Can I ever get off methadone? How?

MethadoneHello Stanton,

I seem to have a problem.

I want to know how to get off methadone.

I have been a severe alcoholic and drug addict (mostly heroin and pain killers but there were years of crack, smoking coke, and everything else).

When I reached 40 years old I was about to die from drinking, I was diagnosed with hepatitis C and my life was so unbearable because of severe stomach pains all day, every day.

I decided to try to quit everything , but the pains were constant and severe in my stomach for years, so I kept up a little bit of pain killers to function.

After a while they didn’t work of course and I got on an access medical program to find out why my stomach was so painful. After every test I can think of and cameras up my rear they could not find any actual reason and settled on the fact that I was an addict –  there was my reason for anything else that could possibly happen, and the tests stopped!!

Well I started buying methadone on the street to kill the pain, and it worked, so I bought it on the streets for about a year and finally got on a methadone program.

On the streets I was taking 100 to 140 a day or sometimes every other day depending on my pains. Eventually the pain went away, I settled down and dropped to 85 mgs and my life got excellent, I was happy again, no pains, worked all day (started my own business which is successful for all purposes, which took hard work 10+ hours a day with very few days off ever, and my life was good for the first time since I was eleven (when my addictions started).

It has been 6 years on methadone now, and after about 3 good years I decided I was fine and and could start the withdrawal process.

By the way I had stopped all drugs and drinking and was clean completely since almost the very start of methadone! So the first time I tried to stop methadone I dropped in groups of 5 mgs or sometimes 10 mgs a month till I was down to 28 mgs. Well all of a sudden severe depression set in I started having stomach problems and after months of that I went back up to 35, even though I wanted more. It did help and I was ok mostly again, so from there I dropped slower down to 10 mgs, well that was a struggle and at 10mgs I tried to stop completely.

Well after 4 weeks off completely, I was so sick and life seemed worthless again I raised my dose back to 28 mgs and it went ok again. I decided that next time I would drop slower like I should’ve and try that. I desperately wanted and still want to be drug free, but normal feeling. Well I dropped 2 mgs, a month which took forever it seems, and I am at 8 mgs.

The problem is I am very sick almost always, I feel like I have severe arthritis and my stomach is going off the roof, just like 7 years ago when I started for that reason, although it isn’t quite as bad as it used to be.

I am confused, I am doing this just like they said to and I can barley take it, shouldn’t my withdrawing be much less painful as I am going slow?

I keep thinking I am very sick and need to get to a doctor but then I start thinking it is just the dropping and that’s what happens.

Like so many I have had bad problems with doctors after they find out I was an alcoholic and drug addict, on methadone, then that’s always the reason for everything and they don’t do much to find out or seek an alternative reason for me being sick.

It seems like when I try to get off the methadone everything from years ago starts coming back, even though I been clean for 7 years.

I am confused and am wondering how long does this withdrawal take approx. And should I be sick at this small drop for so long? I been dropping for almost 2 years now, and if and when I reach 0 mgs will I eventually get back to feeling better after a period of time, or am I just what I am and maybe I will never be well again, or just to wake up without being very sick, because as much as I want so bad to be finally off everything, could it be I cant function without it?

I realize this was a long question but it is an important one to me, and I find myself confused and unsure of my future, when it was so good for so long.

Does it happen sometimes people need to stay on this methadone forever, or am I at just the worst part of a very long battle?

Thanks,
Bill


Dear Bill:

You are interesting person. And I admire you. You have been addicted all your life, and you want to change that. I admire people like that.

Some methadone maintenance advocates say that you always need to be on methadone. But you don’t buy that and want to fight your addiction. I can’t speak about your individual situation, because I am not your therapist. But I like to believe it is possible.

Obviously, others will look at your efforts and say, “When Randy gets below a certain level of opiates, he can’t function. He becomes depressed, his body fails him, and so on.” This seems to be what doctors are telling you.

But one thing you are set on doing is improving your life, and there are many ways to keep doing that – methadone or not — things you don’t talk much about, like exercise, family, friends, work, helping others.

I am copying this e-mail to a couple of people who advocate methadone maintenance, and have much experience with it, to see if they have additional advice or referrals for you.

Stanton


(We asked Bob Newman, Director of the Chemical Dependency Institute for his input on this readers question. The following is Bobs response)


Dear Bill,

A somewhat different perspective than Dr. Peele’s.

My view is that when someone has had a problem of life-and-death significance (as you had with opiates), which has made it essentially impossible to function normally (as in your case), and precluded great personal and professional success (as it did in your case), and then that person has the enormous good fortune of finding a medication that has essentially no side effects and that reverses all of the terrible consequences of the condition (as has been your experience with methadone), and then finds that as this safe and effective medication is withdrawn the pain and fears associated with the underlying problem return – then the question for me is why in the world would you want to risk everything by persistent effort to stop the medication?

the question for me is why in the world would you want to risk everything by persistent effort to stop the medication?

Yes, there are dumb people – including without question a great many healthcare providers – who view methadone as an evil substance and those who receive it as stupid or weak of bad people.

But hell, life is full of dumb people, but why seek to gain their approval by putting one’s very life on the line?

No one “likes” to take medicine.

Who “likes” taking insulin, or antidepressant meds, or cardiac arrhythmia or hypertension meds, or even vitamins for that matter?

And almost everyone on those meds knows that there are folks with the same problem(s) who manage to overcome the need for the meds (e.g., diabetics can overcome their insulin dependency by exercise, diet, stress-reduction, etc etc etc).

But while it’s nice to do what one can to be free of the medication, is it worth risking one’s personal and professional success, happiness, health and very life?

I don’t think so.

Obviously, if a patient – any patient – wants to overcome the need for a medication – any medication – physicians should do all they can to assist. But at the same time, it would be unethical not to ensure the patient has thought through the potential benefits and the potential risks of such a course.

My own views reflect the fact that I draw absolutely no moral or medical judgments based on whether a former heroin user is living a healthy, self-fulfilling, personally gratifying life with or without methadone or other medication, any more than I consider a recovering alcoholic a better or healthier person if s/he does or doesn’t attend AA meetings, take antabuse, rely on yoga, or whatever.

If someone who was largely unable to function with heroin and whose life was at risk several times a day with each and every shot of the drug is today leading a good life, I could care less as a physician, friend, employer, father or whatever whether that person is a graduate of a residential treatment facility, was or is taking methadone, found the way to abstinence through Christ (or through Islam), or just plain stopped without any support at all.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best.

Bob Newman
Director, Chemical Dependency Institute
Beth Israel Medical Center


Bob:

Thanks for taking the time to give your inputs. Bob, you don’t think I’m one of those dumb people, do you? The only thing I think you miss in your heartfelt answer is Randy’s own repeated drive to get free of drugs.

Stanton


Stanton,

Never (hell, it would cheapen greatly the meaning of the Lindesmith Award which you and I both received – the dumb people are those Bill refers top in his message – the doctors and others who blame whatever difficulties a person has on the methadone. You can use my response in any way in any forum you wish – it’ll be an honor.

Bob

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

Comments

  • Small steps big world says:

    I’m not going to go into anything, just know I’ve been where most of you have been for years. There is no easy way to taper down but there is a right way. Slow and steady I mean very slow. It sucks and I know you want to be sober and free but if you go to quickly you’ll just have to raise your dose and prolong it. Or your relapse and literally start all over again. Your brain and body need time to adjust and it doesn’t happen overnight. Look at it this way, if you live a long and full life what’s a year or two of putting up with bullshit so you can be free and have that piece of mind. Go down 1mg a week. You will literally barely notice a change. I tried multiple times of going down 5 at a time 7 at a time. It never worked because your heads gets all screwy on you and you get severely depressed and that shit is worse then any physical pain you could go through. The sad truth of the matter is once you do finish successfully you will slightly withdraw. Nothing we’re all use to though very very mild. Lack of sleep a little sneezing but over all you’ll be fine. You might feel miserable for sometime but it’s nothing you can’t get through. Unfortunately exercise and eating right will help, even though you don’t want to do anything at this point. You don’t have to jump right into these but the sooner the better. The real problem is re training our brains to work the way we remembered them before all of this. This is no easy task at all. This will be the single most difficult thing in the fight. If your at this point you already know going back to drugs isn’t a option, look what’s it’s done to us already. Your brain will not want to change it likes being miserable it’s use to this by now. The worse thing you can do is the same thing you have been doing. Get out of your comfort zone and do something anything. Any step is a win. There is hope, just wanting it bad enough is not going to be ENOUGH, it’s hard work. Don’t give in, don’t give up. Y’all got this. Work to change your mindset, your mind will not do it for you. Most importantly learn to love yourself again. You have to come first in all this or it’s worth nothing. You can’t be a better mom, dad, son or daughter without fixing you first.

  • KM says:

    I have been on methadone for 18 years, I came off of it once cold turkey from 30 mg and went on a low dose of suboxen and I ended up with severe pain in my spine and neck. I do have spine condition, the Pain was so bad and suboxen was doing nothing for my pain, I had to go back on methadone. I stayed at 30 mg for 8 more years and now have tapered to 16mg. 30 to 16 was easy but my last 2 drops were hard, increased pain, depressed, angry, and no motivation. It’s really hard for me because of my existing pain issues with my back. I just want off of it but I don’t know if I’ll ever get there…also not sure how to deal with all these new symptoms. I have 3 kids and it’s not easy to feel this way when you have responsibilities. 18 yrs is a long time and I’m not sure I’ll ever get to 0.

  • Taylor says:

    I was at 95 mg I lost my job within 15 days they dropped me all the way down I stopped at 17 I am on my fourth day I cannot get back into this before I’m forced to live with my mom who thinks that it is evil and another form of heroin, there is no way for me to ever get back into this program for I owe so much money, I had a Suboxone and a half which did not do anything take for I’m sweaty I’m cold my bones hurt and I’m terrified of everything and I don’t know what to do about this but go back to drugs so please help me or talk me through this

  • Tarz says:

    This is such an old thread. I don’t know if the dates are correct but it seems to span over almost a decade. I hope everyone is still living their best life possible and is still clean.

    Don’t know if this will get posted being it’s been so long since the last post but I have been on methadone for over 4 years now myself. It has been a life saving medication for me so I am a huge supporter. I mean I was a heavy heroin addict for over 8 years so if it can help me, it can help anyone. I don’t even believe it necessary to stop taking it but I have come to a crossroad. I am just classes away from completing by BA because I have plans to get into addiction on a professional level. I not only want to help others like myself but I also want to be heard and taken seriously when I start taking steps to reach out to our politicians. I fully believe we need to change the criminal justice system in how it handles crimes related to addiction. So basically I know that getting off of the methadone is crucial for both career and my others plans. Not to digress but I did a speech at our local police station for parents on what signs to look for if they think their children are using, and it went so well until I shared that I was still on methadone. The atmosphere completely changed. So I can only imagine it will be the same scenario with anything I do. But anyway, back to me detoxing.

