Discussions that mention methadone

Addiction & Recovery board

Hi everybody!

The last 6 weeks have been absolutely both the most real & surreal timeline in my life. I left off here after choosing a path that I decided--after much solitary resolve--would be the best one for me to travel down, & I finally went beyond the first step of recovery (which I now know was posting here that I was an addict--even though you couldn't have convinced me back then that my coming here was really a first step...or anything at all most likely...LOL!), & I continued w/my changes by telling someone in person. Telling a past lover who is a still-very-good friend (as well as someone I still do bookkeeping for) about my addiction in person was a huge, emotional & draining thing to do, but that was my next step. When I spilled my truth to him, I felt very much like I was at the same breaking point that I was when I first joined here--the difference being that the first time I wrote you all, I was thinking death had to be a better thing than this life of addiction I had created; however, when I called my friend, my mindset was different because I had chosen to try living, and I had finally reached the point of realization where I knew I had to change a lot of things. He listened and at the end of it, he simply said "well, what are we going to do about this?" I told him about my failed attempts at c/t & tapering & how I'd found a methadone/suboxone clinic, so by at the end of our talk, I decided get the professionals involved because you guys...I so cannot do this alone.

I made the appt. on a Friday & then went in the following Monday. I had a physical, blood work, etc, & met with a counselor who is an ex addict who asked a lot of intake questions. Then after a meeting with the doctor, the counselor and myself, it was decided that methadone would become my program--I pretty much just put myself in their hands, told them everything I’ve ever told you all, and decided in order for this to work, I would have to trust what the doctor thought was best. The deciding factors were primarily cost ($180/mth. vs. $500/mth. for the sub--I don't know why, but the meth can be done on a sliding scale but the sub can't?); that I'd been on opiates for over 20 years, a biggie is the benzo I've been on for 15 yrs. as I have this issue with the rape, incest & resulting PTSD--can't mix benzos & sub, but can work on getting off them while working on getting off the opiates he said. Then there's the other truth--I was scared & I didn’t want to give up my pills yet! So they didn’t dose me that day, and I went home to digest everything and give it all some more thought, took 8 of my 70 pills I had left, and made the decision to just do it (sorry Nike!) From what I understand, too, the meth is a longer way to detox than via the sub, but since it took me so long to get to this level of addiction combined with my sadness at saying goodbye to it all, the sub (or the quicker "cure") might not have the long-lasting positive effects...I think what I'm trying to say is that a quick goodbye to my best friends might have a lesser chance of long-term results than a slower releasing of my buddies would have. The doctor is very realistic and positive, like when I told him I had this last script & I was scared to flush them, he told me we were just going to go slow & to even go ahead and take one if I thought I needed it in the beginning & especially if the myofascial pain flaired up. Plus he said they didn't want to lose me after I’d finally come in their door.

So I started at 30 mgs. of the meth, then by 6 wks, I was stablized at 100 mgs. After 10 days at that dose, though, some of the old w/d’s kicked in again, so he bumped me up to 105 mgs. today & thru the wknd. There are a lot of pros & cons to this drug, but I can honestly say I went 4 weeks without taking or even thinking about a hydro (surprised the heck out of me!) Then 3 days ago I blew it as I took to a "sick" headache & after having it for 3 days, I got a refill of my primary doc's script of the 5/500s. I learned that I have no coping skills nor any ideas as to how to treat things like a migraine or real pain like I read about you do...like what do you do when you have to have dental work or surgery? I don’t even know how to handle a severe headache, & I am here to tell you that advil, tylenol or even “extra strength” excedrin-whatever doesn’t do a thing for me now!

So the good things that have happened as a trickle down effect of now being on a withdrawal suppressing drug is that I have reduced my monthly bills by almost $300 (I was spending anywhere from $300 to $500/mth. with the onlines & doc shopping--now it's only the $180/mth); my mood is so much better--I guess just because I have a plan and I’m actually doing something about this problem that is stealing my life away; but the very best part is without physical cravings and feelings of withdrawals, I now have ZERO stress about when, where & how the next batch of pills will come...I am so serious! I never thought that could happen, but it’s really true. I never have to think about where I will get my next pill as long as I stay in some kind of a program, & that is so very comforting. I then called my only sister and came clean with her (at least I thought I was--she said she already knew & was just waiting for me to confide in her--here I was thinking I had everyone fooled, including myself, sheesh!). And I finally got a full-time job 3 weeks ago--YAY! Maybe I can keep up with my bills now and someday start making a dent in the drug debt I accumulated over these last few years, we’ll see...sigh.

