Printable Version of Topic
Click here to view this topic in its original format
Message Board > Methadone > Methadone Vs Suboxone


Posted by: thirdson August 25, 2013, 11:41 PM
I was wondering if I could get some feedback on the difference between methadone & suboxone? My 25 year old son recently switched from suboxone to methadone due to severe and frequent migraines from the suboxone. He has been in treatment in Minnesota since mid-July- we live in Florida - and this is the first time methadone has been suggested. My son had basically been in some type of treatment(detox,inpatient,halfway) since March in Florida but after several relapses made the decision that he had to change pretty much everything.
I am hoping to learn from the wonderful community on these boards about methadone. My son definitely is struggling with cravings and after several relapses in a short period of time he was deemed a "chronic relapser". His drug of choice are primarily opiates.
Neither one of the treatment centers he was in in Florida suggested a methadone or suboxone maintenance program lasting longer than his actual time in treatment, which lasted between 30-4o days. From what I have read about both suboxone & methadone my son will have to taper off of these too. Is one harder to taper off of? I know that if my son needs methadone maintenance to achieve some long term sober time than this is what's meant to be for now. It just seem like another thing to worry about! One last question- my son wants to do the 12 Step program. If he is on a methadone maintenance program will AA/NA consider him sober?

Posted by: mollyjean August 27, 2013, 2:20 PM
Hi I will try and answer what I can but mainly I can just tell about my time with both these medications.

I was on Suboxone for awhile...maybe 3 years.I was going to a Dr who clearly wasnt a addiction Dr (though he says he is)I will admit being an addict maybe I wasnt really ready to try and get help.
With the Sub beings I didnt need to go everyday I became quite good at misusing and abusing it.(An addict forever wants that high)So therefore Sub was NOT a good medication for ME.

Now for the "tricky"part.Because even now 3 years (almost)later,I STILL do not know what got me to the point of WANTING RECOVERY,I mean I honestly dont know Why that time,all I do and did know is that I was done.One more run with ANY drug nd in my heart I feel I will not make it back.
So I dont know your son so I will believe he wants recovery too.

Once I knew I wanted to finally try to deal with this illness I really put thought into a methodone clinic.Now Im not some young person,Im a 46 yr old mom of 2.So before I made such a jump onto what has been labeled a very deadly drug,I wanted to and I did put alot of thoughts into it.
I needed to make sure I was doing it for recovery and not just some other way to keep high.
I ALSO realized that I needed some sort of structor.I needed to be watched if you will.Having too much freedom was and is dangerous to me.I needed to learn how to be accountable without having too much freedom.

So for the past almost 3 yrs Ive been on a methodone matienence program.And I am thankful everyday for it.There is so much MISINFORMATION out there about this medicadion and the use of it.I could probaly sit here all day going back and forth about this drug,but I dont think that would be helpful.All I can say is I was started at a very low dose and it ended up I stayed at a pretty low dose(as I said I wanted recovery amd I ment it)
Anyways Im sure different clinics work and do things differently.But where I am t you MUST attend at least 2 meetings there (at the clinic)a week/There is also a big network to put people in touch with different groups in the community.
There are also weekly drug test and one on one thereapy.
Gosh this ended up being so long and I feel as if I just touched the explination I was trying to get to.
So with that Ill pause this long post and hope others will jump in with more information for you.
Best of luck
mj

Posted by: thirdson August 28, 2013, 12:17 AM
Thanks so much MJ! One of the things my son did share with me was that having a month's supply of suboxone while in halfway would not be a good plan for his sobriety. He said he knew he would not abuse tasking the suboxone because of the migraines he gets but he did admit that he might be tempted to sell them which could then lead him back to his drug of choice. He has said repeatedly that he wants to stay clean. Have NEVER heard that before!
He started a methadone maintenance program this week and already says the headaches have stopped. He has been started on a low dosage and says he is pretty much ok until he wakes up in the morning when he feels pretty yucky. He is still not sleeping well. Falls asleep easily but wakes up every 1 1/2-2 hours all night. Like you, my son said the structure and accountability will help him greatly. He seems to know that is what he needs to get and keep clean at this point in his recovery. The methadone clinic he goes to drug tests twice a week and has groups and one on one Counselors he will meet with.
How does the methadone make you feel? Will my son be able to take his dose and then go about his daily life. He is young - 25- and has hopes of either working or going back to school. MJ do you think that once a person begins a methadone maintenance program they will need this for the rest of their lives?
My son realizes that if he "falls" he is in a place where HE is the ONLY person who can figure out a solution. He knows we love him dearly but HIS recovery must be HIS journey, even though I do at times I try to voice my opinion. :)
MJ, again, thank you- your response was great! It is very helpful to hear what it is like from an addicts point of view. I truly have great respect & empathy for the hard work addicts in recovery have to make every day to stay clean, healthy & happy!

Posted by: mollyjean August 28, 2013, 11:42 PM
I dont think youd be a mom if you didnt at least voice your input to your son.It sounds as if he may be ready and I pray he is.He is still a young man with the whole world open to him.I am 46 and I have accepted that I myself blew alot of good productive years drugging.Not that my life at 46 has stopped.Just the opposite now that Im sober I see a life ahead of me.When I was still using...I couldnt believe I had a future.And well...this Saturday I will watch my youngest daughter marry the man shes been with since they were both 14!!!(They are 21 now)And I will be sober and know she will and is so proud of me!!!

But I didnt want to get too side tracked.Your son being young has a good chance of embracing recovery and seeing life again.
You asked how I feel on methodone and again I can only speak for myself.I feel...(as odd as this sounds)normal.I think straight and my mind isnt always thinking of drugs and how to get them.Physically,when I first started I would get tired maybe 5 hrs after dosing really tired like nodding,but once I got regulated at my correct dose that no longer happens.I do (yuck)seem to sweat alot (but than again my age can also have effect on that.)
Oh boy....I feel silly even bring this up but I do hear alot of people complain and struggle with not being able to go to the bathroom.Others say when they started to drink more water.

Again I hope I gave you some answers but again everyone is so different.But if your son follows a treatment plan and puts the "mental"work in his life will change I feel for the better.ANYTHING (to me)is better than chasing that high.So with that again I will keep him and you in my prayers and Ill look in from time to time
Take Care
mj

Posted by: Granny2 3 August 31, 2013, 7:40 PM
Thanks for your input MJ. I know nothing really about suboxone so I will leave that to the ones that do because I have never used it. Now methadone is another story.

To Thirdson,
I am glad you are finding the methadone board helpful.That was my intention. I am also glad you are so supportive to your son.

Methadone does not make you high, although some folks say it does. I have been on maintenance for many,many years and I dont get high when I take it.

The most important thing your son should do right now is to get himself to a dose that stops the cravings. Please know that every person is different and so their dose is going to different from everyone elses as well. While a person may be fine at 50 ml, your son may need 95.He needs to talk to his counselor about that. When he gets to the right dose he will know. In the meantime he needs to stay busy so his mind doesnt have time to think about getting loaded.
Once he is stable he can spend his time working on recovery. One of the biggest mistakes we see is a patient will be doing great for 6 mos or so and decide its time to detox! Then they detox too fast and it blows up in their face and before they know it they are using again. YOU DONT GET ADDICTED OVERNIGHT, YOU ARENT GOING TO GET CLEAN OVERNIGHT.

It might take a year or two or three, there is no set time. Depending on his addiction history he could be on maintenance for the rest of his life. And that is OK.
If you dont understand how the brain is affected by opiate use please look on the left side of this site and go down to "most popular topics". Read "Your Brain on Opiates". It is very informative and is written in such a way it is understandable. I love it! It may help you to understand why your son could need to be on MMT forever . Maybe he needs 3 yrs or 5 yrs,only he will know for sure. But the more you know about everything the better.

I take my methadone every day right along with my other doctor prescribed medications, there isnt much difference to me. I worked for years and years and retired and 2+ years ago I took in my 2 teenaged grandkids to finish raising. Life is good. I know without methadone I wouldnt have even been here to see all my grandkids arrivals let alone be available to help raise them. What a blessing! I shudder to think where addicts would be in this world today with methadone. It's a good drug and it works regardless of what some critics say.

You asked about AA and NA I believe. NA and AA do not advocate methadone. As good a program as they are (I went thru AA when I got clean the 1st time) in their eyes you are not clean unless you are totally abstinate, even though methadone is DR. prescribed. They still see it as "trading one addiction for another". When you are addicted you need/want drugs every 4-6 hours or more. You take methadone once daily,in most cases, and it lasts 24-48 hours and you dont continually up your dose. I have been on the same dose for years.

My husband and I are advocates at our clinic and we run a meeting once a week at our clinic called Keys To Recovery. Our clinic also requires the patients to attend one meeting a week of their choice that are run by the counselors. They are also required to attend one meeting a month with their counselor face to face for 50 minutes. If social services pays the clinic bill they meet weekly with that counselor. It is their belief, as well as mine, that just dosing a patient and sending them on their way is not beneficial at all towards abstinance and recovery. You need a combination of treatments to be successful.

Good luck!!!!

