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Husband was referred to a methadone clinic
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Husband was referred to a methadone clinic

My husband came clean about his opiate addiction yesterday. He went in for an assessment today. They referred him to a methadone clinic. What now?
39 Comments Post a Comment
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I guess I am looking for input who have gone this route.
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My opinion, be VERY careful...switching from one drug to another only prolonged what he HAS to do, which is w/d which is much shorter off of opiates than methadone! Do some research first!
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I'm trying.
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Hi and welcome to the forum....well for starters unless your husband is slamming a needle in his arm methadone would be an over kill it is way over prescribed  and is hands down the hardest of all the narcotics to quit the withdrawal lasts for months if your on pils you can kick in a week and then work a aftercare program like N/A to work out your addiction so many people go into methadone thinking it is a ez way out and wind up strung out on it for years.. Im kinda the go to guy for methadone and have worked with many of our members...very  few have anything good to say about it so ask your husband this would he like to kick in a week  we can help him do that and tell him ''there is no get out of jail free card'' it took me 8 1/2 months to taper off 150mg of the stuff and then I was dope sick for 90 days methadone is not the answer may I ask what is your husband taking and how much a day..? I will check back later good luck and God bless..............Gnarly...............................  
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I am tapering finally,after 2 years on methadone.I was only taking pills and as some say on here,Methadone was an overkill for me.I should have kicked from the pills.I had already been out for 3 days when I went into the program and would have had maybe a week more til clean.instead we have pawned and went into debt for the program.Something I never did on pills.so,if u r looking for advise,I would say have him talk to his dr.I wish I had.Keep coming here and maybe turn him on to this site also.Ppl here r great and I have only been writing for a week.Good luck.Also remember everyone is different be patient but stand your ground with him and u both will get through this.
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Welcome and glad you are here!

I started taking 30mg Methadone/day 3 1/2 years ago following painful complications from a post-op infection and have developed tolerance to the point where I am in constant withdrawals. Am white - knuckling while waiting for acceptance to Mayo Clinic pain rehabilitation clinic.

Make no mistake: unless your husband fully understand the likelihood that Methadone and the Methadone Clinic will become his "Master" for many years, please seek a second/third opinion. Opiate withdrawal is very difficult. Methadone withdrawal, due to its prolonged half - life, is much longer and miserable.
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Here is some background:
I found out yesterday, my husband is addicted to painkillers and has been for the last three and a half years. Things have been very different the last few years. I chalked it up to the emotional roller coaster that was the birth of our daughter with complex congenital heart defects. I was completely consumed in her care, treatments and surgeries. We both started treatment for anxiety at the time of her birth. She had her repair surgery 2.5 years ago. She is doing well, but he was just never able to return to his normal self.

My feelings of something else going on finally compounded yesterday. I thought he was cheating and I asked him. He admitted it all to me. He explained he has tried to quit on his own and is unable. He says he doesn't want to be this person and hasn't for a long time. He is disappointed in himself and had to come clean when I thought he was cheating. He said he can't do it alone and needs professional help. He is desperate.

He has been using for 3.5 years. He has drained our bank accounts. He has lost numerous jobs. He is agitated and moody. He made some phone calls yesterday to get help, but it was after office hours and they asked him to call back today. He was able to get an appointment today in the afternoon. He hasn't had anything since yesterday and is already showing signs of withdrawals. The biggest problem is, we have no insurance.

I am all over the place in this post, as is my mind. As a wife, I don't know where to start. I am feeling betrayed, resentful, tired and hurt. None of these feelings are going to help his situation. I know that only he can do this for him. I guess I am looking for some support as a wife and mother of two and how I can support his recovery.

He is using 6-8  15 mg OxyContin/day or 6-8 60mg morphine


He has an appt with his family Dr. today. He wants to try an at home taper... We just don't know how quickly to taper, what to expect, etc. is there anyway his doctor can help?

I have told him about this group. He isn't ready to join, but he is getting this info.

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Good morning Hun. He wants to do an at home taper and not go to the methadone clinic? I hope that's what he means. That is awesome news. Has he been getting the meds from the doctor? They can prescribe a taper were he will take less each day. It is important he stick to the taper, he will have withdrawal symptoms but they will be more mild then suddenly stopping.

