Methadone Yes Or No?
Joey
Posted: June 12, 2017, 12:48 PM







Thanks for all your posts. Very Informative about if considering the three year minimum. It's a full program that I'd have to consider and if used properly if could get me on balanced life. I like how you said about the levels when starting and dosing. Very good information.
I could try to do this again and go through treatment but if I relapse I'm messed. Every time for 10 years. I'm so broken now. I'd like to think I could just walk into a meeting, find a higher power, and do the full abstinence free life. I like your perspective on how your life has been on methadone. I like seeing how you guys explained life on using methadone that helped balanced your jobs and life.
Still a really tough choice but imagine I'm back on this post in a year asking the same question.
Also in no way am I being negative, The two posts are showing your life on methadone and it's great. Though I'd like to see a post with all of what you guys said, the taper, and dropping methadone for after 4 years or whatever it takes.
I'm scared to be worrying about taking a medicine for life, but I have no life now. I have absolutely nothing. I'm going to detox tonight. Probably will see the doctor in the morning. I will tell you guys what happened or what decision I have made.
I like how you said it has to be used correctly, but what if I'm on methadone then start drinking and using other drugs. s*** show happening there. Then I'll be on the "don't do methadone list" A lot of food for thought. Thanks guys. Some many variables and unknowns. So I'll be thinking very thoughtfully about my decision whether I will try suboxone or methadone. Or try to give it another shot without. Such a hard choice. 5 years ago I'd laugh at the thought. This is 10 years of opiate abuse and I'm basically homeless. Well I am. Staying at a friends that doesn't trust me here by myself. So that's where I got myself. Anyway I consider all posts. Thanks.
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Posted: June 12, 2017, 1:45 PM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



Hey Joey, I agree starts with the desire to be clean.. I know all this is scary life is scary. So you have relapsed​ before learn from it. Move forward. Change is scary, but can be good scary. Don't think about 10 months down the road. Look at today and change it. Tell yourself you are stronger than the drugs. Praying for you Joey..You got this!!

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Stay Strong for Today
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Posted: June 12, 2017, 3:39 PM


Posts: 243
Joined: August 18, 2016



@Joey. I know first hand what it is like to be where you are. I avoided methadone like the plague due to the negative things I heard about it. I always heard it called "liquid handcuff" and heard I would be "tied to methadone for life".

I have to say, that after being in recovery this long, I spend very little time at the clinic or thinking about methadone. I only go twice a month (our clinic is thinking about offering a month of take homes..if that happens I will spend even less time there!) Those visits take all of about 20 minutes...if it's crowded! Then every morning I take my methadone along with my handful of vitamins and go about my day. I rarely think about using anymore. My life has become so busy, I don't think I would have time to use! LOL.

I don't know how anyone can call going to a clinic twice a month "liquid hancuffs"! I spend way more time at the grocery store but I never say I have "food handcuffs!" It's ridiculous! I am able to travel, work, play and sleep. I no longer have to lie and scheme to get what I need. It is a relief to go to sleep at night and know that not only will I not wake up sick, but I also do not have to go out looking for stuff to keep me well. It really has given me a whole new life!

You mentioned you would like to hear from us in about four years to see if we are tapering. I have no clue if I will. At this point it is working so well, why would I stop taking the medication that has given me such freedom from active addiction. There are many medications people take long term for "maintenance" of a medical condition, of which addiction is. People take high blood pressure medication for hypertension, diabetics take insulin to regulate blood sugar, smokers use nicotine patches to help stop smoking etc, yet no one ever asks thm when they will stop taking their medication for their chronic illness!

According to NIDA (national institute of drug abuse) addiction is a CHRONIC, relapsing disease...why on earth would I want to stop taking medication that treats the symptoms of my addiction? I have to do other things besides medication, but so do those with other illnesses. Diabetics need to exercise and maintain a healthy weight, people with hypertension have to watch their salt intake and exercise....The medication is NOT a cure, merely a tool to treat the symptoms of the underlying disease. My disease is opiate addiction and methadone is one component of my treatment.

I understand the fear of stepping of the abyss and trying methadone. However, if you hate it, you can stop. No one is going to tie you down and make you stay! I have heard lots of people say they were discouraged from tapering because "clinics just want the money!" The fact is, if you (or I or anyone) leave the clinic there are a bunch of addicts ready and willing to take your place! Most of the time they tell you not to wean down when they see that you aren't stable on your dose, you are using on top and your life isn't stable. The clinics know this is meant to be a longer term treatment.

