Methadone-longterm Or Not
Posted: October 6, 2011, 11:05 AM


Posts: 125
Joined: June 27, 2011



HI,

I have notice that methadone is quite a popular subject on this board. As some of you know my son has been on methadone for 3 months for heroin addiction and he is a different person.
I was wondering if he will have to use it forever.
-
My concern is that are we not just replacing one drug with another.
But I just read more on a site called drugs.com and 200 people was saying how wonderfull it is and some was trying to get of which is just as difficult as getting of illegal drugs.

50% was using it for pain and it was enlightning to see what it actually done

Some has been on it for like 4 years. My conclusion is that it will be better to stay on it for ever if that is going to give my son a normal life. My concern is just the side effects and then they say it shouldn't be given to somebody with epilepsy, liver and heart problems and mental problems which my son all have. but his PShyciatrist says its fine to use with all his other meds which is venlor, ambilify,seroquel, lamiton, epinuton and epileptim and molipaxtin.

So you wonder my son is 22 what life span will he have?

Any opinions and advice please?

Priscilla
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Posted: October 6, 2011, 12:52 PM


Posts: 20396
Joined: February 12, 2004



I don't know any statistics about methadone or any of the other drugs you mentioned. All I can say to you is that from one mom to another, I understand your pain and concern. He's so young. It would be so easy to leave it to the drs but do half of them really know what they're doing? How many of them treat patients like guineu pigs? Your son is taking alot of meds..I hope that he is having regular liver function tests and the such...

What else does he do for his recovery? Does he go to meetings? Its one thing to get clean of the addictive behaviors but what then? How does he rebuild his life without support from others who have been there? That's how it was for me..I needed guidlines and script to follow..my brain was mush.

This post has been edited by cowgirl on October 6, 2011, 12:54 PM

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I used Drugs to forget, I got clean to remember.
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Posted: October 6, 2011, 1:48 PM


Posts: 2340
Joined: February 20, 2010



i dont know what half those drugs are, seems like alot! i guess he works closely with his doc for those decisions..ill have to look those up glad you posted, been wondering about you
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Posted: October 6, 2011, 3:59 PM


Posts: 8683
Joined: April 24, 2007



venlor, ambilify,seroquel, lamiton, epinuton and epileptim and molipaxtin.

Abilify is used two ways: (1) as an add-on to anti-depressants to give them a boost or (2) as a med for bipolar or schizophrenia.

Seroquel : For bipolar or schizophrenia

Venlor : Generic Effexor, an anti-depressant

Molipaxin : a benzo, usually for anxiety.

Lamictal: Anti-seizure also used for OCD

Epileptim: anti-seizure

Epanutin : anti-convulsant

My daughter was on five of the seven. The last three are obviously being used for his epilepsy. Sounds like he might be overmedicated if he's taking methadone as well, but I'm no doctor, so what do I know? I would get at least a second opinion, maybe a third. It's not uncommon for complicated cases to be on a "cocktail".

If he is doing and feeling well, then maybe it's what he needs and you are getting ahead of yourself worrying about his life expectancy. His quality of life thus far has not been so great without the methadone, so what's the rush? They don't necessarliy stay on everything forever. If they have a chance to stabilize in the long term then the docs generally take one thing away at time, reducing the dose gradually to see how the patient responds. My girl is not on anything anymore and she was a tough case...granted, she is not epileptic, but she's off all ADs, benzos, and bipolar meds...done with appropraite medical supervision.

Seems like you are finding new things to worry about, Priscilla. If he's okay whay not leave it be?

This post has been edited by MomNMore on October 6, 2011, 4:03 PM
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Posted: October 7, 2011, 1:37 AM


Posts: 125
Joined: June 27, 2011



Hi,

Thank you Cowgirl for reminding me they have done liver test about 3 years ago and lung test and was told that he has the organs of a 50 year old because he also smokes 30 cigaretes a day since 15yrs. I will make sure I have him checked out before the end of the year.

Momnmore always the wise and straight forward star of this site.

He has been in and out hospitals untill the end of last year as the mix of his medicine and dosages was not working for him they would get the mild psycosis and depression and bipolar under control and the his seizures will not stop and visa versa untill we found a very good Pshyciatrist in the beginning of this year that put him on the maximum of this cocktail that his drinking now and every thing was 90% under control untill he started experiementing with wead then cat and finally the scary one HEROIN. So Although the methdone has give him an enriched life its adding to a more embarrising side effects that happens because of the mix.

But we both aggreed that living for another 10 yrs an enriched life is much better then living in missery and maybe die of an overdose of heroin anyway.

