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    Old 08-27-2004, 07:54 PM   #1
    DJJester
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    Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    I hate taking up so much space on this wonderful forum with my ongoing saga, but there are many wise and helpful people on this board who always seem to clarify the true thoughts in my head. Therefore, here is the next chapter.......

    So, I finally got the guts up to go to the Methadone clinic this morning. Made the decision that I was going to get my *** up every morning at 5:30 and go over there. I was going to get my life in order, gain a little more personal and spiritual strength, and then in a few months taper the meth down and finally be clean and sober again.
    Well, first a very rude security officer came and yelled at me because I didn't know where to go, and then the only other person who was there besides the nurses ( a counselor who tried to convince me that the program was too much of a pain in the *** (coming every morning, meth is VERY addicting, etc etc ) led me to his office and said that the doctor wouldn't be in until Tuesday and if I would like to, I can come back. I thought they were there to help people. Sure didn't help me any. The reason I waited until this morning to go was that I finished off my meds and wanted to be starting withdrawals when I got started on the program.
    Therefore, now I am in full withdrawal mode and am trying to decide what to do. This is me, once more, begging for advice.

    My supplier is coming through tomorrow with pills that I have already paid for. So, do I take the pills until I am finished and beforehand make sure I schedule an appointment at the clinic when the doctor is in so I can immediately begin treatment?

    I don't think I can simply lose the money for what I have paid for and go through withdrawals till Tuesday. Nor can I get the pills and then flush the excess on Monday night. I can't do that right now. On a different note. I do have some 100mg Tramadol. I have heard some say that it will lessen or eliminate withdrawal symptoms......but does it simply extend or increase withdrawals later like taking another opiate would. I know that Tramadol is addicting, but I only have enough for a few days.

    Now, I'm even more nervous about the Methadone clinic after seeing the people that are there. They are all in their 40's and 50's and look so very worn down as they talk about losing one job after another. Honestly I mean no disrespect to anyone who may fall into that category, but I can't be like that. I wanted to join this program to give me a chance to make my life better, not to get sucked into a trap that I cannot escape, or even afford, for that matter. Its $54 the first day, $77 each week, plus fees for every drug test they chose to give you. I'm a college student and just spent $2200 on tuition and $844 on books.

    My last option is to get additional supply from my dealer and then let my girlfriend help me taper by guarding my doses or locking them up. She knows about my problem and is very willing to do anything she can to help. Of course she doesn't understand. She says " Well, if you don't want to go to the methadone clinic, then just go through the withdrawals now, and then don't get any more pills after that ".........if only it were that easy.

    So, what should I do? What would you do if you were in my shoes? I truly would appreciate it if anyone who is attending a Methadone clinic can tell me some of the more positive aspects about the treatment. I am curious if you feel as if you are on an opiate when you take it. I don't think that would be a good thing. Even better would be someone who has been treated with it and is totally clean now. Anyhow, this is very long. Thank you to anyone who replies. Stay strong and have faith.

    Wilks

     
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    Old 08-27-2004, 08:25 PM   #2
    vamp36
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    This is a hard situation you are in. The way you were treated today makes you feel that you don't want to go back there I'm sure. It is a shame that they treated you like that. But maybe, your next visit there will be a good experience. I sure hope so. You can do the taper your self until you can see the doctor there. Thats what I would do. Tapering is very hard to do on your own though. It's good that your girlfriend is willing to help you. Unfortunatly, it is hard when the other half does not fully understand our addictions and the power that it holds over us. Hang in there. It isn't easy.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 12:27 AM   #3
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    Well....the methadone heads at the clinic look that way for a reason. My advice.......well, since you are in the withdrawal process just go ahead and kick all of that $hit. I've never been a big fan of methadone ever since I watched my nephew in agony while he kicked it. If I were you I'd just check into a treatment center and kick everything for good. Jumping from drug to drug is pretty easy but if you are a real addict then all roads lead to the same place....hell.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 02:33 AM   #4
    Brenda1953
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    I'm not a fan of methadone. Now, I know it has saved a lot of people's lives and in those cases it is a blessing.

    The way I look at it, methadone maintenance is for people who have kicked over and over only to start using again.

    The only methadone clinic near me which is 70 miles away weans you off the methadone. They don't provide it for the rest of your life.

