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Old 05-23-2007, 10:33 PM   #1
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Smile Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?



Hi, I am new to this site and there seems to be a lot of insightful folks here....so I am wondering if anyone can help me. I was put on methadone for pain 3 days ago, after being on hydrocodone 10/650 for the last year and a half, following a serious car accident. I am very frightened of methadone and nervous to take it, however have come to trust my doctor immensely and feel I want to follow her recommedations. I know I am addicted to the hydrocodone and am afraid of being addicted to the methadone which seems to be inevitable according to what I've read. Right now the methadone is being given to me for pain, not maintanence. I also have a long history battling various addictions.

The idea of being on methadone terrifies me. I have heard it's worse than the hydro to come off of. I have withdrawn off alcohol many times (have been abstinent from alcohol for almost 2 yrs), and have never been through anything as bad as booz...I was a very hard drinker...the type that got so bad I had to drink to live.
Anyway...my questions are:
How quickly will I be hooked to the methadone? I mean could I stop in a month without WD's? How long does it take to taper? Should I be so afraid? I have chronic pain and will for the rest of my life and will need some kind of pain killers. My doctor thinks methadone is the cleanest and safest thing for long term use, but is hoping to taper me off after I have completed several proceedures to my injured knee.

Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Can someone tell me it's not as scary as I think. Is there an easy way to come off? I have so many questions and I am so scared of another battle of withdrawals. Any help or info would really be appreciated!

 
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Old 05-24-2007, 02:49 AM   #2
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Hello Shay

Nice to see you posting.

The dependency on morphine will, in my opinion, just be a continuation of the dependency on hydrocodone. Both are very hard and strong narcotics. Neither is easy to come off of.

If you and your doctor have decided on this route for pain management, then that is good. With surgeries coming up, it would not, in my opinion, be the time to worry about anything but the surgeries and gettting through them. It is good your doctor has in mind to taper you afterwards. That is a good plan. Please don't torment yourself with this. Board members will be here for you when you get to the taper point. In the meantime, stay calm and do what you have to for the knee procedures, okay? Smiles.

Keep us updated as often as you want! Look forward to hearing from you again.
reach

 
Old 05-24-2007, 06:10 AM   #3
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

I have been on Methadone for about 2 1/2 years. I was up to 80mg per day. Last month I was having to og to the hospital every day to see my grandmother who ended up dieing. While I was going thru that, I wasn't keeping track of how much I was taking and I actually increased myself to about 120mg per day for a couple weeks and ran out a week early. When I saw my doctor, I told him what I had done. He was very understanding and he just said that I already know what I was risking (I had been addicted to oxycontin before I started seeing him) and he was glad that I was still alive to be his patient. The point I am trying to make is that your doctor will probably be more understanding than you think as long as he/she knows the whole story. When I started seeing my doctor, the first thing I told him was about the oxycontin. I had taken up to 240mg crushed or 560mg whole pills at one time -- VERY DANGEROUS. He said that Methadone builds in your system slowly and leaves your system slowly. That is why it might be better for someone with an addictive personality. Last month when I ran out early, he switched me to Opana ER. The dose wasn't high enough so i still went thru a few days of withdrawals (about 4 days of flu symptoms).

Bottom line is you will be fine as long as you take the methadone as prescribed and let your doctor know if you screw up.

 
Old 05-24-2007, 07:09 AM   #4
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Goodmorning,
It sounds like your doctor is trustworthy and like REACH said, this is not the time to worry yourself with what u will have to face in future.
I was on Methadone for around 8mos. (30mg a day) and went to rehab to detox. It is supposed to be the hardest to get off of, but i got thru it. Any opiate w/d is going to be hard. But this is something that is needed right now for pain management and your dr. will help you when tapering. Like in rehab, they give you things to help get thru it a little easier. In some ways, your better off having your personal dr. detox you than being in rehab. I was sick as a dog in rehab and didn't get proper attention (also didn't get any one-on-one counseling like info. had told my Mom i would!) so i left after only 10days and of course since i left w/o them discharging me, they gave me no meds. to take home to help with w/d. Your dr. will give you necessary things to help get thru it.
Atleast you are aware and accepting that u have a problem w/addiction. Just by being aware of that, u can be saving yourself a lot of extra pain.
Like REACH said, we are here for when u decide to taper.
This board has helped me realize that i can do this.
I can honestly say, that b4 i found this board, i knew in my heart that i was not going to be o.k. with the fact that i had to start weening. Now that i see how many people do it each day and even ones that are on much more than i am, it gives me strength. To know that u can log on and share with everyone how horrible u may feel and not get judged, makes it easier to face.
Try not to worry about it right now & take care of yourself.