To answer the question of what else he has been doing to help himself is small little things but it is giving him hope and confidence:

1. He is training for the first time in 22 years ( he has been very lazy before and had no energy)
2. He and his one and only true friend is dreaming of opening and performance/arts and wrestling school. His friend is trained in submissive fighting and my son in drama.
3. He sees a pshycologist once a week but does not want to go to NA meetings yet as he feels what he is doing now is enough for the beginning. (he also needs to deal with his mental issues and thats why a pshycologist is a better option)
4. He now baths and shave atleast 4 times a week where he used to do it every 2 weeks if we where lucky.
5. I could never get him to do anything around the house. He now cooks, clean and do washing for me.

So to me this is all wonderfull and I hope and pray it last as in the past he will change for 3 months and after that go back to his old ways of just sleeping and lying arround.

Its been almost 3 months so we hope and pray that it will be different for always now.

THank you all for your wonderfull advise I knew I can count on you.

Lots of luv and hugs


Crazy p
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Posted: October 7, 2011, 7:16 AM


Posts: 2616
Joined: January 4, 2008



I thought Methadone didnt hurt the liver ?...or ?...I proibably should go look it up...Ive always wondered though if there might be a connection bewteen the two...anyways...you all know Im torn on the question of forever vs. temp....but I guess the answer to me is...its a personal matter...comes down to the person and what they can handle...me ?...obviously dont do all that well without the methadone...behaviors creep back in...so strange...that even when I know theyre there, its like I cant change the channel...on the mdone...its not a problem...I think whatever works to get off and stay off the dope or whatever DOC you choose is what counts...doesnt matter how...just that it works...for me...this is the only thing that has ever seemed to work for me...

This post has been edited by constantine on October 7, 2011, 7:17 AM
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Posted: October 7, 2011, 10:28 AM


Posts: 8683
Joined: April 24, 2007



It's the ADs and anti-psychotics that are a danger to the liver. My brother is on a very powerful cocktail as he is diagnosed bipolar-schizophrenic and it took YEARS, 15 to be precise, for his doctors to hit on the right combination of meds. Now that he is on anti-psychotics he only gets enough for two to four weeks and must drive into the city every two weeks for liver testing, it's that dangerous. BUT, he is well, healthy, and happy...even got married 4 years ago at the age of 36, something we never thought would happen for him because he was so profoundly crazy, unable to function for a looooong time...so the meds, however dangerous, have allowed him to live a life he could not otherwise have had...a trade-off worth every moment of sanity and happiness he has said often. Previously he had been a runaway, hospitalized for psychosis for months at a time, used to talk to the TV, was on disability because he was too nuts to work, and suicidal. I found one of his hundreds of notebooks once and it scared the crap outta me...filled with the rantings of a true head case. I thank God he is well and that such medications exist to balance his chemically wrong brain.

This post has been edited by MomNMore on October 7, 2011, 10:29 AM

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: October 7, 2011, 12:24 PM


Posts: 20396
Joined: February 12, 2004



No, I didn't mean that the methadone would cause liver problems, it was the other meds that I worried about.

As usual, you put things into perspective S. Living a life that's happy and balanced now is living in the here and now. No future tripping. And you're right, you don't always stay on the same meds for life, things change as do medications.

Having your son, now as he is, is a blessing Priscilla..be grateful. My son could get hit by a bus tomorrow...horrible thought, but you get what I mean. We can't control the future.

Big hugs girl.

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I used Drugs to forget, I got clean to remember.
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Posted: October 10, 2011, 7:47 PM


Posts: 1059
Joined: August 29, 2011



Nevergiveupmon,
Hey its me Granny,
While I recognize some of the meds your son is on, I wont even begin to pretend I know enough about the whole thing to give expert advice. I will say however, that he can stay on methadone forever if that is the treatment he, and/or you choose, to keep him from using opiates. I wrote in a post to Dirty Dingus yesterday about info I found on NAMAs website about the safety of using methadone and how it is one of the safest medicines used by humans today. They have a "methadone awareness test" you can take , its true or false, that hits on a lot of myths etc about methadone use. Their website is probably the best place to get good,honest answers to your questions.It is National Association of Methadone Advocates.(NAMA)
There is also The Drug Policy Alliance. They have info called"About Methadone and Buprenorphine" and it answers all kinds of questions. Their website is www.drugpolicy.org. You may be able to pull it up an read it. I got mine from our corporate office. Lots of good stuff. I wish I could send it to you. I could but it isnt in our computer, yet. I found the website for the methadone test. It is: Methadone.org/library/methadone_awareness_test.html

Keep on Truckin, Mom, you're doin' a great job.