Granny

Posted by: thirdson September 3, 2013, 11:44 PM
I am hoping some of you all that have actually taken methadone to aid in your recovery can offer me some advice on the absolutely negative responses I have gotten about my son beginning a methadone maintenance program for his heroin addiction. Most of the negative feedback I have received has been from addicts in a well established recovery. It all started when my niece who is very close to my son shared this with her boyfriend, a heroin addict in recovery and doing very well in NA. This weekend at a family gathering my niece's boyfriend and a few of his friends started sharing their opinions on methadone. They ALL said that methadone was a horrible option for my son. They ALL said it was highly addictive, just like heroin, and that most addicts who start methadone have a very hard time getting off it and that there are many bad, long lasting side affects from long term use. They also said many methadone patients can figure out how to use other drugs with the methadone to get high. Of course, I understand that if a methadone client is trying to get high their true intent is NOT to be clean.
When my son told me he was starting a methadone maintenance program I was surprised and very concerned. I did not share my concerns(worries) with him as he is the one in charge of his recovery and I am trying really hard to "mind my own business".
How does a doctor come to the decision to have a 25 year old start methadone? I believe I read somewhere that an addict had to of relapsed at least twice to be considered. Well from what I have heard almost ALL opiate/heroin relapse in the early stages of recovery. Most of my NarAnon friends "kids" have relapsed 4, 5 & 6 times. Some of the kids are doing fine now and others are still struggling. Is it the number of relapses alone, or is it the number of relapses within a certain time frame that warrants starting methadone? My son is currently on a low dose but has said by the morning when he wakes up he is feeling pretty lousy. I know the clinic will gradually increase his dose to meet his needs. My son did say he fills out a COWS to document how he is feeling. Can a clinic tell if a patient is being honest with their COWS info? Couldn't a patient manipulate that info so that their methadone would keep increasing? I know I have LOTS of questions!! Yikes! Any info anyone can share is truly appreciated!!

Posted by: big g November 4, 2013, 8:11 PM
i'm 33 year old male and you sound like my mom talking about me. it made me write to tell you that methadone isn't the answer if you want him to have a normal life. methadone is THE hardest opiate to come off of, and is nothing but synthetic heroin. suboxone is a lot better. he may just be wanting to still get high, as i went to the methadone clinic from 24 to 31 years old because i wasn't ready to be done with opiates and getting high. a methadone clinic is good for people who want to use but want to be responsible to some degree by getting it legally instead of on the streets or through a dope doctor. the thing with methadone like any drug, is that you may start out on a small dose, but soon enough that small dose doesn't do it anymore. the next thing you know you went from 40mg's a day to 140mg's a day. the longer one person is on methadone daily, the greater chance he will be on opiates/struggle with it for the REST of your lives. suboxone is 500 times better for gaining sobriety, but the best cure is to put it behind you and realize your an addict to all forms of drugs/alcohol and live a life where you get your highs from better things like a vacation or a girlfriend or going to concerts. your son's chances of coming back from methadone get harder every day he is on them, and if he wants to stay on it, he will con you to do so. i hope i've helped.

Posted by: Granny2 3 November 4, 2013, 11:30 PM
Big G,
you must of had a really bad time while you were on methadone and /or went to a clinic that doesn't give a c**p about its patients.
Methadone IS NOT synthetic heroin. I have been on maintenance for many,many years and I have been on the same dose for nearly all those years. For those who think the are going to get high on it or those who arent ready to really take a good look at their life and do whatever they need to do to stay clean keep raising their doses. Sometimes it takes a few months or longer to find the dose that is just right for them. Some do great at 45mg, others need to be higher, 80mg or more. That is why most clinics dont have "caps" on their dosing. Everyone is different.
From the first time I went on maintenance and I dosed I never touched heroin again and have never had a dirty u/a.
There are those that dont get on a stable dose because they want to keep using. The methadone is their "safety net". As long as they dont use alot they wont get sick. Those patients dont really want to get clean, they want to do both, use opiates daily and be on methadone.No soul searching for those folks.
I will agree that being on methadone long term can be very difficult IF you decide to detox from it after years of being on it.But it CAN be done, I know people who have done it after 10+ years of being on it.It took time, detoxing at a very slow rate over time. For the people who choose maintenance it is a personal choice. The brains of addicts who used for long periods of time are altered and cannot be repaired. (read "Your brain on Opiates" here on this website for a real eye-opener) Methadone gives the brain what it needs to repair the damage. Methadone is addictive, yes, but not in the way you think. It doesn't even fall in to the category of an addictive drug because if it did it would mean we would have to be dosed 3,4, 5 times a day or more to be well. It is taken only once a day.It is really no different than someone who takes insulin for diabetes or uses an inhaler for asthma.If and when we should have to go without those drugs our bodies react.The same goes for methadone. It has been used safely for 50 years or more and is a drug that has been studied intensley for years, always with great results.
Soboxone is a drug complete unto itself, it cannot be compared to methadone. For some it is the right drug, as is methadone the right choice for others.It is taken for a variety of reasons but with the ultimate goal of being opiate free.

AA and NA have their own thoughts and rules and those drugs are not acceptable to them. Its 100% nothing or they say you are not clean.I actually got clean thru AA, I just never mentioned my heroin use and am coming up on 20 years clean, so I can say with 100% certainty methadone was the best choice for me.I am sorry you had such a bad time because of it.

Granny

Posted by: Browndog113 November 17, 2013, 1:17 PM
Neither is a day in the park to get off of after long term use. Based on my experience, 'detoxing'
which is pretty much a PC way of saying withdrawing, ended up being being worse than methadone.

When I first stopped taking suboxon (1 of many attempts) I thought it was great- there were no withdrawal. One Dr. even told me if I quit, I would wd only for 1 week or so. Well day 4 I got a few cold symptoms-no big deal. Day 5 I started getting sicker & by day 6 or 7 full WD's started kicking in, and they kept going on & on and on , after a month or symptoms would start to diminish, only to get way worse the next day.

As far as methadone, the withdrawal was comparible to sub, but after a couple weeks (give or take) I was starting to feel better, abd after around a month or so I was functional.

This is my own experience, in ur sons case it will be different. It is also possible that my sub WD's where worse because I was younger when I got off of meth.

A WORD OF CAUTION ABOUT METHADONE CLINICS IN THE SOUTH, they way overmedicate patients . When I got on methadone (for the second time) I was up to 100 mg a day within a few months. I was finally 'maintained' at 160 mg per day. TO PUT THIS IN context, the first time I was on methadone maintenace was is NY for 8 years. My daily dose was about 50 mg, and sometimes they would raise me to 70 mg if I tested positive for opiate use. The only needing doses of 90 mg or more were those who had a dealers habit. They could not go over 100 mg withoust special permission from the State. (By the way, in NY methadone maintenance is <or was > non profit, it's only purpose was to rehabilitate &/or maintain addicts. Payment was based on what u could afford.

This is not so in the south. The purpose of clinics like tri- county labs is to make money. There are certain state requirements, groups , counselors, etc., that they comply with. So there is help availble. At the same time they easily allow addicts to go up to ridiculous amounts. When I first got on the Dr total an effective maintenace dose was between 80 and 120 mg. True, it was my fault that I let them bring my dose so high, but when an addict is offered more of a drug (which methadone & suboxone is, but both are beneficial in keeping an addict of of illegal substances and enabeling to life a normal life) it is close to impossible to say no.

One final word of advise on for profit clinics, some have graces periods from 1 day to a month. Some have none. By that I mean, u pretty much make sure you have the 13 or 15 dollars a day for the dose. Some places wib't even let it slide for a day. No money, no methadone. If it means the patient will get sick, too bad. I've dealt with heroin dealers who have more compassion & would front u for a day or 2

Posted by: Granny2 3 November 18, 2013, 6:33 PM
Hi Browndog,
Great info there. I hate to see people who bad mouth methadone on top of the clinics, like where would we be without them?? But I also say not all clinics are alike. Some are the scum of the earth, and for addicts who finally decide to try methadone and wind up in one of these clinics have a tendancy to think they are all like that and that is NOT true.

The clinic I go to here in Calif is one of 24 on the leading edge of new things. We are required to counsel once a month if you are a cash patient and weekly if medi-cal foots the bill. We are required to give a urine once a month as well. We are also required to attend one group of your choice each week. None of this is new but the success rate is higher.

The bottom line is if you dont want to do what is required and actually work towards getting clean you can be asked to leave. Then you can go to another clinic somewhere else(not another one of their clinics) where they dont care if you get clean and stay clean or not, they will just take your money and give you the methadone.
Our clinics are even considering changing their office hours to be open later in the day, like 6pm and offer meetings at night.Most clinics open at 5am and close at 1 or 2 pm. As far as I know, no other clinics in Calif or anywhere have those hours. They are trying to take the stigma away from the way methadone clinics are thought of.

granny

Posted by: Browndog113 November 19, 2013, 3:37 PM
Granny, you are correct

Methadone maintenance is a lifesaver for some people, probably many people. The clinic I went to for years in Niagara Falls was a very good place, and my fukups were all mine. The only negative I can say had nothing to do with the clinic itself but myself and the people who went there, I ended up making more contacts then I ever had. But that can be true of any program, including NA. To get involved with people who are still in active addiction is a choice I made, which ment I was still in active addiction, even while on maintenance.

That being said, several years ago I was a 'visitor' to a couple clinics in Louisiana for several months. The clinic in Baton Rouge was out and out abusive to it's patients, while the Clinic in New Orleans was probably the best clinic I have ever been involved in.