    Problem is… as soon as I got down to about 45 MG I completely fell apart. It’s almost as if my brain stops functioning. I just can’t think straight, I either cant focus, or become too focused or stuck on a thought, it’s just insanity. I had to withdraw from the classes I had just started because I couldn’t think straight or I would have already graduated. I just don’t get it. I had been on 165 MG in the beginning because I was pregnant and came down pretty quickly in the beginning but definitely stuck to the recommended detox once I got to 80. I don’t have the urg to use and honestly am disgusted I had ever even used a needle. So I don’t feel at risk for relapse at all. I have now gone back up to 50mg so I can at least retake my classes and finish what I started. My brain still isn’t fully working as you can probably tell from my post. It’s all over the place.

    I guess my next step will be trying to find a psychiatrist that has training in addiction. I am not sure if maybe there is something that they can give me to keep my brain functioning while I detox. Not that I really want to take medication but will if its my only option. It just really stinks because I am so ready to get back out in the world and do something about this epidemic. What I really wish is that we could change the stigma that comes with methadone. It would make it so much easier for so many of us.

    Thanks for posting if you do. And also thank you for giving this disease the attention it needs. And to all those still using just give methadone a try. It will work as long as you stop using once you start it.

  • Homie says:

    Hey Bill,

    Idk why I ended up on this thread looking up a methadone fact for a friend but I did and your story intrigues me… I was a Roxy and Heroin user for 7 years and was diagnosed with hep c as well… Went through drug court.. 2 years clean but unfortunately found myself making the same mistakes… I went to the methadone clinic for around 6 or 7 years… The methadone clinic I went to would only kick you out if you failed for benzos or barbiturates it was kind of like well take your money and the help is here if you want it but there was no real treatment other than the methadone.. started at 30mg could go up 10 your first 3 days so you were at 60 mg day 3.. maxed out at 100 before day 60.. could request to go up if you had failed UAs and usually were approved… I went from 100mgs to around 0.. 2 times before I said I was good to go where I didn’t experience so much pain but I did experience depression/irritability and the first 2 times I don’t like to count because the effort wasn’t there and I don’t think I had given my addiction the respect yet and relapsed faster than I would like to admit.. the 3rd time was my longest I did the program the way it was meant to be and like you, everything started to go my way.. one way our stories are different is methadone benefited me as a tool to able to function and not having to check out of life and go to rehab and throw away everything I had worked for.. but due to the first time, I realized there was something deeper and there’s a lot of people who won’t agree with this… I Don’t care… I always had a hard time with school and focusing and just chucked it up to “ADD” which everyone says they have.. But it wasn’t until I realized that what if I need to treat my ADD what if me not wanting to take a narcotic to treat something I need to be treating could have a bigger effect on my life than I thought.. because my way didn’t work and I had gone to a 15-month long rehab program didn’t work when through drug court.. didn’t work… I had known someone who had a similar situation to mine and suggested I went and talked to his psychiatrist.. so I did and was started on a low dose of Adderall extended release.. which I thought would never happen but his psychiatrist was open to the advocated the idea that not taking narcotics to treat something underlying could have contributing factors in drawing addicts towards drugs…

    At the clinic this time I didn’t even consider getting off methadone until I really took into account the amount of money and time it was taking… 9$ a day (cheap compared to some states) and they had it set up in 5 phases.. it was at least 1 hour a day minimum 2 on Saturdays.. to drive and wait and drive back… phase 4 and 5 are when you got your break from having to go every day but if you couldnt pass a drug test you had to go every day even if you were prescribed whatever was making you fail like “Adderall”… I give the methadone a lot of credit for giving me the ability to maintain my responsibilities while getting clean but taking the Adderall was really when it kind of became more of a burden than a safeguard.. it wasn’t something that I thought I had to take anymore it was more or less taking up my time and money and I wasn’t gaining anything from it.. the Adderall had a very positive impact on my life but not in a HUGE way but more or less a lot of little things that I had kind of just accepted as normal when they weren’t normal I had just been dealing with bad ADD my whole life…

    So I made the choice to go down… I knew from the first 2 times what the process was going to be like for the most part and where I for sure went wrong.. the higher does arnt as bad as the lowers for me at least.. the first 2 times the clinic I went to had 1mg pumps on their big bottles so you could go down by 1mg a day if you wanted.. this time they had 2mg pumps.. not a big deal I thought.. down 2 a day till Mon – Fri and you couldn’t go down for your weekend take homes.. came down from 100 to 40 that way took me 6 weeks… then this is where the 2mg pumps were annoying because the previous time I went from 10 a week to 40 to 5 a week but I couldn’t do that now.. so I chose 4.. Tuesday and Thursday and started to save my Sunday dose.. which your not supposed to do but I didn’t care cause if it was up to them I would still be taking methadone.. and I knew I had my best intrest in mind.. So I saved my Sunday dose and if I needed it I took it I wanted to expose myself to feel any sort of withdrawal as little as possible… I took it more often than not once I got to 12 mg it took about 2 months.. this is where I went wrong all the other times and didn’t respect the low numbers.. this is why I saved my Sunday doses because if something happens you can plan and be on top of everything if you miss the time frame one of those days to get your dose at a low number the consequence could be the thing that put you there in the first place and if you miss Friday that 3 days no methadone no exceptions show up 1 min late.. does not matter.. happened to me before… I went down 2 a week from 12 to 6 and felt it on the days I went down.. another reason the 2mg pumps were dumb and they didn’t care and weren’t going to do anything about trying to get a 1mg pump for me so I could go down 1mg.. but they would fill my cup with the liquid of choice Koolaid or water to where I asked them to.. and since they wouldn’t give me a 1mg pump I took a cup home and found out exactly where the half point was by volume from a line the went around the cup they would fill it up too if I asked (like a mini solo cup) and would just drink half of it.. they noticed but didn’t do anything about it so I went down 1 a week until I was at 1 mg… I maybe had 10 mg of methadone saved. I went to the methadone clinic for like around 2 months taking 1 mg.. around the 1 month time I stopped going on the weekends.. trying to go as long as I could go before I would take any of my saved methadone I wanted to experience as little withdrawal as possible and for 1mg a day it was still there but I knew there was going to be some.. the irritability and mood swings were the problem I dealt with the most… it has been almost 2 years now and I still get the rush of cold chills and the occasional hot flash from time to time.. maybe nothing to do with it but.. seems pretty familiar.. but this is why I saved my Sunday doses because it gave me the freedom to not go on the weekend and not have to think about even the possibility of a relapse had it crossed my mind.. whether I would have had that thought or not I wasn’t going to even take a chance if I could do something about it… I had already played that game and lost… I kept doing that for about another month.. the last week I was only drinking a quarter of the cup so .5 mg.. and had 6mgs saved.. on a Friday I got my take-homes and said “bye hope I never see you guys again”… it has been almost 2 years now and at 1 year I flushed 8mgs of methadone down the sink I didn’t take any.. that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel like I needed methadone after I stopped going I knew I wasn’t going to get off easy but I had them in case I ever wanted something and I would have that instead of something else.. eventually forgot about them till a year came around.. and it was a rather rewarding experience pouring them out knowing how much value I put on the liquid at one point and what pouring out that methadone would have meant…

    Methadone was more of a tool for me and eventually became a burden… Adderall has been very beneficial to me.. I think you’ll make the right choice in whatever you choose.. and whatever it is I think you got it… One last thing my girlfriend I was with pretty much with through my whole addiction started having stomach pains when we started to to go to the methadone clinic the first time.. our first trip through the clinic her pains were so bad that we went to the hospital multiple times.. doctors.. and she eventually got the “addict” diagnosis.. that ones though man… I’ve seen it and she eventually started dealing with it.. the second trip through the clinic we had split because we failed the first one and it is what it is.. sucks but we didn’t have a choice.. the pain eventually subsided to be bearable when she finally got off methadone way before me Thank God for her.. She was way tougher than me.. Hard to say but very true.. This year she got pregnant and eventually found out she has Endometriosis.. And this would have been found if she hadn’t given up because of the “addict” diagnosis.. and she suffered for almost 2 years because of this.. very intense episodes of pain.. I would say to look into it but since your name is Bill and most Bills I know aren’t equipped with vaginas.. but it is 2022 so if you do I’m sorry for assuming… I say that to say I wouldn’t give up hope on your pain… I don’t want to say get another opinion because we did everything and when people would say that it was aggravating.. we really believed this “addict” diagnosis.. But for what it’s worth I hope this helps you in your journey in some way.. I’m not going to say what you should or shouldn’t do.. It’s your life I just hope that you make whatever choice you make for yourself and not for what other people deem the right or wrong thing…

    Good Luck,
    Homie

  • Michael D says:

    FYI ‘meth’adone gonna point out the drug your taking isn’t methadone it’s called meth or herion. My mom used to turn methadone into speed or herion it’s extremely harmful and I took it for years. If you want to stop that’s all the information you need right? That you literally doing hard-core drugs and they never told you because it’s supposedly to help get you off the hard stuff but it’s the same shit just to get you hooked to pay the government secretly keeping you a addict for life and keeping you from this truth. Throw them away and seek real help a detox and drug rehab.

  • TheStruggleIsReal says:

