So I'm posting this both for the sake of sharing my story to help those struggling with getting off of methadone, and also to get input possibly from those that have got off methadone similarly to me.
If you have done a successful slow methadone detox please see bottom of post if you're willing to answer a few questions for me...otherwise my story is below...
I started taking methadone about 6 years ago after a 3-4 year oxycontin\perc\heroin addiction. I stayed on 105mg up until about 2.5 years ago when I found out my son was on the way - where i made the decision it was time to start working my way off.
I came down 1mg per week, up until I got to 20mg - where I had to get vacation bottles - so put in a temporary hold at 20mg. This temporary hold turned into a 2 month hold at 20mg, bc of a miscommunication.
BTW - no W\D symptoms (at least not too noticeable) from 105mg to 20mg with the 1mg per week drop.
From there I went down 1mg a week again, until I hit 10mg.
At 10mg I decided to slow it down, and went down 1mg every 2 weeks. Last week was my first week at 1mg...I got dosed yesterday morning (32 hours ago) and got my 6 bottles for the week (although I'm not taking them).
I want to get off the week early so that I can have bottles on hand just in case the WD gets bad - I can then take my dose and let them know i want to stay on a little longer - although I have absolutely no plans of doing so - just a nice crutch.
Ever since about 6mg or so, I started getting minor withdrawals. The biggest problem has been lack of sleep...had a little problems around the 6mg-4mg mark - but then from 3mg to now (especially now) i get very little sleep. Anywhere from 0-3 hours a night.
Other symptoms are restless legs at times, usually at night, and i'll get waves of no energy every once in a while.
All in all, very manageable - I feel like I'm getting away with murder knowing how bad withdrawal CAN be (i think we all can relate to that).
Some things that I believe really are helping me:
- I started drinking a lot of water
- I started working out hard (crossfit 5 days a week)
- I'm eating better and taking vitamins (eat kale shakes daily)
- I REALLY don't want to be reliant on ANYTHING to make me feel normal anymore
- My son; he deserves a clean\sober dad that has the energy to play with him and spend time with him often
Hopefully this helps some people - I believe the slow detox is the way to go. I just didn't even think about it...I just set to 1mg per week detox and "did my time". If you think of it like "jesus I got 2.5 years left" when you start the detox, it's not going to work...just look at it in a positive note - day by day - methadone will just temporarily be part of your life - and suck it up (for those that want off NOW like i have for the last 2.5 years). It's worth it.
For anyone that has done a successful slow methadone detox I would love to get some feedback.
Being that it's only been 32 hours since my last 1mg dose, and I feel just like I would on a day when i take my 1mg in the morning...am i counting my ducks too soon?
I know all about methadone and half life and how day 4-5 can be the worst...but at such a low dose does this still hold true? Just really wondering what i can expect over the next few days and weeks.
Honestly, the trouble sleeping and restless legs and lack of energy at time is nothing - I'll deal with it - but I'm just wondering if the other WD symptoms will creep up on me?
If anyone has any questions for me, let me know, will be glad to help.
The following user gives a hug of support to methdetox22: Stupid feet (07-20-2013)
Re: Methadone - From 105mg to 0mg (2.5 year journey)
Congratulations my friend! I firmly believe the working out and eating healthy is the key to recovery. I say that because the only successful recoveries I have seen were due to religious working out and eating healthy....keep up the good work~ God Bless
Re: Methadone - From 105mg to 0mg (2.5 year journey)
Super job you are doing here! Kudos!
I have done a slow taper from Oxycodone and then Xanax. Different drugs, perhaps, but with the same approach to the method of detoxing.
It looks like you are incorporating some good, positive changes.... diet, exercise, and changes in the thinking. I really related to your words when you wrote: "If you think of it like "jesus I got 2.5 years left" when you start the detox, it's not going to work...just look at it in a positive note - day by day - methadone will just temporarily be part of your life - and suck it up (for those that want off NOW like i have for the last 2.5 years). It's worth it."
It is always better, in my thinking, to measure by progress rather than time. There were times when I had to wait almost three weeks to get back on a keel even enough to continue. However, I was able to maintain the thought that I was still much farther from "Start" than I had been and closer to "Done."
A couple of things that also helped was to remember that:
1)detoxing is a process with a beginning and an ending and
2)Consciously wading through any symptoms of detox as symptoms of healing.
Wishing you all kinds of good things as you work through the end. Hope you will come back and share. It is a good thing when we are struggling with detox to know that success can be possible and that a restored life is at the end of the work.
Be well, stay strong
The following user gives a hug of support to reachout: flintrock (07-20-2013)