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My 15 year methadone treatment story.

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Davers, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. Davers

    Davers Community Champion

    Where to start ???
    Well in May 2001 , I could take 2 Perc 5's then by 2002 I'd take all I could get /afford, Even ate 100's of Darvacet , any opiate BUT Tramadol Never helped with my opiate withdraws . FWIW

    I started my MM in 2002 , cause I live in the Burbs & knew -not where to find 'H". 'Thank The Lord.

    In the first year , I had to go on Sundays but not long after they started closing on Sunday.
    In the first 6 months I worked up to 120 mg , I stayed at that dose until 2006, when my probation officer state " I must start to taper off , so I started going down, (I did not think they could do that ) then I went in one day (still owing $700 + D & A Eval + Classes ) & the head PO said "pay what you got & your Done " I said What ? I ....She cuts me off ..."YOUR DONE" . Then I get the hint & say thanks and goodbye.

    My clinic is 45 min away ( there are many closer now ) & drove it everyday through Jan 2007. Well during that time I had no Drivers License & got 4 driving suspended charges in 3-4 years ( only 1 stop was legit ).
    By the time sentencing came down I had to do 30 days in Jail ( the original Beauty Queen LOL pros-acuter originally wanted me to do 6 months Day for a Day.
    That was in 2007 & that 17 days was PURE Torture & Cruel in my opinion ; heck I did 2 months in 1992 ( PO Violation ) & that was Gravy compared to the 17 days 13 of no sleep ' well 15 min at a time '. Oh I was at 70 mg then + on 2 mg a day of xanax + Cig's + 2-3 Monster drinks every morning for years.

    Finally got out suffered until the 29 th day w/o M-done & went back to my clinic.

    I got my spit more together after I was approved for disability , Got in to see a Dr, for my Xanax , Quit smoking weed in 2008-2009, so I was finally able to get take-out's , well over the years I got to where I can get 28 days at a time but only get 2 weeks at a time .

    Having the same Counselor for 9+ years really helps ' I used to get a new one every month or 2.
    I try to meet with my counselor for 1 hr once a month , It helps a-lot.

    I've been weaning down for the past 4 years & found 70 mg worked well for me but I still got the Nod's if I drove over 1 hr , I HATE That. So I then got to 40 a day felt fine , checked my records & I was on 30 mg for almost 2 years ( Without no real WD issues).

    The reason I came here was I dropped to 25 mg in Early March , I could tell the next morning that I was (not right) but after a week to 10 days I began feeling normal ( My normal LOL)
    I did good through Farther's Day. Then after that I began at different times of the day I'd start yawning , tearing , just felt uncomfy . So I went back up to 30 mg around the 10th of Oct , and feel 80% better ...strange. I wonder if the Placebo effect is working on me.

    My thought train is running 10 X faster than my fingers I want to say more & have many stories but since getting take-homes & going to the clinic every 2 weeks , I don't get all the 'Dirt' like I did when going everyday. I do have 5 am friends who wait for the door to open & they keep me up on the 'Clinic Gossip'.

    Ill add to this from time to time but if anyone has any questions please ask .
    Thanks Davers / Davey
  2. Onceaddicted77

    Onceaddicted77 Spam fighting Moderator & Realist Community Listener

    Hi @Davers glad you posted your story.
    When I went through my taper I went through ups and downs. I tapered off of suboxone which is a little different then methadone.

    Everytime I would step down it would take me about 4 or 5 days to adjust until I got down under 1 mg. It started to take me 2 weeks to adjust then. I wish I had more experience with methadone to help but @DoxyMom and also I'm sure @amillie412 would love a chance to help answer any questions about methadone.

    As I stated in another post medical cannabis completely destroyed the depression from the withdrawl for me. But i did still have anxiety out the ass. I had to take anxiety medication for that.
    Davers likes this.
  3. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @Davers would you mind sharing what state you live in? I'm in PA and our clinics are different. I had to laugh as I go to my group on Monday at 6 and that is when it opens and it is funny to hear they line up at the door waiting for it to open. Why?!! They have that me first mentality.
    I've been going since February. I'm clean 7 months. Mine is closed on Sundays too so everyone gets that take home. I now have one more so I have weekends off. This month I get another but will have to wait until I'm there a year for another. You also have to be there 3 years to get a week. That is the most they will give you. You are not allowed to smoke MJ or lose them. Once I get the next one I can cut down some of my counseling. I probably won't right now. I was up to 80 and tapered down to 75 and plan to taper more as I'm still sleepy. My group counselor says it takes 6 months for your brain to heal and then you should taper.
    I live in the burbs next to a fairly large town called Allentown. It has been nicknamed the little Apple. Heroin is abundant there and I found it. It is in many farm communities in PA.
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  4. Davers