    Well first I want to thank everyones reply. I can definitely relate to several more then others, but the one thing each person learns is we have our own journey. What works for one person may not work for another.
    Some say talk therapy works ( talking about it makes it much more real) NA meetings, residential rehab, sponsors and the list goes on.
    As a methadone user over the last 10plus years its a hard struggle. The handcuffs for the program seems worse then just using everyday.
    Pissing in a cup once a week, seeing the pharmacy daily its absolutely draining. Sure its a cheaper way to regulate that withdrawal but I almost think going cold turkey off fetty or H is probably easier. Methadone is in your bones, sweat, destroys your teeth, insomnia and list goes on.
    As someone who has successfully got off once and almost there the second time its hard. But knowing what you went through its not something I wish on my worst enemy.
    Each time I’ve tapered I’m in a different spot in life.
    First time highest was 35mg. Refused to go higher, bc its harder to get off. Doctors push to go higher and will NEVER encourage to get off! Be your own advocate. However leveled me off enough to cut down using each day.
    Its a paycheck for these doctors. Sample is a $70, doctor visit is $120, writing a script is $40 why ever encourage someone to get off?
    I tapered 5mg, every 1-2 weeks till 10mg then 1mg every week or 2mg until below 5mg and listen to your body. Yes you can push through physical part, and its awful, but now you struggle with physiological part.
    Went from 1mg to half a ml and got off. Started drinking more often, met a boy and 9 months later here we are again. Lol
    Once again, I know the feeling don’t want to go back and do this again, but the social part of doing dope is hard. So its taking methadone daily and coke. Struggling with depression, anxiety, insomnia, no motivation, but the coke helped for that extra boost.
    Not saying its helpful to switch from one to the other, but I never struggled with coke addiction just physical dependency of opioid.
    Started again, getting up to 75. Felt good and no street drugs for months. I did slip a few times and even screed with the system to get carries faster. Flush my system, water down the same, stupid shit. Don’t help anyone. Started the process of 5mg every 2 weeks.
    Getting to 20mg. Doing only 10 percent. 2-3mg till 10mg.
    Healthy diet, socialize, exercise, education, diet and sleep need to visit daily. SEEDS. Only thing i took away from trying rehab. Due to Covid all virtual programs online. Wasn’t a fan. You need to find what works for you, keep an open mind and if you want it bad enough you will get it. Need to set boundaries with people, have someone you can speak openly and honest if you slip or have thoughts and be in the right mindset of thinking positive. Trust me its easy to say, but could take more of the advice im giving. If you want rehab start the process immediately. The system is broken. Wait list for months or years. Someone wants help now? Oh sorry ill call you in 10 months? HA!
    At 36 with no kids, I have the attitude of been there done that. Successfully at 1mg for almost a week now. Tried taking my carry in morning and other half later. Mental struggle is real. You think about your drink and your body reacts. Sweats, aches and pain, insomnia etc.
    I have taken only a few carries this week rotating every other day. Not sleeping much but finding what works for you.
    Doctor did perscribe coloniden for sweats and high blood pressure when you all of sudden sweat and aching legs. Definitely helped. But too much and your drained and need to sleep, but never in a full sleep.
    Wellbutron has helped with giving an extra bump in your step. However I got acne from it and depended on it for an extra push and started snorting it for perhaps that comfort of getting high for so long? Visit a friend… drinks, dope , smoke what can we do? Reevaluate. Drugs are not your friends, people who give them are not your friends. Once the dopes gone who is really there? Hardly anyone. Its an adjustment.
    Extra strength Tylenol and advil does help a bit. As well heard CBT does help. But ever since I started methadone I cant smoke week anymore. It makes the high uncomfortable. Oil or hash is fine, but made me rethink it going from a daily smoker
    Going from a smoker everyday to nothing makes me think what the change was. Methadone.
    Need to change people, places and things. Find your triggers, get rid of it. What do you enjoy in life? For me I’ve been getting high for so long I dont know what I like to do in my past time. Need to find what brings me happiness again.
    As a “functional ” user. Working 40-60 hours, car, apartment. Any extra down time was going to get drugs and being high. All extra money spent. I’m sick today? What am I going to do? Well I’ll get high and not pay rent. Then work realized a performance issue, 15 years of blood, sweat and tears. Lots of promotions and feeling a sense of accomplishment gone, instantly. Now being tired all the time, change in pace, can’t complete housework, off work to getting a DUI for drugs. I was ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed in myself I let it come to this point. We are the hardest critics on ourselves. Look at big picture of how far you have came. Personally I couldn’t look at big picture. Felt if i got excited or look at fish line that i would never make it. Just so numb. But in reality and comparison it is a disease. Like mentioned no diabetic wants insulin daily but its nessacary. Its a disease we fight everyday. The sooner the stigma goes away the better. We will feel better about acceptance. And our selves.
    I find it crushed my confidence, self worth, and questioning everything about me. Walking to the pharmacy daily for my drink or once a week to pick up carriers i hated myself. People staring, who will I run into today? Will someone recognize me and know my secrets? ASAMED. Even though maybe be the best option to better myself.
    Everyone has own experiences, but do what works for you. Don’t push yourself as you will only Relapse if the opportunity arises. Why feel like crap if you can avoid it?
    Find the reason, why YOU want to get clean and stick with it. It can be done.
    Saying going to jail or penatang as mentioned above your going to withdrawl. Once inside you may jot get a drink for several days till they figure it out paperwork and just being dicks to you. No sympathy .
    Personally never been to jail, but got in hot water with things over the years. Cost thousands and thousands to get lawyers and fight with court system. Its almost unbearable.
    Just stay positive. Its harder then one may think, but break things down, CBT therapy never hurt anyone and worked for some.
    As mentioned no 2 stories are alike. Everyone has their things that work and techniques that stick to help guide you.
    Best of luck to each of you. Find a friend you can trust and share anything with. Cravings, slips and help get you to your target. Thanks for insight and know your not alone. Be strong, and if want it bad enough you can do it. Not rush. Whats the point? To start all-over again?

  • Just me says:

    I’m not sure anyone will read or respond but I’m struggling to find the answers I need. Like many my struggles started with illicit use of pain pills. I wanted to get off those so I started taking methadone illicitly. I almost lost everything and made the decision to go off methadone cold turkey at home. I haven’t had any controlled substance in about two years. However, I find myself wondering if I’ll ever be me again. There isn’t a medical record out there regarding my previous closet addiction. So I feel I can’t explain it now to my doctor. I’m clean. I’ll stay clean. BUT I’m not me. I just feel blah, even on antidepressants. I want to know, have I just ruined my brain forever? Will I forever pay for the mistakes of my past. How long does true healing from methadone addiction take? I don’t sleep very well, always tired. I get little to no pleasure from anything even though I have a good life. I love my job. I have a wonderful husband. I live in a middle class suburb. I have wonderful friends and family. Is this just depression or is this the continued effects of a drug that was supposed to help?

  • William says:

    I litterally walked the same EXACT path as Bill I’ve been on methadone 6 years now I’ve tried quitting 3 times twice at home once in a recovery treatment center it never worked I live the best life I’ve lived since I was 13 years old on my methadone I eat good I work 12 hrs a day 5 days a week I sleep good and I’m generally over all a pretty happy person I feel that some of us made decisions that will last a lifetime time so if I have to stay on methadone for the rest of my life and be this productive and happy then so be it I’ve done so well in treatment that I get 28 take homes it took 3 years to get here but it was allll worth it so don’t down yourself if you find your a lifer like myself or want to quit because what other people think you have to walk in your shoes everyday not them s I say keep doing what’s working fir you not for other people im.sooo glad I read this article and Bill you should pat yourself on the back everyday and take your dose and keep being Bill proud of you homie

  • Ann says:

    The methadone clinic has been the demise of my family. My ex has been going there for well over a decade. We have three children together. He started going there to get help to get off his addiction to heroin while we were still a family. They kept upping his dose. They gave him excuses. They told him he needed it. I found a study that says that methadone can make you angry. I believe it. He wasn’t the same at all. The last day we were together he woke me up in the middle of the night beating me. He was yelling at me complaining about how I bought a little house on purpose. He woke the kids and they witnessed him beat me, bite me, spit on me, throw a fan, shelf and whatever else he could find. Our 9 year old daughter called the police. He blamed her. That was several years ago. I’ve spoken to other victims of methadone and my story is not uncommon. Maybe once or twice a year he comes by. We live less than a mile from the methadone clinic. His brain is gone. He doesn’t make sense. His lung collapsed which is another side affect of methadone. He lost all his teeth. He is NOTHING like the man I fell in love with. I wish we just put him in rehab instead. We would probably still be together. I rather send him to rehab a few times than the methadone clinic once. It is a business and they make millions. Not just from the drug methadone but from the housing they give them. (at least where I’m from.) They don’t want you better they want their pockets fatter. If you can get off it please do. If they truly cared about you they wouldn’t want you on it for life. It kills you. Mentally, emotionally and physically.

  • Alan says:

    I was on a methadone script for 19 years, 70ml daily at its highest dose but mostly 40-45ml daily, I reduced over 2 years a few months before the pandemic hit, 2ml a month. I’ve now been of the methadone for 7 weeks, first 2 weeks were really hard, terrible mood, no motivation, sneezing, sweats, 3-4 hours sleep a night. It does slowly get better, I’m now getting 5-6 hours sleep a night, I feel a lot more motivated, I’m not saying I’m a 100% back to normal, but I can see the improvement over time, I think it may take a year maybe even more to truly feel my old self again but I’m going to persevere and deal with it one day at a time.

  • Mike says:

    I am currently on day 4 of no methadone from 9 ml. 2022 is the year I want to start off clean the first in 15 years. With what I have found out may help many people when I was on methadone I ate junk and processed foods which are hard on the liver. Yesterday I learned about changing your diet and exercise is a complete game changer when in active withdrawal and believe me they are not wrong. Before yesterday I would eat once a day and have 4 coffees. This morning I woke up had my usual coffee and immediately my stomach turned upside down ( withdrawal feeling) and I was so hungry after not having methadone in 3 days so I listened and drank 2 bottles of water and made breakfast (first time in years) and OMG I feel so good right now and I’m only on day 4 I’ve been exercising today also an the “heavy legs” are gone. By changing your diet to healthy foods only will only make this easier for anyone coming off of methadone I find it’s the answer actually because I’ve tried going cold turkey off of methadone multiple times never making it. But now it’s so different my mindset has cleared drastically and I am smiling and laughing again. The hardest part is getting up to make it happen don’t even think of how you feel think of how you may feel after just by making a small change in your life. I am literally in shock with how good I feel today I was expecting to feel crappy for at least 2 weeks. Keep active during the day don’t let your mind wander!

    • Zach Rhoads says:

      Mike,
      Absolutely excellent!

      Sometimes behavior informs our beliefs, worldview, and habits, rather than the other way around. You’re living proof.

  • dopelesshopefiend says:

    I was on methadone for just over 10 years. My wife cheated, left me, dog died, and I lost my job. Normally in that situation I would have went back to shooting dope. This time was different. Every time I went to the counselor at the methadone clinic, with any problem, they suggested i increase my dose. I decided after getting 2 weeks worth of take homes, that I was going to get out of the liquid handcuffs come hell or high water.
    I was on 60 mg, and decided to dump all of my take homes down the drain. That was Feb 10th 2019. I made the decision at that point, that I wasn’t going to take methadone anymore. I went thru 4 months of full blown withdrawal. Stomach problems, severe anxiety, cold sweats, goosebumps, insomnia were just a few of the symptoms. I started taking huge amounts of kratom and when the methadone withdrawal was done, I went thru kratom withdrawal. August 15th 2019 I drank alcohol and realized it was only making my depression worse. I had my last drink that day and have abstained from all mind altering chemicals since that day. I remember thinking i would never get clean> I though I would be on methadone the rest of my life, but here I sit with 1 year 4 months and 12 days completely clean. I have gotten active in 12 step groups and worked the steps to the best of my ability. I haven’t taken methadone or any opiate since Feb 10th 2019 and for that I am truly grateful.
    If i can get off methadone ANYONE CAN!

