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I support the stigma that methadone clinics are the legal opiate dealears of this country.  I don't understand why the Federal Government supports these facilites.  Ther requirement to open  a methadone clinic is similar to opening any business "DBA license."  I am a recovering heroin addict who last September was looking foreward to celebrating my seven year birthday (clean and sober).  During the fifth month of a high risk pregnancy, I became bed-ridden per Dr.'s orders.  Due to severe arthritis in my left hip I sought appropriate pain maintainance and through a recommendation by my physician was referred to a methadone clinic (safe for the fetus).  With the well-being of my unborn child in mind, I proceeded kicking and screaming.  It would seem unethical to me, to begin a regimen of opiates that would surely result in chemical dependancy.  How can this be a best course of action?  When I arrived, the clinic explained to me that while pregnant, most women need a minimum of 100mg in order for it to be effective.  100mg!?  I refused, but allowed them to raise my dose 10 mg/day until it became too much.  At 60mg I begged and pleaded for them to bring me down some.  This, after my husband pulled my head from a bowl of soup and woke me often to make sure I was ok.  The clinic, not only refused, insisted my exhaustion "nodding" was as a result of my third trimester stage of pregnancy. Please. (mo-money).  My physician had to call them and explain that Dr.'s orders remain as keeping me at a "low" dose.  They reduced my dose to 40mg and that's where I held until my son's birth.  I pray everyday expressing to God how grateful I am that my son suffered absolutely no withdraswl symptoms.  As soon as I left the hospital I demanded to taper immediately.  With the clinic kicking and screaming they complied.  Two weeks following my final dose I began to suffer severe cravings and became triggered by anything and everything.  Again, I re-entered the methadone program to stabalize and taper slowly.

I understand that methadone maintainance is effective for those who need long-term pain maintainance.  It can assist those who can't quit using(drugs) on their own.  In this case, where do we draw the line between assist, and re-addict people to a stronger, more dangerous long-term, opiate?  I never witnessed this program telling a person that he or she could live life on life's terms, abstinent.  I never learned of a single local NA, or AA metting.  I never heard a single employee encourage a person to remove the need for methadone from his or her life.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I am now at 26mg.  Without leaving the program unsuccessfully, or AMA, reducing 2mg/week became the best offer.  I am reminded constantly that I am making a mistake, and reminded that I can refuse my taper at any time.  I'm a new mom, much loved and loving wife, and a person who takes her recovery seriously (many committments, service to many, working the steps thorughout my life, atending church, living with an amazing support system) and am continually triggered as I wake up and before engaging with my son, or doing anything else, make the communte to and from the methadone clinic.  Gee... when's the last time I woke up and befo0re doing anything, met the dealer?  In full-blown addiction that's when.  Over seven years ago that's when.  How can I be present for my husband and son, if I am under the influence, and we (family) are confined to a 30 mile radius.  Because we can't travel, spend the night elsewhere, explore state parks, etc...unless I can be here by nine am to get dosed.  I believe the longer a person is on methadone, the more difficult it will be to get off.  I am glad the clinics are available for those who can possess a better quality of life through methadone maintainance, but there is a fine line between methadone detoxification and legal drug dealer.  If a person has the desire to live abstinent of drugs this should be supported by the clinics.  The longer a person is on methadone, he or she is perceived as guaranteed income for the facility.  Oh, don't get me started about why medi-cal clients pay a higher fee.  Again, guaranteed income.

Thank-you all for  allowing me to vent and I would appreciate some feedback regarding this frustrating issue? or Problem?

