Hey there guys,
It sure seems like I never get a chance to post on here until my life is once again in shambles, begging for advice or answers to questions. I feel guilty for not talking to all of you sooner as I've promised, but my life has simply been one catastrophe after another. Well, I won't get into details and bore the many of you who may decide to read this post in search of some answers........for now I will simply ask my questions in hopes that someone more knowledgeable than I can give me a little info.
Right now, I am barely holding off the W/D's with some borrowed codeine and some leftover Tramadol...........barely cutting it in comparison with my 140mg of Oxy per day. I am, however, alive for the moment. I was SUPPOSED to start treatment at the meth clinic on Thursday, but due to the hurricane, they were closed. Unfortunately, the doctor only comes to the clinic on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 till 9:00 AM.....so they made me an appointment for Tuesday morning. All of you seem to be having great experiences with the helpful and courteous staff at your clinic. I am very afraid that my experience may be very different. However, I have not seen the doctor yet. I really hope he/she is willing and caring.
To all those on MMT...........especially Alice and Jen
one of my main concerns is how long it will take me to get to the right dosage. I know I will not really understand it until I begin.......but I know that they start people at 30 or 40 mg and work them up to a higher dose. So, my main question is, do you have to go through w/d every day until they get you at a stable dose? I will be nicely within my withdrawals by Tues, I'm gonna want to feel better. Secondly, everything says that Meth has little to none of the positive side effects of Oxy or Hydro........honestly, I'm very afraid that if I don't have at least a little bit of that opioid energy, or euphoria, or somewhat of an emotional dullness, and pain relief for my back, that I will relapse and need to take something else......especially if it becomes easily available.
As far as dose goes......all of the equianalgesic tables say that meth is about 3-5 times stronger than Oxy so a 30mg dose of Meth would be like 90-150mg of Oxy 40 would be 120-200..........so, it seems??? like I should be ok. I hope. They say, though, that it is very dependent upon how your body processes it.
All of you in treatment..........I guess my main questions for you are......how do you feel on it? do you feel like crap from the very first day you dose until you find your stable dose? they say I need a lockbox, where do I get it? What are some other things that are important that you think I should know now before I start?
I have a lot to write and many things to say to many people on this board. For now, I will merely thank you. Tuesday night I will post to hopefully give some info to those thinking about MMTand let everyone know how it goes.....in addition to many other things.
Do yourself a favor and get on Suboxone or Subutex [Subutox?]. They are both bupenorphine-based. I say this with such confidence because I was RIGHT where you are with the Oxy. A day or two without the Oxy to get far enough into withdrawal, on day three I started the suboxone and by day four I became a new person. I have never been on Meth but from what I understand it is SO much better. If you can find a doc/clinic to get you on Suboxone, it will change your life.
I really feel for you and everyone else who couldn't get their legitimate or not-so-legitimate pain meds because of the hurricane. It sounds like you're hanging in there. If you are now out of Oxy, and will not be taking anymore before Tuesday, you will be plenty ready to start on Suboxone right away. So in my humble opinion, do yourself a huge favor and skip the meth, get on and stay on the suboxone for a while. You will rejoice. Suboxone is not perfect, but like I said, I was exactly where you are with the oxy, and the subs changed everything. There is plenty of info on the internet so check it out if you can.
Hi! I just wanted to say that I'm on Suboxone and it did save my life... But it does come w/side effects like weight gain, sleepiness in the evenings... BUT... IMO, Methadone does the exact same thing. I was taking over 20 lortab 10s per day and I don't know how that lies with the oxys but I promise you it's a lot.
I have received methadone pills before while I was withdrawing and my experience was I liked them MORE than lortabs... it was like instead of taking 4 or 5 lortabs at once, I would take one, 10 mg pill... NOW.... after about 5 days of this, I found myself taking more and more of methadone to get the same high I got at first. Everyone on here says that after you stay on it awhile, you won't really feel a high. However, I REALLY did... I was taking about 40 mgs per day for a short time and again,... it gave me tons of energy and made me feel great!!!
Suboxone is different. It makes you feel normal at least for me. Also, most people are given a month prescription at a time and I definitely do not crave at all.. I mean, AT ALL! I've had people offer me lortabs before and I haven't thought twice about saying no. I know another girl that takes it and she has been the same way. She went from going in and out of rehab to getting a job and getting her children back that she lost while she was into drugs.
