Methadone Taper Experience
Posted: September 27, 2015, 10:22 AM


This is my second day of 59mg. I was at 140mg for about 5 years and am now on my way of getting to zero mg's. I want to be completely clean and sober and live a good life now. I actually want to become an addiction professional and help other addicts in the journey of recovery. I'm currently dropping 2mg's a week and once I get to 49mg's I'm going to transfer to subutex. My doctor said that we could transfer at that level and that going down to 30mg wasn't really necessary. I'm doing well, although each time I drop I do feel the decrease. I feel the decrease the most on the third and forth day in the morning time. I'm going to document my experience of tapering, transferring to subutex, and then tapering and discontinuing of the subutex. I'm going to share what and how I'm doing physically, emotionally, and mentally. I'm also going to share how I'm doing it with regards to support groups, exercise, and diet. This is my first day documenting and I'm feeling good now that I have dosed. I wake up early when I start each decrease and have a bit of discomfort, but once I dose I feel better within twenty minutes. Jason
Posted: September 29, 2015, 10:42 AM

It's been a good week and the dose reduction has been fine. In the morning I'm still a little sweaty and I wake up with this uncomfortable feeling like I have to move around a lot of my body isn't right. Again, once I dose I'm fine. I have been going to the gym every day and lifting for like 15mins and then doing the elliptical machine for 40mins. Afterwards I go and sit in the hot tub and then the sauna. The working out has been really so good for my recovery and tapering. After I do the exercise I just feel good. I've also started eating better. I'm trying not to completely overeat all the time. Also, I'm trying to eat a little bit healthy. I have high cholesterol and now high blood pressure, which I'm being treated for. Also, after being on methadone for 5 years I realized that my testosterone was really low! In fact, I got tested and it was at 74. I was having hot flashes, low mood, and other symptoms. I got tested because I had read a new study that showed a HUGE percentage of men get low T on methadone. Now at least I'm waking up with erections and my sexual desire is back good. I'm excited to get off methadone and get off the T treatment and have my body work as it's suppose to. So, i'm doing well and I"m looking forward to switching to subutex once I get down to 49mg's of methadone. I'm going to a lot of AA meetings, working out, going to church, and reading other material to help my spiritual program. I'm very hopeful this time around to be the 1% that makes it to zero milligrams and that stays clean afterwards WITHOUT ever using again. I'm not sure the actual percentage, but I'm assuming it's low...
Posted: September 29, 2015, 12:10 PM

Posts: 206
Joined: July 27, 2015

Hi Jason,

So happy to hear you are taking the steps to reclaim your life, you deserve it.

Thanks also for posting your experience with a successful taper plan. We have so many people who ask questions about tapering and not a lot of positive experiences to share. I, myself was on Methadone for 5 yrs, my prescribed dose in the end was 60mg. I began using it during a cancer diagnosis because I was an addict before I got cancer. The cancer trumped the addiction diagnosis, so once a month I got 180 10mg pills all at once. No Methadone lines... Needless to say I did not take my Methadone as prescribed...
I knew Methadone was long acting and it was wonderful for pain. I knew it could easily kill you and to not mix it with any other CNS depressants, but that was the extent of my knowledge.

I found out everything I'd never taken the time to investigate when it came time to detox off of it. I know a lot more now, primarily because it took me forever to go into full blown withdrawal. I was given SubOXONE at 11 days in and went into precipitated withdrawal. It was the most horrible experience and if one good thing came out of it, it was that NEVER would I go on another long acting maint opiate again.

I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. So thanks for your diary, I hope it helps others in similar situations get off of Methadone for good.

Take care

This post has been edited by Persephone on September 29, 2015, 12:11 PM

" Many times I sought the lighthouse
The familiar beam in the dark
Looking for the comfort
Radiating from its spark;
Today I turn that inward
No longer am I the seeker
I am not just the lighthouse
I am the light -
And lighthouse keeper. "
Posted: October 1, 2015, 9:42 AM

No problem, I hope it helps someone and I pray that the journal ends in success!

