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czo79

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Apr 18 14 1:55 PM

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Hey folks,
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!
Mike K
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czo79

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#1 [url]

Apr 18 14 2:06 PM

Oh, my one other tip:  adrenaline - it's a hell of a drug.  It's great for anxiety too.  When you're trying to stay alive and scaring yourself, all the little everyday social shit and other stuff of anxieties just fades away.  I think many of us get anxious because we're hardwired to have serious shit to be anxious about.  Things trying to kill us.  I think some of us get anxious about bullshit when we don't have that life or death stuff to be anxious about.  So go jump out of airplanes, ride that motorcycle, learn to kiteboard, whitewater kayak, climb that cliff etc etc. 
:)

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cherbear

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Apr 18 14 2:18 PM

czo- I remember you. Congratulations on your taper. I am glad MMT was effective for you.

Yes, alot around here has changed. please come on back anytime.

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mythoughts2

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Apr 18 14 4:22 PM

Mike - I remember you. 10k was a major asset but I fear he may have passed. I last heard from him in 2007 when he mentioned a health problem. He dropped off the face of the earth after that. 10k was an amazing man and an asset. 10k, if you are around, we miss you! :) If not, the world, our cause and this site lost a great friend. Mike, I'm so happy for you! Thanks for stopping by. it's so important for the newer folks to hear your story. :)

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sapphire76

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Apr 19 14 5:48 AM

Hi czo and welcome back. Congratulations on the taper. How long after you had actually taken your last dose did it take you to feel OK again? Tapering myself so I'm interested.

I thought 10K had been on here in the last couple of years, either here or MSO and was back in treatment? Perhaps I am mixing him up with someone else though.

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czo79

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Apr 19 14 7:25 AM

Honestly, I never felt any different after taking my last dose. I would have continued taking 1/3rd of an mg every other or every few days if I did. I think I probably experienced the most noticeable decreases when I was at 10mgs or so, before I figured out that I could decrease my dose myself by smaller amounts than 1mg. I always went really slow, usually a decrease every 1 to 2 months. But there were times when I took many months off if it just didn't feel right. As I said, it took many years. I once had a nurse suggest to me that I just jump off when I was at 5mgs. I could have jumped across the counter and strangled her. By the end, when I was impatient, I'd realized I spent so much time and money doing it the "10k doses way", that I might as well follow through and keep doing it right. It always killed me to see and hear people in line at the clinic in obvious discomfort, continue with tapers at breakneck speed. If the clinic wasn't such a pain in the ass to live with, maybe more people would feel ok about staying on MMT or doing a very slow taper. It's really frustrating.
Mike

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wayovermyhead

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#6 [url]

Apr 20 14 3:21 PM

Thanking You Mike for the inspirational story I will PM and email 10K dases and tell him to read the thread if he still indeed is around....I have all the older members email addresses.

I think he deserves to know the impact he had on someone like you....and Welcome back to the DAWG..It would be nice if you stay involved with us and inspire us more with how you are doing etc...We get a lot of people on her that need help with tappers/detoxes and well many of us like me have never tapered so we are telling the experiences third party to them.....In fact I could make a specific forum off the parent main forum just on taper issues and you could be our expert witness etc...


It's not everyday but it is quite often we do get people on here needing serious help with tapers/detoxes and we have active members like sapphire that are doing tapers now....Too often what they get in response from clinics, friends and family is "quit dragging your feet or sitting on the fence get serious and get off methadone" and we all educated or advocates know this is not the correct method.  You same as 10K have the ability to make a "slow" taper sound effective and possible...We need your expertise and guidance on here.  GIVE BACK I SAY LOL...

I will try to reach 10K and I will copy paste this URL address in the message so he can click and come straight to this thread....

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wayovermyhead

Last Edited By: wayovermyhead Apr 20 14 3:30 PM. Edited 1 time.

