never used a message board before, but here goes... I have been on methadone 5mg 3x day for one week. It is helping some what with my chronic back pain. After reading many message boards regarding methadone I do not want to continue methadone due to the major withdrawals everyone has mentioned. I just want something that works for pain! I do not want to have to be some sort of addict in addition to having major back pain. Is there anything that works for pain that my body will not become addicted to? I had no problems going off vicodin after taking it for the last 5 years. I had a bad headache and my legs were a little restless but that was it. I have an appointment with the pain clinic tomorrow. I am not sure what to ask for. I feel like a pain in their butts. I come in complaining about pain but I also don't want to take anything that will cause withdrawals. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Well, first off you're not on 5mg of methadone. You're on 15mg per day and that is absolutely enough to give you w/ds. That said, if you had an easy time getting off vicodin, you'll have a similar experience most likely -- albeit a longer one because meth stays in your system much longer than hydrocodone (the one narcotic of the two active ingredients in Vicodin). It is still a low dose, though, and you should be able to manage it with a physician's help. You might ask for clonidine to ease the w/d symptoms.
For pain, you might try Tramadol -- has narcotic tendencies but less addicitve and somewhat helpful with pain. I assume you have been through the NSAIDs and Cox-2s etc.? For pain, if you can get along with non-addictive anti-inflams (ibuprofen, naprosyn, voltaren, mobic, etc.) you'll ultimately function better. Good luck.
Thanks for the Info. I am off to the pain clinic this morning. I am going to ask the Dr for something other than methadone. I am glad I found this message board before I continued to take the methadone for months on end. I am so tired of being in pain, but don't want to add another problem like addicition to the situation. Thanks again.
well..went to the pain clinic yesterday. Mostly filled out paperwork. Talked to a Docotor who explained all that the program has to offer. Physical therapy etc. I explained to him my fears of continuing the methadone medication. I thought it would be simple and he would just switch me to something else. Not so. I found myself sitting there listening to a Dr. tell me why I SHOULDN"T go off of the methadone if its working. Long story short I have to make an appt with the RX'ing dr to make the switch. I am wondering how to just taper off of this drug myself. Any advice? I am not very computer savy and can't seem to find the "thread" of home detoxing??? Does anyone know if I can cut my pills and only take half in order to taper down? any advice would be greatly appreciated again I have been taking methadone 5mg 3x a day for about a week now. Is there still a need to taper? anyone know?
if you have only been on methadone for a week and no more then just quit taking it.you should not be addicted to it yet.now is the time to quit if you want to.another week goes by and it will be to late.cant hurt to try it anyway.good luck-spark
I think I am going to take you up on that advice. I was afraid to just stop taking it as I wasn't sure if I was going to have these major withdrawals or not. I am not going to take any tomorrow. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for the info
the sooner you stop taking the methadone the better.
I wouldn't advise just stopping taking it completely.
taper off each day till you're down to zero.
please keep us updated on how you're doing.
I too want to get off methadone and I"ve been on it for 7 years.
I went from 90 mgs.. down to 5 mgs within the seven years.
they say it's the best way to come off of it.
but something happened and I went back up to 30 mgs. and now I went to get off it completely because I'll be moving in two weeks and I don't want to have to travel many miles each day to get my medicated.
when I went down in 5 mg increments, it really worked. about the 3rd day I would become alittle aggiated, but no other symtoms.
what I fear the most is when I get off the last five mgs.
our clinic's policy is that they can't go any lower than 5 mgs. they can't cut their tabs that small.
I wish there was someone I could talk to here that has come completely off of methadone from being on it for years.
if there is, please let me know.
I wish you the best Lucy and i'm happy to see you don't want to be on any addictive medications. sometimes you have no other choice though if you are living in chronic pain.
drs are aware that the patient will become dependent on it. when they finally come off the medicine, they taper them off.
just because your body is dependent on a narcotic doesn't mean you're a drug addict. being a drug addict is someone who abuses drugs and dont' take the recommended amount. Instead of taking one or two pills, a drug addict will take 6-to ten in a course of a day and they do it so they can feel high.
you're taking the medicine to stop your pain. you have a disease. to me that's a very big difference in being a drug addict vs a person who's become dependent on pain medicines.
it's a fact one will become dependent on a narcotic drug.