 
Old 05-24-2007, 08:02 AM   #5
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Talking Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?



Thanks Jimc and Reach for the encouragement! I actually had the same problem with taking too much Lorcet...I was going through 180- 10/650's in about a week to 10 days. Then started having my Mom dealve them out to me, but I would still run out early. I did tell my doc about running out early and that's why she decided to go ahead and start the methadone now. I am only taking 25mgs a day, and I hope it will stay that way. Will I HAVE to increase that dose or will I be able to stay at 25? I have had rounds with hydro addiction in the past and been able to quit pretty easily, but I have never been on them for this long constant. Tried to quit a few months ago and ended up throwing up, shaking, sweating, hurting, unable to sleep. If methadone is worse than that, I'm scared to death.

I've heard that some people stay on meth forever because they know they will just go back to using hydro...can that be done and is it bad for you? I just hear so many horror stories about methadone, and it has such a stigma, it's nice to hear anything positive to ease my mind. Reach, you refered to the methadone as morphine, is that what it is?

Maggie, I too have had several experiences with rehabs and unless you have really good insurance and can go to a nice place, it can be a miserable experience. Because I have had alot of experience with various dependencies, I can't imagine ever actually being completely clean of anything, especially now that I have an actual physical need for pain meds. But who knows, maybe I will be able to get off it eventually. I'm not really having surgeries, but a couple of "proceedures" to try and replenish the cartiledge in my leg, so I am hoping this will reduce the pain. I dunno, I just really hate the idea of being on this stuff, and just want to make sure I get off it before it becomes too terribly hard, because I know myself too well and I don't know that I would make it through another hard core w/d's. I was a very heavy drinker for years and went to rehab several times and withdrew. It wasn't bad because I had medical help, but later did not have insurance and tried to w/d by myself and almost died. With alcohol, since it's water based, it leaves the system very quickly, so quickly that it can kill you. But with medical help it's not bad, and it's a done deal in a day or two-physically anyway. From what I'm hearing from everyone, it sounds like meth takes forever and the w/d's can "sneak" back when you think it's gone. Do you think if I went off the meth in like a month or so it would be fairly easy? or will I already be addicted physically?

Thanks for all of you info and support! I can tell you all are going to be a great source of stregth which I will surely need-well already do! Sorry this has been such a long post, I just don't have anyone else to talk to to relate...glad ya'll are here. Also, it's only been 4 days of being on this stuff, and I'm pretty cloudy on alot of stuff and having trouble organizing my thoughts. Does that go away eventually? With hydro, I would just fell "normal" like I wasn't on anything, but with this, I definately feel "high" like I'm floating. Don't really like it either!
Well thanks everyone for listening-I'm sure you'll hear from me alot-try to keep it shorter though ! Anything yall can say is greatly appreciated and much needed!
Thanks!

