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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:52 am 
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So my intake appointment this morning went relatively well. It was fairly time consuming(about 4.5 hours) but I started on 30mg of methadone today and I'm just now starting to feel my withdrawal symptoms lessen, thank goodness :D

Quick backround info on me: I started buprenorphine maintenance back in Nov. of 2006 4 months after getting out of an inpatient treatment center for a week. Things went really well for awhile but very gradually I stopped doing a few of the things I know I need to do in order to prevent myself from relapsing. What started as minor dose escalation (self imposed) of my buprenorphine started to become a major problem. I would end up at the end of the month dealing with withdrawal symptoms and while I never started using illicit opiods, alcohol, or any other abusable substance but nonetheless it was a step back from my overall success in recovery.

That being said I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger and told everyone what was going on with me and making the change to methadone. I had always considered methadone since I quit using but some of the restrictions involved really made it seem overly burdensome compared to buprenorphine (i.e. daily clinic visits required group sesions, so on and so forth). I am upset with state law here forcing patients to participate in group therapy, not because I don't think I'll benefit but more out of the principle of the matter. Can you imagine the outcry if we forced, by law all patients with adult onset diabetes to attend weekly group therapy for them to be allowed to take medication to treat their illness>??? I'm going to try and make the best of everything though. Things could be ALOT worse and I really do consider myself lucky to not have relapsed and that I'm able fairly close by to the clinic. I'm really looking forward to stabilizing! I was really impressed with the medical director of the facility. He promised me he'd be willing to work very closely with me to help me find an appropriate dose to manage cravings, prevent relapse, and he also pointed out that while if I had anymore acute pain emergencies he'd be able and willing to make sure I'm not left rocking myself in the fetal position all night and being up for 48hrs of pure hell after I had to have a tooth pulled a little over a year or so ago. He said that it would be a very closely monitored situation if something happened that would require me having to take pain meds for an emergency but to know I don't have to constantly worry about something happening. That was one of my big problems with buprenorphine. My previous Sub doctor wasn't comfortable prescribing anything stronger for emergencies than 800mg of ibuprofen. I wholeheartedly believe that situations like that should always be attempted to be dealt with non opiod medications when possible but I wouldn't wish what happened to me following my tooth extraction on my worst enemy. It's so aweful just realizing no one is going to help you when something bad happens.

I even took the briefing Dr. Junig wrote to him about how to manage severe acute pain type situations while taking Suboxone/buprenorphine but my Sub dr. said he didn't feel comfortable being involved in prescribing pain medication for anything.

