Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
Methadone program
About This Community:

This community is a place to share information and support with others who are trying to stop using drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco or other addictive substances. Discuss with others, the symptoms of addiction, addiction recovery, ways to quit like tapering and cold turkey, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are interested in general "chat", please visit our Addiction Social Community.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Methadone program

I have been addicted to hydrocodone for over 2 yrs, my doctors wnat me to start going to a methadone clinic to start the "program". I guess my question in this, they have told me that it is a possibility that this is somthing that I may have to do for the rest of my life!! The doctors say my brain does not make enough endorphins, and without some kind of opiate in my system,now that I have had them, I will never be able to go totally without them. I found this so hard to understand, and they tried explaining it to me by comparing it to a diabetic. Is it safe for someone to live thier entire life with a daily dose of opiates in thier system and not have some kind if damage done to thier body? I know this is kind of long but, I need any info. I can get I have about 4 days to make this decision!!! Thanks to anyone that can give any comments.
Tags: Addiction
Related Discussions
27 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Elizabeth.  I am no doctor but my trusted physician told me that opiates are harmful to internal organs when taken for many years.  But let the doctors on this site answer your question.  Plus, maybe taking a daily dose of Milk Thistle & other vitamins & herbs can help your internal organs survive the opiate use.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have never heard of someone going on Methadone due to lack of Endorphins.  Maybe an anti-deppressant, but not meth. Also I am no doctor ( and don't trust many of them) Alot of them don't understand drugs and what they are handing out.(or they don't care). Think hard about getting on Methadone! If you ever want to get off it, Methadone is one of the toughest to get off. Withdrawals can last for a long time.  Get another opinion, get 10 more opinions. Get as many as you can.  
                                          Steve
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I wanted to add that I think before you would even consider becoming dependent on methadone, you should be evaluated by an addiction medicine specialist.  My guess is that they will not recommend methadone maintainence, and would instead institute a buprenorphine detox.  If you have been addicted to hydrocodone for only 2 years, it is, IMHO, highly irresponsible to suggest you need a methadone maintainence program.  PLEASE seek the opinion of a specialist in the addiction medicine field.  Your doctors do not sound like they have experience in the field.  You do not want to trade your addiction for an addiction to methadone unless you have tried and failed at other options and there is no alternative.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Methadone is pretty safe long term.  It is not without side effects both short and long term.  These include decreased sex drive (common with all opiates), constipation, sweating, skin rashes, loss of appetite, sedation, increased tooth decay, and irregular periods.  In my opinion, methadone should only be used for addicts who are chronic relapsers.  Many (most) addicts are able to get off opiates without methadone, and despite some relapses will eventually stay clean.  You don't say how many times you have tried to get clean and stay clean.  I would think long and hard about going on methadone.  It has the worst withdrawal syndrome of any opiate and many methadone patients try unsuccesfully to get off methadone because of the severe withdrawal.  If you start, you might be committing yourself to a life of methadone addiction.  With respect to endorphins, it takes the body some time to adjust to life without opiates, but only in chronic opiate abusers are there permanent changes to the brain resulting in decreased endorphin production.  It is unlikely you have such permanent changes.  Try a detox program (preferably with buprenorphine) and give your body time to adjust to life without opiates.  Only then will you be able to determine what your baseline is.  Getting on methadone is a VERY big decision, and seems to be quite premature in your case.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
The doctor that is setting me up to start the methadone program is an addiction specialist, he is considered the best in the area where I live and this is what he wants me to do!!! I know it sounded strange to me too , at first, and also to a couple of my other doctors, and they seem to be a little confused that this is what he wants me to do. The addiction specialist doctor told me that I have about a 2-3% chance of going through a detox program and then following up with the usual meetings ect. and actually staying clean, he said I would just not be able to do it!! Believe me, this methadone thing is the last thing I want to do, I have thought about nothing else since he said this was what needed to be done , and I have had cancelled 2 different appointments I have had there, because I am so unsure of this, I know all about the addiction to methadone and believe me it scares me , but I am also to the point where I really don't know what else to do?????? My "next" appointment is Wed. the 12th at 6am and I am still sooooo unsure of what to do. Some of my family and friends say I should try it, it may change your life, it may be the one thing that will work, and then some say DO NOT DO IT!!! So needless to say I am just so confused, and I have only about 48 hrs to decide, thanks to anyone that can give me any advice!!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
How does he know you have a 2percent chance of recovering? Maybe he knows something that all the millions of people that have recovered don't know.  Doctors sometimes think they know to much or wont' admit how little they really understand addictions. I have seen and experienced many miracles in recovery. I don't see why you can't be one also.  Good luck with whatever you do. why do you have to decide now. Can't you try another route? About a month ago I was contemplating going on Meth, because I was so sick from detox and felt I would never get better. I am better, and getting better each day!! I will recover from this. And I did it at home without doctors help.  I had an addiction specialist tell me that my symptoms weren't from detox, that detox should be over in 10 days!! Then he sent me on my way saying I probably had the flu. He is the top doctor of a treatment center in a hospital!! Doctors do not know it all. Again Good luck.                           Steve
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Once again, I don't know your drug history, your relapse history, etc.  What I do know is that Steve is correct, millions have gotten clean without methadone.  Methadone is great for those people that have been hardcore addicts for years and simply can not stay clean.  I must say I am shocked at your doctor saying you have a 2-3% chance of staying clean.  What are the facts upon which he makes such a judgment?  Please know that if you get on methadone you will have an incredibly hard time getting off of it.  Do you really want to be a slave to the methadone?  Try other things first, then if everything fails and you can't seem to stay clean you can always go on methadone.  I would find a new addiction specialist while you're at it.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Opiates are not harmful to your body.  That simply isn't so.  Opiates are actually one of the safest drugs out their for your body.  Now opiates are bad if they are combined with acet/asprin, now that will destroy your liver.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
That's an interesting post you made.  I believed my doctor without checking out what he said so maybe he was wrong. As far as your liver, the best way to keep your liver working & healthy is to take a daily dose of an herb called Milk Thistle.  It is available in all health food stores and most pharmacies in the vitamin section & it has been proven to restore liver function to damaged livers as well as keeping livers healthy when you abuse them with high doses of Tylenol or alcohol.  I take one every day as do my friends who take painkillers for fun or actual pain.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Elizabeth, listen to Steve and Brian. You don't want to get mixed up in methadone if you don't absolutely have to. i have a young friend (he is 27) who has to go every day to the clinic to get his daily dose. he doesn't have the energy he used to, sweats all the time, and has basically become a slave to the clinic. Please make sure all alleys are blocked, before stepping into one where you can't see the other side.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Elizabeth,
   How are you doing ?Thinking things over?I feel like I know some of you from reading all your posts.I know you feel like you are between a rock and a hard place,but you(we) have to believe you can make it through these times.Don't let anyone talk you into something you don't feel is right.
Keep us posted.We're listening.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I haven't yet read the other replies but I have to BEG you not to
go on a methadone program.  Methadone is much more addictive than
anything else and the program will own you body and soul (and especially your pocketbook).  I have observed programs in action all over the country, and altho some are better than others they all own you.  Please get another MD who cares and don't jump from the frying pan into the fire.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Elizabeth, I surely hope you did not keep your appointment at the Methadone clinic.  The person who said you would be a "slave" to the clinic and meth is absolutely right.  You will never be able to go anywhere out of town.  You will drink the dose they give you and may not know how much you are taking.  I have spent 15 years with a slave to clinics.  If you are a very dependant person with no mind of your own and if you like being treated (and your family)like scum, then go on the "program".  I wonder if the Dr who is trying to get you there has a financial interest in the place?  I am not addicted or an addict yet methadone programs have adversly affected my life to a degree you would not believe possible.

