Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
32.1k Members
Avatar universal

how long does it take to feel "normal" after discontinuing methadone?

Hello, some of you may remember me, some may not. I stopped taking methadone almost 4 months ago......topped off at 80 mgs for three months, then titrated down for another 8 months at 3mgs a week. I was sick for a month after I quit at 10 mgs Now as I mentioned it has been almost 4 months clean and I don't feel  normal....my energy is low, im depressed, not a deep depression just really struggling with motivation and energy as well. Is this from discontinuing  methadone? Or is this some other mental issue I need to address? Do methadone withdrawals really last for months? Thanks again everybody for all the support.
17 Responses
Avatar universal
Yes, methadone withdrawal and post acute withdrawals can last for months. Motivation and energy didn't return for me until 6 months had passed. I'm coming up on 8 months, and the last 6-8wks have been much better. I do remember you and I also remember my 120th day clean. I had the worst emotional breakdown I have ever had at 120 days. I was so tired of waiting to feel normal, I just about drove myself crazy. Someone told me it was time to readjust my expectations. I kept hearing 90 days to feel better. I was better, but not good at 90 days. I pushed so hard to heal during acute detox and I kept pushing with the same effort. I had to learn to ride it out, let things go, and just let some more time pass. Right at 6 months I finally could say it, "It's so worth it." Things have just become easier and better each day. I really had to pay the price for my years of addiction, but I'm getting paid back for my efforts now. Methadone stopped working long ago. I felt miserable while I was on methadone, so I figured nothing lost and potential gain. It was a leap of faith at times, but the promises do come true. Aftercare, counseling and AA/NA, have been a life saver for me. It helped me stop thinking of how I feel and start thinking of who I want to be. One foot in front of the other, I am becoming that person and it has started feeling good. Give it some more time, you won't regret it. If you're like me, you'll have to take our word for it, but it will get better. Keep your eyes on the prize and you will get it, and so much more.
Avatar universal
yes I have had a hard time mentally, dealing with the bad feelings, being depressed, anxiety, no motivation and I keep asking myself "is this who I am now? but your encouraging words let me know that there is life at the end of the tunnel and that is exactly what I needed to hear so thank you. All I can do is just take it one day at a time, some days and weeks are better than others.
4522800 tn?1470325834
Ditto with weaver always. I was on it for 12yrs plus other drugs mixed I was snorting it. I am new here but I am going into my 6th month. I went threw some strange stages. The last was weak and no interest. I cahnged my diet to no sugar. I eat every 3hrs which each meal includes a lean protien the first 2 protien and a low sugar fruit, then the reat of the day is veg, protien and complex carbs. I figured this out when my dr said something about the pancreas and the insulin level. I gained weight in my recovery so now I am flying with energy and I am losing the weight again. The interest is better. I will be honest and tell you it took me 4.5 months to come around it was the stanges experience in my life, but the most rewarding thing I have ever did. Clean the house and the mind will follow.
Keep on Truckin you are doing GREAT
God Bless
Avatar universal
Yeah, I had a lot of that getting better, than back down. For me, recovery is about balance and my addiction is like a see-saw in a tornado. I went up and down to extremes until I found that balance. I'm not saying I'm content and happy all the time, but a bad day doesn't have to be fixed immediately like I used to feel. My solution to any major problem was another 100mg of methadone, but now my solution is to think of my feelings like traffic lights. When I feel good the light is green and I try to do more of what I'm doing, when I feel unsure the light is yellow and I am cautious about what I am doing, when I am angry or sad the light is red and I stop what I'm doing and look around and find out what I need to change. Usually I find a semi truck is speeding toward me when the light is red and am glad I didn't decide to just act on my anger or depression. I know that may sound a little simplified, but simple works for me. I tend to over think and make bad decisions, I still don't totally trust my brain. I get feedback from others as much as I can. What are you doing to deal with those bad feelings?
2107198 tn?1336136106
I am a big believer in the science that shows it takes about a year to get our brains healed up to as good as they are going to get.  The good news is that most, even heavy narc users, can make a full brain recovery.  You are doing fabulous, and try to focus on the fact that as each day clicks by your brain is healing itself.  Exercise, good diet, and quality supplements such as good amino acids help the brain maximize its healing potential and allow us to feel as good as we can during that first year clean.