But, when all is said and done, it is up to the patient/addict. Methadone can be a valuable tool as part of recovery, or a further step in addiction

Posted by: brian July 6, 2014, 8:20 AM
Hi my name is brian. i have been on methadone for 10 yrs. The post that says methadone
is not addictive is bs. This is the hardest drug to detox off of, worse than heroin, and all opiates. why????? Because of its halflife and the fact that its a full atogonist. why do you think you can take one doseca day yet feel fine, thats why. try going a week without it. you will wish you were on heroinn. plus detox can last 3 months. i hate this drug with a passion and will help anyone outvwho has questions about it. i have been or done every drug and methadone is by far tge hardest one to.come off of. Sorry about my punctuation typing on my small a** phone but my point is please if anyone who is on opiates are serious about coming off of them and want to go toba methadone center im begging you dont. it will ruin your life. and also the post about itcrepairing your brain after opiate use or heroin use is bs too. it dammages your memory and emotinal not including your hormones loss of testostorone list goes on. normal t levels in 30 yr old male is 500-700. On methadone 30-70 t levels after 1 yr using 60mg or higher methadone.
And what you wanna be 80 and still taking this crap? You can never go on a vacation wanna travel for 30 days but you cant cause after tge 2nd day of missing your dose it will be the worse withdwall youll ever experience. dont believe me research it yoursellf. its hell disquised as heaven

Posted by: Jay Volk October 17, 2014, 2:04 PM
I see that this post is over a year old so I will keep it short and sweet. I tried suboxone and abused it to get high. Then I tried methadone maintenance and since then I've been clean three years and counting. METHADONE MAINTENANCE SAVED MY LIFE AND MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY KIDS

Posted by: Granny2 3 October 21, 2014, 7:20 PM
Hi Brian,
Thanks for your post.
I will have to disagree with you on a couple points. First off methadone is not classified as an addictive drug. If it were you would have to take it multiple times a day instead of once every 24-48 hours.

Yes, I will agree that if you tried to detox from it in a rapid manner, you will feel like crap.

Since I have been on methadone I have taken numerous 2week plus day vacations and I took my methadone with me. My husband and I even went on a 2 week cruise to Hawaii with methadone in tow.
I am raising 2 teenage grandchildren and I run around like a fool some days having to take them to various appointments and what not, shopping, caring for animals, including the neighbors pets.
Methadone saved my life years ago and I am not sure where I'd be without it now. A suicide attempt to never again be a heroin addict is why I chose it. Life. Not death.

Part of what you say is true, It is not the right treatment for everyone. But just because it didn't work well for you after taking it for 10 years doesn't mean no one else should try it.

From the first dose on maintenance in 1993 I have not used again and I have a life. And compared to where I was back then I am a hell of a lot better off. I own my home, I retired and I am enjoying my life. methadone is just another drug I take in the morning with all the other meds I take to keep myself healthy. My thyroid pill, my high blood pressure pill, my water pill, my "mature" vitamin.....It is that simple.

All in all I am sorry it didn't work for you.

granny

Posted by: BlessedJess91 November 27, 2014, 7:54 PM
The 12 traditions of NA state that they have no outside opinions on any issues and that includes suboxone or methadone maintenance. if you go to a meeting that says otherwise then find a new meeting to go to. The third tradition states that the ONLY requirement for a membership is a desire to stop using, which means you don't HAVE to be clean to attend. That goes for all you on suboxone or methadone as well. Maybe you just haven't found the right meeting yet. I wish you the best

Posted by: compulsive_user December 20, 2014, 1:02 AM
granny, I'm not sure why you think that methadone isn't addictive. you say that because you only have to dose once a day it's different from other drugs? I'm not sure where you heard this, because that's totally false. methadone is very addictive, just like virtually every opiate. look up the factors used to diagnose chemical dependency in the DSM-5 and tell me that methadone doesn't fit. my question is not one of whether suboxone or methadone are addictive; they obviously are. my question is this: what are the benefits and downsides to each? what makes them different? please no speculation or anecdotes disguised as fact, like I pointed out above.

Posted by: Granny2 3 December 21, 2014, 12:15 AM
compulsive_user,

I get what you are saying about methadone not being addictive. People who are diabetic and need to use insulin have the same problem....if they don't take their medicine like they should they get really sick, the same goes for methadone.
I will look into what you have said because if I am wrong in any shape or form I want to fix it. My aim is to be an honest, informed person who is an advocate for methadone only because of how it has changed my own life. I choose to share what knowledge I have to help others but if it's not the truth I need to fix that.
I have had a really stupid week so I will do my best to get on it asap.
Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!

granny

Posted by: Racheykins January 23, 2015, 3:26 AM
Hi , my first time here. I'm thinking of taking methadone. I have chronic pain but am an addict too. I've been on opiates for nearly 15 yrs. I'm taking suboxone now have been for 1 yr. ( and , by the way the guy who said " I used sub to get high is delusional it's an opiod antagonist it blocks the opiod receptors ... You can take more but you'll never get any " higher")
I'm thinking of methadone for pain management but heard like many others it's THE WORST , to get off of.
And a shout out to granny who doesn't see any issues with taking meth every day, ...it controls you,; what if there was a hurricane and all the meth was gone, then what, or you got robbed or whatever, any opiate controls you, without it you feel like you will die. That's a pretty powerful pull. As Michel Foucoult said .... Opiate of the masses, oh .. That was Karl Marx.🙋

Posted by: Nstudent January 25, 2015, 12:38 PM
Hi Granny,
I realize your last post was a few weeks ago but I just wanted to respond to something you said about methadone not being addictive. You compared it to how a diabetic relies on insulin and this is not a correct comparison at all. I think you might be confused on the definition of addiction. Physical addiction is when the body adapts to the presence of a drug/substance and then develops tolerance to it. When the drug is discontinued, withdrawal occurs. You are able to only take methadone once a day because it has a long half-life and stays in your system for a while. Methadone is something that will require a taper when being discontinued because the body comes to expect it and when abruptly discontinued, you can experience symptoms of withdrawal. Diabetics rely on insulin to lower their blood sugar because their pancreas cannot make insulin. They do not become addicted to it. If they don't take their insulin, then their blood sugar rises because they have no way of lowering it without their medication, but this is not addiction.

Posted by: One more opinion June 13, 2015, 4:10 AM
I rarely spend time reading message boards full of differences of opinions and I've NEVER posted a comment, that's for sure, but Nstudent's explanation to Granny of why methadone is an addictive drug and the difference between needing it verses a medically necessary drug like insulin for diabetes was so perfectly done, it got my attention!
Anyone considering methadone or questioning the type of treatment it offers an addict, Nstudent's post gives a very straightforward summary of what makes a drug addictive and truth be told, methadone is addictive by all counts.
What Granny wants to get across is that you may be addicted, but if you are following the program responsibly and you are serious about being clean, methadone can give you a life back where you're not high any longer and you're functioning responsibly but in order to have that, you have to take your "prescribed medication" for that illness called addiction. Not only is your body physically dependent upon it, you actually don't know if you would relapse or not if you were methadone free.
It hasn't really been discussed in laymans terms that you cannot get high from opiates when you're on methadone, it blocks the high from heroin or pills. That's a pretty strong deterrent right there. So you're basically going to be clean (of opiates) for the duration of your methadone treatment.
I'll have been on methadone for 2 years next month and I absolutely see both sides of this debate. Methadone helped me very quickly and easily. I haven't used in 2 years, I put my life back in order and our finances are much improved. I am productive, because I no longer spend my day looking for and waiting for drugs. My relationships are better and it's an improved quality of life. However, I manipulated my dose in the early days to get up to 110mg and as a 5'0" woman at a size 4-6 I put on a good 60-80lbs!!! I'd rather be thin than use so I'm done and am coming down. Now I'm worried about all the horror stories I've heard along the way about how severe the wd's are and that they last so much longer. You hear them all the time, but when you are doing well on the methadone, you don't worry yourself about it.
I'm coming down slow, 10mg every 2wks. I'm down to 1/2 my dose, 55mgs, but I am very worried about wd's in the end. I wonder is it possible to come down slow enough to adjust to wd's or maybe maintain a dose of 20mg if the weight comes off with the decrease.
I don't regret starting the methadone. I regret the weight I put on and it's my reason for discontinuing, but if that wasn't an issue, I fear that I would become mentally dependent as well as physically and it can be a very long term treatment.
I don't see much of a problem with longterm treatment if someone truly can't stay clean, they have a better life on the methadone and they choose to continue indefinitely. It's a personal choice and not everyone sees it as a short term detox medication.
Personally, I don't like to be dependent on the drug, but am scared that the very reason I began taking methadone will be the very reason I risk relapse...... in the end, however, it's about treating my addiction. If I am serious about it, I will not look at relapse as an option.

I have heard of a few things to help with wd. One is called Kratom......anyone??? Not an illegal drug, but not FDA approved either!

One more opinion

Posted by: M July 12, 2015, 9:23 AM
I've been on methadone for 9 years now. I really believe it saved my life, if I would've stayed on pills any longer, it wouldve killed me. Its really not all that bad that some people claim it is. I work full time and have been off everything for 8.5 years. I only have to go to the pharmacy once a week to get my weekly doses, which is not to bad considering some people have to go to the pharmacy everyday. Methadone can be dangerous to people whom it isnt prescibed or if they abuse pills or drink alcohol, but I dont do that. The only complaint I have is that it makes me sweat and it seems to be hard on your teeth

Posted by: Tamala September 23, 2015, 4:40 AM
Why do people keep claiming to be "clean" when they are still taking a drug? I wouldn't recommend either. I started Suboxone to get off of percs but now I can't get off the Suboxone. The withdrawal is worse and I wish I never turned to another drug to get "clean." I WANT to get clean from ALL drugs like I was for the first 31 years of my life but I can't get past day 2 of withdrawal. No one WANTS to be an addict but getting completely clean is tough battle. Good luck to your son, I hope he has been doing well with his recovery.