 
Old 05-24-2007, 09:17 AM   #6
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Hey Shay4bliss:
I wrote a lot of stuff on the other thread regarding coming off methadone so check that out for my experience.
Yes, i have also heard that Methadone is the hardest one to come off of. But if i can do it, ANYONE can. I'm a big sissy
When they say "it can take a yr. or more to be totally out of your system" that doesn't mean that you are physically ill for a yr. Just that there are times when u might feel a little weird, or maybe have a bout of fatigue or depression, etc... and that can be due to the chemical still working its way out. I have a ton of reading info on it from rehab that i will get out later and share with you all.
Please try not to let this stress you out. You are under a dr.s care and if i were you (just to help protect yourself even more) i would tell my dr. that i DO NOT want to up the dosage and that u are an addict and don't want to end up fully addicted to this now. I'm not sure about the length of time that u r on it - whether that affects the w/d's. But look it up on internet and do some research there. That should tell u a lot about what to expect.
I was extremely tired after taking it for a month or so. It became unbearable and my wacko dr. put me on Adderrall (when i was total opposite of ADD) and i lost my freakin' mind on that. That was the actual reason i was put in rehab. Bcuz my family was well aware of my chronic headaches/migraines and knew i had been to every dr./hospital been on every med. so they weren't as worried about me being on Methadone that was prescribed by a doc. The Adderral made me lose 38lbs (MISS THAT BADLY ---but SO not worth it) and i dropped into a severe depression, never slept, never ate, etc..... I don't how me telling you about Adderrall is relative, but u never know...it might be something you are faced w/one day by a dr. just trying to keep you from whining about fatigue (which is my dr. WAS my dr.)
i'll try to find that info.

 
Old 05-24-2007, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Hi Maggie,(and all),

Thanks for the encouragement and the info! I guess I wouldn't be so nervous about taking this stuff and having to get off of it if I knew I could go to rehab when the time comes. I guess... I dunno...Ugghh! I just don't want any of the darn stuff! I wish it would just all go away and I could just be a "normal" person...whatever that is! My problem is I happen to like the darn opiates and they don't seem to cause any problems in my life other than taking too much and running out! But seriously that's true except for I will just keep taking more and more til I suppose if I wasn't eventually cut off I would just end up overdosing cuz I would get up to such a high quantity. I pretty much have been addicted to just about everything at one time or another and gotten off everything but the pain meds. They don't seem to wreak havoc in my life the other stuff did. Is this why alot of people go on methadone maintenence and stay on it forever? My ex-bfriend of 20yrs is on meth and has been for like 7yrs. Everyone asks her why she got on it and she says because she was addicted to pain meds. Then when we asked her why she's still on it she says if she gets off it she will go back to taking pain meds....Makes no sense to me, they are the same if you ask me! So basically you can take pain meds legally forever....? But you talking about your Aderall reminds me so much of her. She is also on xanax, mellarill, ativan, depakote, gosh tons of downers...all prescribed by her dr. at the meth clinic...and she's pretty much useless in life. It's very sad...and I don't understand how dr.'s can possibly think taking all that is okay. So I'm rambling now like you were!...

Anyway......here's how I see it. I either need to get off the meth as soon as possible or stay on it for awhile until I have good insurance and can go to a good rehab! I haven't worked since I was in the accident...but I will be able to again in about a month. I did get off hydrocodone by myself in the past, but I had to do alot of finagaling (sp?) to do so and just kinda stay away from everyone for about a week. I tapered myself down to 3 pills for 2 days, then stopped completely, however had xanax to take for muscle spasms, the overwhelming feeling of wanting to crawl out of your skin, and being exhausted but not being able to sleep, aches in the backs of legs, can't swallow, diareah.... Without the xanax, I could not have done it...but I know to go off the xanax immediately after about 4 - 7 days or you'll have another problem of getting off them! such a vicious circle....that's why this meth thing has me just reeling in fear!

Tell me this, Maggie if ya can....have you (or has anybody reading this) gone off pain meds after taking massive quantities everyday for a long period?...Is going off meth feel like that? Like I described above? I saw your other thread Maggie, and it scared the poop outa me! And this was in a rehab!? But I appreciate your brutal honesty and not pulling any punches...the last thing I would want is all of this to be sugar coated and find out differently in the end!

When I first started taking the meth (4days ago) it made me VERY SICK! i was throwing up, naseous, dizzy, felt like I was gonna fall down all the time, and could not focus on anything without my eyes crossing and nodding out. It's better now....So is coming off of it like that or maybe like getting of the pain meds?

Sorry to go on, but I just want to get a really good feel for what I'm up against! And talking this out like this will really calm me down and help me make a decisiion on how long I will let this go on and how to handle it when the time comes! I'm wondering if the pain I have is worse or the eventual w/ds!

So thanks for the ears! I'm really glad the board is here with all you good people who will listen and really care and have been there yourselves.
Shay...