I've heard so many success stories regarding Suboxone... I know you do not want to let go of the high as I felt the exact same way. It was difficult to put that first piece of a pill under my tongue... but it works! You don't want the high once you start taking it. It's very hard to explain... Anyway, I understand if you still choose the methadone route... Apparently, the withdrawals from both are equal... Although I might venture to say that I've seen a few more people suffer longer withdrawals with meth than w/Sub... but I believe they both are pretty bad.
Anyway, pls don't be scared regarding either treatment. I can tell you that my experience was that If I wasn't going to a clinic every day to get it... I could and would easily abuse that med because it really did give me a major 'sense of well being'.
Also, I believe that they increase your dosage based upon cravings AND withdrawals rather than withdrawals alone but I could be wrong. I know w/Sub... that's what they do. If you are craving on 8 mgs, you can increase to 12 or 16 mgs. My doctor flat out told me 'you tell me how much you want to take' and I was taking 8 at first and then about 6 weeks later went up to 12. I'm around 10 right now because I'm working on tapering.
I'm sorry I don't have more experience and info for you... but I hope some of this helps... Also, a friend of mine takes about 70 - 80 mgs per day and is absolutely fine... never takes more and never seems to act like he's drugged or anything at all. Good luck and keep us posted...
Thanks for posting first of all. I really appreciate your willingness to help out a person in need. Hopefully soon I can be helpful to those who come to the board. Banker, were you saying that you have a friend on Meth at 70-80 mgs? How is he or she coming along? I have looked into the Sub route already, as it was my first choice, but I'm not able to do it. The only sub doc around here seems to be some sort of money hungry quack. Of course he's got a waiting list 6 months long. Funny thing is, if I had gotten on the waiting list back when I first called his office, then my name would be coming up now. Doesn't matter though. I really can't afford it. He charges $400 in cash at the initial visit and somthing like $130 each week thereafter. Now, I'll be paying $77 a week for the methadone. It may not seem like a huge difference to some, but to me that is enormous. The biggest disadvantage I see to the methadone is the daily trip to the clinic. I'm not sure if or how soon they give take homes here. I'm almost pondering trying to call another addictionologist who doesn't use sub, but might put me on meth treatment that I can get from the pharmacy. We will see, though. Once again, thank you guys for your posts. I have to go to work. Be back tonight.
I'm right there with you regarding the $$ issues. I had to make a week of phone calls before I could find an 'affordable' suboxone doctor. It is just ridiculous the amount of money most are charging, and it is completely without merit in my opinion. For that kind of $ you may as well be in a rehab facility. I absolutely HATE that money and availability is standing between you and suboxone. It breaks my heart. The system is truly messed up. I would suggest that if you haven't looked into suboxone recently, it may be worth trying again, as it's use and availablility increases all the time, and a doc that wasn't providing it a month ago may now be.
Wish I could help you with the meth questions. You know Banker's take on it. And from reading other meth-related posts here, it does sound like more of a legal 'high' for many, very much UNlike bupenorphine.
take home doses will happen for you. my first was at 30 days. that doesnt count that your clinic may be closed sat and sunday. some clinics close and some dont. holidays are take homes also. in my case i just passed a year at my clinic and i get 4 take homes a week. depending on your state you can get more take homes than this. got to do homework. i will post tonight on your questions
Last edited by rockingham; 09-19-2004 at 12:59 PM.
Nice to see you again! So about your questions, I've learned that methadone affects everyone differently, it is metabolized differently & your DOC & drug history also plays a part in how you react to it & how you know when you are at your "stable" dose. One thing is certain, when you are stable, you'll know it. So I can't really say I can answer your questions, but I can share my experience & you can use it as a frame of reference as another addict's story, okay?
I was using vicodin, percocet, & percodan for over 20 years. Reality of my finances & the fact that I was no longer really getting high anymore, but only keeping the w/ds at bay, became the pushes I needed to go to the clinic. I called on a Friday and couldn't be seen until Monday. I got 120 vicodin on Saturday & binged like crazy over the weekend. Monday, after taking about 6-8 vicodin, I went to the clinic. The counselors began the intake process & for the first time, I finally got to tell my story to someone in person, & it felt really good. Then the dr. came in, and he is a very nice and caring guy...about my age and not judgmental nor the kind that makes you feel like you are scum because of what you've become. I had a physical w/blood work, a UA, etc., but I needed to be in some form of w/ds before I could dose, so he asked me to not take anymore that day (it was about 10:00 a.m) & come in the next morning to start. I was honest & told him that I had just gotten some pills & I knew myself well enough to know that I couldn't promise him that. So he asked me if I could just not take any after midnight & come in the next day, & that I could do.
