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Long term effects of methadone on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

How does methadone work?

Methadone, an opiate analgesic medication, works in the brain to change how the body feels and reacts to pain. Because of this property, methadone is usually prescribed to people who suffer from chronic and strong pain. Its other use may be even more well know: for the treatment of opioid addicted individuals during withdrawal or as a maintenance therapy.

Consequences of methadone abuse on the body

Many patient’s lives have been changed or became functional again thanks to methadone therapy. The efficacy of methadone has been well documented. However, because it is an opiate, many people abuse it to get high and feel relaxed. The risks and dangers are increased when methadone is taken illegally or purchased on the streets. Here are the possible side-effects from taking methadone without being prescribed, more than prescribed or more frequently:

Long term effects of methadone on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  • coma (in case of overdose)
  • constipation
  • death (in case of overdose)
  • difficulty urinating
  • headaches
  • low blood pressure
  • nausea
  • respiratory depression
  • sexual dysfunction
  • skin problems
  • sleep irregularities
  • sweating
  • vomiting
  • weight gain

Are methadone’s effects on the body reversible?

As mentioned above, street methadone is very dangerous. Firstly because it can be a concentrated amount that is more potent that what is expected, and not only do high doses bring adverse effects, but they can cause permanent damages, coma or death as a result of extreme respiratory depression.

Moreover, if high doses of methadone are used for a prolonged period of time and are taken chronically, the damage caused to the kidneys, heart, brain, and lungs can be permanent.

Adverse effect of methadone on the body questions

If you or someone you love are abusing methadone, suddenly stopping will take you through withdrawal. You need to keep in mind that a thorough detox is important before a person can start a drug rehab program. If you have any questions about the long term effects of methadone addiction treatment, feel free to post them in the comments section below and we’ll gladly reply to all legitimate inquiries.

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81 Responses to “Long term effects of methadone on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)
6:41 pm February 16th, 2016

My brother is 40 years old and has been on methadone for 9 years. He weighs over 350 lbs and is going through abrupt detox. How long should it take for his system to get rid of the drug and is there any herbal relief I can get for him while he is going through this hell??? He is aware of the risks, however, since my mother passed away, he no longer can afford the treatment doses from the clinic!!! Help!!!

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:54 pm February 19th, 2016

Hi, Debbie. I’m really sorry for your loss… I suggest you call the helpline displayed on our site, and contact our trusted treatment providers.

8:59 pm July 15th, 2016

I’m on 30 milligrams of methadone for about 4 months. Started detoxing 2milligrams every 2 weeks.on 26 milligrams now. I want off as quickly as possible, and without much withdraw,for I get anxiety should I do this detox properly?thank you.Desperate Shelly

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:07 pm July 26th, 2016

Hi Shelly. I suggest you speak with your doctor to help you create an individualized tapering schedule. Also, consult with a pharmacist to recommend some over-the-counter medication that can ease withdrawal symptoms.

5:48 am July 25th, 2016

am so sorry for u debbie,i live in mauritius,i have been on methadone for almost 4 years.and i had various other health problems as is free in my country but the new government is planning to eradicate has really affected my life in the sense that i no longer take heroin no longer have to go to work for that.but im so ill.i cough blood i have ulcer…my mother already treats me badly so i dnt eat,,and now + this therapy,,,i feel sick and low and my feet r swollen holding water,my heart is diseased,sometimes i wish i had died of a drug overdose instead of coming on methadone coz i did everything right but did not get a stable someone in my life,and am nothaving my menses..

6:15 am July 28th, 2016

My 50 year old daughter died on Xmas day 2015. The coroner could not determine the cause of death and an autopsy was performed. The result was determined to be accidental cocaine overdose. The report states that the amount of cocaine in her system was 110ng/ml. The amount of methadone in her system was 1200 ng/ml. which to me is an obvious overdose of methadone. My daughter was on a methadone program since 1988. They raised her mg. at will. She was on 180 mg when she died.. She never used illegal methadone . i begged her to make them wean her off . I believe she was given meth too long. her dose was so high she was like avegetable.. I had to take care of her like she was an invalid. Why would a coroner say cocaine was the cause of death when such a large amount of methadone was in her system. She was on the program 28 years off and on. Is that normal?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:07 pm August 10th, 2016

Hi Carmen. I’m really sorry for your loss… May your heart and soul find peace and comfort. I’d suggest that you speak with a toxicologist or another medical professional about your concerns. We’re not able to provide you with a qualified response.

5:12 pm August 5th, 2016

ive been on methadone for 16 years and have never relapsed on pain pills. i consider myself a life-er. i have no desire to stop. ive heard of a treatment that they put you to sleep strip all methadone from your system and when you wake up your clean and dont want it anymore. how does that cover thye mental addiction? that is my problem with all systems of getting clean due to the shear horrific things my brain has been thru which cause my addiction to start with. self medicating

5:19 pm August 22nd, 2016

Hi Jen. I believe you’ve heard of quick detox processes that are performed under strict medical care. They are not recommended unless you need to be immediately taken off methadone for some reason. Otherwise, tapering off and slowly lowering your tolerance is always the recommended way to do it. Regarding the part that you juts wake up and no longer have the substance in your system – that is true. However, the part about not needing/wanting it anymore is far from real. Just because your body is clean from all traces of methadone, it doesn’t mean your brain hasn’t gotten used to the presence of it. That is why people who use opiates for a long time experience cravings even when they haven’t taken any for months.

My suggestion is that you speak with a doctor, get a tapering plan in place and follow it, be prepared with over-the-counter medications and other remedies for when symptoms start to appear. Of course, you can keep in touch with your doctor and seek any additional medical help should the need arise. I also suggest you get a psychologist’s or a counselor’s help and support.

6:16 pm August 23rd, 2016

I’m decreasing from methadone down to55mgs.want to switch to suboxone or subutex how far down do u have to come f own?

1:16 pm August 24th, 2016

Hi Tina. I suggest it’s best to consult your doctor about the tapering dose and switching time.

