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New here - want to get off methadone!
  1. #1
    Magdalena12 is offline Member
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    Unhappy New here - want to get off methadone!


    Hi Everyone-

    I don't know if I am in the right forum, but I'll give it a try. I was put on methadone 2 years ago by a pain management doctor for long hx of back pain, no cause found, and history of Norco addiction. Started taking the Norco about 5 years ago after a 10 year history of pretty severe depression. I took the Norco for migraine headaches and eventually realized that it was the only pill out of all the anti-depressants etc. that made me feel like I used to, happy. Of course eventually I was up to taking 18 a day. Have tried 3times, one inpatient and a couple outpatient rehabs to stop, but never really successful. Anyway, ended up on Methadone AND Norco for break-through pain.....not for pain anymore, just addiction now, huge mistake in hind-sight, but seemed like a solution at the time. Have had injections in my back and my pain is much much better. I only take 20 mg of Methadone a day but still take 8 Norco a day. I know I can stop the Norco with the Methadone on board (the Norco is my addiction drug of choice..ugh). I am determined to stop both drugs! I HATE taking the methadone. My first question is: Does methadone make any of you have no motivation and feel fatigue all the time? I have worked for physicians all my life and prior to the depression was a very outgoing, energetic, social person. It seems like since starting the methadone all I want and do is sit and stare at the TV, NOT my thing, but it seems like that is all I CAN do.

    My other question is: How in the heck do you get off this stuff. I was fully prepared to go to a rehab facility but then suddenly found out that my husbands employer just changed insurance companies and policy and they do not cover any inpatient rehab.... GREAT. Can any of you tell me how you are doing it, or did it. I am not naive about it. I know if has a long half-life and seems to be the hardest drug to w/d from. I can't stand living this way anymore. I do know about suboxone. How long does it take to taper and does it really help with w/d symptoms. Have gone through w/d from Norco cold turkey and that was tough, I can't imagine how I am going to get off the methadone on my own.

    Any help is deeply appreciated.

    Mags
    Last edited by Magdalena12; 02-16-2009 at 03:43 PM. Reason: needed to add a comment

  2. #2
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Quote Originally Posted by magsj View Post
    Hi Everyone-

    I don't know if I am in the right forum, but I'll give it a try. I was put on methadone 2 years ago by a pain management doctor for long hx of back pain, no cause found, and history of Norco addiction. Started taking the Norco about 5 years ago after a 10 year history of pretty severe depression. I took the Norco for migraine headaches and eventually realized that it was the only pill out of all the anti-depressants etc. that made me feel like I used to, happy. Of course eventually I was up to taking 18 a day. Have tried 3times, one inpatient and a couple outpatient rehabs to stop, but never really successful. Anyway, ended up on Methadone AND Norco for break-through pain.....not for pain anymore, just addiction now, huge mistake in hind-sight, but seemed like a solution at the time. Have had injections in my back and my pain is much much better. I only take 20 mg of Methadone a day but still take 8 Norco a day. I know I can stop the Norco with the Methadone on board (the Norco is my addiction drug of choice..ugh). I am determined to stop both drugs! I HATE taking the methadone. My first question is: Does methadone make any of you have no motivation and feel fatigue all the time? I have worked for physicians all my life and prior to the depression was a very outgoing, energetic, social person. It seems like since starting the methadone all I want and do is sit and stare at the TV, NOT my thing, but it seems like that is all I CAN do.

    My other question is: How in the heck do you get off this stuff. I was fully prepared to go to a rehab facility but then suddenly found out that my husbands employer just changed insurance companies and policy and they do not cover any inpatient rehab.... GREAT. Can any of you tell me how you are doing it, or did it. I am not naive about it. I know if has a long half-life and seems to be the hardest drug to w/d from. I can't stand living this way anymore. I do know about suboxone. How long does it take to taper and does it really help with w/d symptoms. Have gone through w/d from Norco cold turkey and that was tough, I can't imagine how I am going to get off the methadone on my own.

    Any help is deeply appreciated.

    Mags


    Hi Mags ... based on what you've said I would say that you are definitely a candidate for subutex/suboxone. You need to be on less than 30mg of methadone to successfully make the switch so there is no problem there.