Late!
Granny

This post has been edited by Granny2 3 on October 10, 2011, 7:51 PM

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I NEVER KNEW HOW MUCH LOVE MY HEART COULD HOLD UNTIL SOMEONE CALLED ME GRANDMA.


STOP AND LISTEN TO THE BIRDS SINGING IN THE TREES. WHEN THE BIRDS ARE SINGING EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS OK.[FONT=Courier][FONT=Arial]
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Posted: October 10, 2011, 10:31 PM


Posts: 267
Joined: September 22, 2011



Methadone is extremely addicting especially in high doses
It is more addicting than heroin.
It can cause liver damage, weight gain etc
For an addict that wants recovery - it can be a useful detox - BUT
the dose must be decreased very slowly. NO RAPID DETOX

We kept some in the methadone clinic , where I was medical director , zoned out, on high doses so they would lay around and not hit the street to rob, steal for the heroin.
These were the ones who were not amendable to 12 step , primarily because they LACKED THE CAPACITY TO BE HONEST"

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Blessings,
Dr. Irab
retired psychiatrist
freebaser of cocaine for 2 years +alcohol
addict/alcoholic
c/s 12 yrs thru 12 step.
Former Medical Director:
Methadone Maintenance Clinic.
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 12:13 AM


Posts: 1059
Joined: August 29, 2011



My Dear Dr Irab,
While I do appreciate your wanting to help people on their road to recovery, PLEASE dont give mis-information to ones looking to Methadone to end their addiction to opiates.
I am going to write something straight off the pages of the "Myths and Facts" of Methadone courtesy of The Drug Policy Alliance. From the revised second edition called Methadone and Buprenorphine.
In regards to you saying that methadne damages/ your liver;

Listed as the 5th "Myth" ... Methadone harms your liver.

Fact." The liver metabolizes(breaks down and processes) methadone, but methadone does not "harm" the liver. Methadone is actually much easier for the liver to metabolize than many other types of medications. People with hepatitis or with severe liver disease can take methadone safely."

Just to be helpful I'll list a short version of some of the other "myths" about methadone so I hopefully wont have to come back and have to re-educate the patients that have come to this site looking for good,honest information about methadone from people like me and all the other recovering HEROIN addicts here, and now some have now had their heads filled with incorrect information.
I am the one trying to get the methadone category added here just for this reason. People come in looking for correct information and not opinions. Some of the answers below have been shortened,but all relevant information was written.

Myth: methadone gets in your bones and weakens them.
Fact: It does not.

Myth: Its harder to kick than heroin.
Fact: While its different,some say yes,some say no.

Myth:Taking methadone damages your body.
Fact: People have been taking methadone for over 30 yrs and there is NO eidence that long term use causes any physical damage. There are however some side effects,increased sweating, constipation,dry mouth, some may experience menstual abnormalities and decreased sexual desire but neither have been clearly linked to methadone use.

Myth: Methadone is harmful to your immune system.
Fact: It does NOt damage the immune system. In fact several studies suugest that HIV-positive patients taking methadone are healthier and live longer than those drug users not on methadone.

Myth: Methadone causes people to use cocaine.
Fact: Methadone does not cause people to use cocaine. People who used cocaine started it before they started on methadone maintenance and many stop using cocaine while they are on methadone.

Myth: The lower the dose of methadone the better.
Fact: Low doses reduce cravings but higher doses are needed to stop the cravings. Each patient will find their right dose with the help of their Doctor. It is different for each individual.

And last but not least.
Myth: Methadone causes drowsiness and sedation.
Fact. Everyone feels tired or drowsy sometimes. Patients on a stabilized dose of methadone will not feel any more drowsy or sedated than is normal.

Please, if you are going to post any thing about methadone make sure the facts are correct. We have enough problems.

Thank you for your interest in this site. We can always use a good doctor on our side.

Have a good evening,
Granny2 3

This post has been edited by Granny2 3 on October 11, 2011, 12:19 AM

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I NEVER KNEW HOW MUCH LOVE MY HEART COULD HOLD UNTIL SOMEONE CALLED ME GRANDMA.


STOP AND LISTEN TO THE BIRDS SINGING IN THE TREES. WHEN THE BIRDS ARE SINGING EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS OK.[FONT=Courier][FONT=Arial]
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 1:18 AM


Posts: 2616
Joined: January 4, 2008



thanks Granni....
I didn't even want to bother answering his last 2 posts....What Mr. Doc posted in the weight gain category astounded and angered me to no end...his "4 points" are below, and I think I finally have had enough of his ignorance and drivel..