6:33 pm September 2nd, 2016

Hi. I was a heroin addict for two years then went on subutex and did really well. Unfortunately I got on it again and have been on a methadone programme for 3 years. How long would it take to feel normal and have the methadone out of my system? I’m on 40 ml a day and want to get off it. Is it dangerous to just stop?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:35 pm September 9th, 2016

Hi Lisa. I suggest that you speak with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule.

7:02 am September 17th, 2016

I have been in a methadone clinic about an hr. Away from my house (even though there is one 5min away) for 6 years. I don’t go to any clinic that i might know someone so i don’t get stuck in a difficult situation , which seems very unlikly anymore. After being successful in receiving all my take homes for numerous years now. I have been in this clinic for 6 years so I have 6 years of clean drug screens, attendance, groups, 1on1’s ect.. So I have been slowly tapering off of metadone for almost 2 years. I am now just sick of this “groundhogs day” affect it has on my life and mu families lives. I had 2 children on methadone and feel like my life is aimed in a completely different direction now and for awhile. I don’t talk or see anyone I know does drugs or did them with me,So no more people (even my children’s father was never an opiate user). I stay away from any places that are bad and since i have children that helps plus i have no need to go to bad area’s I don’t talk ore know anyone. Lastly the things part sort of went away with the friends and once being a parent became my #1 job. So after knowing this much I wanted to ask your opinion on how fast I can detox off of the last 75ish mg. I was @ a whopping 235mg a day for a few years. I have been coming down 5mg 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks ago i put in for 3 mg decrease, and this week I put in a request for 5mg decrease which will come into affect this week. I started to have stomach cramping this morning but it went away by noon. So if anyone could give me advice on how other people came off or what is recommended or if something should be given to help with some of the withdraw symptoms. I asked everyone who works at my clinic and no one has any answers or how others were successful. Thank you for your help it will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Rachel
The 29 year old who is sick of the repetitious 1 day a week, its got to be over before I’m 30 next year.

8:38 am October 14th, 2016

What is the standard decrease of methadone in miligrams when tapering or detoxing a patient on a stable dose of 140 mg. of “Roxanne Methadone. ?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:04 pm October 21st, 2016

Hi Roger. I suggest that you consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Generally, the tapering schedule for methadone is:
– first decrease dose by 20-50% per day until you reach 30 mg/day
– then decrease by 5 mg/day every three to five days to 10 mg/day
– then decrease by 2.5 mg/day every three to five days

This not a strict schedule, so you may taper methadone more slowly if it’s hard for you. Here’s the reference source:

4:40 pm October 31st, 2016

I have been on methadone continuously since 1981.I was 24 years old when I started and am now 59 . That’s, what, 35 years? I also used other opiates until 10 years ago. Methadone doesn’t seem to have caused any damage to me, other than to take away my body’s ability to produce its own endorphins. I should have said “physical” damage to me. I have been an absolute slave to this substance for all these years and don’t recommend that to anyone. Thankfully, I am on a dose of only 30mg. per day. My husband, who died of cancer three months ago, had a daily dose of 180 mg. This had nothing to do with the cancer, as he’d taken this amount for many years. This huge amount of methadone did, however, cause problems for him with pain management during the cancer for reasons too long to explain here. I now have chronic pain problems, but, were this not the case I would try to detox very, very slowly in order to finally free myself from this lifelong addiction. By the way, I live in Italy, where the clinics are government run and totally free. The doctors, nurses, and other staff are truly interested in the well-being of the people they serve, which is exactly the opposite of my long experience in the United States.

8:19 pm December 26th, 2016

I am on a methadone maintenance program, and have been so for the last 18-20 years. Also I consume about 6-10 16oz cans of malt liqueur beer.
I have never felt any ill effects on experienced any difficulties am I just lucky or can your data be faulty.

4:52 pm December 27th, 2016

I was going thru the comments,when I came across my last one. I have been tapering from methadone for around 6,7 months now. Been going down 2 mlgs every 2 weeks, a total of 4 mlgs a month. My last post I was at 26mlgs in July. I’m now at 12 mlgs. So a total of 14 mlgs in 5 months. I’m feeling it now,so I’m holding for now. I don’t want to stop,but it’s better to level out physically for me with the mental aspect and high anxiety I’m experiencing. I don’t want to relapse by self medicating the way I feel. How long will it take to level out? I heard when get to halfway mark,to go very slow. I forgot to mention I have hepatitis c. Heard methadone is hard on you’re liver

4:14 am January 14th, 2017

Lost a friend on methadone

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:28 pm January 16th, 2017

Hi Victor. I’m really sorry for your loss…

3:31 am February 8th, 2017

My daughter died in 2015. The amount of Methadone (legal from a program) in her system was 1200 mg. I have been trying to find out if that amount was /is lethal. Nobody seems to want to give me that answer. C an you help me with that information?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:22 pm February 10th, 2017

Hi Carmen. I’m really sorry for your loss. I suggest that you speak with a coroner or another professional about your concerns. We are not able to provide with a suitable answer.

10:27 pm March 16th, 2017

How long should you wait to take suboxone after stopping methadone treatment?

1:15 pm April 11th, 2017

Hi. I’m currently on 35mg & was thinking of recruiting(for lack of words) a group of methadone people of all ages around ballarat. Because I feel my doctor/chemist really can’t or don’t know how to help me prepare to go down to 5mg for 1month and jump of. In preparation. I have magnesium tablets. We’ll save 20 Valiums. & over the counter hot flushes tablets. I need to know what vitamins to start taking on that final month. I look forward to hearing from you thanks. Gail

9:04 am April 24th, 2017

I agree with alot of the methadone long term effects on the body except people who purchase methadone on the streets..there’s no way they could have those effects due to they would have to be very wealthy to get there hands on it everyday as in my case. I’ve been on methadone high dose program for 14 years and just in the past 5 of those years have I began to develop those effects..good call on effects though. Thank you

9:49 pm May 9th, 2017

I was on methadone for eleven years at a local clinic, I was sick and tired of being a slave to this place and the drug. I was at 180mg and came down to 3 Mgs in about three months. Went through the worst withdrawal you could ever imagine. That was 11months ago and I still have some major symptoms . Have you ever heard of withdrawal lasting this long? And could I have permanently damaged my body? I feel helpless but let me say I made it this far with the help of god.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:20 pm May 10th, 2017

Hi Jeremie. Yes, we heard about withdrawal lasting even longer. It’s know as post acute withdrawal syndrome aka PAWS. It’s really hard and painstaking. You are one of the bravest to end with methadone addiction for good. Congratulations on that! Stay strong.

