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I haven't been on here in years. Don't see many familiar names. Not sure anyone will remember me. Or remember an old forum member named 10k doses (ten thousand doses!). Anyways, he's the guy who was known for having slow tapered after decades on methadone without having any issues/symptoms. He sort of preached the gospel on it. He was always an inspiration for me. Well, just short of 11 years at the clinic, I completed my own slow taper. It took me many many years to go from 155mgs to 0. I did it without really any withdrawal symptoms. It's been about six months now. No cravings. It probably took me a year or two for the final 10mgs. I wouldn't have ever made it if I hadn't had a nice counselor who got me an exception to go to weekly takehomes after she failed to get me an exception for split dosing. She was the director at the time and said instead I'll get you weeklies and just split your dose on your own. So for many years I split dose 6 days a week and full dosed on the pickup day. It worked fine, didn't really notice a difference on that one day, but it made all the difference in my stability, letting me sleep well through the night and allowing me to lower my dose. I'd just lower my dose by small amounts, making sure it was never more than 10% a month (and usually a lot less). Then I'd wait awhile. Make sure I felt normal. If I could really feel any difference I'd just wait an extra long time. I think I went back up once. If major stress was going on in life, I'd postpone the taper. The last ten was the hardest. They can only measure methadone in 1mg amounts, so lower than 10mg I had to exceed the limit I used of not dropping more than 10% of your dose in a month. Well, I wasn't gonna do that and I don't think it would have worked for me. But any smart ex junkie can measure a smaller amount. So I got a very small needle-less syringe and that could measure really tiny amounts. Like it hard markings for .1 of a ml, with 5 (if I recall correctly) gradiations in between each tenth of a ml. Liquid methadone is 10mg per ml. So basically .1ml is 1mg. A single droplet would end up being about 1/3 of a mg of methadone. I would take some out of my dose every day, going down by 3rds of an mg till I had gone down 1mg, then I'd tell the clinic to lower my dose. Obviously you can't tell the clinic, this would be considered diversion. They'd drop it an mg, but I'd already actually gone down to that level. Obviously I had to take the full dose on pickup days, but it didn't seem to matter. At the very end I took a 1/3 of an mg every other than every three days. It was pure placebo at that point. Anyways, the only real things I ever noticed were subtle variations in my anxiety levels (I have some anxiety issues) and subtle variations in the density of my bowl movements. I'd use both of these as bellweathers to judge whether I was going slow enough. Notice issues, slow down. It was never anything acute, no diarrhea or anything like that. Things that helped me along the way, finding hobbies/sports. Exercising. I consulted with an herbalist for help with anxiety/mood issues. Not associating with anyone who did hard drugs. I wouldn't associate with anyone from the clinic either, went to a clinic in a distant town to keep my anonymity. Just went in, went out, minded my own business. It was a lonely path at times, but I was trying to be the change I wanted. And early experiences (pre MMT) with 12 step groups convinced me that associating with addicts was a recipe for failure.
Anyways, I've gone on far longer than I intended. I just wanted to say there was a guy here named 10k doses and he inspired me and helped to save my life. I don't have any way to tell him or thank him. I hope he is still out there doing great. MMT also saved my life, and I'm grateful for it. I have no judgement on the many who need MMT for life. I would go back to it without hesitation if I felt I needed to. Tapering was something I felt I just had to give 1 good shot. There are things in my life I want to do that would never really be possible on MMT. Maybe now I'll get to do them, maybe I won't. But I guess now it's all on me, no excuses. I hope that for people who feel like they want to and can safely try to taper, that my story may provide some help. That's my story.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you 10k Doses!
Best of luck to everyone here in their recovery!