Effects of methadone, a synthetic opioid and pain medication
Methadone is a prescription medication dispensed to treat moderate-to-severe pain. It is also commonly used as a treatment for drug addiction. When used as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), or as an alternative treatment approach, methadone prevents withdrawal symptoms caused when a user stops consuming other opioids and illicit drugs like heroin, oxycodone, or fentanyl.
Methadone is often taken daily for drug withdrawal treatment purposes, typically in the morning or around every 8-12 hours for pain management. Unfortunately, like all opioids, methadone can itself become addictive and may cause withdrawal symptoms.
Learn more about withdrawal from methadone.
Methadone detection time in your body
A drug test can detect methadone once the synthetic opioid has been ingested. Even after the user has stopped taking the drug.
The detection window to test for methadone is as follows:
- Blood: up to several hours
- Saliva: up to 10 days
- Urine: up to 12 days
- Hair: up to 90 days
The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of methadone to leave one’s body.
Methadone has a half-life of about 30 hours in opioid-dependent patients and even longer (approximately 55 hours) in opioid-naïve patients (those who have not received opioids in the 30 days).
It will take an average of 59 hours to eliminate all methadone from the system. However, this may take even longer for patients who are long-term users of the drug.
Testing for methadone – drug tests and drug screenings
Methadone can be detected in your system through urine, blood, saliva, and hair drug tests.
Factors including level of exposure, as well as the time the patient has been on methadone, may also determine the detection times.
Blood testing can detect methadone up to a few hours following ingestion.
Saliva tests can detect methadone up to 10 days following ingestion for most individuals.
Testing hair follicles
Methadone can be detected in a hair test up to 90 days following ingestion.
Methadone is detectable in urine for up to days following ingestion.
Factors that determine how long methadone stays in the system
There are many influences that determine the period that methadone remains in an individual’s body. A methadone addict or a patient using the drug for chronic pain for an extended period of time may take longer to remove the substance from their body.
The following factors may influences how long methadone stays in the system:
- Basal metabolic rate
- Liver and kidney function
- Body mass index (BMI) & body fat content
- Quantity of methadone consumed
- Duration of methadone consumption
Health risks of methadone: opioid addiction, risk of overdose
Like other prescription opioids there is a risk of substance abuse, symptoms of withdrawal, and, if left untreated, methadone overdoses. Treatment for methadone addiction and drug abuse can be facilitated at a suitable drug rehab center.
Methadone addiction recovery: treatment centers and rehab
Medical professionals or your healthcare provider can suggest addiction treatment options and facilities for substance abuse treatment. The types of treatments offered encourage sober living and relapse prevention.
Medical detox programs such as Medication-Assisted Treatment, inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization programs (PHP), and intensive outpatient programs are suitable for the following:
- Methadone abuse
- Drug and alcohol addiction
- Opioid use disorder
- Mental health treatment
- Co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis treatment)
Check if your insurance covers rehab costs for methadone treatment for you or your loved ones.
Methadone addiction treatment through ANR
Accelerated Neuro Regulation (ANR) is an extremely effective opioid addiction treatment. ANR is the only form of medical treatment that works to re-regulate the critical endorphin-receptor imbalance, tackling the root cause of addiction in the brain. Unlike traditional detox treatment, ANR works on a deeper level and targets the physiologic mechanism behind dependency. After treatment with ANR, patients can go back to their daily lives without ongoing pain or the constant fear of relapse.
Find out more about our methadone addiction treatment programs.
Dr. Waismann identified the biological roots of opioid dependency, Since then he has successfully treated more than 24,000 patients worldwide that are struggling with opioid addiction.
Throughout his career, he has lectured and educated health professionals in dozens of countries around the world to this day.