some times people dont' set out to become addicted to a drug. they may have had a car accident or any accident or have a disease and are put on pain medications. before you know it, the person is needing more and more of the drug in order for it to work. then without them even knowing it, they're addicted to the drug and when they try to stop taking it, they go thru horrible withdrawal and then are afraid the withdrawal symtoms will stay forever so they continue taking the drugs in order to feel normal again ( what's normal to them).
it's good you're aware how dependent one can become on these med's and you're ahead of the game.
commend yourself for this.
good luck hon,
What you just said just went off like a light bulb in my head! I have been feeling so much guilt and condemnation for getting dependant on lortab, but in reality, I didn't actually take more than prescribed.. at first. It just seems like the longer you take the stuff, the more you have to take to feel "normal" as you said below.. but it's really not our fault that we became dependant on it.. it's whatever circumstance made us start taking the darned things in the first place. I still think opoids are nothing but trouble. I know they really help with chronic pain, and I still have back pain (herniated disc) to this day.. But I switched from lortab to methadone because the lortab wasn't cutting it anymore. I was on the meth for almost a year and a half. The only way I could come off 40-60 mgs a day was suboxone. But the catch is you cannot take subutex with methadone in your system. It will send you to the hospital.. reverse w/d. You have to take something else for about 2 weeks to get the methadone out of your system some. My Dr put mt on morphine. That way I could switch to the sub with no problems.. not feeling sick or anything. Now I'm scared to taper off the sub.. Going from 16mg to 12 seems kind of hard this week.. maybe it's in my head, I dunno. It just seems from everything I've read this is a neverending battle.. I don't like that. This shouldn't be something we have to deal with the rest of our lives, but it is. Through no fault of our own!!! It just makes me angry if I think about it... sometimes I'm so tempted to go get some pills.. that's why I'm glad I'm on suboxone.. lol Even if I were to take one, I wouldn't feel it. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant..
I just wanted to post real quick to you regarding your question about if anyone has come off Methadone after being on it for years. Well, i wasn't on it for years, but i was on it for A Year. And it is the same as being on it for years, bcuz it gets into your bones and still has the same w/d.
I went into rehab to get off it, and was very very sick. But that was bcuz i went from 30mg a day to 0mg in just 5 days. So of course i was sick.
But since your tapering slowly, it shouldn't be too bad.
I was sober for almost 5 months.....it took a good whole month to feel back to normal. And still, months after that i felt a little up and down with my emotions...which is typical for anyone coming off an opiate. But i did it. And it felt good to be clean.
Unfortunately, i found some Ultram in my house after 4 1/2 mos. of being sober, and out of feeling depressed, i took them. That started a spiral downwards as i became addicted to Ultram. I do have chronic pain, but i also am an addict. Yes, i had been prescribed the amount i was taking, but i'd save them up during the day and take a bunch at once to get high.
So i knew i was taking them for the wrong reasons. They were helping with my pain, but i was more interested in "feeing good" from them than anything else.
I'm now on Subaxone. Started that about a year ago. I'm tapering off right now, and having a very hard time getting lower than 2mg. But i want to have a baby, so i need to do this.
One thing about the benefits of being OFF the Methadone, is i found i had more energy than when on them. For me, the Methadone is the only opiate i've taken that made me MORE tired. I was used to opiates giving me bursts of energy....the main reason i'm addicted to them.
But Meth made me soooo tired that my dr. put me on Adderall. And i didn't even have ADD or ADHD. Actually, the Adderall is what landed me in rehab. I would have stayed on meth. for who knows how long had it not been for the Adderall making me basically insane. My family freaked out, and had an intervention bcuz of my actions and personality changes from Adderall.
So i'm thankful that i was put on that or i'd probably still be on meth. today....since it did help my pain so much. But when you want to have a family, no opiate is allowed obviously.
You can do this. If i made it thru it being as sick as i was, i know you can. You can't cut the 5mg? I can't remember if it came in pill or capsule form. But even if it's in capsule form, u can open it up and take 1/2 the med. inside.
You might want to check w/a pharmacist before u do that, but i'm sure it would be fine. Just take in slowly....you have come so far and have gone down to 5mg before, and that is amazing.
I will pray for you that you will have the strength to do this.
Addiction is, as far as i'm concerned, the hardest thing to overcome in life. But it is possible, we just have to be ready to fight the good fight.
thank you both for your replies.