    I am curious about your existing pain problems, but I can tell you that addiction is very painful in itself. Lots of times when we get clean we find that the pain is SOOO much less than while we were in active addiction. I fully expected to be on pain medication for life with all the problems I had. My problems were totally legitimate confirmed with MRIs, blood tests for my illnesses, etc. But after I got clean I was able to make some lifestyle changes and today I take NOTHING narcotic at all. Sure I still have some pain but it isn't anything I can't live with taking 800mg Ibuprofen three times each day. I haven't taken any narcotic pain meds in years.

    I suggest you read the following link about suboxone/subutex therapy. I'll be happy to help you through this entire process if you choose to go that way and want my input. I know how to use subs successfully and my track record here is pretty fair. All you have to do is be naive enough to do as I suggest. Check out the link, put some serious thought into this, and let me know. I promise you that I can help you get off the methadone and Norcos with a minimal amount of discomfort. I will watch for your reply. God bless.

    http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...apy-50887.html
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

  3. #3
    zenith15 is offline Junior Member
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    The only thing about Suboxone is, it does not work well for pain--so, if you truly DO need opioid pain meds, it is unlikely to work well for that.

    Tapering off methadone, if you choose NOT to go the Suboxone route, should be done at the rate of no more than 10% of your dose per 2-4 weeks. Methadone is a long acting drug and takes much longer to taper from safely. It is VITAL to taper all the way down to 1mg before stepping off, and to take each reduction slowly to allow yourself time to adjust. At doses below 20mgs, each mg counts.

    I have heard some people say they feel less motivated on methadone--but I have also heard people say the same thing about various other opioids, as well as hearing them say the opposite about methadone and other opioids. What works well for one may not work well for another, and dosages being too high or low can cause issues too.

  4. #4
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenith15 View Post
    The only thing about Suboxone is, it does not work well for pain--so, if you truly DO need opioid pain meds, it is unlikely to work well for that.

    Tapering off methadone, if you choose NOT to go the Suboxone route, should be done at the rate of no more than 10% of your dose per 2-4 weeks. Methadone is a long acting drug and takes much longer to taper from safely. It is VITAL to taper all the way down to 1mg before stepping off, and to take each reduction slowly to allow yourself time to adjust. At doses below 20mgs, each mg counts.

    I have heard some people say they feel less motivated on methadone--but I have also heard people say the same thing about various other opioids, as well as hearing them say the opposite about methadone and other opioids. What works well for one may not work well for another, and dosages being too high or low can cause issues too.



    This is why I asked about the actual pain conditions. But as I mentioned above quite often after we get clean we find that we aren't in as much pain as we thought we were beforehand.

    It's easy to find some pain meds if we really are hurting from a legitimate condition. But as long as we are dependent on any pain med it's almost impossible to tell if we can get by without them or with something not as strong.

    It's a good investment of our time to clean up and re-evaluate. If we can make it with something less it only improves our quality of life. I still think the suggestions given above are the way to go in this instance.

    If a person is REALLY in pain, then they need medication of some kind. Accurately determining how strong of a medication is actually needed though is what I am emphasizing. God bless.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

  5. #5
    Magdalena12 is offline Member
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    Default THANKS Robert, Zenith, and Learn to Live!

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    Hi Mags ... based on what you've said I would say that you are definitely a candidate for subutex/suboxone. You need to be on less than 30mg of methadone to successfully make the switch so there is no problem there.

    I am curious about your existing pain problems, but I can tell you that addiction is very painful in itself. Lots of times when we get clean we find that the pain is SOOO much less than while we were in active addiction. I fully expected to be on pain medication for life with all the problems I had. My problems were totally legitimate confirmed with MRIs, blood tests for my illnesses, etc. But after I got clean I was able to make some lifestyle changes and today I take NOTHING narcotic at all. Sure I still have some pain but it isn't anything I can't live with taking 800mg Ibuprofen three times each day. I haven't taken any narcotic pain meds in years.