  • Amy Craig says:

    My comment kind of cut off and sent on accident without it being proofread make long story short I’ve been on methadone for a long time tried to get off of it a couple times first couple times everything was fine no insane withdrawals or anything like that but this last time I don’t know what has changed or maybe I’m just getting older but it’s almost 100% unbearable I know withdrawals uncomfortable but I’m talking unbearable I really hope that you got through it because there’s other people out here that could use your strength and experience thank you for putting this out there and being real hope you’re out of the rain 🤞

  • Amy Craig says:

    I know this was posted years ago but I’ve been going through the same thing off and on since ’15.. Ive been on methadone for 7 years(w/clean screens)..of that 7yrs my highest mg.(without buying more on top) was 110 I got down to 50.thats when I had a deal accident,slipped an ended up severing my forearm 3/4 of the way around it on a yard ornament,so it was cut to the Bone with maybe an inch connected(my arteries tendons muscles nerves etc. Disconnected from themselves).So to avoid being put on any additional medication I went back up on my methadone because I thought it would be better well now I’m stuck at 85mg.the first time I I tapered it worked like a charm I couldn’t even tell I was going down, if I didn’t look at the bottles couldn’t tell.. so what I did was stopped looking at my bottles I get 27day take homes and I would go down 5 or 10mg 2x a month so I really didn’t know what amount I was taking.. I know that sounds stupid and you’re not supposed to do that but in my mind it made sense if I could take it on Monday at 50 and then Tuesday at 50 Wednesday not be sick or feeling weird and I can keep doing it so after my arm I went back up like I said now I’m stuck at 80 and 85 every time I try to go down I feel worse than I did before I’ve been looking into the 3-day sedation detox just to get a jump on it I’ve even told my administrator of my clinic yes in the beginning it was very helpful for me 2go there,you are not going to go to prison for taking your methadone especially if you’re doing it the correct way they’re not going to take your kids if you’re following the program but what happens once the urge for illegal drugs is gone to me being tied to a clinic is just like being tied to a city for your dope I can’t go visit my friends in New Mexico because there is no clinic around there for me to go and dose I can’t be gone for more than 24 days because I have to be able to take a drug test talk to a counselor face to face get my take homes and do whatever other stupid hoops they want me to jump through I really hope that you got off cuz next time I go in is not this coming Wednesday but the following Wednesday they’ve been trying to take my take-homes because on the cup drug test it keeps saying that I’m positive for PCP even though once it’s sent out and they get it back it’s not there so they want me to give up a week and a half of my take-homes every month while the drug test is being sent out and make me try to jump through all these stupid hoops when obviously I wouldn’t be in there making a stink about a negative drug test or a positive

  • Jessica says:

    It’s funny because a lot of doctors don’t realize that opioids fix stomach issues. It used to be prescribed way back in the day for stomach ailments. I used to have severe reflux and peptic ulcer disease, when on opioids it completely disappeared. If you have the stomach problems the opioids are actually helping it. They calm the gut, because there are receptors all along your intestines. A lot of doctors don’t know much about it besides what they read, but I have personal experiences as well as what I have seen in people I know. The arthritis you feel like you have is also the body aches from the opioids. I had 6 months of full withdrawals from heroin, and methadone can take up to 1-2 years. You have to either be strong and deal with feeling like death for 1-2 years or stay on it. Everything you said is normal. It also does not matter how slow you taper down, once you stop is when you feel the true pain regardless. That’s what a lot of doctors don’t understand either. I was on .25 a day of suboxone and it wasn’t until I tried jumping off of the extremely low dose (didn’t even show on pee tests half the time) that I was in hell on earth. Every doctor couldn’t believe I was on such a low dose, and couldn’t imagine it was doing anything for me, but it was.

  • On methodone also says:

    It is said that there is basically no side effects but the main thing for me is going to the clinic every day. I have never done any drugs since I started going to the clinic but am constantly getting my takehomes took for methodone not being present In my system or not being able to pee enough for a sample. If I could keep my takehomes methodone would not be so bad but to be shackled up going to the clinic every day it is pretty horrible.

    • Zach Rhoads says:

      Exactly so!
      It’s not the drug that is limiting (drugs are drugs), it’s the story and limitations that come with making these drugs accessible that is the problem. The best of luck to you in your journey, and hopes that you’ll find a balance in difficult dance!

  • Gweema DeeDee says:

    I have been in MMT for 4 years, starting at 30 mgs and settling at 115 mgs until I decided a couple of years ago that my life was stable in all aspects, not just stable but enjoyable and worth fighting for.
    I’ve been titrating at 1 mg a week for almost 2 years now and am at 32 mgs now. Still going strong.

    The first thing I did when I decided to finally start titrating, which took me a month of research, I put an emergency plan in place with my counselor and doctor, so that if I had any issues or questions, day or night, what/who I can either do, call or go for advice or help.

    My counselor, doctor and even the dosers at my clinic are like family to me and are all supportive and excited for me and never tried to stop me from weaning or try to change my mind. They have honestly saved my life 💚 They always let the final decision be mine, absolute.

    They listen when I have concerns and if I need anything, at all, they bend over backwards for you.

    I love my clinic and will miss them when I’m finally done but I’m ready to fly the coop and stand on my own two legs. Which they helped put back under me 💙💙💙

    • Zach Rhoads says:

      It sounds as though you’ve found a system of care that put your needs and preferences first! We can only hope that this will be generalizable. Very happy to hear of your success in finding a balance– and for all of your hard work to get where you are. What could be better?

  • AJ says:

    After reading through this entire list of different stories about different types of people dealing with there methadone issues many different ways…this being the first time I’ve ever actually felt the need to take the time to unload about my own struggles, methadone use, regardless of your reasoning has one of the worst stigmas attached to it , it screams loud everything a patient/user doesn’t want seen about themselves, everytime I’m one among many standing in line wanting my drink, hating myself more and more everyday because of how weak I must be to have sunk so low like these public bottom feeders, human garbage , stood around me, dirty, unkempt, cheap clothes, mottled weary faces wasted , sad and a sickening mirror I can’t stand to look at….the truth of it all has been eating at me so long…long enough that I now know that it’s not them I despise but myself, my dad was the strongest man I ever knew, he grew up hard, and was determined to pass this onto my younger self, I don’t have enough time to go into all the details, but everyone knows his type….they impulsively rely on violence as life’s greatest teacher….his brutality became such a part of me , a deep part that wouldn’t change, weakness….if u can’t win, or dominate your opponents in any situation, that’s your weakness taking control….and its my duty to stomp it all out….or face the wrath of a truly strong man like him….I thought I grew out of it when I hit my twenties, finished school, after many expulsions, suspensions, assault charges, jail time, more fighting, bar fighting over nothing….waking up in hospitals or drunk tanks….school was secondary….everyone is impressed, or afraid of one like me…feeling dominate was my drug….than my light was put out forever….the only part of me that was still decent, caring and able to empathize….it all broke when I found mom, black and blue, a clouded distant, alien look in her cold eyes, dead for 14 hours , wedged between her bed and the wall for almost an entire day while I searched fir her elsewhere….something brok after that…I became perpetually numb, people and things in my life seemed so small and insignificant, and after a few more losses….the blackness took over and won at a time when I needed someone, anyone….just a bit of warmth…first I tried cutting, pain has never bin much bother, after an astonishing number of deep cuts and a few litres drained me…I simply woke up , blood had coagulation and dried into a dark brown mess around me….embarrassing….I jumped from the biggest bridge I could find…only broke my tabula slightly….I drove into a guardrail drunk at 90….woke up again….just bruised….finally got a glockenspiel 10 millimeter ceramic shelled semi automatic pistol….only cost 425 plus separate hidden shipping…thank u darkness….I stole 5 shells from Canadian tire and went into the bush , loaded my gun….didn’t even count…just pointed at my central cortex thru my mouth and pulled the trigger….made a wierd noise….tried again….nothing…same stupid muffled click….clicked the safety and dropped the mag….bullets seemed ok….pulled the slide back and looked at my round wedged in the barrel….I could see a tiny dent on the outer ridge of the bullet…the hammer was missing because I has the wrong size bullets….my inexperience had grabbed the wrong ammo….come to find handgun ammo of my caliber is not just rare in Canada…but nearly impossible to obtain barring a restricted firearms license….this overly described event I’ve just laid out in too many words…its how I seen and felt things at that time…slow…almost mocking …failing so miserable again seemed ludicrous….it seemed unusual…even rare….that was my lowest point ever….the next night a got a call from a friend who needed my help with sumzhin I was good at …..needed to hurt bad people….after that I moved away and everything changed ….I had purpose, care, excitement and I lived as hard as I could….this led me to my first ever painkiller….a perkoset…a big white mostly acetaminophen tablet with 5 mgs of opioid…..after this my dark ally began to shrink, had less of a heavy hold on me, after enough of these awesome little beauties….it was gone….I was different…and felt like I could win….I won’t bore u with the common drug succession we all experience….suffice it to say my life became all about pills, easily procured through, doctors, dentists, sports docs , walk ins, even the family doc…bullshiting to get my shit was a damn artform…and if I couldn’t get it from them I could get it anywhere else….as the opioid pandemic loomed over the cities and borrows..it was still the first answer to all types of aches and pains from docs all around here….then of course I had my first run in with a fentynyl patch….isn’t this the shit they put in grenades to knockout groups of terrorists over seas?….isn’t it for cancer or surgeries?….I could buy entire scrips for weed….100mgs 30 times 4 times a month for years….paying nothing….selling little scraps fir 40 bucks to absolutely everyone….until they all started dropping…constantly…every day…a new one…did I know them?…of course…but did I care….?….after unleashing a deadly amount of this poison in my town…eventually the authorities had to act….building a task force, specifically fir my small circle, not to mention the 3 other dealers in my building….I took the blame when my young fool friend got caught with one lil piece of fentynal…I had a contingency in place…managed to destroy 47 patches….but that one teeny piece got me 3 to 5 , first in penatang, then the pen…..I was weak initially, the withdrawal being the worst ide ever felt…still forced to watch every move around me….so of course when the doc offered methadone I emphatically agreed….and after years inside on it…and then outside…I had barely been aware of the massive, insidious changes I had went thru in that time…..I had become bored with excersize, something that had been apart my life almost always until that point, I wasn’t a naturally strong, dense, angled muscular man anymore, it was all hidden under an encompassing soft layer of fat….my face and symmetrical square jaw, with deep blue eyes , atop a straight nose , my once handsome , dimpled smile had faded into a caricature of my once rugged , yet handsome and inquisitive face….mirrors in prison are not made of glass, they only reflect an amorphous unrecognizable and distorted version of the face your used to greeting after a lengthy hot shower at home, where ur able to utilize multi bladed, vibrating shavers, satisfying quick shot of masculine smiling shaving cream, and lastly properly clipped hair and sideburns with your wireless clippers….something so simple that u almost never take such a simple action for anything but granted….if I took anything positive at all away from my time…it was to never again take for granted , all the simple daily pleasures we engage in to make us feel human….like we matter enough that we love our selves when studying the image reflected back to us for those two seconds we take to admire the end product in the mirror before leaving in the am to get in the car to go whoever….I apologize for dwelling so much on such small and fleeting moment, one u likely could care less about….I truly hope with my whole heart that u never get forced into a small dark hole with only your own sad , dark and distorted reflection to remind u your not actually dreaming but in a living death perpetrated by your fellow human monsters…..I am sorry again, I tend to fall into a cerebral , sad and ferocious daydream , especially when I dwell on my disturbing past experiences leading me to this moment, unfortunately I’ll be my own victim as long as I live, making one seemingly harmless decision to experiment with my mind and mortality by letting drugs be my saving grace from reality….by living an episodic life of rare changes and the daily , hourly marks created by a marked, measured and simple recognizabke routine , dreamt up and established to be as indistinguishable from one 24 hour slot to the next, has been the truest form of actual real compartmentalized, cataloged, tested and a monitored instance of human life , than I really don’t know what would be….it exists under the guise of a tunnel with a light at the end of it…a beautiful fadeout created by someone with an agenda, an ulterior motive that may not seem at once apparent but is the first real version of human behavior I’ve ever experienced, one I can’t compare to much other behavior other than conformation therapy…something only ever employed by people with such fever that they end up in the too scary pile of book kids can’t read while in public school….people like Josef Mengele, Mussolini, Mr.Jones of the peoples temple, Applewhite on the internet and TV, whoever running that sub human Trumps campaign shit….this kind of gradual , highly lucrative, and easy alternate option to Rehab….why go thru something as terrifying as heroin, oxy, fentynal withdrawal when there’s a cheap and painless alternative just down the street or coming to a newly established OATC near u….believe it or not, I’m not some overly imaginative, conspiracy minded, real truth crusader wanting to implant the real TRUTH into any mind brave enough to listen!!…nah
    ..I believed in the average, common understanding that most people had when first stepping into the world populated by millions just like me, not bad people, we people , ones just like me that want to fix my missteps, get better, get clean and become who I’m supposed to be ….its an easy sell, they don’t need ads, or endorsements, not even strict regulation….just a few docs who either believe in the ideal, who want to help the infected masses, or they’re the other kind, also common, who see the treatment for what it is as a sustainable business, couple hours of checking boxes , regurgitating the company mission statement, delivering glib, hollow answers to the same sad trapped people, day in day out….makinging $ every time a patient downs a bottle of juice…becoming hopelessly connected mentally and physically to a pretend ideal….we all start wanting the end of the torment to become something tangible, something attainable, I’ve been playing this disappearing act for almost a full decade now….I’m a sad shell of what I was…both physically and mentally weak and dependent…ive tried quitting everyway I thought I knew how….cold turkey, weening, fast slow, different kinds of management drugs….but I always bounce right back , being half the man I was…having been slowly diminished, carefully, slow and comfortably….I barely remember feeling anything….with no libido , sex is a distant memory, I’m happy doing nothing, sleeping , watching TV, waiting for my next dose…a fuvking zombie….with only one feeling growing now…hatred, pure, hot, bleeding self hatred……..why does the doctor advise me against getting off….why won’t she let me have a real chance…..I’m lost
    …I’m only ever alone, distant, my once beautiful inquisitive mind lessening every day….forgetting basics, feeling smaller and darker ….but u kno what…?…fuck her, fuck them and fuck u if ur scared to see it for what it is….ive not written any thing significant since college…if u read this…u won’t likely ever know my name , I’m not a natural with the English language….but if I can reach even one lost soul with my twisted, sad, cerebral , dredging and dark tale then while its been somewhat cathartic to expel my less then poinient tale….if I can change even one mind to stumble upon the bottom dwelling memoir….than fuck it…I absolutely love u….and its not the end

