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ninny111

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Jul 3 13 8:04 AM

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So actually this is my first time being in an outpatient methadone treatment program.  I have been going to the methadone clinic a little over a year now and I have started to decrease my dose.  I had to do an inpatient drug rehab thing over 12 years ago and after being there for 30+ days I managed to stay pill and heroin free for around 11 years give or take.  Then one day tragedy struck and it was all down hill from there.  The whole time I was relapsing I wanted to stop and get help...but I kept on for a while until my fiancĂ©e had an accidental O.D. He survived and after that we both decided that we had to get help.  It was still hard and we still weren't being totally honest with ourselves and each other because we were still using. Then finally his family had an intervention with us and offered us a chance to get help.  We both decided that it was time.  That has been a little over a year now and both of us have managed to stay clean.
At the clinic while standing in line I heard so many different stories from different people and it was there that I decided that I didn't want to go up to a very high dose because I didn't want to be there that long.  When I told my goals to some of my friends that go to the clinic also they just laughed and said "good luck with that, I thought I wouldn't  be going here for very long either."   So far it has worked for me, but what they said really scares me and it made me stop and think.  I hope I can do this. I have been dosing down slow, 1 mg every other day from 95 mg.  I still have sweats, slight cravings and dreams about using. I go to groups on a regular basis and that helps me ALOT. I am new to this forum thing and I don't really know how it all works so if I am doing it wrong just let me know.  I have read some of the other members topics and discussions and they are helpful to me. I would like to know if there are any other good sources that would help me with my addiction, treatment, recovery and relapse prevention...if so please let me know about them. Thanks for caring.



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the elephantman

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Jul 3 13 8:29 AM

@ninny: Welcome to the forum!! Glad u found us!! If methadone is working so well for u and ur able to live a drug free lifestyle free of active addiction, why are u getting off methadone?? Im just curious really. U will get many more replies from all the others. If u have any questions feel free to ask @wayovermyhead(admin) or @sapphire(co-admin). And all the others, me included will be glad to help as well.

Again welcome to the forum!!

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wayovermyhead

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Jul 3 13 2:11 PM

@ninny, I am going to ask the same as Eman......Why undo what is working and even take the chance?  I do understand peiople not wanting to be "lifer's" Like I plan but if you are already having dreams, sweats and cravings wait until you fall under 50 or 60 milligrams because as of right now 95 milligrams is at least a blocking dose etc.....When the receptors are not "filled" is when the real work begins so you need to have areas in your life such as relapse prevention and support well covered......

I am so leery of all I have been hearing about clinic propaganda and protocol here lately I suggest to everyone that they take a real personal look into what their motive and intentions are in detoxing off methadone.  I hate to sound like I am a MMT Pusher or bully but DAMN getting an optimal dose, receiving adequate takehomes etc...are becoming too compromised by policy changes and BS Propaganda.  I just am too scared to even chance it.  Why?  Like I said clinics are changing ther rules you detox down thinking the rules were like before and then whammo find out things are different or are going to be different and it's then "too late".  Clinics are getting to where once you detox down they never let you build back up to your old dose etc....

I wish everyone the best that detoxes off I really do but I hear so many horror stories about getting down to 30 or 50 milligrams changing their mind, they were told they could go back up but find they are having to fight for every damn 5 milligrams increase, pay for more UA's and peak and troughs...Give up there takehome status to increase back up as now they are requiring increases to be observed at alot of clinics etc... I just stay frozen where I am with too much fear to even humor myself with any detox ideas....I try not to appear disappointing to people who tell me they have decided to detox but try to make them take a real good look at if that is the best thing to do or not. 

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sapphire76

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Jul 4 13 3:25 AM

I'd say the same as you @Way. I know that clinic's here have been promising that if people taper and then hate it, that they can go back up, but then when the pt asks to go back up, the clinic are like "no way".


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ninny111

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Jul 4 13 6:00 AM

To answer the question, why am I getting off of methadone?  Before I even decided to go to the methadone clinic I told myself that I wouldn't be there that long...maybe two years tops.  During my whole treatment I have kept that in mind. I have a support system and I have attended almost every relapse prevention group at the clinic since I have been there which has been extremely helpful in my recovery. 

