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Old 06-01-2003, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Almost fully detoxed-methadone-I'm new! Long but might help some people

Hi everyone, I am new. I have a story similiar to many. Different from many as well. I won't go into it but my life is coming to a crossroad. I am ready to cross over to the other side- a recovering addict.

Right now, I am on methadone. Rather than fail on a 21 day detox, I have been on a 6 month detox. I started at a high of 32mg. Which is not very high. I went very slow and now I am on 18 mg. The key is slow and steady. I do not have any withdrawal symptoms. I worked the program for what it is worth. I stayed honest with myself and in fact, I carry the drugs that caused my addiction- Norco (double the strength of Vicodin) with me. I carry two pills. I have no desire to take them. I look at those pills every day and I tell myself that I am stronger than those pills and they will not overpower me.

I started intensive therapy at the methadone clinic right along with the detox. I see my counselor once a week and I see a psychiatrist once every three weeks at the clinic. I was diagnosed as Bipolar Rapid Cyling type II which helps explain my desire to self medicate.

I've been on 14 different Bipolar meds with no success and I'm still trying. I have problems with the meds not because I'm also on methadone (although methadone does not help the situation any) but because I have special digestive problems that make me absorb psych meds differently. I also have low blood pressure problems as well.

I also just graduated from law school while on methadone and while I am trying different psych meds w/ all their side effects.

I used to beat myself up for all the mess I made. Now I think of myself as a survivor. I managed to make it this far w/ all this on my back.

I am in my last month on methadone. I will do it. I have no psychological craving for the methadone. I am prepared for the physical withdrawal that I know will happen in spite of my slow titration off of this drug.

Many people do not like methadone and mostly I agree with them. I used to nod off on the drug, have horrible struggles to remember anything and get irritated easily but if you work the system it will work for you.

DO NOT GO THROUGH A 21 DAY DETOX if you are on methadone. Be prepared to go through a minimum of 6 months on detox. Don't fall into the maintainence trap. It begins to feel comfortable on methadone so many do not bother going through a long term detox. Commit yourself to a goal of detox right from the beginning and commit yourself to intensive psychotherapy including psych meds if needed. Everytime you go down in methadone, consider that a huge accomplishment and a step toward your ultimate goal.

If you are still reading my post, thank you. I wrote this for myself as well as for any of you who might benefit.

Wish me luck in my last month of methadone. I will let you know how it works.

Much respect to all those who survived this horrible illness. M

One more thing--- In my eyes, three weeks of pure hell going through the physical withdrawals is worth a lifetime of being drug free and not having to deal with this stuff anymore.

Last edited by mreneerouser; 06-01-2003 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Dreaming Summer
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Hello...and welcome to Sober Recovery.You'll find a lot of support and encouragement here.You don't have to do this alone.If you have not done so yet,you may want to check out NA meetings in your area.It can make a real difference having contact with others in recovery.We have an NA forum here,and Pernell has posted a guide to working the steps.It's some really good reading.There are also forums for Depression/Bipolar and for PTSD,and much more.Take care and keep posting

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

- Mother Teresa
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Old 06-02-2003, 12:52 AM   #3 (permalink)