    And yeh, there's that daily trip. The surprise test where you better have methadone in your blood and nothing else.

    There's a good reason they do that. A lot of people here get take home on the weekends. They sell their methadone and use their drug of choice.

    As for how you were treated, I don't get that. The very few people I have found locally in the addiction field are really nice. However, they are so overworked. That may be what you ran into. People who are just trying to move bodies as fast as they can.

    I never considered methadone. It's long acting. If you do go into wd, it doesn't even really start for days and then is very prolonged.

    And I've heard it's one of the worst wds there is.

    I have a friend who is doing a methadone taper on his own. So far, I see him using lots of methadone and no signs of the taper part of the plan. And he went from hydrocodone. So essentially what he did was trade one bad addiction for a worse one.

    These are just my opinions. I am sure you will hear from people who methadone has helped. There are some. I just think they're far and few between. And beleive me, I understand totally wanting to avoid wd at all costs. But I think no matter what course you take, it's unavoidable.

    Brenda

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 06:25 AM   #5
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    DJ-
    Sounds like a tough situation...Sorry to hear about your predicament-i guess if i were you-id get my behind into DETOX immediately..they may medicate you w/ sub/or methadone-but when you come out in a week-you'll be drug free.
    Right in time for school-no clinic-too much of a hassle-call your local hospital-find out about treatment centers-(many hospitals have detox/psych units-and blow it off now..while you are in w/d's.There are FREE beds for those who have NO insurance-so $$$$ should not be a problem..
    Good Luck-
    Hang in there..
    GGrl

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 07:32 AM   #6
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    DJ,

    A couple questions bro, how bad is you're habit & how long? how many pills and what strenght are you taking? do you have Insurance?. Please get back 2 me and I'll give you some thoughts ok. Hang tough Daddio, you're gal may be right if you can take the pain you can get through it with some additional Non-narcotic meds. Meth will eventaually put you back 2 square one my friend, its a strong drug you're trading one addiction for another. And Meth will also put you through Withdrawls sooner or later.

    Hollar back with my questions, good luck.

    Last edited by Captain Hydro; 08-28-2004 at 07:33 AM.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 10:40 AM   #7
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    Hi DJ,

    I am very sorry to hear your first experience at the clinic went that way...I just started meth myself and if that had happened, I don't know what I would have done, and I hate to think of the good things I have now that I may have lost by not going back. Well, you asked for some other stories about other places, so I will share what my clinic is like and how they've treated me. My clinic consists of group of people that is very kind and caring. I can't believe how well they treat me, and I have never felt scummy (so to speak.) Fortunately, as this is the only clinic in my city, I am very pleased with the way they have treated me and the way their program is working so far.

    I also understand what a huge letdown you must have had when you finally made the decision to go, and then it didn't work out the way you anticipated. I'd like to say give it another try rather than go back to the pills if you can...I know that is your predicament, and I don't know what else to say about the problems you're facing with having to wait, so I'll tell you how they started with me at my clinic.

    I was using right up until the day I went in (had taken some that morning), and when he told me he'd like me to be at some stage of withdrawals, I told him I couldn't make any promises & I'm honest when I say the pills have a huge grip on me. So he said, "let's compromise, take what you want today, but then don't take anymore after midnight & come in tomorrow morning & we'll start dosing." Now that was realistic and "doable" for me, so I quickly agreed. I carried on throughout the day and took about 10 that last day, even felt like I was saying goodbye to an old, dear friend (how bizarre is that!?!), and then I didn't take any after midnight, and went in about 8:00 the next day and took my first dose of 30 mgs. after completing all the paperwork and meeting with my newly assigned counselor. It was really nice to talk to an ex-addict (all the counselors there are ex-users), and just spill my story in person like I've done here in cyberspace.

    Other good things--well, one is that the clinic is only a mile and a half from my house, so it is really convenient because, yes I do have to go in every day. I know that is a huge bonus for me as others often have to travel very far and then the every day thing becomes an issue. I get one takehome on Sat.as they're closed on Sun. To get more takehomes, you have to have clean UAs for awhile (I just was asked to give my first one & it was totally clean...yay!), do other positives like go to meetings, and just cooperate and show a you have a genuine desire to get off your d.o.c. first (by using the meth), & then eventually get off the meth by following the tapering plan they give you when it's time & when you're ready. I've heard some say they've been on it for years & others for only a month or two. That is where it becomes critical to set aside our past addictive behaviors & take it exactly the way we're supposed to or getting off it will be horrific...but I think it will be anyway to some degree, though, you know?

