How Long Does Methadone Last In Your System?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid most commonly known for being prescribed to help treat opioid addiction. Since it is derived from a lab, it is not classified as a true opioid. Its effects can be compared to morphine but its price is much more affordable than most pain relieving drugs. Under certain circumstances and supervision, methadone is a safe option for medicated assistance while recovering from an addiction, but it too can be addictive and require recovery. 

How long can methadone last in your system? On average, methadone can stay in the body for up to two weeks. There are many factors that play into how long methadone can be in your system, and how long it can be detected for. But, regardless of how long this drug remains in a person’s system, it’s important to seek professional help if methadone abuse or dependence develops. Treatment for methadone abuse will begin with a successful detox, followed by an extended rehabilitation program

How Long Can Methadone Be Detected in the Body?

There are many discussions around how long methadone can be detected within the body. While there has been no conclusive answer, the general assumption is that methadone will remain in the body anywhere from 2-14 days. 

While this drug may remain in the body for up to fourteen days, it is known that methadone only stays active in the system for up to 60 hours after the time of ingestion. This essentially means that that methadone is detectible in the body far longer than its effects are felt. So while an individual may no longer feel the drug and its pain relieving effects, if they were to be drug tested, the result would indicate they were still using. 

The half life of methadone depends on the individual’s existing health and tolerance to drugs. People who have been using opiods and have built up a tolerance to them will have a shorter half life for methadone. On the contrary, those who use methadone only for pain relief and not to help treat addiction will likely experience a longer half life. 

On average, opioid users using methadone will experience a half life of around 24 hours. However, the half life for individuals who do not have prior drug use or tolerance to opioids would be closer to 55-60 hours. 

What Methods are Used to Detect Methadone?

Various types of drug tests can be used to detect the presence of methadone in the body. The most commonly used method is the urine test. Urine tests have proved to be the least invasive while also providing the most accuracy results. Each test has its own method and benefit. The best methods for testing methadone are:

Urine: Urine tests can be administered as quickly as one hour after ingesting and will detect methadone in the body for up to two weeks. 

Blood Tests: Blood tests will detect methadone in as little as 30 min after use. Unlike urine tests, blood tests only show methadone up to four days after the last dose. 

Saliva Tests: Methadone can show up in saliva for 3-5 days after the last use. Saliva is the least common test used to detect methadone. 

Hair: Detecting Methadone in the body using the hair method is unique in the fact that Methadone can be detected in hair follicles several months after an individual’s last use. Hair is usually only used to detect long term and extended use, as it is unlikely to detect the single or infrequent use of the drug. 

Although each test differs in the length of time it is able to detect methadone, it is known that methadone can stay in the body for up to 14 days even when it goes undetected. 

Methadone

Factors That Influence How Long Methadone Stays in the Body 

Recognizing the many different influences there are on how long methadone stays in the body helps to explain why different people experience different timelines. 

The biggest influence to how long methadone will stay in the body is how long the individual has been using methadone or other opioids. Methadone builds up in the body, so if someone has been ingesting it for an extended period of time it is likely they will be able to detect it for longer periods of time after they stop using it. On the same note, if someone has hardly used it, they will likely be on the shorter end of the detectible timeline. 

Other significant factors include age, underlying health, and metabolism. Part of what makes methadone detectable is the fact that it has not been through the full process of digestion, metabolization, and excretion.

For younger and healthier individuals, they are likely to have faster and stronger digestive systems and more quickly able to flush out toxins such as methadone. Older individuals, those who are overweight, or individuals with compromised immune systems due to heavy drug use will likely process methadone at a much slower rate. A few other factors that play a role in how long methadone remains detectable include:

All of these factors come into play when understanding how long methadone stays in the system. In general, the length of time methadone has been taken as well as the amount taken per dose are the most relevant factors to consider.

Signs of Methadone Abuse

As mentioned before, when used as directed methadone can be a helpful medication to alleviate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This does not mean that it doesn’t pose its own health concerns, however. When taken recreationally or more than prescribed, methadone can lead to a full blown addiction that will need professional treatment to overcome. Some signs and symptoms of Methadone abuse or addiction include:

Methadone abuse also poses risks to overdose, which can be serious or even fatal in some cases. In event of a suspected overdose, immediate emergency assistance should be called. 

Detox for Methadone Abuse

Detox for Methadone Abuse

In order to recover from methadone abuse, an individual should first seek out a professional detox treatment program. Detoxification is the initial period of time where someone stops using in order to flush the addictive substance out of their system. Coastal Detox in Florida offers specialized care for those struggling with an addiction to methadone looking to get sober. 

Detox is the foundation of an individual’s entire recovery process. It’s crucial that it is successful, and that the right mental and physical approaches to recovery are learned during this time. Detoxing in a professional setting allows for medical supervision that can both alleviate withdrawal stressors and intervene in the event of a medical emergency or relapse trigger. 

Detox programs typically last around 7 days, but can be extended if needed. During this time, you will be staying in the detox facility and be supervised with 24/7 care. Staff will be monitoring your progress and encouraging you to take part in different activities to help you with skills for sobriety. 

A detox program works best when it’s designed based on the individual’s personal history. For some, it will be beneficial to approach detox with a taper-off method. This is where you slowly decrease the dosage of methadone until you completely stop. Others will quit cold turkey and spend the duration of detox completely off of the substance. Detox gives you a safe way to get off of drugs and a direct connection to the tools, people, and skills you need to build a successful foundation to recovery. 

Side Effects of Methadone Withdrawal

When you stop using methadone after an extended period of time, you will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms typically begin anywhere from 12-24 hours after your last dose. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal include:

Withdrawal symptoms tend to peak 3 days into detox, and should alleviate by the 6th or 7th day. Professional detox centers have both the staff and resources that can help shorten the duration of withdrawals and offer coping methods. 

What Happens After Detox?

Detox is a crucial step in the recovery process, but it’s not the last stop. Once your detox process is complete, you should seek a long term recovery rehab to ensure you are fully recovered and ready to reintegrate back into your normal life.

Treatment options typically include inpatient and outpatient programs. Whatever will work best with your lifestyle, trust that there is an option for you. Some things you should be sure your recovery program offers includes are: 

Receiving Help for Methadone Abuse at Coastal Detox 

Coastal Detox specializes in the detoxification process of addictive substances. Our facility is licensed and accredited with medically trained staff ready to help you through the process of recovery. We provide safe and effective medically supervised detoxes for anyone struggling to overcome an addiction to methadone.

We know no two addictions are the same, and that is why we never treat any two recoveries the same. We take a personal and individualized approach to your detox, ensuring your specific needs are met. If you or a loved one is struggling with methadone addiction, our facility, located on Florida’s beautiful treasure coast is excited to help you find and keep sobriety. For more information, please contact us today. 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/fentanyl.html

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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