Now with some of the not so positive things that I have noticed in my life since being on methadone... I sleep almost all day long, its not that I am tired I just have no drive. So I can't even keep a good job.  My family doesn't like me being on methadone. They call it a crutch. They think it is replacing one drug for another. I do see their point. I am dependent on a drug to make me feel "normal" just like I was when I was using illicit substances.  So what am I supposed to say to them?  They don't know what being an addict is like...they have just experienced it secondhand.  I just want them to be on my side and show them that this is temporary and that it is making me better.  I know they won't actually believe it until I am done with my methadone treatment.

 Another reason we stopped using drugs among the other reasons is so we could get caught up on our house payments and other payments  and we are still constantly one month away from foreclosure.  If we didn't have to pay for our methadone which is $900 a month for the two of us then we could get our house payment up to date.  This past month we had to pay for our yearly physicals so that made our payment $1030.00.  Before when we were using we had other ways to support our habits but now those ways are not an option!!  There are more reasons than this but these are the ones that are more of an issue than the others, as of right now. 
Thanks for the comments.  I do appreciate your time and words.


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the elephantman

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Jul 4 13 8:02 AM

@ninny: It may seem like you will be able too do this and you'll be able too pay that etc. when you get off methadone but what happens if you relapse? I dont mean to cast doubt on you but things always seem so much easier when you have the methadone flowing thru your system. Once that daily dose is gone things change big time. Its not so easy when that happens. It always scares me too hear someone talking about getting off the methadone. Being on methadone is not the end of the world. Its nothing more than a medication that helps you to live a normal life.

 Personally, im not willing too take the chance of getting off methadone because its inevitable for me what will happen. I dont wanna go thru all the pain and agony of active addiction all over again. Its just not worth the risk. I am perfectly happy living a comfortable, stable normal life even if that does include methadone.

You had a 2 year time limit set on yourself from the start?

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ninny111

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Jul 4 13 8:49 AM

elephantman....I do really believe that I can be successful getting off of methadone.  My counselor at the clinic believes this too and my group counselor thinks so as well.  I have people that will be there for support too.  I also will find a group to attend for additional support once I get down to around 70 mg. I am at 87 mg now and I feel alright.  I know I will have good days and bad days.  I guess I just have to retrain my brain to just deal with that. 
 
After my stint in rehab I was opiate free for close to 12 years when I relapsed.   I have also stopped smoking cigarettes, and although this is no where in the world close to opiate addiction I have remained cigarette free.  More recently I stopped drinking caffeine too.  I also stopped smoking pot and quit using methamphetamine.  I also stopped drinking alcohol.  I stopped all of that on my own with nothing but my own willpower. 
 
So with all of this in mind I have to believe in myself and I know I can live a normal life without additional substances.  I have to because honestly I don't feel all that normal when I am taking methadone.  I have never in my life sweated like I do now...it is crazy. My sister thinks that I am using drugs because I have sweat dripping off of me.  I tell her its just the methadone and maybe my blood pressure.  I don't like going around anyone because of it...so usually I don't.  I also can't stand sleeping all of the time.  I never used to be like that.  I used to work 2 full time jobs.  I was constantly busy...now I have NO drive.  I don't want to do anything.  I go to my groups and my appointments and my bottle checks that is about it. 

 
To answer your question about my two year goal... Yes that was my intentions. So far I am on point. The scariest thing for me is that it seems like it is harder to quit using methadone than anything else.  I rarely hear of anyone speaking of success...and that is what terrifies me.  I have to try to stop taking methadone because if I don't at least try then I will never succeed.  I know everyone is different and every treatment plan is different.  Don't get me wrong though just because my plans are to not be on methadone I still plan on being in therapy.  I know my addiction is not over not by a long shot. 

Have you tried to get off of methadone before?  I am glad to hear that you have a comfortable normal life on methadone.  I am thankful for methadone and what it has helped me do but I still don't feel the way I felt when I wasn't using anything.  My goal is to try to feel that way again...one day.

Thanks for sharing with me.



