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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:27 am 
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I have a friend who started going to a methadone clinic around the same time I started suboxone. I have gone to see him several times since I moved back home and each time I would notice him looking sicker and sicker. I have progressed from where I was, I am not going to meetings, talking with friends who are also in recovery and using this web site. Also as soon as the snow clears I will be finding a job and going to volunteer, which are requirements of my doctor but I am excited to do them. My friend has not wants to change by going to meetings, or talking to people, or getting a job. The reality of it all is that he is more of a drug addict then he was before he started going there. He not only takes 90mg of methadone a day, but he also goes out and spends his money on all the drugs he can find on the street. The more I see him the worse he looks, he has lost a lot of weight and is very pail. I am really worried that something is going to happen to him. Does any one know if methadone can really work to help people get off of drugs or is it just a waist of breath?

And I know that he has to want to change for himself but I just would take any advice if anyone has some on what I could say to him. I am just worried for him


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:11 am 
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Hi,

First, excuse any typos, grammar....my computer is having issues with the spacer and keys...

I think you said it yourself basically....he has to want it...before he went on methadone was he in a mindset where he said he was ready to make these changes? Or did he go on methadone thinking that would be the "miracle cure"? Maybe he chose methadone so he could get a kind of high still....since it is a full agonist. I have heard some on the site reference wanting to get that opiate buzz by chosing change to methadone.

Almost 3 years ago I went on methadone maintenance. It did help to put my disease into remission but over time I lost more and more of myself. At a dose of 75mg, which is where they put me my last year due to increased stressors in my life, things got worse behaviorally for me. I was angry, moody, and did nothing...did not work out, had no joy for anything, gained a lot of weight, and although I tried to work a recovery program I felt pretty cynical. I didn't notice these changes, really. I knew I wasn't at my optimal but I was afraid to try to get off methadone due to withdrawl potential...and so I just remained apathetic. When I made the decision to get onto Sub (which happened very quickly and I feel pretty lucky to have been able to jump from 75mg methadone, stay off of it for 6 days and then induct on Sub) I saw very quickly how methadone affected me. The first day without methadone I started to "wake up". By day 3 it was obvious the methadone had shut me down and blunted my emotions and affected my ability to be productive in ways I know I am capable. However, the methadone did get me out of my active addiction because I wanted that. I wanted recovery...and like I have said a zillion times recovery is more than just stopping drug use. And I believe, like you are saying for yourself, I need to do other things in order to have a good recovery. I like that your doctor requires either work or volunteer work. I know when I am doing something for someone else that I'm out of my head and I feel better overall.

That is just my experience on methadone and I still believe methadone works but it is not something I would really encourage for anyone at this time, anymore.

You cannot change your friend as you know and you can only do what you need to to take care of yourself in your recovery. Maybe as he sees you change and get healthier, happier he will wonder what you are doing and ask you how you got there...you can tell him what you do...in the meantime I think you can go to him with your concerns...tell him what you are seeing without telling him what he should do. It's hard to see someone we care about not doing well. Keep it pretty gengle and easy going....and let him know you are there...I'd also advise against rescuing him in anyway out of places he might get himself into in his active addiction..and to continue to take care of yourself. its really easy to allow others to pull us down if we are not careful and if we don't have good boundaries.

When he is ready he will make the changes. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later. I've had several 'bottoms' myself in my addiction and I know that this time I just don't have another recovery in me. I have to get this under control and I'm working very hard doing just that. I was at a meeting last night where people talked about their bottoms and it blows my mind how much we hurt ourselves in this. I, for one, am sick of it!

I really hope your friend will get better soon. Hopefully the clinic will be drug testing him and catching his use and helping him, too. My experience with methadone clinics (personal experience and from research I've done) is that although they offer groups and counseling and some mandate it the quality of those groups are not always great. I haven't seen a lot of really good therapy going on...not in ways that will help people learn how to live without drugs...I remember I was mandated to attend one group a month for my first two years there and the group was a "learn how to meditate" group...all we did was sleep! Luckily for me I had been in treatment before and had been in counseling and was going to meetings otherwise I'd have stayed pretty stuck.

Let us know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:12 am 
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Hi,

First, excuse any typos, grammar....my computer is having issues with the spacer and keys...

I think you said it yourself basically....he has to want it...before he went on methadone was he in a mindset where he said he was ready to make these changes? Or did he go on methadone thinking that would be the "miracle cure"? Maybe he chose methadone so he could get a kind of high still....since it is a full agonist. I have heard some on the site reference wanting to get that opiate buzz by chosing to change to methadone.

