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Going off Methadone Cold Turkey
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Going off Methadone Cold Turkey

I have been diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome, and been on pain meds for decades.  Presently, I have been on methadone for over 3 years now and hydrocodone  for over one year,  The methadone was prescribed by a pain clinic, and the hydrocodone was prescribed by the surgeon, that I went to, both through th VA.

I was originally started on 80mg a day of methadone and I never had to go up.  I am still prescribed 80mg of Methadone, and 30mg of hydrocodone a day. Last year I had spinal surgery in July where they went through my neck to relieve the pressure where vertebrates were cutting through my spinal cord in three places, and since the surgery much of my pain has decreased in the past year.  Because of that, my daily med usage has gone from 80mg of methadone down to 10 and the hydrocodone has remained the dame.

About three months ago, I started having severe headaches.  At first I could not figure out what was causing them, but I started studying it, and came to the conclusion that it was the methadone that was causing them.  So realizing that, I got down to 5mg of methadone two months ago, and tried to quit, but the withdrawals were just to hard, and at the time my mind wasn't ready for it.  So I went back on it, and started taking 10mg again, just to get away from the snakes, and shakes.      


Two weeks ago I decided that I had to come off of the methadone, the headaches were more than I could bear.  So I got my mind where I needed it to be, and went off, cold turkey from the 10mg, seven days ago, and have made it this far.  The first five days weren't bad, actually much easier than when I tried to come off at 5mg, for some reason, but then Saturday night I begin to get some withdrawal symptoms, and started having some snakes in my legs, and weird dreams as I slept, but once I took my hydrocodone those subsided.  Yesterday, I was jittery all day, and last night the snakes in my legs were pretty uncomfortable, but using the hydrocodone has helped immensely.  

I write all of this, because this is not the first time I have came off of a drug cold turkey. About seven years ago I came off of time release morphine, because it was making a zombie out of me. I started off of 180mg morphine a day, and by tapering it down got to 15mg over six months and then went cold turkey at 15mg.  After I came off the morphine, I went nearly two months with some withdrawal symptoms, but most of the worst was gone after about two weeks.  I am wondering if I can expect the same from the methadone, or am I in for a different ride this time.  Once I get off the methadone completely, I plan on getting off the hydrocodone, as well, I want to be done with all of it.  Can anyone give me some information on going off methadone, and what the half-life of the withdrawal symptoms are?

Thanks in advance.
Ren                            
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8 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow you have been through quite an ordeal and I am amazed at how well you have detoxed thus far.

Hang on, ok?  Someone who knows about methadone will be here to help you soon.  I don't know about it.  I just wanted you to know that you have come so far so I know you can do this.

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217599_tn?1202854552
I am 13 days out from a 30 mg a day methadone wd, along with norco (a double strength, lower acetaminophen med), and xanax.  it took a couple of weeks to get through the worst part, still weak, but better every day.the hydros will mask some of the symptoms and even lengthen the wd process.  methadone has a 3 to 7 day halflife.  for me it was the whole 7.  sorry if i am discouraging you.  i am clean, and you can do it too.  i have also found that the pain is less without the meds.  go figure.  hope this helped you understand a little better.  any questions just ask.  i'll be in and out today as i am getting ready for a trip and have a lot of housework to catch up on from the wd's.  still a little on the weak side.  farther down on this site is the Thomas recipe.  it realy helps a lot of people. I didn't have the money to get it and was pretty much through the wd's before i even found this site.


Lucy
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks to both of you for your kind words. lucy thanks for the information, and congtats on your 13 days.  Being on the road you been down, I know its no easy one to travel.  I knew from the time I went c/t on morphine that this wouldn't be easy either, but every time it gets a little tough, I draw the power from knowing I beat that addiction, which I wont say it makes easier, but at least it more bearable.