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ninny111

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Jul 4 13 9:34 AM

wayovermyhead.... I have been having the drug dreams since around a month after being on methadone, and that was when I was still increasing my dose.  I have been having the sweats since I started the clinic, they have never stopped.  I have cravings from time to time.  I can deal with the cravings.  I crave a lot of things that I don't need and eventually I will learn to handle that...I hope.  I have had a lot of addictions and managed to quit them all on my own....opiates are the only one I couldn't get a handle on.  I quit methamphetamine, cigarettes, pot, alcohol, benzos and even caffeine.  Heroin and pills had a little stronger of a hold I guess...but my meth habit was close to it.   

What do you mean by blocking dose...what is that?? I have dosed down to 87 mg so far from 95 mg and so far I feel ok.  I have talked to a few people that have been dosing down or out and they suggested to me to tell the dosing nurses to NOT tell me what milligram they are giving me.  I talk to about 10-15 people at the clinic that have been dosing down and so far they are all pretty positive so far.  This is my first time being on methadone so this is my first try at dosing down to.  I have decided that if I am not successful I am not going to beat myself up I will just wait and try again another time.  My counselor and my group counselor, along with myself, believe that now is a good time for me to try to dose down and out....I won't know until I try.

I plan on continuing my treatment, even after I stop using methadone. by going to support groups maybe N/A.  I might try to find a substance abuse therapist.  I do plan on being proactive in my recovery and my  post-methadone treatment and therapy.  I know that it took me a lifetime to get to this point in my life and it will take a lifetime to get me where I want to be in my life.  My only hope is that my will is strong enough.

Thanks for your time and comments wayovermyhead.

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sapphire76

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Jul 5 13 4:27 AM

@Ninny, a blocking dose is where your opiate receptors are so occupied by your methadone dose that there is no point in using illicit opiates as you will not get any effect from them.

I think the reason that people are asking why you want to get off MMT is that they are worried that relapse is a huge possibility.

Having a plan though is a good start. People that don't plan and do things on the hoof are rarely successful.

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ninny111

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Jul 5 13 10:13 AM

Thank you sapphire!  I have been working on my plan and making 100% sure that this is what I really want to do. I just can't stand sleeping all of the time.  That is not my only reason for being ready to dose down and eventually out.  I have talked to some other people at the clinic I go to and they have the same problem with sleeping all of the time. 

Every thing that everyone has told me here in the forum has been very helpful.  I trust myself and I think I am making the right decision.  However if I do fail I am not going to beat myself up about it.  I am just going to try again...later.  I can be pretty hard on myself and my counselor even says I need to lighten up a bit...and she only knows the half of it.  I have to try to do this and I think I am in a good place to begin. I know it will be hard especially when I get down to lower mg. That is why I am doing all I can to find out more about relapse prevention, post-methadone therapy, recovery and anything else that might help me succeed. I have checked out the samhsa website and a few others.  I am looking for anything that will help and good advice.  Do you know of any other places I can look to for help?

Thanks again sapphire and everyone!

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the elephantman

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Jul 6 13 11:51 AM

@ninny: Have you ever considered that you may have been under-dosed? You say everyone talks about being tired. Do you know if your clinic is known to under-dose people. Being under-dosed can also cause a person to feel tired all the time. Just a thought.

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wayovermyhead

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Jul 6 13 12:22 PM

@ninny: Have you ever considered that you may have been under-dosed? You say everyone talks about being tired. Do you know if your clinic is known to under-dose people. Being under-dosed can also cause a person to feel tired all the time. Just a thought.

-the_elephantman

 


could be could very well be.....