Posted by: 2yrsonmethadone September 25, 2015, 1:31 AM
Hello,you appear to be a wonderful understanding mother, for you to except that your son needs help, because he does. Once a opiate addict you will always be a addict. One must except that and learn to change ones lifestyle. He needs to change all of his associates. they all need to be healthy individuals for him to be around. I have found with my experience with drugs that AA or NA, all they sit around and talk about is old times. So be sure to monitor the NA group and make sure it is legit. I have been on Methadone for 2 years as of now. Drug addiction is a long process and a healthy lifestyle doesnt happen overnight. It is a lifetime commitment for the drug addict. He will probably always have triggers, but the methadone helps with that. I have not relapse since I have been on the program and have never felt better in my life. I can think straight and actually carry on a decent conversation I had a 20 year battle with opiate addiction and had lost myself in the drugs, but thanks to the methadone I can be a productive human. I tried suboxene also but I had better luck with the methadone. One thing, the suboxine is expensive, but most insurance will cover it for a brief period only. Methadone has allowed me to keep my financial status and also my sanity One thing though, if you use Suboxine, DONOT mix with methadone, it is deadly. They are two entirely different medications and work totally different. Stand by your son and GOD bless and good luck

Posted by: 2yrsonmethadone September 25, 2015, 1:35 AM
Tamela is right. It is not fun to be an addict. But by choice one must make a decision either to chase the opiates all of their lives or to be on a safe controlled drug to help them possibly get either off of the opiates or at least live a half way normal life. Because drug addiction is no party. No one chooses drug addiction, it chooses you.

Posted by: Ben October 7, 2015, 5:34 PM
To the people that are villifying methadone on this board - stop. I am a professional that manages a team of highly skilled developers; I have 2 amazing, well adjusted children, a wife, a mortgage and 2 cars. I am close to my inlaws and my parents; we see them at least once a week. I am also on methadone, and have been for longer than most commenters.

I was on methadone throughout college; afterwards, and I continue to be on it today, 15+ years later. I have NEVER been over 45mg a day; I have titrated down to as low as 3mg before an unfortunate relapse. I was an IV user; on my last relapse I could bang .4 of the 'greats' in a sitting (admittingly, that high dose is due to methadone, it really blocks the affect for me so.... luckily, I'm past that relapse)

I have had many years of non-use, but also my fair share of relapses. Most end quick (far too busy, and that GD mortgage 'gotta get paid'), but I've also had longer relapses due to that awful "junkie defence mechanism" (that little LOUD voice that tells you using makes you happier, more productive, smarter, more outgoing... Riiiight... :))... That said - I've been able to maintain my job, my family, my relationships throughout -- because of methadone.

This notion that you will 'have to go up on your dose' is pure, unadulterated NONESENSE. When I come in depressed, or 'dirty' (we get pee tested every time) the doctor will often recommend 'going up'... I don't know if it's different in the USA, but in Canada it's the patient the ultimately says Yay or Nay; and I've always said NAY. It's hard - but you have to realize that going up on dose is just going to get your body accustomed and needing a higher dose. You'll feel better for perhaps a few days, after which it's the same ho hum...

At the end of the day - it's about personal responsibilty...
Frankly - I like that we have options today... i.e. my doctor advised me if I want to switch to Subaxone, I would need to take 3 days off Methadone... Not considering it for now, but nice to have options.

Posted by: Papa Bear October 7, 2015, 5:53 PM
I crashed in 1989. My DOCs were alcohol and Valium. (alcohol since 1959 and Valium since 1973)

I completed a 90 day program in a recovery home in 1989 and straight into AA & NA

I've been clean/sober for over 26 yrs.

AA & NA work if you work them. You have to commit to them and stick with the winners.

All the best.

Bob R

Posted by: marykat80 October 7, 2015, 9:18 PM
Ben, people on here vilify methadone for alot of the same reasons and for the obvious (trying to quit or have) personally for ME it was the biggest drug battle I've ever experienced. if that's the way you got clean, and what you want awesome. But don't be shocked if people talk s*** on it on this particular board.

Posted by: Persephone October 8, 2015, 11:44 AM
In every post regarding Methadone ( and Suboxone or Subutex ), I try and convey that 'yes, these drugs DO help to halt more risky behavior associated with OPIATE addiction.' If you want to stop the insanity of scoring dope from criminals, Methadone helps with that. It helps with the obsession associated with the getting and using of short acting opiates. And for I while I needed that. I was too insane at that point in my addiction to be cut loose, I was a chronic relapser and had proven time and time again that I'd get out of a treatment facility and go right back.
The longer I was on Opiate maint therapy though, the more I saw just how low I'd set the bar for myself. Was not scoring dope really all I hoped to gain from this? I'm not suggesting that not putting myself in dangerous situations isn't a major win for an addict, because it is. But damn, I must really suck if that's all I hope to achieve.
That being said, it IS a process. And I have to respect that everyone's process looks a little different. I also believe what AA says: "There are such unfortunates." And it's not my place to judge here, it's only my place to tell my truth with regard to Methadone.

Wishing everyone here Peace,
Persephone

Posted by: Methadone Love October 18, 2015, 6:35 PM
Every case is different just as every person and story is different. If you want to be "clean" you CAN quit FOREVER with NOTHING but the WILL TO BE & STAY CLEAN. Methadone,Suboxone and Doctors/Clinics are a Business !! Don't become a victim of this. Take your health and future into your own hands. If church helps,GO. Change your friends,if they use DRUGS,stay away from them ! Your family is your best support you will ever find. If you're taking drugs for TRUE PAIN,go to a "pain specialist". Get informed and learn all you can. Stop listening to other peoples stories. You are different and your life is different. What you do and what works for you will be different also. What you choose to do is personal,you will always find people who don't agree. Do whats best for you and keep it private. Get clean and live your life. Start now. Bless you and Good Luck on your road to happiness !!

Posted by: cr October 23, 2015, 8:12 PM
Kratom did work for my ex, yes. As for me, it helped a little bit with the withdrawals but did not help me block my cravings like the methadone did and I am back to using :( I'm going back to methadone, I may have to stay on methadone for the rest of my life. I think it's my safest way if I want to maintain a good life for myself

Posted by: Julie November 29, 2015, 9:14 PM
It sounds as though your son is trying to work the system. Remember, addicts do that. Suboxone is a much better choice. I have worked at a rehab facility, I know the facts. Here is some info:
http://www.diffen.com/difference/Methadone_vs_Suboxone

Posted by: Tommycwb December 12, 2015, 6:07 PM
Methadone is just as bad as dope,oxys,30's Etc,.........if not worse!!!! Absolutely the worst experience I've ever had,& Holys__t the withdraw forget about it !! Took 11 days for me to feel any kinda symptom, but when it hit me felt like I got ran over by a truck and then back over again& they lasted for many many months ...I kicked it cold turkey believe me I felt like hanging it up many times.. On the flip side I do know people who live very productive lives, but the must get that dose before anything. It's always gonna come first regardless..... People on this think about it the first thing on your mind before anything is getting dosed. (LIQUID HANDCUFFS)

Posted by: Jordan from illinois January 14, 2016, 11:57 PM
Here is my two cents


Tell your son to find a Suboxone doctor!

Suboxone is newer, and can be MUCH harder to find a place or doctor that is licensed to even prescribe it.

However, it is superior to methadone in the fact that

You cannot abuse it to the infinite extent that you can with methadone, as suboxone contains TWO main ingredients - buprenorphine(an opiate partial agonist, which produces the 'high' and relieves the cravings and withdrawals, but is also an antagonist, therefore it has a doubling effect on reaching a 'ceiling' which implies that you can only get so high before any more of the drug does nothing more) and also contains Naloxone(a full antagonist that prevents users from shooting/IV'ing the drug and also assists in reaching a ceiling effect).

Also, because of the partial 'antagonistic' effects of suboxone, it can keep one's tolerance at bay, so that your son may not need to increase his dosage so quickly.

This also, in a sense, makes it easier to come off of the suboxone.

Methadone is considered a FULL agonist. That is, it works the opiate receptors in the brain to a full capacity, and the more he takes, the higher he can get. Overdoses are also much, MUCH more common with methadone. In fact, i dont know if i have heard of anyone even overdosing on suboxone. This gives people the impression that it is just as bad as heroin, because there is no ceiling one can hit as to how high they can get with the drug.


However, everyone is different, and ultimately, the only way for your son to find out what works best, is time, and..trying both.

I personally am on suboxone, and have also tried methadone numerous times(off of the streets). I can say personally, that these facts are true, and that suboxone is MUCH better for opiate addiction.

Wish you and your son good luck!

Posted by: Jason January 15, 2016, 8:19 AM
Suboxone is so much better! I have been on Suboxone once before for 9 months and am tapering off it now. I was on Methadone for over 5 years. Methadone was really hard on my body! I sweat a lot, I gained over 40 pounds, I was tired a lot, my testosterone was wrecked, I got depressed over time, and I lost the zest for life. Since switching to subutex about a month and a half ago I feel SO MUCH better! I'm excited to get completely clean now and give abstinence another go! Both of the medications are very powerful drugs.

