Methadone is an opioid medication. Typically methadone will remain detectable between two to 14 days. How long it stays in your unique system depends on a few factors, including:

  • Health factors
  • Frequency of use
  • Methadone use
  • Dosage amount
  • Co-current substance abuse

These factors influence how quickly methadone is processed by the body. Generally, most methadone is processed out of the body within two weeks, but traces can remain detectable much longer.

The accuracy of the methadone detection will depend on the type of test used: hair, blood, saliva, or urine.

Hair Tests

Hair tests are used to test methadone gradually. These kinds of tests are used for testing long-lasting methadone abuse. Traces of methadone can last for several months in the hair after stopping use.

Blood Tests

Methadone can be found in blood within 30 minutes of last use and remains detectable for up to a few days. It’s not likely a blood test will be used to treat a methadone abuse case, as it’s invasive, costly, and has a short detection window.

Saliva Tests

Because they’re the least invasive, saliva tests are commonly used drug detection tools. Traces of methadone can be found in someone’s saliva 30 minutes after ingestion. Methadone can last a couple of days following the last use.

Urine Tests

Out of all the types of drug detection tests, urine tests are the most common when testing for methadone. Urine tests can detect methadone between an hour to two weeks following the last dose taken.

How Does Methadone Affect Drug Tests?

The interesting thing about methadone is that it will not produce a positive result for an opioid test. The drug detection test will only work if the test is looking for methadone metabolites specifically.

Individuals enrolled in a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program will receive coverage from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that they cannot be denied employment based on their participation in a methadone treatment program.

Methadone Uses and Effectiveness

Methadone is a medication used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Methadone is approved by the FDA as a MAT medication for opioid addiction and pain management.

Methadone reduced opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It also works to block the effects of opioids.

When methadone is used as prescribed, it is safe and effective. It can help someone achieve and maintain their sobriety.

It’s vital to remember that methadone is only part of a holistic treatment plan. In addition to methadone individuals will also receive counseling and other behavioral health therapies to help them combat the mental health issues that accompany substance abuse.

Signs and Symptoms of Methadone Overdose

When someone takes too large of a methadone dose they can experience overdose symptoms. Some possible symptoms of methadone overdose include:

  • small pupils
  • slow and shallow breathing
  •  sleepiness
  • drowsiness
  • cold, clammy, or blue skin
  • unable to respond or wake up
  • limp muscles

When you’re on methadone as part of a MAT program, it could be beneficial to talk to your doctor about naloxone. Naloxone is designed to reverse opioid overdose, including one’s caused by methadone.

Methadone Taper

A methadone taper can help ensure that opioid withdrawal is avoided. It’s never a good idea to stop taking opioids cold-turkey. Doing so will result in the sudden onset of withdrawal symptoms.

During a medically supervised detox the medical support staff can help ease any physical and psychological discomfort that you may experience.

Although there may be some hesitation to participate in a methadone taper, methadone withdrawal can be safely managed and a person can successfully detox from this opioid.

Detox and Treatment for Methadone Addiction

If you or your loved one is looking for assistance with an opioid use disorder, including methadone abuse, Journey Pure can help. Our team of addiction treatment specialists can provide all types of help from medical detox to inpatient treatment.

Call our helpline today to start your path to recovery.


National Library of Medicine – Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Methadone

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