Yesterday morning was horrible for me I was up at 2am and couldn't sleep. I've been doing 40ming on cardio and 15mins on lifting and maybe that added to the issue. I was pouring sweat in line to get my dose!!! I could feel the drips running down my back even! Today was much better... I found that when I go down on Saturday that Wednesday is by far the worst day. Tuesday is second to the worst and then by Sat I'm ok again. I'm going down about 4% a week, which really isn't a lot. But I feel it forsure every single week I drop. My body must be using every last bit of the dose that I get because dropping 2mg seems like such little. Yesterday after dosing I went to my morning aa meeting and also to counseling. But, afterwards I was just in a bad space. I was upset for no particular reason and actually wanted to shoot a just a twenty of heroin because I was angry about my life. Wow, on my way home from dropping off my resume I looked around on the street to see if I saw anyone I knew. I pass through a really druggy area on my way home. I could have easily copped, but I didn't and just went home and was in bad mood all night. I slept better last night and didn't sweat this morning at all... But, they popped another UA on me and I had to go number two and so while the nurse sits outside the door I had to do that before I could pass the tiny bit of urine for the ua. Sorry for such details, but it also upset me. I felt embarrassed and frustrated at having to give these UA's all the time. Then I hear a lady whos insurance is having problems freaking out because they are dropping her 10% a day until she pays the month shes behind in payment! Wow, they should have a law against these money making clinics pulling the rug out from someone like that. I mean if she has a job, apartment and all and has that happen I know she will use drugs. It's a shame if you ask me. I feel like methadone clinics should be non profit and their to help people not milk them for all they can. Ok, sorry for the vent, but I have a lot of opinions being an addict and all:) I go down again on Saturday to 57mg's. I can't believe I thought of using yesterday! I didn't and I have to thank God for that because today Im very glad I didn't.
Posted: October 10, 2015, 11:08 AM


Ok, i'm now at 57mg's of methadone. Although, today I stopped going down to take a small break. Also, I finally went to the doctor to get help with my depression. I was finding myself unable to get going on anything at all. I couldn't muster up the energy for the life of me. The normal things in life that I normally took pleasure in didn't do a thing for me. I had a lotto ticket and thinking of winning the 300 million didn't even excite me one bit. I was having some thoughts about suicide also. Well I finally got some help through my general practitioner. To get help through the ObamaCare way to talk with a psychiatrist was going to take a few months! I needed help yesterday not two months out. They had this long process and I think that's crazy for someone who needs help now. Anyways, I thank God that I was able to get the help. I started on a medication 3 days ago. I know it take two weeks to have any results, but I feel them already and I mean it! I think this is going to really help me in my detox. Also, I realized that I would blame methadone for everything. Weather it was anxiety, moods, sleeping problems, sweating, sex or whatever. I'm now finding that it's not all the methadone causeing these issues. I have been severly depressed for years. In fact, I think ive been depressed for 5 years, but it got really worse this past year!! I'm going to continue with the detox once I'm stable on the new SSRI. I'm very excited to see if this is going to help me. I abused meth for about a year and a half in 2008 and 2010 and then was just on heroin. But, I think the drug abuse really messed up my chemical balance in my brain. I had never been depressed like this before. Being depressed is SO painful!!! I would rather break my leg than go through the misery of it. It is debilitating and pulling up my own bootstraps, which I tried SO HARD to do, DID NOT work!!!! If anyone reading this has issues with depression, go get help. I'll keep updating this page once I get back to the taper. But, I'm very grateful for my health care. I got my blood pressure under control and also because of being on methadone for so long I have to take testosterone shots once a week. All these medical issues would never have been addressed if not for Obamacare. I always had excellent insurance my whole life because I worked. But, now I need it and Obamacare is getting me back on my feet. Once I'm stable I can't wait to be working full time again.
Posted: October 12, 2015, 9:45 AM


Wow, I feel better already in 4 full days of medication. I wasn't so sweaty and nervous in the clinic this morning to get my dose. It's crazy, I think this depression was so deep and I didn't realize it!!! It's so important for anyone on methadone to address any other mental health issues they may have. But, it's easy to not do that when on methadone and just go up on your dose to try and deal with other mental health issues. I did that before and got my dose up to 140mg and was sleeping all day and night and over eating like mad. I was just doing nothing, but the depression wasn't as bad because of the huge dose I was on. At any rate, I really think anyone that's experiencing depression, huge mood swings, lack of motivation, sadness, anxiety, sleep problems or whatever to get help. I'll continue to update this page. I know it's not a placebo effect also. It's impossible.. But, I did wake again at 4am and went to bed at midnight. If that wake schedule changes its going to be the biggest miracle in 8 years! I'm stable on 57mg's and am going to wait to get stable on the SSRI. I'm very greatful right now. I've been thanking God in prayer....