Hang in there, and keep going.

495284 tn?1333894042
Congrats on the 4 months snowflake!!  You are doing really great even tho you may not feel it.  Getting clean is such a life changing process and it does take time.  It seems for methadone it takes longer.  We are all in your corner cheering you on!!
Avatar universal
Hey Girl your doing great for me recovery really dident start til i hit the 90 day mark from ther it was a slow but steady process just know you are getting better it will eventually come hang in there.......Gnarly  
Avatar universal
I guess I cry sometimes to deal with the depression.........try to talk it out with loved ones, that helps
Avatar universal
Yup.. I Know my PAWS will last for awhile ... I am 50 and in pretty good shape ... Using straight since 1974....( I have detoxed off methadone and heroin several times ) This time round I started self tapering in late October 2012 off of 8 year stint of 80 mg or some days a bit more ( will explain ) Methadone and 120 mg roxicodone daily...this was prescribed by a large renown pain practice in my area. Doctor is a PHD professor at EMORY UNIVERSITY..  I hurt myself , playing them to a tee ( like a good addict ) to get me up to the dosage I was on... I was told I was one of the highest dosed patients in there 7 office practice. Anyway, I started detoxing at home in late October and stopped methadone for 2 weeks and only did the blues ( Roxys ) 12 a day of so ( that was hell ) than I made a serious jump down to like 40 or 50 mg off methadone ( that was stomach cramp hell for like 4 weeks ) I knew the last 3 to 5 years of going to the pain clinic I wanted to get off... So I played all the new fellows ( study doctors in fellowship ) to increase dose of methadone ( just for a month doc ) and I hoarded whatever I didn't use ... This is how I did a home 9 month detox .. ( which beleive it or not I still have about 440 methadone 10 mgs left ( imagine this junkie gonna flush em ) I TOTALLY JUMPED OFF at about 1 mg ( breaking by eye , not titration with water .. So it's 3 days now with no meth and I got the usual yawns and aching legs and cramps here and there and some bad anxiety and racing thoughts....I'm real weak and tired and no motivation.. But certainly not dope sick bad by any means....I told my girl .. ( she don't understand .. She's young and clean ) it would take 6 months to get back to normal.. I hope sooner.. What ***** is all the negative crap and bad attitude ( disease taking to me ) but the one thing I won't do is ... I won't dare go take another meth pill... Next time I open that vault up in garage, I am throwing them out.... Signed hughesandmisused  
Avatar universal
What long time self abuser wouldn't be depressed and not feeling normal after giving up your truest love? I mean just turning your back and walking away from your best friend and your former purpose in life. It is really, really painful, like a divorce or even worse, like a death in the family.. Remember we didn't start using because we were all so emotionally healthy in the first place. We were hurting people to start with and now that we have given up  our sweeties we don't understand why were not all feeling wonderful all at once. It takes time and effort There is a simple 4 step program by which all people can positively affect their lives and the way they feel Former users or not. 1.) Forgive yourself and accept that you are walking this planet only because something out their loves you  2)Accept that you have very little control of just about anything that happens n this world  and know that that is a good thing.3) Forgive yourself for your mistakes the same way you would forgive someone you truly love. We really don't know any better. 4) Sincerely try to do your best without knocking yourself out, and without self judgement  You are not perfect but you do posess the ability to improve..