    Davers Community Champion

    Yea Man in the past or over the years my Counselor but mostly my Crazy Dr, has pushed the thought on me but my M-done dose was always to high to make the switch.
    It is something i'm thinking of tho .
    1 more thing my clinic does not offer Liquid......So I don't know what they do when someone is on a 5 mg or lower taper , as the 5mg tabs only break into 2.5's , ? Ill ask in 2 weeks , Ill bet they switch people that low to Subs .
    Ill find out.
    GD Onceaddicted77.
  5. Davers

    Davers Community Champion

    Ok DoxyMom, ill try to answer your questions the best I can w/o getting side tracked.

    I live in GA N of Atlanta.
    Let me answer your 'Pot' ? 1st .
    My clinic was the same "0 take homes if you fail for pot but you would not be kicked out , Benzos is still a grey area , most other clinics around here will kick u out for benzos (even with a Cool Dr. ) , mine lets me stay cause of my Dr. but I do wonder why I was never kicked out for 7 years of failing for xanax , k-pin. .? My does was only 2 mg a day (if that).
    Back in 2003-04 when I worked downtown I had to be there at 5.30 am and wait , it sucked but I had to do it + there was to many chances to meet new people for the wrong reasons , the gossip was fun + hearing excuses why people did not have their $ , my friend still goes at 5.30 so her and my counselor keep me up on the crazy stuff ( no info on patients of-course.).
    As of 2-4 years ago my friend switched clinics cause of $ & having to go everyday + the first Month was a $1 a day .
    At that clinic she was not failing for weed nor was her friend ( dap , Pen , High quality stuff smokers) come to find out they and now most clinics have a 100 weed level cut off ( ie, you can not go over 100 on yr test) my clinic was always 50 as it's cut off ; now it's 100 . IMO These 'numbers' made it where people with 'Low-Thc' CBD cards would not be kicked out. again 'My opinion'.

    One thing I recall from your post was that you had or have to drive 1 hr each way to dose.
    To me that is not cool, It reminds me of the story where there was only 1 or 2 MD clinics in TN & folk were driving from Knoxville & other places in TN to GA to dose . 2 hour drives ( after a 120 dose ) ? Crazy.

    I knew 1 dude who drove 45min in ATL traffic everyday 2006 ish ; over 2 years he totaled 2 of his cars by passing out (nodding ). Also Numerous 7-8 others I know have totaled cars just after dosing or on the way early in the morning.
    That said most were also abusing Benzos.

    Also back around 2006 my clinic started 1 hour group meetings ( Not Mandatory ) well that lasted a couple months as me , my friend & another guy were the only ones coming , since then 2 years or so it's now mandatory you must meet with your counselor 15-30 min even if by Skype.

    As I said at first , I choose to meet with my Counselor 1 hr every 2 weeks . It helps as we just talk about life , frogs , Birds , Tress , News . I quit talking with her about my family issues cause in 10 years 'WE' really did not try to change our family ways.
    We are still a family tho .

    Yes I know of Allentown (as sung by Billy Joel ) I have never been there but have friends in Pitt , Near Gettysburg , oh & Jim he is from the "Town time forgot " he visited last Summer & said 'it's still the same ' I said can I relic Hunt it with my metal detector ? The NE has SOOOOOOO much more history than does the South & West , hence except Savannah there are few to none Colonial sites in my area , sry sidetracked.

    Well , ill shut up , wish you & everyone all the best .
  6. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    I only drive 15 minutes to my clinic. They were in the process of hiring a doctor so I had to drive that far for my first visit with the doctor and then back to my clinic to dose. We only have liquid. Also out counseling is group once a week for an 90 minutes and one on one for 30. That lowers once I get my next bottle if I want.
    Davers and Dominica like this.
  7. amillie412