7:21 am May 17th, 2017

If someone had been on methadone(high dose) for at least 4 yrs, 200 lbs of weight gain, then started only taking his full dose on day at clinic once a week and then only taking small doses or none at all during the other days. What does this do to the body, can this cause death? Will it cause vomiting on a daily basis?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:45 pm May 26th, 2017

Hi Deborah. It seems to me that that person is experiencing withdrawal symptoms due to reducing the dose. Vomiting is one of methadone withdrawal symptoms.

9:05 pm June 5th, 2017

I was put on Methadone by the VA for chronic pain. After taking it for 8 years I realized that it was not really helping any more. I asked to be taken off of it. It took 3 months but I have been off of it for 8 months .I am noticing that I am having memory problems I cannot focus on anything and have become house bound. Is this associated with my long term use of Methadone and will it ever get better.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:59 pm June 7th, 2017

Hi Gary. Brain fog and memory problems can be post-acute withdrawal symptoms from methadone. Your body just needs more time to recover.

1:18 pm June 20th, 2017

Ivana @ Addiction Blog, actually you don’t wake up the next day and the methadone isnt in your system. Methadone has a 24 hour half life, which means half of the dose is still in your system. I have been in Methadone Maintence for 3 1/2 years and I have been tapering for months, I am blind dosing right now so I don’t even know what mg I am at. The last I knew was 57 mg and that was 6 weeks ago…. I am taking it slowly and doing it the right way. The highest mg I went to was 108 mg and that was right after my husband passed away. He was also in Methadone Maintence and at 80mg when he passed away it showed his level at 800ng/L and that makes no sense to me. People keep saying well he had to of taken more that day and he did not…. I have also been accused of slipping him extra methadone which is crazy…. We were best friends and husband and wife with 5 children. He didn’t have life insurance or anything, I still cry about him dying, my poor children are suffering. But he also had an enlarged heart, a 50% blockage in his main artery, Hardening of his arteries, and enlarged liver and spleen, plus Edema…. so I don’t understand how I cause all of that but people are cruel. But if people use the program the right way it does work, I am proof of that. Now my husband’s death has me baffeled, he did have 2 hernia surgeries in a year’s time and did have physicals done, I don’t know how the doctors didn’t catch the heart problems and the liver and spleen…. but I also learned that if at autopsy you have an enlarged liver and spleen it’s the sign of a major Heart attack. But of course it was the Methadone that was blamed…. Your body’s chemistry changes when you die, so I think the reading they got was a false reading, but that’s my opinion. He was with me all day and I know for a fact that he did not take extra methadone, plus where did this extra methadone come from?? Who knows, like I said people are cruel….

2:44 pm June 20th, 2017

Hi Amanda. I’m very sorry for your loss!

I am also happy that you are doing the tapering process slowly and gradually. That is the best and most commonly recommended way to get off of most illicit and prescription drugs. I also appreciate your feedback regarding methadone’s half-life and duration in your system…what you are saying is absolutely right.

However, my response above that you are referring to was in regards to Jen’s question about a treatment she’d heard of where doctors can put you to sleep and when you wake up all traces of methadone are out of your system. I was talking about rapid detox therapy – a procedure that may help people who are eligible to undergo this type of detox – where you are sedated during the detoxification process and almost “sleep through” withdrawal from opiates. In normal circumstances methadone does stay a lot longer in your body. In fact, it’s long acting potential is what makes it such an effective maintenance medication.

9:35 pm July 18th, 2017

methadone if taken as prescribed by MD. , over a long term is it harmful

9:55 pm July 18th, 2017

i got on meth because my ortho dr and i agreed once my 100% disability goes through with VA i will have 100% free health care , anyway YIKES sounds great however I’m still on meth that i only took so i wpuld not go through severe withdrawl from 80 mg of oxycontin 2 times daily and 30 mg of oxycodone every 6 hours for break thru pain, needless to say the meth ran its course of being for pain two years ago VA has me on 150mg of meth i hate it even taking this dose i have a hard time doing the simpliest of chores com 3 pm at times i can’t even hold the upper part of my body ,i really feel like a loser first time in my live things areok mentally spirirtually financially & I’m alone I’m 59 always been very independent divorced with two adult kids wow , in my heart soul & mind i still feel i have a lot of life to live i wanna travel ,I’m having a difficult time traveling to shoprite HELP GODSPEED

2:38 am August 20th, 2017

cold turkey not insurance no medicare or medicade icant get accepted into rehab what can i do been taking it for 8 yrs

11:01 pm August 30th, 2017

I would like some current information on being on Methadone maintenance long term and having intestinal/bowel problems and eventually surgery. Thank you.

11:13 pm August 30th, 2017

I have been on methadone maintenance for 15 years, what is my risk for having intestinal/bowel surgery ? I am disabled, and am now bloated with possible bowel ubstruction and bad constipation. Im poverty level income and on government insurance, where I live there is no quality medical care. I’ve been prescribed mild laxatives and sent home from primary care with no referral to a specialist.
Going to try emergency room, however I am terrified of emergency surgery. Please help ? What should I do ?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:48 pm September 1st, 2017

Hi Lori. Consult with your doctor about your concerns.

