Methadone Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is methadone treatment right for me?
Before we admit anyone for methadone maintenance treatment a thorough evaluation is conducted by a counselor, a nurse, and a doctor to determine if methadone treatment is appropriate for you.
2. Should methadone treatment be my first attempt at treatment?
If you are pregnant or if you are an IV opiate user then you should seek immediate care with methadone. Under state rules you are considered a priority population meaning that you receive care ahead of everyone else. If you are not pregnant or an IV user, other levels of care might better meet your needs, and we can refer you to those.
3. Am I just trading one addiction for another?
No. The single biggest indicator of addiction is loss of control. When using illicit drugs there is never enough, and thus, there is no control. Methadone treatment dictates a specific amount of medication every day along with scheduled counseling sessions and frequent urine drug screens. The purpose of all of these efforts is to help you discontinue illicit drug use.
4. What is a normal dose?
In reality, there is no such thing as a normal dose. Some people require very little methadone to achieve stability while others require much more. Basic body structure — weight, height, gender — doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the dose that is right for a particular person. The right dose for you is the one that makes you feel normal and alleviates cravings for opiates.
5. Will you still have cravings on methadone?
During the stabilization period (first 30 days) of treatment you may experience some cravings, but once stabilized that should subside.
6. Does methadone have side effects?
Most patients experience little or no severe side effects. However, when experienced, side effects tend be manageable and short-lived. Theses side effects mostly occur in the early stages of treatment or following dosage adjustments. Let your doctor or medical team know if you experience light-headedness, dizziness, extreme tiredness, nausea or vomiting, sweating, swelling, skin rash, or restlessness.
7. How long does treatment take?
Different people require different lengths of treatment time. Generally, the longer you are involved in methadone maintenance, the greater your chances are of ultimate success.
8. What are the possible drug interactions with methadone?
Methadone is a powerful drug and must be used with great caution. Methadone has a number of interactions and side effects that you should understand. As with heroin and other narcotics, it is never safe to drink alcohol or take benzodiazepines (Ativan, Valium, Xanax, etc.) when using methadone. Combining these substances with methadone can cause your breathing to stop, resulting in coma or death.
9. Is methadone maintenance good for pain management issues?
While many pain management doctors use methadone for their patients, methadone maintenance is not a good pain management solution. This is largely due to the fact that we prescribe and dispense methadone for once-a-day use. Pain management clients often require multiple doses of an opiate throughout the day to manage their pain.
10. Can I quit methadone abruptly?
No. If you did, you could experience extreme discomfort that could last for weeks. The discomfort could cause you to relapse. If you decide that you want to discontinue methadone, consult with us and together we can develop a detoxification strategy to lessen any potential discomfort.

Behavioral Health Services | 1221 W. Lakeview Avenue | Pensacola, Florida 32501 |  850.469.3500