Methadone Detox & Addiction Treatment

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Methadone has a dual reputation, as both an addiction treatment drug and an addictive substance. Unfortunately, both are true; methadone can indeed save lives, but also kindle addiction if used outside of medical contexts. It is also particularly prone to misuse alongside opioids like heroin, the very substances it normally treats. At Archstone Behavioral Health, we’re proud to operate the best treatment center Lantana Florida has to offer. If you or your loved ones are seeking help among methadone detox Florida providers, we’re confident we can craft a tailored and effective journey to recovery for you.

If you would like to know more about methadone addiction, please read on as we share our insights.

What is methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid, which has specific medical uses. It is a long-acting full opioid agonist, and a federally designated Schedule II controlled medication in the US.

The reason for its controlled status is that, despite having substantive medical uses, it can be highly addictive. This is due to its function and duration; it affects the same opioid receptors as morphine and heroin, and its effects last for long periods – typically 1-3 days. Between the two, it is not uncommon to develop a dependence on it, which eventually becomes an addiction.

An illustration of a brain on a blue background.
Methadone is highly addictive because it affects the brain in similar ways as other opioids.

Methadone has two typical medical uses:

  • As pain management medication, typically for severe or chronic pain
  • As a component of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to treat Opioid use Disorders (OUDs), managing their withdrawal symptoms

The latter use is particularly notable. Methadone is one of few drugs authorized by the FDA for such uses, and is typically safe. It too can be addictive, however, as it is still an opiate.

Methadone blocks the euphoric effects of other opiates by acting on the same receptors as them. In practice, an individual in rehab who may relapse and use opioids will not get the same pleasurable sensation, discouraging further use. However, methadone itself has euphoric effects, which may lead to “addiction transfer”; the substitution of one addiction for another.

Methadone and the opioid epidemic

Still, there are many programs for methadone detox in Florida because methadone is distinctly effective at treating OUDs. Therefore, it continues to see use – and misuse will often follow.

Since 2017, when the opioid crisis was first declared an epidemic, opioid use has continued to soar across the US. Some substances like heroin may have seen lower use rates, but overdose rates still make them public health concerns. Others, like prescription painkillers, continue to see misuse through prescription appropriation and other means. Such drugs now also see combinations with ones like fentanyl, with far deadlier results, which only adds further pressure.

This is exactly why methadone is so strictly regulated. For outpatient use, patients need to visit a clinic to have their dose administered. Every heroin detox program in Florida will strictly control methadone use. Under proper clinical settings and strict regulation, methadone can be a life-saving drug – but without it, it can be deadly.

A close-up of a person’s hand on the floor, holding medical pills.
Prescription drugs like methadone unfortunately also fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic when abused.

How does methadone addiction develop?

However, methadone addiction is a very real possibility. At Archstone Behavioral Health, we have seen methadone addiction and can trace its common origins.

Methadone addiction can be kindled by its euphoric effects. While it does block the ones of opioids like heroin, it has some of its own.  Common ones among them include:

  • Sedation and a feeling of relaxation
  • Decreased reaction time and attention span, drowsiness, and muscle weakness
  • General euphoria, which can feel like an actual “high” in higher doses

These kinds of effects are not uncommon among methadone detox Florida programs. With them as the foundation, there are a few ways addiction can set in.

A common one lies in prolonged use, which allows tolerance to the drug to build up. In such cases, higher doses may need to be administered for the desired medical outcome. In turn, the individual may develop dependence – which can be managed, as long as one’s doctor knows.

Another lies in methadone abuse, typically following dependence. As the individual self-medicates, they may appropriate the prescriptions of others, combine methadone with alcohol and other substances, and so on. As the drug is consumed without medical supervision or regulation, addiction can only follow.

And finally – recreational use. Since methadone is itself an opioid, it’s not uncommon for addicts to prefer methadone as their substance of choice – typically ones addicted to heroin. In such cases, chasing a “high” recreationally can only lead to addiction – as it does with all addictive substances. Especially if the individual changes the means of administration, such as by injecting it, methadone’s potency increases and addiction becomes a given.

A close-up of a syringe next to medical pills on a black surface.
When abused, methadone can also be injected intravenously, increasing its potential for overdose.

Methadone side effects and addiction symptoms

The side effects of methadone, even when properly used, resemble those of opioid drugs. While they can vary from person to person, they typically include:

  • Constipation or bowel movement irregularities
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Impaired cognition or confusion
  • Forgetfulness or absent-mindedness
  • Impaired balance or coordination

In proper settings, such symptoms tend to be manageable and preferable to the alternatives. Methadone detox Florida programs will warn you about such symptoms and help you manage them, so there are no reason to be alarmed.

