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Old 03-09-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
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Question I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

Hello everyone,

I am new to methadone treatment for my addiction to pain medicines. And there are some things I still don’t understand, and I'm hoping some of you may have the answers. I would ask the clinic workers but I would have to schedule an appt for next week and I would like to know sooner.

So here are the top 3 questions I can’t find answers to:

1) Isn’t methadone supposed to flood opiate receptors therefore blocking other opiates? I have been reading all over the internet that pain mgmt. doctors are using methadone for chronic pain. I have seen on the chronic pain boards that some people take methadone and also hydrocodone or percs for "breakthrough pain". I don’t understand this.
When I first talked to my methadone clinic about starting treatment they told me one of the benefits of methadone is that it will discourage you from abusing other opiates because it would "block" the effects of other drugs. So why would PM doctors give patients break through meds on top of methadone? Isn’t that just adding useless chemicals to your body?

3) Is there any accurate way to convert methadone mg vs. hydrocodone mg?
If I was taking about 300mg of hydro’s a day is this about the same as 40mgs of methadone? Or more? There are a thousand different "converter" websites but they all give conflicting information, or a bunch of scientific lingo that I don’t understand because I am neither a doctor nor a chemist..lol.
I just want to be a well-informed patient. I want to know if by taking 40mgs I am making myself even more dependent on opiates than I was with the hydrocodone or if on the other hand I am taking a lessor equivalent then maybe that’s why I am still craving which leads me to my last question.
3) I was told methadone would help stop cravings...well I am on 40mg now and I am still craving like crazy. Now, I know some will say that’s not a high enough dose, but for me it’s enough. I am drowsy, all day long at this dose. It's almost too much to function but the nurse says to give the 40 mg a few days and I will have fewer side effects. So therefore, if I am taking as much as my body can possibly handle shouldn’t I be getting the benefit of craving reduction-at least a little?

Last edited by NicoIcon; 03-11-2012 at 12:27 AM. Reason: typos

 
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:18 PM   #2
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone...anyone know?

Ok again I am not a doctor or nurse just let you know but I took methadone for 5.5 years total from age 23-28.5 Your questions are very common and important questions that I can understand you wanting to have answered. Well to answer your first question as to whether or not methadone blocks the function of other opiates completely this is just not true. Suboxone does however because it has a different chemical function. Methadone more so raises your tolerance so high that it is harder to achieve a good high on a minimal amount of opiate but if there is a will there is a way. Plenty of methadone patients abuse large quantities of heroin on the side and yes they do get high. I was on 100mg in the hospitol for Kidney stones and they gave me a high IV dose of hydromorphone. Took a few times of reinjecting more but it helped and I felt it.
Question 2 on conversion theres are opioid/opiate conversion charts on wikepedia that I found consistant to other reputable sights. Remember it is never exact just a relative comparison so don't assume its 100% ask your doctor to be safe.But if curious and not planning to act it can be fun to read the conversion charts.
Question 3 as to why you are still craving at 40 mg. Remember two components of addicition are physical and psychological. I think at this point your clinic is most concerned about your physical well being and taking dose increases slowly is safe and ethical.You will be able to raise your dose soon but the drs know what is best so be patient. The psychological part craving is the tough part. Thats something the methadone may never fully fix thats where getting on a comfortable dose and then doing the counseling helps. It takes time to reach these goals so try to stay patient and avoid co-using it just makes your time in your program less pleasant and you will never get carries that way and believe me only having to go twice a week or once a month is great compared to everyday.

Just hang in there it will get better here is a link to conversion board

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid_comparison

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Last edited by Administrator; 03-11-2012 at 04:48 PM.

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone...anyone know?

Thank you Roxy, I appreciate all your help. I was hoping someone who has been through it could give me some "vetran" advice. I agree that the clinic should raise doses slowly, I personally dont want to go any higher because like I said in my post Im sooooo tired I can barely function. That being the case, I was hoping I would get the craving reduction at my current dose but Im not. I wold like to avoid raising my dose to get there. Today when I went in they went ahead and raised me 5mg to 45 and even though I was super drowsy I really didnt crave, maybe is it pyschological but it seemed to help. Anway, thanks again.... Im am going to check out the conversion link right now.