Anywho I've got alot of errands and housework to do I've been putting off the last several days when I didn't feel well but I'll be sure and keep posting what's going on with me. Also a big thanks to Bboy for being so willing to talk to me about making the switch. It really made me more comfortable making the decision. I really appreciate your help man:)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Glad you're feeling better and I sincerely hope that you do well on Methadone. I've never taken it personally so I have no experience to guide you in that regard.
I have to say how impressed I am that you didn't relapse. That is huge!
I really believe that for a LOT of us, after being on bupe for more than a couple of years or so, it just starts to suck. I don't know why really, I just think the inhibition of natural endorphin production and the way that partial agonists work in the brain causes something to just "go missing" so to speak. The emptiness and the desire to just feel better is overwhelming at times.
Again, glad you're feeling better!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Hey matt im so glad to see your induction went so well and you are happy with the clinic. Especially the program director that's always a good thing. And no thanks needed just glad your doing OK and you were able to get something out of my thread/posts. 30mgs is a real good place to start and hey enjoy getting some peaceful sleep for the first time n a couple weeks. Trying to sleep with withdrawals is no fun, i remember how nice it felt to get a good nights rest after my induction. Yea thats crazy about the state mandating groups. Anyways cant wait to follow your thread!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:38 pm 
It is more expensive for me to go on methadone here in florida. Let alone the drive to the next city over. and to have to do it everyday is very inconvenient. If it wasen't for those 3 things i'd be right there with ya on methadone to. I'm glad it works out better for you. Really, i know i can sit on 30mg of methadone a day and be fine. But subs just stop workig and your brain wants to spike dosages and stuff.
Your going to be fine. Don't let em talk you into raising every couple weeks. They want repeat customers. Just keep yourself at a level you are good at. Nobody knows you better then you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:42 am 
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I'm still feeling alot better than I was the last couple of weeks but I am having some minor withdrawal issues still. Mostly restlessness. Chills are pretty much totally gone and I'm not having super bad cravings but still some nonetheless. Will I'm sorry it's prohibitively expensive for you. Here I'll be paying about 360.00 a month in Indianapolis. I'm lucky I live relatively close to the clinic. There is a huge problem with there being a shortage of clinics throughout the U.S. I totally agree there should be some restrictions ( I don't think dr.s should be throwing methadone around left and right) but because of how much stigma there still is associated with clinics and methadone in general many states like Indiana have passed moratoriums on opening any new methadone clinics. The next closest clinic to me is in Richmond which is quite a ways away. It's just really sad to know how many people there are that really need help and because of the price and lack of local clinics they continue to suffer and very likely die from opiod addiction. It's obviously one of the big reasons the DATA bill was passed allowing buprenorphine to be prescribed in outpatient settings through a Dr.s office because of how many people are dying from the disease. Anywho I hope we can work on trying to change things. The stats are very black and white about methadone clinics. They reduce crime, prevent further spread of disease, and greatly reduce the price of opiod addiction's cost on society by having to pay for all the opiod addicts showing up in E.R.s the legal system and in jails and prisons. With so few locations available though here in the midwest especially the few existing clinics are very overcrowded with people having to drive from several hours away every day. It's really kind of ridiculous. I'm going to turn in for the night. I'll be sure and post again tommorow morning after I get home to check in.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:00 am 
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Just a quick update today my dose at the clinic went up to 45mg and I feel alot more stable. Last night I slept for about 5hrs and it wasn't nearly as restless as its been the last couple of weeks. I got a chance to talk to my wife more too and I was completely honest with her about everything that had been going on with me and she was extremely supportive. Being honest really feels good! When I asked if she was ok with me making the switch she only asked if I thought it would help me and after I said how I think it will she was 100% behind me. Im still debating how to go about telling my parents though. My dad has always been a big support which was kind of surprising to me considering he's worked in law enforcement for 30plus years and I would think he'd have a pretty negative track record with buprenorphine, methadone, and anything else that can be diverted/misused. Interesting fact though while Im talking about it, methadone that's diverted on the streets is pretty much always from people taking it for pain management or non-recovering addicts which makes sense to me but others may find it surprising. My mom though still has alot of negative perceptions of methadone. She's a nurse in a NICU so she sees alot of pregnant women taking methadone and I know she blames and looks down on moms who give birth to babies that then experience withdrawal symptoms. When I first started suboxone she was extremely against it. Im hoping my actions will speak louder than words and hopefully I can tell her soon. Anywho hope everyone is having a great day! Take care!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Nice to hear that you're feeling so much more stable. I'm glad your wife is supportive of your change to methadone....that must mean a lot and give you such relief.
Yeah...it's a bitch to have to talk about this stuff to our parents. And bless your heart...mom, a NICU nurse and dad in law enforcement! Oh Lord...can't get much harder than that! My parents are precious people (I'm sure yours are, too.) Mine are just so confused by this whole issue...we have no family history (except for me & I didn't start this mess until I was almost 40.) Anyway, it's just difficult to be completely honest because it breaks their hearts if they know I'm struggling. I hope your conversation with them goes well.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Just checking in. All is well so far. Not a big fan of being forced to go to meetings but Im not using so what is there to complain about? Anywho I'm fairly stable dosage wise but Im still having minor w/ds in the AM. Still only able to sleep 5-6hours at a time but the doc seems very willing to work with me. Take care guys:)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:58 am 
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Thanks for checking in and I'm glad things are going pretty well! I wouldn't like to be forced to go to meetings either! As long as you have to go anyway, however, I hope you can find some things in the meetings that are useful to you. Here's hoping you start to get more sleep!!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Glad your doing well Matt. Yea i had to do a orientation group at my clinic which is mandatory you can get kicked out the program if you dont complete the group. So i feel ya but it could be worst right! If you dont mind me asking were re you dose wise right now?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:55 am 
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Im currently at 66mgs but they are going to increase me to 72mgs here on Wednesday. Im still having some minor withdrawals early in the morning. For the most part though Im stable.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Matt2 wrote:
Im currently at 66mgs but they are going to increase me to 72mgs here on Wednesday. Im still having some minor withdrawals early in the morning. For the most part though Im stable.



