Methadone detox is a necessary treatment for addicts who are hooked on the drug or have been using the drug for longer than what was required. Methadone can be a very dangerous drug to detox from unless it is in a supervised setting where medical professionals can monitor the process and control the withdrawals. A typical detox period can last from two weeks to a month, and in some cases longer, but this will depend on how much the person is taking, what their health may be like, and if they are using or abusing any other drugs or medications. Methadone detox is typically done in a residential setting, where a patient can remain comfortable and under constant supervision as the withdrawals can potentially be dangerous. Methadone detox centers can be covered by insurance, be a low-cost or no-cost facility, or maybe a private center. It is important that a methadone user who wishes to come off of the drug seek out medical help or detox to assist in the process, as stopping methadone abruptly can be very dangerous.
Opioid Addiction and Methadone Dependency in Alaska
Methadone is an opioid and changes the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. When compared to other opioids, the effects of the drug are slower. Methadone is prescribed to block the high from drugs like codeine, heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. However, it does produce a similar euphoric effect and prevents withdrawal symptoms and cravings, which is why doctors prescribe the drug. However, the danger of methadone is the same as most other opioids. Sustained use of methadone causes dependence and tolerance leading to increasing the dosage. Large doses of methadone are dangerous and require medication-assisted treatment or a form of withdrawal management. Unfortunately, many opioid addicts remain on methadone, and it becomes more challenging to stop using it.
The withdrawal management programs or medication-assisted treatment resources in Alaska will help people who are dependent on methadone. The long-term use of methadone is dangerous and will require medical help to stop taking it properly. It is dangerous to abruptly stop taking methadone because there is a risk of returning to heroin or other opioids. Additionally, the rate of overdose increases if the person chooses to use other opioids to manage the withdrawal symptoms caused by methadone. Withdrawal management in Alaska is a broad category, and various forms of detox fall within it. The detox process mitigates withdrawal symptoms and helps a patient make a smooth transition into treatment.
Per the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the highest number of opioid-related deaths identified in one year was 108 in 2017. Between 2010 and 2017, there were 623 identified opioid overdose deaths, and the rate of death increased by 77% from 7.7 per 100,000 persons in 2010 to 13.6 in 2017. Synthetic opioids, which did not include methadone, caused 37 deaths, or 37% of all opioid overdose deaths and fentanyl contributed to 76% of all deaths. However, progress has been made within the state. Despite an increasing rate of overdoses and hospitalizations, there has been a 36% reduction in the number of people who died from an opioid-related overdose death from 2017 to 2018.