7:29 pm October 17th, 2017

I believe that my methadone dr. Well i know he just doesn’t listen when i speak He had me coming in weekly to pee test me and ask his favourite question Do you want to go up, week after week same thing finally after giving him my same answer NO it is already making me sleep 18 plus hours a day i asked if i can come once a month YES BUT WHY he asks when you live so close OH maybe because i think your just having me in to urine weekly so you can bill my government insurance more and money is all you can see or hear and you don’t want me to ever get off this crap because when your patient tells you it’s making them usless and sleeping 18 hrs a day and you just ask do i want to go up WOW i guess when i told him my legs are swelling badly asking him is this a side effect that’s why he asked if i wanted a higher dose

6:14 pm October 23rd, 2017

I have been on methadone for 20 years i am finally on my way to getting off this.I am on 2.5 milligrams now and was ok to this point.I have very bad ringing in my ears hard time sleeping and fast pulse for the last month.are these side affects going to stop. I plan on going totally off in one more week but having second thoughts.Any help would be apreciated

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:22 pm October 25th, 2017

Hi Andre. It seem to me that the symptoms that you’ve listed are effects of methadone cessation. I suggest that you consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, download our free e-book ‘the Definitive Guide To Withdrawal’ to learn more:

1:26 am October 26th, 2017

Hi guys I’ve been on methadone for 10 years. I am taking it as a result of becoming addicted to Oxyconti0n after having back surgery that went terribly wrong. My question is… does methadone have a terrible effect on the body. I’ve told my doctor that I need it for not only my addiction but also for back pain. So far my doctor has agreed with me so I’m at a dose of 120mg and other then sweating I feel great and so happy I’m not on the streets now or suffering withdrawal so that’s good as long as it’s not hurting me physically and damage my organs any help to answers these question is appreciated thanks

6:46 pm November 11th, 2017

After doing some reading on this site I’ve learned what I figured,20 yrs on methadone has caused my health to suffer greatly.When I was on the clinic liquid methadone,I was off the streets,quit crime the day I started there.I was able to work,had no side effects.5 yrs ago I went on Dr prescribed pills.Didnt work as well and was in pain every day from back and leg injuries after motorcycle wreck.When price of pills doubled I had to go to another pharmacy that offered cheaper pills.Since then I feel like I overdose daily on aspirin! What additives are in those pills???? Is there anywhere to have them tested That a 67 yr old living on $260 a month can afford? I tried to quit cold turkey cos didn’t think pills had any methadone in them but found out quick they did have something addictive in them.Im on 90 mg day down from 150. Any of you thinking methadone is a good high,you’re signing your own death certificate.I tell every person that knows someone playing with opiates to find a state that sells NARCAN spray and buy some cos chances are,you will save a life if you do.Its easy to use.

2:43 am November 23rd, 2017

I’ve been on methadone for 25 years over 200 mg no I have this heart valve not pumping as strong as the others. I know how hard it would be for me to come off this now , for I have other problems also. I’m 57 years old I haven’t used since I’ve started on methadone I was a hard heroin addict morphine any of the hard opiates. Since this nurse practitioner gave me this news I have arranged to turn all my records over to a new doctor, a good Dr. There’s a lot of other things that could be doing this I was told already and he’s going to be checking all these things out. this last place never even gave me a chest x-ray. And I also got to eat kg 2015 and they told me it was okay until yesterday they told me that I’ve had it since 2015 so they lied to me if you can’t trust the people that supposed to be looking over you it’s time to go it’s a shame I couldn’t find this out sooner that’s the problem I wanted to share that for now

3:00 am November 26th, 2017

My brother aged 32 recently died from alcohol & drug poisoning. He was a heavy drinker. I wasnt aware he had been taking Methadone as he had never took drugs. His autopsy results showed fatal levels of methadone aswell as other prescribed drugs. It’s so sad as someone was obviously giving him methadone & he was very vulnerable. Such a waste of a life. I miss him so much

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:20 pm November 30th, 2017

Hi Debra. I’m really sorry for your loss…

3:59 pm December 7th, 2017

I was on methadone for 10 years. I’ve been clean for just over 2 years. I’m struggling with the effects long-term use had on my body, and wonder if others have had similar issues. I gained approximately 50 pounds over the course of my methadone treatment, but have lost 10 since getting off it. I have poor circulation and have dark veins and discoloration around my ankles. My teeth have suffered a bit as well. And overall, I’m just very unhealthy. I’m finally working at eating healthier, and plan to begin an exercise routine. I just want the old me back.

12:01 am December 18th, 2017

i have several chronic pain producing illnesses. i was given 60 to 80 mgs of methadone from the first pain clinic i ever attended beginning in 2000. I stayed on the methadone for approximately 14 to 15 years at which point. I requested to be taken off due to the stigma and was refused treatment by a neurologist. I now find that I’m unable to control my pain with any other pain medicine. Is it true that once a patient has taking methadone for a long term, for pain, that all other pain medications are ineffective or less effective or that the patient is tolerant 2 other opiate pain medications?

5:18 pm December 27th, 2017

I have a brain condition called chiari malformation which is where my addiction to opiods started. After I had brain surgery to hopefully fix the problem I was prescribed different opioids for pain. I also take klonopin for anxiety but mainly because my right side if my body feels like for example when your hand falls asleep and u hit it on something n u get that horrible pain that’s what my right side feels like constantly and when I was prescribed xanax it took that feeling away n I felt normal until it wore off n came back with a vengeance that’s y I was switched to klonopins they don’t take the feeling away completely but it’s manageable n I know taking the two together can be very dangerous. I was on 3 mg of klonopibs a day n 77 mg of methadone bwhich I started taking for pain management cuz I didn’t want to keep taking all pain meds they were trtingvn going higher n all that I’ve been taking methadone n klonopins for about 4 1/2 years now n I’ve been tapering off klonopins for last 6 months but I’ve had to go up on methadone I’m now at 95 mg methadone and 3 0.5mg klonopins. I don’t want to have to be one of the people that takes methadone for life n for some reason they work together for my pain but I don’t know if I should stop taking either of them cuz they work but I don’t like how I’m treated when they find out. I’m careful on how I take my meds because of the risk. I guess what I wanna know is am I stuck taking this medicine for life

3:53 am January 6th, 2018

15 years on methodone, I now have abnormal white matter for my age, my brain is dying. Now what

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:45 pm January 12th, 2018

Hi Debbie. I suggest that you consult with a neurologist about your issues.