You will have to hold the pills and dispense them because if he holds them he will take more than prescribed when he feels the withdrawal.
Even if he doesn't want to join or post something he can certainly read around on the forum about those who have and those who are tapering from methadone to give him a sense of how long and hard it is.

There are over the counter things you can get to make him more comfortble as he detoxes at home. He should start to attend the support groups and go to therapy.

I hope and pray he doesn't to the meth cliniic.
Debbie
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Hi and I am sorry you guys are going through this but do not blame yourself because it is not your fault. We take these drugs, we like the way it makes us feel, and not feel, and we continue to want that feeling. No matter how good or bad our life situation is, we just use it as an excuse to take the pills. As time goes by we build tolerance, decline in mental and physical health and end up having to have more and more pills to achieve the desired effect. The problem then becomes that we cannot get the effect any longer and our physiology has adjusted to the med in a way that makes us just have to take more and more just to function. In reality though, the only way to actually return to normal is to just bite the bullet and remove the drug and give it some time.
     If a taper will work that is great but if it does not then I would just get plenty of gatorade,imodium (immodium), easy to eat foods and just have him hole up in the house for a week and join this forum and let the wonderful folks here talk him through it. His habit, while substantial, is not too bad and nothing to end up in the methadone clinic over with constant outlays of cash to them instead of dealers and the zombie like effect that methadone eventually produces. Listen to Gnarly above.
    Anyway I just wanted to give you an overview of what is going on as I know that addiction is very confusing to someone on the outside. Hang in there and Best wishes for you and your husband.  
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I think he has decided against the clinic. He is going to his family dr. today.
He is not getting the meds from his dr. He has already handed everything to me on his own. Including Meds, cash, and bank cards. I don't want to be his keeper... I feel like that will hurt our relationship even more. His father lives with us and he will be dispensing.

Do you have any suggestions on tapering... How quickly, how often to drop, how to deal with wd's over a longer period of time. Really, any input is appreciated.
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Also, what to ask/tell the dr. today.
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If he wasn't getting pills from the doctor he will not be able to do a taper.
He will have to go cold turkey,just stopping. Look at the bottom of this page for the health pages, the Thomas recipe. It suggests otc meds to help make it comfortable, Imodium (immodium), natural sleep aids,vitamins. Taking hot baths with epsom salts,moving around as much as possible.stay hydrated very important and bland foods.
An antihistamine because he will be as sneezing a lot.

The doctor can give him clonindine it is a old blood pressure med,heart rate increases during withdrawal.  
I hope and pray that he was talking to do this for himself. He will not be comfortable for a week or so.treating the symptoms and making him as comfortable as possible is all he can do.
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He needs to be honest with the doctor.
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I just want to remind you that you have no blame or shame in this.  And addiction shouldn't be considered shameful, though it often is.  I was hurt when my ex-husband's addictions cost us so much (and I'm not even considering the financial aspect.)  Try to remember addiction is a disease.  It's not about morality or ethics.  My ex also cheated and I found that harder to deal with and it caused our eventual divorce. If your husband tapers, it should be slow.  Will he have that option?  If he goes Ct he will feel miserable but thenThomas recipe will help, alomg with a lot of good support from the members here.  I'm glad he isn't going on methadone.  It was suggested to me after a several surgeries left me with bone and nerve pain.  Luckily I had read about it here.  I think methadone should be used in only the most serious heroin addictions and bne pain and end of life pain from cancer,... in other words, if you're never going to get off it.  Good luck.  If he does the work and gets sober, the trust will eventually come back.  But it is a chronic disease and he will always need to guard against relapse.  AA and NA programs really work if the person works the program.  You're rightfully hurt and angry but your marriage may come out stronger in time.
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Hello and welcome!  I wanted to add my support as well, and I agree very much with all of the replies you've gotten thus far.

I'm SO glad to hear he's decided against the Methadone.  That would be overkill in SUCH a huge way, especially considering what his use is.  That would be like killing a fly with a shotgun basically.

Going to the doctor and enlisting his/her help and support is awesome.  That's great, and it will help him tremendously.  I agree that he needs to be 100% honest with his doc.  Tell him to remember that they've heard it all before, and that he has nothing to be ashamed of.  Being an addict is not a character flaw, it's an illness.  With the help of the doctor, and support from you and his father, he has a great chance of success.  He's not been successful up to this point because he always tried to get clean HIS way, alone.  This is a battle not meant to be fought alone.