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Location: scottsdale az
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Watch out with those two pills. Right now while you are riding what I call the "recovery high" you feel as if you are stronger and that they can't overtake you. The problem is that you won't always feel this way, the "recovery high" that you are experiencing. Highs and lows are a big part of the long road to recovery and some of those days you won't feel so great. And carrying those pills on one of those days, you will be VERY tempted. My first four to six weeks of sobriety were great, I felt as if I had it beaten. Yes, I am no longer empowered by the euphoria of drugs! I know what to do when I crave. Well....from there on out, especially during my sixth to tenth week or so on out, there were many days where I couldn't get out of bed, sat around with a flat affect, my bipolar alternated from mania to dark depression within seconds, shakes and physical anxiety, and so forth. If I had a bottle of pain pills or a bag of cocaine I WOULD have used. I can't be around drugs. I have admitted that I am powerless over alcohol and drugs and admitted that my life had become unmanageable (the first step). Which means I can't carry around two Percodan with me and pull them out to remind me that they can;t control me. Wouldn't I remember all the evil they did?? The comedown?? The addiction??? Ya sure, but you know what, that high sure is dandy. That is the demon in my head that will allways be around, sitting around the corner lifting weights...just waiting for me to slip. All I know is from my experience. I don't know why you feel a reason to carry around your drug of choice to remind you. This is what the fellowship is for. Have you attended AA or NA? Since we are powerless over our drug use, none of us can successfully be around our drug of choice and not use, which is why we learn what scenes to not go near, people not to be with, and to avoid situations where our substance may be present.
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Old 06-02-2003, 04:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: New York
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I am so happy to see your post. You have no idea. There is always so much negativity regarding methadone. You made my day.
I too am detoxing from the methadone right now. I was a drug addict for 15 years and have been on methadone for 20+ years. Only because I was not ready to stop abusing drugs. Once my mind was made up....things went smoothly. So I have definately been there.
I have been going down slowly for the past 3 years. I was in no rush in the beginning and that is why it went into years. I was on 120mg. and now I am on 5mg. and my last day will be 6/13/03. No withdrawal symptoms. The only time I felt the decrease was when I went from 20mg to 15mg. And I got over it within several days.
I am interested to hear from you because there are many people who sabatoge the methadone clinics. Calling it poison and things like that. Like I said before in many of the other posts....the ones who trash the clinics are the patients who are not ready to make a change in their lives. They are still abusing, denying, and fighting the disease.
Good for you. I really enjoyed your post. I hope the others that I have had numerous discussions with regarding this subject see your story.
Take care.
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Old 06-02-2003, 09:52 PM   #5 (permalink)

Join Date: May 2003
Location: NJ
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Hi mreneerouser!!!

Your post was a real inspiration, thank you for sharing your story. I don't have first hand experience with methadone, but I do with vicodin. And also I was in a relationship with someone that went into a methadone program to end her 4 year pain pill addiction. We then learned methadone is highly addictive also and she could not get off of it. She tried a gradual taper (1 mg every two weeks) at 7 months and could not do it. Then again at 12 months, and again had to stop the taper. The clinic was an hour away in a bad part of the city and with her 3 young children and her old car and me working, believe me when I say it was soooooooo hard on us. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't want it out of her life after all it was putting us thru. It just goes to show you the hold that stuff can have on a person.

You are doing really awesome!
Some people on it that can't get off it actually say it is like insulin for a diabetic, not an addictive drug. They work very hard to get themselves to be OK with accepting their addiction so they say things like that. It's pathetic.
I have actually read a few successful methadone detox stories in my substance abuse forum travels. Your stories are proof it's possible to get off it and are very inspirational to others who want to get free of it.

After what I went thru with my g/f I try to warn people to be careful with methadone, I just want to let people know how difficult it is to get off. My g/f and I didn't really know that going in, it was presented as a nice little regulated detox. Then I learn you don't ever have to go off it and many people can't. Someone in another forum actually told me she should not have been on it that long if she was going to do a detox. But every time she even thought of the detox starting it would freak her out sooo much. Damn. Scary stuff. Life saver for some, nightmare ball and chain to others.

You deserve more credit than most people know.
Major kudos to you!

Definitely continue to post your progress.

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Old 06-04-2003, 06:03 PM   #6 (permalink)

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Hi, thank you everyone for your replies and welcoming me to the board. I am doing great. I'm very excited about being drug free soon. I feel really good. I'm going through mild withdrawals but I deal with it. In fact, I've been going through withdrawals for over 2 months, mild body aches, fatigue, mild nausea. But going through mild withdrawals is much better than going cold turkey and feeling all of it at once. I swore I was going to do this right and I was going to work the methadone rather than have the methadone work me.

In fact, yesterday my mind was clear for the first time in years. I had tons of energy and felt so happy. I know I'm psyching myself out (for the better) and I'm absolutely prepared for the bad days.

I am so excited to have a drug free mind (besides my bipolar meds of course). I have no clue what mg of methadone I'm on but I know it's less than 18mg. I have only 20 more days left and then my 6 month's of methadone and my 3.5years of Norco addiction will BE OVER!!!!!!!

Ok, sorry for the yelling but I'm so excited. Ok, I could go on and on but I don't want to bore you all. Thanks again for the support and I hope all of you struggling find the path to happiness!

take care, M
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:06 AM   #7 (permalink)

Join Date: May 2003
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 11
Detoxing with Methadone

Each time I was detoxed using Methadone (from iv Dalaudid and then from Loratab 10s) it was NEVER over 5 days!

I would think over 21 days would be pushing it!!!!!!!!!

Just my $0.02, Greg
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