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Old 10-27-2004, 07:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4
Foreverchanged HB User
Detox questions

I am looking for some insight. My husband has been at a detox facility for 4 days. He is detoxing from pain medication (Vicoden, Oxcycontin, percocet, etc)

First off they are giving him methodone. Is this normally used for detox of opiates? I thought it was for heroin.

Secondly, I really do not know what to expect from this process. He wanted to come home yesterday and almost did. The threat of methodone withdrawals and my urging convinced him not to. He is scared, I am scared.

Can anyone give me some insight into the procedure of detoxing?

Does it takes weeks, months? At what point in detox should he come home?
I hjvae heard that methodone withdrawals are worse that withdrawals from the original addiction, is this true? If so why do they use it?

Also my husband seems to think that there is a miracle detox pil called suboxen out there? Has anyone heard of it and can you tell me about it?

Thank you

Old 10-27-2004, 08:14 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 16
blindfaith HB User
Re: Detox questions

I'm sorry that you are going through such a rough time. I commend you for wanting to get informed about your husband's disease. It will help both of you get through this. Unfortunately addiction is a disease that never goes will both be dealing with this forever but it can get better and stay better from here on out with hard work!

First, many facilities still use methadone for detox. Heroin, oxycontin, vicodin, percocet etc. etc. are ALL opiates. They are all essentially the same "drug" but in varying forms and with slightly varying effects. Really, the only difference between heroin and percocet is that it still sounds "bad" in society to be a heroin addict, but somehow percocet is more acceptable! it's all the same....

Detox from methadone can be very bad, but that is when someone has been on methadone for a longer period of time as in maintanence treatment. If your husband is in a detox facility, they will know how to dose and monitor him so that he does not become physically addicted to the methadone while they get his body off of the other pills. But he will still have some symptoms such as restlessness, stomach problems, insomnia, anxiety, irritability...these can last a while.
As far as how long he should stay in the detox, he should stay however long they tell him too! Definitely defer to the doctor's on that one.

The hardest part of detox is that even once your body is "free" of the drugs, you are by no means all better. In my opinion, that's when the real work has to begin. Almost all of us have made the mistake of thinking that once we can get off of the drugs, we'll be fine and will never use again. Then, we get "clean" for a week or so and are sidelined by the emotional pain, and our lack of ability to deal with the real world now that our buffers are gone. The depression can be unreal. I HIGHLY recommend that your husband go to some type of inpatient rehab, for at least 28 days. This will give him at least a little time to get the tools for how to live clean and sober. Again, 28 days will by no means be a cure, but it's much better than just a week or so in a detox. He needs to learn about how to get support, about the 12-step programs, about the relapse process and how to spot it...well, as anyone on this board who has been to rehab can tell you, there is ALOT to learn about how to even begin to live a sober life. Plus, the support he'll get from other addicts there is invaluable. It's indescribable.

Furthermore, you need some time to get help for yourself. You have been thrown into a spin cycle of emotions here I'm sure. There are plenty of people to support you, such as Al-Anon groups or family counseling through the rehab centers. It is VERY important that you get support and education for yourself, not only so you can be there for your husband, but also so you don't lose yourself in this process.

About suboxone, it does exist and for many has been a miracle medication. It can be used solely for detox, or for maintanence. It is similiar in theory to methadone, in that it is a replacement that fills similiar receptor sites in the brain, but is longer acting and not as addictive as the other opiates. it also does not provide anything like the euphoria the other pills provide. I used to call it the warm-centered-narcotic-calm! But since the suboxone does hit the same receptor sites, it can do wonders for staving off cravings, helping with depression and anxiety and basically everything. If you do an internet search on Suboxone you'll find a wealth of info. And the detox facility your husband is in will know about it even if they are not using it yet.

I hope that i haven't flooded you with too much info. I just really want to impress on you how important it is have continued support for understanding that this is a life-long, chronic and potentially fatal disease. But it can be kept successfully in remission with the proper attention and care. PLEASE look into a longer term rehab for your husband. I'm sure other people on this board will back me up that no matter what the excuse is for NOT doing it, the bottom line is that it is absolutely necessary. I don't think anyone goes happily skipping off to rehab, but almost everyone I know who went found it a wonderful experience.

Please keep us posted and ask whatever questions you have!

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Old 10-27-2004, 08:24 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 1,048
Twinlynn HB User
Re: Detox questions


1. Haven't detoxed I can't say much to help. But...are you sure the Methadone is not being given for just a very short period through the detox process?? Can you and your husband sit down with the person in charge and get all these questions answered, so you won't be so worried?

2. Yes, Suboxone (and Subcutex) are for many a "miracle" drug. There is so much information on this board (in fact, one guy "Baseball" has a post up right now, you can check.)

But--also----type in "suboxone", when a little box comes up after hitting the word "search" on the top of the page (don't hit the entire internet search box, which is great..but you won't get all the personal stories like you will from this Board.) You will get loads of posts about suboxone coming up. Also--you can use the Archives, here. Look for past posts from Goddessgrl, Sammi, Banker. And there are many more.

I plan to try Suboxone, myself, very soon for my opiate addiction. Many people on this board take it (it's a pill) and have been greatly helped. It does has to be tapered off very slowly....but it has been a life saver for those who can't get through the symptoms of withdrawal--i.e., the depression, etc.

