Methadone, a version of synthetic opium, was first manufactured in the 1930’s by the I.G. Farben company. Under the name Dolophine, the first version of methadone was first marketed as a pain reliever in the United States in 1947.

Methadone has a long half-life (the amount of time it takes for half of a drug to leave the body) of between 24 hours and 96 hours. In the 1960’s it began to be used as a substitute for heroin which has a short half-life (3-6 hours). By switching a heroin user to methadone, the user would not have to spend his or her day trying to get more heroin, but could just go to the methadone clinic once a day.

Longer-term methadone users frequently find that they:

  • Have difficulty concentrating;
  • Are more likely to have health problems—particularly dental problems;
  • Are dehydrated;
  • Are deficient in vitamins and minerals;
  • Recover more slowly from colds or flu.
  • Are forced to go to a clinic every day or they go into painful withdrawal;
  • Are feeling a lessening interest in sexual activity;
  • Are experiencing a lethargic attitude toward life.


Like other opium derivatives, methadone works primarily on endorphin receptors in the brain. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain inhibitors and are naturally produced by the body. If someone falls and hurts their leg, more endorphins are produced to try to counteract the resultant pain.

The methadone user is stimulating the endorphin receptors in an artificial way.


Tolerance is a condition where more and more of a drug is required to create the same effect. Methadone users often find it necessary to take more and more methadone in order to prevent painful withdrawal symptoms.


Unless a person has medical problems or becomes too dehydrated during their methadone detox, they will not have severe medical problems during their detox. However, methadone detox is perhaps the most painful and takes the longest of any opiate or opioid detox.

The pain of the detox is increased if the person:

  • Is very dehydrated
  • Is vitamin and mineral deficient


Because of the pain of the withdrawal and the length of time it can continue, it is strongly recommended that people only attempt their methadone detox under the care of a medical doctor or in a facility, like Novus Medical Detox Center, where you will have 24 hour medical supervision.

Most methadone users have either willingly or unwillingly experienced withdrawal which caused severe pain. In fact, it is often the pain of withdrawal that prevents methadone users from attempting to stop using methadone.

At Novus, we offer:

  • Home-like facility
  • Private or comfortable shared room
  • Medications as needed
  • Natural supplements
  • IV’s to hydrate and replenish essential vitamins and minerals
  • Delicious food

Many of our patients, even those who have been taking large amounts of heroin for a long time, write in their success stories how they experienced little if any pain or discomfort.


Once withdrawn from methadone, our patients tell us how great they feel. However, the actual underlying reasons that the person started using opiates or opioids to handle problems in life are not resolved by simply going through a methadone detox.

This is why it is estimated that 95% of the people who stop using methadone but don’t obtain rehab treatment will revert to using opiates or opioids again.

It is for this reason that we recommend that our patients who withdraw from methadone at Novus enter a rehab program to ensure that they acquire new ways of solving the problems once addressed with drugs.

Of course, at Novus we know that people detoxing from methadone will often have unhandled medical conditions. It is for this reason that we try to help our patients find the right type of medical doctor in their area who will diagnose and treat any medical conditions found.

Novus can safely and more comfortably help you through methadone detox.

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