescribed drugs and that, overall, the same number of people drop out of heroin detoxes as methadone detoxes.
The fact that cravings for heroin are usually much stronger than cravings for methadone means that, overall, it is not much more addictive than heroin.
A detox on prescribed methadone may mean that:
- you will probably have to spend time with a drugs worker and/or a doctor;
- you spend a lot less on drugs;
- you are at less risk of getting busted;
- you stop injecting;
- you don’t get a heroin-like hit;
- you can take your opiate once a day;
- you know how much you’re getting;
- you get off heroin at the start of the detox;
- it will take a long time to detox; and
- nwithdrawal symptoms may be worse and may last longer than coming off heroin.
If you go for a prescribed detox the first task is to get off all other opiates and take only the medication – if you don’t manage this the chances of a successful detox are slim.
Other things that might help are:
- taking the methadone in a regular pattern (and not little sips here and there);
- avoiding taking more one day and less the next;
- expecting to feel rough and sleep badly for
- several days after each dose drop;
- expecting poor sleep to go on for weeks; and
- picking a day to end your detox – taking some one day and none the next will confuse your body, and prolong the withdrawals.