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czo79

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Apr 20 14 8:00 PM

Thanks Way Over!
As I say, I don't think it's for everyone, but I think that people who want to taper/could taper aren't getting the support they need from the clinics. Maybe more people could if they were given the advice 10k doses gave to me. It's a really hard road, even doing it my way. I think it's safe to say I was considered a 'model patient' at my clinic, but I lost take homes a bunch of times for little infractions, being late, forgetting my empty bottles, even for telling the clinic that I thought their diversion control policies were bullshit that would only catch idiots. I would love for 10k doses to know how he helped me. I hope he is well, although I've searched for him before without luck. I'm always a little worried telling my story because I don't want to encourage people to taper who shouldn't be. I think that's the important thing, if you're experiencing real serious discomfort, you aren't doing it the way I'm advocating. Some people can white knuckle it, but that wasn't how I did it. The way I did it, if you experience discomfort, you stop the taper and wait to you feel fine, then find a way to go down a smaller amount in the future. Or you even go back up on dose and wait till you feel better, then try again at a smaller decrease. And I'm sure there are tons of people this won't work for. I had an really large habit, but it wasn't for more than 3 or 4 years. I spent many many more years on MMT than I ever did on dope. I know the pressure that can be put on people to taper and it pisses me off. That's one of the reasons I tended to not let people know I was on the clinic. Although I have to say, with a couple exceptions, when I let people in, they were usually supportive, but I'd pretty much tell them how it was with me and how it was going to be. They could deal or take a hike. It's been nice going back and telling people I made it. I was also pretty luck to have a fairly supportive family and such. I started MMT in the dark days in my area where MMT was illegal and I spent five or six hours a day in the car going to the clinic for years. It got a lot easier eventually, but I would have died waiting for the laws to change if my family hadn't backed me up in those times. Awh well. I hope all the people from back in the day are ok. I wonder about Chris Kelly? I think that was her name, though I may be confusing her with someone I used to work with. She was from DC. And Alice D'Oro. And some of the people in Maine from up by Rockland. Star-somebody. Man, and this lady from California, I wish I could remember her name. She talked to me about provigil as a treatment to help with MMT. I had to go up to high on my dose because I couldn't split dose at first. To get a dose that would carry me 24 hours, I would nod for some of the day. I never was able to get a prescription for it, but when I started splitting my take home doses, I was rapidly and easily able to taper to around 100mgs. I never would have gone higher than that if I could have split dosed earlier. I honestly don't know how much time I'll be able to spend here as I'm so active do other advocacy work and just trying to live my life. But I feel a need to give back. I've often thought about maybe volunteering at a needle exchange or something. So I may not be checking the forums all the time, but I'll certainly respond to private messages, and follow this post. I think the forum sends me an email alert if I get a PM.
Thanks!
Mike

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briton32

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#9 [url]

Apr 21 14 10:17 AM

I believe he used a insulin syringe or tuberculin syringe without the needle.. they break down the 1ml into units that could be converted into 1/10th or a mg etc

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wayovermyhead

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#10 [url]

Apr 21 14 4:44 PM

Chris Kelly still around advocating for MMT ...I have only been around 4 years so the others I am unsure of but somebody will

probably speak up and figure out some names for ya....


Oh and btw you did the taper perfect for you and I wish more people would do the same it actually will support you in sobriety.....

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czo79

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Apr 21 14 6:04 PM

Haha, I lost my post about how I measured it. It was funny, I used a syringe from the vet. My cat had surgery and got sent home with a bunch of syringes filled with buprenorphine! They were just for oral administration, so no needle. And they were marked with .1ml increments, with another five marks between every .1ml. The smallest drop I could get the syringe to make was about 1/3 of a .1 ml, so about 1/3 of a mg of methadone. I don't know how much of it was in my head, but I think it would have been much harder to taper if I'd had to go by 1mg amounts. If I did it over I would have started with the smaller amounts a bit earlier, but it was kind of a pain so I was reluctant to do it. From what I remember, I assume 10k doses went down by 1mg increments, and it seemed to work fine for him, but everyone is different. I only left the clinic when I hadn't taken any methadone for a week already, and had been taking 1/3mg every other day or so for a couple weeks.
Mike K

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sapphire76

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Apr 22 14 4:47 AM

Even if it was mostly mental though, the mind plays such an important role when we taper/detox that being able to measure less than 1mg could really make a difference for some people.

Thanks for posting your experiences Mike, it's really interesting to read and good to have some positive taper outcomes on the board!

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wayovermyhead

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Apr 22 14 10:42 AM

So am I right in assuming that the clinic did not support nor measure the small increments for you?

How low did they get you down to? and maybe they did the 1/3 mg. dose on your pick up day?  