  • Alanna says:

    There isn’t much information out there regarding this but it took me 6 months after getting 100% clean to start to feel even a tiny bit better. 6 months of absolute hell, and not PAWS, I was having full blown withdrawals for 6 months. I broke, but I want to try again because at least now I know what to expect. But for 6 months after detoxing I had constant body aches where I had to get into an epsom salt bath every morning. I couldn’t sleep without something to help, I was sweaty all the time with constant goosebumps, I was freezing and my feet literally felt like ice cubes for 6 months. I would sneeze all day in 3-4x fits, my nose was always stuffed up. I had diarrhea, I could barely eat. I wanted to Kill myself for the first 2 months after. I had no energy, and my body felt weak. I was always angry and angry at the world, but it’s mostly because I felt so awful. I felt trapped in this worthless body. I literally felt so pumped up after I got sober but the feeling so horrible with no end in sight actually broke me down eventually. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t clean my house, sobriety was taking everything from me so I eventually relapsed. No one tells you this, they just say it’s 7-10 days of withdrawal then PAWS, but it’s not true at all.

  • Susan says:

    Just wondering, is it possible to get back into a pain management doctor after being on methadone, only for a couple weeks, like what if it’s just not working for you, if it’s causing nausea and not working out.

  • Tyler (Opiate addict, 13 yrs.) says:

    Unfortunately, opiates change the way your brain works in some very dramatic ways. Many doctors and neuro scientists are beginning to accept that opiates may play a role in changing the gray matter of the brain PERMANENTLY, meaning long term use of opiates may result in lifelong dependency. We can only hope that interests begin fighting for methadone to be less regulated so that addicts like us can experience a full and wonderful life, instead of being chained to clinics. I can’t even see my family because they don’t live near a methadone clinic, and my clinic doesn’t give takehomes until you’ve had years clean with no alcohol. My takehome timer was reset during the COVID-19 pandemic because the ethyl alcohol hand sanitizers can set off breathalyzer machines.

  • Brandon says:

    I quit cold turkey 120 mg was like hell i didnt go every day so lil by lil they lowered it i was at 80 mg all of a sudden my medicaid shit off i out it back on for sone reason they denied me the medication i said f this and suffered 3 months but i was a boxer it’s all about will power dont ever give up

  • Brodie says:

    Hey guys I just want everyone to know that on Dec 14th 2019 I took my last 140mg dose of methadone. I went cold turkey over the holidays and it was the most agonizing, painful, hellish experience one can go thru in this life. Now it is May 18th 2020 and I’m hanging tough. I still have mild depression but I have not gone back to shooting heroin. I didn’t want to get off of done but my back was out against the wall per se and I am happy that I was blessed with then undesirable circumstances to get off. You have to want it more than anything. It will be the hardest thing in your life to go thru from my experience.

    God Bless,
    B-man

  • Jay says:

    I used methadone a few times for years at a time. 3x I went threw basically cold turkey withdrawals. The last time I was on it was for 3 years. I have now been off of it 6 years and it has destroyed me. I have developed hypothyroidism, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, sleep apnea/hypopneas with upper airway resistance , agoraphobia and severe treatment resistant high Blood pressure. If you read about the long-term effects it has on the central nervous system, endocrine system and even your respiratory system you’ll understand how I developed these problems.
    I still feel very very bad daily. It has caused damage to my body and I haven’t been able to bounce back. The hard core withdrawal from 140mg to 0mg in one week was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can’t find a doctor that knows enough about the lasting effects methadone has that can actually help me figure out why I feel so terrible. My bodies fight or flight response is literally killing me because of the dangerously high blood pressure rushes I get at the drop of a hat.
    Wish I just kicked my habit on my own without methodone. Do I go back on it and stay on it for good …..? If not what non-opioid treatment’s can actually help? I’m well past PAWS so why do I still feel so terrible bad? It’s not just depression or just a general feeling of no feeling well. It’s debilitating and I can’t figure out what else to focus on to feel better. Constantly high levels of stress that literally make me sick 24/7. Constantly struggling to catch my breath with pain in the back of my head and even hand numbness that causes them to turn red. If you absolutely can kick the habit on your own try low dose Suboxone or the lowest possible dose needed. If not enough and u need methadone don’t push to go too high and wean very slow.
    If your man just know that your gonna lose alot of your testosterone with long-term treatment. It destroys your HPA axis. Heroin withdrawal is easier then methadone withdrawal

  • Tim says:

    I was admitted to hospital in August 2019 with an infection my pain was so intense gradually the hospital put me on hydromorphone hydrochloride 8mg every 3 hours 24 hours a day 140 every 9 days then released me with no support to come off it after 2 months i am not an opiate user. I don’t have a doctor where i live so i was forced to go on methadone for withdrawal . I started sept 19 2019 during interview explaining my situation i was coached into saying i was a user by an employee there because they the doctor wouldn’t put me on it for only withdrawal so in fear of being turned away i agreed. It is now jan 26 . This coming thursday i will drop another 5 ml which brings me to 5ml will i have a problem coming off the last 5 ml I don’t crave opiates never have even when they were prescribed in the past

  • Anthony says:

    Wake up people meathadome is a life destroyer I spent one year on it before that 15 years on pain killers and had withdrawn heaps of times 2 to 3 weeks off pain pills and I was back on my feet made that big mistake meathadome … been off for six months every day is painful I mean every day fu#k meathadome do yourself a favour don’t ever use just go through withdrawal its 100 times better than what meathadome will do to you I.never had any trouble with my before meathadome after 1 year of use 17.feelings 13 kg wait.gain and no sex drive and like I said been of some for six months and still.feel like help don’t listen to the doctors your just a pay check to them

  • Carolina Bella says:

    Ok I have been back at the clinic for 7 years. This time I was ready for change. Maybe it was just right time because I have been off and on for 20 years. I quit for a year or two and would start back last time I was clean2 years when an old friend came back in my life and I started using again. This is 1st time though I’ve ever felt so determined to get off of it and stay. The time before I stopped methadone at39 mgs for 2 days and started using suboxin and then just went off it a half strip to a quarter strip and then it got to where I’d forget it one day then I forgot one day made myself Not take it the next day too. Then I lost the hook up on suboxin I had And was able to stop. It was almost too easy. That time only happens once in a life time because I tried doing it the same way again 2years ago and I started suboxin too soon I’m guessing I went 2 days off methadone again omg I thought I was dying. I waited. And every 4 hours id take another half and it kept putting me In Full withdraws I wAited 4 hours try again and again and it kept putting me in withdrawal these withdrawals lasted about 40 minutes strong and an hour total after about 6xs doing this I was so tired and thought I would die if I tried anymore so I got 20 mgs of methadone and stopped the madness. 20 mgs was a low dose for me but after all that I was scared of Over Dosing. Now it’s 5 years later I wanna do it right this time under a Doctors Care. I went from 150 mgs 10 mgs down every 2 weeks till I got to 60and I had to switch to only 5 mgs every 2 weeks till I’m at 30 mgs right now and I’m trying figure out my next move for success. I really want this it not for money it’s not for anyone else it’s for me and I want to do it right with the least with drawl so I don’t start back. Can anyone tell me what to do from here I stopped on 30 mgs. For 1 month now. Either I keep dropping or switch to another step stone for easier recovery. I’m terrified to do suboxin but I wanna quit so bad I might would under doctor’s care. Please help if you know what I can do from here.

  • Cassandra says:

    Detoxing off of methadone can be done 🙂 i was on methadone for over 8 years. When I was ready with the proper supports in place… like stable housing, 4 years with the same partner and i really worked the program and moved 4.5 hours away to keep myself away from the bad places and people. I started coming down just 1 mg a week for what seemed to be a hundred weeks…since i was up so high on my dose…it is obtainable…and getting off that 1 mg was a breeze. I remember doing my last sample and saying ill never come back to this clinic or others like it…ever again!

  • lee says:

    A proud lifelong methadone advocate–obviously not someone who actually takes methadone or you would not be posting such ignorant propaganda. You have absolutely no firsthand clue of what you speak.

  • Christine says:

    I just figured I would add my story of detoxing off methadone here, as everyone else’s stories have really helped me. So I was addicted to heroin for 6 years and started taking methadone off and on maybe 3 years before I finally stopped using heroin. I got myself up to 85mg before I felt stable, and I stayed there for a good 2 years while not using anything else. Well I finally decided I was ready to start detoxing. I started doing 2mg a week and was doing generally well until summer hit and I was having a difficult time. So I waited about 6 months at around 45mg and decided to start up again. I continued at 2mg a week up until I hit 7mg. At that point I was just so miserable and had to hold at 7 for another week and then started back with 1mg a week. My body has reacted very strangely to the detox, some weeks struggling very hard, starting to feel sick a mere 5 hours after dosing, and then the next week, 1 or 2mg down, being totally fine. 4mg was truly awful, yet at 2mg I one day completely forgot to take my dose while working all day, at 30 hours after my previous dose and still felt fine. I am now 3 days in at 1mg and have been doing great. I truly cannot wait to not be dependent on anything anymore, to not have to remember my dose if I stay the night somewhere or feel awful in the mornings without it or have to be available to go to the clinic every Saturday. I can say that medication has helped me greatly in my last few months when I have struggled. I took lorazepam sporadically for a bit and it worked wonders for my sleep and anxiety but taking a Benzodiazepine scared me, I didn’t want to get physically dependant. I eventually ended up being prescribed gabapentin, which I thought was rather odd, but it really truly has helped with my anxiety, insomnia and restless legs. Find the right medication to help you through the withdrawals, but be smart about how you are using it. Only use it when you truly need it, whatever it is. I know clonodine is one they prescribe at my clinic but I have not used that particular drug. I have heard it helps, though. Also find a good NA or AA meeting spot in your town. I’m very lucky to have many around, but one truly awesome one with a lot of very supportive, understanding people who are my age. I know I can always go there and feel understood. That can really help you stay focused on your goal. But most importantly, listen to your body and take whatever time you need to get off the methadone but keep your sanity at the same time. Don’t be afraid to hold your dose or slow your detox rate. However you need to do it!