He's going to feel lousy for a short time, there's no way around that, BUT with items from the Thomas recipe (ie Immodium, epsom salts baths, etc) and anything the doc gives his to help the w/d symptoms, the w/d symptoms can be eased a little bit, and the worst of it will be short lived, a few days.  The mental aspect of w/ds is usually the toughest, because the addict usually works themselves into a state fearing the w/ds.  If he can find a level of acceptance and be "okay with not being okay" for a while, it will go much smoother for him.

Write any and all questions for the doc down ahead of time, and tell him to express to the doc what the worst w/d symptoms are for him.  There are non habit-forming medications that can be prescribed to help ease w/d symptoms, like someone mentioned, clonidine, which is actually an anti-hypertensive med....that's usually pretty effective is combating a few of the detox symptoms.  

Definitely look up the Thomas recipe here, print it out, and get all of the things recommended on there.  Hydration and nutrition is important, and you can expect him to feel either nauseated, or with NO desire to eat, but eating is important.  Light foods, easy on the tummy, and small amounts more frequently is the way to go.  Diarrhea is a biggie usually, and the Immodium will help a good bit with that.  Hydration is important either way, but even more so if his diarrhea is bad.  Stock up on gatorade, water, etc...and maybe even pick up a few nutritional drinks, like "boost" in case he really struggles with eating, two of those a day will be helpful.  Again, all of the info is in the Thomas recipe, and we'll be here for you guys, any questions you may have.  Tell him that we welcome him to post, either from this id, or if he makes a new one (probably better, less confusing).  We'd love to support him directly, when he's ready.  Until then, please encourage him to read the replies here (we're all cheering you on buddy!!)

Very best to you both, I will keep him in my prayers that he's able to get through the w/ds quickly and fairly easily, which would mean he's on the road to recovery.  There's a lot of work that needs done, and you'll hear a lot of people talk about aftercare.  That's vital and that's what helps KEEP a person clean.  Despite addicts thinking that detox/w/ds is the hard part, it's not.  It's STAYING clean that presents the biggest challenge for most people.  I'm sure he feels very overwhelmed presently, so right now, tell him to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time if he has to.  It won't be long until the very worst of the symptoms will be much better.  

Hopefully he feels as though a big weight has been lifted by confiding in you.  You seem like you have a great head on your shoulders, you're realistic and ready to support him however he needs.  That will help him so so so much!  Tell him that him coming clean to you was an ENORMOUS step in wanting to get clean.  HUGE....truly.

Please update us!!  We will all be anxious to follow along with his progress, and help him get over any bumps in the road.
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I'm wishing your husband and you good luck. I an happy Dad is there toi because he will hopefully keep him in line.

With Thomas Recipe, it uses vicadin or xanax as part of it. Yes it will help him feel better but is addicting itself. Don't want to replace one for another. You may want to leave those out  

There is another one, Larrys Recipe, is one the internet too. It is all natural supplements. Please look at that.

I also encourage you both to get some couples therapy. You have been thru so much with your baby and that can derail a marriage. This is not your fault, but as a couple it will help you both heal the pain and move forward. Catholic Charities is a good start if money is an issue or no insurance. They charge on a sliding scale.

Please keep us posted.  I wish you both all the best.
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We're not permitted to give specific tapering guidelines here, but we can give you some basic, general info.

The decision for an addict to taper vs stop cold turkey isn't an easy one.  There are pros and cons to both.  MOST addicts find it VERY difficult to adhere to a taper, and often it kind of just prolongs the misery.  Once he starts dropping, he will likely experience w/ds either way, they will just be slightly less severe with a taper vs CT.  With CT, the process is over a lot quicker, even if the w/d symptoms are a little worse.  Kind of like ripping a band-aid off?

You guys would control his doses in a taper, which is good, but mentally, he will be very fixated on that next dose, and when he starts feeling lousy, he may find himself wanting to tear the house apart looking for them (or seeking out more).  That's another risk of a taper.