About the job...you all are going to either roll over laughing or keel over in the irony of it all, as I am now the office manager of..a.....MORTUARY! OMG, you would not believe the things I have seen! Although I run the front office and the phones, the death certificate and cremation paperwork, I am vaguely aware that behind me they are embalming and cremating and preparing people to be said goodbye to. This is not a funeral home, this is the “in between place,” the place where one goes after they die and stay until their funeral or service occurs. Sometimes I have to take a fax to the back or give them a message, so I’ve seen what goes on, and I would say that almost 75 percent of the bodies I’ve seen them working so gently on (painting their nails, doing their hair, dressing them, applying makeup, etc.) are people over the age of 75. On the other hand, in my 3 weeks on the job, they’ve prepared a 20-yr. old who fell rock climbing, a 19-yr. old who fell off a car “car surfing” while partying, a 9-mth. old who died of some sort of disease (that was the hardest so far), a man who had several slabs of concrete fall on him at a job site, and yes...a few days ago we had a suicide, a 68-yr. old man shot himself in his mouth. I have to admit I’ve changed my line of thinking about faith and signs and messages and God, because I don’t think that my getting a job surrounded by death was a “coincidence” given my thoughts of suicide recently.

All of you who replied to me on my suicidal night’s first post, you were so right...I could now never put my children through what these families go through. And now that I’ve seen what happens to a body...I even made myself watch them put a man in a pine box into a crematory yesterday, well I don’t want to go through that...not yet anyway. Yes death is inevitable, but I am now in no hurry to bring it on. I never thought I could or would see people and work and life and my kids and my cat and my computer and my paycheck and my sister and my freedom and even my addiction as just the way LIFE is...not ever. I no longer sweat the small stuff at all, I never let a morning or night come or go without the last thing my kids hear from me be the words “I love you and I am on your side,” nor do I take anything from anyone that is remotely “toxic” or a lack of respect because I have seen the highest form of respect and dignity from the morticians in the things they do--like gently place the bow around the baby’s head, or slip the socks on over the feet of the grandfather, or paint the mother’s nails who died of heart disease...I mean it guys, I’ve never seen anything like this place. I’ve always been on the other side of death, and now I am right in the thick of it, but I am not bothered by it--I have learned an enormous amount about humanity and life and death--and I know now that those things and love are all there is that is truly ours. I read it on a headstone 20 years ago, and now I understand it, “Nothing is our own but our dead.” I hope you don’t find my story about my new job morbid or sad, I am only sharing some of the details because it’s so dang ironic for one, but mostly because of the way it expanded my vision and my thoughts on everything, especially God...

With all my love,
Dallas Alice
Hey Alice - I wanted you to know that your thread caught my eye as soon as I signed on. I've missed you, although I went several weeks not really being able to sign on but a few times a week... But I wanted to tell you that I'm very happy that you are working full time, and that you have your pill intake under control.

It sounds like the place you went is absolutely amazing. I'm very happy that they have places that actually treat addicts like human beings and that you are now settling down into a stable life. Tell me, if you don't mind... (and I'm sorry for not paying attention to detail) but how many pills were you taking before and what were they? Do you have a real pain issue, other than your headaches? I'm only saying this because I used to 'borrow' several meth pills during withdrawals sometimes and I was taking 20 lortab 10's per day and 20 mgs per day would do the trick. In fact, it would feel as though I had taken 20 lortab 10's... Are you feeling that 'buzz' or anything like that? I've heard that once you are on Methadone for a while, you no longer feel anything and that they don't give you that high... but I know for a fact that when you take them... and even after a few days of taking them, that any other opiate you take will do nothing for you. I also know that it's extremely easy to overdose on methadone because people are looking for that high and can't get it because meth blocks it. Suboxone is the same way - but since it's so new, I'm assuming that there aren't stats regarding this issue.

Anyway, your children are teenagers, right? Do they know and/or have they noticed a difference in you?

I know the side effects that you speak of and honestly, they are almost the exact same as Suboxone ---- being hungry, getting really sleepy at night. I remember those being the two biggest. ANd I remember I would be dripping sweat in the middle of winter. With Suboxone.... you feel no high (at least I didn't) yet I never, ever think of taking opiates. However, I have to take an appetite suppresant just to barely maintain the 20 lbs that I've gained... and i'm actually losing weight again because they changed it...

I know that I could never, ever do the work you are doing... Death is something I fear with everything inside of me... Even though I am religious and should not be afraid, I am terribly, to the point that I cannot even think about it at times. I can't imagine that one day, I will die... I hate it and it freaks me out. Anyway... I am glad that you are able to see that being alive and living your life to the fullest is the best thing we can do!!! But please be cautious and if you find yourself getting too overwhelmed by working there... then start looking! But for now, I cannot be happier for you.

As far as the meth --- how long does the doc think you should be on it???? My doc has stated as long as I want - a year, two years or forever... I am wanting to get off of it pretty soon. I'm so tired of fighting the weight issues. I'm 33 and single and it's extremely difficult and does make me depressed when I balloon up... But I've lost 8 lbs in 18 days so this new med is helping. Anyway, I have to run but I'm happy that you wrote this and I'm happy for YOU!

