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My journey at a methadone clinic

Discussion in 'Share Your Detox Experience' started by DoxyMom, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    I'm new and recently had so many questions about what would happen when I went, I thought it might be useful to others to hear about my experience. I know not all clinics are the same, but there are many things they must follow to be acredited by SAMHSA.
    First I called the 800# and then the local clinic called me back to ask me questions. These were about my use. Was I going to be be self pay or insurance. The only insurance they take is Medicaid. I may be able to get reimbursed by my insurance but I haven't called them. I have a feeling they will tell me I have to see one of their providers and they all have waiting lists. They ask what you want to use, Methadone, Suboxone or Vivotrol. I find it interesting that it is your choice. She made me an intake appt. for the following week which was yesterday. She told me it would take 2-3 hours and it did. I was there for 2 1/2 hours.
    First you fill out a stack of papers which ask about your drug use and medical history. I handed that in then went to wait. I read thru the handbook they gave me while I waited about 10 minutes. She then came out and gave me a mini tour. In the waiting room is a screen with a number pad next to it. She had given me my 4 digit code. You punch your number in and there may be a message there for you to see your counselor but it's mostly to check in for your meds. Then she showed me the line you would get into that brings you to 3 doors with lights above them. They are either red or green. If green, you go into a small room with a window and the nurse on the other side to get your dose. I had to go in and talk to the nurse and tell her what meds I'm taking and then go pee in a cup. I brought that back to her and she explained that in the beginning, Monday through Saturday I get my dose but Saturday they also give you one to take home for Sunday. I was surprised at this as I thought newbies would never get any to take home. There will come a time when I will get them for a week.
    After that, I went to wait to see the counselor. This was about 15-20 minutes. He was nice. He asked me many of the same questions that I filled out on the other paperwork and some new ones about my family history etc. He explained that I need to purchase a lockbox for my Sunday dose. You don't have your box, you don't get to take it home. He also talked about missing appointments and if you don't call. Miss 3 and they give you a lower dose. They start everyone out at the same low dose and taper up. The nurse had told me I would be uncomfortable in the beginning. This kind of bums me out but uncomfortable is better then full blown WD. Ill let you know.
    The counselor told me since they urine tested me my next one would be in March. They won't kick me out for being dirty. They almost expect it! Crazy right? But to be honest with them about my use.
    I think I was a little boring to him as they ask you if you've ever been arrested or prostitution or any risky behavior and I hadn't. I told him I had gone into some bad parts of town where my white face sticks out and the act of buying it is risky.
    My Dr. appt is Friday and I have to drive an hour there. Then I have to go back to the clinic for my first dose. The nurse told me I don't have to be in full blown withdrawal to see him either but should be uncomfortable. There is that word again.
    They set me up with 4 group sessions starting next week. I don't know when my individual ones are. He asked me if I had a preference as to a man or woman and I don't so he will be my counselor going forward.
    The reason I have to travel so far to see the Dr. Is there onsite one quit. This is temporary.
    So this is it for now. I will update as it unfolds.
    Dominica likes this.
  2. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @DoxyMom

    I'm so glad that you were able to go to your appointment and that it went well for you. Thank you so much for explaining that process. That can be quite helpful for those that come here looking for help and are wondering how the process works. I know you've got a bit of a drive, but it will be worth it b/c you're getting the help that you want.

    I'm really proud of you for taking these steps. You're doing great!

    And I'm really grateful that you're here sharing this life Journey with us.

    Have a blessed day!
  3. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Thanks so much for your post, @DoxyMom. I'm so happy that your first appointment is in the books, and that it was a positive experience. I'm also proud of you for sharing your journey with us. There's no doubt that your insightful words will help others who may be struggling with the same issues. That's what community is all about. I'm so glad that you're here with us!