 
Old 03-11-2012, 01:28 AM   #4
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone...anyone know?

ok I see the site you reccomended that hydro is .6 and m'done (chronic, meaning ihave been on it more than 7 days) is 7.5....so its 10x stronger?? I'm feeling so fuzzy in the head right now that I can't make sense of it lol. Also, the bioavalibility is different so, forgive me but, how do I calculate that? Maybe you can help me?
Heres what I'm wondering:
I was taking about 25 of the 10mg hydrocodones a day..sometimes 30. I would wake up take about 10 pills....then around 2 pm another 10 then 5-10 at bedtime to sleep. Now, as of today I take 45mg of methadone at 6 am daily (liquid).
So now that I look at it Im realizing that I'm taking more mg of methadone than I ever was...if Im correct thats like 450 mg of hrydrocodone? which means now my body is even more addicted to opiates? This doesnt make since...why would I want to further my addiction? I must not be calcualating this correctly...any clarification you could offer (or anyone else who has a minute to chime in) I would greatly appreciate it.

 
Old 03-11-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone...anyone know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoIcon View Post
ok I see the site you reccomended that hydro is .6 and m'done (chronic, meaning ihave been on it more than 7 days) is 7.5....so its 10x stronger?? I'm feeling so fuzzy in the head right now that I can't make sense of it lol. Also, the bioavalibility is different so, forgive me but, how do I calculate that? Maybe you can help me?
Heres what I'm wondering:
I was taking about 25 of the 10mg hydrocodones a day..sometimes 30. I would wake up take about 10 pills....then around 2 pm another 10 then 5-10 at bedtime to sleep. Now, as of today I take 45mg of methadone at 6 am daily (liquid).
So now that I look at it Im realizing that I'm taking more mg of methadone than I ever was...if Im correct thats like 450 mg of hrydrocodone? which means now my body is even more addicted to opiates? This doesnt make since...why would I want to further my addiction? I must not be calcualating this correctly...any clarification you could offer (or anyone else who has a minute to chime in) I would greatly appreciate it.
As a patient you need to be careful because a lot of people do tend to chase the high while in methadone clinics. Me for example I was taking methadone on the street before I actually joined the clinic. I switched from oxys to methadone via a friend and I was only doing 40 mg daily. Well after joining the real program sure enough they ask you if you want to increase and me being an addict everytime I said yes. So after a few months I went from 40 to 100. I did not need to go up 60mg.While there are people who are much worse off people who take 300+ I still regret giving in and raising it when I really didnt need to because I'll tell you if you ever want to quit or cut down its a long road. Tapering 2mg a week down can mess with you.So try to take the minimum of what you really need. Remember some of it is in your head and methadone is way stronger than hydrocodone. I almost think taking methadone to get off hydro is like swatting a fly with a cadillac. A little over kill there but either way you are where you are and you should make the most of it and proceed with caution. Be careful and you'll be fine.Talk with your dr.

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone...anyone know?