The three year plan I wrote about was just something my counselor recommends...it is not written in stone nor is it the opinion of every clinic out there. What her explaination did for me was to get on a comfortable dose (one where you are not having withdrawal symptoms or cravings and one where you are not sedated) and stop worrying about getting off! I had a life that needed to be put back together and that was my focus!

There may be a day when I feel like I need to come off of methadone, but for now it keeps my addiction symptoms at bay and makes my life better...why mess with success??

You can go get an evaluation at your local clinic. Go in and talk to a counselor and the clinic doctor. Tell them your concerns. Give them a completely honest history of your addiction. Listen to what they have to say, then make a decision. You are under no obligation to start the program but it never hurts to get some information.

You mentioned that you were afraid that you were going to go to detox and rehab and relapse again. I had a long history of the same pattern and it was clear that the abstinence based model of addiction treatment was not working for me. My only wish is that I did it ten years sooner so that my life wouldn't have fallen apart in such spectacular fashion!

I wish you good luck in whatever path of recovery you choose. You have been in a holding pattern of using, detox, rehab, meeting, relapse...maybe it is time to shake things up and try something different!
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Posted: June 12, 2017, 10:31 PM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



Wow, lolleedee, what a different take on methadone. I abused for 40 years,I coldturkey off methadone 7 1/2 months now. Regaining my sense of self and my Life. I can say I am free of any mind altering chemicals. From all that I have researched and lived, long term maintenance usually ends with inevitable death. Had I read your post before I ct I might not have quit cold turkey. I had the resources to stay home for whatever length of time it took. Everyone has different circumstances, I believe all options should be tried to quit drug of choice,with no avail than long acting opiates. Joey do what's best for you. Be well..

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Posted: June 13, 2017, 12:45 AM


Posts: 243
Joined: August 18, 2016



@Lvg..I am suprised to hear that you have heard that long term maintenance ends in inevitable death. Fourty plus years of scientific research (real scientific research..not ancedotal evidence gained in the line at the methadone clinic!) proves that methadone maintenance (when implemented correctly) saves lives and retains people in treatment.

I'm sorry that you had to go cold turkey! Methadone can be slowly withdrawn over time and can be done so slowly that withdrawal symptoms are not even part of the equation. This is my second time on methadone. I was prescribed it years ago after my accident for pain and was weaned off of 80 mg. a day and it was painless. It took forever, but it was painless!

I'm glad that you are doing better and coming out the other side! Everyone has to do what they think is best for their personal recovery and if that is a program of complete abstinence and that works for you, that is great! Keep it up! For the majority of opiate addicts, medication assisted treatment has better long term outcomes. I hope the day comes when MAT loses it's stigma. Until then we will continue to lose addicts at alarming rates..usually after a stint in an abstinence based rehab program, when many are released with monster cravings, then they use, then they overdose due to their lowered tolerance.

I am not against abstinence based solutions when they work and when it is the recovering addicts choice and not thrust upon them as the only path to recovery. I wish that MAT gains a stronger foothold and that people start to toss aside the stigma and listen to the actual science behind maintenance treatment. Methadone is one of the most studied medications and I hope that people can look past the old wives tales and look at the past 40 years of research.

I wish you all the best in your recovery! No matter which path of recovery one chooses, I think it is important for us to support each other! Thank you for sharing what you are going through!
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Posted: June 13, 2017, 7:21 AM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



Hello lolleedee, I meant nothing negative just Support for another Addict. My story was not through a clinic, from​ a doctor. I went from codeine to percs straight to methadone and diluads a day, massive Amounts. So I have not had the experience of running the streets, methadone never gave me that eurphoric feeling just kept me from being dopesick. I absolutely agree in tapering down. There are many success stories with subs, Robert325 subtaper plan if done correctly will be off opiates in 8 weeks. Through your posts I have a different aspect about maintenance. So thanks for sharing.. Joey where you at? What's your plan..

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Posted: June 13, 2017, 7:55 AM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



So after thinking and trying to justify the use of one drug for another, I realised my addict brain way of thinking. Addiction is a Diease. We need to treat the Diease. We need either face to face support, counseling, as,na,not replace one drug for the other.