    Yes, I've seen the hardcore, old druggie-looking types, but I've also seen men in suits & women in sweats, jeans, and dresses. Other people are in their work uniforms that give their jobs away--like nurse scrubs, construction overalls, mechanics, etc., I've seen teenage parents with new babies, and older people with canes, but mostly what I've seen are just regular people like any of us here. One bad thing did happen here, though, but I am so serious about this program that I did what I felt I had to do. I was hit on by a guy looking for any kind of benzos, & since I was there for a very real reason, & I wanted to feel safe (didn't want to come out to my car only to find some guy waiting to grab my purse (or worse) because I had something he wanted...) So even though I've been that guy looking for my d.o.c., I felt like a snitch, but I went ahead & told my counselor, & I've never seen him there again.

    One of the best and most "freeing" thing to happen because of this clinic is that for the first time I've been as honest with a doctor about my drug use as I've been with you all anonymously. I told him everything. It was a great feeling--like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. He gave me a complete physical--blood work, urinalysis, looked in my mouth at my teeth and gums, palpated my liver and kidneys, & because I'd used a needle ONCE in my life 28 years ago, he encouraged me to take advantage of their free screening for hepatitis and HIV, so I did and the results of negative. When I told him I had never had a mammogram (and I'm 47), he set me up with a women's health foundation where I can get a free one! I guess what I'm trying to say is that now for the first time that I do care about myself and my health, the people at this clinic have gone above & beyond the call of duty to help me get things taken care of in an affordable way. Last week I broke out in a rash all over my leg and abdomen...freaked me out! But instead of making a dr. appt. paying $65 for an O.V., plus the missed time from work, I asked the clinic dr. to take a look at it, he did & immediately recognized it as contact dermatitis & told me not to worry. We traced it back to a cleaning agent I had just used in the bathroom a couple of days before, so a tube of one % cortisone cream took care of it. This dr. will talk to you about any medical issue you want even if it doesn't relate to the meth or to the addiction, so I think he's very kind.

    This clinic is staffed by two nurses who do the dosing, three counselors (each person is assigned a counselor and given a phone number where you can call them any time--day or night--if you're having any kind of crisis or issue), one doctor, the director, and a receptionist. It is very low profile, very discreet. The cost for the meth (unlike the suboxone for some reason) can be done on a sliding pay scale, so I brought in my tax returns & they arrived at a payment of $180/mth. That is waaaay less then what I was paying for my pills, and it feels great to not be adding to my addiction-created debt and worrying about the money all the time.

    I now have a job...have been working full time for 3 weeks (before this, I hadn't kept a job for any length of time & only worked off & on for the last 4 years...my life savings and inheritance had almost completely dwindled away), & I sleep better than I have in 20-some years as the meth immediately worked on my insomnia. I'm up to 7-8 hrs. sleep a night, & it feels so wonderful. All my addicted life, I was only able to sleep a few hours and went many nights without ever closing an eye. I feel that the sleep deprivation is probably the worst side effect of both addiction & c/t or tapering. My clinic opens at 5:00 a.m., so I can easily go in on my way to work, & if it's my week with my kids, I can get there before they even wake up--the whole 3-mile roundtrip & the time spent dosing takes only 15 minutes out of my day, & I do realize I'm very fortunate in that regard.

    The other best thing out of it all for me (I'm sure this would happen if I'd gone the sub route, too,) is that I seldom ever even think about pills anymore. I thought that mindset would be replaced by thinking about the meth, but since I no longer get a high off the meth it hasn't, (the first week I sure did, though...and especially when I threw in some hydros!) Now that I am "stabilized," even if I took a hydro, I wouldn't feel it. As I understand it, the pleasure receptors that give us the euphoria from the hydros are blocked by the methadone, so taking a pill is just a waste.

