Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from Methadone

November 10, 2020 , Agape Treatment Center

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from Methadone

About Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever, one that has been more commonly used for the treatment of opioid abuse and addiction disorders over the past several years. This drug is a long-acting opioid antagonist, meaning that it can be beneficial in treating symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal (namely psychological cravings) that frequently lead to relapse. Methadone works by changing the way that the central nervous system responds to pain signals. The medication binds to opioid receptors in the brain, essentially tricking the brain into thinking that more potent and addictive opioid narcotics are present in the system.

Methadone Dependence is Real

However, it has been determined that Methadone itself is extremely habit-forming and that many of the individuals who were initially prescribed Methadone to help treat an opioid abuse disorder began abusing the medication in an attempt to obtain the same high that the other opioid provided. Additionally, Methadone results in a very lengthy and uncomfortable post-acute withdrawal process. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome, more commonly referred to as PAWS – is the second phase of the overall withdrawal process. This phase includes a series of less serious and dangerous (but equally as uncomfortable and disruptive) withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms most commonly associated with Methadone-related PAWS include:

  • Sleep-related issues, including insomnia
  • Mood swings, typically marked by irritability and agitation
  • An inability to effectively work through uncomfortable emotions
  • A lack of motivation to complete menial, day-to-day tasks
  • Fatigue and tiredness, even when getting enough sleep
  • Some physical symptoms, like chronic headache and constipation
  • Intense psychological drug cravings

At Agape Treatment Center, we believe in providing our clients with a comprehensive curriculum of care, combining proven addiction treatment methodologies with a range of effective therapeutic and holistic techniques. For more information on our comprehensive and highly individualized program of recovery or to learn more about Methadone why this specific drug results in such uncomfortable and long-lasting post-acute withdrawal symptoms, please feel free to reach out to us at any point in time.

What is Post-Acute Withdrawal?

Withdrawal is broken down into two main stages – acute withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal. During acute drug or alcohol withdrawal, the individual in question will need to be monitored around the clock by a team of experienced medical professionals. During this stage of withdrawal, symptoms are severe, harshly uncomfortable, and potentially life-threatening if left untreated. As soon as acute withdrawal symptoms begin to occur – or, more preferable, before they begin to occur – the individual should be admitted into a professional, medically monitored detox program. Eventually, these symptoms will subside (typically in between one to weeks) and symptoms of post-acute withdrawal will take over.

Methadone and PAWS

Post-acute withdrawal can last for between six and 12 months and generally consists of a wide range of uncomfortable but not severely disruptive symptoms. As previously mentioned, some of the more common symptoms associated with post-acute Methadone withdrawal include sleep-related issues, general feelings of tiredness and fatigue, drug cravings that come and go, but can be overwhelming at times, mild to moderate muscle aches and body pains, persistent, dull headaches and psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression. In severe cases, these symptoms can disrupt day-to-day life and make it difficult for an individual to fully focus on his or her recovery program. In cases like these, a combination of non-narcotic medications and proven therapeutic techniques can prove to be extremely beneficial. Not only does integrated addiction treatment help alleviate physical symptoms of post-acute withdrawal-like headaches, body aches, and general discomfort, but it treats the psychological cravings that all too often lead to relapse.

Treating Opioid Abuse at Agape Treatment Center

Agape Treatment Center provides men and women in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and all surrounding areas with a quality continuum of therapeutic addiction treatment. Our compassionate staff members and experienced clinical team work together to provide the most individualized care available throughout Southern Florida. We understand that the treatment methods that work for one individual might not be as beneficial for another. What works for one client might not be the best option for everyone. For this reason, we conduct in-depth clinical and medical assessments upon admission which help us determine the best treatment methods for each unique case. To learn more about our program of recovery, give us a call at any point in time.