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ninny111

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Jul 7 13 6:59 AM

elephantman and wayovermyhead........ I know some people at CTC that have been there for as long as the clinic has been open and they have all told me that they think a lot of the people there have been dosed too high.  I know there are some people that need a high dose. For instance there are some people that go there that have legitimate pain inducing medical issues and they need high doses just to cope with pain and their addiction, They are also the ones that have said they will never see the day that they are totally medicine free.  Another man that goes there, well he came to the clinic so he could get off darvocets and he is on 130 mg. I thought that was pretty high for just darvocets. Who am I to judge though!?!  I have actually seen with my own eyes someone nodding totally out while standing in line.  He was yanked out of the line a bit later and I guess they ended up giving him an observed, I only heard gossip of what happened to him later on. I was told they put him on contract, took his takes homes away and lowered his dose. He also had to wait at the clinic 30 min after he dosed everyday until the doctor said he could go back to dosing regularly. I guess they had to observe him taking it to make sure he wasn't taking benzos or something else with it. One of the nurses said they didn't know why that he only had to wait 30 min because something about the half life and the methadone not being in his system. She said it made no sense. 
As for me personally I don't think I am dosed too high. Today I am down to 85 mg. That is -10 mg in 20 days and so far I can't really tell any difference.  Actually today I even kept some in my bottle just to see if and how long it takes for me to start feeling it. If I don't feel any different of course I will still take it tonight or today but I suppose I will feel even better about dosing down.  Maybe even think about changing my dosing to -5 per week instead of -1 every other day. It doesn't seem like much of a difference but from what I am told IT IS.  I want to do this right. Methadone is the only thing I have never tried to quit... YET.  But I had never ever had methadone until April 17 of last year...so all I can do is try. How do YOU know that you are on the right dose? Especially when you are wanting and trying to dose down??

At the clinic the other day someone said that they were told by their counselor that "you either come to the clinic to get better or to avoid being sick.  So which reason are you here?"  So now I guess they are asking all of the patients this because now I am supposed to be thinking about that question and my answer to it.... HMMMM!!  
I also found out that there is a new counselor at my clinic and she wants to be an advocate for the patients. I told her she should check this site out it might give her some ideas how she can help.  She said she wants to help make a change how the laws effect patients their rights and their treatment. I think she is going to be a good counselor. Hopefully.

Thank you both for your time and consideration. I appreciate your thoughts. Hope that you have a nice day.
 

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the elephantman

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Jul 7 13 9:23 AM

1. I have actually seen with my own eyes someone nodding totally out while standing in line.  He was yanked out of the line a bit later.

For this situation, i would say this person was likely taking some other potentiator i.e. benzos. What makes me believe such even further is you said from what you gathered, this person was put on contract. Patients are usually put on contract for benzo positive UA's. So i think it would be safe to say this person was nodding out due to mixing his methadone with some other potentiator, probably benzos. Point here is, it was not likely too be his methadone dose alone that caused him to nod out while standing.

2. Methadone is the only thing I have never tried to quit... YET.

You talk about quitting methadone as if your quitting your drug of choice. How do you view methadone? I'll tell you what my view is. Methadone for me, is a medication that arrest my disease of opiate addiction. It is a replacement medication, just as insulin is a replacement for diabetics. It curbs cravings, keeps me out of withdrawal, allows me too live a normal life and helps me keep stability in my daily living. Methadone is an opiate no doubt, however, it does not produce the euphoric high like other full agonist. So in saying all this, how do you view methadone?

3. How do YOU know that you are on the right dose?

The right dose of methadone should hold you for at least 24hours. A proper dose of methadone will curb most all your cravings and keep away all withdrawal.

Hope this helps a bit!!

I hope my question to you about your view on methadone didnt come across wrong. I was just curious really as to what your thoughts are.



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the elephantman

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Jul 7 13 10:41 AM

@ninny: In my post above, the stuff i numbered was things i quoted from your post. I forgot to put it in quotations. Its just easier for me to make sure i dont forget anything if i do it like that.

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sapphire76

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Jul 8 13 4:03 AM

@Ninny - you will know when you are on the right dose because it will keep you "normal" ie not sick, for 24+ hours.

It will also deal somewhat with cravings to use.

I can't remember why you are reducing your dose?

Is the dose you are at now holding you for 24+ hours but without making you over sedated?

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ninny111

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Jul 9 13 7:40 AM

elephantman for me methadone is different for everyone. Personally I was taking it to help me quit using street drugs. Now I know there are some people that aren't ready to come off of methadone and that is alright by me I don't judge. For me though...I just want to.  If I find that I can't do it then it is not a big deal I will just have to go back to the clinic.

sapphire I am reducing my dose because I am trying to dose out. I seriously don't do anything because I am so tired and overweight now. It is like I can't do it.  I have no drive.  So in that way I feel like I am a bit over sedated.