Good to here man!

Do you think your getting close to finding your dose mg wise or do you think you need a few more increases still. Also if you want a increase how does your linic go about that?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:39 pm 
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I think I'm getting pretty close like I said I don't have any major w/d symptoms until around 2-3am and even then they aren't super bad I just hate feeling so restless. My sleeping has improved alot overall though but I still can't seem to sleep for more than 5 to 6hrs straight. I was surprised that today when I went in they had already increased me to 73mg so I'm hoping that'll be enough. They started me at 30mg my first day then they increased by 5mg per day until I got to 60mg. After that you have to ask your counselor for a form that you fill out where you list how you feel at various times of the day. Then it usually takes a day or two for the form to make it to the Dr. It doesn't seem like they are super focused on keeping everyone under a certain dosage (which I think is a good thing). I've talked to a couple people that are up over 100mg. I just want to make sure I don't feel sick and I want to be taking enough to where if I did slip up and use I wouldn't feel anything. I have had a couple situations where I was surprised by negative attitudes of some of the staff at the clinic I'm going to now so I'm kind of looking into switching to the other clinic here which is supposed to be cheaper. It's supposed to be only $60 a week instead of the $14.50 a day I'm paying now. And it seems like the other clinic doesn't mess around with people who keep using which also seems like a good thing. It's a little further away though and I'd have to pay like $100 something for the first day to get my records transferred and meet the dr. for the original visit. I haven't decided yet but if I see more issues going on with the staff here I may not have a choice. Anywho I'll keep everyone posted :) Hope you guys are having a nice evening so far!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:12 am 
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So Im still holding at 73mg Im trying to not have to go higher but Im still having minor w/d symptoms in the early AM. Main thing I miss about buprenorphine is how long the half-life is. I remember a couple times right after I started on Suboxone that I totally forgot to take it. I just felt no difference in how I was doing. Methadone so far does seem to help more with cravings and I feel more responsive to emotions and notice them more. I just wish methadone had a longer half-life. Also I wanted to say that while I was extremely skeptical about how much I could get out of "groups" that I have to attend I actually felt like I got alot out of it! Counselor was a really interesting guy. So we'll see. Hope everyone is having a good Friday! Take care:)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:58 am 
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So my dosage was increased to 80mg and the early morning withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing have pretty much all gone away. I did get my first take home this weekend so for the first time in the last 28+ days I got to sleep in and it was great not having to go and wait in line at the crack of dawn. I am likely going to be switching to the only other clinic here in Indianapolis this coming Monday but we'll see. Main reason is the price and the fact that the current clinic I'm at seems to have really lax standards in terms of continuing to treat people even after they've had multiple drug screens, which I totally understand not wanting to kick an addict out for being an addict but I really want to surround myself more with people who are getting back to their own lives.

