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Old 05-02-2010, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Major Problems with methadone clinic...


I am just looking for some advice or support for my utter frustration. I can clearly say that the biggest possible hinderance to my sobriety is my methadone clinic. I have been there for over 4 yrs now and have been requesting a dose reduction for 2 1/2 of those yrs! I have remained 100% clean since the first day I took methadone, but now after completely turning my life around (including holding a great job for years and pursuing a masters degree) I am entirely fed up with methadone and my clinic.

I have been thru 5 counselors, half of which left there jobs after a couple of months, the other half were completely incompetent. One used to sit on his cell phone and flirt with girls during individual counseling sessions, the other would never speak a word to me unless she was asking the specific designated questions on her checklist. If I wanted to bring up the subject of getting off methadone she would completely ignore me and give me dirty looks. When I told her she was making me feel frustrated and uncomfortable she told me "that attitude won't get you anywhere", and continued to ignore me. The staff at my clinic is completely unapproachable and everyone treats you less than. There seems to be some power control issue with most of them. I have started to experience panic attacks when I go there in the mornings, and I can not get anyone to listen to me whole heartedly. I have been told 5 times that my dose would be reduced, once by the supervisor who assured me she would personally make sure it would happen. Not once did it go down. I finally have a decent counselor, but he has been trying to get me in to see the Dr for 3 months now for a consultation for a dose reduction. Everytime I see him though, he is up to his ears in paperwork, and just does not have the time to deal with my situation. I accidental missed my meeting with him last month, so that put me behind another month as well.

Another huge issue is the fact that sometimes it can take HOURS to get your dose. I came incredibly close to loosing my job a number of times and have known several ppl who have. Ironically, on my wedding day, they had a 4 hr wait. I tried to calmly explain my situation to see if I could get hurried thru the line, but it was met with nothing but rudeness and laughter that I even asked. I was late to my own wedding because of this clinic!

Sorry for the ranting, I just feel so helpless. I am positive this clinic does not care about anyones overall success, and I would take it as far as to say they make me feel less than human. I could write you a 10 page essay on the negative experiences I have had. I want to go above my clinic to get my dose reduced if necessary. Where do I turn for help when no one at my clinic will help me? I want to at least get reduced low enough to switch to suboxone from a private DR. I need out of this place, it is starting to impact my life as negatively as the pills did in the first place. There is no way I can survive another yr here.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum! I had trouble with my clinic, too. No one should ever be treated as you described! What steps have you taken to address all this?

First, I would make an appointment with the clinic medical director and discuss your troubles. If that doesn't help, contact the next level of administration for the clinic. If its private, contact the corporate office. Next would be to get in touch with your state's Dept of Health, find out who oversees the clinic system, and find out who to talk to.

You need to be systematic, courteous, and persistent. Start be writing down your problems, being as specific as possible about dates, names of clinic staff involved, and what you have done to address your problems. Call it a journal, but you need to be armed with this stuff as you start your quest. For example, if you meet with some administrator, and have nothing in writing, and no log of having done anything but vague bitching, don't expect a lot of sympathy. Don't start going over people's heads without first giving them a chance to hear your grievances.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I certainly agree, this clinic is not operating in your best interests. Though many clinics do not urge or push patients to taper off methadone due to the extremely high relapse rate (90% within the first year), if a patient, being aware of this, still wishes to taper off, they MUST be supported and allowed to safely taper off. This is a part of the federal regulations.

I see you are from Ohio. I can tell you that Ohio is, unfortunately, one of the worst states in the country for methadone treatment. They have a very backwards attitude, overly restrictive rules and regs, overcrowded clinics, underdosed patients, you name it.

I would suggest firstly that you discuss it with the clinic director. If that does not result in an immediate order for you to begin your taper, I would file a grievance. I would also contact your state methadone authority:

Jerry L. Jones
Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services
280 North High St., 12th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Telephone: (614) 644-8442
Fax: (614) 644-5169
[email protected]

and let him know what is going on. They are there to help you.

You can also go to the National Assoc. of Methadone Advocates (NAMA-Recovery) website and contact them to see if there is a trained methadone advocate availabe in your area to assist you in this conflict.

Remember, the law says they MUST allow you to do a safe taper off methadone if that is your desire--they CANNOT refuse to do this.

Last edited by Dee74; 05-02-2010 at 09:46 PM. Reason: removed link
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you both very much for the information. I keep heavy records of everything I do there, and make counselors sign of on every meeting, group, etc. It saved me from administrative detox once because my counselor quit without recording any of my progress!

