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How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System?

by Nick

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that involves methadone maintenance helps patients feel relief from their opioid withdrawal symptoms. Managing the symptoms helps patients utilize counseling and other resources to address their addiction from a psychological and emotional standpoint. However, some people considering treatment may worry about the appearance of methadone in drug tests or how to know if it works. This quick guide will explain whether you can detect methadone in a drug test and how to tell if you have it in your system.

Can You Tell When Methadone Treatment Works?

Methadone treatment has the goal of relieving the withdrawal symptoms you experience when you have an opioid use disorder. If you try to stop using opioids without MAT, you may feel symptoms such as:

  • Restlessness, anxiety or agitation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever, sweating or chills
  • Appetite loss
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Nausea and vomiting

While these symptoms don’t cause severe harm, they feel very uncomfortable and make it difficult to commit to and focus on the other elements in a comprehensive recovery program. You may also have cravings for opioids when you stop taking them. When you take methadone, it satisfies your brain’s need for opioids so you will have fewer withdrawal symptoms. You can feel more comfortable during recovery so you can work toward a drug-free life.

What Does Methadone Treatment Feel Like?

When you take the proper amount of methadone, you should notice these effects:

  • You have fewer or no withdrawal symptoms
  • The methadone doesn’t cause euphoria or impairment
  • You get fewer or no cravings for opioids

You might still feel withdrawal symptoms during the first stage of treatment. During this time, you and your doctor will work together to find a therapeutic dose of medication that achieves the effects listed above. The methadone will also need to build in your system to provide its full benefits.

How Long Does It Take Until Methadone Is out of My System?

Everyone has a unique experience with methadone’s appearance in their system. Methadone stays in a person’s system for a shorter time when they have a higher level of exposure to opioids. In most cases, methadone provides relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms for 24 to 36 hours. The medication can stay in your system for anywhere from eight to 59 hours. Due to methadone’s different interactions with each individual, doctors recommend a supervised taper down of the medication dosage when a patient plans on stopping treatment for any reason.

Can Methadone Cause a False Positive Test in a Drug Screening?

Should you worry about methadone in a drug test? While methadone counts as an opioid, it doesn’t appear in most urine screenings. The testing organization must complete a specific test to detect methadone in your system. When you take methadone as part of a MAT program, you also receive protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since you have a doctor’s approval to take methadone, a workplace can’t deny you employment based on its presence in your system if it were to be detected.

Get Methadone-Based MAT at Health Care Resource Centers

Now that you know how methadone interacts with your system, you can join a MAT program to get relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms. Health Care Resource Centers helps patients across New England get relief from opiate addiction. We welcome you to schedule an intake today using our online contact form.

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