Almost 3 years ago I went on methadone maintenance. It did help to put my disease into remission but over time I lost more and more of myself. At a dose of 75mg, which is where they put me my last year due to increased stressors in my life, things got worse behaviorally for me. I was angry, moody, and did nothing...did not work out, had no joy for anything, gained a lot of weight, and although I tried to work a recovery program I felt pretty cynical. I didn't notice these changes, really. I knew I wasn't at my optimal but I was afraid to try to get off methadone due to withdrawl potential...and so I just remained apathetic. When I made the decision to get onto Sub (which happened very quickly and I feel pretty lucky to have been able to jump from 75mg methadone, stay off of it for 6 days and then induct on Sub) I saw very quickly how methadone affected me. The first day without methadone I started to "wake up". By day 3 it was obvious the methadone had shut me down and blunted my emotions and affected my ability to be productive in ways I know I am capable. However, the methadone did get me out of my active addiction because I wanted that. I wanted recovery...and like I have said a zillion times recovery is more than just stopping drug use. And I believe, like you are saying for yourself, I need to do other things in order to have a good recovery. I like that your doctor requires either work or volunteer work. I know when I am doing something for someone else that I'm out of my head and I feel better overall.

That is just my experience on methadone and I still believe methadone works but it is not something I would really encourage for anyone at this time, anymore.

You cannot change your friend as you know and you can only do what you need to to take care of yourself in your recovery. Maybe as he sees you change and get healthier, happier he will wonder what you are doing and ask you how you got there...you can tell him what you do...in the meantime I think you can go to him with your concerns...tell him what you are seeing without telling him what he should do. It's hard to see someone we care about not doing well. Keep it pretty gengle and easy going....and let him know you are there...I'd also advise against rescuing him in anyway out of places he might get himself into in his active addiction..and to continue to take care of yourself. its really easy to allow others to pull us down if we are not careful and if we don't have good boundaries.

When he is ready he will make the changes. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later. I've had several 'bottoms' myself in my addiction and I know that this time I just don't have another recovery in me. I have to get this under control and I'm working very hard doing just that. I was at a meeting last night where people talked about their bottoms and it blows my mind how much we hurt ourselves in this. I, for one, am sick of it!

I really hope your friend will get better soon. Hopefully the clinic will be drug testing him and catching his use and helping him, too. My experience with methadone clinics (personal experience and from research I've done) is that although they offer groups and counseling and some mandate it the quality of those groups are not always great. I haven't seen a lot of really good therapy going on...not in ways that will help people learn how to live without drugs...I remember I was mandated to attend one group a month for my first two years there and the group was a "learn how to meditate" group...all we did was sleep! Luckily for me I had been in treatment before and had been in counseling and was going to meetings otherwise I'd have stayed pretty stuck.

Let us know how it goes.


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 Post subject: sorry about double post
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:19 am 
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didn't mean to post twice....this computer will 'kick' me offline and it appears that my posts or pm's don't go through...
and I meant to say "gentle" not gengle...above...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:05 am 
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Yes methadone works.

The difference between you and your friend is not so much the treatment course you went down. Rather it sounds like you actually want to get clean, whereas your friend just wanted something to keep him high 24/7 or something to fall back on when he couldn't score.

But you're right. Even if he was motivated, methadone saturates the body with opiates more than buprenorphine, and it definitely shows in your skin & eyes. It's a very zombifying drug, and the right dose never feels like enough. People who start out content on 30mg easily can end up on 100mg+ just cos they get greedy for the methadone high.

The people I've seen methadone work for usually start out on a high dose, enough to blockade (100mg+), and have a contract with their doctor to reduce 1mg a week. Then around 2 years they're clean off it. But they gotta be motivated, just like we do. They gotta stay clean, and they gotta watch their alcohol intake as it's very easy to start problem drinking while reducing off `done (something about the liquid form).

The most challenging part of a methadone reduction comes around 30mg. Apparently it's a shitload easier to jump off methadone when you're ready at under 5mg than it is to jump off suboxone. I wouldn't know myself though. I always jumped off stupidly high doses like 70mg or 90mg, or thought it would be fun to take naltrexone while on methadone. :lol: There's a ride!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:43 am 
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Have you talked to your friend directly about your concerns? Perhaps by opening up a dialog it will help - at the very least it will give him something to think about.

And like has been said, he needs to want to stop the cycle of active addiction. So aside from talking with him, your options may be limited.

Methadone is a full agonist so there is a tolerance increase over time, meaning the person goes up in dose over time (with the exception of a person going off it or using it short term).

Do what you can and then recognize when you can do no more. Regardless of how he responds to your discussion, I believe you should just be there so that when he is ready he knows you can be the person to help him.

I'm sorry I can't give you better advice, but I just don't have any words of wisdom to offer you. Good luck to the both of you.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:12 am 
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China girl you write everything like I know it to be . Have you been stalking me for like eight years and readingmy mind? Wwweeeiiirrrddddd. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:39 pm 
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Wade,
Oh crap! You caught me...I've been reading your mind for years....It's a gift, what can I say??.....LOL


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Chinagirl. Freaky do you know what im thinking now. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:46 pm 
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Wade, sadly I have recently lost my powers...I am sure it is a side effect of Sub!
And I'm learning that reading minds and making assumptions is such a bad way to communicate.....WHo knew? LOL


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:55 am 
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First thank all of you for your advice and I really think that I knew what I was going to get back. It is hard to see someone that i care about look and act so bad. I have tried to talk to him but he just laughs and says something like he is not taking enough yet. So now really thinking about what you guys have said I do not think that he is ready to change and more or less just acting like it for the sake of his mother.(who is not here to see what he looks like and is paying for his meds) I will let him know that I am here for him if he ever does really want to change and I will try to talk to him again about my concerns. From that however I know that I can not do anything else. It is his life and he will have to see what he is doing to himself before he will ever think about changing.
Thank you again


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Canadian_girl.....good job! Something I've learned in my recovery over years (sadly, it has taken years...you'd think one bottom would be enough, but no...)is I can't control anything but myself. And it took me even longer to realize that meant I couldn't change people, places, or things. I can maybe influcence someone but not because I want to...only if they are watching and possibly are interested in what I am doing. I've learned that i have no idea what is best for someone else. I really wonder where I got that idea in the first place? That I think I know so much? I was put down so much growing up by my own mother that it is kind of fascinating that I'd end up with such an attitude.