Hope your husband is "on the mend" soon. This is hard on BOTH of you. Please keep in touch with us. best, Lynn

Old 10-27-2004, 08:47 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 667
Sarandipity HB User
Re: Detox questions

I have just recently, as in a month ago- went through the painful mental and physical feeling of detox. Without completely confusing you, Id like to tell you my experience.

First off, detox is only a baby step in the right direction. The least of your worries should be on what they are giving your husband for detox. Personally the hospital gave me Phenobarb, quinnine for leg cramps, bentyl for stomach cramps, and clonidine patches for blood pres.

Of course your husband wants to come home, the disease is making him want to do more opiates. Thats what I was hooked on too. Its a brutal fight. But he can beat it, there is a solution. Your mind is very powerful. What is happening to your husband is his brain is telling his body he is dying, and that's what it feels like. The worst case of the flu and lasts 7 days although the w/d and what they call paws; post acute withdrawl symtom will last up to a year. Dreams of using, dreams of not using, ups and downs- they call it the rollarcoster ride.

I know as a Alanon- a co dependant- your first thought is if your husband is hurting you have to go get him. Is he in a 30 day rehab? If not, think about it. I know nobody EVER wants to go. But AA and NA have been working since 1935. Drug addiction is a serious cronic deadly disease.

I know if I personally went to a 7 day detox and then let back out in the community I would of been right back to using. The 30 some odd days I spent there working from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm, 7 days a week.

Now Ive been sober for 38 days. I have a temp sponsor and go to two meetings a day. I pray all the time now. I do the next right thing. Im working the steps, Im making ammends to all the people I hurt when I was on drugs and selfish, and self centered.

This is funny, I remember when I was taking pills like they were candy- didn't care about who I was hurting. Then my boyfriend went to rehab and when he came out and he was going to meetings all the time here's what I was thinking " I hope this doesnt last much longer, Im tired of him going to meetings " Goshhhhhh! It lasts the rest of your life! That's what blindfaith and Lynn were saying.

If I could tell you anything it's to not be scared. It's gonna work out if he and you will do the work. It's not a peice of cake, but the payoff is great!

Please know I will be praying for you both!


"I believe that friends lift us up when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

Old 10-27-2004, 09:18 AM   #5
Join Date: May 2004
Location: the South
Posts: 667
windysan HB User
Re: Detox questions

He needs to stay in detox and you might want to go to Al-Anon. I don't like the idea of him getting methadone treatment(prolonging the agony) but the docs will watch him. Suboxone is a maintenance drug and if he's already started "kicking"(detoxing) and is 4 days into it then he shouldn't bail out with Suboxone(my opinion). He is in the best place he can be right now. Make darned sure he goes to meetings when he's done with detox. A 28 day rehab is HIGHLY recommended. Going straight from detox to the street is difficult and sobriety-threatening. 28 days is a rehab for rest and meetings is a good way for him to stay clean...he'll get good tools at a rehab.

good luck

Old 10-27-2004, 09:24 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 667
Sarandipity HB User
Re: Detox questions

Windysan! Wow! You are awesome.
I forgot to mension in my previous post that the doc's did end up putting me on Suboxone. The word around rehab was that it makes a dead man walk, I was so out of it and when they put me on Sub, I was Woooo Hooooo, where do I get started! I was on it for 7 days, and let me tell ya it only prolonged the enivenable. I went through a herendous detox. But Im now sleeping fine, loving life- not all the time but most of the time...

It's not easy out there... but being off of drugs... 37 days... its easier!

Good luck, I hope you are able to find a good alanon meeting. It's for your own peice of mind, its for YOU.
"I believe that friends lift us up when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

Old 10-29-2004, 09:00 AM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4
Foreverchanged HB User
Re: Detox questions

Thank you so much for your insight. It has been very helpful and comforting to know that I am not alone. It has been 7 days and he is still there. He is trying to decide if he will transfer to the "other side" for rehab when the detox is done. I am urging him to do so. Thank you all again.

Old 10-29-2004, 01:33 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 263
mernee HB User
Re: Detox questions

I do not know where you are from however, I live in Canada and here Methadone is only used to treat Heroin addiction. It might have changed in the recent year or two but, I don't believe so. I think it is going to be more common for it to be used to treat pill adiction. I understand from stories on this board that it is commonly prescribed in the U.S. for treatment for other opiate addictions. I at one time would not have encourage the use of Methadone however, after first hand experience to see it's ability to let the addict function and be able to seek recovery changed my mind. It is a drug that does not get you high, but blocks the receptors in your brain so you are unable to get high from another opiate, however if he is dual addicted opiate/stimulant he still will get high from the stimulants. I have found from talking to addicts that withdraw from Methadone that if done properly under a Doctor's care the withdrawals are virtually nil. I usually stayed in the detox for 7 to 10 days however, I chose after a few detoxes to go to a long term rehab facility. I believe that if he is not willing to get into a recovery program when he returns home the time spent in the detox will not be enough. They do counsel in there on different programs though.

Old 10-29-2004, 02:35 PM   #9
Join Date: May 2004
Location: the South
Posts: 667
windysan HB User
Re: Detox questions

BY ALL MEANS......tell him to go to the rehab !!!! 7 days is not long enough!

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