I really appreciate the contacts. I have tried to ask clinic staff for this info, and again it is met with the usual brush off. I don't want to bring the place down or anything, I just want my personal chance for success and sobriety without the stress of methadone.
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well it looks like I may not have to do all that just yet. I saw my counselor yesterday and he actually did do all my paperwork and got me approved for the reduction. I am supposed to be able to make an appt with the Dr. today. He also said they will be giving me an extra take home, so at least I will only have to go 4 days a week a now. We'll see today if its all empty promises or not.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like we r having the same problem. I started almost 2 yrs ago and the counters basically convince u that our dose is not high enough I got up to 80mg and all I would do is sleep. I FINALLY get a counselor who cared and started slowly decreasing my dose. Go in one morning and she's gone so the lowering of my dose stopped. Now I find out i have some serious health problems and have to get off the program. I requested to detox 6 times in 4 months she decreased my dose 1 mg in 4 mo I go over her head to the director and said lets go down 1mg a day for 10 days stop for 4 then start again she wrote it up for 1 mg every 20 days I went over the director head now I'm talking to the big wig and same thing its like they keep u hostage so I ended up having to get a script for pain med and then the clinic says we have to talk to your doctors and I saw my chance to FINALLY get off the program I refused to sign the consent forms they said well if u don't sign we have to suggest u for discharge. I laughed cuz I told them i have been asking for 4 months to discharge and u won't let me so all I have to do is refuse to sign and u discharge me. So they will drop me 5mg every 3 days fast yes but I want off
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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kristineCT Im sorry but this is an old thread. Its from 2010. It might be helpful for you to start a new one of your own. good luck. I have never been on methadone but that sounds very fast to me
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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kristine dropping 5 mg every 3 days will make you very very sick. I know how badly you want off but it may not be in your best interests to drop so quickly. You could be very sick for a very long time. I just don't want you to end up in a worse situation or end up going back to using because you feel so miserable. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with the clinic. I recently started seeing a private doctor after more than two years at a clinic and I couldn't wait to get out of there. They did not want to help me taper. The only reason I ever reduced my dose was because I pushed for it. I really hope it gets better for you. I just don't want to see you get deathly sick.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RsBeet26 View Post
I am just looking for some advice or support for my utter frustration. I can clearly say that the biggest possible hinderance to my sobriety is my methadone clinic. I have been there for over 4 yrs now and have been requesting a dose reduction for 2 1/2 of those yrs! I have remained 100% clean since the first day I took methadone, but now after completely turning my life around (including holding a great job for years and pursuing a masters degree) I am entirely fed up with methadone and my clinic.

I have been thru 5 counselors, half of which left there jobs after a couple of months, the other half were completely incompetent. One used to sit on his cell phone and flirt with girls during individual counseling sessions, the other would never speak a word to me unless she was asking the specific designated questions on her checklist. If I wanted to bring up the subject of getting off methadone she would completely ignore me and give me dirty looks. When I told her she was making me feel frustrated and uncomfortable she told me "that attitude won't get you anywhere", and continued to ignore me. The staff at my clinic is completely unapproachable and everyone treats you less than. There seems to be some power control issue with most of them. I have started to experience panic attacks when I go there in the mornings, and I can not get anyone to listen to me whole heartedly. I have been told 5 times that my dose would be reduced, once by the supervisor who assured me she would personally make sure it would happen. Not once did it go down. I finally have a decent counselor, but he has been trying to get me in to see the Dr for 3 months now for a consultation for a dose reduction. Everytime I see him though, he is up to his ears in paperwork, and just does not have the time to deal with my situation. I accidental missed my meeting with him last month, so that put me behind another month as well.

Another huge issue is the fact that sometimes it can take HOURS to get your dose. I came incredibly close to loosing my job a number of times and have known several ppl who have. Ironically, on my wedding day, they had a 4 hr wait. I tried to calmly explain my situation to see if I could get hurried thru the line, but it was met with nothing but rudeness and laughter that I even asked. I was late to my own wedding because of this clinic!

Sorry for the ranting, I just feel so helpless. I am positive this clinic does not care about anyones overall success, and I would take it as far as to say they make me feel less than human. I could write you a 10 page essay on the negative experiences I have had. I want to go above my clinic to get my dose reduced if necessary. Where do I turn for help when no one at my clinic will help me? I want to at least get reduced low enough to switch to suboxone from a private DR. I need out of this place, it is starting to impact my life as negatively as the pills did in the first place. There is no way I can survive another yr here.
Hi, I go to a methadone clinic too. I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you've experienced at your clinic. The really shouldn't be making it so difficult for you to start dropping your dose, but with many clinics, they are a business who wants your money. If you wean away from the clinic, they know they'll lose someone who's paying them. But they should let you wean off without hassle. I'm sorry too about the rudeness that you've experienced from them. This is something which used to bother me there also, is that the staff at the clinics, including the nurses and the counselors, do not place a high level of importance on trying to treat you with manners, sympathy, or even always respect. I've gotten some pretty rude treatment from some of the staff there myself. The staff knows that no matter how they treat you, you will still be coming back and paying them their money because you'll be sick without getting your doses. So, that very important factor makes the methadone clinic different from other businesses of service where the staff there can always fear that they'll lose customers and business if they don't treat the customers the right way. I would never do this, but there was another site where there was a methadone patient talking about suing their clinic for their shabby treatment, and several of the responses explained how difficult it is to succeed in suing that kind of a place, especially when you're likely to be looked at as just a junkie by the legal system when making such a move. And like I said before, the clinic staff knows that no matter how they treat you, that you'll be back because of your dependence on needing to dose. Overall unfortunately, it's very easy for them to get away with being rude, unsympathetic, and verbally unpleasant to the patient. What I've also noticed is that the staff do not always treat every patient the same when it comes to levels of friendliness or rudeness, again it's because for the reasons I explained that it's easy for them to get away with it, and they know you'll be back to pay them because you won't be able to handle suddenly not dosing, and they know that it's almost impossible to successfully sue them if any of their patients ever think of going there. So often, how you get treated at the clinic will usually be similar to how you get treated by anyone that you'd meet in a non-business serving situation, and like anyone that you would just see on the street. Basically how it stands, they can choose who to like or dislike, and that overall, they really don't have to be nice.

Last edited by Alichael; 11-15-2018 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Correct typo
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