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Methadone PAWS and life after
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Methadone PAWS and life after

Thought I would start a new thread or discussion for all us that are in the infancy of the dreaded Methadone w/d's.  I have found this great not only for support, and knowledge, but also I feel more comfortable talking with people who have been through it and have first hand experience. Gnarly is the man and I appreciate his insight, and he lives in AZ also so even bigger bonus cool dude from my interactions with him, an very helpful. I don’t trust doctors specifically addiction specialists. If they were really out for the benefit of well being then would they prescribe subutext or suboxone for such high doses and long term which to me is past 90 days. Of course we all know what the doctor at the liquid handcuff clinic is about, straight up money. I mean I never even saw the doctor who ran my clinic. Conservative numbers I have heard depending on the amount of patients they make 100K a month. Even the reason for its legality that is harm reduction and it is not about addiction recovery, or anything in that regard. Just keeping junkies from shooting up in alleys, or stealing for their drugs although Methadone not cheap either. Wow I digress here so back on track. Been off Methadone for 11 days now and it seemed for me the first days were the worst, and I hit a plateau of just being sick but tolerable since day 5. Now from my research seems like I did waste money, and time to the taper to a point. I was on Methadone for 2.5 years with 1.5 of that withdrawing. No need for story but I was hardcore opiate addict all strong pills, and heroin and I progressed like most just moving up the ladder for a stronger one and then still wanting more. Worst mistake was getting on the Methadone, worst mistake ever. Should have just dealt with the w/d's on the high level of oxycodone I was using before I entered. Now I do understand that the Methadone maintenance will allow some to get life back on track, i.e. stable job, housing, and away from street drugs while allowing you to build a base of support and change your lifestyle to make the move off of it. Problem is people stay on it too long, as I did. Now I foolishly did the whole oh I am still uncomfortable and went up to highest for me 116mgs. What was good for me is I figured the game out, other than a simple part of it what goes up must come down, and it is sure easy to go up, but long drawn out process coming down. So the last 1.5 years of my liquid handcuff, standing in line with lock box sentence was on medical withdraw. Following the clinic schedule which was too slow for me, but one of their traps if you go against medical advice you lose your privileges which for me was weekly take homes. I actually never had dirty UA or anything and could have had monthly or higher but when on medical withdraw they highest take home amount they allow is weekly.  Well once down to 13mg I could not take the clinics ridiculous slow taper process. I went against medical advice and took control of my taper, but had the fun of going into clinic every fng day which is a horrible and depressing process. I was ok all the way till about 11mg, I went from 11mg and started to feel the w/d's at that decrease. From then on I basically went 1mg a week from that point on, and was in w/d's for every 3-4 days after I decreased. I was ok with this to get it done just wanted out. At 4mg I could not take it anymore and just jumped, but since I always decreased on Wed I felt I needed to get my money worth for the week lol, so went from 4mg to 3mg on Wed, 2mg Thur, and then 1mg Fri-Sun with 8/13/11 Monday being my first day without dosing. Now I was feeling really sick by Sat, Sun, and then Monday Tuesday prob the worst for me. There is allot of debate about if going down that low even helps with the severity of the w/d's and seems like I should of jumped around 40mg as looks like w/d's just as bad either way. Anyway done deal. Now back to my topic. I have been feeling pretty bad since last Tuesday but tolerable. I take all the suggested supplements and eat healthy also exercise. I am a mtn biker and have continued this as best as possible. I always was a healthy eater also so this is in my favor. But man the lack of energy and motivation with depression *****. I think all I can do is keep exercising, eating well supplementing with amino’s, vitamins, and keeping hydrated. The worst part for me is the constant headache, lower backache and sleep disturbance. Such weird dreams when I do sleep and never solid wake up like every hour. I seem to not have RLS but that may be to potassium supplements helping. The lack of appetite ***** also, force myself to eat well but it is difficult also supplement with protein shakes. I am hoping around day 14 I get over the sickness part and can just try to beat the PAWS which actually scares me more. Lethargy, no motivation, and depression for a few months sounds horrible. Now I have been to N/A before and plan to start attending again. Allot of the ones I know of here in AZ are outside in evening which right now is hot and people smoke like crazy, I don’t like cig smoke at all and it bothers me. I know a junkie who does not smoke lol rare but that’s me. There are so many N/A meetings though I am sure I can find one. So anyone else like to tell where they are at, and what they are experiencing coming of Methadone or any opiate really? You don’t have to write a novel like me, but helps me to write this out sometimes. I am being positive and very motivated to beat this, and will never go back to Methadone ever, just want to make sure I don’t go back to short acting opiates like pills to get rid of the PAWS, but seems healthy lifestyle exercise and a good support system are the way to beat it. Good luck to all and I believe the mind is a powerful thing so being positive although hard at times since feeling sick all the time is depressing being positive is key. Like I heard from gnarly who I am sure will respond to this, you just have to be ok with not being ok for awhile and I am ok with that lol. Any experienced people gone through it like to post timelines they have seen? I know every person is different so this is subjective. To all keep up the good fight.