    amillie412 Senior Contributor

    Hi @Davers sorry i am a little late on this still not totally familiar with this website. so i was at the clinic for about 7 and a half years. I live 10 minutes outside downtown Pittsburgh and my clinic was 10 minutes away. For me even though I was only 10 minutes away the worst part was having to go there everyday. I was acutally taking the program seriously while others there didnt and I did not want to be around those people. So i did what I needed to do to start getting take homes. At the clinic the highest take home is 6 days, so I would go every monday take my dose there and get my 6 take homes. The highest dose I was at was 60 or 65 mg. It took me almost 6 and a half years to get down to 5mg where i stayed for almost a year. Every dosage drop I got uncomfortable for a few days but it always went back to "normal". I never went back up only down. I wanted so badly to get out of that place. I was sick of the people, the smell, and having to wake up an hour earlier than normal to be ready to go before work on Mondays. So after years of talking about it with my conselor I stopped going after almost 8 years of taking methadone daily. people probably thought i was nuts like there is no way she is going to do it by herself. i just kept thinking to myself that this is just another dosage decrease, and it was, it just lasted a little longer. today i am 50 days off methadone and feel pretty great. i did not need to switch to something else to help me get off it. my advice is take your time, dont rush in between decreases, and dont go any higher. you dont need to your body has normaled out.
  8. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    Hey girl! Hope you are doing well! :)
    Onceaddicted77 likes this.
  9. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @Dominica I'm doing well! I miss you soon much!
    True concern and Onceaddicted77 like this.
  10. Davers

    Davers Community Champion

    So sorry I took so long to reply as both my old lap-tops died in mid Nov , great yr clinic is so close , ' I don't like liquid but I know many who prefer it.
    you know .. everybody is different .

    Enjoy your trip .
  11. CUFFED

    CUFFED Member

    Hello to all ...this will be my first post in here. Please bare with me as I was looking for success stories about decreasing yourself off the MAT program and out of treatment.....Although my MAT has been for over 17 years I still look around and see people that have been there as long as me or even longer at my Clinic . I have friends I have known for my whole active addiction and even before that. Many died OD almost every year I was in treatment.
    There are a few that are still alive and on the program, some for nearly 30 years.
    Up until 2016 I had intentions of tapering and then stopping my medication altogether. Due to a physical attack, I was injured, hospitalized 3 times, and the option of pain medication was scary to me. I followed my Clinics rules (not suggestions, because they offered none) about the 90 day period you can continue medication for pain relief. This was a horror in itself. It also remains a problem to this day about WHAT to DO? if I were to leave. How will I feel now if I have pain and need meds?
    So I say it is the Clinic and the Clinic doctor I hold responsible to see me through this withdrawal. ....There is no End Game here that makes sense. Not one that I have seen or heard of. Not for me at this time.
    What I have seen and heard of is
    to throw us away because we broke rules..for example all the new controversy with Cannabis....IT is legal in some states and yet because it isn't legal by federal cannot even take cbd oil...without being absolute positive it is what supplier says it is, as far as the amount of THC... then that falls on you.
    Many new supplements will soon carry more hemp. Or maybe cannabis will be legalized on the federal level for all states...what then? No answers from the MAT programs.
    Even if they do understand it helps with withdrawal symptoms. It can helped with the nausea. The anxiety, the frustration of riding back and forth because you use a supplement that is legal, but not to them .....I just wanted what is beneficial to my symptoms now and for the wellness of my body after. I do not crave heroin or any opiate right now. That is only because of methadone

    So what is the end game? Is there anyone out there that saw someone succeed to the finish line?
    Otherwise it feels like they have all the POWER to make your life hell....Start all over, just like you walked in the door all over again....and if you are tapering down? No matter to them must stay off all drugs, and careful of all supplements..and I agree. But Cannabis is beneficial to the human body even without THC
    The program works but it is a story without an ending for most of us. Blind dosing is one idea for them...meetings is another.... But no AFTER care...Who will want to go back to your clinic to do aftercare?
    Another alternative is being on this medication for the rest of your life.....
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  12. Davers

    Davers Community Champion

    Thanks for your post , you are correct about 'sleazy' clinics , mine is considered the best in the area & I've heard positive comments from guest doses . So that's cool .

    I don't want to say to much, but I been lowering my daily dose for 4+ years . Stayed at 30 for 2+ years.
    Each 5 mg drop was not really an issue 'UNTIL ' I dropped to 25 , everything was going as usual but strangely '2 Months 'later I started showing WD symptoms ....yawning , Tearing , low energy mostly .

    That said I been in a rut / Depression since Fathers Day, Anyhow I went back to 30 mg bout a month ago & I felt better but not like I have for the past several years . + Getting Older , Stress .

    It will all work out & hope you still feeling well , I assume yr w/o / Clean for around 80 days now , I proud , of you for weaning off , & I recall only 'say' 5-7 weaning off the right way in 15+ years .
    Merry Christmas

    Also your avatar pic, look's a-lot like my 27 y/o 's wife.
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  13. Onceaddicted77

    Onceaddicted77 Spam fighting Moderator & Realist Community Listener

    Hi @CUFFED welcome to the forum. I was on Mat for over 8 years and successfully tapered over a 9 month period. It's been about 7 months now since I quit. I could never make myself go to a clinic to get my fix I was in a outpatient program though.