I find that it's not the addiction per say, but the withdrawal's I will FEEL when I am finally off the medication. so basically what is an addiction? is it the deep desire to get high? is it to abuse medications? or is it the fear of what one will feel like when they finally stop the given medication?
I was addicted to snorting heroine for a short time in my life seven yrs ago after my divorce and when I was on my own simply feeling miserable and horrible for myself.
I met a landlord who was snorting it and I tried it thinking it was something like cocaine. I became sick to my stomach immediately and asked him what the stuff was and he said it's like morphine, the stuff they give you in the hospital after having surgery. that's why I tried it. I thought It would make me feel good.
well guess what? after I vomitted and the sick feeling wore off, I felt like I"ve never ever felt before in my life. PEACE. a feeling so warm and toasty as if I was still in my mother's womb.
it took away all my problems for the time being, but boy was I wrong in thinking that just snorting heroin here and there would not make me addicted to the stuff.
no matter how you ingest a drug, it still gets in your system.
every cell in my body was screaming out for the drug when I made up my mind I didn't want to feed my body with the drug anymore.
I tried to go cold turkey in my apartment by myself. I couldn't get out of bed to even get a cup of coffee to try and go to work. I then found out I couldn't go to work like that. I then suffered the dredfull horrible spasms in my legs, the runny stools, the wanting to be able to sleep this thing off with all your heart but the non stop torture of not being able to sleep while in bed.
I just wanted to die.
I dragged myself to the phone and phone book and called every place possible begging for help. I didn't want my medical insurance to be billed because the person who handles this dept at my job would've been able to see that I was an addict and was going to go in for rehab.
so I tried to do it without insurance. no one would take me.
until I met an angel, I call her an angel to this day.
she worked in the ER dept. of a local hospital I grew up in . she told me to come thru the emergency dept and that they couldnt' turn me away.
they took my vital signs and saw how high my blood pressure had risen and they admitted me.
they only kept me a few days and wasn't allowed to prescribe me methadone while in the hospital like I thought they would. I still had to go cold turkey but was under the supervision of the medical staff.
they told me if I was originally going to a methadone clinic, that they would've been able to administer it. so what I did was have a social worker there discuss my after care treatment with me and I told her I wanted to get into a methadone clinic and I"ve been there ever since. they got me in asap. usually there's a very long waiting list.
they take you if you they see you are going to work wiht the system and not against it.
I was determined to never do heroin again and I got past all the triggers that would jump into my thoughts every now and then, and the methadone happened to contain and controll my mood disorder at the same time it worked to keep me away from drugging.
I say it's a miracle drug and it helped save my life.
I am forever greatful to my counselar there and he's done nothing but support me any way I chose to go. whether it's to continue taking the methdaone longer than I expected, or to go off of it.
of course he'd like to see me off of it totally, but he understands how frightened I am of the unknown once off of it.
I fear mostly for my moods and the weakness I'll feel for the following month afterward.
all I hear from others there are negative horrible things when coming off of it. that's not what I need to hear.
so I thank you for being positive to me and letting me know it's do-able and that it's only approx. 4 weeks of being weak afterwards.
the methadone gives me the energy to get things done, not make me sleepy. It did make me extremely sleep when I was on a high dosage and I had them lower it. I don't nod out anymore like I did then. no one would even know I"m on methadone. they only see I become irritable and don't know why. that's the days I have lost my jobs and walked off.
I can't keep going from job to job to job.
I was wondering if I"d need time just staying home for a month after stopping the meth. what do you think? were you able to continue working then?
were you able to do chores?
I know it won't be as bad as it was when I went cold turkey and I try to remind myself of that.
g8, there's a specific site I belonged to for addictions and there was a group there that specifically was on the sub like you are. they too had such a hard time coming off of it. it's like a no win situation. you stop a drug to get on another one to help you from the first one and then you have a hard time with the 2nd one.
you just have to have a very strong determination and will to just get off the last remnants of it. we have to accept and admit that we will feel uncomfortable for a while. but our bodies are all not the same, so you may not suffer like someone else as much. we just have to do it! just like when quitting smoking cigarettes. it's the same thing.
we have to mentally be prepared and willing to do it no matter what.
think stong, be stong. that's my motto. the brain is connected and is one with the body. it is not separate and I feel the mind is what deters us from moving forward and being rid of the sub and the meth once and for all.
so rule the mind which will rule the body. if this makes sense to you.
I am so glad to have met you all and you've really inspired me.