6:49 am January 24th, 2018

I have just come off a methadone script…after being on it for over 35 yrs…ive been off for 3 months…but can’t sleep at all..i go 3/4 days…with no sleep then collapse for 4 hours and it all starts again…can anyone help….any suggestions are welcome…im tryingegga dosing with vitun c at the moment…i don’t want to take sleeping pills…but am getting desperate…

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:12 pm January 24th, 2018

Hi Theresa. Have you tried any alternative methods such as melatonin, herbs, relaxation techniques, or acupuncture? Here’s suggested reading on the topic:

7:28 pm January 29th, 2018

Can I have someone call me please? My name is Dean and I have questions concerning very long periods of the use of methadone 5 to 9 years +

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:05 pm January 30th, 2018

Hi Dean. Call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best rehab program for you.

7:25 am January 31st, 2018

My daughter died on Xmas Day 2015. The coroners report stated that she had 1200 mg of methodone in her system. She had been in a meth program for 20 years and never abused meth. In other words, she stayed on her program regimen and never took meth illigally. I think she died from an overdose of meth due to the high amount in her system . Isn’t 1200 mg a fatal amount?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:03 pm January 31st, 2018

Hi Carmen. I’m really sorry for your loss… I suggest that you speak with a coroner about your concerns.

10:52 pm February 3rd, 2018

I have been on methadone for approximately 13 years. My issues that brought me to this course of action was a debilitating knee injury. I started out with Tylenol 3’s, after a while they stopped working as my body adjusted to the medication. I then was prescribed oxycontin 20’s with Percocet for breakthrough pain. The same thing occurred with my body adjusting to the drugs, so I was upped to oxycontin 40’s. It was during this period of time that I injured my back improperly lifting a very heavy object. I also injured my shoulder over-working it during an arduous 3 day long camp stint. Needless to say, oxycontin played a very large role in my ability to get through a day.
I found out my back now has degenerative disc disease. The prognosis is “It will only get worse with time”.
My shoulder was examined with an MRI, result’s were inconclusive because they couldn’t see into my shoulder as their machine’s attachment piece did not entirely enclose my shoulder. Go figure.
Upon seeing the surgeon, he responded by saying “live with it or have it scoped and fix the damage. But remember surgery creates trauma, and arthritis stems from trauma.”
I live with it. My back has bulging disc’s, several of them.
I cannot lift anything over 15lbs. If I do I pay for it in pain.
My left knee was fixed. It now is bone on bone. I await my 50th birthday then they will give me a new knee.
Throughout this journey, I voluntarily walked into a Methadone clinic and signed myself up to the program.
I had escalated from my prescribed amount of 1 tablet every 8 hrs to About 7 to 10 oxycontin 40’s per day. I bought them off of friend’s. I got sick and tired of wasting my money. Of thinking how debilitated I was without the pills. Of how I was taking from the family’s budget.
I met a wonderful counsellor. I also met an awesome Doctor.
She warned me of the hazards of taking methadone. Of the stigma of taking it. Of the weight gain. Of the profuse sweating. I did not care about any of those. I just wanted a normal life again. At the time of sign-up I weighed roughly 140lbs. I ballooned up to 263lbs, at my heaviest. It was not the sole fault of methadone. I liked sweets, where I never ate them before.
As I think of it, I now realise my brain was looking for the endorphin release it was missing.
It is now 13 years later. I have dropped 68lbs. I became a Certified Hypnotist while on the Methadone program.
My life has been as normal as it can be. I was taken off of the addicts list last year, and am now just strictly listed as a pain management patient.
I want off of Methadose (as it is now called) for my pain.
Now I want my Normal normal life back. With no Doctor’s visits regularly. With no urine tests( to ensure I don’t take anything but what I’m prescribed). With no Stigma of being on Methadose.
It affects what jobs I can apply for.
I had a Doctor flat out call me a lier when I told him I was on it strictly for pain. I gave him the clinic’s phone number to call and check it out. He refused, saying “I know what this stuff is prescribed for, I”ve been around for a when you can’t fool me”.
I told him to f off and walked out. My prescribing Doctor asked me if I wanted her to write a letter to him. I said no.
But I want off of it.
How do I get rid of 13years of built up methadone in my body?
Can I safely do this?
Please help me.
I want to be a professional counsellor. I need of of this stuff.
As well as pain management. What can I use?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:22 pm February 15th, 2018

Hi Tarina. The safest way to quit methadone is by slowly reducing the daily dose. I suggest that you consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, download our free e-book ‘How To Quit Opioid Painkiller’ to learn more about opioid dependence and ways to treat it:

1:51 pm February 6th, 2018

I was on methadone for 9 yrs. I got any amount I wanted as long as I paid my 400.00 tab each month and did my meetingson N groups. This past Summer of 2017 I hit Rock bottom with my life financially…the addiction to methadone N whatever else I took to help me sleep etc and the long term use of Methadone took over my spiraling Zombie life. I WAS at 88 mgs. N had went to 160 mgs. BUT when I no longer could afford to pay the methadone clinic, they did not care of what I had become in their care, they let me suffer by taking me down 5 mgs every other day, off a Drug that goes deep into your bones and haunts u everytime u know u didn’t get your regular dose that makes u feel numb. NO Compassion when I no longer could pay, my withdraws and red burned legs from my limbs flailing N kicking from the no pay detox was the most PAINFULLY SOUL SEARCHING LET ME DIE PAIN I EVER FELT FOR 68 DAYS AFTER MY LAST DOSE AT THE CLINIC. I ts been now 6 months of life without the Methadone in my system and I’m Still here and Alive but Ithe Mental N Physical harm it has done to me has aged me my 43 yr old body to nothing but a broken shell. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the Scars of The 9 Yrs of Legal methadone dispensed clinic. But I will NOT let them money hungry drug business TAKE MY SPIRIT!! I don’t need ur pink syrup or your fake goal plans for my Done Numb life, note your pee test as u watch N think u got the mental hold on Us as the parients. U know we are monsters N u feed us poison for Nothing but money to pay your greedy legal drug clinic. I’m sticking to my lesson I’ve learned from your uncompassionate N hardcovre legal drug buisness that left the scars in my soul. From the reality of your Drug to help already the lost N Addicts that enter your Door. HERE’S MY STORY…I AIN’T GOING OUT OF THIS WORLD WITH YOU F#%£ERS!! MY SPIRIT REMAINS!!

