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Former addicts: Methadone helps kick habit

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Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:13 am, Sat Oct 27, 2012.

He was 17 years old. He had preached for years about the evils of drugs after watching his dad deal heroin. But then he finally tried it.

"I saw people give up their house, car, wives and families for that stuff. I wondered, 'What is so great about it that they keep doing it over and over again?'" he said. "I woke up the next morning and immediately wanted more."

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  • Katie Horak posted at 2:16 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    SinfulDivinity Posts: 13

    True about the take homes, but it's EXTREMELY difficult to get approved for take-homes. My fiance' and I got three day take homes and you had to get a lockbox (like a mini safe with a lock and key) and it was only because our car broke down and we didn't have a ride everyday. You have to keep the bottles too or else you lose your privileges. Otherwise everything is done inside the dosing room.

  • Katie Horak posted at 2:11 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    SinfulDivinity Posts: 13

    depends on if you have a strong will power. It's all upon you. There's no time limit. You control the dosage... At first they give you a time limit and taper you off by 5 mg per week till you're at 5 mg and then nothing. You could come back at any time if your withdrawals are too bad and start the program over at whatever you left off on that worked for your withdrawal. As long as you give them money, they will give you your cherry cough syrup tasting pink liquid.

  • Katie Horak posted at 2:06 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    SinfulDivinity Posts: 13

    Yes and no... If you are taking the right dosage, you shouldn't be drowsy, you should be like a normal person... BUT many people *about 80% of them* will lie to their doctors and get waaay more than they're supposed to get and it will make them high. The high is IDENTICAL to heroin in that case and it would be considered a DUI.

  • Katie Horak posted at 1:54 am on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    SinfulDivinity Posts: 13

    I will tell you as a former patient of a Methadone Clinic, Methadone is 10x worse than the herion/oxycontin and would actually harm patients more than help. My fiance' and I checked ourselves in to Aegis in stockton to get off an Oxy habit before it got completely out of hand. They had a "Deal"... $25 for 25 days. Funny thing really... a "deal" for rehab. First of all you have to wait. I mean WAIT. You HAVE to have codeine or something of the barbituates kind. I asked what if I peed clean and they told me that I would have to relapse to get into the program!!!! We waited for 6 1/2 hours to see anyone. Then you have to take a pee test and you see a doctor to evaluate your psyche. THEN they give you your dose. They start you off at around 25mg. If you are at the right dosage for your body, the stuff is like a miracle (most people will make up lies and say they need more and they'll get a high almost identical to heroin i.e. dozing, lathargic, falling asleep while talking, numb) . If you're at the right dosage, All of a sudden you have MOTIVATION to do GOOD in your life! It feels like the kind of natural energy you had as a kid. Well it's all smoke and mirrors... You still have to wake up every morning to "dose" at your clinic and even make appointments to see your therapist once a week for an hour and doc once a month. You have to do a pee test every week to make sure your not relapsing and they don't work around your schedule. They're open from 5am-1pm. Every day you have to wait to get your dose and then... they start to step you down and you start to FEEL it and DREAD it. 25 days turned into 6 months and every month it was $250. Good luck skipping a day because you will withdrawal. When we finally tapered off the methadone, IT WAS WORSE THAN THE WORST WITHDRAWALS/SICKNESS YOU HAVE EVER FELT IN YOUR LIFE. NOT FOR A FEW DAYS, BUT FOR 3 1/2 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Three in a half weeks of chills, fever, diarrhea, anxiety, sleepless nights, wanting to kill yourself, worst depression of your life, antsy... any bad feeling you could ever have. If I had a choice now, I would have NEVER I mean EVER EVER EVER gone to a methadone clinic!!!! I would have toughed out those couple of days that I had withdrawals of heroin or oxy. Those withdrawals are a BREEZE compared to the EVIL that methadone does to you. Most people will tell you that if you start methadone, you're in for life. $250 a month, everyday, you can't go on vacation, can't leave the city, can't mess up in the system and if you complain to the doctor about something as little as an argument that made you sad he could bump you up all the way up to 150mg!!! It's a business that gets money from the weak and vulnerable. I'm 4 years clean now as of June 26th, 2008. I will never do oxy, heroin, methadone ever again, mainly because of the fear of that horrible withdrawal that methadone gave me and WISHING and PRAYING that my life would end or the withdrawals would. Worrying every single night that I was never going to be the same. I had to go to Kaiser to get seven medications to get me off the methadone withdrawals after I got out of the clinic. Please... If you're a user of Oxy, Heroin or Vicodin, Don't go to a methadone clinic... If there was anything that I wanted to get across and wanted to express in my life, it would be to never go to a methadone clinic to get off opiates. Just tough through those couple of days if you're serious about quitting. Otherwise, if you don't have strong will power and support from family or friends, you'll be on methadone for the rest of your life.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:10 pm on Sun, Oct 28, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    It appears that there are many pros and cons to this kind of clinic. The paper has illustrated some positive reasons to support these clinics. For balance, I have posted some cons...