I believe both methadone and suboxone are worthless unless the person is working a recovery program. They are an excellent temporary tool to assist it getting a person to change his thinking, behavior, and attitudes. To change his or her lifestyle including friends, activities, and to build a spiritual life. Without doing those things while on either medication your just switching a drug for a drug and not even getting high anymore. That's just my opinion and we all have one. But, mine is coming from experience and watching people in the clinics and on soboxone still using other drugs, selling their sub's, and simply not changing at all.

Posted by: Jordan from illinois January 15, 2016, 3:03 PM
The part of me I am proud of, is that I know that my brain is simply craving a foreign substance in order to maintain its homeostasis. For me, this makes it easy to believe that I can live a normal life, whether I am in a recovery program or not. I still have chose to continue in a recovery program and lifestyle, but I do know that I won't have to rely on the program forever. I am a very conscious thinker, so for me, simply having the crutch or the drug, is enough for me to live a normal life. You could say that I am a stubborn outside thinker compared to most people, so recovery programs only do so much to change my thinking. As far as I am concerned, placebo becomes the biggest influence, so not getting high from my medication does not worry me. I know I am done craving a true high, and that the medication will still do its intended job whether it gives me a high or not. So, to me, the medication is much more important to my recovery right now than just a recovery program.

Posted by: Rosiethe3rd January 16, 2016, 6:38 PM
Everyone has their own opinion. As for this recovering heroin addict, I believe I need to be on suboxone or methadone or I will simply get high no matter how much I try. That's just me. One day it may change, but for today, I will take my subs. I would rather have a clear mind and conscious, taking something that may just be harmful like some say, than be out on the streets, sticking a needle in my neck killing myself. This addict, uses to self medicate and self inflict harm on herself and loved ones everyday on the streets. When I first got clean, I was on probation and it was either prison time or getting clean and the only way I was able to get and stay clean was to go on methadone maintenance. I was 19 years old. For several years I stayed on methadone, never used opiates, not one single time. I was on 95 mg. I have never felt so purely happy, proud of myself in my life. I went to school and received my associates to be a substance abuse counselor, which is my passion. Without methadone, THIS addict would be dead at some point and have served prison time. Long story short, I was kicked off the methadone clinic when I missed several days for leaving town to go to my cousins funeral when she was murdered. I was told I wasn't allowed take home doses because they didn't find anything online about my cousin being killed, thus they did not believe me. They were very strict At this clinic., i asked for a blood test to see if I was pregnant or not about a week before this and they "claimed" it came out negative (even though I was already 8 weeks at the time). They rapidly detoxed me, leaving me in major withdrawal. Several days after, I took a pregnancy test, it was positive. By that point I had started to go into a mist carriage. It took such an emotional toll on me I eventually relapsed and was back on the streets for a few months. I was found in a stairwell, overdosed, by my boyfriend (who isn't a user) after I was missing for a few days. It scared him so much that he brought me down south with my family where I could get the recovery that I needed. This time, I went on suboxone so I could avoid going to clinics everyday. I have been on suboxone and in record for almost a year now. I am so miserable. I'm proud I'm clean, but I'm not happy. I'm not motivated and I'm very very much filled with anxiety, anger and depression I can't even work in the career I love so much. I'm clean, but I'm UNHAPPY. I feel so flat majority of the time. I refuse to use so I visited the nearest methadone clinic yesterday. They took my assessment and told me to take sometime to think if I really want to make the big switch. I'm going to do some more thinking, but I'm almost positive I'm going to do it. I've never been in such a state of well-being in my life when I was stable on methadone but I am absolutely terrified of being without again. THIS addict, today, needs to be on methadone or suboxone. That is my knowledge. Everyone is different and everyone has different opinions. But for me, being that I'm on 3 strips of suboxone and have tried all kinds of psyc meds in the past year, am a believer methadone is what I am in need of. Going to a clinic almost daily and being randomly drug tested once a week is what a lot of people need. What I've seen over time is that addicts who have been using longer and more severely work better with methadone. For THIS addict, at least. (Sorry for the rambles) Like NA/AA "it works if YOU work it".

Posted by: Rosiethe3rd January 16, 2016, 6:48 PM
What I'm trying to explain here is that everyone is different and if suboxone or methadone is what works for them, is better than jails, institutions or death ANYDAY. Don't let other options hurt what may help you or someone else.

Posted by: Guest January 25, 2016, 6:40 PM
I know the previous post are old but I can tell you this. I've been on methodone maintenance for six years now the highest dose that I was on was 125 mg and I've gradually went down slowly to 17 mg and I haven't had any issues up til now. This one thing you can't rush at first when my dose was at its highest I would do 5 mgs every two weeks then I stopped for a month to stabilize then continue to go down 3 mg every two weeks then at 30 mgs I went down 1 mg every two weeks. Will there be hard days? Of course but it beats any day of the chasing down drugs missing work and spending every penny you have . Different strokes for different folks but methadone maintenance saved my life!! I'm A productive citizen I go to work every day I no longer have cravings so up til now the good by far out weighs the bad.

Posted by: John March 17, 2016, 7:11 PM
I have been an addict of many drugs for 17 years currently 33. Methadone is addictive...why do you think it helps an addict??? Duh...because it is addictive...What makes Methadone work is also what makes it the hardest to get off of. Methadone is the hardest opiate to come off of period. It is in your bones and teeth. It does help people that are simply too far gone. However, if you are young do not get on methadone period. Suboxone is way easier to come off of. Methadone was originally invented to help I think Hitler to get off of either morphine or heroin. It stays in your body a lot longer than any other opiate that is why you only have to dose once a day. I used to insulfate (snort) any opiate pain killer there was. Intravenous users might not get high once they start taking it because they are used to much more. High is a relative term for the individual. For me I felt a little high once I started taking it. Soon your body gets used to it. I wanted to stay at a low dose so I could come off of it. Soon the methadone did not do it for me, and I had to increase my dose. I have been on methadone for 2 1/2 years. I never went above 55 mgs because the people that went to the clinics scared the crap out of me. I did not want to be 65 taking methadone. It makes you crave sugar. That may be one of the reasons why it rots your teeth. I never thought I would get off methadone. However, some minor to serious things happened to me this year that caused me to want to taper off. I was on 47 mgs. I had to go to the clinic director and demand to take me off of it at 1 mg a day because they Dr. did not advise it. I only have for days left before total detox. What scared me is hearing stories of people going to jail on 100 plus mgs having to go cold turkey. One woman had a heart attack and had to be transferred to a hospital. The original poster is right. For some reason in the south they will let you go real high which you would think the northern states would be like that not the south. Although I have gone done slow enough to be able to sleep for the most part. My motivation to do just about anything is gone. On methadone I could work to jobs and do amazing things. Without methadone I do not want to do anything at all. If I didn't have children, I would seriously come close to suicide. However, my parental instincts help me to live. Methadone can be good to chronic long term heroin users. However, avoid methadone if you are younger than 30 and don't have a long history of use. Try Suboxone and marijuana combination if you want to have a future without being a slave to methadone. Almost every time I would go to the window to dose I felt like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom when they make him drink that stuff out of the shrunken head...ole num shee god ole num shee god is what I kept thinking. There will be permanent damage to the brain. However, over time the body will start to produce its own dopamine again. It does differ from person to person. I feel sorry for the people that had mothers that used drugs during pregnancy. In my experience they almost can never stop methadone. The longer you are on it and the higher the dose, the less likely the person will ever be able to quit. Do not go over 50 mgs and detox within six months if you want to be able to stop. However, if you work a job it is almost impossible to detox because you will not want to go to work.

Posted by: D May 4, 2016, 10:32 AM
Read MJ's posting because I have someone dear to me with an addiction... Thank you 😉 Sincerely, Di

Posted by: Matt August 15, 2016, 1:25 PM
Hi Everyone... i had a terrible vicodin/oxy habit for 5 years. In 2014 a friend pointed me to a methadone clinic. I cried in the doctors office that day, to feel relief and no longer constantly searching out drugs. Scary drives to Mexico. Waiting in strangers homes. I stayed on 50mg a day for 2 years. The clinic was very proactive... regular drug tests, one on one counseling weekly. As you gain trust they let you take a couple days worth home with you. I never felt high, never sought other drugs, and never raised my dose so all in all a complete success... but noticed that i had no testerone/sex drive. And I recently started feeling trapped. Couldn't travel or vacation freely and I know its very hard to get off. I just started seeing an addiction specialist and he switched me to Suboxone after a few days of taking nothing and laying on a couch. Now have a very positive plan to taper off, slowly and painlessly. Hope hope. I admit i wasn't ready to quit everything when i went for help, i have a lot of anxiety, but it helped get me here. Living a normal, sane life, great job, and ready to be free of it all.