  • Colin says:

    Hi I’ve been on and of methdone for the last 20 more on than of , I was on 140 mil but over the last year ive been coming down , I’m now completely clean , and have been for a month , but I’m going through hell,l sleep about 3 hours a week and spend most of the time walking around my flat because I can’t get comfortable because of the stomach pain , I’ve got know energy , and fill worthless. I’m still getting sneasing fits. How long will this go on for , because I don’t know if I can take much more ???

  • L says:

    I’m almost positive it can be done…for SOME people! You have to really want it. And most important, you have to want it because you are ready to live your life without it. If you’re doing it because you’re tired of paying tons of money at a clinic everyday or you don’t want to deal with the stigma attached to it anymore then it will probably be much harder. If you are really ready to live your life without it……I think it can be done. I have been a patient at a Methadone clinic for 14 years. 2 years ago…I was at a dose of 80 milligrams. Today when I dosed, I tapered to 3 milligrams and I have been actively tapering this entire time. In 2 weeks I plan to drop to 1 and stay there for at least 2 weeks and then….a 14 year journey will be over. I’m ready. I want it more than anything and I will do it. When I entered the clinic I was a 24 year old single mom of an 8 year old daughter (who I have always raised). Today, 14 years later I am married (for 12 years now) and we have had 2 more little girls who are 11 and 9 now. The 8 year old daughter I had when I entered treatment is now a 21 year old who will be graduating from a major state university in less than a year so I 100 percent believe Methadone maintenance can help you live a better life, be a better parent, better employee, better wife, sister, daughter and friend. But for me, I’m ready to do all those things just like I have been, without Methadone. I bought a home 3 years ago, I’ve had the same full time job for 4 years and my husband and I are doing this together. He is also a patient at 3 milligrams. We are stable and have a good support system. To those of you struggling with withdrawals after you taper….if you can’t kick and scream through that first week…go back up 1 or 2 milligrams and try again a week or so later. Don’t taper any more than 10 percent of your dose and only do that once a week. When I got to 14, I started tapering 1 every 2 weeks. I realize this thread is old but I came across it doing research so I figured I’d share my personal story. I’ll let you know in a month or so how it’s going. Best wishes to all of you!

  • Doesn't matter my name says:

    Alright guys…. I was banging heroine years ago and gave the program a try. It kept me clean but when I got off i used again. Long story short, in 2016 I decided I needed to go back on the program. Currently it’s April 2019 and i am on 4 mg . I just came home with my 13 days of doses at 4 mg, and in two weeks will complete the final stretch of my medication at 2 mg for two weeks then I’m done. I haven’t had one shiver…shake…nothing. My highest was 90 mg a few years ago. Here’s how I did it :. Well, I began a workout and mediation routine. While i understand running amd lifting can’t be done by anybody, feeding the soul can. I also implemented a cold water therapy…cold shower, being jn the cold – daily. I started this as soon as I started my methadone maintenance in 2016. When i decided to get off I cut upwards to 5 mg ever week or so… A few times i say at a dose (say 45 mg) for a month… Just to let the body catch up. Once I hit 20 mg I went down a mg a week… At 10 mg i decided to drop 2 mg every two weeks…yes same as a mg a week but again, the body has to get used to the new dose, to the point where it’s as natural as breathing. You just feel normal. Sometimes it takes a few weeks…. Here i am… Still doing the exercise, nature walks, meditation, and cold water therapy. Three tkmes I’ve hit online NA meetings and went to two in person. In the time that I’ve been detoxing I’ve gone through many ups and downs in life…. I’m telling yiu it can be done. Time ia going to go on anyway, you’re on the done… Start dropping a single mg every three weeks…every Sox if you have to. It DOES add up over time…but in the same breath time adds up too. Twenty years will go by and when you’re sitting at 90 mg still, you’ll wish you took four years to slowly slowly slowly taper. Believe in yourself. You are not victims yet you are in total control of this. It is YOUR design. So design it.

  • TaaZen says:

    I’m 45, been on Methadone about 3 years now,140 mg a day. Started with Subu one, !6mg, one year, but went over to Methadone since I’ve heard it was better for my anxiety and nervousness . The last 2 years has been hell. I’m more depressed now than before. I crave for Heroin or Morfin every day, from morning to I wake up. My biggest wish is to quit, but I don’t think I can handle Methadone. I will now try to get Dolcontine, morfin. 100mg x 3 a day , or if needed, 200mg x 3 a day. First of all, it works sooo much better for me. I’ve gone of Dolcontine after one year+ use, and it went fine. Very hard, but I did it, alone. So, that’s also my though, my dream is to be free of drug, and if I get Dolcontine, I have bigger chances. Also, if I must go ally life on opiates, Dolcontine is much better, less poison and for me, it works as it should. No c raving, less anxiety and depression. All in all, a better quality life. Why can’t we get the help needed and be listened to? Why don’t they read what all the doctors says about Methadone vs Dolcontine (Morfine)? We, as patients, NOT CRIMINALS, should have the right to be heard and listened to. I know what works for me, and .all of us know what would be the best. It can be fixed. Why should we live in hell, in prison, cause that’s what’s it feels. Life is about taking care of each others, having the best life possible Someone with cancer, he/she can get whatever they want. Doesn’t they know how much we hurts too? It’s for many an unbearable pain, that sits in the body and mind, and there’s no hope to get well. So, please help us chose what’s best for us, at least try. From one that’s scared for his life, and if it will e like this for 20-30 years longer?

  • J c says:

    Amanda, try a yoyo taper. At 50 if it’s too much go up 5-10mg and start again, 2mg every 7-10 days. I had the same problem when I hit 47, I went up to 55 and started again. Now I’m down to 33mg and will have to go up again to 38mg and go down again slowly. Each time you get a little farther, you only stay at the higher dose for no more than 2 weeks just to stabilize. It becomes your new “baseline”.

  • mike says:

    Hello
    For those of you getting the methadone brain fog, I was also. I found out from my doctor that it drastically over time reduces testosterone levels, and one of the symptoms of low testosterone is a brain fog and forgetfulness. That and many others such a low to no libido, weight gain, and losing the zest for life. Some doctors now say its ok to take testosterone replacement therapy while others still are apprehensive about it, but if you are one of the guys on methadone gaining weight, losing energy, libido down the drain, and the brain fog, get your T levels checked. Methadone has helped me immensely. But the effects of low T that are derived from the methadone need to be corrected. I know other guys on methadone who started TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) and they feel 100% better. I am now about to start this myself. I was one of those people who never felt comfortable, whether around other people, while looking at myself in the mirror(I had pretty girlfriends) but still thought a goblin was staring back at me, was always restless tapping my feet non stop(my dad would always ask me why I was doing it and tell me to relax and I hadn’t realized I was doing it), and it turned me into a mental wreck. Girls wanted to date me, but I wondered why? I started off as a weekend warrior drinking. While drunk, I tried heroin, and for the first time in my life, I felt relaxed, and I thought that this was how most people felt regularly. When I looked in the mirror, what do you know, a regular dude was staring back at me, I wasn’t a paranoid and nervous wreck dating girls. I felt better, about everything. Heroin was like my medication. I didn’t do it like a lot of people do and check out, spending the day nodding off. I did small amounts, and advanced at work, socially, financially, and with friends and family. Many said things like, “wow, you have a new pep in your step!” But, after a while, the guilt of being a heroin addict set in, so I decided I had to stop. After quitting and dealing with the detox, I was back to normal, uncomfortable around people, nervous, stressed out, and the goblin in the mirror was back. So, back to heroin it was. I was tired of hearing family members say, “well, you just have to toughen up and deal with it!” It was so much more. I decided to stop heroin again but could not take time off work due to big projects so I though I would do a methadone detox. Well, to make a long story short, it didn’t have the same effect as heroin, but it was close. The goblin in the mirror was gone, I felt like I could relax, and felt like I could function and succeed. Now, after 6 years on 140mgs, I have tapered down to 100mgs. I want to get down to as low of a dose as possible that still provides the benefits. I decided I am better off with something sitting on my opiate receptors. Maybe the brain fog and Testosterone levels will level out or go away at a lesser dose, but man, methadone has helped me out a lot. Its also a great pain killer, I was in a bad car accident and broke just about everything, and it helps out so much, for breakthrough pain I will take advil sometimes. I have always been very active, but after a few years on methadone I experienced some weight gain, and I upped my physical activities. But, some of the weight would not come off. I told my doctor how much physical activity I was doing and he said I should be losing a lot of weight and then my low testosterone levels were discovered. Plus, my dying sex drive was not cool, I have always been a enthusiastic fan of sex. So, when that started to go, I was disturbed and initially thought it was old age, but at 36, my friends were still bragging of wild sex lives, so I thought something was off or wrong. Luckily I discovered that the methadone was bringing my T levels so low. Now I can do something about it!