    I will be praying for you on Friday and sending you tons of positive energy. You're doing this, my friend!!!!
  4. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    Thank you both for your kind words and all your help so far. The counselor asked me about support and I told him about this forum. All of you have helped me to not only possibly save my life but my marriage. I know I'm going to need tons more support in the coming days, weeks and months.
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  5. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @DoxyMom totally our pleasure... so glad we can encourage and support you... it helps!!

    we will be here through it all....always without judgment and nothing but love. we believe in you and want the best for you.... and will hold space for you as you navigate your path.

    hugs!
  6. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    That's what we're here for, @DoxyMom! We will walk with you on this journey, my friend. We will help, support, encourage, and listen anytime you need it.

    Thank you for the kind words. Let us know how the doctor's appointment goes. :)
  7. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    Well today was a cluster **** from the get go. I drive there for my 8:30 appt. I know what I was told. It was close to 6 hours since I used and I was starting to feel sick. They tell me my appt was for 9:30. They would try and get me in early as there was no one in front of me. I got in around 9. The Dr. Was training the new Dr. at my clinic plus another one. 3 of them and me! He asked many of the same questions that I've answered. When I told him the last time I used he got upset and said he may not write my dose today. I told him what the nurse said and the symptom s I was having. He still wanting me to leave and come back in two hours. This would be at 11. I left and went outside and called a friend. I came back in at 10.They called me back at 10:45. I still had to drive back to my clinic an hour to get dosed. I informed him they stopped pouring at 11. He called them and asked them to pour mine and save it till I get there. The counselor told me they start everyone on 30mg. That wasn't true as he started me on 10. He said he will do that for 3 days and then up it. Can any of them give me the correct information?
    I got back to my clinic feeling like crap. Got my tiny dose and went home and snorted a line. Sorry but I was still feeling awful. Not uncomfortable like they said. I've been on opiods for 10 years. I think he just was afraid to give me anything higher due to my state of withdrawal. So I did go out and get my lockbox for tomorrow. I'm not giving up. This is just a hiccup in my road to sobriety.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    I'm sooooo sorry that happened, @DoxyMom! It sound like they were not running very efficiently. Not at all. And it's unfortunate that a new patient like you had to suffer because of that. Maybe you should let someone higher up in the chain of command know about your experience. Maybe it would help. In any case, I hope things work smoother the next time. And that they get you the right dosage, too. I'm glad to hear you're not giving up. You're right: This is just a hiccup. FWIW, recovery is never a straight line or a smooth road. So brush off this bullsh*t and keep moving forward!

    Happy Friday! Hope you have a good weekend!
  9. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @DoxyMom oooh, i can understand your frustration... come on, people! get it together!! :)

    i don't know much about this topic regarding doses and such... i do hope they can get it together and not only give you correct dosage, but reach out with kindness and compassion. i know you are trying... and that is worth a lot!!

    i hope you have a good weekend. take care of YOU... do something you enjoy... pray/meditate, (whatever you like)... and enjoy PEACE... as much as you can.

    sending big love your way.
    deanokat likes this.
  10. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    Two things about yesterday stuck in my mind. At my first meeting with the Dr. He wanted to know why I wasn't going inpatient. I explained how I owned a business and can't leave it for a month. I really felt like he was trying to talk me out of the option I chose to get sober.
    Also when I was in the waiting room there was a woman there who I overheard her say she had been coming there for 22 years! That did me in and I started to cry. I'm crying now just thinking about it again. I realize the path I've chosen is a long one and I'm hoping to only have to take the Methadone for 6 months to a year.
    Today I was so dope sick when I woke up, but I got in the car and drive to the clinic and got my daily tiny dose. I had my new lockbox and got my dose for tomorrow. I'm still using but I'm trying to lower the amount. I thought about buying more so I wouldn't run out because I might, but if I have it I'll do more.
    There is a suggestion box there and I may use that. I will tell the counselor that they don't start everyone on 30 mg. He shouldn't tell people that. Maybe the Dr. That quit used too.
    My hubby is working today and I'm laying on the couch with my wieners watching TV.
  11. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Don't let anyone deter you from what you want to do, @DoxyMom. You've chosen a path, so give it a shot and see how it goes for you. You can always go inpatient if you feel you need to in the future.