The current clinic I'm at charges $14.50 per day or $94.50 per week which is really difficult for me to afford. The new clinic only charges $65.00 a week and it sounds like they require less than weekly group or counseling sessions after 90 days. The only catch being that they only take 4 new patients each week on Monday mornings when they open at 5:30am and if I'm behind more than 3 new people I'll have to wait another week. I'm planning on getting there at like 4am which is crazy but it'll be worth it I think. I have gotten more out of a couple groups than I thought I would but with so many new people to recovery around I just hear endless "war stories" while in group and waiting in line. Of course the handout they give to new patients states that using stories aren't tolerated while in line I understand it's hard to police people. I just think I'm kind of in a wierd spot after not using for a little over 6 years but being new to the clinic. I literally don't talk to or hangout with anyone that is currently using and I've found that I get along with people who don't even drink casually.

I wanted to say a few things about how crazy it is to me that there is still a moratorium on any new methadone clinics opening in the state of Indiana. The current clinic is waay above capacity and the only other clinic within 100miles is at capacity also. Today I stood in line for over an hour (most of which was outside in the cold) just to get my medication. I hate to say it but if people with any other type of chronic disease had to wait that long for treatment daily everybody would be up in arms. I try not to focus too much of my energy on negative thinking but it blows my mind that people are forced to be treated this way when they are trying to get help and stop using! Can you imagine how many heads would roll if individuals with type II adult onset diabetes were forced to wait in hour long lines to get their metformin/insulin/other meds each day! I realize that methadone has alot more potential for diversion but every study I've looked at shows that more than 90% of diverted methadone comes from individuals being prescribed it for pain and not from methadone clinic patients. Are people/lawmakers really just blatently ignoring facts? Lol I know I shouldn't be too surprised but Jesus! I would really encourage everyone here to think about writing/calling your local congressman/woman and state legislature reps to ask them to craft legislation based on factual information when it comes to methadone or any outpatient treatment facilities for that matter. Like so many other things in our culture the public opinion seems to be based more on what people feel the facts should be rather than what they actually are. I still don't know how anyone could really expect drug addicts to be giving away their medication! I don't doubt it happens sometimes but it's clearly not most people. I don't know how that would make sense to me even if I was totally and completely ignorant of the subject!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:26 pm 
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So it's been awhile since the last time I posted. I'm still doing really well, and my dosage is still in the process of stabilizing but as of now I'm taking 105mg a day. I was scared at first about my dosage going too high but I have started to try and not think about how my dosage compares to others and just try and find what works for me.

I wanted to mention one big difference I've noticed since I started methadone vs. when I was still taking buprenorphine. I really feel like my mood is not as flat as it was on buprenorphine. There just seemed to be quite a few times when taking buprenorphine that I felt emotionless. Overall I think it was generally beneficial considering my problems with depression so overall I felt more stable. Now though I think I feel closer to what I felt like before opiates. My mood just seems more fluid now if that makes sense to anyone. I'd be interested to hear others experience after switching to methadone from buprenorphine.

Gotta make this relatively quick because I've got some things to do this evening but I'll try and post more later.
Matt

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:48 pm 
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Matt2 wrote:
So it's been awhile since the last time I posted. I'm still doing really well, and my dosage is still in the process of stabilizing but as of now I'm taking 105mg a day. I was scared at first about my dosage going too high but I have started to try and not think about how my dosage compares to others and just try and find what works for me.

I wanted to mention one big difference I've noticed since I started methadone vs. when I was still taking buprenorphine. I really feel like my mood is not as flat as it was on buprenorphine. There just seemed to be quite a few times when taking buprenorphine that I felt emotionless. Overall I think it was generally beneficial considering my problems with depression so overall I felt more stable. Now though I think I feel closer to what I felt like before opiates. My mood just seems more fluid now if that makes sense to anyone. I'd be interested to hear others experience after switching to methadone from buprenorphine.

Gotta make this relatively quick because I've got some things to do this evening but I'll try and post more later.
Matt


Yes Matt I had the adsact same thing happen to me. My last 3 years on suboxone I was completely emotionless the day I started methadone and the majority of bup was out my system I felt like a human again. I actually felt all my emotions from good and bad. And you'll here people say that just tempory well I can say I've been on methadone for almost two years and not thing has changed.

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