    DJ, I'm sorry for making such a long, rambling post...your post just tugged at my heart, & I really felt I understood to some degree the situation you're caught up in. I wish I could introduce you to this clinic I go to as they sure seem to be a kind group of professionals with a very sincere desire to help people (just like this board and its members! ) as I so hope things turn out okay for you. I have failed c/t and tapering so many times, I see the clinic & the meth as my big chance. But even though I feel better than I have in many years, I know that dang depression is going to rear its ugly head again some day, and I need to be ready for that--so now it's time to work on getting some emotional support. You are very fortunate to have a supportive woman in your life (I'm sorry, but I laughed when I read what she said about just quitting...she means well, but you're right, if only it were that easy there wouldn't be any clinics!) This can work for you! For me to be able go to a movie or a concert, to get a really good night's sleep, to play with my kids, and to go into work without taking a pill, plus no more pill counts as the weekend approaches or the pills are getting low, is a great feeling & one I want to keep. I so hope I am doing the right thing and don't relapse...sigh.

    Take care & let us know how you are. You have all my best wishes, support, and encouragement for a successful end to your addiction story.

    DallasAlice

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 12:53 PM   #8
    DJJester
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    First of all, thank you DallasAlice........You are one of the people I am referring to when I speak of the kind, warm, sympathetic souls on this board......First to answer Captain Hydro's questions.......

    1. My addiction started in 1999 when I was in the military. I started getting very bad migraines about twice a week. The docs would have me come into the hospital, give me 150mg of Demerol and 20 Perc to take home. That lasted a while and then I started having the migraines less frequently, so less drugs. Then, a few years later, I ruptured 2 disks in my back on a jump landing and was put on meds again. Six months later, I was denied several opportunities to go to places around the world because of medical conditions and my medications, so in my infinite wisdom, I started writing my own prescriptions. At that time, I was taking 10-12 10/500 Lortabs each day. Eventually, I got scared, went cold turkey, but ended up getting caught anyway. Spent about 4 months doing hard labor on m base while waiting for my court martial, went to a great 5 week inpatient treatment center in Virginia ( amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone, not just an addict as it allows you to really see yourself )..........then came back to my base for 7 more months of labor before my court martial. got sentenced to 6 months in a federal pen, loss of all pay and allowances, and a Bad Conduct Discharge..........not a bad sentence considering my max sentence was 69 years. Anyhow, came home clean and ready to start life over. Got Hydros and other narcs a few times from docs, but without abusing them. Then I came down to school and someone I work with who knows nothing about drugs was selling Oxycontin 80's and 5mg Oxycodone..........relapse........and now thats where I am at. Currently I am taking about 80-120mg of Oxycontin each day by insufflation. I have gone cold turkey 5 times and relapsed every time. I am a college student with a full time job that pays enough for rent and food, but thats about it. I have no medical insurance. So, thats where I'm at right now.

    I have started school already and cannot afford to miss any work.....This is one more reason that I can't afford to go through withdrawals or check into an inpatient facility.

    So Dallas Alice,
    Thank you so much for your post. I am considering giving the clinic another chance, because right now I see that as my only option. I do have pills right now, and will probably have enough to last me for a few weeks tonight. I ahd already paid for them, so now I have to get them. For my own safety, I don't want to start the Meth until I am empty handed. The whole meth thing scares me, but, of course, so does the pills and the stress and the fear and the pain that I go through right now.

    Also, I do have my migraines and I do have the ruptured disks in my back, so I need some sort of pain management for which NSAIDs will not suffice.

    My biggest fear about the Meth is that it will be too hard to come off of. I really need to talk to someone who has come off of it and let them tell me it can be done. I've gone c/t off of the hydros and almost made it through them coming off of the Oxy, so I know it can be done, but everyone says Meth is worse.

    When you started the Meth and they started you at 30mg or whatever, did you have to go through withdrawals every day until they got you up to an appropriate stabilizing dose? I thinkI'm going to try to start tapering myself down on the Oxy before I go to the Meth clinic, so that a lower dose will work for me. Good idea?

    Sleep is a HUGE issue with me. I never sleep whether taking or withdrawing. I hate it and would do anything for a good nights sleep.

    I hate all fo the things you are talking about that bind you to the drugs. Wondering when and where I can get more. How long will what I have last? Will I have enough to reach this or that day or event so that I won't be miserable? I hate withdrawing for a day or two each month when my supplier can't get ahold of any yet. I hate all of it.