Again thanks for all, and best of all to both of you.
Ren      
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217599_tn?1202854552
lots of long hot baths help too.the help with the legs and with the chills, if you have some epsom salts, that will help you detox.  just put about a cup in your hot bath.  then eat a bannanna or apple.  bannanas are really good when you have the sweats.  they will replace all the potassium you lose.  something salty too. all i can say, ren, is that it's worth all the pain just to be back as yourself.  the mathadone had turned me into a whining zombie that no-one could stand to be around.  and i didn't even know it.  i'm soooooo glad to be free of it.  luv,

Lucy
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi RRIvers,I too,have been on 80mg of Methadone for approx. 4 years and
some sort of oxy for the same time for my hip issues. Like Lucy also,I'm
13 days in on c/t from the "done".Personally,when my w/d's were at their
worst,I took a few hydro's and they made me shake even more and feel
worse,but very small doeses of oxy helped me immensely with the worst of
my w/d's.I'm not encouraging anyone to do this,because it has just been setting my recovery back.I feel for your back problems.The back is such a
hard thing for Dr.'s to correct,which I'm sure your aware of.Hang in there,I
really feel for ya.Try to keep yourself occupied by doing something to keep
your mind off of the w/d's.I know it's easier said than done,really.It took me like
a week to even watch a show on TV. Concentration is just nonexistant when your doing the "shake thing'. Since your at a pretty low dose of Methadone,I'd
suggest you stick it out and do it c/t.I personally dropped from 80mg over the
course of just a weekend to 10mg and did the c/t thing,way too quick.I didn't
find this forum,until I was around a week in,heavy with the w/d's.I wish I got the
support of this great forum and people in it earlier,but better late than never.
Keep up the fight RRivers,we are here for ya.By the way,you'll benefit from
some sort of sleeping pill,like Xanax or Valium.They help you get sleep,when
all your body wants to do is tremor.Good Luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
ive never bn a pill popper, but after 15yrs of pain from arthritist{spelling?} i finally took some methadone from my dad, it made me feel good. so i kept taking it thinking when im done i will be done. but my dad being the great dad that he is, never told me that my body would become dependt on the pill. so when me and him had a fall out and my pill source stoppd i was in for a bad surprise. now i have struggled for 7 months with trying to find a pill for the next day just for i could function. wanting to get off but not having the time to do it, im a stay at home dad..... with kids they dont let u call in sick, so what do i do? struggle to find pills like a crack head to take care of my kids or be sick for who knows how long.. right now im on day 4 off trying to get better. and my 4yr old daughter just told me she hates me being sick and wants me to get medicine. just breaks my heart... its like ur so alone. cause its a sickness not to many people can understand... i know this post is not to helpful to anyone, but it shockingly is helping me.. so read it or dont.. ty u
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Avatar_m_tn
hey dude you posted on a very old post you may get better results if you go to the top of the page and post it in the green box marked post a question...I seen it but I was looking
I know your pain...I was on methadone for pain management for yrs finely wound up at a methadone clinic out of desperation after a falling out with a dr ....if your 4 days into withdrawals your thew the worst of it.....just hang in there a little wile longer and you will start to feel better ...the sooner you get off it the better you will be...the longer you feed the addiction the harded the habit is to break...methadone detoxing is ruff by any ones standards but im here to tell you it is possible im 88 days clean today and if I can do it any one can...just hang in there a few more days and things will start to improve ...good luck and god bless.....Gnarly
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Avatar_f_tn
**SECRECT**   Try useing meth 24 hours after your last LOW (20mg max) dose. I have withdrawls but there very weak. I can function, leg shakes go away and its soo wierd but it does help.Time seems to  drag by but today is day 4 for me and i feel way better then i have ever felt in 6 years. So hang in there.

,i actually despize meth, hate the s**t but i have successfully detoxed before, 6 yars ago, and i was clean for 3 months before i relapsed. IT SOUNDS SO BIZARRE BUT IT WORKS, my fiance and myself have done it and its amazing no one knows about it.
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