Posted by: Xsmacker September 29, 2016, 7:21 AM
Hi I know you posted that a long time ago now but I really wanted to respond. I have been on Methadone maintenance for 12 and a half years now and when I started I really wanted to just use it to get a normal life back and then come off. I was using heroin everyday, had lost my 14 month old daughter to my mother and at my lowest point was even living in a car as I was too embarrassed to be around anyone while living that horrid lifestyle. In saying that.... I have had my daughter back in my care full time for nearly 12 years, she is doing amazing at school, I have a great partner who has never been into drugs and I run a household that I am proud of. While I was using, that was all I ever wanted, was to have a normal life like ""everybody else"". I have this, thanks to the Methadone. It hasn't all been roses, I still have to work at my recovery but the Methadone makes it so much easier. I fully believe that if your son needs methadone long term that's the best thing. He needs to be on it long enough to get his version of a "" normal"" life back. It really helps to stop the cravings but he has to be ready to stop and to have had enough of ""THAT"" life. It saved mine, literally. So if it means your sons on methadone long term but you have your son back it's a small price to pay... My family and I think so. To answer your other question, everyone is always welcome at AA/NA meetings as long as they haven't used before going, if he wants to go and it works then great, go for it. Personally I spent 1 month in a 12 step programme and it didn't do anything for me. When I entered odyssey house which didn't have a time limit on how long you stay and isn't 12 step, I ended up staying for 8 months and got clean. Everybody is different, and all users will be chronic relapse ts until they hit ROCK BOTTOM and decide they don't want to do it anymore, but they will need help and I'd recommend methadone any day. I really hope your son is doing well and is on the right track still, as his mother it's awesome your so supportive, not many users have such good support systems and that will make a big difference in his recovery. I wish you both well. Xxxx

Posted by: Tink48 October 11, 2016, 12:53 PM
I've decided to see a private Dr in my area specializing in opiate treatment.He prescribes Bute. Anyway I need some advice asap! First let me begin I'm on 9p mugs of liquid methadone and I need to be down to 30 mugs before the 5th of Nov that's my appt with Bute dr.and I work any suggestions on how to make this transaction as easy as possible I was thinking of just going cold turkey 3 or 4 days before the 5th and forget weeping myself that just seems like I'm dragging out the enevadable ( excuse spelling please) anyway please give me advice I really need it ..

Posted by: JaneQCitizen October 14, 2016, 9:08 PM
I am researching Suboxone VS Methadone detoxification/withdrawal. I have been on methadone very nearly my entire adult life. I have attempted to detox methadone 4 times in the last 30 years. I relapsed each time. I have been on for 19 years since my last detox attempt. The withdrawal symptoms was the catalyst for every relapse. My clinic has recently begun offering Suboxone. Thus far, my research is baffling. Each testimony is different. Some state that the Suboxone withdrawal is the same if not worse than the methadone. Some state they felt no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever with the Suboxone. Has anyone been on methadone maintenance for for approximately 20 years and switched to Suboxone? What happened ??? I want off of the methadone. When I got on it in 1982 it was $6.00 a day. It is now $17.00 a day. I live in a rural area of the nation. I have read that methadone is FREE in large cities such as New York or Los Angeles, the only requirement is to have clean UA's, and it's FREE !!!!. Back to the suboxone, can/will anyone help enlighten me with the TRUTH. I need the TRUTH from someone whom has experienced these circumstances. Clearly at $17.00 per day for methadone and $21.00 per day for suboxone, the staff at my clinic is not going to share the TRUTH with me. I live a double life. No one sans mom and siblings know I am a methadone patient. I need to know the truth about the withdrawal due to employment purposes, i.e. taking a leave of absence. PLEASE SHARE YOUR METHADONE VS SUBOXONE EXPERIENCE WITH ME!!!!! THX JaneQCitizen.

Posted by: Jetcat1958 October 24, 2016, 8:22 PM
I've been reading all the posts that go back as far as 2013. There is a plethora of opinions and information, as well as some recovering addicts who want to achieve a normal lifestyle with the help of either Suboxone or Methadone. I am a 58 year old addict that has been on the Subutex for about 4 years. My drug of choice was OxyContin. I guess what I'm after here is some advice. The reason I'm on Subutex and not the Suboxone film is a purely financial reason. The Suboxone films even with my insurance would cost me over $400 a month. Where as the generic Subutex only costs me $10, or $65 when I'm in the donut hole. For some reason the Drs. are fighting me tooth and nail about giving me the generic. They are telling me stories about losing there licences if they don't give me the films. I checked, that's utter bulls***. They keep asking me why I insist on the generic Buprenorphine over the Suboxone films. And I keep telling them over and over that the difference in cost is monumental and I'm on a fixed income being on disability. It's been a struggle, but, they are giving me the generic but I don't know for how much longer. Another problem, the pharmacies around the Pittsburgh area don't stock the generics for some unknown reason. If the Drs. office gives me an appointment like at 4:30 PM, I play hell finding a pharmacy too fill them. Sometimes I have to wait 2-3 days until the few pharmacies that do stock them get their supplies and pray that they don't run out of them before they get to my prescription. Every month when it's time to go and get my script, I get so anxious just anticipating all the hassle I have to go through to stay on this med. I've been giving serious thought about going on Methadone. Then, I just go to the clinic, get my dose right there, pay the money and be on my way. No arguing with Drs. No going on a quest for pharmacies who stock the meds, just in and out. I do realize that I'll be on some kind of drug to control my cravings for the rest of my life. And to be honest, the Bupe does work well. It's just all the bulls*** that goes along with getting the generic over the brand name films. And after doing a little more checking, I've come to find out that the Drs. reason for insisting that I go on the films is the same reason that I insist on the generics.....MONEY!! I don't know the particulars but these prescribers are somehow financially motivated to keep their patients on the brand name film instead of the generics when they have insurance. If I had any other malady the Drs. would happily write me a script for a generic med if it was available. Why is Suboxone different? Why is it necessary to take a person who is trying to straighten out their life and rake them over the coals my MAKING them pay more money than they have to for the very med that helps them achieve abstinence. It's not right and it's not fair to those of us who have to account for every penny. We are forced to pay much more so a doctor or drug company executive can buy their next Ferrari while we are taking money from necessities just to maintain our fragile sobriety. I would welcome anyone that wishes to give me their take on this topic. I'm about at my wits end, the Methadone is starting to look like a more viable option for me, but I do have some reservations. Thank you friends.

Posted by: constantine October 24, 2016, 11:54 PM
Hey jet...it's a hassle everywhere...even for methadone. ..to get my 7 take homes...b/c that's the max out here...I had to go to the clinic...pick up the script...drive to the only pharmacy that carries it to pick it up. ..and who more times than not got it wrong...and had to call the clinic..drive back...bc they need a signature... ..then there's the urine tests...blood tests...counselings...and all the bs from the clinic staff...depending upon who was working...who would make me wait sometimes hours knowing the pharmacy closed at 12 ....and I had to pay for it all....it's a money game everywhere...methadone side is no better sometimes. ..and that's my clinic rant for the morning...😊

Posted by: Old timer January 17, 2017, 3:46 AM
I have an opiate addict for over 45 years before I decided enough was enough. I was on multiple methadone clinics. Had methadone prescribed by doctors and have been on does as high as 160 my per day. Methadone has completely deteriorated my bones and teeth and words can not begin to describe the horror of a methadone withdrawal.. I finally have given suboxone a try about 4 years ago and I have had much success with it going from 24 MG a day to 8 mg a day and about to get to 4mg a day. Unlike methadone you can not get high from suboxone and definitely not "ping pong" this is using opiates while "supposedly taking your methadone.. I get a 30 day supply of suboxone with a refill because I always give a clean urine and never ever even think about using opiates and even if I did I could not because of the nalexone that is included in the dosage.. I will get deathly sick if I take any type of opiate. For an old junkie who wants to stay on methadone it's fine and for pain it will work but be prepared to be on it for the rest of your life. For a young person with an opiate addiction I would highly recommend a "supervised" suboxone regimen and there are days when I forget to take my suboxone and I feel fine until I think about it. That is the reason why a young person can have quality of life, not abuse, and in thier own time eventually get off the suboxone. I know this one thing.. There is life after suboxone but there is no life without methadone!!!!! Btw, it works wonders for my chronic arthritis symptoms even as I continue to lower my dosage as opposed to methadone where the dosage only gets higher and higher until you either start using again, take benzos or just wait for your bones to deteriorate and your teeth to fall out..for the old timers the methadone game is what it is but for a young person suboxone is most certainly the way to go.. If they had suboxone 30 years ago I wouldn't be typing this post because I would have been opiate free for the last 25 years!!!!

Posted by: Jess February 16, 2017, 11:05 PM
I've only been on methadone for a month. My dose of 70mg wears off in the afternoon and I get so tired. By the time I wake up, I am very sick already. I've been trying to (twice) use other opiates to bridge the gap without any relief. The doctor said that my being tired when it wears down is because my dose is too high? I see people nodding out RIGHT after dosing, in their lobby. I don't nod, I don't itch, I don't feel anything except normal. I'm hoping for stability soon. I'm so sick of being like this. I truly want it. I hope the best for all of your families and that everyone is clean and happy!

Posted by: lolleedee February 18, 2017, 5:38 PM
@Jess...I just wanted to clarify something..are you tired all day, or after dosing? It does take a few weeks to get acclimated to methadone when you first start it. If you are very tired, or "nodding" then your dose is too high. On a stable dose of methadone, you should feel essentially nothing. You should feel normal and that is it! Don't expect to have that warm, fuzzy opiate feeling on methadone maintenance. Even if you increase your dose, you will only feel the effects for a few days, then you will adjust to it and feel normal again. Don't go chasing a high or an "opiate feeling" that won't ever be there.

You mentioned that your dose doesn't hold you for the whole day. When does it wear off? By "wear off" do you mean you can no longer "feel" our dose, or are you experiencing actual withdrawal symptoms? Have you asked your clinic if you can split your dose?

If you can be a bit more specific, I may be able to help you more! Methadone is a great tool when used properly. If it making you feel "normal" then it is doing it's job!