  • Whit says:

    Hi Bill! I have been going through the exact same thing. I did a treatment call ibogaine. If you would be willing to leave the country… It’s illegal here because they consider it a hallucinogenic even though I didn’t at all… they have clinics in Cancun and Costa Rica but this stuff is amazing. It is the only way I got off methadone. I stayed clean for a year after I did the treatment and unfortunately I took on too much because the ibogaine makes you feel that way. It completely takes away your cravings for a good 3 months so you can get through the hardest part of detox. Not to mention it completely clears you mentally your mind feels so clear…when I’ve tried to detox off methadone by myself doing the clinic but slowly tapering… I was sick for 2 months straight… Two months straight… and all my friends who have been on it say the same thing… It is a horrible long long detox and it could even take up to a year after stopping at before you feel normal again but with the ibogaine it changes it and it makes it possible. Please look into it

  • Skydie says:

    Wow!! So many different opinions! I have a very rare disease that effects my spine and my nerves where there are apparently only one out of eight out of a hundred thousand that have this. It is called Syringomyelia. It is extremely painful. I was put on 100 mcg fentenyal patch for the pain for 6 years. And when the government decided that no one could be on 100 unless they were terminally ill and I had to go down to 50 right away, I decided that I had had enough of depending on a very serious drug to live my life, which I was already used to for a long time, so I do not believe that it was helping with pain. Although the disease gets worse each year as I have an MRI and it shows the severity of what this disease is doing to me each year. I am 50 and had a very good career, a lovely house, a truck a boat a snowmobile a husband two children. Due to the fact that I made more money on paper then my husband and although he was having an affair because he said that I was boring now. I just wanted to stay home from being tired with a very sore back when I worked a 10 to 12 hour shift sometimes 6 days a week. And having this disease show up 10 years ago, from being a very active person and mother it was hard for me each year to get things done around the house let alone have any fun. So now I am on disability and have lost my house and everything else. It has been 8 years since my separation from a narcissistic husband who was making more money than me but just wasn’t being taxed. Sorry will get back to the reason that I am on methadone. I didn’t want to go through the withdrawals of going from a hundred to 50 without anything else to help with the pain so I decided to go off it completely and try methadone. I had been on methadone one other time in my life due to a Percocet problem again for my back pain. But at that time I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis degenerative disc disease and sciatica and again wanted to get off taking 12 Percocet a day to survive the pain. And I was in my early 30s and remember being on it for just over a year and the highest dose was 80 mg and tapered it down 5 mg each week until I got to 20 mg and then had it tapered to 3 mg a week until I was at 9 mg and then 1 mg a week. I didn’t have a day of feeling any withdrawal after I was finished it was very rewarding although back to the back pain. I started methadone in July 2017 and now it is April 2018 and I have gone from 90 mg and now I’m at 75 mg. My Dr wants me to go down 5 mg every two weeks where I am pushing him to let me go down 5 each week. So in 3 weeks I’ve gone down 15mg and I am dealing with it just fine. I will always have excruciating pain in my back and nerve damage because there was no cure for this disease and it is eventually terminal. But my reasoning for going down sooner than he would like me to is because of the weight gain I have put on. I am 5 foot 9 and I was 135 lb when I started and I am now 175 lb in a matter of nine months. I would much rather be back to my weight that I kept with eating well and walking everyday for 22 years because the weight gain is causing more pain to my spine and nerves. So I don’t win either way. I can’t be on the methadone to help the pain because it puts so much weight on me like it had the first time I was on it. I would rather be thin and probably be in less pain. But my main reason for speaking about this is that I think especially with such a high dose of fentanyl that I was on for so long that anyone as long as they wean them self properly can do it. I know some patients have had the doctors wean them off it at the pace that’s comfortable and slow but where the doctor doesn’t tell them what is taken off each week so it doesn’t effect them mentally. Good luck to each and everyone of you! And I apologize for such a long history of my health.

  • Craig Cochrane says:

    I live in the UK. I am 58 yrs old and started with heroin at 22 yrs old. In my experience methadone is really difficult to stop. However I just started taking a few months less every now and then. Over a couple of years I got to the point were I would forget to take it in the morning. Later in the day I would feel bad and remember I had to go home for my dose. Without any pressure from my social worker I began to realise that it just kept me comfortable. Then when I was doing 5ml it was so easy to just stop. What was the point of 5 5ml. At first I felt a bit exposed, but it was all in my head. I was given a stop pack , sleepers( 2 weeks worth an some quinine for cramps. I didn’t experience anything like a withdrwall. It was so liberating to be free. I found my love of music again, no anxiety, and as a mega bonus my sex drive returned. It can be done but do it at your own pace , but remember your goal. There is life after the he’ll.

  • Nigel kenneally says:

    I came of methadone after 22 years, 15 months ago (10 of those 22 years were spent on Heroin ).
    I am still at these 15 months, suffering from severe depression. I for one wish that i had carried on a methadone script.

  • KP says:

    It can be done! Years ago while fighting RSD, I was given it for pain relief. Within a month, I was starting to nod off during the day, yet still had constant pain. I up and went cold turkey after 6 months of use. It was hell, the first two weeks sucked. But by week three, the feelings of withdrawal was gone. I started using different forms of treatment to control the RSD, it’s an awful disease, with no end to the pain. I held my own for the next 6 years, then had to seek a pain control Dr, I could no longer walk, and my back hurt 24/7.
    Slowly but surely we tried it all, Vicodin, Oxys, Percocet, Morphine, finally landing on a cocktail of fentinyl and Percocet for breakthrough. I survived on that for the next five years. And actually had a good life, at least I was living and able to function. Then came the downfall
    Of pain management clinics, they were forcing clinics to cut everyone’s meds regardless of what disease you were fighting, the only group not affected was the cancer patients, since they were dying anyway! By then, I was using 150mcg every 48 hours of fentinyl and 2 percs three times a day. Again I got mad, and went cold turkey on the fentinyl. It was a month of hell and I darn near killed myself in the process, but I made it! Next was the Percocet! I now take one twice a day if, the pain is just too much for me to be able to function. I have found that CBD, without THC helps alittle. I use the cream on my back if needed. I know of three people whom are being treated with Methadone for pill addictions, all have been in treatment for 8-9 years, and everytime they attempt to drop down in their doses, at the very first twinge, and they are back to full dose. One who had a addiction to Vicodin refuses to even try, he is happy going to the clinic every week, and as long as he can pay, the clinic will keep him on it, guess it’s a good thing he has weatlthy parents! To all seeking help, I wish you the best! Addiction is a beast, but one I believe you can beat with the right tools. If I was not fighting a terrible disease, with no cure in site, I would never touch another pill in my lifetime. What I have found through treating patients over the years is, that the fear of the withdrawal process is what most fear the most. They convince themselves it will go on forever..and I’m here to tell you it won’t, and yes you can do it!

  • SIAN says:

    Luis, I too have been on Methadone for 20yrs. I am a mother to a 17 year old son and the only time I was able to get off methadone was while I was pregnant. It’s amazing the motivation not to curse the little life growing inside you with your disease is. I was very lucky, I found out I was expecting when I was just 4 weeks gone, at the time I was on 50mls of methadone a day. I bit the bullet and quit cold turkey it was hellish, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. My son was born healthy as a horse with no problems at all, as for me, my doctor put me back on methadone 5 days after the birth and I’ve been on it since. I am now on 115mg per day and have been at that level for the last 15 yrs. I don’t get ‘high’. I wake up in the morning take my vitamins and my methadone then forget about it until the next day. It enables me to lead a normal life, I’ve always been high functioning, always worked, kept a nice home, been a good (hopefully) mum. Some people are born deficient in certain chemicals in the brain, opiates fill that void and for the first time those people feel ‘normal’ and it’s wonderful. I hate the way Methadone and it’s users are looked down on. You only need visit a dentist or the hospital, they are civil and respectful till you fill out a medication sheet and suddenly you’re scum, an addict, less than them, it sends me off the deep-end. Forget trying to get pain relief for an accident you get ibuprofen and sent home. I had an accident 2 years ago, An SUV hit the passenger side of our family car and I damaged my legs quite badly. I spent a short time in the hospital. One nurse, in particular, looked at me with disdain and said she didn’t want to encourage ‘drug seeking behaviour’ so I was to try to make do with my daily dose of Methadone. I never once asked any nurse or doctor for that matter for any medication including painkillers. My own GP was disgusted and sent a letter threatening to report the nurse in question. It’s difficult, whether you stay on Methadone maintenance or try to come off of it, do what is right for you, don’t be bullied or shamed into doing something you are not ready for. I actually know only one person who has used Methadone as long as I have and funnily enough they are extremely high functioning too. It pokes holes in the dirty, stupid, junkie image that some would try to impose on us. Good luck in whatever you do.

  • Young Corey says:

    You can get off of drugs like oxycodone and heroin even tho 90% of people will get back on but methadone is different. Getting off of it leaves you in a deep depression and anxiety that just seems to stick around and get worse instead of better. Once I was very hard-headed and tried to bite the bullet and kick methadone and I literally went crazy and took awhile after getting back on methadone to regain my sanity. These people saying to get off have never done the same themselves. It’s not weakness or lack of willpower it’s just science and we need to stop letting emotion rule over science. Since I realized that I need opioids to function and will never ever get off I have become much better, wiser and less stressed. Don’t worry just take your dose and kick ass. Peace.

  • Paul says:

    27 years on an average of about ninety MGS. Decided after a removal of brain cyst to get clean of Methadone. 21 months later i’m now at 22MGS. Physically on a scale of one to ten, ten being worse i’d say about six or seven. Mentally is a different story as i feel like i’m approaching insanity

  • grace says:

    when you come of methadone you must do it very very slowly. i mean when you get down to 10ml you cut down to 8ml for 3 weeks then 6 ml for 3 weeks until your down to 5 ml then 1ml a week for 3 weeks until your on none, put it this way your not going anywhere are you so whats the rush.also if your suffering from depression get this addressed as many people treat their depresison with narcotics.

  • Robbin says:

    I would like to quit taking methadone too. I take it for a severe case of restless leg syndrome. My restless leg syndrome wasn’t restricted to just my legs or just at night. I had restless body sometimes, all times of the day and night. After a full year of trying every medication my doctor could think of, he sent me to a neurologist. After an exam and questions, he recommended 5 mg of methadone at night before bed. It worked the first night, and I finally got a good nights rest! That was over ten years ago. I also have fibromyalgia, asthma, severe allergies and petit mal epilepsy as a child. I hate medication but have had to take it since I was an infant.
    Yes, I worry about what people think when I go to pick up the script form the doctor or fill it at my pharmacy. I always explain its for restless leg.
    I have tapered down to 2.5 mg only having to go up to 5 mg when the restless leg gets worse and 2.5 mg doesn’t work.
    After reading many of these posts, I am very concerned. I have been trying for several years to wean off of the methadone. I am very careful about stimulants as I realize they will cause more over active nerve issues, which are not good for restless leg and fibromyalgia. I drink a cup of decaf coffee but not every day. I rarely have a Dr. Pepper. I don’t drink, smoke or do any other drugs. Never have.
    How do I get off of this safely?

  • Gia says:

    I have gone down from 200 mg to 30. I am now starting to feel the WD. I don’t believe methadone should be used as a life long maintenance program and you shouldn’t be using another drug to compensate. I was hooked on multiple drugs. I am currently trying to taper off the methadone as well as benzodiazepines. I want my life back that much. No more dependence on ANY substance. Personally I use exercise, yoga, spirituality, and counseling. If you want it, you will get there. You have to really want to be free. To each is own but I am missing out on life and sick and tired of being sick and tired. I also recommend supplements. Food is natural medicine. Methadone is basically a legal form of heroin and the pharmaceutical companies used addiction to pain medication to their advantage. Sad but true. Find your outlet and your will to be free.

  • Jamie says:

    Thanks to all that have shared. This is my second time being on methodone. The first time I was on it 7 months and at my highest dose I was on 50mg a day. I tappered down to the smallest dose & was eventually off of it all together, I had little discomfort & a few sleepless nights.
    I stayed off of methodone for 2 yrs & experienced major anxiety and discomfort basically I went back to how I’ve Always felt ( uncomfortable in my own skin).
    I decided to get back on the methodone &I went up to 80mg. My mind was finally at peace. By the second year of taking methodone I gained 40lbs & my teeth started breaking. My skin is broke out in tiny red bumps & my entire body looks & feels inflamed.
    I have also noticed when I take my vitimins & drink my green drinks in the morning I puke almost every time. It was like taking my tablespoon of poison would only allow me to be so healhy. After a life time of vitimins & several yrs of breakfast green drinks my body cant tolerate it with methodone in my system. My looks & body have changed soo much in the last 2 yrs some people probably wouldn’t recognize me. I’ve been attractive and in great shape my entire life. That’s not the case any longer.
    I decided to start tapering my dose by 5 mg a week. I’m not experiencing any withdrawals & plan on continuing my tapper. That being said i can’t imagine being completely off of methodone. It has made me mentally more balanced & I don’t have paralyzing anxiety attacks & I can sleep ( I never slept before methodone ).
    I’m hoping the most I reduce my daily mg the less side effects I will experience.
    I feel like I must choose between my looks/ weight over my mental well being.
    Even with all the side effects I have I love what methodone has done for me. It’s a wonderful program but I wish I was more informed on all the side effects.