Thanks for the info. I know what you mean about the over kill but what I havent posted is my looooong journey to this point of taking 30 hydocodone a day. I wont bore you with my life story but this is after years of abuse. I started with oxycontin and roxycontin several years ago after a back surgery. I was taking about a 100mg a day in some form or another. Then I was a on morphine. Then back to oxy. I lost my insurance and had to go to rehab to detox. I have been in rehab 5 times. Twice in 2011. I had gradually weaned myself down to the 300 mg a day and was planning on weaning myself even further but lost my supplier. I realized I couldnt do rehab again for $ reasons and that being that I have been in and out over and over again relapsing that it was going to be a waste of time. I need something diffrent than traditional detox. The only thing I havent tried is MMT. I think that they say one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, right? Well in that case more rahab would be insane for me, lol. Like I said I need something different to try and kick my opiate problem. I know a lot of hardcore users would laugh at me going on methadone for hydrocodone but its not that simple for me. I have been fighting this beast of addiction for years now and I know it would have been just a matter of time before I relapsed again and wound up back on the oxy or roxys, last summer my brother started selling heroin (he is in prison now) and I had even taken heroin a couple times when I couldnt get a hold of any pills on those particular days just so I wouldnt be sick. Thank god I didnt like the way it burned or I could have easily transfered over to heroin. So I have to do this now before it gets out of control again and I revert back to the heavier stuff. And if I have to swat this fly with a Cadi then so be it...at least the fly will be dead and not me. Hopefully once and for all.

 
Old 03-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

Roxy has given you some great advice!! I think right now what you need to do is ask yourself exactly what your craving?? In your mind, when you say craving, how is that defined? For example, are you still feeling withdraws from the vicodins or are you craving the way they mad you feel?? I think this is very important because that want to feel the way the vics made you feel will never go away (which is why Roxy says guidance is best) It's almost like people who quit smoke cigarettes always kinda have those cravings. MIND CONTROL

I as well would like to caution you on raising your methadone to high. I as well went all the way up to 90 mg because it kinda gave me a little bit of energy but it isn't worth abusing what you are there to get help with. I have been tapering for a couple months and am now at 5 mg. If you think for one min that the withdraws from the vicodins is tough, wait till you begin to come off the methadone. It isn't a fast or easy task and if I could go back in time I would have come off of it with in the 1 st month (that's just myself, everyone has different needs)

Best of luck to you

 
Old 03-16-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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Talking Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mortime View Post

I as well would like to caution you on raising your methadone to high. I as well went all the way up to 90 mg because it kinda gave me a little bit of energy but it isn't worth abusing what you are there to get help with. I have been tapering for a couple months and am now at 5 mg. If you think for one min that the withdraws from the vicodins is tough, wait till you begin to come off the methadone. It isn't a fast or easy task and if I could go back in time I would have come off of it with in the 1 st month (that's just myself, everyone has different needs)

Best of luck to you

I dont remember saying that I wanted to raise my dose I was just asking how you convert hydro to methadone mg to mg. I was saying I DONT want to raise my dose to anything higher than what I was on the hydrocodone. I may be new to methadone but Im no stranger to opiates. A few year ago I quit oxycontin cold turkey so I have a pretty good idea of whats in store for me when I do finaly detox from the methadone. Surely it wont be nearly as helish as cold turkey from oxy. Tapering Im sure wont be nearly as bad.
I appreciate the advice and everyone trying to help me but I think I am being misunderstood. I dont want to be a lifetime Methadone Maintainance Treatment (MMT) patient nor have I stated that in any of my text. I dont think that going on methadone is "overkill" in particular situation because as I said I have been going through rehab and detox and other forms of treatment for years. MMT is the only form of treatment I havent tried and I think it may be the answer for me.
I met with my couselor yesterday and she thinks Im doing great a "model patient" in her words. I am following all the program guidlines am going to groups at the clinic and attending other support groups with are "annonymous" so I wont name them.
I have no intention on raising my current dose. I feel like I have reached the point where I feel totally in control of my cravings and am no longer bothered by them. And to answer the previous posters question I was having both mental and physical cravings but that was several days ago and I have since stablized in my treatment. Although I am still adjusting to my new lifestyle, I feel more hope for myself than I have in years. I have started working out, taking vitamins and eating healthy. Things I havent given a crap about in a long time lol.
Anyway, my point is some people will say Methadone Maintainance Treatment is "over kill" or whatever but Im doing better than I have in a LOOOOONG time. Those in my immediate life eg my husband, closest friends, are already seeing the old me, the happy me a side of me that had been locked away in the dungeon of drug addiction for a long time. They are all very happy for me. Some however still dont understand eg my parents other& others who just dont get it.
My emotions are still a little unsteady but things are getting better. I can be a little grumpy, or depressed sometimes but this is all normal when you are finally getting "sober" and learning how to deal with life again. Or so Im being told by the professionals Ive talked to about how Im doing.