Posted: October 13, 2015, 10:38 AM


I'm going to make it this time. I have such hope to finally be free from every drug including methadone. Methadone has been huge though. Methadone has helped me so much through the past 6 years with regards to addition. I have grown in so many ways while on the program. I'm going to hold now again after going down to 55mg. I'm going to listen to the advice that it takes time and to take it slow.
Posted: October 14, 2015, 10:20 AM


Wow, i'm feeling really good and it's only been a week as of tomorrow since starting the antidepressant. No matter what if you are reading this and on methadone be sure to address all aspects of yourself. I mean making sure you address your mental health is so important to success in long term recovery. I think it's the biggest thing missing in the recovery and treatment centers in our nation. I had been through so many treatment centers and not once did I meet with a mental health specialist. I completed every treatment only to starting using and drinking within a month of completion. I think that this critical part that needed to be addressed was not and that in turn led me so quickly back to using to help me with my anxiety, depression and general uncomfortable feelings when I was not using and drinking. That is just my opinion, but I couldn't be the only one...
Posted: October 27, 2015, 10:58 AM

55mg and going down again. Wow, my whole life has changed. I've been majorly depressed for over 5 years! I finally got help for depression and i'm starting to actually feel good again and it's a miracle. It's so important for addicts to address everything and not just stopping using drugs. I'm working hard on eating right, exercise, aa meetings, and getting out and about with people. I'm very grateful that someday soon I will be OFF methadone once and for all. But, the journey isn't over ye.
Posted: October 29, 2015, 9:28 AM

Posts: 733
Joined: October 5, 2015

Great reading your post Jason. I think your doing a great job dealing with depression and still staying on the course of getting off methadone too! Your an inspiration to the many people who struggle on here. I wish you well but as I say that I can tell your in control of your life now and your will power and determination is what's in the drivers seat. Good luck Jason. Keep up the good work your doing! M.
Posted: October 29, 2015, 11:09 AM

I talked to the doctor today and I'm starting to go down again.

Thank you so much for the kind comment. Positive, kind, and encouraging comments like that feel really good and are so important to give each other. Sometimes just the simplest or words can make a difference in someones day...

I feel really good today. I have been on Zoloft for 3 weeks. My anxiety has been cut down from 100% to about 25%!!!! I can't even explain how I use to feel when I woke up and then my anxiety was really powerful every morning in that line at the clinic. When I as going down on my dose I would be sweating in line and filled with anxiety for no reason at all. I wonder if long term methadone use doesn't effect seratonine levels itself. At any rate I'm so hopeful and excited that the intense feelings have gone away!

I'm working hard to keep a solid foundation. I'm eating right, excersising, and going to meetings and continuing to build a solid support structure. I had a really bad experience at my clinic last week. I was forced to give an observed UA. Not only was I forced to do that on Monday, but then on Friday they did it again. Well I have had childhood abuse and having a man stand right there staring at me makes my bladder freeze up. It's next to impossible to go. I have been clean and am going to stay clean. But, after that experience I was so upset I wanted to give up and just use drugs. I didn't make that choice. Instead I talked with others about the issue. My general practitioner knows about my shy bladder and supports me. I talked to the doctor this morning and he is going to work with me and give me a swab on my next level increase instead of the observed. So, i'm very grateful this morning that he worked with me. Having a shy bladder with other men right there has been embarrassing and hard enough to deal with on its own. Having forced observed UA's just created a huge amount of anxiety and stress and almost made it so I couldn't even be rewarded for my hard work at staying clean. So, I'm going to remember that I never have to use when bad things happen. I need to trust in God and do the next right thing. I actually wrote the civil rights group and the methadone advocacy group about the experience.