If a taper can be done, the key is to take it slow, to drop gradually over a period of time.  It seems as though you guys have already figured out an acceptable place to start.  Usually, a taper is more acceptable to the addict mentally, because it can be VERY scary to them to imagine just stopping all together.  On the other hand, that can be empowering too.  

If he's insistent about tapering, then take it slow, but make sure you're both open minded to the need for reevaluating the taper if he's struggling with it (and he's going to need to be honest about it...like if the mental aspect is just too much).  You have to always be willing to adjust any kind of recovery plan if it's not working.  He may have to decide after an attempt at the taper that cold turkey may make more sense.
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Man.....did you get some seriously great responses! This is awesome, addicts helping addicts!!!!!  
As an addict, I can honestly say, I couldn't taper b/c as soon as I felt a bit like ****...I would just take another of "anything" to keep from feeling like that!!  I jumped on Jan 1st, and yes, it did suck!!!  and was nasty, but there was no way I was going to taper and feel like **** for weeks rather than days.  I read (somewhere on here) we don't die from withdrawals, we feel like were dying, but as long as we stay hydrated and have people to help, we don't die.  This might sound backasswards but I made mine suck, BAD, so I would remember how I got there and would NOT want to EVER do that again! Sometimes, I think w/d's have to suck, b/c if they don't then we'll probably do the same stupid thing again! We are addicts ya know!  lol  Good luck!  Let us know how ya'll are doing!
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He saw his family doctor today. He admitted he was not qualified to treat him for this, but said his upcoming appt with and addiction psychologist is the best place to start. That is on Wednesday. His doctor did approve his taper and is more than willing to see him again before Wednesday if he needs to be seen. He also cleared everything in the Thomas recipe except the prescriptions. He did not feel comfortable prescribing him anything new right now.

We picked up all the items from the Thomas recipe except the L-T. Today has gone well overall. Thank you, everyone for your input thus far.
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He told me today, he was able to stop ct on his own, two years ago. He made it three weeks before relapsing. He said since it was still a secret to everyone, it was too easy to jump back in. Since then, his use has gotten worse. He said he needs people to be accountable to ie. Doctors, family, friends, therapists and support groups to help keep him clean.
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Are we missing anything important other than the aftercare that is in the works? I know, once he is able to get clean, it will be just as hard, if not harder, staying clean.
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I am only 32 and I've been on methadone for 7yrs. It is a very strong medication to get off of. Most places that offer methadone also offer suboxin and that would be a much better route.I would never suggest taking methadone for an addiction to pain pills. It's a medication designed for persons with a heroin addiction. Withdraw from methadone is extremely bad and takes a long time to even begin to feel better. My suggestion to either have him kick the pills cold turkey ( and he will get sick but over all the sickness is far less intense and it has shorter  recovery time) to detox from methadone is one of the hardest opiates' to stop taking, I know people that have been on the methadone clinic 20+ yrs and they all have said that they had originally attended the program then over time it just became part of there daily life. each person I've met over time  said that they would much rather detox (l cold turkey) heroin. So i suggest you gain as much information possible and consider all possible alternatives before becoming methadone dependent. Depending on your health insurance details your husband may be able to be put in a medically induced coma  until the withdraw systems are gone at that point the physical portion of withdraw is gone but he would have to be determined and strong minded enough to overcome the mental addiction and cravings.           GOOD LUCK to you and your husband!!
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whirlwindmom  
less than a minute
To: Gnarly
Are we missing anything important other than the aftercare that is in the works? I know, once he is able to get clean, it will be just as hard, if not harder, staying clean.
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Sadly we don't have any insurance until April.
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Hank you. I see you are from IN. us too.
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We have been through some crazy hard stuff together (never this.) everyone of these things has made us stronger as a couple.  I have hope and he is positive and determined.
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FYI...DO NOT DO THE SUBOXONE EITHER!!!!!!!
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  Please dont use methadone or suboxone! Those are the harder to get off than even Herion and he may end up in a worse condition than now. If he has a strong enough will and a true desire to he can make it cold turkey like I did from Fentanyl  It will be hell I know but well worth the time invested. It took me for weeks before I noticed any improvement whatsoever. The methadone and suboxone will keep the desire in his head to use again. I think it is wrong to use these for withdrawal. I have clean aprox 6 weeks and still cant sleep more than 3 hrs. at a time w/Xanax,still sweat like a pig,and feel like crap but things are soo much better than the first 2 weeks in which I couldnt hardly even walk.Please research his options before just switching from one drug to another that will cause as much or more harm than good. The best of luck and take many vitamins and drink Ensure to help with nutrition. You should research " The Thomas recepie".  
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Hello how are things going?
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He has tapered to about half of what he was taking last week. He is really having a hard time getting to work and being about to sleep more than an hour at a time. He is still determined and has been honest, as far as I can tell, about his symptoms, cravings, emotions, etc. he is starting na meetings Tuesday.