I was on drugs my whole life...well pretty much. My grandmother started giving me watered down Paregoric when I was 6 to help with some stomach issues that I have had since I was younger. I guess she just was tired of seeing me in pain all of the time. Anyways... I have quit using every drug that I have ever used now and stayed off of it. Now I just feel like it is time for me to quit methadone too. It has been helpful in getting me off of other opiates granted. However the only time in my life that I have ever felt normal is during the time that I wasn't using anything. I want to get back to that point in my life, hopefully.
The only reason that I started using again is because when my mother died I blamed myself because under my care she died. Now since I have had counseling I have realized that this is just one of the steps in grief and now I am ready to move on. I have to because if I don't I am going to sleep my life away...literally.

Seriously guys thank you for your concern and wisdom!

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sapphire76

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Jul 10 13 5:10 AM

       
sapphire I am reducing my dose because I am trying to dose out. I seriously don't do anything because I am so tired and overweight now. It is like I can't do it.  I have no drive.  So in that way I feel like I am a bit over sedated.

   

-ninny111

Are you having problems losing weight? For practically my entire time on MMT I could not lose any weight and I thought that methadone was the problem.

It turned out that it was not, and since getting that sorted out and amending my diet and exercise regime I have lost 83lbs so far.

A lot of my drug use initially was because I felt bad about the way I looked because I was overweight, so now I am finally losing the weight it's making me feel really good.

I really would encourage you to go to the doctor and see that you don't have some thing like Hypothyroidism or insulin resistance or polycystic ovary syndrome, all of which make it near impossible to lose weight.

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ninny111

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Jul 10 13 7:42 AM

sapphire.....
I have been to my personal doctor the one I have seen for several years. My thyroid has been tested, blood work and all sorts of other tests ran.  Also, I have had a complete extensive physical done only a couple of months ago. I am perfectly healthy. I go to 3 different doctors on yearly basis...and all of them state that I need to lose weight and that I am perfectly healthy otherwise. One treats my asthma and I have been seeing him since I was a child. The other is the same OB/GYN who I have seen once a year since I started going to an OB/GYN.  Last of all I see my family physician which I started seeing because my previous family doc moved away and referred me to her colleague.  
My major problem is that I have no drive...I have the desire I just don't have the motivation.  That has never been me.  All of my life I have been on the slightly underweight side of my "what I should consider normal" weight range.  I have been very active all of my life with dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, cross country, running, hiking, rock climbing, caving, canoeing. I always had motivation, desire, dedication and drive. With those attributes it was easy to not gain weight. Now I don't really feel like doing anything except sleeping...like 16-20 hours a day. So that is why I cant lose weight...because I cant stay up long enough to try. Usually I am asleep now but since I have been dosing down I have been staying awake a little more...and I feel alright but I still don't have the energy to work out or even go for a walk.
Glad to hear that you got a handle on your weight. I know how good it makes you feel about yourself inside and out. So congrats and keep it up, cause just like with addiction it too is a lifelong issue that you have to deal with one day at a time. Maybe one of these days I will get a handle on mine.
Thanks for sharing.

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ninny111

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#19 [url]

Jul 10 13 7:49 AM

winkP.S. I also just had my yearly physical at the clinic too and they said that I had pretty big difference in my weight since the day I started.  The clinic nurse practitioner said that this was fairly common with the patients there. She said that you can expect to gain some weight...some people more than others. I guess that I am one of those that gains more than the others. That figures.wink

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the elephantman

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#20 [url]

Jul 10 13 4:47 PM

Now I don't really feel like doing anything except sleeping...like 16-20 hours a day. So that is why I cant lose weight...because I cant stay up long enough to try.

-ninny111

Usually sleeping the amount of hours you mention will only make you much more tired. How long have you been sleeping like this? Maybe your dosage does need too be adjusted, who knows, however, i bet you could get to a dose that you are able too be much more active. I really feel getting off methadone could have disastrous consequences. I dont mean to sound negative. I've just seen too many times where someone got off methadone and went back to using. Some went straight back while others took a bit of time but eventually went back to using. Didnt you say you've gotten off before and had a relapse afterwards? Its just not worth the risk to me. And also, once the methadone is out of your system, your thinking can change drastically. Cravings come back that are very overwhelming, sometimes too overwhelming and can lead a person back to using in no time flat. The disease of opiate addiction is deadly.

I do wish you nothing but success!!

What are your ideas for when you get off?

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