Anway, I dont know if Im being sensitive or what but I feel an under current of judgement in some comments I have gotten here. I just want to let it be known that I didnt come here to defend myself for going on Methadone Maintainance Treatment I have enough of that in my personal life. I came here for answers and support, if thats not what you have to offer please keep it to yourself. The owrse thing you can do to a drug addict is minimize their problem to them. They do that enough for themselves. So the whole "killing a fly with a cadillac" thing really shouldnt be said in my opinion to someone who is trying to find a way to help themselves. I forget (without going back and looking through the messages) who said that about me going to Methadone Maintainance Treatment for hydro addiction but I dont hold it against them they didnt know my whole history. But thats another reason not to pass judgement on people you dont know what they ahve stuggled with in the past.
Ok well thats all I have to say about that. I truly appreciate the messages of support and those who have taken the time to actually answer directly the quetions Ive posted on the board.

Last edited by mod85; 03-16-2012 at 04:35 PM.

 
Old 04-03-2012, 06:02 AM   #9
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

NicoIcon, I know the battle you are talking about. I think its great that you now have some balance in your life, addiction is addiction. I did want to say that the methadone you get from the clinic does have opiate blocker in it. The pills from a doctor do not. Suboxone is totally different. I have been at the clinic for over 8 years. It def has helped me in my battle but I also suffer from a lot of BAD side effects. But, it beats the alternative. I do not understand why people think MM is bad for people addicted to vicodin. I realize a person can detox alot quicker and easier off of vicodin, but its after the detox that is so hard. So I totally understand what you are talking about. ANy other questions, I would be happy to help you if I can. Good Luck.

 
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

Thank you! Yes, some people think its overkill for Vicodin and maybe it is. BUT the after part is what Im talking about. The staying clean is the portion of the recovery process I never manage to sustain. So yes methadone vs. pills is like stallions vs ponies. But what they dont realize is the purpose of MMT and that is the second "M" which is maintenance. Getting off of any drug can be done the hard part is STAYING of the drug maintaining that sobriety. Like I said in previous posts I have been to rehab a billion time spent over 30k on rehabs in the last 5 years. But I havent even been close to recovery until I started the methadone. SO thank you Shonny for understanding you are exactly right. I think a lot of people get caught in competition when it comes to drug abuse. Like "why go on methadone for a pill addiction, I was hard core heroin addict selling my body for drugs I'M the one who should use methadone" well good for you but I also happen to need it if Im ever going to maintain a life that doesnt include constant drug seeking and RX pill abuse...not to mentionn taking 20x the reccomended dose off tylenol per day...thats something heroin addicts dont have to deal with that RX drug users do. My liver is okay by the grace of god but much longer and Im sure it wouldve gave out. So once again thank you for your post Shonny!
Id like to ask Shonny, since you said you have years of Methadon Maintenance Therapy under your belt what kinds of side effects you have had? I am going into my second month. Id like to add that as of yesterday I am employed!! I have been without a job for over year barely scraping by on my husbands income and blowing what little money we had on pills. So getting a job is something I never wouldve done without MMT. Also as of this week I have re-enrolled in school and start classes soon. Another thing I never wouldve done without MMT. Also I do house work and spend time-quality time with my child now. All things I can say MMT have helped me acheive. I am so glad I started this program. I would encourage anyone even if youre "just" on vicodin to look into and see if its the right way to go for your particular situation. And dont listen to the "hardcore" people who think pills are too wimpy to need MMT. It your an opiate addict it could very well save your life or turn it around like it has me.