6:22 am February 9th, 2018

I am a 34 year old single mother and have been on methadone for about 6 to 7 years. Ever since I started it I started having serious medical problems in addition to all of the horrific side effects that everybody goes through. I started having seizures and heart problems like A- Ventricular Tachycardia and very fast and irregular heartbeats and heart palpitations and horrible profusive sweating that is uncontrollable and a GI tract that has pretty much just stopped working! It has made me more and more disabled everyday and every year I’ve noticed. I used to be able to work full time then it started to be less and less and less and less and now I’m permanently disabled but more importantly I feel like I’m dying all day and every day. I also have very high anxiety to the point where I feel like there’s an inside me that’s going to jump out constantly.i also have what I can only describe as withdrawals all day every day. I’m overcome with pain and agony and these horrific problems constantly and feel suicidal all the time. I am waiting to be approved for Social Security but who knows what will happen with that. Everybody seems to think that I’m going to get it but I don’t get my hopes up anymore. More importantly what I wanted to say is that I have tried to see every different kind of pain specialists in and out of the US and beg them to take me off of this but they won’t. They seem afraid of me and very dismissive and rude and treat me like I’m less than an animal. I’ve had some doctors be honest with me and tell me that even though they are pain management specialist and addiction specialist that they were never taught about methadone and therefore cannot wean anybody off of methadone. Weird right??Throughout all of these years me and my mother have done as much research as you can on methadone and uncovered the facts that methadone was created by Hitler and his doctors. It was created for the purposes of having his soldiers able to fight all through the night and days without needing food or medical attention or feeling pain. But it was never intended for long-term use, yet people are on it their whole lives now. It is also a fact that there are very few places that claim that they can take someone off of methadone successfully. One of these places is known as rapid detox. Now these doctors who run these places are shutting their doors because they say that it is impossible to take someone off of methadone as they were killing many people. Then there’s a hallucinogenic that they claim can keep you high for a couple of days on end and mask any withdrawals from Methadone but that is also known to kill people and from the research that I’ve done no one can get off methadone without being weaned on very high doses of morphine then weaned from morphine to a weaker opiate and weaker opiate until you’re done with opiates. I feel like this is a conspiracy because you never hear about it on the news and it has affected billions of people and killed billions of people and is killing people like me slowly. The doctors don’t want to talk about it but the good ones will admit that they know nothing. Once in awhile I come across a couple people that say that they Weaned themselves off of methadone!!🙀 I believe these to be trolls working for the government for the purposes of disinformation and to further hide this epidemic. Do you know that there is no known conversion chart in any medical publication that instructs doctors to wean from Methadone to any other opiate? They are not trying to take people off of methadone. They are trying to kill people with methadone QUIETLY. More importantly, they are putting people who have no business ever even starting methadone on methadone in a mad Dash hurry thus creating heroin and methadone addicts! Every person including my mother and father and Friends and people I have come across who I KNOW ARE NOT drug addicts but who take opiates from their doctor for legitimate pain are being coerced into replacing their opiate with methadone. I was one of those people. One of those unfortunates. My doctor told me that I would never need another pain med again and that I would never be in pain again if I switched to methadone. Obviously, I know and feel that this is the doctor Who Killed Me. I may not be dead yet but I am dead in every way that counts to a living being. I am dead to my daughter and to my mother and to my father and to any friend that I ever had because I am too sick to do anyting. I am too sick to live. I am on this site to try and get information from other people who are on methadone because I am the only person that I know on it and I don’t trust doctors anymore so I’ve done all the research I can do for now and the only bit of research that I need is from other people on methadone. Please be honest with me. We have been forgotten and lied to and dismissed and discriminated against ever since we started methadone so please let’s not do this to each other!! Please tell me YOUR TRUTHFUL experience. I would like to know specifically, if you claim to have gotten yourself off of methadone, how you did this?( I WILL know if you are a troll so don’t even bother cuz I will out your ass!), What you’ve heard that’s interesting or that could be useful to me or us. For example, I heard that there is a vitamin called Vitadone which supposedly helps manage the worst side effects of methadone, ie… the sweating and bowel problems. So if you have any information, please do share but please be honest! We need to stick together and out these pharmaceutical monsters who are killing us!!!

11:18 pm February 17th, 2018

If you struggle with ED when taking methadone is it permanent? Can you become completely sterile from taking methadone long term or if you discontinue use can you still have children? I am dating a recovering addict who has been going to a methadone clinic for 2 years and i noticed he does have trouble keeping and erection and ejaculating sometimes does this mean he cannot have children?

2:31 am March 7th, 2018

@Rabbit I read your post twice & was saddened by the desperation & agony in it. I’m so sorry your doctors are telling you they can’t help you with your methadone withdrawal. I am also a woman & have been taking maethadine for almost 20 years. I began at a much higher dose but have managed on my own to lower it to almost half but it’s taken me years, and I basically omitted one dose per week until I was on a daily half dose. I take pills so it’s easier for me to do that by halving them- when I told my doctor I wanted off of the methadone all he said was “why?”. He was basically not helpful. One day I saw his nurse physician so I repeated my desire to get off methadone to her, and I listed all the physical & mental symptoms I was experiencing similar to yours. She suggested transitioning to another drug called Neurontin, I started taking it three times a Day first in addition to my methadone doses then basically have begun to remove 5mg per day for the first week, and then I’ll see if I can decrease it again. I completely understand the way you feel & I hope you ask your doctor about alternative medications to help you get off the methadone permanently. I don’t know if I’ll be able to completely come off of it but I’m willing to try and do it- I’m so sick of the stigma, not being able to take certain jobs due to drug testing & discrimination against workers who are taking this class of drugs & of being told by an attorney that at one job after getting hurt from faulty equipment that I would never win a workman’s Comp lawsuit once they found out I was taking methadone even though it had nothing to do with my accident. Good luck to you. I am by the way definitely NOT a troll or government worker, just a sad victim of a health care system that wants to prescribe pills to make people like us go away.