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Posted: June 13, 2017, 9:25 PM


Posts: 243
Joined: August 18, 2016



I absolutely respect your right to your opinion on how you think addiction should be treated and to follow that path.

Unfortunately, every major medical organization including, but not limited to the AMA, NIDA, SAMHSA, AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) etc. all consider addiction to be a disease.

Treating opiate addiction with a support group founded in the 1930's would not be tolerated for any other condition. If this "treatment" was proposed for anything else, people would be up in arms. Unfortunately, opiate addiction is greeting with stigma and some people continue to view it as a hedonistic behavior instead of a life altering illness.

More than fourty years of double-blind, longitudinal studies have been carried out on methadone and it's effectiveness is well documented. I know many people find recovery in the rooms, but many, many more continue to come in and out, relapse after relapse and then are told they "didn't work it hard enough."! In reality, these people needed a medical treatment for their biologically based illness.

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear people say methadone and buprenorphine is "trading one drug for another". If that were true, then you would see the same behavior around methadone that you see around opiates of abuse. That doesn't happen in a good treatment program. It becomes a medication that one takes every day to help with symptoms of an illness. People take lots of medication for illnesses, like diabetes. You would never deny medication to a type two diabetic even if they can reverse the disease by losing weight, exercising and following a diabetic diet! You give them medication as they learn to navigate the ups and downs of their disease...methadone is no different..it treats symptoms while you learn to deal with your addiction.

I know many people who shout about trading one drug for another, but doesn't blink an eye when someone trying to quit smoking uses a nicotine patch or nicotine gum. You are giving them the same medication they were "addicted" to so that the body and mind become calm enough to deal with the behavioral aspects of smoking. Methadone does the same thing.

I always encourage people to do what works for their recovery! I wish people in abstinence based programs were more open to the actual proven science behind these medications, but just as I choose one way, I cannot force others to see things the way I see them.

I hope one day this divide in the recovery community between the 12 steppers and the MAT'ers will stop and that we all realize that none of us have THE answer. If we had THE absolute answer, then there would be no more opiate addiction!!! Until that day hopefully comes, I hope we can all (including myself!) keep our hearts and minds open to others who chose a different path to recovery. After all, we are all more alike than different! Keep up the good fight out there!!!
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Joey
Posted: June 16, 2017, 12:01 PM







Well guys, here is my first update. I'm currently in treatment. If you read the previous posts. You know my history. With lots of questions and research, and the care of my doctor.
I'm on Suboxone. I'm on 4mg.
You are right. I can't keep thinking about the future. In all of your guys post. This is what I choose to do based on my previous history of abuse and minimal amounts of abstinence. Except the 1 year and 6 months.
I have to say it is working very well. I did tell my doctor I had a moral concern etc etc etc.
He said "listen I'm not a suboxone representive" 'do yourself a favor and at least give it a try.
So far I can't believe how I spent a year and a half of suffering sober.. yes sober.. I know this is not the fix to my problem. It is only a tool. I have multiple addictions. However, the relief of temptations, and fatigue etc etc. I can now focus on my recovery.
Other pro's are: helps my digestion because I'm lactose intolerant and other issues, helps my mood stabilize.
Why did I choose it? I really didn't want on methadone. Suboxone does not have to "high ceiling effect" other opiates have.
So.. So far so good. Please comment on my decision. Thanks guys.
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Posted: June 16, 2017, 12:19 PM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



Awesome, so Proud of You.. Be proud of yourself. Do you or are you planning to taper down. I know plenty of people who say that when they were in 2mg of subs they felt awesome..let me know what your plans going forward are... again sooo Proud of You.