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12 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
HEY DUDE first off let me tell you you are winning!!!! your not letting how awful you feel defeat you in the mind and this is a battle one or lost in ones own mind I agree with most of what you say anybody thats been on mmt knows its all about the money I just wish I new how many people dye both by O/DING or noding off in the car and getting killed that way for most of us methadone is or was a mistake there is a plase for it in recovery if your eating 25 pills a day its safer then that if your slaming a needle in your arm its better then that but unless you fall into one of those category its not for you and it is being way way way over prescribed with a seares of lyes of how you will be and how it is painless to come off of over a 10 yr habit with pills I did my share of detoxing nothing compares to the shear misery and length of time your going to be sick coming off methadone.....I have helped a lot of people get off this stuff it takes tonastity perseverance and strong will  to beet this stuff no one at the clinic told me I would be sick for 90 days after my last dose they said we can do a medically supervised withdrawal sounds so nice and clinical and painless its because of what I have been threw that give me the drive to come on here nightly 6 nights a week and try to help people off it and prevent others from its grip
I always pray if I can just help 1 it will be worth all the effort I have been blessed 6 fold helping set people free the blessing has become mine I will contue to educate and help prevent and help people get off this drug with everything I got I wouldent wish this on my worst enemy and it breaks my heart to here of anyone choosing to use this drug and think they can beat it even over a short time ...if things dont change soon we will see more and more pill addicts switched to methadone bercause thats where the money is right now for the clinics its a sad sad situation we just had a pregnant girl come in here she was an oxy addict she was perscribed 310mg pills a day she was braging on how she only needed 1 pill it dident occore to her that this stuff is so strong it can hold off a 75mg oxy habit with 1 10mg pill now its 3 weeks later and she truly wants off but the stuff has got its fangs in her and she has no idea how she is going to get off all she did was switch addictions this is a problem anyway imdedacated to helping people off this stuff and each week it seams like we see more and more some are content to live sexless lives on mmt others want off it so bad there willing to do anything will work with ether just know in the end when all is said and done it is worth all the agony and pain to be free from the methadone grip and I will do all in my power to help people off it or any other narcotic good luck and God bless......Gnarly  
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1741355_tn?1311461556
hello glad to see you're still going..congrats on 10 days!!! You really sound so great much better than I did at 10 days!!! As far as the "PAWS" goes Im at 44 days and really starting to see improvement in sleep as well as energy, thats not to say its back 100% but im active throughout the day dont have to push myself to do everything. I still have rough days and nights where I dont sleep much but they are starting to be less frequent.  When I first looked up the info on PAWS I was so discouraged I thought im going to feel like this for months (maybe years) but you dont!!  You're probley in the worst of the energy crash it will get better but I just in the last week or so really felt a difference in the energy aspect of it, but I feel once we get past the lack of sleep and start feeling energized again the rest is much easier to deal with...you sound like you're doing well doing all the right things you might see improvement before I did..just keep going and try not to focus on the negative or the amount of time "before" you feel better...one day at a time...good luck and keep posting!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
r u working in the mean time? or take time off? i dont know if u mentioned it yet or not but that is my biggest worry is work. i can afford to take a week off maybe but not much more. i bartend/ manage at a restaurant here in tucson (ya, another Arizonan) and can barely manage work when i decrease my dose every other week...cant imagine working with day 7-14 w/d if they r still as bad as most people are saying....anyways dude so happy for u keep it up
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Avatar_m_tn
WE Got a lot of people from az here lately pickup the 3 in one vitamin you can get it at walmart for 6 bucks its calcium/magnesium /zinc start your day by taking 4 in the morning and then 4 at supper time this will greatlly reduces the withdrawals your going to feel .....I only wish I found out about that sooner in my taper start on the whey protein shakes again walmart for 15 bucks this is a cheep way to get the ecential amino acids as well as some extra vitamins and the protien all of witch your brain needs to heal itself  what dose are you at now???? and do you have take homes??? we can help bring you off this stuff as painless as possible but there is always a certain amount of discomfort doing this.....I have helped a lot of people off this drug and I will help you if you like get back to me with the stuff I asked also how lon have you been on it??? I will wait to here from you Gnarly  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi<I inderstand your situation,may i jest say by the length of your tread,its obvious that you are very informed about methadone.One thing is though.Our Mind is even more powerful than the drug.One point i will take issue with is when you said stopping @40mgs,or 5mgs would be the same.This is incurrect. At 40mgs you would be in greater acute withdrawl (withdrawal)...Methadone lowers via-Blood levels,thats why its done in incriments.Anyway your -off and now your brain is healing-PAWS and in 1month you will feels better,and in6-12 your whole neurological system will be healed.Some sat up ti 2yrs,But in the first 1,-3-6-9 youwill be happy,joyousv and Free!! One reason some drs keep you on a very Slow-taper is to prevent a relapse. All the Best JOHN in Toronto