Try these steps and youll see improvement right away physically and emotionally.
Avatar universal
weaver 71,
I know your pain I was locked up for the past few months and I stopped taking Methadone 149mg, after 10 years of being on it, now I am home on Parole and I feel panicked and like a stranger in my own home and around my family. I am trying B12 and everything else (non drug) to get my head in the right place but nothing seems to work. What to do? I don't know, I feel as if I being defeated, but I will not give in. I can't.
Just reading this post now.  Its 2018.  I hope you are doing better now.  My daughter is 31 and is now clean from all drugs including methadone.  She detoxed off at home with me there for support.  She has a great job and is the kind of girl that no one would ever know she was a substance user.  I listen to her every morning before she goes to work and it seems she is more clear headed and says she still has bad morning leg cramps and of course the shivers and sneezing.  I managed to convince her to go to a doctor and be honest.  He was very surprised that she was in such good shape after 7 years of substance abuse.  Anyways he gave her Welbutron for depression and clonidine for withdrawl.  I don't know how long it will be for her to feel better?  She does not either?  I guess everyone is different. I want to say that Trauma is the cause of addiction.  No one wants to be addicted just for the fun of it.  Good Luck.  From A Mom That understands and cares.
Avatar universal
I have been off of methadone for 40 days and what has worked for me is different amino acids like: tyrosine and d-phenylalanine or energy and pain management (they work in a matter of seconds and are completely natural) also I take a multi vitamin everyday and tryptophan at night to sleep. I admire your courage as I can see you are very sympathetic towards others and can also tell you are an extremely strong person, you will do just fine....one day at a time....actually 1 hour at a time. With an attitude like yours, you will do great!!!!
I have been struggling with this very same issue. And the not knowing when the awkwardness will end intensifies it. What's more intensifying than that? Not knowing that there are other people out there who are feeling the same way. Thinking that it's only you. Not knowing how to remedy a situation that you've been in for a very long time, when your trying to do good is maddening. Just having things like this out there for people in these situations is a good oasis. I know we all got ourselves in this mess, but there's not enough help out there for this kind of thing. I feel like a leper anymore and that's not the way it should be.
I've also been taking b-12, green tea extract, and gensing.  It does help with energy levels. After time it does get better.  Try taking a vigorous walk. Force yourself to go and walk.  It will make you feel more alive.  Don't give up. Sending positive energy your way my friend
Avatar universal
I totally agree with you, those three things are the core to healing...amino acids played a big role in my healing process!!!!!
Avatar universal
I have been on the clinic for 10 yrs and did herion and other drugs prior to that
I got locked up too for three weeks . Detox was easier there then on the streets .i have detoxed in past but always went back. This time I don't want to go back. I'm on day 43 now and I feel the same as you .nothing is the same at home .i have interest in nothing and no motivation .i have bad anxeity and cry daily .i feel like I'm being attacked at times its ruff. But I have brief moments I feel good n laugh more . I am on probation and I need /want to b clean. Its just soooo hard when u no longer no who u are and feel unhappy n lost n tired .i feel like I'm not the same mom I was n thats hard. But we just gotta push thru. It will have an end in time .i ask god to help me constantly to give me the desire to wanna be sober . Plz let me know how ur feeling now . Its nice to hear the good stories on here . Even tho it seems like ot takes forever . It will be worth it .its gotta be. God bless
Avatar universal
Yea right. I wish I had either gone cold turkey or detox'd with suboxine like others I know. I feel like a chickenshit because I could've just dealt with it but I happen to have a job that's very important and entailed that I would've lost for sure......
Avatar universal
Hi and welcome to the forum......well you sound like a lot of us that have been threw methadone withdrawal......just know you will get better it just takes time......how long have you been clean?? and how long where you on it???  that and your age will all factor in to your recovery.....the 20 somethings get better a lot quicker then the 40 somethings  I was on 150mg for almost 7yrs and detoxed at 47...I truly thought it was going to kill me....I have detoxed off most of the different pills more times then I would like to admit  but hands down methadone is in its own category  nothing makes you sicker....for me it was around 90 days that I finely felt that there was hope.....try not to get discouraged you will recover  keep posting here for support  this is a long road but you dont have to walk it alone.............................Gnarly........................................
Avatar universal
Hello, I was on streets drugs for 10 years then I got into a methadone clinic and was taking 100mg per day for another 10 years. I detoxed myself cold turkey off of the 100mg a day which took three months of pure hell to detox completely off of it. Once I was done with the physical symptoms, then started the mental symptoms. It's been 6 months since I came off of it and I still am trying to find a solution to feel normal or at least be able to function normally in society. It's caused many problems such as; sleep disorder, bad blood pressure, and muscle spasms. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Have an Answer?
Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333894042
City of Dominatrix, MN
Avatar universal
phoenix, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.