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I have been a pill addict for on and off for about 12years. I COULD say longer..but I am ONLY going to count my years for MY drug of choice...which is pain pills. Roxys, Oxys, Morphine...etc.  I am ONLY 29 years old.  The last 2 and a half years of my drug addiction was the WORST! I have hurt alot of people..and have made VERY stupid mistakes. I have a lil girl...and by taking drugs...I was losing myself...AND my famialy. I figured Going to a Methadone clinic was my BEST option. Oh HOW I THOUGHT WRONG.  I have been at the Clinic for 2 and a half years. That was NEVER my plan. I didnt want to be there THAT long. But when I asked someone that worked there that was SUrPOSE to counsler me...they told me it takes AT least a year to get over addiction...a year for your brain to heel. Well how could I get over my addiction..when I was just becoming "addicted" to something else. But I lisened to them. They told me the BEST way to get off is to do it slowly. So I did. I started at 90mg. Which was good for me. I PROBOLY could of went higer...but I didnt want to go on a really high dose.  I got down to 15mg and 7 days ago realized I could NOT afford this anymore.  I had NO problems coming down from 90mg to 15mg...figuring I was doing it slow. Cuz I WANTED it to work.  Well on the 3rd day of my last does of 15mg..I started feeling HORRIBLE!  And now im reading up on it...and they are saying it could take MONTHS to  feel better. Well...geez....pill withdrawls are not even this long. I mean I have quit MANY times taking pain pills within that 12year spand..and the longest ive ever felt from phycical withdrawls was about 2 weeks.  And it was the 3-4th day that was the WORST!! Everything else was managable. I dont understand WHY they would let u take such a HIGH dose when Pregnat. 100mg!!!!!!  Thats just crazy. Im glad your baby was ok. I understand your anger toward the clinics. Like I said I was NEVER counsled. They ONLY thing my counsler was concerned about was if she had my monthly urine and paperwork put it.  I understand that not everyone takes the clinic seriously that goes there...but there are the few that really want help.
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I am so thankful your baby was born without problems. I also have a background in medicine, almost 25 years practicing anesthesia, so from a medical point of view, I agree, 100mg of methadone was an outrageously large starting dose and completely unnecessary for your situation. Your referring physician was treating your former addiction not your current recovery or taking into consideration your unborn infant. While he may be well qualified for all of your remaining medical needs, I would not return to him for any type of pain management. There were many non-narcotic options available for the type of pain you were having, all safe for you and baby, without subjecting you to becoming readdicted. It sounds like you ran head on, into the addiction phobia that plagues so many doctors in our healthcare system today.

I have a post I made earlier about the difficulties of detoxing from methadone, See my reply to “8th day of Methadone withdrawal... how much longer will this go on?”, I think you will find some of the answers you’re looking for there.