    I'm sending you love, light, hope, and encouragement. Be kind to yourself, my dear.
  12. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    Today was day 4, it was very crowded. I met some people in the line. They introduced themselves. They all thought it strange and mean that I was started on only 10mg. One girl told me they give you 25 in detox. Anyway, I went in and was asked some questions and had my blood pressure taken and he called the Dr. And they upped it to 20. I'm still not where most people start, but it seemed to help a little better. I'm hanging in there.
    Dominica and deanokat like this.
  13. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Glad you're hanging in there, @DoxyMom. And that they upped your dose to 20mg. Did they happen to tell you why your dose is lower? Just curious.

    Keep doing the next right thing, my friend.
    Dominica likes this.
  14. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @deanokat I saw the nurse practitioner the other day and she said the Dr i saw is very conservative. It could of been due to the last time I used or what they saw in my urine.
    Yesterday they changed the hours due to a storm and like a dummy i went at 9 when they opened. The line was long. When you go in you punch your number in a kiosk and if it comes up green you go dose, if it is blue, you have to go to the window for a message before you can dose. You may have to pay or have counseling. I got a blue yesterday and when I finally get to the window it was a reminder that I have group this morning. I was so mad. As were all the other blues. But it is what it is. I did get my dose upped so I'm at 30 now where most people start. It lasts anywhere from 6-10 hours before I start to get sick. The nurse said that was really good. It seems to last longer the day they up my dose.
    My group is at 8:30, so I'm going to get there at 8 and hope I can dose prior to that. I forgot to ask but I've seen people who have dosed then went back to the waiting room instead of leaving around the times they have group so I'm hoping I can.I will let you know how that goes. I have not been assigned a counselor yet and I'm supposed to have one on one's with them too plus 4groups and 3 clean urine s and then I get take homes.
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  15. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @DoxyMom thanks for the update. i'm sorry this is a struggle at times... but i am glad you're getting treatment...and i do hope things will flow smoothly for you from here on out... i hope you like your counselor!! :)

    try to have a good weekend!!!
    deanokat likes this.
  16. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Keep at it, @DoxyMom. I think the struggle will be well worth it in the end. I'm happy to hear that they upped your dose. And that you're getting counseling, too. One day at a time, my dear. Happy Friday!
    Dominica likes this.
  17. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    Group was basic about the rules and policies. There were only 4 of us. I understand more about the take homes. After I do everything I described prior I'll get one more to go with my Sunday one. That is something to strive for as you can pick what day so I wouldn't have to go on the weekend at first. It takes awhile to get up to a week's worth. I hope I get my counselor next week. I can use some therapy. I timed it right yesterday as there was no line and I went right in at 7am. I got my dose and my Sunday take home and left. I was hoping they would up my dose but they must not do that on Saturday. I'm on 30 for five days now. If they don't do it tomorrow I'll ask them too. I found out in group that even after a month of so at one dose if it doesn't seem to be working I can get it upped. The highest is 120 but they can get permission to go higher. I'm trying to do this as low as possible while still being comfortable.
    deanokat likes this.
  18. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @DoxyMom thanks for sharing your process. it's helpful to others... i'm glad you're doing alright. i think it's good you're trying to stay as low as possible..and yes, therapy will be great!! i am a firm believer in therapy! :)

    happy sunday!
    deanokat likes this.
  19. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    I appreciate the update, @DoxyMom. It sounds like things are progressing in a good way, and I'm super proud of you. Keep it up. And remember you can lean on us anytime you need to for help and support. You can also come here and vent anytime you'd like. You are not alone!
  20. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    I went in today so sick. I hadn't used in two days and only had my dose yesterday. I fully expected to have it upped but when the nurse called the doctor he didn't answer. She left a message and I could of sat in the waiting room until he called back or leave and have it ready tomorrow which is what I chose. When I got there, I was 3rd in line but when I went to go into the room the line grew. I would of had to then get back in line to get the extra. It was not enough so I got something from my guy which he owed me anyway. I thought I could do it, but I don't have enough in my system yet to feel well enough to work. I'm trying here but if this sounds like an excuse I'm sorry but I was sick. I'll get there. It's only been 10 days.