    I suggest you read the following link about suboxone/subutex therapy. I'll be happy to help you through this entire process if you choose to go that way and want my input. I know how to use subs successfully and my track record here is pretty fair. All you have to do is be naive enough to do as I suggest. Check out the link, put some serious thought into this, and let me know. I promise you that I can help you get off the methadone and Norcos with a minimal amount of discomfort. I will watch for your reply. God bless.

    http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...apy-50887.html

    You guys are amazing! I am amazed at your committment to everyone here. I read your responses carefully. I have dealt with treatment-resistent depression for many years which led to my opiate (Norco/Methadone) addiction. I only see a "pain management" doctor who prescribes the medications for me. I long ago gave up on psychiatric care, etc. because I live in an area where mental health care, substance abuse facilities are literally non-existant. I live in a county in California that has virtually no county mental health and one, very busy pschiatrist for over 100,000 people. Anyway, I haven't been seen by anyone in about 4 years. So, I decided I needed the depression and substance abuse problem properly assessed and made an appointment at UCLA Neuropsychiatry Department for early in March. They have a "dual diagnosis" program (treatment for mental health issues AND substance abuse). I am telling you this because I am sure that I will end up on a buprenorphine taper. You seem to know exactly how to taper off this. Is it true that if it is done VERY slowly w/d sx will be tolerable? I must tell you, I have been through withdrawal from about 18 Norco a day, I have been literally paralyzed with fear about withdrawal.

    I will keep in touch with all of you and monitor the site to see if I can be of help. Upon my return from UCLA I will let you know what the plan is. I would be soooo grateful if you would help me with the taper? I can be so motivated and determined to get off the opiates initially, but when the w/d sx get bad I become very despairing and desperate and eventually end up blowing it. I DO NOT WANT TO GET TO THAT POINT THIS TIME.

    You asked about my pain. I had the gradual onset of low back pain starting about 4 years ago. The pain got worse and worse. During 2 outpatient substance abuse programs, while tapering off Norco (with no medicinal assistance) I was constantly told it was "all in my head" and just form withdrawal. I believed this and constantly admonished myself for it, but this last year the pain became constant and intollerable and eventually led to sciatic pain all the way down my right leg to my foot. MRI showed probable torn disc, but the ortho surgeon was not sure. Anyway after talking to him and examining me, he thought I had facet joint syndrome. I had two steroid injections into the facet joints in October and November and my back pain is a good 80% better!!! So, I feel I am in a good place to get off the rollercoaster. I am telling you all this because you seemed to want details about the people you want to help. I appreciate this.

    Thanks to all of you. I'll be checking this site and seeing if I can be of help to anyone. I truly ADMIRE those of you who are undergoing w/d and those of you who have succeeded. THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO BE!

    Affectionately,
    Magsj

  6. #6
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    If you do decide to go the buprenorphine route and want some help let me know. Have worked with a LOT of people using subs. Keep me posted if you need some help. God bless.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

  7. #7
    Magdalena12 is offline Member
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    Default THANKS Robert, Zenith, and Learn to Live!

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    Hi Mags ... based on what you've said I would say that you are definitely a candidate for subutex/suboxone. You need to be on less than 30mg of methadone to successfully make the switch so there is no problem there.

    I am curious about your existing pain problems, but I can tell you that addiction is very painful in itself. Lots of times when we get clean we find that the pain is SOOO much less than while we were in active addiction. I fully expected to be on pain medication for life with all the problems I had. My problems were totally legitimate confirmed with MRIs, blood tests for my illnesses, etc. But after I got clean I was able to make some lifestyle changes and today I take NOTHING narcotic at all. Sure I still have some pain but it isn't anything I can't live with taking 800mg Ibuprofen three times each day. I haven't taken any narcotic pain meds in years.

    I suggest you read the following link about suboxone/subutex therapy. I'll be happy to help you through this entire process if you choose to go that way and want my input. I know how to use subs successfully and my track record here is pretty fair. All you have to do is be naive enough to do as I suggest. Check out the link, put some serious thought into this, and let me know. I promise you that I can help you get off the methadone and Norcos with a minimal amount of discomfort. I will watch for your reply. God bless.

    http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...apy-50887.html

    You guys are amazing! I am amazed at your committment to everyone here. I read your responses carefully. I have dealt with treatment-resistent depression for many years which led to my opiate (Norco/Methadone) addiction. I only see a "pain management" doctor who prescribes the medications for me. I long ago gave up on psychiatric care, etc. because I live in an area where mental health care, substance abuse facilities are literally non-existant. I live in a county in California that has virtually no county mental health and one, very busy pschiatrist for over 100,000 people. Anyway, I haven't been seen by anyone in about 4 years. So, I decided I needed the depression and substance abuse problem properly assessed and made an appointment at UCLA Neuropsychiatry Department for early in March. They have a "dual diagnosis" program (treatment for mental health issues AND substance abuse). I am telling you this because I am sure that I will end up on a buprenorphine taper. You seem to know exactly how to taper off this. Is it true that if it is done VERY slowly w/d sx will be tolerable? I must tell you, I have been through withdrawal from about 18 Norco a day, I have been literally paralyzed with fear about withdrawal.