However, misuse and abuse are what kindle addiction. Symptoms of improper use, abuse, or a potential addiction include:

  • “Doctor shopping”, seeking to receive a methadone prescription
  • Lying to one’s doctor to continue taking methadone despite not needing it
  • Exaggerating symptoms to increase the dosage, or doing so without informing one’s doctor
  • Combining methadone with other prescription drugs, even those of others, or illicit drugs or alcohol
  • Using heroin or other opioids methadone was meant to treat while still taking methadone

Unlike the usual symptoms, these should raise concern. If you identify any of them in yourself or a loved one, you are likely observing the beginnings of addiction. If so, our addiction experts at Archstone Behavioral Health will be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.

Withdrawal; the importance of methadone addiction treatment

Methadone also presents a curious case in that it typically treats withdrawal symptoms of other opioids. And yet, withdrawal from methadone can also be extremely hard to manage without proper medical care – which is the context where addiction most often thrives.

A silhouette of an individual by a body of water during the evening.
It is not uncommon for severe withdrawal symptoms to lead to depression and despair, fueling relapse.

Other drugs have shorter withdrawal periods, since they tend not to be as long-acting as methadone. Withdrawal commonly starts within a day of the last dose, peaks within a week, and lasts 1-2 weeks.

Methadone presents a different timeline, however, provided that the user opts for a methadone detox Florida program. If one does not, withdrawal can be more turbulent and more severe. Its unique characteristics are as follows:

  • Start of withdrawal. Methadone is long-lasting, which means it may take several days for the withdrawal to begin. The typical timeframe ranges from 15 to 60 hours from the last dose but can vary depending on the quantity.
  • Duration of withdrawal. In turn, methadone withdrawal may last between 3 and 6 weeks in typical cases, and even more in cases of severe addiction.
  • The withdrawal peak. Finally, methadone withdrawal may peak within a week to 10 days, but the peak will also last longer. This also depends on prior addiction history, dosage, and other factors.

Methadone withdrawal symptoms

Typical methadone withdrawal symptoms will often vary in nature and severity but can include the following:

  • Chills or sweating
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Stomach cramps
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Anxiety, depression, or paranoia
  • Diarrhea
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Finally, the possibility of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) remains even past the initial detox phase. Methadone does not differ from other addictive substances in this regard; PAWS may flare up seemingly at random, long after withdrawal has ended. PAWS symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty with cognitive tasks, such as learning, problem-solving, or memory recall
  • Feelings of anxiety or depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
  • Difficulty socializing or maintaining social relationships
  • Craving methadone or other abused substances
  • Apathy or pessimism
  • Insomnia or disturbances in sleep patterns
  • Increased sensitivity to stress or irritability
A close-up of a person’s hands holding a medical prescription.
Even when prescribed for genuine medical uses, prolonged morphine use can lead to an array of withdrawal symptoms.

Florida Methadone detox programs; the methadone addiction treatment process, step by step

Understandably, managing such symptoms on one’s own is often impossible. For many individuals, the withdrawal process can be severe enough to lead them back to substance use. It’s this fact, and our keen grasp on addiction’s destructive effects, which Archstone Behavioral Health’s programs are founded to address.

To offer you some peace of mind, if you or your loved ones are considering seeking help, here we can outline the entirety of the methadone addiction treatment process.

Detox and MAT

As with most addictions, methadone addiction treatment typically starts with detox. During this phase, the individual stays in a controlled clinical environment and receives appropriate clinical services, psychotherapy, and pharmacotherapy as needed.

For methadone specifically, the typical withdrawal timeline medical detox Florida providers give is as follows:

  • Days 1-2. The first couple of days are when withdrawal will start to set in. During this time, physical symptoms may begin to flare up.
  • Days 3-8. As the first week continues, physical symptoms tend to reach their peak. Minor ones may develop into stronger ones, and psychological symptoms tend to follow suit. This is also when cravings typically start.
  • Days 9-15. During the second week, physical symptoms tend to begin to subside. Psychological symptoms, such as depression and intense cravings peak and often demotivate individuals. This phase may be delayed in more severe cases of addiction.
  • Day 15 onward. After the second week, psychological symptoms tend to persist in more manageable forms. Cravings and depression or apathy may persist for another week or two, depending on the case.

Finally, methadone detox Florida providers will remain vigilant after the 3-6 weeks of detox are over. PAWS is not uncommon for methadone addiction, which requires due care in subsequent treatment programs.

A close-up of a doctor’s hands taking notes on a notebook.
The detox process is where the individual receives the most intensive clinical care, preparing them for inpatient programs.