On Tuesday, I went in after being true to my word & got there about 9:00. He started me at 30 mgs.--gave me 15 mgs. first, and then 15 mgs. about 30 minutes later to see how I reacted to it like allergic reactions, getting sick or anything unusual. I will be honest with you when I tell you that yes, I did feel a buzz of a sort. It was different than the feeling I got from the pills, & it hit much quicker. About 4 hours later, I felt "normal" like I had come down in a way, but I wasn't high & I wasn't feeling any w/ds or craving a high either. I continued to go up 5 mgs. a day, & at each 10 mg. stage (40, 50, 60, etc.) I stayed there for 3 days to see if this was "it." There are 2 nurses who dose, & you drink it in front of them so they can witness you taking it.
The lockbox is for takehomes. The rules are different for those at every place, but my clinic is closed on Sun., so they send your dose home with you in a lockbox (I got mine at Wal-mart for about $10, it has to have a lock and key, can't be zip up or anything, & you put your dose in it & lock it in front of them before you leave). After 90 days of clean UAs, you get a Sat. take home, 30 days later, another takehome, etc.
The main things I felt during the period of time from my initial dose until I got to about the 70 mg. range was profuse, & I mean PROFUSE, sweating. I was dripping, my shirt was soaked & my hair was never dry. I would just go into any bldg. that had an air conditioner so I could stand in front of it & dry off. Other things that I would call "negative," (which really, considering the gain of the whole thing, are minor negative side effects, I think) were the beginning of a sweet tooth & an appetite change. Many people gain a lot of weight on meth, but I've heard the same about sub, too. I was feeling daytime drowsiness, which is one of the things I've been battling since I started this up until last week, & one that bothered me a lot in the beginning was morning aching--deep down in my bones kind of aching, stiff as a board & couldn't even move sometimes! But it, too, went away after I told him about it, & he told me that was really a symptom of w/ds (I had just never gotten far enough in any of my past c/t attempts to feel that so I didn't recognize it), & as soon as my dose increased to the right amt, it went away.
The positives are the obvious. I immediately stopped having thoughts about taking vicodin. For the first time in years, & I'm serious--I mean many, many years, I was sleeping through the night for 7-8 hours! That alone was such a life changing thing that I was so happy, I cried real tears when I saw that I was really sleeping--like "normal" people do! It was such an enormous relief.
As for the pain-killing effects, I have some chronic mild-moderate pain issues, too--migraines and myofascial pain from a pinched nerve & degenerative disk disease. I used to get cortisone shots and trigger-point injections in my back and neck, but the relief was short-lived, & opiates always worked better (of course! ) I asked the dr. about it, & he explained that methadone is a very strong pain relief drug that it is often used to treat chronic pain patients, sometimes for life. There is another poster here, chefob1, who takes 60 mgs. for his back. He has posted to me that he was once a major addict who went through MMT & remains at this dose for his pain issues (other than knowing it was opiates, I'm not sure what his main DOC is), but you might want to do a search of his posts. Recently the clinic dr. told me he has a patient whom he has only been able to ween down to 15 mgs. because of some pain issues, so he is putting him in contact with a physiatrist who will treat the pain as he's so close to being off the methadone, that there is no reason for him to be on the 15 mgs. other than pain, so he is working on finding a dr. for pain-treatment alternatives.
My worry is my self-discipline as I still had pills at home, & I even had permission from the clinic dr. to "take one if you feel you need it..." because the dr. was afraid this would be too much too soon & was afraid I would not see the program through. But I want this so badly, & DJ, I am so serious when I tell you that since that day of my first dose--I have never needed the pills again. I won't lie & tell you I didn't go looking for "something" though. Shortly after starting the meth, probably in the first 2 weeks of it, I took some pills "just to see." But I didn't feel anything. The meth blocks your receptors somehow. I don't know much about the equivalency that you mentioned, so I don't know what my dose is equal to, but when I took 3-4 pills all at once & didn't feel them, I was amazed...I could not believe this drug was working. But this is the part where I need to now get very proactive in finding the mental support for when it is time to go off the meth (which I hear is NOT easy by any means, but I've heard that about the sub also), so I am just starting to look for meetings & am planning on going to one next Sat. at my clinic. I also have to not want the high anymore, and seeing the positives has helped with that.