    I will keep in touch with all of you and monitor the site to see if I can be of help. Upon my return from UCLA I will let you know what the plan is. I would be soooo grateful if you would help me with the taper? I can be so motivated and determined to get off the opiates initially, but when the w/d sx get bad I become very despairing and desperate and eventually end up blowing it. I DO NOT WANT TO GET TO THAT POINT THIS TIME.

    You asked about my pain. I had the gradual onset of low back pain starting about 4 years ago. The pain got worse and worse. During 2 outpatient substance abuse programs, while tapering off Norco (with no medicinal assistance) I was constantly told it was "all in my head" and just form withdrawal. I believed this and constantly admonished myself for it, but this last year the pain became constant and intollerable and eventually led to sciatic pain all the way down my right leg to my foot. MRI showed probable torn disc, but the ortho surgeon was not sure. Anyway after talking to him and examining me, he thought I had facet joint syndrome. I had two steroid injections into the facet joints in October and November and my back pain is a good 80% better!!! So, I feel I am in a good place to get off the rollercoaster. I am telling you all this because you seemed to want details about the people you want to help. I appreciate this.

    Thanks to all of you. I'll be checking this site and seeing if I can be of help to anyone. I truly ADMIRE those of you who are undergoing w/d and those of you who have succeeded. THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO BE!

    Affectionately,
    Magsj

  8. #8
    Magdalena12 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    233

    Default THANKS Robert, Zenith and ?Freedom?

    You guys are amazing! I am amazed at your committment to everyone here. I read your responses carefully. I have dealt with treatment-resistent depression for many years which led to my opiate (Norco/Methadone) addiction. I only see a "pain management" doctor who prescribes the medications for me. I long ago gave up on psychiatric care, etc. because I live in an area where mental health care, substance abuse facilities are literally non-existant. I live in a county in California that has virtually no county mental health and one, very busy pschiatrist for over 100,000 people. Anyway, I haven't been seen by anyone in about 4 years. So, I decided I needed the depression and substance abuse problem properly assessed and made an appointment at UCLA Neuropsychiatry Department for early in March. They have a "dual diagnosis" program (treatment for mental health issues AND substance abuse). I am telling you this because I am sure that I will end up on a buprenorphine taper. You seem to know exactly how to taper off this. Is it true that if it is done VERY slowly w/d sx will be tolerable? I must tell you, I have been through withdrawal from about 18 Norco a day, I have been literally paralyzed with fear about withdrawal.

    I will keep in touch with all of you and monitor the site to see if I can be of help. Upon my return from UCLA I will let you know what the plan is. I would be soooo grateful if you would help me with the taper? I can be so motivated and determined to get off the opiates initially, but when the w/d sx get bad I become very despairing and desperate and eventually end up blowing it. I DO NOT WANT TO GET TO THAT POINT THIS TIME.

    You asked about my pain. I had the gradual onset of low back pain starting about 4 years ago. The pain got worse and worse. During 2 outpatient substance abuse programs, while tapering off Norco (with no medicinal assistance) I was constantly told it was "all in my head" and just form withdrawal. I believed this and constantly admonished myself for it, but this last year the pain became constant and intollerable and eventually led to sciatic pain all the way down my right leg to my foot. MRI showed probable torn disc, but the ortho surgeon was not sure. Anyway after talking to him and examining me, he thought I had facet joint syndrome. I had two steroid injections into the facet joints in October and November and my back pain is a good 80% better!!! So, I feel I am in a good place to get off the rollercoaster. I am telling you all this because you seemed to want details about the people you want to help. I appreciate this.

    Thanks to all of you. I'll be checking this site and seeing if I can be of help to anyone. I truly ADMIRE those of you who are undergoing w/d and those of you who have succeeded. THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO BE!

    Affectionately,
    Magsj[/SIZE][/FONT]

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