 
Old 05-24-2007, 07:56 PM   #8
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Hi Again,
It is hard for me to answer your question about whether coming off Methadone is as hard/or worse than coming off of a ton of pain meds. bcuz i only had to detox off the methadone. I had been taking probably (6) Lorcets (at the most) a day prior to the methadone, but i don't remember having any w/d's when i switched right over to the methadone from them.
Methadone can be used as a long term pain medication, but I personally have never heard or thought it to be a long term drug taken just so you don't relapse onto other opiates again. Meth. is very very strong and i can't see how that is o.k. to take for a long period unless it is for chronic pain.
When methadone/subaxone is used for "coming off other pain meds." it is usually only used for a short period of time. And if it is needed for a longer period -in order to keep the user off the other drugs-then i have heard of it being taken for no longer than 6mos.-1yr. I saw an HBO special on it and some people stayed on it for a few months, and others around 1yr.
Your friend is on all those benzos.....I can't see how a dr. would justify all of those meds. for anyone in any situation. It sounds like she must be a zombie. That is sad bcuz all of those meds. are not necessary.
Especially if she is on the methadone primarily to keep her from taking other pills. If that's so, then why is he prescribing all of those other HIGHLY addictive pills.? I have never heard of anything like that before.
As far as you go, you have said that you have been addicted to a bunch of other things before and the pain meds. is one you can't see yourself getting off of. I can understand where you are coming from, but i can also hear in your words that u really don't want to be dependent on opiates the rest of your life.
I also understand where you stated that "opiates are the only thing that hasn't had a bad outcome" so it's easier to take them and not want to come off. I felt the same way....after all, it was the Adderrall that was really making me insane and put me in rehab. And that is how i ended up relapsing on pain meds.- bcuz i really believed that they could do no harm to me and they were only helping me live a more functional life. But as u read on about that, u see how i came to the point where i saw myself scrounging around my moms closet like a crazy woman looking for pills - and was sickened by it.
Yeah, i didn't end up in jail, lose my family, lose my apartment, etc....from the opiates, but i count myself lucky to have saved myself from the inevitable "rock bottom". I DID hit rock bottom in my soul though, and that is what freaked me out. If i would have kept things up that way, i would have lost everything...it was only a matter of time.
Bcuz i had lost my job, i was in debt to the point of having to file bankruptcy, and i had pushed away friends/family only to hide out which led to serious depression. I was so depressed that i thank God i did not do anything i wouldn't be able to take back.
Every person and every story is different so i can't tell u , nor can anyone else, what is best for you.
All i can tell u is that Methadone is an addictive drug and it is an opiate. If it is something you have to do at this point, then don't worry about the future and if your going to be able to go to rehab, etc....
If i were u i would just be totally honest w/my dr. and then when the time comes that u want to detox, u will have him/her to lead u in the right direction. And if u have to take off work a week or so and hide away until your feeling up to it, than so be it. This is YOUR life, YOUR body, and YOUR future that you can control by your decisions. The bottom line is always that opiates/benzos, etc....can not be taken "as prescribed" for very long b4 the addict wants more and more. Then u r back where u started.
Educate yourself on the methadone so that u are not so worried. Those feelings u had while 1st starting the meth. are not similar to what I experienced during w/d's from it.
Mine was terrible body aches, restless legs, diahrrhea(sp?), sleeplessness, anxiety, weakness, etc.....
I see that u are very concerned right now about how u will feel when coming off of it, and i really feel that talking to your doc. at length about your worries will help u better decide what is best.
Good luck & i will pray for you that u will make the best decision for you.

 
Old 05-24-2007, 08:51 PM   #9
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Lightbulb Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Thanks so much Maggie for taking so much time in helping me to understand all this...in my day (I'm 40), methadone and heroin were just for the devil and the scums of the earth...that's alot of my problem with all this too. Heroin wasn't so prevelent and was only shot up and used by society's worst...and meth was only used for heroin so meth users were just as bad....things are so different now...i was just blown away when my doc brought this up and she was just so calm and routine about it....