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czo79

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Apr 22 14 12:19 PM

Haha, no, I probably would have been kicked off or at least had my takehomes pulled if they knew what I was up to. They went down to 1mg with me. I did the rest on my own, taking whatever lower dose I tapered myself to during the week with takehomes, and taking a full 1mg on my pick up day. Obviously this leaves one with leftover methadone, with which one could theoretically use to continue tapering after you've left the clinic, without having to take a full 1mg dose on your pick up day, but that would be diversion, even though you'd just be diverting it to yourself, and I would never divert or encourage anyone to divert, although I think it would certainly be a good idea to be able to continue the taper as low as possible, as long as needed, without having to take a higher dose on your pickup days.
Mike

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kar92

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Apr 22 14 4:14 PM

Hi CZO

I too, remember you, though you probably don't remember me. I used to go by the name of Karan. (still do,though the handle looks different)

  I think the account of your taper is really inspirational and I hope U will stay around too.

I have often tried to taper off Subutex, but it is the PAIN that always makes me go back up on the dose. I keep it pretty low but wish I had the option of quitting.  Now that I am on Medicare the price of the medication is about 1/5 of what I was paying for it at Sam's and my doctor is accepting Medicare's payment for the office visit without asking me to give him the difference.. I think he thinks that without it I would fall apart, hence my husband would also fall apart, since he has a pretty bad neurological disease and also just went through some pretty rough surgery from which he has not recovered, so he sees us as a unit that he's taking care of.

Anyhow, wish I could get to a private doc for methadone but it's impossible here, since the medical community is so conservative.. My 85 year old MIL (who has since passed) did get 5 mg per day for her pain, but she hated the fact that it made her sleep all day.. Could not convince her that the "sleepy"  side effect would wear off.

I think it must be a lot easier to taper when you have liquid medication.    Although I get the Roxanne generic Subutex and it can be crushed into a thousand tiny pieces. It's just hard to figure out if the pill (which is very large) has the drug spread in equal amounts through out the matrix, if that makes any sense.

I do use a lot of Ibuprofen for pain and it is good.  But I have too many boring old people's pain problems to list so ....

Let me just say to you WELL DONE!  and PLEASE STICK AROUND!!  I too hope that 10ThousandDoses is still alive and well.

 

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chrisccookassoc

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Apr 23 14 2:37 AM

Thank you

Mike thanks a million for your advice! I have been on MMT for about 10 years, and I must say it has been the very best 10 years of my life since I first became an addict at age 18. I have considering tapering, so your words are helping me.

Chris

(MMT saved my life!)

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sapphire76

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#17 [url]

Apr 23 14 5:28 AM

Karan - I am starting to get that as an issue too now my methadone dose is getting so much lower (from 220 to 45). The pain I have is just getting so much worse, that I fear if I taper much more I won't be able to stand it.

It's annoying really, as I really wanted to see if I could be abstinent, so to have pain as the reason that I possibly cannot continue the taper is really annoying.

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kristjen86

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Apr 25 14 10:47 AM

Congratulations!

Congrats my friend! I am really eager to start to taper down from 130mgs but I notice that if I do not take my whole dose my shoulder hurts extremely badly... I am waiting to have the surgery done but they are worried about the effect the methadone will have obviously - I still haven't even had my wisdom teeth pulled even though I need that done because of the methadone problem - they don't know exactly what to give me for pain even though methadone works for pain... I've been thinking about beginning to work out again with light weights at first and mostly cardio and then move up to heavier muscle building workouts so that my shoulder stops hurting so badly. That may sound strange but actually when I was working out more and was more muscular my shoulder didn't hurt so much I think because of the fact that I have five tears in my rotator cuff and when I'm more muscular it seems like the tendons are held up better or something or just don't move so much.... Anyhow, congrats again!

Sincerely,
Kris

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czo79

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Apr 25 14 11:15 AM

Yeah, I guess I was lucky in that I don't have any serious chronic pain issues or anything.  Some of the minor pain I have is sometimes strangely better when I work out, which actually stresses the painful body parts, so that's been a surprising result.  I had a friend who did a suboxone taper.  He said at the end he'd just scrape little bits off the pills.

Karen, interesting story about the doctor accepting your medicare and not making you pay the difference.  I once had a shrink who pulled that.  I'm pretty sure it's totally illegal. As for trying to cut suboxone pills, I don't know much, but I bet the suboxone is evenly spread throughout.  Just my guess. 
Mike


 

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wayovermyhead

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#20 [url]

Apr 26 14 3:31 AM

I sure all you hang around even after the Tapers because you all help the people who need experience there

and so often I see when someone comes on here to discuss a taper they feel ignored and or "unhelped" because no one can share experience with them unless said person has tapered, felt it, lived it etc....



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wayovermyhead

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