Yes, there was an euphoric feeling, but of a different kind, more intense, yet it is a false sense of security The dr. explained this was a huge release of endorphins that addicts often feel when they begin a program that takes away the dreaded withdrawals. Our body is prepared for the onslaught of diarrhea, the chills, sweats, aches, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, etc, & when those things don't happen, our brain is overjoyed, & we feel a surge of "good feelings." At first I was thinking "what a bunch of malarky!" & that I would be off the meth & back to my life before drugs in a few weeks if things were going to work this well--NOT!!! Gradually as the high from the methadone and the mental re-adapting goes down, you are then faced with finding your stable dose. That was hardest for me, & I relied a lot on Jen's encouragement & support during that time, it was frustrating! One by one, with each dose increase, some side effects would go away, but some lingered--primarily the deep-down aching & the daytime drowsiness. I had been on 100 mgs. for 10 days, but ached so bad that I was now looking forward to going to the clinic like I used to look forward to my pills, & when I told the dr. exactly that, he new I needed an increase, the aches were w/ds. By the time I was at 110 mgs., the aches and pains were gone, & I was no longer "nodding off" during the afternoon--I had found it, my "stable dose!"
I know where I need to be now & I know I will have to go off the meth at some point, & that scares the heck out of me! I am afraid of what I will lose if I mess up. For the first time in over a year, I am working & not taking pills in order to do so. I'm sleeping at night--those all-nighters were awful and contributed so much to depression. I no longer add $3-$500/mth to my credit card debt, & I don't count pills or have to worry about when, where & how I will get more. It has totally changed my life. I am so glad that I followed through & did this. I know what works for some doesn't always work for others, but if the desire to quit is there, whatever program or way you find to get off of the pills, I have no doubt you will succeed. I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but there is a lot to say about MMT and my story w/it so far.
I hope some of your questions have been answered, but do remember that each person and their stablization is different. There are some at this clinic who take over 250 mgs. of methadone a day! I can't imagine that, but then there are some who are on 50 mgs. who can't imagine being on my dose. There is a pregnant girl there who is on 120 mgs. & feels that is very high. The dr. said the "average" is 80 - 120 mgs., so it's just a matter of trying and seeing w/each increase. I suggest writing down how you feel as you progress. If you can make it to Tuesday, you should be pleasantly surprised at how the initial dose makes you feel !
Take care & keep in touch. I'll be thinking about you,
reaching a stable dose will take about 30-60 days. it varies.
do not worry about not experiencing some sense of euphoria. methadone will provide a mild form of high initially. that was one of the positives for me. to answer your question you will know in the first week how it feels and what i mean. the "buzz" should last about 30 days. the first week being the most effect and a reduction in the "buzz" each proceeding week. over the month you will see it go away. it was like saying goodbye to being high anymore. enjoy it. its a honeymoon period and when it ends it never comes back. once you begin to stabilize you will not experience any high from methadone.
you will be thankful for methadone on your first day. it is a great relief to not suffer from withdrawals physical symptoms.
no you dont withdraw each day. methadone doses last a long time. a term used for methadone regarding dose and how long it lasts is called its half life. it means the point in time when there is still 50% of your dose still working in your body. 24-36 hours is the general range for methadone. it varies for each person.
withdrawal symptoms will not come back again. i promise. down the road you will find that you can skip a day or even two and not experience withdrawal because the dose will hold you that long. you will know it yourself in due time.
when you have reached a stable dose it will do two things. eliminate the craving for opiates and block the effect of other opiates. doing an OC would not be worth the price of one pill.
i look forward to your post DJ. good luck to you bro.
Well, it looks like you've gotten lots of information to sort through! That's good though, the more you know, the better. First of all, congrats on taking that first BIG step and making the decision to get off the pills. I am not comfortable telling someone to do a certain treatment, or to not do a certain treatment....I'm not a doctor, or an expert....just another addict who has had all kinds of experiences, which I am willing to share. It sounds like you have some questions....I will do my best to describe my own experiences, and hopefully it will clarify some things for you.