    The clinic is about 15 minutes from my house. Not far, but not close. I am worried that the everyday thing will become a hassle, but I know that I can always go every morning at 6 and then come home and go back to sleep.

    I just want to be normal. I'm so tired of this. Yes, I am a chronic relapser, but yes I have quit before. Before this stint, I was clean almost 2 years. The main thing is, I want to begin this program if it can get my life back on track. I want to do well in school. I'm expecting a raise and a promotion at work. I want to start working out and eating heathy again. I want my life the way it was when I was 4 months out of jail. Clean, happy, and eager......enjoying every moment before it passed and looking forward to the next. The only thing is that right now I don't have the time to be sick and then depressed and unmotivated by going cold turkey, and I don't have the time or money to go to a center or inpatient facility.

    I don't want to be on the Meth forever. I really only want to be on it for a few months. Six or so, at the most. My main fear is not so much relapsing to the pills as it is getting off of the meth. My w/ds are always so bad. I don't know if I can handle them lasting a much longer time. I am curious how bad the Meth taper will be and if the taper is done correctly, how bad and how long the withdrawals will last.

    These are all my fears and I really hope I can get my brain organized before Tuesday. Any help or suggestions would be great. Thanks to all of you who replied with opinions or ideas. We truly are all in this together. This is honestly one of the few things that I know of that you could NEVER understand until you experience it. All of ya'll be strong and have faith.

    Wilks

     
    Old 08-29-2004, 10:26 AM   #9
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    Hi DJ,

    Hey, you're very welcome...but it's really all about what you said...we are all in this together. When I made my first post here back in June, I had a handful of over 200 pills (hydros and benzos) in one hand, and a gallon of vodka in the other and was once again, for the upteenth time, contemplating suicide and just ending the madness of it all. I am 47, and you are very young still, so if you have a chance to do this--I would say go for it! You don't want to be me and find yourself looking back on a blur of years that could have been spent in such a different way and now they are viewed by me with regret instead of happy memories. I've spent more than half of my life living the life of an addict...lieing, manipulating, using and abusing other people and treating them with a total disregard for their feelings, amassing huge debt, hiding from the world by isolating myself so nobody would know, well...I don't need to tell you, you know what we're doing and how it makes us feel, so if this clinic is affordable and convenient to you...well, what's the worse that can happen if you do try it? Just try to think about what you would do to get the pills if you were running out...if you're like me, you'd spend money you didn't have and travel any distance no matter where or how far just to get them and avoid the w/ds. If you can try to make it a matter of perspective and priorities, then maybe the choice will be easier for you?

    About the things you asked, I can only reiterate what the doctor at my clinic told me about the being on my vicodin and then starting the methadone. I was taking anywhere between 10 and 20 of the 10/325s a day (depending on whether I'd just gotten some or if I was coming to the end of my stash.) When I went to the clinic 6 wks. ago, I was just like you...I never slept, never! The side effects of that combined with my addiciton became a problem so large that I was unable to keep a job, never having a day where I felt "good," and everyday I just would think "if I can only get through this day, then maybe I'll get some sleep and things will be better tomorrow," but that never happened, and my inablility to sleep combined with my need for pills to do any kind of pleasureable activity cost me my last relationship...I wouldn't go away for long weekends to resorts because if I couldn't sleep at home in my own bed, I sure as heck wasn't going to be able to sleep in a strange bed in some bed & breakfast! Plus, if I was running low or had an "order" coming in, then I couldn't risk running out while out of town "trying to have a good time" and then risk not being home to sign for them! Geez, when I think of the real fun I could have had then while all the time I thought I was having fun...well, I just hope these opportunities might come around again so this time I can say "sure, let's go!"

    About sleeping, I am not messing w/you at all when I say that the very first day I dosed at the clinic (30 mgs.), I slept 6 straight hours that night and I didn't have a drink nor did I take any benzos. I was literally shocked when I woke up and saw the time! I could have cried it felt so good. As the dosing increased, I am now sleeping up to 8 hrs. (and sometimes more) a night! DJ, seriously, I didn't believe the clinic dr. when he told me I'd start sleeping better and I could put my evening cocktail aside (3 benzos, about 6 ozs. of alcohol, & a couple of hydros.) I thought to myself "no way, doc, you don't understand," but he was right, and the sleep came instantly...and this is from a girl who hadn't slept normally for all my adult life. DJ, if nothing else good comes from this, to be able to get a normal night's sleep is a blessing of its own, so if you do this, let me know how that part of it goes for you, ok?