I commend you for understanding quickly that you just have to let go...I hate words like codependent and all of that but many of us suffer from a lot of that behavior...but one thing I like is that there is a way to live our lives taking care of ourselves while being around other addicts...we can detach with love...and that doesn't mean we don't care it means we let go of their lives and let them live their own lives...and outcome is not up to us. It was actually freeing when I finally understood this...but then I had to learn how to do it! Not easy. Even recently I've been in a situation where I realized I thought I knew what was right for someone close to me...and in fact I don't know shit. I found myself feeling all those feelings again...feeling kind of out of control, frustrated when they wouldn't do what I wanted blah blah blah...and then it hit me. Let go. I finally did and now have some peace of mind again. I only need to take care of me and worry about what I need to do each day to make my life the way I want it. His life is up to him. It doesn't mean I don't care but it means I don't know what is right for him and I need to spend the amount of time I was worrying about him on me instead. I don't know if I am making sense...I just know when i try to describe this idea of detaching with love to others many people freak out and think that means they don't care any more. That's not it at all. We care...but usually we care too much and in the wrong way. and we lose ourelves in that process a lot of the time. I had been thinking about all of this stuff this week when I read your post and it made me really take a closer look at why I do what I do. And what it is I was trying to accomplish. I wanted to get my way again. Get back in the drivers seat and take control. For me, its a bad place. And the more I would hold on, the more powerless I would feel and the bottom line for me in blabbing on about this is that it leads me to using.
So, there's been some progress in all this pain. I'm not about to use over anyone or anything...and I stopped that thinking...but the interesting thing and the thing Romeo talked about a couple of weeks ago is that our "using" starts long before we actually pick up. It starts with thinking and feelings and behaviors that are sometimes so minimal that we miss it completely. And I realized as I was feeling those frustrations again that I was on that road that would lead me back to using...all over trying to get something that I think I want..,but maybe it isn't the right thing. Who knows? Maybe it is, but if I have to force it then I know I'm working way too hard and that it probably is not the right thing for me...if I let go and just live my life what is supposed to happen will happen.

Ok, kinda got side tracked a bit...but its really the same thing. I guess the point I'm trying to convey is that even things like caring about someone else and wanting so badly to get them to see that what they are doing is going to kill them that we can't change anyone and that to stay on that path could possibly lead us back to using ourselves based on how we end up feeling when we feel powerless.

I think the fact you realize so quickly that you have to let your friend go and let him do what he needs to do is huge and will protect you and your recovery. Like you said, you can just let him know you are there, without judgement, and when he is ready he'll know where to go for help. You are a good friend. And I hope he gets it soon. It is possible that his dose is still too low (I think you said 90mg). The "blocking" dose for methadone is about 80-100mg and I do know many who needed to be at 120 and even up to not have cravings...but my story with methadone is one that has changed my thinking of methadone. I do believe it works but it is def. not for me...Sub is such a better alternative...again, for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:01 pm 
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tearj3rker wrote:
Yes methadone works.

The difference between you and your friend is not so much the treatment course you went down. Rather it sounds like you actually want to get clean, whereas your friend just wanted something to keep him high 24/7 or something to fall back on when he couldn't score.

But you're right. Even if he was motivated, methadone saturates the body with opiates more than buprenorphine, and it definitely shows in your skin & eyes. It's a very zombifying drug, and the right dose never feels like enough. People who start out content on 30mg easily can end up on 100mg+ just cos they get greedy for the methadone high.

The people I've seen methadone work for usually start out on a high dose, enough to blockade (100mg+), and have a contract with their doctor to reduce 1mg a week. Then around 2 years they're clean off it. But they gotta be motivated, just like we do. They gotta stay clean, and they gotta watch their alcohol intake as it's very easy to start problem drinking while reducing off `done (something about the liquid form).

The most challenging part of a methadone reduction comes around 30mg. Apparently it's a shitload easier to jump off methadone when you're ready at under 5mg than it is to jump off suboxone. I wouldn't know myself though. I always jumped off stupidly high doses like 70mg or 90mg, or thought it would be fun to take naltrexone while on methadone. :lol: There's a ride!

ok, quick correction on the statement, "the peopel you have seen meth work for generally start out on a higher dose, enough to blockade (100mg+)" paraphrasing-clinics will only start addicts @ 30mg and usually will only increase by 5mg every 5? days, one can't start on a high dose-it's a gradual process


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