 
Old 04-03-2012, 01:12 PM   #11
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

NicoIcon,

I don't think anyone was trying to be judgemental or trying to make you think you've done anything wrong...I think people were just making the point that Methadone is very addictive and you do eventually have to detox from it. And Methadone is one of the harder drugs to detox from. You'd mentioned in your posts how much trouble you had staying clean from various drugs, and some people truly don't understand that when they go on Sub or Methadone that they're basically trading one addiction for another....you can't realistically stay on this stuff forever...so you do have to detox off of it and then you have all the withdrawal symptoms, etc. It sounds like your doing great in your treatment....stay strong, be your own advocate, you've said you don't want to increase your Methadone, make sure you don't let the "clinic docs" talk you into doing something you don't want to do.....you will get "used" to the Methadone dosage, just like you do any other drug, so your body will want more...just stay strong.

Hang in there,

Kat

 
Old 04-03-2012, 03:45 PM   #12
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

NO I wasnt refering to anyone on this message board in my last post. Like I said I have been to many many rehabs and theres always people who pass judgement on others. Anyd I remember our counselors telling us "Work your own program you cant work anyone elses steps" etc. I dont care what anyone says as far as negative comments the proof is in the pudding as they say lol. MMT is working for me and thats all that matters. It can be a life long solution for some. I have heard it likened to insulin for diabetic. My clinic doesnt encourage dose increases and I havent asked for one. I over heard one person in line saying they were actually making her detox from the dose she was on to a lower dose. so they arent "pushers" some clincs are though this is ture.
As far as the comments I have gotten on this message board I really appreciate each one. Nothing has been said negative and I appreciate that. Even the one person who said it was over kill or whatever I understand what they meant I didnt take it as a personal judgement/insult or anything. It IS technically overkill to go on a stronger opiate to get off a weaker one but the therapy part is exactly what Im in it for and so far so good =)

Last edited by Administrator; 04-05-2012 at 07:39 PM.

 
Old 04-10-2012, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

Hey, Congrats on the job, hope it is going well for you. MMT def has brought some normalcy to my life, no more lying and hiding things from my family and friends. I now have nothing to hide and it feels good. However the side effects I have had from the methadone have been horrible. Some people say that MMT patients blame everything on methadone. I sweat profusley. I have zero sex drive, which has affected my realtionship with my spouse tremendously. I have gained quite a bit of weight, I have really bad joint pain and stiffness at night and first thing in the morning, and an uncontrollable urge to eat sweets. Oh, and Im really tired. My current dose is 83. Hopefully with you being at 40 mg, you shouldnt have too many side effects. Ive been as high as 155 and as low as 55 and I felt better the less I was on, so Im currently going down 1 mg a week and do not feel any withdrawals or anything. So, good luck to you and dont let anybody bring you down.

 
Old 04-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #14
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

another thing is that Methadone has a long half-life and it will build up in your system rather quickly, so be careful, JB

 
Old 04-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #15
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Re: I dont understand some things about methadone... anyone know?

I am sure not a doctor but will help you if I can. I have been on methadone for nearly 8 yrs for an addiction to pain meds for ongoing pain. I have settled at a dose of 100 mg. Any higher just doesn't make any difference as far as covering my pain. As far as I know methadone works up tp a certain point for pain coverage and that's it.
I live in Canada and there are no break thru drugs given out - not opiads anyway. I did have an operation where I was given perks. They helped the extra pain but didn't make me high at all. That would be what they mean when they say blocks the effect of drugs.
I really don't know if there is an accurate way to convert meth and hydrcodone. I was on to much medication for my pain to really try and figure it out. When I went on the methadone they kept going up and down to find an accurate does. Maybe it would be different for everyone.
For me the methadone has always covered the real physical cravings when I reached a good dose. As far as the psychological cravings I still do get them especially when the pain isw bothering me. But, I think about what my life was like and also how hard it would be to get off methadone and I don't think I'll go there. I know my pain is getting worse and what else would I take?
Hope I have been a little help and good luck to you,

Last edited by volleyball2; 04-10-2012 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Adding a bit more iff possible

 
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