I am having a hard time holding my emotions until his is able to listen and work out our issues, they flood my mind day and night. I am exhausted, but trying to be supportive.
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Tapering ***** and   after a short taper  he will hurt and and emotions run will run wild with emotions and maby a lot of crying like I did, and I think it best just to do it cold cold turkey and get the misery over with as soon as possible. It really sounds like he is wanting and has the will to be clean for his family as himself and that will give him more strength than he ever had. I Feel he will make it thru this process and be a better person and feel so great about  getting away from the guilt and and the  cost and have peace in his mind Just give as much support as possible and dont take his words of anger and frustration be taken personally..Emotions can run wild. Hope you all the best and will pray for you.
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methadone withdrawls are far more worse than anything I have ever seen in my life. I almost watched my oldest sister have a heart attack from the withdrawls. Addiction is the devil & can affect the best of people. good luck on your journey & if you love your husband stand by his decision. Admitting he had a problem is the first step to recovery.
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It sounds as if things in going in the right direction.
Is he in control of his pills?
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No he he is not. His father is dispensing on a schedule he wrote for himself.
He is getting agitated easily, isn't sleeping and therefore isn't making it to work in the morning. He came clean with his boss, who has been exceptionally understanding. he said a prayer with him and checks in in him the days he doesnt make it.

He isn't ready to go cold turkey, but I think he will in the near future. The extended withdrawals and killing him even if they are less of a withdrawal.
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that's great his dad is dispensing. if they control their taper is usually doesn't go so well.
the reason many go cold turkey is that the withdrawal and detox are less severe with a taper, but the symptoms then become dragged out and longer.

the sooner he stops taking them, the sooner he will begin the healing process.

even though he isn't feeling well it is best if he push himself as much as possible. the more he stays busy, moves around, keeps himself occupied his mind is not focused on how he feels.
his brain needs to begin to repopulate the natural brain chemistry, dopamine, endorphins, serotonin on its own.
moving around and exercising will help speed up this process.

he needs to stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, increasing protein is also a good thing.
please encourage him to attend as many na meetings as possible. they actually encourage a meeting everyday for the first 90 days.

hun I so understand all the emotions you are feeling. the healing and restoration process for you both individually and together is going to take some time.
please take care of yourself. you need to also process your feelings and emotions. have you considered counseling?
take some time by yourself to also relax, a massage, manicure, go to the gym. you need to sleep, when we don't it makes our emotions more raw.

I know this is all new to you. be kind to yourself. take things slowly. if we set our expectations to high, many times we are set up for disappointment.
thinking of you and praying,
Debbie
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He was planning on attending his first na appt Tuesday. I hadn't heard that they should be attending everyday.
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There really isn't time for myself, with a toddler and a kindergartner.when I get overcome, I have been writing out my feelings. I haven't done it much but it does help.
I don't know how much to push him. I know he needs to get up and move around and go to work, but I don't know how hard to push. After all, I have never been through this myself.
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Avatar_m_tn
  Please dont push him but offer as much support as possible. He is very dazed and confused at the moment and ANY additional pressure on him will only make him feel worse!! Just be very patient as he gets his feelings and life back in order. He WILL become the man he once was. That was my experience with a very supportive wife. Best of luck to both of you!!!
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As soon as I could leave my room I went to an n/a meeting and have been to one.every day since. They say try
90 meetings in 90 days. So far it has worked. What point is he at with his taper now? Should be about finished, right? Had my husband not helped me I never would have made it this far so don't EVER forget how truly needed u r! It's not an overnight process, it will take time so don't expect too much too soon.
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