    About being in w/ds before starting...when I went in the day of my appt. at 10:00 am, I had already taken about 6 pills since I'd gotten up (and about 12 or so the day before.) He did tell me he'd like me to be in some stage of w/ds--even if it was minor--before starting me on the meth, but I was honest and told him I'd just gotten a refill of 120 (I had about 75 left by the time I went in) & I honestly couldn't bring myself to flush them & I knew I wasn't disciplined enough to just put them away either, so I asked him what should I do? He said, "take what you want today but promise me you won't take any more after midnight tonight, then come back here tomorrow morning and we'll go ahead and start the methadone...can you do that for me, for yourself?" I promised, and that's what I did. So for you, I don't think you have to be in severe w/ds to get started--just some period of time between your last pill and your first dose of the meth (same as the sub I think). I had my last pill at 11:00 pm the night before I went in, and they dosed me at about 9:00 a.m. that day, so I wasn't even feeling that bad as far as w/ds go and had only gone 10 hours w/o any hydros.

    I will be honest though & tell you I was scared to death! I was definately at a crossroads--I had a bottle of pills waiting for me at home and a refill to boot, so I could turn and walk out of there and act like none of it had happened--or, I could follow him into his room, get the physical, fill out the paperwork, pay them the money, and say goodbye to my pills and take the leap. I stood there thinking about it all with the dr. and the counselor and then the reassurance in their words & on their faces was enough for me to say "ok, let's do it," and just like that, they dosed me. One thing the doctor told me that helped was that I could go ahead and take a vicodin if I felt I needed one...if I got a headache, if my myofascial pain or my degenerative disk disease flaired up or if I just felt like I had to have one. So by having permission--a window of time where I could still use if I thought I had to made the leap into the program much easier.

    Yes, the first week or more, I did get a buzz from the meth (and the first week, I did take about 3 vikes a day when my dose was low...in the 30-50 mg. range) and I was "a-itching and a-chattering" fool those first several days! But I was honest with the dr. about it, and I was feeling like I should be doing better...he said, "Dallas, you are doing better, you are taking 12 less a day than you were, so think of it that way." Once I was at my first 'stable' dose (around 60 mgs.) all that went away, and I even took a couple vikes just to see, and I didn't feel a thing--nothing, and for the first time ever, I no longer thought about those hydros...I actually kept the pills around as a "test" and I never took another one for four weeks. A few days ago--I was stable for 10 days at 100 mgs., and then I began having breakthrough w/ds--mild insomnia (4-5 hrs. instead of the 8 I was now so used to), headaches, appetite changes, and just some minor things that you would recognize, too, since you've done the c/t thing a time or two . So I was honest with him again, told him I'd tried a few pills as I wasn't feeling quite the same, and he upped me 5 mgs. to 105 for 3 days, and immediately I was back to my newfound sleeping and thinking. There are a couple other things that are in the w/d area that I'm feeling that are very mild, so I will probably ask to go up another 5 mgs. and hope that holds me. I will say it's very hard to find "your stable dose," it is different for everyone...so much factors in like your length of use, the way your body metabolizes drugs, your general health, etc. Not the size or weight of a person though, which surprised me!

    Like you, I do have a lot of concerns about going off the meth...some people stay on low doses forever, especially those with chronic pain issues. I told the dr. how fearful I am of going off it, and he said that it took me 20 years to get here, and they weren't going to expect me to get off if in a few weeks, months or even years...the whole process of discovering what the right dose is for me, developing coping skills and getting emotionally prepared, and then attempting to taper...well, it will most likely be a long process for me. DJ, all I am doing is trying to not get ahead of myself by beginning the worrying process of getting off of it. I decided to just go with the program and take it as it comes, follow their lead, and when (or if) it's time, start the final stage. If I let my fear of getting off of it begin while I'm barely in the process of getting started, well...I just have to put those fears aside for now, even though they're valid. But I don't have to deal with that now, I just have to deal with getting stable and getting my old self back, becoming a productive member of society again, and taking care of my emotional and physical health. I've put myself in their hands and allowed myself the freedom of not worrying about the end to interfere with my beginning, you know what I mean?