Posted by: lolleedee February 18, 2017, 6:06 PM
@Old Timer..I'm sorry that you didn't find methadone more helpful because it is a wonderful tool for a lot of people. I just want to correct a few facts though.

Methadone does NOT rot your bones or teeth. This is an old wives tale told in the clinic lines. Methadone is in no way toxic to bones, teeth, organs etc. The reason people on methadone often have dental problems is from the years of dental neglect during years of active addiction. The only side effect that methadone has on the mouth is that it can cause dry mouth. Severe dry mouth can lead to dental caries (decay). However, this side effect can be mitigated by drinking frequently or using a saliva replenishment product such as Biotene.

Methadone does not "get into your bones" Medications do not work that way. It also does not leech calcium from the bones or damage bone marrow.

I also just wanted to mention something you said about Suboxone. It is true that there is Naloxone in it. The manufacturer added it to discourage IV use. It will not make you deathly ill if you are on Suboxone and then take an opiate. You just will not feel the effects of it because buprenorphine(the active ingredient in Suboxone) is a partial agonist/antagonist and is occupying the opiate receptors so the ingested opiates would not be felt.

However, the opposite is much different. If you are taking an opiate or opioid and then take Suboxone you will get horribly ill with precipiated withdrawal. This has nothing to do with the naloxone. This happens when the buprenorphine, which has a higher binding affinity, literally knocks the opiates off the receptors in the brain. This is why you have to be in severe withdrawal BEFORE you induct on Suboxone. Many, many people have fallen victim to the dreaded precipitated withdrawal because they do not wait long enough between last ingestion of an opiate and the first dose of Suboxone.

That said, I'm glad you are having success on Suboxone. It has been a very useful tool for many people and have given them their life new direction and hope! Keep up the good fight!

Posted by: constantine February 19, 2017, 2:19 AM
Old timer....neither subs or methadone gonna cure you in the end....young or old....imho both should only be considered as a last resort. ..both are a b**** to come off of...both can be abused...but both work if you work with it...it's a matter of which one works best for your chemistry...and everything got side effects....even dope...and if I'm comparing. ..i'll take the methadone. ..since my life expectancy shooting dope is pretty short...fair trade as far as I was concerned. .. effects you list are exactly what lollidee said...just old tales ....

Jess....did 9 years of methadone. ..first month after the cross over takes getting use to....if your sick before the day is over then your dose isn't holding you and needs adjusting...could be just a few mgs higher and you'll do better....you have to work with it a bit...took me a few months to get it right in the beginning...that said...depending upon your chemistry. ..it can make you tired...I couldn't keep my eyes open every night after I ate dinner....I'd doze off for about a hour..ya..it was a bit like a nod and you gotta be careful driving at night...and I wasn't on a over big dose..also..depending on how physical you are..your body can process it faster ..that is...use it up quicker...but everyone is different...you can try splitting your dose....methadone isn't a magic cure...you've got to pay attention and work with it. ..It's a life saver....but you still got to paddle....

That all said. ..it was the only thing that ever kept me clean after a billion tries...and a zillion years of using....for all the crap that comes with it. ..I'd do it again...

Posted by: lolleedee February 19, 2017, 3:55 PM
Splitting your dose might be the best option if you are still getting sick. Like Constantine said, the beginning of methadone treatment is like a mini chemistry experiment! Everyone responds to it differently and dosages are all over the place. I have seen people coming off huge habits who are comfortable on 50 mgs. and people with relatively small habits on dosages over 150mgs. Every person responds differently. It may take a while to get to the perfect dose for you...which is one that keeps you well for at least 24 hours, takes care of your cravings and doesn't cause too many unwanted side effects....it's a delicate balance, but once you find the dose that works foe you, it can be an absolute godsend!

@Constantine, I hope this isn't too personal and if you don't want to answer that's a-ok...Is there a reason that you aren't back on methadone. I have read on some of your posts that it was the only thing that ever worked for you. Are you just not feeling ready to get back on or is there some other reason. Again, if you do not want to share that information, that's fine!

Posted by: constantine February 20, 2017, 3:28 AM
I was jumped ...clinic rules changed and I just couldn't afford it all anymore. ...I paid everything out of pocket...wasn't officially on their program because of citizen and where I work issues. ..I could have agreed to pay the additional amount but it would have been another 1-200 euros a week ....since changing jobs a few years back in order to stay in country I just don't make enough anymore to put out another 400 euro a month...i get paid in dollars ...so...my call ...though didn't think they'd jump me...that was a surprise. ...they gave me a script for morphine. ..which didn't help the detox but kept me from losing my mind somewhat afterwards....unfortunately. ..morphine is a pretty weak replacement for methadone or heroin....especially when you're hurting. ...is what it was Lollie. ...and I contributed to the madness in ways...wasn't all their fault. ..

Posted by: lolleedee February 20, 2017, 11:04 PM
That sucks, Con! The expense of methadone over here in the U.S. is pretty bad too. i pay 110.00 dollars a week. I have private insurance throgh my husbands employer, but they do not cover methadone maintenance. They cover 120 days of inpatient rehab per calendar year, Suboxone, counseling and any other medication, including methadone for pain..but methadone maintenance..no way!

Clients who are on state medicaid (which is insurance coverage provided by the government for indigent people) have it paid for 100% including transportation to and from the clinic. I'm glad that the vulnerable population can access treatment...it is a life-saver! What really sucks is that I have to pay that weekly fee on top of the 210.00 per week toward our isurance coverage. My hubby's employer pays 60%, we pay the remaining 40% which is the 210.00. Just having insurance and paying for methadone is a huge expense. It is the only thing that has ever worked for me and I can NOT got back to where my life was three plus years ago. So..I will continue to pay..and b**** about it! LOL
I wish that methadone treatment was more affordable and easier to get. In the US, it is regulated to special clinics that you have to go to every day. The problem is, some people don't live near a clinic and they are forced to drive two hours each way for treat,ment..which is ridiculous. I hope they start doing it like in the UK. I think you guys do it better over on the other side of the pond!

Thanks for answering my question. For what it's worth, I think it sucks it worked out that way for you! Everyone should have affordable access to treatment that works!

Posted by: constantine February 21, 2017, 3:31 PM
Eh...clinics are clinics all over I think...B is from UK...I'm out in bumfck bavaria. ..7 day take homes...only...no matter how long...drive to clinic...pick up script. ..drive to only pharmacy in the entire county that fills it...they close at noon...fckers taking smoke breaks at clinic knowing your waiting for the script...ya...clinic rants...have a bunch too...it's the same everywhere.. ugh !

Posted by: Bonnie5 February 21, 2017, 5:19 PM
thanks God here its very simple to get on methadone script and maintain for how long you feel like. Usually it takes doctor around 10 days to see you first time but you go home knowing you are ok then for month you have to go everyday to pharmacy and drink it in front of pharmacist , one you show good will you get script for week to take home then 2 and finally for month . I have to see my doctor once a month for few min and get 4 peription, 1 for each week .. i constantly gave dirty urine test for first 2 years and never had any problem . Only what they changed is when before i had 1 prescription for whole month now i have 4 .. but to get Valium its almost impossible , they gave me Trazodone antidepressant which i use before going to bed, makes me fall asleep straight away and clear headed in the morning . I know people are buying Valium from Internet but its not cheap. Oh and i pay £8.40 prescription charge and seeing doctor like everything else is free , only dentist is not free but even he is free for those who are not working and who claim benefits

Posted by: InfamousValdon September 9, 2017, 2:44 PM
Granny2 3

First off I'm happy that methadone has helped you live a productive life, that being said I just couldn't bite my tongue any longer. I find it very irresponsible for you to claim to those looking to broaden their understanding of the true effects and lasting issues that methadone may have. To state that methadone is non addictive, to me is very, very irresponsible. Like every opiate all the way down to codeine, methadone is highly, and I mean highly addictive. I guess my question to you is, if it's not addictive why are you still on it? Why do those who stop experience extreme opiate withdrawls? I was on methadone for a little over a year peaking at 145mg/day, after two weeks at that dose I decided that all I was doing was replacing my drug of choice which was oxycontin with the stronger and longer lasting methadone. To say that methadone doesn't make you high is also another outrageously false claim, I and every other person I knew who was on methadone all nodded out on the regular, and were always extremely high after dosing. A part of me feels as if you are a blogging spokesman for this extremely highly addictive dangerous drug, because I've never met a methadone maintenance patient talk in such a false matter. I started the tappering process two weeks after being at 145mg/day by at first 10mg/week until I got down to 35mg/day at which point I tappered 5mg/week until I was at 5mg/day for 3 weeks at which point I jumped, I'd also like to point out that I didn't have any withdrawl while going through the tappering process.

After two days roughly 48 hours of my last dose I started to feel the onset of withdrawl. Day by day for a month all of my symptoms gradually became worse, from extreme anxiety to unstoppable diarrhea to absolutely weeks of sleepless nights, it just continued to get worse eventually plateauing into the 2nd month and then gradually over a two month period the withdrawl symptoms slowly started to reside. So, all in all the terrible experience lasted 4 months! Does that to you sound as if I was coming off a non addictive drug?

The ironic thing about this whole issue is, I would say the same things you are on here about how I was clear headed and was finally thinking and perceiving information as a sober individual when I was stable on methadone. Boy was I wrong. As I went through the withdrawl process I could literally feel the fog in my head which I could never even feel was there while I was on methadone lifting and my perception was truly becoming sober accurate again.