If you are in a state of withdrawals when you start the methadone treatment on Tuesday, you will feel wonderful after your first dose of methadone, even at 30 mg. It's almost a "rush" when the methadone kicks in, because you feel this sensation of suddenly feeling SO much better. Your system obviously will not always be satisfied with that low of a dose, but initially, it's plenty. My clinic raised my dose (I believe every 5-10 days??) at 5 mg increments until I felt "stable". I guess this is where it can get tricky. Will you know when you are stable?? The only thing you need to be concerned with is how you are feeling each day. Do NOT worry about matching equivalent doses of narcotics between the methadone and oxy's. You will metabolize the methadone differently, so don't expect the same feeling (or euphoria) from the methadone. Yes, in the beginning of treatment, you will feel a sense of well being, or euphoria. Some people feel the methadone kick in around an hour an a half after dosing, and describe it as a "buzz". I used to feel it kick in, but I don't anymore. (I've been on MMT for a couple years)
I think you have to ask yourself if you are looking for an alternative high, perhaps a legal one? If you are...and be honest with yourself....you're getting into methadone treatment for the wrong reason. The clinics are experts at distinquishing drug seekers from addicts who want to change their lives, and their behavior. I know you're worried about getting through the day with wd's, but I really don't think you will have any problem. I was in severe wd when I started methadone, but I felt so much better as soon as I started treatment, even before I found my stabilized dose. Before you find that magical dose, you may experience some cravings (tell them if you have them), and some wd symptoms may appear here and there. You've read about them in other people's posts, so I won't go into that here. Whatever you experience, it will be manageable, really. You will be AMAZED at how much better you feel, and especially at how much time you suddenly have on your hands!! It's awesome. My life completey, totally changed. I never, ever, would have believed that I would be living a life free of those pills!! Only good things have happened in my life since I started treatment. The cost, the daily trips to the clinic (which will change as long as you follow the program), the side effects (weight gain, UGH!) are all WORTH IT....SO WORTH IT.
I truly wish you the very best in whatever you decide. Methadone treatment has worked far above and beyond anything I could have imagined, or wished for. Each person is different, with so many varying factors that weigh into the decision of which recovery plan/treatment will work best for them. Go to the appt on Tuesday and ask all of your questions. See if this seems like a place you will want to go to (you'll be there a lot). You asked...."What do you think I should know before I start?" I would have to say.....Just be honest...it is a must. Be humble and leave your attitude at the door. For once, just lay it all out there...they've heard everything, nothing will shock them. You won't get what you need if you're not honest with them, so if you take 70 pills a day, tell them! Try to take in what they tell you, and hopefully, you can entrust yourself into their care. I really hope it turns out to be a clinic employed with a caring, and competent staff. Please, please, ask anything you want, I will do anything I can to help you ease into this process. Take Care.............................Fondly ~ Jen
i wanted to add something. jens right about experiencing symptoms from day to day while you stabilize and cravings IS one that will come up. mine were ok. i was glad to be off dope though because it was so up and down in the end. i did not want it anymore. i missed being high but i didnt want to feel like i felt back then. more depressed and low then i felt ever. to me i think sub and methadone do the same basic thing. im glad i found the methadone clinic. its a good option for recovery. so is suboxone
Jen, as far as looking for a legal high....well, yes and no. Now don't get all upset too quickly. Not looking for a legal high in the sense that I want a euphoric feeling every day........but just like everyone else I am going to have to give up something that I hold very dearly. I'm even upset about all the rituals that I will no longer go through........crushing my pills, rolling a tube, doing that little bump here or there when I need an up. So, I don't want to be high, I want to be normal, but what everyone seems to be saying is exactly what I want.......a mild to moderate high that lasts for a few weeks and then tapers off to nothing. Almost like a taper for my buzz.
Alice and Rock, your posts were also very helpful. I'm sure I will get all of my questions answered tomorrow.
To everyone reading this post. I promise you that tomorrow or the next day I will write the mother of all posts......describing me, my life history, my drug history, where I stand now, and how my first few days at the clinic go. It will be extremely long, so only those who are truly interested will choose to read it. It will almost be a cleansing for me, as I have told very few people many of these things, and no one knows all of them at once.
I will tell you one thing about the last two days though. I ran out of my codeine that I was using to hold off the withdrawals on Sat, so yesterday and today all I have had was Tramadol. Now I know there is a huge debate about the opioid effects of Tramadol at the mu receptor and sigma receptor, etc etc as well as its effects on serotonin levels. I know there are people on here who are extremely addicted to it and say it is very hard to come off of. I can say, though, regardless of its opioid effect, it has done a great job holding back my withdrawals. I'm not taking an excessive dose. I don't feel a buzz, just some nausea, and my withdrawals have been only slight leg pain, chills, and sweating. I found it to be interesting. I wonder if one took Tramadol for a few days early in withdrawal if it would make it worse after you quit the Tramadol or if it could get you through the hard part without as much difficulty. Anyone know?
Thanks again to all, be looking for my monster post, and stay strong.
Wish me luck! New life begins tomorrow!