1. Methadone can cause weight gain and as you know is MORE ADDICTING than heroin.

Give it up Doc...get some exercise and eat right....and if you take your methadone without abusing it you'll be just fine...whether its more addicting...I doubt it...much prefer Heroin to begin with...getting off the methadone isn't about how addicting it is...its about debating with yourself whether you want your behaviors and cravings to return...

2. I used HEAVY CONFRONTATION of the addicts, their manipulative lying and conning for me to prescribe codeine, bezo drugs etc etc etc ! Their Major denial etc ! BUT - I was also KIND - I detoxed them VERY VERY SLOWLY. Like down 2mg /week. They could hardly feel the change. UNLIKE other clinics with rapid detox - which many addicts could not tolerate, and hit the street again ! This VERY SLOW DETOX over many many months - worked well for quite a few, if they really wanted to get clean !! I knew of 1 program suddenly shut down by the county - left 60 addicts hung out - HOW CRUEL of those b****** political bureaucrats !!!!

Its doctors like you that should never have a licence to begin with...heavy confrontation ?...oh, bet that helps...lying and conning you for codiene ?... perhaps if you had let them achieve a proper dose they may not have needed it.....can hardly feel the change huh ?...you sound like we are sub human and cant feel pain...are you talking from experience ?...because let me tell you...I can feel a difference in a .1ml change of my dose....every time.. you make me furious...and just plain sick...I have a doctor pretty much who behaves like you...and his success rate is nil...

3. We kept some of the real hard core, not honest, not ammendable to 12 step, on maintenance - some of them on doses of up to 120-130mg/day Of course they were "ZONED OUT" for the day ! But it KEPT them from hitting the street for heroin, stealing and robbing et

Your dose is unique to your tolerance level you idiot...120mgs isnt that high if your tolerance level was higher...and to keep people on doses that were too high for them so they would zone out because you personally felt they deserved it is unjust and inhumane...

. 4. I would encourage folks who really want spiritual recovery and to get and stay clean, to get off the methadone, but you need a very cooperating Dr who takes you down VERY SLOW.[/I]

I've been taken down on my dose slow...and you know what ?...its hell...regardless of how slow you go..withdrawal is distressful, painful and a whole host of other physical and mental experiences...and my brain reverts right back to addict as soon as the dose is too low...no 12 step program in the world will correct the brain function or keep me clean like methadone has done...nor will it help me get off the methadone either...you are a fool

You are either a fake or really ignorant ...you need to go back to school and learn something...if your a real doctor in a methadone clinic , then your whats wrong with half the clinics out there...I have SO HAD enough of hearing your drivel....I have just experienced 2 tapers and don't need your nonsense about it...I also have to deal with a silly ignorant unschooled country doctor like yourself on a regular basis out here and wish to God the board would take you and those like you out of the profession for good...

con

This post has been edited by constantine on October 11, 2011, 1:53 AM
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 9:11 AM


Posts: 267
Joined: September 22, 2011



Yes people can stay on methadone for long term - lifetime and do fine.
Yes methadone in higher doses IS MORE ADDICTING and harder to kick than heroin!
It has been a well known established fact.
(25 years experience tells me it is so)

I saw very few cases of change in liver function with methadone
We used much higher doses than are generally used today.

NOW for you who are hostile, critical and BASHING me , I feel sad, for your lack of acceptance, tolerance, resentment and hostility. You must not be in 12 step recovery.
Read BB Pg 449 3rd edition.

Methadone can be used for a lifetime and many do just fine on it.
BUT if you want recovery, to get and stay clean, then get off methadone, very very very very slowly. I took them down 1-2mg over 2 weeks. Some from 70-80 mg/day Many did great.
BUT they were also in counseling and 12 step. !




--------------------
Blessings,
Dr. Irab
retired psychiatrist
freebaser of cocaine for 2 years +alcohol
addict/alcoholic
c/s 12 yrs thru 12 step.
Former Medical Director:
Methadone Maintenance Clinic.
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 11:27 AM


Posts: 20396
Joined: February 12, 2004



Oh, so now you're saying that it doesn't hurt the liver...

Whatever.

Listen dude..if you're a real doc, like Con says, you're what's wrong with methadone clinics today..not all of them but the ones that are in it for the money. Personally? I don't think you're a real doc. I think you're an addict on methadone who's lost touch with reality.

If you want help, here's a good place to get it..but remember that little sentence you wrote about "not being cable of being honest"? That's you pal. Get honest.