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Stay Strong for Today
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Joey
Posted: June 16, 2017, 2:56 PM







I see the last few posts before me are the classic 12step movement vs the modern medical solutions. I do agree with the fact that aa/na does work for some people and possibly can work for everyone. I do agree there is stigma surrounding methadone/suboxone.
I choose this solution out of rational thinking. It would be irrational not to do this at this present time in my life. I do understand exactly what I'm getting into. I do understand this is an aid till I get strong enough to taper and eventually get to an abstinence free life.
This is my experience and we are all individual. I do understand there probably will be a difference in how I feel, withdrawal(even with a taper), and possibly cravings and temptations will come back.
The difference is to try and tackle that all now at this delicate time, would be irrational based on all my history. It's time for change. It's not ideal that I'm taking suboxone.
Though science and the knowledge of the working brain of an opiate addict show clearly that the brain has changed. Could I endure and prosper without... possibly.. am I willing to take that risk at this time. That answer is NO. There will be consequences later to this choice as I explained in this response. Though at that time I will have a solid base in recovery. I plan on maybe 2 years of suboxone. At the right time I will have a recovery in place. Most likely have built up my life.
All reasons to stick to the taper and endure some uncomfortable time as well heal my body and brain from this treatment. I'm prepared to take this on at the right time. I'm not prepared to do treatment then relapse. I know myself and I know I want recovery. In a perfect life I would just walk out, hit a meeting, find god or whatever etc etc.. though I'm not a spiritual person/or religious. I'm also not willing to hope I find this along my path in this treatment. I am who I am.
I feel great and I'm completely honest with my doctor. I even told him I did not need to move up to 6mg. I'm taking this with a recovering addicts thoughts/ not an active addicts thoughts.
It's nice to be in treatment, feel physically good, cheerful, and participate. Instead of feeling depressed, sick, fatigued. I know there is a lot of damage to repair. I'm glad I'm able to tackle it in a balanced mind frame.
I know it's takes along time for the brain to heal and it's biological repair that has to take place. I've done my research. I believe in taking all aspects in to play. There is a difference between regular emotions and chemical inbalanced emotions.
I did what is best for me at this time. Please continue to write comments and I'll be open and honest about how this is working for me, my thoughts, and updates. Thanks guys. You were a help in my decision to try suboxone.
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Joey
Posted: June 16, 2017, 2:59 PM







Thank you lolleedee for your responses. I like how you say we can come together and say we do not have all the answers. That's why science is the way I choose. It accepts something new. It's open to new ideas.
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Posted: June 16, 2017, 3:25 PM


Posts: 134
Joined: June 8, 2017



I have spent 10+ years stone cold sober before and I have spent 10 years on methadone. For me sobriety feels much more organic and pure. And although methadone gave me a full time, dull like warmness or glow, it was soon dimmed and blurred for lack of opposing contrast.
A little sun is great but all sunshine makes a desert.
I do feel methadone helped me stabilize my world but had I been properly informed of the brutal withdrawals I would have surely passed...

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And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
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Posted: June 16, 2017, 3:50 PM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



I agree with Dave, Joey I feel in my opinion that sub was your best option.. Please read up on Roberts325 sub taper plan. Gaining knowledge will never hurt. Recovery begins and ends with you. Be strong my friend...

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Stay Strong for Today
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Joey
Posted: June 16, 2017, 3:59 PM







Thanks Lvg, and Dave. I'm surely going to read that Lvg and thank you very much.
I do reflect on my time with 1 year and 6 months and really it was an amazing time. I worked hard to get that and that was complete abstinence. It was good and it was hard. I'm definitely not looking for an easy way out. I work hard for my clean days/sobriety. I'm looking forward to the day I can get away from all replacements. I love the feeling of being completely free. Yes, I spiked a lot with depression during that time and I know it can take multiple years before your brain repairs itself to feel more balanced. I'm in for the long haul guys. This is a mere temporary part to the rest of my life. I'm going to make it. Thanks so much for all your insight. Your experience. It shows me all sides and I can best make decisions based on everything.
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Joey
Posted: June 16, 2017, 4:02 PM







Also congrats Dave on those many years of sobriety. Wow, it's really inspirational for me. I really want this so much.
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Joey
Posted: June 16, 2017, 6:26 PM







Can you send me the roberts325 taper plan please.. Lvg. Just want to read it and see what it says. Get an idea of it. Thanks.
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Posted: June 16, 2017, 9:15 PM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



Hello Joey, I really don't know how to send a link. If you search google for Roberts Suboxone plan. If done correctly, thousands have done it...

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Joey
Posted: June 17, 2017, 1:25 PM







Perfect, I'll be checking that out for sure. Thanks for the advice.
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Posted: June 17, 2017, 3:15 PM


Posts: 150
Joined: May 31, 2017



Stay Strong Joey..

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Stay Strong for Today
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