Residential/inpatient programs

The next step comes in residential or inpatient programs. Such programs will keep the individual under clinical care, where they will receive tailored services, including:

  • Pharmacotherapy as needed, helping to manage cravings and other physical and mental symptoms
  • Extensive psychotherapy, focusing on individual behavioral therapy to help uproot the deeper causes of addiction
  • Thorough guidance on subsequent treatment steps, setting the foundations for effective aftercare

Such programs will typically last for about a month, but can vary depending on such factors as addiction severity, dual diagnosis, and others. Virtually every reputable inpatient drug detox center Florida offers will tailor such programs to best suit the individual’s unique needs.

Partial Hospitalization programs

Before progressing to outpatient programs, some individuals may still require some clinical care. In such cases, a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) may be suitable as a step-down service.

During such programs, the individual will be able to stay at home and receive some weekly hours of clinical care at a medical facility. Throughout the program, they will begin to focus on group therapy and appropriate psychotherapy, as they begin to prepare to return to everyday life.

Such programs tend to last 2-3 weeks, but the duration varies considerably depending on the case.

A close-up of a medical professional presenting a handful of medical pills out of a white bottle.
Partial Hospitalization Programs are typically best for individuals who still need some clinical care post-detox.

Outpatient programs

Next, methadone detox Florida programs will progress to an appropriate psychotherapy program. During such programs, the individual is free to reside at home and receives weekly hours of counseling and psychotherapy. During this time, therapy may safely expand to group therapy, family counseling, and more therapeutic activities.

The exact focus and duration of such programs will vary as well, depending on the variant. Intensive outpatient programs tend to last longer than regular outpatient programs and entail more weekly hours of therapy. Still, both typically last for 2-4 months unless a specific case requires longer treatment.

Aftercare programs

Finally, once the individual is ready to complete rehabilitation, an aftercare program will typically cement their abstinence. Such programs’ contents vary, but will principally include:

  • Alumni programs, where the individual can socialize and share their journey
  • Encouragement to continue to attend group therapy as needed
  • Consistently open communication channels with past therapists and treatment providers
  • Sober living home stays, particularly in cases of alcohol addiction but also for others as needed

Such programs don’t have a set duration. They’re a continuous process, which helps individuals prevent relapse as they remain abstinent and reintegrate into daily life. Therefore, you or your loved ones can continue to enjoy a supportive network around you long after the rehabilitation process is done – for as long as you need to fully reclaim the life you deserve.

A close-up of a psychotherapist keeping notes during a session with a patient.
Aftercare programs can include any type of psychotherapy which best helps the individual remain abstinent and content.

Reclaim your life with Archstone Behavioral Health by your side

In brief, methadone addiction can have severe symptoms and is particularly hard to break free from without help. Like all addictions, however, it’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s only an obstacle to overcome. With professional help through an extensive, tailored methadone detox Florida program, you or your loved ones can enjoy an addiction-free life.

If you’re now ready to seek help, please feel free to contact us today and get started on a journey to recovery like no other. Our teams are available 24/7, and will professionally and discreetly answer your questions and set your mind at ease.


Is methadone addiction common?

Methadone is not the most common substance to be addicted to, but it’s not uncommon either. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that 3.2 million Americans aged 12 or older regularly misuse methadone, and addiction often follows misuse.

How long does methadone detox and addiction treatment last?

Methadone detox typically lasts longer than detox from other substances, because methadone is a longer-acting substance. Withdrawal symptoms may take longer to appear, and cravings may peak later and last for longer as well. So while detox from most substances tends to last for 1-2 weeks, methadone detox may last for 3-6 weeks. In severe cases, this may even be extended.

Overall methadone addiction treatment can vary in duration quite significantly. In the mildest of cases, and if partial hospitalization is not needed, one can expect an average duration of about 4 months. Moderate and severe cases may last longer, up to about a year depending on the individual’s needs and progress.

What happens if I relapse?

Relapse is unfortunately quite common across all addictions. Methadone is no exception, as it can also kindle cravings if one has developed dependence to it. So if you do relapse, you should first remember that it’s not uncommon; don’t let guilt drive you down or discourage you from trying again.

If you relapse you should swiftly inform your treatment providers so they can best guide you. If it’s during active treatment they can adjust your programs accordingly. Should you relapse after a completed rehabilitation, you should employ your aftercare program’s communication channels to seek help that way.

Will insurance cover my treatment?

Archstone Behavioral Health accepts all major insurance providers, including Humana, Cigna, Aetna, Beacon, Bright HealthCare, and Molina HealthCare.

That said, your exact insurance coverage will depend on an array of factors, including your provider, exact plan, and others. Please seek our teams’ help if you’re unsure about insurance coverage, and they’ll be happy to review your options with you.

Where can I find Archstone Behavioral Health?

Our address is:

Archstone Behavioral Health

501 W Perry St

Lantana, FL 33462

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Accepting Major Insurance Plans