It truly offends me to hear you talk to people on here who have no idea about the true dangers of methadone as a godsend, nothing could be further from the truth. You are so high from the methadone and for so long you really don't see reality for what it is anymore, and it's sad. Methadone is not the answer for anybody, it an excuse for addicts to continue to use, but in a medical setting, which for some reason validates their addiction to them.

Posted by: NyToFlorida September 10, 2017, 11:20 AM
I would like to know if people taking methadone are working full time at productive jobs, driving and using machinery in their work?

Posted by: lolleedee September 14, 2017, 2:18 PM
@NY..I use methadone as part of my recovery plan and have been in recovery almost four years. I am a RDH and hold professional licenses from my state board of dentistry for dental hygiene as well as an x-ray license from my state. I also hold credentials from DANB (Dental assisting national board). I am required to have continuing education credits to keep my credentials.

Methadone, done properly, does not interfere with one's ability to drive, work or perform detailed tasks. If someone on methadone is sleepy or "nodding", their dose is either too high or they are taking other drugs, usually benzodiazepines, with it.

There have been quite a few scientific studies measuring the reflexes of people on methadone with people who are not and there are no discernable differnces in reaction time. Those studies were conducted on those on a proper dose, who were not medicating with other drugs.

Methadone has been a vital tool in my recovery. Before I tried it, I spent years in AA/NA and could not stay clean..and had them tell me it was because I was "doing it wrong"! That is far from the truth. Like all chronic diseases, not every treatment is appropriate for everyone. Some diabetics can control their blood sugar with diet and exercise changes only. Some need oral medications along with the diet and exercise. Some need insulin. Addiction is the same. Some do fine with meetings. Others need medication. I always advocate to do whatever works!

While I think methadone no doubt saved my life and allowed my mind and body to stop screaming long enough for counseling and other supports to be effective, I often find that methadone is not used properly. For those that are serious about recovery, medication can make all the difference!

Posted by: NeedHelp123 September 14, 2017, 8:45 PM
@lolleedee

I was just wondering how long you've been on MMT? If it's been over a few years, have you ever tried tapering and getting off of it? I was on it for a good while and can 100% tell you that Methadone does numb your emotions. I have been off Methadone now for almost 14 months and life is 10x better than it was on MMT. There is such a difference from being on, then off of this medication that I'm often amazed at how I thought I was living compared to now. The best way to explain it I guess would be...you think you're laughing, or in a positive mood while on Methadone, but it's a hollow and more empty type of emotion. It's like night and day. Being in a good mood by having your natural endorphins working correctly gives such a natural and...I guess true and real result in terms of how you are feeling at a particular time.

I too, thought I was feeling all the normal emotions while on MMT, but you really don't know the difference until your brains receptors begin to heal. And the appreciation for so many things that seem so easily bypassed while using Methadone. Anyway, would love to hear your story and if one day you see yourself trying life again off Mdone. Btw, I also had major issues with opioids and methadone did help me get clean off of them, but found when I came off MMT, I no longer had any cravings whatsoever. I think Methadone and Sub can work for many...I just don't believe it's a life sentence. It can do its job where you have time to learn new ways of thinking/behaviours/get your life in order and then you can move on from it and live a normal drug free life.



Posted by: lolleedee September 17, 2017, 10:55 PM
Sorry it took me so long to respond but I just saw your post! First of all, congrats on getting off of methadone. You seem to be doing very well and it is always a pleasure to watch someone reaching for recovery.

This is my second time on methadone. I was first on it over ten years ago for a little over two years and I tapered down to zero with absolutely no withdrawal symptoms at all. When it comes to tapering, slow and steady wins the race! When I got to 30mg, I slowed my taper to 1 mg every two weeks. It may seem like it was at a snails pace, but because I did it that way, I did not have to suffer. Unfortunately, I relapsed a year later and my life continued to spiral out of control even though I was in counseling and going to meetings. I first became addicted to opiates after a near fatal horseback riding accident and before my first time on methadone, I spent years on pain management at very high opiate doses. Before my first time on methadone, I was prescribed Duragesic patches (fentanyl patches) and the prescription was to wear 3 patches (that was 3 of the 100 mcg patches) at a time evry 48 hours. I was also on Actiq, which is the transmucosal fentanyl lollipops at a dose of 4 of the 1600mcg pops a day. I also was prescribed 8 milligrams of dilaudid 5 times a day. While these doses were warranted when I first was injured, it quickly became an addiction and I began running short by a week or two every month.

I eventually went on methadone, but I have to admit that I did not use it correctly the first time. I would take benzos with it. I did nothing for my recovery in the way of counseling, peer support etc.

This time, I have been back on for almost four years. You mentioned that you feel your emotions were suppressed while on it. I have found the opposite to be true in my case. Methadone has allowed my mind and body to stop screaming so that I was able to be receptive to counseling and working through my emotions.

This period on methadone I have done the exact opposite of what I did my first time and what I find a good portion of the methadone poplulation does. First of all, I have had all negative drug screens since I began. I take methadone, my seizure medication and medication for rheumatoid disease at the same time every morning. I do that because methadone for me is just another medication I use to keep myself healthy and on track. I made sure that I didn't look at it as "different" then other medication. I take it, forget it and get on with my life.

I NEVER take methadone and then go lay down. I found that a ton of methadone patients take their dose and then go zone out. First, I do not get sleepy because I am at a proper dose and do not abuse any other drugs. Properly dosed, methadone should not make you tired except for maybe the first week or two or after a dose adjustment. If you are drowsy or nodding or fall asleep the minute you sit on the couch, the dose is too high.

After I take my morning medications, I exercise, eat breakfast and take a shower. I find having a morning routine that I do without fail keeps me positively focused on my day, kick starts my day with healthy habits and puts me in a good frame of mind.

When I started medication again, I utilized my counselor like there was no tomorrow! It was hard for me to mesh with a counselor the first time I was on methadone because I had more formal education then my counselor had and, at the time, I found that off-putting. I have learned that we can most certainly learn from those who have less formal education, but at the time I wasn't confident that they could do effective therapy. (How's that for out of contol ego? lol) This time I happened to get a counselor who is an actual certified therapist. When I first started I had to meet with her for 1/2 hour once a week. For the first 6 months I probably spent at least two hours a week in her office trying to claw my way back to life! Though the clinic has a minimum amount of counseling yu have to have there is no maximum! I have definitely received my money's worth of therapy. It is in her office that I was able to establish new habits, new boundries and effect positive change in my life.

You mentioned that you do not think that medication needs to be a life sentence and for some people I am sure that is true. I do not consider being on medication to be a "life sentence" or "liquid handcuffs". I find that the attitude of "when are you going to come off" is usually, though not always, is usually perpetrated by those who mistakenly think recovery doesn't count unless you suffer to get it. I find that view to be dangerous as many addicts will die trying to suffer thrugh it. We need to see a major paradigm shift in the use of MAT.

I often wonder why the stigma against methadone exists. Most of it is based on misinformation and the more I learn about the science behind it, the more I believe it could help more people if done correctly (which means no benzos or other drugs, lots of therapy, peer recovery support, education or job support, treatment of co-occuring mental illness etc.) There are many double blind scientific studies that have found that cognitive impairment and physical reaction times do not slow down when on a proper dose...I find that complaints of those on methadone about fatigue, lack of motivation, weight gain etc are not because of methadone, but are due to doses that are not correct, not dealing with underlying issues through therapy or peer self help groups and not taking care of their health with diet and daily exercise. Untreated depression and anxiety can also be a contributing factor.

As for if I have thought about weaning soon? I honestly haven't. It is working very well for me! I don't even think about it except for the two times a month I have to go pick it up. (The maximum take-homes my clinic does is two weeks). I spend no more time on methadone than I do on my other medications. My counselor does skype sessions whenever I need to bounce ideas off of her. I also have found SMART recovery to be another wonderful tool in my recovery toolbox.

I am very happy you have found recovery and glad that you are feeling well off the medication. I can not predict if I will come off....when the negatives outweigh the positives perhaps I will wean again. For now, methadone along with counseling, SMART etc has allowed me to be the wife, mother, daughter and friend I always wanted to be. I am now an honest, upstanding citizen working in a field I love. I just started taking classes to get my master's in public health and policy. My life couldn't be better and I owe it to the combination of recovery tools that I have put together and practice every day without fail. Recovery is no longer an every day struggle...it has morphed into a comfortable, exciting life. What a relief not to wake up every day and count days or hours clean! I now get to enjoy and learn every day. Life is no longer exhausting but a joy.

Good luck in your recovery! Do what works for you! Everyone's path to recovery is as unique as the individual. I encourage everyone to do what works for you! If you find yourself stuck and struggling, ask questions and try another way! We can do it!!!!!`

Posted by: Sam April 25, 2018, 11:28 PM
Hello, I am a 35 year old recovering addict at the end of my taper. My sister is 29 at the very end at 2 mgs. Methadone IS the right fix for many people. The suboxone works for some but everyone is different. The trick is longevity clean and associating opiates with pain rather than pleasure. This can take many years of treatment and the taper can take about a year. The place kept trying to sloowww me down cuz slow and steady wins the race but i went from 100 mgs down 10 mg every 2 week until 50 mf. Then by 5 mg down to 20 and then by 3s to zero but every three weeks from 20 to 0. EXCERSIZE helps withdrawl greatly. It can take a long time before the user is ready for a taper. He patient but out does wonders fort many. Best of luck.