    Also if you are tapering off of methodone their are several different vitimins which can be taken to reduce & in some cases completely demolish some side effects.
    Good luck fellow methodone users.

  • Luis Grilo says:

    what happened to this people…I wonder…this is 2017, somewhere in the future, hope everibody’s doing fine, I’m taking methadone for 20 years now, was looking for some information and saw this ‘conversation’, health to everione.

  • Dag says:

    Amrit, you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

    Not only are you are trying to shoehorn your personal agenda into a discussion that has absolutely nothing to do with said agenda, but you think addicts are “better off in the long term going to jail” which says a lot about your [lack of] education on the so-called Department of “Corrections”.

    You follow that gem by claiming “Na(sic) and aa(sic) don’t want methadone addicts because they know they either die or get back on methadone.”
    First of all, who are “they”? And why do they care what you’re addicted to?

    Seriously, it’s willfully ignorant people like you who make it harder on learned people who just need a little help to get back on track.

    Actually, forget my argument altogether and just dig a hole in your back yard until it’s too deep to climb out of…then dig some more.

  • Amrit says:

    Methadone is much worse than heroin. It’s a disaster for addicts but makes tons off money for the psychiatric field. So you will have people defend it like there livelihood depends on it. Methadone catches the end result of the pharma industry for more people everyday.It prevents the suicide of many drug addicts but anyone who takes it who is not a intravenous illegal drug addict should not be allowed on it. They may be better off in the long term going to jail. Na and aa don’t want methadone addicts because they know they either die or get back on methadone. I started having panic attacks , took klonipin which made the panic attacks worse.
    It is and will be a worse disaster in the future. Do anything to stop these places from opening in your town

  • Dee says:

    i was on methadone for over 10 years on 150 milligrams. I was tired of going to the clinic and depending on something everday just to feel okay. I taped down to 112 milligrams before checking into a detox center in Michigan. I went cold turkey for 4 days and then was on suboxone for 7 days. I have been off methadone for 16 months. It is possible if you really want it. I’m not saying it was easy but it was so worth it ? I did a lot of praying and had a lot of support and that’s very important. Today I feel like my old self before opiates.

  • Amanda says:

    I am in a similar situation.my highest dose was 200 (which I was on for 11 years of my 16 years on methadone maintenance)for 3 yrs I did a slow taper and eventually made it down to 50 before the withdrawal symptoms were too much to handle and I was told by our director they couldn’t help with any supportive mess to help until I got to 20 mg and locked into a 6 week final taper.So basically I was told go back up or suck it up.The withdrawal was so bad and after 6 weeks I’d seen no improvement.i had to leave my job because of the back and body aches.i had no choice but to go up.Im now on 100 and manage to be WD free until about 4am.this has been going on a year.So if someone’s body never gets to the place where it stabilizes how is it possible to completely get off without excruciating WD symptoms.I have a small child and need to be able to function.The cost of my treatment is not covered by insurance and is a strain on my finances.And I can’t agree that this medication has no side effects.it may not for someone on short term but for those on for many years there are side effects.Ive experienced severe muscle/skeletal problems.at 38 I’ve started to walk hunched over.also my brain fog has gotten progressively worse.i will forget where I’m going while I’m on the road.Once I drove home from work after paying a bill on my lunch break forgetting totally I was in the middle of a shift.ive been seen by several physicians who can’t find the cause and the only thing they can find that could be causing these is the methadone(besides other MMT patients with similar Heath issues I’ve spoken to)I’m afraid I will never be free of this medicine.I feel like I’m in a prison with no escape.and because I can’t adjust on the lower dose I don’t even get the benefit of a pain free life like in my first years on MMT.

  • Renea says:

    Hi, I have been reading all evening about methadone and the pros and cons of long term use and what happens when trying to get off the medication.
    I have been a opiate abuser for over 25 years, but when the crack down came along, it was getting harder and harder to get them off the streets and way more expensive. So I found myself in opiate withdrawal and it was maddening. To make a long story short, I ended up on heroin to stay out of withdrawal, but even that was hard to maintain.
    I just could not get past the withdrawals! So I found a suboxone doctor and he started me on 8mg bid, then to once a day. I was fine on 8mg a day, but then the pharmacy flagged my chart and informed my doctor that my Suboxone needed to be tapered further, as this medication was not meant for long term use.
    Well that absolutely freaked me out! I was not ready for that to happen.
    My doctor got me down to 4mg a day, but I just wasn’t ready. I ended up falling off the wagon for a couple of months and knew I just could not live that lifestyle. I am getting old. I am 54 years old by the way.
    Anyways, someone knew I was in the military when i was younger and recommended I go to the VA.
    There they put me on Methadone 30mg liquid and I am maintaining now on 60mg daily and have been for the past 3 years. Now I am wanting off of Methadone so bad because I am afraid that if something happened that I was unable to get my Methadone, that I would go through what I call maddening withdrawals! Plus being on Methadone has turned me into a depressed, Non functioning human being. Oh and I’m also taking 40mg of Prozac daily which doesn’t seem to work anymore.
    Sorry that I am making this so long, but I truly am concerned about Methadone withdrawal and the fear of not being able to function due to long term abuse of opiates.
    I feel if I wasn’t rushed off of Suboxone I would have been okay. With Methadone, there doesn’t seem to be any rush by the doctors to get off of it. They don’t pressure me at all about it. I mean, reading all the comments on the Methadone sites has scared me to death because so many have taken it for years and years. I don’t want to be that person and am tired of feeling like I’m in a black cloud, that never goes away.
    Why is there such a rush to get off suboxone? Well I know, it’s because it is very expensive and the insurance companies do not want to pay for it long term. Yup, that’s it!
    Well I will close.
    Hope you read this.
    Respectfully, Renea

  • Skylar says:

    Bob had some good points about being physically dependant to the more severe drugs. It would take a lot of counseling and therapy to get back to normal life. I need to help my brother get to that point in his life.

  • Birdman says:

    Stanton,
    I’m glad that you at least tried to answer the questions of can he get off the drug and how. “But one thing you are set on doing is improving your life, and there are many ways to keep doing that – methadone or not — things you don’t talk much about, like exercise, family, friends, work, helping others.But one thing you are set on doing is improving your life, and there are many ways to keep doing that – methadone or not — things you don’t talk much about, like exercise, family, friends, work, helping others.” Focus on the traits and life situations that lead you to be an addict in the first place. If you have found new avenues for coping besides a substance that is success. Quite possibly that is why you don’t feel the need to continue to take methadone. I am a believer in the fact that your nervous system will eventually learn a new reality and the pains you experience will “go away” so to speak. In 2009 I was in a terrible car accident that shattered my tibia, fibia, and broke my femur into multiple pieces. After 7 surgeries I was left to deal with the pain and heroin withdrawals that were peaked by dilaudid (sp?) in the hospital. For the first 3 years my leg hurt so badly that I could barely walk and enjoy life. It was hell. Today, 7 years later, I am still in pain. But I don’t notice it like I use to. My nervous system has adapted to the new reality and has stopped leading me to believe that the pain I was experiencing needed to be treated. My life is good today. I don’t take any medications for pain…not even Tylenol. You will make it Bill. Steadfast willpower and determination. Strongly you will find freedom from your troubles.

    Prayers

  • Jamie says:

    Years?? Im also on methadone going down 10mgs a day from 190 and im terrified abt the withdrawals…

  • Dash says:

    PAWS lasts a few years? You don’t know what you’re talking about. I took methadone for 9 years today I take none, zero, zilch. I went through a rough week but that was all. How did I do it? Buprenorphine patches called Butrans and a little bit of marijuana that as a rule I don’t mess with but someone suggested it and it helped. I strongly recommend these two drugs to anyone trying to kick methadone.

  • Icare says:

    @Bob Newman…. Excellent answer… Just excellent. I have been recovering from addiction myself…15 years of off-on again abuse, until I found methadone. I only take 15mg a day. I am a mother of 3, I work and this has tremendously improved my life. I am “me” again. No haziness, no bad feelings…just the urge to want to take narcotics gone. Line you said, if you had diabetes, you wouldn’t think twice about insulin. No matter what anyone says, this is an illness too. If it’s not broke, why try to fix it. Life is hard enough as it is, why make it harder. Of course doctor’s don’t want you to be on it, because if you take that ONE pill that makes everything better, they can’t write scripts for 10 that don’t, and that’s where they make their money.. Anyways…just my thoughts. Hope this helps someone!

  • Tim says:

    Bob, I’ve got almost the exact same thing. Been on methadone for almost 10 years. Going down slowly but every day my right side hurts sometimes badly to the point I can’t do anything. It’s put me in the deepest rut I’ve ever experienced but I refuse to give up and want OFF this poison asap. I’m down to 17 but I can’t trust the clinic because I’m only $ to them and they will stop my taper with out telling me to keep me there. At this point I’m ready to chain myself to a boulder if that’s what it takes. I haven’t worked in 3 years and I want and need a job but this stops everything. I wish you luck Bob. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

  • P says:

    I’d like you to re-read what the commenter above this just said: “You are going to go through PAW’s, which lasts a few YEARS…” …YEARS? YEARS!? No one should have to suffer for YEARS when it just isn’t necessary to do so.

    You should listen to the good Director’s advice. You’re fortunate enough to find a medication that works, is non-toxic, and I’m assuming convenient to obtain (if you’ve been in the program for years you probably have take-homes). Why on EARTH would you even CONSIDER not taking your literally life saving medication?

    My guess is mostly because of the stigma attached to the word “methadone”. If you don’t think that’s true, re-read your original post and every time the word methadone is mentioned, replace it with the word pancakes. You’ll see just how ridiculous the question of “should I stop eating pancakes” really is.

    If you found that pancakes, something that is non-toxic, cheap to make, and convenient to eat took away your desire to do drugs, you would not question it. You’d eat your pancakes everyday and be happy. You might get sick of the same old pancakes everyday, but you’d eat em, and wouldn’t question stopping.

    For you it goes two-fold. You also have a crippling stomach pain issue. Methadone, being an opiate, is also helping you manage the pain from that, whilst not getting you “high”. They say there is no “magic bullet” but you might have come as close as one can to finding one my friend!

    We need to start changing the conversation and let people know that it’s ok to be on methadone for life if it makes your quality of life better. Just like it’s ok to eat pancakes in moderation. 😉

    -A proud, lifelong, methadone advocate.

  • Jason says:

    You have to go through some pain to get to the other side. It’s not going to be easy. When you are on methadone you are taking Narcotics, which feel good. But, you have to expect some pain. You are going to go through Post Acute withdrawal Syndrome (PAW’s), which lasts a few years, but gets better over time. Don’t give up.

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