You are correct in your belief that the longer you’re on methadone the more difficult it becomes to get off, start soon, seek care from a certified addictionologist not a general practitioner or anesthesiologist. While the latter two are good for prescribing pain medication for short and long term needs, getting off of methadone can be very difficult and you want someone who deals with such issues every day of his practice. I recommend you start your search at local treatment centers, ask for a consultation or a referral to someone specifically trained in the recovery.
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At age 55 I have been on MMT for 15 years and will be for the rest of my life. I must treat my disease or it will kill me. MMT gave me my life back. I feel like myself. I kept attempting suicide until I went on MMT. I go to the clinic once a month. Yes, I get 27 take homes, I work my program with the help of Buddhism. I also need to take Prozac as I had breakthrough depresssion. The brain will stop making endorphins when one is putting 'outside' ones in the body. After drug use stops, the brain may OR may not fire up those endorphins again. If you are lucky, they will and it can take several months.
Clinics cannot force you to take more, but what they are doing is making sure you have enough methadone in your system to do its
job.
I'm sorry your experience at that clinic was unpleasant for you. Believe me, I hated going everyday at the beginning. But it was a small price to pay. Some people may be there for the wrong reason, they are easy to spot. It's easy to tell who is working a program and who is not. Methadone saved my life. Opiates are the hardest drug to come off and have the worst withdrawal. I am grateful there is something out there to help me. I have nothing but the deepest empathy and sympathy for all going through withdrawals. I know what it feels like. Your body is vibrating inside a million miles a minute, every step is an effort, your feet and legs are made of lead. Suicide becomes an option, you feel so shitty. I walked off my MMT one time. NEVER again. I love life and everything it has to offer. I just got remarried too. I look forward to every day when I get up. I am aware of all going on around me. I appreciate hearing birds sing and watching my cats chase butterflies. For the first time ever, I have developed love for my fellow man. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Thank you MMT. I feel no shame in treating my disease. The real shame lies in not doing anything at all. I wish you good karma
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I was put on methadone for pain about 7 years ago. I was really hocked for a year and a half. Before I started to ween off I was taking 150 to 200mg a day. It took two and a half months to come off. I decrease the amount I was taking slowly, just enough to get ride of the WD's. I would hold at that dose for a week, then decrease the dose again to the amount needed to get ride of WD's. At the end, i took 2mg every other day, for a week, then 1mg everyother day and so on. For a few months after I quit, i had wierd symptoms, like my menstral cycle was messed up, somtimes i would havve trouble sleeping, I gained alot of wieght. But i did not have the withdrawls. For abut 6 months i craved opiates really bad. The reason I'm posting this is to say that, No, you dont have to stay on methadone a whole year to, but, Yes, it does take about that long for your brain and body to get back to normal. They keep people on it thta long to reduce the chance of relaps. Like i said, I really did crave the drug badly. Not all methadone clinics are hard headed and wont listen to the patients. So clinics are good, some are bad. But you messed up by quiting at 15mg. That was to fare of a jump, in othre words you should have weened all the way down to .5 or .25mgs before you stopped taking it all together.
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I'm happy that MMT worked for you. Maybe 15 years and 6 months ago, you thought when after a few months on MMT, that it was just getting to be that time of your life. I'd be willing to bet that shortly after you started MMT your periods stopped, you had hot flashes, mood swings and depression. You are addicted to methadone instead of other opiates. And it destroys you body. It almost killed me, I'm on a slow taper now, because I can't afford to be bedridden indefinitely, but I had to go on a Superfood diet, I have to drink my food in Nutriblasts and drink numerous vitamin supplements as methadone won't allow my body to absorb nutrients. I'd lost 30 lbs in 5 months and was thin to start with. Now I'm on a special diet and have gained back 20 lbs in 2 months. I'm only down to 95mg from 110mg at 3mg a week taper, so I have a long way to go, but regardless of the misery, I'll be the happiest woman in the world when the last drop of this garbage is completely out of my system, whether it takes 5 months or 5 years, I will not give up and let methadone win and take my life.
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I've been on methadone maint. for almost 30 years now and my take on it is different than yours. It literally saved my life. I was a severely addicted heroin and opiate addict with little hope for the future when I got on methadone. I knew it was addictive and its not meant to be some miracle drug that cures opiate addiction. It was meant to provide a compassionate alternative for heroin addicts. A way to salvage their lives, reduce crime and enable that addict to become a productive member of society instead of just going in and out of jail and hospitals and ruining the lives around them and their families. It simply stopped the need to obtain these addictive opiates illegally and gave us a safer alternative.. You have to sign a form when starting methadone that clearly states you will become physically addicted to it, but there's little euphoria with it and it lasts a full 24hours, and you take it orally. Needles are history at that point. Some say its the most addictive drug there is, but for me, opiates were the worst drug and they led me to methadone, not vice versa. My dose now is 180mg/day but it started at 40mg thirty years ago, and over the years you do develop a tolerance and increases are normal over the long term. Since my methadone treatment began, I've completely stopped all illicit drug use. I have no need for that and I'm so thankful that I could become productive and get back to a normal life again. I pickup once a month and its not really a big deal for me. Even though I'm addicted to it, I don't try to blame the drug for my problems. Methadone was the solution for me. Sure I would like to be completely drug free, but its not methadone's fault, it's mine. As far as clinics go, I never had one to try to raise my dose or refuse to lower it. If I had asked them to, they would have done either. I've been to several over the years and never knew of a fellow patient that had wanted to go down, but the clinic refused them. That's definately not proper and I would report that to the state. It is a business so they have to operate like one. There are many clinics now that are 'for profit' but that's normal, just like any other business. I pay 65/week, which is nothing compared to what I spent on street drugs. Its a bargain at that price. I don't have a problem with paying for the methadone I get. I'm just glad to have it available in my area. I know its going to be a b***h to get off of, but heroin was a b***h to stop and I salvaged my life because of methadone If I never get off, I'm still ahead because I have my life and family etc., which I almost lost. I'm not going to blame methadone for my mistakes, I blame myself. .

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Sapama69 Hi im wondering if ur still out there, & still tapering at the clinic and how ur doing? Ive been going there about 7months now. Let me know how u r. Id like to talk w u.
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Rodneyrdr, Hello, I'm also in mmt. Wondering how your doing, if ur still out there. I'm looking for some support from others that are familiar with the program. Id love to know how u r doing.
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