I'm grateful today and I have a lot of hope to one day be free from methadone and all other drugs. I will continue to take Zoloft though because it's lifted my anxiety and my depression. I think both were caused by the methadone. Oh, I"m not sure if I mentioned it, but methadone also ruined my testosterone. My levels were so low I had as much as a woman. I suffered big time from that and have to take shots for it. I will be excited to get off the T shots once i'm off the methadone. This drug is very powerful and effects lots of things in our body. ONce I got on the T shots and being on the Zoloft I wake up with morning woodies again. All men should wake up like that if they have to pee bad. When that stops happening there is something wrong for sure.
Posted: October 31, 2015, 10:54 AM

55mg and going down....

I realized something yesterday and that is getting off methadone is not a big deal. Ya, I will have to endure some suffering from it, but nothing that lots of people haven't done before. Also, once it's over and 3 or 4 months have gone by it's over. I know I can do this as a fact. I was on suboxone for about 8 months at 16mg and got off of it. It was a little rough, but nothing that I couldn't do and I did it. I stayed clean a year, but fell off track after meeting a woman and getting so attached and then being hurt along the way. I started using from emotional distress that was unbearable. I'm not blaming anyone, but this time when I'm clean i'm NOT going to get involved with a woman unless I know her very well and for awhile. I'm definitely not going to jump in the sack right away because I get really attached and fall in love really easy and then the break up or whatever is painful! I'm going to stay single for the first year like the recommend and I understand why now from experience!!!! But, once i'm off methadone and totally clean i'm going to celebrate my first year birthday by taking my son to Hawaii and going surfing. I prayed for that 7 years ago when I first started on this journey and i'm going to make it happen at one year to the day after my last dose of methadone. I'm going to document the entire process and experience here on this site. I don't know why, but just maybe it will help someone.
Posted: October 31, 2015, 11:25 AM

Posts: 1906
Joined: October 23, 2011

Jason, are you attending NA meetings?

Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Free copy of AA's Big Book on-line:

Free copy of NA's Big Book on-line:
Copy & Paste

Copy & paste



--- driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity.

---there are those too who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

... I need AA more than it needs me.

--- I fight recovery tooth and nail....
I'm not used to being sane, it just doesn't seem natural.

...... According to the great spiritual teachers, ignorance does not result from what we don’t know; ignorance results from what we think we do know.

---Some think that 2+2=5 and believe it.
Some know that 2+2=4 and can't stand it.

--- I didn't have a very happy childhood
but I sure am having a long one !

---Dry since 1989
working daily on getting/staying SOBER.

---If you want to drink, that's your business
...If you want to quit, that's AA's business.

... Tell me, I'll forget;
... Show me, I'll remember;
... Engage me, I'll understand.

---Most problems are psychological.
Most solutions are spiritual .

"If we try to change our ego with the help of our ego, we only have a better-disguised ego."
--Richard Rohr

WWBWD (What Would Bill W. Do)
Posted: November 1, 2015, 11:43 AM


Yes, I'm going to AA meetings. I'm going to counselling also. I've been eating better and including exercise into my weekly disciplines. This morning i'm going to church, which I go to every Sunday morning. I pray every morning and every night and throughout the day also. I work on having that conscious contact with God in my life. I know that I will never have success doing this alone! If you have once piece of thread it's easy to break. But, if you have lots of pieces wound together they are strong. I believe that's the case with me and if I have lots of support and people who care I will be strong. I need to get a full time sponsor and that's on my to do list.

I'm feeling fine today and did the drop on Friday morning. I think before I was feeling the change so much because of my depression. Since being on the SSRI(Zoloft) I'm not waking up with that anxiety and my sweating has gone away. One thing I realized throughout the 6 years or so on methadone was I thought methadone was causing everything that wasn't right with me. I had the low T, which caused so much suffering. It was a result of methadone, but the low T was causing the suffering not the methadone. Getting the replacement therapy helped so much. Then I had the depression. I'm not sure if this was also caused by the methadone, but I needed to address that also and it's made a world of difference. I even found out I had extreamly high blood pressure and I got that addressed to. So, it's been really important to pay attention to what is going on with my physical health and address those things.

I know to stand strong I have to have strong physical, spiritual, and mental health. I'm working on all three with hope to never have to use again in my life. It's like a stool with three legs. If one of the legs is taken away it will fall and I view these three things as the legs...
Posted: November 1, 2015, 8:08 PM

Posts: 135
Joined: July 3, 2015

Good job Jason Methadone is hard to taper off but it can be done and through God is the only way. Tomorrow is 84 days since my last dose of methadone. I went through all the withdrawals but sleeping is still spotty with me. But the energy I had with taking the methadone is now back because of working g out in the gym.