Take care!!!
Dallas A,

:bouncing: :bouncing: :bouncing: :

Three times in a row, now, I've read your post.....and that is stillnot enough for me to even begin to imagine this wonderful--and emotional--roller coaster you've been on in the past six weeks!! To think that all those years, you felt too depressed and paralyzed to make that first move--and now you've jumped into the first car--with you arms raised high in the air--ready to ride those dips and curves! You are totally AMAZING!! :D

(And it is so good that you are aware of the possible hazards ahead...this knowledge will be sure to help keep you moving smoothly on the track! And...maybe it's actually a good thing that you've had to confront the pill "demon" at this point!)

You know, of course, that you are NOT doing this alone...that aside from friends and family....you have THIS crazy crowd onboard WITH you ...and it's a pretty darn good "steering" committee! LOL!!! :jester:

Knowing practically nothing about Methadone (and still undecided about the Suboxone), I will leave all your medical questions to the experts on board here. (And you should check the Archives here, too.) I DO know that there are great posters--like CHEF--who have started up their lives again, thanks to Methadone. And I'm sure they will be happy to help out.

I WILL comment on your job though! And, in complete contrast to my first stunned reaction (LOL!).....I am now convinced that you are in a most "life-affirming" position! :-) I cannot think of any other industry that would gently whisper in your ear...and remind you of the value of love..and of life...than a mortuary!! :angel:

And sharing the burden of your long struggle with addiction, with your sister (even if she knew!) and your friend is a blessing for you. It gives you what you need more than anything from here on in--the chance to talk as honestly as you wish with people you love..and love you back. You may not even be aware of how emotionally tough it's been to measure everything you say..knowing all along that the real reason for much of your moods, your fears, your depressions were buried in that lie.

Unfortunately, I know all about that. :confused: How I cannot even talk honestly to my psychiatrist (who prescribes my antidepressants...and who--thankfully--I don't have to "lie" to more than a couple of times a year). He thinks I'm still so isolated because of my break-up a few years ago, from my husband. It's not that at all. It's the pills. But how do you tell a wonderful doctor that you've lied to him the 5 years you've seen him??

My husband and I split up, ironically, because of HIS psychological problems...and his total refusal to get help. Instead, he chose to stop working and simply isolate himself. He had no financial worries. And, he never touched drugs. Was completely unaware of painkiller abuse. And I KNOW he did not know about mine. Yet...in its insidious way, it must have contributed to our break-up. My ownisolation must have distracted me from trying harder to unravel his problems.

At work, I'm kidded all the time about my "limits" on socializing. Even my close friends, with one exception, who I've "fessed" up to, think I suffer from a form of agoraphobia...that a host of psychological problems is behind it all(including the 9 years my sister and I cared for our increasingly senile mother, with the help of a health care aide...keeping her with us, in her own apt. in our building...because we loved her too much to risk her getting worse at even the best nursing home.) It all become a pack of lies...or rather a quiet, growing deceit...learning to "cover" myself all the time. Using every possible excuse for my "house of cards" life (which is always threatening to topple.)

Do you relate to this pattern of life in any way? Or were you more honest? All I know is that I'm not ever entitled to say "no one understands me"--because I've made CERTAIN of that!

Well....here I've gone and done it AGAIN...managed to change this post into one about ME!! Aaarrggghhhh! How did THAT happen!?! :D

But, what I REALLY want to tell you is simply this: that I am so very, very happy that you took this step. I know you have a lot of questions about the route you've taken.....but those will be answered....and the main point is that you have TAKEN it. You and your family must be so proud!

Lynn :p

PS And from now on...you must jump onto this Board whenever you have doubts or fears or questions....or just want to share some special, happy moments! We're all looking forward to hearing from you. Soooooo much!

Lynn :p
Wow-you have done a total "360"..i always felt like this board was a positive part of my recovery-and now i am convinced-just posting your thoughts/feelings in this kind of forum can make a differance in peoples lives-its cyber-communication-but we are REAL people..You have done well my friend-
Methadone-does work wonders for many addicts-i do know several people who did the "program"..and stopped the cycle of addiction.
Suboxone has really helped me-altho i am getting a little worried-now that im tapering..feeling a bit under the weather-(mostly lack of energy)..but manageable.
Once i really got "into the sub-i stopped all forms of using-no pills-no H..but initally i had a few relapses early on-but realising the high was blocked/no point..i upped my therapy/meetings/coming here..and stopped the relapses.
Were you taking the pills on top of the methadone???
I am perimenapausal-and going thru some serious migraines-i take the advil liqa-gels-Works really well-and ive had cluster/migraines since my 20's on/off-
We are around the same age Alice-are you going thru mena-too???
I feel kinda weird today..depressed i guess..
TwinLYNN-i feel very anti social too-i am sort of the joke of our friends too-agoraphobic-etc..but i am-for real..the ativan helped me relax enough to drive my car-and go to the supermarket(SCARY!!!)..but i am constantly blowing off friends/and literally-have seperated myself from my family(altho nesescery..the point is-can i really get off all this medication-and become myself???Or is the damage done???
MMM-i better go..do want to weigh down you folks-w/ my schtick...
I love you all-and wish us all peace..freedom from addiction..
Blessed be..
ggrl :angel: