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Opiate addiction Support for coping with Opiate addiction and Opiate addiction treatment.

 
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  #1  
Old 24-07-2013, 01:55
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

I was wondering if anyone had done a medically assisted detox from methadone at a treatment center. I have been tapering for 3 months and I have gone from 120 to 94mg. It has been a very difficult time and I have been in varying stages of withdrawal and emotional pain the entire time. I have the option of going to a treatment center to detox from methadone, but I am terrified at the idea of quitting methadone at such a high dose.

If anyone has an experience to share I would really appreciate it. If you could tell me what dose you were on, how they detoxed you, how uncomfortable it was, how you felt after you left, etc.
  #2  
Old 24-07-2013, 05:52
Dark Mage Dark Mage is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

In 2005, I was on 220mg of Methadone, had a nasty CRACK habit and was still IVing H to come down from the CRACK. After years and years of living the lifestyle, I was done. I wanted my life back at the age of 25. So I discussed it with my parents (which where so supportive) and started doing some research and found a rapid detox facility called MRODs which was about 20mins away from where I lived. So I made an appointment and went in for a evaluation. I was told they never had a patient at 220mg of Methadone and wasn't sure if they wanted to take the risk. I was told the highest dose attempted at there facility was 150mg and it was successful.

So after much debate, they came up with a plan and decided to proceed forward. The procedure would cost $10,000 (paid in full) and I would be hospitalized for two days. I first had to decrease my Methadone dose from 220mg to 200mg, once I accomplished that, they subsituated my Methadone with prescription narcotics. I was prescribed everything under the sun to stabilize me enough to get through the two weeks, so the Methadone could subside from my system. It was a very uncomfortable two weeks, especially since I was still smoking ROCKS.

After two weeks, they admitted me to the Hospital the night before the procedure. The procedure started at 7:00am in which I was put under with general anesthetia and then given Naltrexone and Naloxone which induces full withdrawal symptoms, which basically means instead of withdrawing for weeks or months, you go through the withdrawal process in 4-6 hours. I was told that that I did sit ups for 6 hours straight through the procedure, I kept popping up. Its pretty common for patients to start thrashing all over the place, due to the body's reaction to the sudden detox.

After 6 hours, I was wheeled back into my room for recovery and I remember being so in and out of it and I couldn't lay still. After a couple of hours I finally came too and I remember feeling this sense of clarity, like I was reborn again, back to the old me before the drugs. It something that's almost indescribable.

That night after the procedure I was able to eat a little and get some sleep. The next morning I was able to leave and return home. This is when the journey of recovery began. During the procedure they implanted a Naltrexone implant which blocks the effects of opiates if I tried to use, it basically will get you so sick, you won't want to use. The implant lasts 6 months in which then another needs to be implanted. This was a huge waste, at least for me. Not only did it make me smell like a chemical bath, it can cause liver damage (in which you have to take regular blood tests). Luckily, my implant exploded inside of my stomach because I started pushing myself and working out so much, my stomach tightened up and popped the implant. A waste of $800 which left me with a lifelong nasty scar on the bottom left of my stomach. The implant (compared to the pill form) has drawbacks since its a foreign object being placed in your body. After the incident, I refused to go back on Naltrexone because of its side effects. Though I know Naltrexone has helped a lot of ex-addicts stay clean, in my opinion unless you get the implant, its too easy to just stop taking the pills form and start using again. You have to have the willpower and strength to stick with it for it to be effective.

After I was released from the Hospital the next two months where pretty uncomfortable and exhausting. I was so weak (I had to use a motorized cart to go grocery shopping) and was only able to slept maybe an hour a night for about a month straight because of the severe anxiety and insomnia. The restlessness and pain in my legs where the worse part. I also wasn't able to really eat for the first two weeks, (especially anything with lactose) because it would upset my stomach, I constantly was shitting liquid. With all of this going on I was still overcoming my CRACK addiction which was a pure mental battle.

After about a month or so, I started feeling better. The anxiety and insomnia substantially resided and because I pushed myself so hard to workout, I was finally able to walk long distances without feeling like I was going to keel over. The entire process was tough, but well worth it. I was able to return to school, graduated with a bachelor's in CIS and became a Systems Engineer. I got my life back because of this procedure. The clinic was so impressed with my recovery they wanted to do a documentary about my entire recovery process, I declined because I didn't want to be on TV.

I stayed DRUG FREE for 3years, 2months and 4 days, until one day I woke up in the morning and I the first thought in my mind was that I wantes to get high.... once... and i began thinking I can use one time without going back, FUCK IT!!!! Well, fast forward three years later and I'm back at the Clinic and am in the middle of lowering my dose, I'm down from 180mg to 114mg. I think too myself, how stupid was I to think I was stronger then the drug and my addictive personality. The only good thing about this time around is that the Methadone allowed me to stabilize my addiction to continue working as a Network Engineer and to go back to school and work on my Masters. If it wasn't for my job, I probably would of went through H withdrawal and got it over with myself. But I was placed in a situation where I felt that I had no other choice but to return to the clinic. Deep down as much as Methadone has helped me maintain, its also my down fall because it makes me feel like I'm still living that lifestyle and that I want to use (at times). I'm a Code 0 and only go every two weeks to the clinic which has made things a little easier.

I do have to say if I had the money and was able to take a month off of work, I would definitely do the procedure again and make sure not to repeat the same mistakes I made in the past, no matter what it would take because to me as much as Methadone has helped me stabilize, its also a constant reminder of my past and a trigger that is always lurking over my shoulder. I just want it over with but I know I have a long road ahead of me which is discouraging at times but I try my best to keep focus and to be thankful for what I have and have accomplished.

Post Quality Evaluations:
Thank you for sharing your experience.

Last edited by Dark Mage; 25-07-2013 at 07:39.
  #3  
Old 24-07-2013, 12:42
ex-junkie ex-junkie is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

Like Dark Wizard, I too had a naltrexone implant (thirteen years ago) but it got infected and after ~5 weeks of pure agony, I begged them to cut it out of me. I was successful at taking naltrexone tablets for approximately six months. Then I relapsed. The second time on naltrexone I did it properly and only needed it for approximately six months. Most people fuck up the first time they go on naltrexone, but it's important to not be put off of it. It's a very useful drug that reduces/prevents a relapse.

Dr Neil Beck has a book and in it he speaks about diluting naltrexone in boiling water, cooling it, and putting it inside an oral puffer to give a metered spray. He claims that if people carry around their naltrexone puffer, that it will prevent them from relapsing. However these claims lack the research to back it up. Interesting nonetheless.

I just wanted to add that medical facilities have always undermedicated myself and the people I've been in with. I've been in a private facility and a few public facilities. If they have good psychotherapy programs then they can be worth their weight in gold, however if you're left to your own devices then other people who seek treatment there can annoy the living fuck out of you with their non-stop drug talk or moaning, and boredom is all consuming.

Headfull0fstars; I think in your case if you went in it would prevent you from over using your benzodiazepines and this is a good thing. Find out exactly what they have planned and ask if they transition on to naltrexone using ultra low dose induction. Find out exactly what meds they will give you and what daily routine they have for psychotherapy, creative expression, and find out the rules.
  #4  
Old 25-07-2013, 09:11
opiatebattler opiatebattler is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

I have done an inpatient detox. I was on 80mg of methadone. I missed my dose the day before going into the detox so that I would be in withdrawal sooner rather than later.

The day I arrived at detox I had no withdrawal symptoms yet as I get 2 days from methadone if I need to. I was also coming off marijuana and was given valium 3 times per day for that.

I was on anti psychotics and anti depressants at the time so I took those with me to make sure I got my prescribed 'head meds'.

Second day in I was still treated with same amount of valium. I was also given 4mg of suboxone when withdrawal presented. After 4 hours I was given more as I had no precipitated withdrawal and was not feeling relieved by the suboxone yet. That day I was given 12mg total. I was also given buscopan and paracetamol.

On my third day in (2nd day on suboxone) I was given 12mg suboxone again. They also started tapering down the valium.

On my 4th day in (3rd day suboxone) my dose of suboxone started to be reduced. Im sorry I cannot remember dosages given. I do remember that strips were never cut up. Dosage was always made up of either 8 or 2mg suboxone strips.

My time in detox was 13 days. My final dose of suboxone was 2mg the day before I left. I was given comfort meds any time I needed them.

I have been through in patient detox with a rapid buprenorphine taper 3 times in the last year. 2nd time was almost the same minus the valium as I was not coming off marijuana. 3rd time was subutex instead of suboxone.

The facility I went to the first 2 times was a public clinic attached to a hospital. The hardest thing I found in this place was that people had snuck drugs in and dealers were making deliveries daily, so there was constant temptation. The 3rd time was a private detox that searched us before admission and was on a large property. This made it easier to detox not having temptation in my face.

I found in patient detox good in terms of not having to worry about house, food, life, you are just able to focus on self.

I would highly recommend using the time in detox to figure out where and who from you are going to recieve after care. Just going to detox is not enough on its own. Finding a group or therapist or even multiple recovery tools is essential to staying clean once you get out.

Overall I was quite comfortable during my detox. Staff made sure there was as little pain as possible. I highly recommend inpatient detox.

Good luck stars. Let us know how you go. If you have any specific questions I havent covered here let me know

Post Quality Evaluations:
Very informative post. Thank you for sharing such a detailed account of your experiences.

Last edited by opiatebattler; 26-07-2013 at 04:17. Reason: spelling corrections
  #5  
Old 25-07-2013, 23:44
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I haven't heard many positive accounts of methadone detoxes. The unknown is really scary. I've been through dozens of heroin detoxes. I know I can do that. But methadone, thats a whole other story.

I am keeping my options open and trying to take it one day at a time. From the very start of my taper I said I as going to play it by ear and do what I needed to do as time passed and my needs changed. Medical detox might be an option for me down the road.

I'm interested in hearing everyone's story. I hope more people post their experiences.
  #6  
Old 26-07-2013, 00:24
halo99 halo99 is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

Quote:
Originally Posted by headfull0fstars View Post
I was wondering if anyone had done a medically assisted detox from methadone at a treatment center. I have been tapering for 3 months and I have gone from 120 to 94mg. It has been a very difficult time and I have been in varying stages of withdrawal and emotional pain the entire time. I have the option of going to a treatment center to detox from methadone, but I am terrified at the idea of quitting methadone at such a high dose.

If anyone has an experience to share I would really appreciate it. If you could tell me what dose you were on, how they detoxed you, how uncomfortable it was, how you felt after you left, etc.
the thing that I would be concerned with is the fact that you feel WD's at such a high dosage... assuming that the WD symptoms are not psychological or relating to some other medical issue, this tends to point to metabolic dysfunction e.g. you are not metabolizing the methadone properly and this can point to liver issues (possibly)...

I would recommend anything but attempting a high dosage detox from methadone.. its pretty much doomed to fail, especially if you have been having problems just reducing your dose.. If anything start looking at a faster taper but with a stabilization period at the lower dose... so taper down to something like 20-30mg then stay there until you stabilize... then figure out the rest...
  #7  
Old 26-07-2013, 01:40
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

Halo you aren't the first person to suggest I may have some kind of metabolic issue. At first I was scared it could be hep c affecting my liver, but I got tested and I don't have it. I should probably go get bloodwork and a comprehensive exam. My symptoms are not entirely psychological. I have been vomiting on a regular basis, having other stomach issues, hot and cold flashes, and aching legs.

Once I started on anxiety medicine I was able to deal with the symptoms better, but they were still there.


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  #8  
Old 26-07-2013, 02:26
Dark Mage Dark Mage is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

Decreasing too much and too quickly is only going to enhance the symptoms that your already experiencing. Like you, I have always had a very difficult time decreasing, the slightest change in my dose, I get instant withdrawal symptoms. It normally takes me about 3-5 days to feel somewhat stabilized and I'm only decreasing 2mgs every two weeks in which I'm at 114mg from 180mg. Unfortunately decreasing at that rate will take me years to complete the process but I feel like I don't have a choice at this stage of my life. I can't take afford to screw up, feel like shit and not be focused and motivated in my line of work. I've worked to hard to screw up now.

I remember in my early twenties when I was on 220mg and I was still not stabilized. The Doctor estimated I would need around 300mg to feel normal but wouldn't increase my dose anymore. Its the way my body metabolized the Methadone and I didn't have Hep C or any other medical issues. So it all depends on the individual.

I wish I could explain why your experiencing what your experiencing physically. Please consult your Doctor ASAP, because you don't deserve to suffer like this, Its only going to make the process that much more difficult. If I was you (as much as it sucks), is to slow down or stop decreasing until you have stabilized other aspects of your life both physically and mentally. You deserve true happiness, not pain and misery.
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Old 26-07-2013, 02:41
ex-junkie ex-junkie is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

I just wanna say that in Havard's nursing guide to drugs (8th ed.), it lists 80mg as maximum dose for methadone. This is quite reasonable too. People need to take some power back and refuse to go over 70-80mg. If anybody is reading this thread and about to start on the methadone program, aim for a dose of 50-60mg maximum because you need to view the methadone program as one that you're going to want to get off and the higher you go; the harder you'll make it for yourself.
  #10  
Old 26-07-2013, 04:06
Dark Mage Dark Mage is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

I agree, 50mg - 80mg should be the norm, but as always... the lower the better, the easier it will be to get off. The fact is Methadone is no joke. I wish I knew half the things I know now when I entered the clinic for the first time. They didn't tell me anything about the side effects and how much worse of a withdrawal it is compared to heroin. Its kind of messed up how they hand it out like candy, It was a simple drug screen, a couple of papers to sign and 5 mins later, I was at the window, waiting to dose. At the clinic I currently go to anyone can get to 180mg, no questions asked. Anything over 180mg has to be approved by the Doctor. I've always felt that clinics should be held to a standard. There definitely should be responsibility on there behalf to at least educate its patients, not just use them as a cash cow, which unfortunately a lot of clinics do.

Last edited by Dark Mage; 26-07-2013 at 04:20.
  #11  
Old 26-07-2013, 04:10
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

Seriously. If anyone is thinking about getting on methadone read my journal, at least I can serve as a cautionary tale.

Coming off is hell, but so is being on it. And I go I go pretty graphic detail on the side effects and what it does to my body.
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Old 26-07-2013, 04:10
opiatebattler opiatebattler is offline
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Re: Medical Methadone Detox at Treatment Center

I totally agree ej...my dr said I would need 120mg of methadone to successfully stop using heroin. When I reached 90mg I was sedated, stopped increasing and even requested a reduction.

I totally recommend only increasing your dose to the lowest dose that stops withdrawal and allows functioning without feeling sedated, high or over medicated.

The lower you keep your dose, the less time it takes to taper back and the easier it will be to come off completely.

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