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I used Drugs to forget, I got clean to remember.
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 11:52 AM


Posts: 267
Joined: September 22, 2011



The distrust and denial among some of you is a MAJOR deal. Many have been let down by doctors in the past, and few if any doctors post on these boards. I am retired so I have some time to do it.

If your distrust persists - I would suggest you get down on your knees and pray for acceptance and read BB PG 449 3rd edition.

Otherwise don't bother to respond to me.
I am not here to argue - only to help

We monitored liver function with people on methadone, especially on high doses and saw few., very few changes in liver function, I.e. rise in liver enzymes .

Remember we used much higher doses than are generally used today.

This post has been edited by irab on October 11, 2011, 11:54 AM

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Blessings,
Dr. Irab
retired psychiatrist
freebaser of cocaine for 2 years +alcohol
addict/alcoholic
c/s 12 yrs thru 12 step.
Former Medical Director:
Methadone Maintenance Clinic.
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 1:17 PM


Posts: 15
Joined: October 4, 2011



Personally I think staying on methadone or slowly detoxing is a personal decision. however if you choose to detox I recomend it be done in conjunction with some sort of counceling. I am speaking from experience, I was on 130 mills in 2001 I weened of 1 mil per day and felt ok till I got down below 60 thats when the support group I had built in na came into play cause the last 2months detoxing and the following 6 weeks were HARD. but I completed it and managed to stay clean for 2 years. then I thought I was CURED and stopped going to meetings. before I knew what happened I had a needle in my arm. I love the 12 step programs aa na I am a member of both today and for its the only way to live to be clean and sober while learning all about myself is a hell of an expeirience the work is hard but the rewards of the program are so much more fulfilling than any cheap high I can obtain from any substance I have finally found where I belong!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 2:21 PM


Posts: 1059
Joined: August 29, 2011



Dr.Irab,
I was not attacking you,just trying to be informative. I am not even a doctor and I seem to know more and have more correct information about methadone than you do.
In your one post you said methadone harms the liver. I came on and proved you wrong and you wont even come on and say,well hey I guess I was not as informed as I should be be and I AM SORRY I gave you the incorrect information. That would work. Are you too arogant to admit to your mistake? That maybe,just maybe you WERE WRONG? That would do alot to calm these good people down about your wanting to post here.

While I do believe in my heart that you Do want to be helpful. PLEASE get your facts right or stay on the cocaine/crack category. THAT is your addiction and something you have had first hand dealings with. Just because you had a methadone clinic doesnt make you the' know all" about methadone as you yourself have never been a heroin addict. Unless you have actually been on methadone you will NEVER know what its like or how one feels living their life on it or how one feels detoxing from it. You can pretend all you like but it will never be the same.

Just to let you know I spend many hours in the halls of AA & NA and my AA book,third edition is falling apart from use and dogearred on page 449, the "acceptance page" as we call it. I do use it and while others are telling me to drop you like a hot potato I choose to be kind and understanding to those who dont know any better.

Have a blessed day,
Granny2 3

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I NEVER KNEW HOW MUCH LOVE MY HEART COULD HOLD UNTIL SOMEONE CALLED ME GRANDMA.


STOP AND LISTEN TO THE BIRDS SINGING IN THE TREES. WHEN THE BIRDS ARE SINGING EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS OK.[FONT=Courier][FONT=Arial]
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 3:21 PM


Posts: 267
Joined: September 22, 2011



don't bother to respond to me.
I am not here to argue - only to help

PS I was employed by the county as a county employee, in the clinic and it was not a private clinic for profit!
We did see changes in liver enzymes in a very few patients. THAT doesn't necessarily mean liver damage !

AND I don't appreciate being demeaned or depreciated.
Resentment, and hostility are a lingering manifestation of your denial.
Its all about acceptance, tolerance, of ourselves and OTHERS! and God works thru people - even me !

Enough Said.

This post has been edited by irab on October 11, 2011, 3:42 PM

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Blessings,
Dr. Irab
retired psychiatrist
freebaser of cocaine for 2 years +alcohol
addict/alcoholic
c/s 12 yrs thru 12 step.
Former Medical Director:
Methadone Maintenance Clinic.
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 4:01 PM


Posts: 25
Joined: October 9, 2011



OY VEY
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Posted: October 11, 2011, 8:19 PM


Posts: 267
Joined: September 22, 2011



FINALLY A TRUE AND CORRECT STATEMENT !

--------------------
Blessings,
Dr. Irab
retired psychiatrist
freebaser of cocaine for 2 years +alcohol
addict/alcoholic
c/s 12 yrs thru 12 step.
Former Medical Director:
Methadone Maintenance Clinic.
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