Methadone is a medication most commonly used in the treatment of heroin or other opioid addiction. This drug is typically administered during medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and works by easing symptoms of withdrawal and reducing cravings for opioids. Methadone may also be used to treat pain, as it is typically less expensive than other pain medications such as morphine.
Methadone can be detected in the body for up to two weeks after the last use. There are several factors that may influence how long this drug is in the system. If you or a loved one is struggling with methadone abuse or addiction, seeking treatment is the best way to overcome a substance use disorder. Vertava Health has treatment centers throughout the United States that offer evidence-based recovery programs for people dealing with methadone addiction.
How Long Does Methadone Stay In The Body?
Opinions about the exact amount of time methadone can stay in the system vary drastically, with reports being anywhere from two to 14 days. However, the drug is typically only active in the system for up to 60 hours after ingesting it. This means that while the drug may still be detectable in the system for much longer, the effects of the drug will have completely worn off after two to three days.
The half-life of methadone can vary greatly depending on whether the individual is tolerant to opioids. For a person who is used to taking opioids, such as someone addicted to heroin, the half-life of methadone is typically around 24 hours. However, for someone who is not used to taking opioids, the half-life can be up to 55 hours. After five to six half-lives have passed, the drug is typically out of the system.
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Drug Tests Used To Detect Methadone
There are a number of drug tests that can be used to detect methadone in a person’s system. The most common test used is a urine test. Urine tests are often the least invasive and most accurate at detecting substances in a person’s body.
The following are the different types of drug tests that can detect methadone and their approximate times of detection:
- Urine Tests — Can detect methadone one hour after ingestion and up to two weeks after the last use
- Blood Tests — May detect the drug as soon as 30 minutes after taking it and up to three or four days after the last use
- Saliva Tests — Can be used to test for methadone use for several days after using the drug
- Hair Tests — Long-term use of methadone can be detected in the hair for several months after using the drug
Each test can vary in how long it can detect methadone in the system depending on a number of personal factors. However, it’s typically believed that methadone will be completely out of the body after 14 days.
Health Factors That Influence How Long It Stays In The System
As mentioned previously, there are several factors that can influence how long methadone stays in a person’s system. To begin, the more methadone a person uses, the more likely he or she is to have the drug in the system longer. This is also true for individuals who take methadone for an extended period of time. Methadone can build up in the system, causing it to be detectable in the body longer than if someone only takes it once or twice.
Additionally, people who are younger and in better shape will typically be able to eliminate methadone from their systems faster than individuals who are older and less healthy. This is because younger, healthier individuals often have faster metabolisms, making it easier for the body to process and rid itself of the drug more quickly.
If you are researching how long methadone stays in the system, you may be struggling with methadone abuse or addiction. While this drug is certainly beneficial in medical settings, it also comes with the risk of abuse and addiction. And, like other opioids, abusing methadone can cause a number of side effects and potential dangers.
Potential side effects of methadone abuse include:
- clammy skin
- cardiac problems, including cardiac arrest
- dry mouth
- excess sweating
- trouble sleeping
- decreased heart rate
People who abuse methadone are also at an increased risk of overdose. Like with other opioids, methadone overdose can be dangerous and even deadly if not properly treated.
Getting Assistance and Resources For Abuse And Addiction Treatment
Struggling with methadone abuse or addiction can be incredibly hard and can impact every aspect of a person’s life. While methadone addiction may feel all-consuming and lonely, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There are several treatment options available to overcome methadone addiction and begin a new life in sobriety.
Vertava Health offers a number of different treatment programs for people suffering from substance use disorders. To learn more about methadone detection times or the addiction programs we have available, contact an Vertava Health’ treatment specialist today. Call us at 615-208-2941.