    Current statistics show that nearly 4000 people a year die from methadone. These deaths are mostly happening to pain management and detoxification patients within the first 10 days of taking initial dose. Most of these deaths are related to methadone prescribed with other medications that react as additives with methadone. Diversion of methadone is a serious problem because it lands this most deadly drug on streets. Statistics also state that methadone is contributing to more deaths nationwide then heroine and cocaine. For more info, please see harmd. Thank you, Mary Haynes

    .I know the rules are in place for the clinics but they are NOT being followed. Patients sell take homes outside the clinics. In one news article a man died in the parking lot of a clinic after taking hi s brothers take home. T hi s drug is too dangerous to be allowed in medicine cabinets! There is A LOT of money to be made from methadone but what expense is that money being made at? When do the risks outweigh the benefits of t hi s drug? How many more people must die before changes are made that actually save lives?
    I have called several methadone clinics and have found out that many do not test for marijuana and are not open 7 days a week. These two t hi ngs are of special concern to my organization because all methadone patients will receive a take home bottle of methadone on Saturday for Sunday (the day they are closed) whether they are new to the program or have been abusing other drugs. Marijuana and methadone have an effect on the user very similar to heroin. Many clinics do not test for marijuana because it is not believed to be a drug of choice or a "hard drug", I beg to differ because of the effect when combining the two have the potential to be more dangerous then the user/staff is aware. T hi s poses a serious public health risk to those on the road innocently driving to work or school.

    The potential of abuse, diversion, and overdose to new patients being prescribed methadone is overwhelming. The unique properties of methadone, it's long half life, and it's negative interaction with numerous drugs make it an optimal choice as a last result treatment for chronic pain and addiction.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:04 pm on Sun, Oct 28, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    MMT Negatives
    •While on methadone you remain physically dependent on opiates. You will need to follow your dosage routine exactly to keep withdrawal symptoms down.
    •Methadone maintenance can be a very long term commitment. Some people stay on methadone for decades, some forever.
    •For the first while (long while) you will have to go to a methadone clinic every day to take your dose under supervision. This can make work, travel and family life more difficult..
    • Some people find that methadone makes them feel "foggy". Others complain of weight gain, sexual side effects, tiredness and aches and pains. Everyone reacts differently to methadone.
    •Methadone is an opiate and you can overdose on it. If you take too much methadone, or combine methadone with certain other medications, there is a risk of death.
    •Methadone is physically addictive and a methadone detox is difficult and painful.
    •Methadone is a long lasting opiate. This is an advantage for maintenance therapy, (you don't need to take it more than once a day) but it means that withdrawal symptoms will last for a longer duration than would occur during withdrawal off of a drug like heroin. Withdrawal can take a month or more...

  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:32 am on Sun, Oct 28, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Mr. Morgan, you pose a great question. I hope there will be a response from someone knowledgeable about methadone, addiction and the scenario involved in weaning patients of their new habit. This article and the others tied to methadone in today's paper could have been much more informative and only hearsay when coming from someone "anonymous" who refuses to identify themselves, like a blogsite with only screen names.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 11:03 am on Sun, Oct 28, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Here's my next question.....after a patient takes his/her Methadone treatment are they considered "under a controlled substance" and unable to drive. If that's the case, then none of the patients frequenting this clinic should be driving there. Is that a correct statement?

  • Kenneth Huntley posted at 4:06 pm on Sat, Oct 27, 2012.

    Ken Huntley Posts: 42

    Josh, from what I know, from a family member who is on the Methadone treatment program, there are people who do get off of it, albeit a slow process, and there are those who do stay on it for the rest of their lives.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 5:26 am on Sat, Oct 27, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Do these Methodone treatments decrease over time and eventually end or do they continue for the rest of their lives?



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