    Please stay in touch, and I'll answer anything I can. I am happy for you, and I think you will be pleased with the changes you will hopefully feel as quickly as I did. I wish you the best with your clinic, and here's to a good night's sleep !

    Take care,

    DallasAlice

     
    Old 08-30-2004, 06:48 AM   #10
    JenC523
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    Hi DJ

    I am so sorry to hear about your experience at the methadone clinic, I can see why you felt like re-evaluating things. I can relate to your story for several reasons.....

    I too decided in my infinite wisdom to start writing my own scripts. At first, it seemed so scary, but unfortunately, I got really good at it. I had 5-6 pharmacies believing I was this poor little housewife in severe pain that reluctantly took my pain pills in order to get through my day. I had so many different stories going, I could barely keep up. I had to start a "diary" of sorts, indicating what pharmacy I used on what date, what I had filled, on & on & on. Between constantly perfecting my forged signature, creatively adding deceiving little additions to my already fake story lines (afterall, I was getting these pills for a long time), counting my supply, over and over and over again (hey, I might have missed one), hiding bottles and scratched out prescriptions all over my house, well.....I just didn't have time in my life for much of anything else, not that I really wanted to. Eventually, this horrid life became something I detested with every inch of my being. I hated myself for what I had become. Everything caught up with me, and I couldn't find my way out. I had to take so many pills just to stay out of withdrawals. That was my existence. I tried to taper myself off the pills so many times I could write a book about it. I was always really strong willed when my pills were just about gone..."Okay, this is it....I'm going to do it this time" Sure....then I knew I could go get 120 more Percocets and....."Well....I'm feeling so awful, I can't even do anyhting. I've got to take the pills in order to function." And here we go 'round again.

    In the end, I got caught. One of the pharmacies wised up and found out the truth. I was arrested on the spot and in that instant, my life turned upside down. I had to confess to my husband what was going on (I had been through rehab before, although he had become suspicous he was hoping I wasn't using again). That happened on a Monday, and the police made arrangements for me to come into the station that Friday morning to be booked and go through procedures. They said the only way I'd be "excused" was if I was in rehab. Here I go again. I can't even get into all of the emotional details of things at this point, with me and with my husband....I already feel as if I'm drawing this out. While I was in rehab, the medical staff was not convinced that the detox meds were working like they should. They changed several things, but the doctors on staff were not satisfied with how I was responding. I was looking at possibly going to prison....becoming and staying clean was absolutely critical. After a couple days, the doctors asked me if I was interested in methadone, I knew nothing about it. The rehab facility didn't even use it, but knew what doctors in the area did. After talking at length with the medical staff, me and my husband agreed this would be my personal best option and chance at staying clean.

    You've heard all the opinions on this board about methadone, trading one drug for another. I guess I don't see things quite that way because, with one drug, my life spiraled out of control. I manipulated everyone and everything around me. I lied to the people I love the most. I became someone I didn't even recognize. I isolated myself from as much as I could. The drug was on my mind constantly...all the time...the thoughts never went away. With the other drug (methadone) my life has been rebuilt. I no longer manipulate people or lie to them, I have no reason to. I am the person my husband says "is the woman I married". He says it's "so nice to have me back". I don't think of methadone constantly, in fact, I really don't ever think about it unless I'm on my way to the clinic. I don't isolate myself anymore, I actually enjoy being with other people, and feeling a genuine appreciation for the blessings in my life. So for me personally, there is absolutely NO comparison.