You are right, I don't want to depend on opiates, although I love the effect they give....but I had forgotten some things that you quickly reminded me of. Pain meds have been so readily available and cheap almost free for the last year and a half, that I'd forgotten about running out and scrounging on the floors myself, and between couch cushions....Granted I've run out in the last year and a half simply because I took them all, but I knew there were more to come on my refill date....but the days when I do run out, I'm a "b", don't want to be around anyone, am bitter, and all I can think about is the date of my refill....HaHa! funny how the things cause immediate amnesia, and all those miserable days seem to have never happened!
And listening to you, talk about your past, you reminded me about 15yrs ago when I had been on them for about 4yrs...going from doc to doc, spending all my money, started getting paranoia, also quit a very stable job, and broke a lease at my apartment because I was literally going crazy, and moved in with Mom....I can't believe I had totally forgotten about that period of my life that was so miserable....The mind is a powerful thing! It can just pick and choose memories to protect us I guess...
Wow!
Well you really put things into perspective for me! Thank You, I needed to hear and remember all this stuff....that'll change everything won't it!
What a wake-up call I've really needed! You've been a great help!
Shay..

 
Old 05-24-2007, 11:21 PM   #10
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Hi shay!
My dad is in his late 70's and has been on everything, and nmethadone saved him and gave him his life back...as much as a man his age could have...
as long as the dosage is correct, its great....
He and his doc had to work withit, at first he was SO tired and sweaty, but nce they got it right hes fine...
So glad to have you here....you are a sweetheart...
xoxoxoxoxox,
IZZY'SMOM

 
Old 05-25-2007, 04:55 AM   #11
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Izzysmom,
I am so glad you told me that! It is nice to hear something good about this.I can tell you that one good thing has already come of this and that is because meth is so powerful I can't abuse it or take a bunch of stuff with it. So it's keeping me inline! With hydro, I would be going through 15-20 a day! I guess I should calm down about it and trust that I can w/d later. As many times as I've w/d, I just know what I could be in for so I want to cover all bases.That's what's so sad about addiction, you'd think enough would be enough, but somehow the pills over ride the memories! It's really good that I found this site and people like you and the others, to remind me of alot of things, and point out things I am not thinking of. You have given me some hope with your story this morning! Thanks....Shay

 
Old 05-25-2007, 11:42 AM   #12
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Re: Hi! Newbie here. Anyone have any experience with methadone?

Hey Sha-Nay-Nay!
Do u remember that from In Living Color? That was sooo funny and it popped in my head when i went to write "shay".
You were saying that your (40) and "in your time" ....well im 31 and it was the same way "in My time". Only dirtbags did the heroin & meth when i was in highschool & college.. So when i was prescribed them i was paranoid that my roomate or friends that came over, would see them so i'd hide them and also rip the label off. sick, sick, sick
And when i went to rehab for taking (30mg a day of Meth.) when everyone around me was on heroin, coke, 90mg of meth and snorting it, i was called the "baby" there. It only took a few days of me thinking "I'm not like THESE people" to realize that i am just like them. I may not have gone to the streets to look for drugs, but that was probably bcuz i could always steal from my Mom.
I quickly dropped my "Diva" attitude which opened me up to such amazing experiences that i will never forget. I will always have a special place in my heart for the people i was close to in rehab.
I KNOW how it feels to love the affect of opiates. I am the same way. But if i really examine how i feel when i'm on them constantly, it isn't the same as i felt when i was sober. I may THINK i'm happy on it, but it doesn't compare to the freakin' euphoria that i had never felt before when i was clean. And the peace that you experience when your clean is not explainable....neither is the happiness. Of course you feel like hell for a while, but once u get passed it u will feel things (good things) and you'll be like "am i on a drug right now" bcuz u can't fathom that these feelings are coming from your own chemicals, not the opiates. I seriously had to stop and question myself many times thinking that i had to have taken something recently to be feeling this good.
I'm glad though that Izzymom gave you some peace about methadone. Bcuz if it is used as dr. prescribed, and it is really being used for justified pain or detox, then there should be nothing to feel guilty about.
Worrying about how you will feel or deal when the time comes to detox is only keeping you from enjoying the "precious present". That is all we have right now....the present. So we can only try and do the best with this moment right now.

 
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