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey dude what's up... First like to say so glad you have begun the process of tapering, and ultimately getting of the liquid handcuffs. I am now on day 14 of being clean of that kool aid poison. So feeling like **** still but it is tolerable with supplementing specifically with amino acids and vitamins, as gnarly explained. Gnarly is a good dude and very knowledgeable about beating this, and how to best take the w/d's. But back to your main question no I have not taken any time off, but have left early a few days like 3pm so I could be sick and not have to put on the happy face. This is/was my biggest concern also was work. I have a good job cant jeopardize it, and of course my boss or the company does not know about this issue or problem I have. For me the worst part, and it seems to differ from person to person was the muscle aches for me lower back, and headache. Also the stomach issues were/are horrible for me no throwing up but well you know what I mean. With the PAWS or now what is going on or what is killing me is the lack of motivation, and energy. It is like a monumental task to get small and normal things done. I just don’t have my mojo and no energy it ***** big time. This is standard though from my research and also the great knowledge on these forums that this is main factor of PAWS. So I understand your concern, but what helps me is thinking positive and knowing that every day I get through is one more day closer to freedom and feeling better. I mean I feel free now since I don’t have to mess with clinic or take daily doses of that sh it, but I am not going to lie it is tough at work. The supplementing is key to help you feel better. Look into the Thomas recipe, and eat very healthy allot of veggies and fruit along with the protein vitamin shake supplement. There is no easy way out though so if you can’t take time off work then you will feel bad, but at least your active so time may go by faster in that case. So how is your taper going? What did you start at and what are you down to? I did not really feel the taper until like 15mgs and less, but after that was pretty much sick every after decreasing my dose, and then right as I was feeling ok decrease again so I feel ya on that. Just know that the prize at the end is the greatest one ever, being free of the liquid handcuffs, and back in control of your life. I will look for your post, and if you like I can provide you my supplementing plan but gnarly is the most knowledgeable and will lead you in the right direction. I have some added stuff from the Thomas recipe I use. You have made a huge step in starting this process and you can do this dude! I will look for your next post.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your response. Actually I did not mean to say that as a fact and have posted on these forums a few times to get a thread going on this subject. What does everyone think about the taper process especially the lower doses? When is a good time to jump? This question seems to need to be discussed. I do think like with allot of this drug it differs from person to person, and that there are allot of factors that create variables. I mean I know logically and obviously that jumping at a high does like 150 mg or 200mg will be extremely painful, and that the initial w/d's will be more intense or severe, but it is at these lower doses less than 15mg for me was it beneficial to keep going on the taper, or just jump. During the taper at those low doses you are already in pain or w/d's when lowering your dose on your chosen time line of the taper. What do you think? I heard others on these boards saying they went down to 1mg and that w/d's were horrible. Also others say they jumped once at 80mg or 40mg, and then also at less than 5mg and saying it was the same. I tend to agree with you that it does not affect the PAWS but that the initially physical w/d's would be more intense at the higher doses. For me I was surprised how bad mine were at such a low dose when I jumped. But my body was use to this dam drug for 2.5 years even though I was tapering the last 1.5. So all with expieriece please respond on what you think about jumping points and the taper process. I guess when it comes down to it if you have been on the sh it for long enough even if you taper to 1mg then when you pull the plug you are going to feel it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey gnarly AZ cards and everyone else! So I think u guys were asking me a few questions so here r some answers ...I have been on the Done for 4 years started as high as 90 mg now down to 20 and having a. Really hard time getting lower. Twice have gone down to 18 but went right back up. Gnarly I do get take homes...actually I get the 10mg pills monthly.I get enough for 25 mg a day because they wont let me taper any lower than that because "its dangerous " apparently ...so that's part of why its so hard for me to get lower when I have extra pills sitting around.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone and gnarly lol i am 40 days clean from pretty much a 30 year addiction to methadone pills ect...i have been reading post and finally decided to join in. I am hanging on this past week or so i feel very vunerable about taking my doc methadone. I need to reach out...so here i am:-)
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271792_tn?1334983257
gettinthru...you came in on an old post. this may get lost and return to archives. Go to the top of this page and hit the orange post a question button. Start your own thread so we can join in and support you. Hope to see you there.
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Avatar_m_tn
I got you, i have read extensively on this as I jumped from 70mg for 5 years. The acute withdrawal actually was pretty easy as I sleep through most of it. Clonidine helps a lot with acute phase. Christmas day will be day 30 for me. The PAWS have been the worst for me. I put myself in a situation where I cant leave the house until next month so I can get through the worst of it. I heard many say around 45-90 days you fell a lot better. The brain just has to rewire itself to preaddictive state. Just know there is  a light at end tunnel. Try to exercise and mult vit with amino acids. I found a helpful article written by doctor that treats addiction.

http://www.theriversource.org/news

Goes into what all the amino acids heal and everything.
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh yeah, another thing that has helped me tremendously hang in there is knowing that if you take anything at all while the brain is rewiring (they say up two years) that it will reset again and all those days without your dose was for nothing. But i haven't heard many say they had problems after couple months. Yeah you may have good days and bad days.
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