    I have been on methadone for several years, and quite frankly, I really have no idea how long I will be on it. I have been stabilized at a certain dose for a long time. I started out exactly how Dallas Alice described it. I also go to a very discreet, very personable clinic. The staff there is undeniably a group of people that has been carefully chosen to care for the addicts who come in for treatment. My counselor is a recovering addict (they all are at this clinic) and the doctors on staff are unbelievable.....kind, considerate, knowledgable, and passionate about what they do. I have dealt with the personal doubts about when and how will I get off of the methadone. I think once you are stabilized at an adequate dose, your doctor will probably have a better idea of how the methadone treatment will work for you. The amount of drugs you were taking and for how long makes all the difference in your treatment. When I go off of the methadone, I will be tapered off under medical supervision, at a very slow methodical rate. Is it successful? Can it be done? Only the people that have personally experienced it can tell you that. I have been fortunate to have met a wonderful friend through group therapy. She was on methadone for 6 years. She slowly tapered off of it (with no withdrawal symptoms) for 14 months. She remains clean today, and she has been off the methadone for 3 years. There are more stories like that, but for every success story I tell you, someone else will tell you a horror story. So, just like anything else, you take with you what will help you, and try to stay focused on whatever you decide. This board is abundant with personal journeys and personal opinions, that's what it's all about. My opinion is no better or worse than anyone else's, but it is this.....Find a way to get clean, and whatever that way is......taper plan, cold turkey, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, suboxone, methadone, 12 step programs, WHATEVER it is, if it works for YOU, that is all that matters. Try not to beat yourself up with people's negative thoughts or opinions, just stay focused and trust in your heart that you are doing what is best for you.

    I truly hope that you can get through this ordeal you have been caught up in. If you remain interested in the methadone clinic, maybe you can call someone there and talk to someone about your experience and about your concerns. Hopefully, that someone will be respectful and receptive to your call for help. Please, please let us know what happens and how things turn out for you. I will answer any questions you have about methadone, or about anything else. Like I said, methadone has worked well for me. It has given me my life back, and since I've been on it, I haven't used at all, don't even want to. I thought I would never say that. My life is once how I knew it, but even better. I remain on probation and will be for a while. It is absolutely critical that I remain clean, and weekly UA's will document that. If I use, I lose everything and I go to prison. I CANNOT relapse, like I've always done in the past. Maybe now you see why I believe in methadone.....it works, and it literally has saved my life.

    Please take care, sorry that I rambled, but I care about what happens to you. I want you to have any information that would help you choose a recovery treatment that would work for you. My best to you.......Fondly ~ Jen

     
    Old 08-30-2004, 09:04 AM   #11
    mernee
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    Being that I work in a Recovery House for addicts I am outraged at how you were treated in the clinic, however this is not about them this is about you and if you feel Methadone is the way for you than swallow your pride and go back, and don't worry about them, or the people there. If you feel that you can go it alone, with the support of your girlfriend do so. I have conflicting views on Methadone as I have seen first hand how it restored the life of a sponsee I have from a 12 step group that I attend, who unfortunately relpased with another drug, but as a former medical professional and a former addict I feel if someone would have prescribed me Heroin I would not have gotten to the place I did also, but it is illegal so I was offered Methadone, I refused. The bottom line is you need to be open to hear all experiences with the drug whether they be positive or negative to be able to make a decision that would be best for you.

     
    Old 08-30-2004, 03:23 PM   #12
    chefob1
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    im on 60mg a day....i dont go to a clinic,my doc writes me a script for a weeks supply....i try to go to a/a mtgs whenever it is possible and i am working on my recovery...i have chronic back pain so if i dont take methadone,im in pain and if i dont have methadone i would go into w/d's....the w/d's are very minimal if you wean very slowly...all these horror stories about meth being hard to get off are from folks who did not withdrawal slowly.....they went from like 50mg to zero in a day....methadone aling with suboxone are your only maintance routes unless you do the clonidine/trazadone deal or wean off slowly from the hydro...you have to deal with the physco aspects of addiction and that is where a/a is advised....good luck....chef

     
    Old 08-30-2004, 08:13 PM   #13
    DJJester
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    Re: Screwed & in full W/d's......now what!?!?!?

    Thank all of you for your posts in reply. I honestly love this board more than I can say. Don't all of you just have a tear come to your eye when your having one of those major decisions or a bad time in your life and there is no one who really understands but the people on this board..........so you make a post and then several days later there are all of these caring people who are so enthusiastic about helping you out, their only concern being not to pressure you, but to simply share their opinion, their life, and their hope. I pray that I can become one of those people soon.
    Anyhow, thanks again to all of you who replied to my post. I do not have time to write to everyone right now because I just got home from work and have a ton of homework to do, but I will make a long new post tomorrow titled something like "My Methadone Debate, new questions". All of you who have posted to me in this thread, please read it, because it will contain replies to all of you. Thanks again. I will write to all of you tomorrow.

     
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