Keep it up and let me know if I can help you.
Posted: November 2, 2015, 10:29 AM


Thanks a lot for the reply mojo. I'm grateful I have faith in God because I don't believe I would be even this far without it. It's really great to hear about someone who has got off. The percentage of successful tapers is really low even if the person has all the recommended criteria in place.

I'm so tired of being strapped to the clinic and their rules. Not only forced observed UA's but driving to that place all the time. On top of that the line is over 30mins all the time. The lobby is crammed with people back to back waiting and waiting. It's hot and stuffy in there also. It's ridiculous because if they didn't have people hooked on government dope they would never run a business that way because they would loose all customers! I had to vent here because this has been at both CRC clinics I've been to. Not only that, but it's been for 6 years like that. They never have three nurses dosing. Sometimes, but it's rare. They are understaffed and I'm sure when they understaff all the clinics it adds up to quite a bit of revenue.

God willing by June I will be methadone free!
Posted: November 2, 2015, 4:44 PM

Posts: 135
Joined: July 3, 2015

Jason the clinic was the main reason I got off the methadone I HATED going there and so even though sometimes I miss the medication I am glad I never have to go there again.
Posted: November 3, 2015, 11:22 AM


This last drop I didn't feel at all now that im on Zoloft. This is what happened recently...

1. I was on 140mg for about 5 years.
2. My Dad passed and I spent 8,300 dollars on rapid detox at the colman institute.
3. The detox was horrible and after I was out of there I was going crazy!
4. I used anything and everything I could until the naltrexone implant wore off and went back on methadone.
5. I went up to 70mg of methadone again 2 months after rapid detox once pellet was gone
6. I got stable and was extremely depressed and something wasn't right in my body! I was sweating, I had anxiety so bad it's unexplainable, and I just was not ok!!
7. I started taper anyways because I want off methadone and each decrease effected me big time.
8. I got on Zoloft and started feeling better and now this last decrease I didn't even feel at all.

Don't ever do a rapid detox. It's a total scam and I was talking to another guy this morning that did it at the colman and he was in the hospital 5 days after. He got back on medication just like I had to do! We both were ripped off by a doctor that knows it's a scam, he has to! There is no quick easy way to sobriety. I'm grateful I did it because I know it's not possible now. I did get the benefit of not going up so high on my dose again also.

The clinic experience has been horrible for all 5 years. The government mandates all this counselling that is really a joke. I think they should cut those mandatory rules out and make it more affordable for the patient. I've been through so much therapy in my life it's nuts! So much therapy will make a guy nuts just in itself:). I managed a good career for most of my life. I've owned homes, was married, etc. etc. My point of saying that is I'm not just a junkie from the start. I was 37 before I even started using H an IV's.

I'm working hard this time to get clean. I want it so bad this time. I could easily use today and get high, but don't want it! I believe everyone needs to hit a true bottom. I know that I was in treatment many times before I was ready in my heart. I hadn't had enough yet. Finally, I've just had enough. I think a lot of people in AA and NA that stay are to that point where they have just had to much. The option of drinking or using is just to much and they choose the latter because they have had enough suffering. That's a lot of opinions I know. Either way I'm grateful today that I'm down to 55mg and going down again on Friday. I made a mistake above on my actual dose level. I'm at 55mg and going down 2mg a week. I'm still debating on if I should do the transfer to suboxone at 49mg or go down further. The doctor said he has done many at 49mg or so and they patients did fine. I'm praying about what to do on that note. He explained if the drops of methadone get painful then it's wise just to do the switch. So that's what i'm going to follow. If the decreases get to be to much i'll do the jump and ride out the withdrawl pain.
Posted: November 3, 2015, 9:19 PM

Jason I have the exact same plan and goals that you do regarding a methadone taper and switch to subtext, so I am so glad I found your documentation of your experience! It's so kind of you to share the details, and very helpful for others like me who are in the same boat. Thank you!!!
Posted: November 3, 2015, 9:22 PM

Question: my doctor says I have to get down to 30mg of methadone, then stop completely for 2 weeks before I can begin taking Subutex. Is that similar to how you plan to switch? You mentioned 49mg, but how long will you wait between the two meds?
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