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What happens after methadone?

Discussion in 'Opiate Withdrawal Treatment' started by dakotacensus, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. dakotacensus

    dakotacensus Member

    I've read through some of the other threads here on methadone and gotten some additional perspective on some of the issues and dangers surrounding it, but I still have a question. Once someone transitions off heroin to methadone, where do they go from there?

    My sister has started methadone treatment after several years of using heroin. When I try to talk to her about what the next step is she doesn't really tell me anything. I'm not sure if it's because she doesn't want to talk about it, or if the treatment center she's been going to hasn't addressed this yet. In either case, for my own piece of mind I'd like to know how someone transitions from methadone to being clean.
  2. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    Like I stated in a previous post, I am a heroin addict. I have also been to the methadone clinic before and was going for about a year. So pretty much how the program works is once you start the methadone, you continue to up your dose until you feel comfortable throughout the day and don't have any withdrawl symptoms. Then, once you have found the right dose for you, you stay at that mg for however long until you feel ready to start tapering off. Tapering off can take a while, if done properly. There are some people who are only on methadone for a couple months, and then others who just decide to be lifers and never taper off. It all depends on the person.
    dakotacensus likes this.
  3. dakotacensus

    dakotacensus Member

    I appreciate the response, and have a few follow up questions if that's ok. During the process is it left completely up to the addict to decide when to begin tapering off, or is there some kind of counseling or outreach to help someone reach that point?

    This maybe sounds a little harsh, but my impression of my sister is that she is not really in touch with the reality of her situation, and leaving it up to her alone concerns me somewhat.
  4. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    @dakotacensus at the clinic I was going to, we had a assigned counselor there that we would meet with every month and talk to about how everything was going and all that jazz, but ultimately when to taper down was up to the patient. I think they do it that may mainly because if you begin to taper down without being fully ready and confident with it then there is a good chance of relapse. What do you mean by she is not in touch with her situation? Like that her addiction isn't that big of a deal? Sorry I was just curious as to what you were meaning. Oh, and so I'm assuming she isn't using anymore?
  5. dakotacensus

    dakotacensus Member

    @Danyell I appreciate the information, and the insights. As to your questions, I had to take a moment and reflect because I wasn't really sure what I meant when I wrote it. If I'm being honest, what I mean is that I think she doesn't feel the same urgency about the situation as I do. There's a part of me that can't believe that my sister is a heroin addict, that this stupid thing she is doing puts some shame in some my life. That is totally unfair of me to say but the thought is there, and because of it I want her to show me that she feels the same way as I do about how serious it is. This harsh inner narrative of mine is not helping me with my relationship with her.

    She has moved onto methadone treatment, and I think the only other substance in her life is marijuana.
  6. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    @dakotacensus i totally know what you mean about how you feel some shame that she is a heroim addict. With me, I always think that everyone in my family that knows about my addiction is ashamed of me even if they say they aren't.

    I do have a question. So what led to her going to the methadone clinic? Like did she find it on her own and decided to get off dope and try it out?
  7. dakotacensus

    dakotacensus Member

    @Danyell it is a bit complicated. I spend most of my time abroad, and am actually a resident of Shanghai. My mother and my sister live in the same city without me around very much. My mother getting older, and slowing down a bit. There's a good chance she will require some living assistance in the near future. My sister's history with drugs has been a long journey from lighter substances, to pretty bad meth abuse, landing on heroin, and it was only really with the last one that she became really incapable of doing anything for anyone else. I think her main motivation is the realization that my mother won't be able to count on her for much, and she has always somewhat prided herself on being there for other people.

    That's probably the thing that gives me the most hope. Her reasons for seeking treatment were completely internal, and I know that being in a position to help others is really important to her.
    Danyell likes this.
  8. Danyell

    Danyell Community Champion

    @dakotacensus i am sorry about yalls mother. That must be difficult to go through. But I am very glad to hear that it was your sisters decision to get treatment! Trying to change because others want us to never works or lasts. I am happy for her and her road to recovery!!!
    dakotacensus likes this.
  9. Monique1

    Monique1 Member

  10. Monique1

    Monique1 Member

    I am currently tapering off methadone. In all honesty my counselor never brought up the taper I had to. I have gone from 100 milligrams to fifty in three months. You have to want to quit using. Methadone should be a stepping stone not a crutch. It is not easy to come off of but it can be done. You just have to want it.
  11. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    I'm pretty sure some people stay on it forever, I know of at least one person who has been on it 9 years. Because it is a slow-release drug, the withdrawals from methadone can actually be a lot worse and last longer than from heroin. The point of the treatment is to get your life stable. I personally don't have a problem with people staying on it long term if it keeps them off the streets, able to work and live with their families, etc.
  12. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Well, I guess it could be said you are substituting one dependency for another, but like Getting Better said if it is soemthing that allows people to remain stalbe and with their families without putting needles in their veins, it is certianly better. it is one of the things you may need.
  13. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    well methadone or any other alternative symptom reliever helps you keep it together, some quit methadone after a couple of month when they have dealt with the psychological problems and some never quit.
  14. Jack Wallace

    Jack Wallace Senior Contributor

    Mаny individuаls thаt hаvе sеriоus аddiсtiоns will gо оn Mеthаdоnе аs аn аltеrnаtivе tо а mоrе роwеrful drug likе hеrоin. In оthеr wоrds, а реrsоn will stор using hеrоin аnd instеаd stаrt tаking Mеthаdоnе. Thе idеа bеhind using this mеdiсаtiоn is tо sеrvе аs а sаfеr rерlасеmеnt fоr аn illiсit drug likе hеrоin. А реrsоn will tаkе this drug оvеr а реriоd оf timе аnd а dосtоr will еvеntuаlly hеlр thаt реrsоn grаduаlly rеduсе thеir dоsе – thus hеlрing thеm dеfеаt thеir орiаtе аddiсtiоn.
    А соmmоn рrоblеm аssосiаtеd with Mеthаdоnе is thаt mаny реорlе find it tо bе just аs аddiсting (in sоmе саsеs mоrе аddiсting) thаn illiсit орiаtеs likе hеrоin