2:49 pm March 12th, 2018

This is for rabbit , i was on methadone for years and agree with you very much ..i lost shits loads of $ even thow i was at clinic ,couldn’t travel to see my kids outa state so lost family due to methadon matieniece and their horribly withdrawals , finally long story short , i decided to go with my last few bottles (used to be on red liquid methafone ) and weaned myself off after 1 week of the physical hell of withdraws jst the physical 1 week after that started terible axiety so i got just 4 green xanex bars before tryed tl relax with ahcol that worked temp only , then i.couldnt sleep so took otc sleepin pills still couldnt sleep. ..this went on for the next couple days , i accidentally throwout the night took over 10 sleeping pills i had bought at walmart should had never done that! Cause landed me at er hospital on od almost , at hospital kept me for 1 whole week gave me ativan to sleep worked good and ived me , and something for stomach dnt remember wat that was …after 1 week released frm hospital on a 2 week ativan and that was it! So took me total of 2 weeks and a few days to completely come off methadone use of yrs , then long walks would help , im very hsppy im off methadone now 5 yrs clean found a gf and feel great , so u can also leave that road that deadend is death slowly , god bless you.

6:24 pm April 8th, 2018

Hi Rabbit, I was on heroin and methadone for twenty years plus and finally managed to come off it at the age of 47. I did a full time recovery based program in England with other recovering alcoholics and heroin/methadone addicts. I totally agree with you about the complete lax prescribing by doctors as it was the general policy of continually increasing your dose to stop you craving. This has now changed and prescribing centres now want you to taper and get off the drug as the longer you stay on methadone the harder and much more permanent serious side effects when having come off the drug will stay with you. I went back onto subutex after 1 and a half years clean time because i was so physically and mentally wasted that i just could.not keep going with my recovery on a daily basis. I have a constant tiredness all day and am drained of energy whilst also feeling very weak all the time. I cannot concentrate at all and struggle to do simple tasks such as making toast and the laundry. My memory loss is severe and i cannot learn anything as it takes me three times as long to do something as the average person. I cannot do anything like exercise like previously when on subutex and i am a walking shell of what i used to be. I am a buddhist and it was buddhism which really helped me stay free from my addiction, although i cannot meditate any longer because i cannot concentrate like i used to. i drop off and lose interest. But i can no longer get out of the house as i feel to debilitated to do it on a daily basis. I have to force myself to do basic things and need help from my brother and others to help me function and do some things. I have been depressed because of my physical deterioration since coming off methadone in the past 41/2 years. I went off sex years ago and am no longer interested at all. My whole quality of life has been severely affected because of coming off methadone after a 20 year addiction. I was a very fit person pilates, cycling, doing everything despite my addiction it kept me going for 10 years before coming off methadone which ii can no longer do. I need a testorone replacement therapy as blood tests have showed that i am not healthy but they haven’t been i need to go privately which i will. My brother cooks me a meal every night otherwise i would just starve, i can’t plan ahead or do things for myself like i used to and i don’t properly understand things as i need to look three times at something before it goes in, i have a simple mind now and I am mentally and physically disabled although don’t like to admit it. Despite this i am not in the horrors of addiction anymore and have some peace at last but sometimes peace is just not enough if you just can’t do shit with yourself. I just take it one day at a time now and jusy try to flow with it, it is the only way for me now. BASICALLY I HAVE AGED TWENTY YEARS SINCE COMING OFF METH AND MY LIFE HAS SUFFERED FOR IT. i’d recommend to go down very very gradual and slowly as the wanting to do it to quick can actually cause you to relapse if it is not done right. After getting to around 20 mil transfer to subutex and you should feel a hell of a lot better.although some people don’t take to subutex well and they go back to methadone. Support is absolutely vital in recovery, all my friends now are in recovery like me and they are good friends not associates, its essential that you share how you’tr feeling in support groups and with close friends and being honest is paramount no bullshit here okay. You must take it one day at a time, there is no other way and a spiritual path is absolutely recommend, otherwise your chance of success is greatly diminished. Good luck everyone!

4:00 pm May 11th, 2018

Hello how long does it take for methodone to get out of a body thats only bought 100 pounds n only dosed one time ? Will it b out by 22nt of this month??

2:06 am May 14th, 2018

Wanted to share my story as I currently got off methadone after using it for 15 years. I was given it at a very reputable pain clinic at a hospital after I got addicted to OxyContin for chronic pain from a near deadly car accident. I was told it would be fine. It was definitely not. I really did not abuse what I was given, I picked up my bottle of methadone once a month from my pharmacy (which I was told was very unusual) and followed all the rules. I was business professional, successful, very pretty, very fit, but my personality changed, I became aggressive, angry, mean and not nice to be around. My passions were gone, I became lazy, didn’t want to hang out with my friends, was mean to all my boyfriends, sexually aggressive, my family didn’t want to have anything to do with me. Methadone changed everything about me, I was hooked. Frankly my pain I was taking for got worse. A few years ago I told my doctor I wanted to get off it and he said I should just stay on. I didn’t take his advise and I just followed my pharmacists advice ( not recommended….lol) and titrated down very very slowly over the past 2 years. It actually wasn’t that bad if you have the time. The worst nightmare for me was the past January and February. My last 2 bottles of methadone. I was given klonopin and that is all. It was a total nightmare. I went through it alone at home and I would not recommend this. I would definitely recommend a low dose for at least a week for when you end your last dose of methadone because no matter what they tell you I lived it just recently and its terrible. I did get through it though. What was to hard for me was the depression and mental ( and still physical ) effects that lingered. I called my mom and told her I needed to go to a rehab for help. Its just to hard and I was still too sick. The doctors don’t know what they are talking about. You need to take advise from someone who has been there and I was there. I went to a private rehab on May 2 for 30 days and my clean date from all drugs is March 6th! It was hard but trust me you can do it too…. don’t give up…..;))))

Opps …I mean’t to say a low dose of Ativan for a least a week for when you end your last dose of methadone…….if you can get it prescribed.