    Just know that thinking about quiting and actually quitting are two totally different feelings.The actual quiting was 5x times easier than wanting too.

    Also there are natural alternatives that could make you never think about methadone or suboxone again. I take one now and could never he happier. In fact had I know about it sooner I would have never worried about getting fired by the clinic or my dr and would have stopped alot sooner.

    I feel that i have got my life back and money since it costed me over 450 a month for buprenorphine and the dr visit. Everything I take now is natural and organic and I have never felt better.
    Davers likes this.
  14. Davers

    Davers Community Champion

    You have hit the nail on the head.
    Hece " Liquid Handcuffs " Guess & know its really on us to change's sooooo hard tho.

    Now the cannabis is a different story in each St , & even city & County all the rules /laws are in a jumbled mess.

    I do want off (kinda ) but for me with all the stress I put myself through & living in this Crazy house.

    I'd have to go away for 30 days to concentrate on myself.

    It can be done but I also think that the younger you are the easier WD will be . Cold Turkey was hard for 18 days , when I was 36 , now at 48 bet the body aches will be worse , heck I got trouble getting out of bed now. lol

    I truly wish you all the wisdom in this situation & you can find the best way to ween off.
    Have a Merry Christmas.

    P.S. Oh how time fly's Ill be a 17 year patient in Jan , only missing 1 day at a time until I went to jail for 18 days of torture . Then I went back to the Clinic on the 28 th day .

    I was forced to quit , if I had my mind made up to quit I likely would have tried to stop then . 'should Have but "Hindsight is 20/20 ".
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
    Onceaddicted77 likes this.
  15. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @Davers, my clinic gives you liquid you don't have a choice. I hate it.
    @CUFFED my plan is to go for 2 years and then taper off. I should be physically healed by then. My counselor tells me there are many successes who taper off and leave the clinic. No you aren't allowed to use cannabis while there if you want take homes but you can use that as a motivator to help you taper off until you leave. Then you can do what you want if you need. I was up to 80 and went down to 75. Now that I'm back from a trip I plan on tapering again to get to as low as I can so it is not as hard later. Probably somewhere around 40-60. When the time comes I will do the blind taper as I know much of this is psychological and that will help.
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  16. amillie412

    amillie412 Senior Contributor

    mine also dissolved the medicine in hot water and juice. i found it pretty easy in that i just shook the take home bottle drank it and got a little water to wash the rest out. @DoxyMom so awesome you are planning on going down. i applaud you that you reached a stabilized dose and now are lowering little by little. i was stuck at 60 til my daughter was born and then i was able to begin lowering. it took me a long time to get to a 2 year plan is amazing. i hope your trip went well!!
    Davers likes this.
  17. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @amillie412 it was so much fun! My little 11 month old Granddaughter took her first steps while we were there! She is such a happy and content baby. This time last year, I would not wanted to go and had to go down there as my step mom died and ended up with no drugs. My son's friend had to find me something. It was horrible. I almost entered detox down there but I have a business and couldn't do it, plus once you feel better all those thoughts go out the window. But, I ended up going to the clinic in Feb, so I am really happy that I'm clean on methadone. I get too sleepy which is another reason I want to taper. My counselor couldn't see me today. Thursday is our normal day and I was planning on going down 5mg to 70, so that will have to wait till next week. I'm going to go 5 at a time unless it is a problem. This clinic seems to be a good one compared to some I've read about.
    Davers likes this.
  18. amillie412

    amillie412 Senior Contributor

    my clinic only went down by 5's. its really not that harsh of a will be fine. methadone made me sleepy as well..i had no energy after i would get done working all i wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep. thank god some of my energy returned so i am able to do more things after work. i am sorry to hear about your step mom..i am sure she is really proud of you..and so are your kids..and your granddaughter(even though shes a baby). i always say i got sober not for myself cause i didn't want it bad enough but for my daughter. she is my guardian angel here on earth. and i feel the same for your granddaughter to you. do it for the best grandmother EVER. you will get to the point where you will be able to see your counselor once a month unless you need him/her more often. after a while i would only see them really to put in for a decrease. i was probably what you would call an "ideal patient". did everything i needed to do to get the f out of there. kept my head down and stuck with the program.
  19. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    Since I have 3 take homes, my group and one on one has been reduced from 8 hours to 4.5. I have to be there a year to get my next bottle. That is in February. They reduce it again. I can choose what services I want. I'm very lucky that I like my counselor. I also enjoy group. It is strange that we are in the same state but the clinics are different. Of course there is another one in my area that is different from mine. We have patients at ours who have been there.
  20. amillie412

    amillie412 Senior Contributor

    what part of PA are you from?