An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Success With Methadone?

Discussion in 'Opiate Withdrawal Treatment' started by AleFirmani, May 18, 2015.

  1. AleFirmani

    AleFirmani Member

    I have seen alot of negative discussion involving Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) and am curious if anyone else has had success with their MMT like I have. Before MMT, I tried absolutely everything including but not limited to rehab, sober living, cold turkey, NA, AA, CDA, suboxone, subutex, probation, jail time, and much more. Then finally, I made the decision to move to Italy where I happen to have dual citizenship and receive free treatment through their socialized medical care.
    In Italy, methadone clinics are run through the governments healthcare plan so there is not as much room for corruption and money making schemes like you see in privately owned American clinics. The very first day I went to the clinic I was assigned my own psychiatrist who would monitor my methadone as well as my psych meds as I am a dual diagnosed addict with bipolar. I am given my methadone and psych meds at the clinic all free of charge and in the beginning had to go to the clinic daily and submit to urine screenings 3 times a week.
    Two years later I am still clean, my bipolar is totally manageable, and I only go to the clinic weekly for my methadone. I still see my doctor once a month or sometimes more if I have something I wish to discuss. To be clear, I was only awarded weekly take homes after submitting to urine tests and coming back clean every time and they slowly allowed more leeway.
    In the US, methadone clinics are not run like this. First, they are usually for profit businesses that are privately owned. They usually only have one Pdoc that oversees all the patients but rarely actually sees any of them after their original induction. Psychiatric services are not offered in house and usually referred out to another doctor who cuts them in on every patient they send their way. The medical field is so financially driven in the states that it makes it very hard for somebody to be successful in their methadone programs. Patients are overseen by less trained addiction counselors whose abilities often vary greatly. Methadone clinics in the US actually charge their patients and if you do not have some sort of health coverage you will be paying a pretty penny. To top it all off, if you cannot pay they take away your methadone which to me is INSANE!
    So my question for all of you WITH first hand experience in a methadone treatment program is why do you think you were or were not successful and how is YOUR clinic run? If you do not have first hand experience please to not reply for the sake of writing something. I want honest first hand accounts from people around the world.
  2. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    I am a heroin addict and I was going to the methadone clinic for about 2 years. You pretty much described exactly how the clinic I was going to was... I was not successful with getting/staying off heroin, but that's also because I didn't really want to quit. The clinic I was going to was a cash clinic so you had to pay to dose. They would have everyone take a random UA every 2 weeks. Starting off I would have to go daily and once you had 3 months in a row of clean UA's then you would get to have a couple take homes to where eventually you would only have to go once a month. For me, I was only going to the clinic so I wouldn't get dope sick. I stayed at a low dose (60mgs) and would still get high on it. Which is possible. I have seen others that have posted in other threads saying that you can't get high while taking methadone which is not true. Once you get to a high dose, then yes, you will not get high.
  3. kana_marie

    kana_marie Community Champion

    I'm really curious, how long does it usually take to get clean on methadone? Y'all are talking really long term, it seems. While it may be way more uncomfortable, would it not be better to just get admitted into a hospital and quit cold turkey? If I'm going to quit something, anything, I want to get it done and over with and not drag out the quitting process for years. I'm not judging, or making fun, or anything. I really know nothing about the entire methadone process and I would genuinely like to know.
  4. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    I was on methadone for 2 years and it wasn't for me. But most inpatient detox facilities will give you suboxone for the withdrawls. Suboxone does the same thing as methadone practically. For me, I would be admitted for 6-7 days and be on suboxone for the first 4 and then they would do a good job at tapering me off. That way, when you leave the facility you are not going through suboxone withdrawls since they tapered me off at the facility and I don't have to continue to take it. There is suboxone maintenance that I have done where you are on it for however long until you feel comfortable tapering off. But there is no way I personally would go cold turkey from heroin. I am constantly throwing up/dry heaving and I have seizures. It seriously is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.