9:41 am May 18th, 2018

i’ll leave some advice..

never take pain pills.

for those stuck on daily doses for 1 year plus. there is no simple method to deal with withdrawls. ive tried everything but induced coma detox.. wow expensive. and my last resort, im saving for a 2month retreat in south america where shamans will administer Ibogaine to me, the most serious Hallucinigenic substance on the planet.. i’ll be at battle with my inner demons for weeks while voyage new dimensions..

hope i survive.

any other trick you heard of, i tried. my experience is that you will suffer harder and in more ways than the english language can even begin to describe.

but, it can be done. and its been done. many fail uncountable times before they succeed..

the length of time until you are “tolerable suffering” it varies way to much, it depends on so many things. physical fitness, weather, whos helping you, whos not helping you, kids?, money tight? etc etc. to hard to say for sure. but i know months can go by while you struggle deeply with making it from minute to minute. i always end up breaking after 2-3 weeks. the relief you get when you finally give up and go back to the meds is why I and many other people just surrender completely to it and start to easily admit they will be on it for life..

it’s life that gets in the way of complete sobriety.

kids, bills, work, etc.

who has 3-6 months to lay in bed and suffer??

good luck

4:23 pm May 23rd, 2018

wow …wish i knew this knowledge,experiences were hear long ago. will post my story when i can think straight…till then ( TINA ) read ur post,ive been on methadone 20 some year’s FUC… anyway u said ur gona try suboxone ,NOT A GOOD IDEAL… i tried that ,i was clean 14 day’s still goin through W/D bigtime …took sub. 1st day ok ,2nd,my doc. disappeared,went without,3erd took was poison to me…almost died ,unbearable symptoms, no sleep 5-6 day’s,

12:38 am June 14th, 2018

I’ve been on methadone for 2 years in July. The past 3 months I’ve had apnea, breath retention, trouble breathing, wheezing, and at night I’m told I make really weird loud sounds like I’m trying to catch my breath all through the night. I told my doctor about it and he thought it may be anxiety. He prescribed medication for anxiety and it hasn’t helped one bit. He said if it doesn’t help then I should see a family doctor. I have an appointment early July. Hopefully I don’t stop breathing while I’m asleep.

6:58 am June 19th, 2018

My name is Angie, My little brother has been on Methadone for 17 years and now they want to kick him out. What will he have to do?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:09 pm June 19th, 2018

Hi Angie. First, I suggest that he consults with his doctors as well as to seek for a second opinion from another doctor. If the decision is to cut the methadone, the safest way to do it is by slowly reducing the daily doses.

6:49 am June 23rd, 2018

I Been on Methadone 10mg 3 times a day for 6yrs now
And I decided last year to cut down on it myself i started by reducing my dose And managed to cut down from 30mg a day to 2.5mg a day it’s taken me a year to do this and the side effects were a nightmare and I’m now finding it impossible to take away the 2.5mg I have tried for a few months now and still can’t seem to come off that last 2.5mg the symptoms get so severe when I try.
Is their anything i can do to help make it easier coming off that last 2.5mg

1:38 am July 9th, 2018

I am 39 and had been on methadone for 9 years dose ranging from 95mls down to 60 mls. I recently weened down myself cutting my dose to 30 mls for 1 week then 10 mls for 2 weeks, then went into surprising withdrawls. Its been almost 4 weeks and im still having pretty bad leg pains. I got out of this pretty healthy, but could this pain be due to other health issues?

9:18 pm July 12th, 2018

Let me start by saying it’s been two years now Methadone free!!!! So yes it can be done! If I was able to do it you can too. After talking 180mls daily for eleven years I didn’t know what I was up against. I mean I thought I was gonna die it was so so bad I wouldn’t wish those withdrawals on anyone. There’s not words in the English dictionary that could describe what I went through , throwing up , hot/ cold flashes, hands shaking, sweating, muscle cramps, not to mention the whole depression mental aspect this lasted for over a year that’s right I said year. But I will also tell you it gets better slowly but surely! I want You to know that this will be the hardest thing you’ve done in your life but will also be the most rewarding. So hang in there don’t give up you have a reward waiting on the other side! I promise, living opie free is truly the best life there is. The one secret I’ll give to you is asking for gods help and if he helped an undeserving guy like me he’ll help you in the fight for your life also!

4:12 am July 17th, 2018

I have been taking methadone for less than a year.I have some health concerns.My blood pressure is low when it used to be perfectly normal.I am also experiencing circulation problems in my arms.So bad it wakes me up every hour all night long.I am at a low dose only 30 kilograms and have been wanting to taper off.Please give me any information you have.P.S.I have never used heroin

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:10 pm July 17th, 2018

Hi Valerie. I suggest that you consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule.

7:54 pm August 26th, 2018

Hello from NYC. I’m Luca. 45 yr old gay male. I met my partner while using crystal meth recreationally. We have struggled on and off to stop using. Through counseling and so on I have been more successful even though the urge is real. I would use meth intravenously while my partner would smoke it. I only used for about 16-18 months while my partner claims to have used it on and off for the past 7 years.

We’ve been together a little over a year now. We get along great. But intimately I struggle. I lost my desire. I don’t know how to let myself go without slamming. I don’t want to use anymore. I love my sobriety but I’m scared I’m going to lose my partner. We’ve worked through sobriety together but he still has desires where I feel dead sexually. Again I repeat that I’m in therapy. But I’m not sure it’s working as far as exploring why I’m sexually null and void. The desire comes and quickly leaves when I think of the actual act.

Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? Should I be doing some other form of counseling?

Please, I need advice. Im going to lose my partner.


Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:00 pm August 30th, 2018

Hi Luca. Crystal meth may have effects on your sexual desire. I suggest that you consult with your therapist about these issues, and talk with your partner.

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