Please, please, don't go there.  Staying on perscription medication for the rest of your life is a better option.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am not going to start methadone, atleast not now, i just hope I am strong enough to do this without it!!! Thanks everyone!!!!!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Good choice!  Yes, you are strong enough to deal with 3 or 4 days of feeling like absolute ****.  It will not kill you, and with the right medications it isn't so horrible.  MUCH better than chaining yourself to a methadone clinic.  Which, for chronic relapsers is much better than not being chained to a methadone clinic.  Good luck to you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn

I'm annoyed with people telling this woman things like, 'Don't get on methadone, get on a buprenorphine detox,' as if she could just walk down to the corner store and pick up some buprenorphine.  Unfortunately, addicts (and others) are constrained by what is available. In my case, I am addicted to a huge amount of codeine, and the only treatment available to me is methadone, or detox with lofexidine, which helps with withdrawal symptoms, but by no means iradicates them. I chose not to take the methadone, although that is what the doctor wanted me to do. Not only was it his opinion that methadone was the best choice, but also, it was *policy*. He simply *could not* prescribe anything else even if he wanted to. People on the internet told me, too - 'get on buprenorphine, get another doctor.' Well, I live in England and here you must take the addiction center based on where you live. I imagine the situation is even worse in America (I am American) with HMOs, managed care, etc. who make decisions about patients based *only* on financial considerations, and not on what the patient actually needs.
Because of the constraints of what's available, in both countries, one must make a decision based on what one can actually get, rather that what one would want if you had the choice.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn

I'm annoyed with people telling this woman things like, 'Don't get on methadone, get on a buprenorphine detox,' as if she could just walk down to the corner store and pick up some buprenorphine.  Unfortunately, addicts (and others) are constrained by what is available. In my case, I am addicted to a huge amount of codeine, and the only treatment available to me is methadone, or detox with lofexidine, which helps with withdrawal symptoms, but by no means iradicates them. I chose not to take the methadone, although that is what the doctor wanted me to do. Not only was it his opinion that methadone was the best choice, but also, it was *policy*. He simply *could not* prescribe anything else even if he wanted to. People on the internet told me, too - 'get on buprenorphine, get another doctor.' Well, I live in England and here you must take the addiction center based on where you live. I imagine the situation is even worse in America (I am American) with HMOs, managed care, etc. who make decisions about patients based *only* on financial considerations, and not on what the patient actually needs.
Because of the constraints of what's available, in both countries, one must make a decision based on what one can actually get, rather that what one would want if you had the choice.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
If you read our posts carefully you will see we recommended against Elizabeth getting on methadone as a maintainence medication (as opposed to a detox medication).  The reasons for our advice against the methadone maintainence in her case is contained in our posts.  Certainly an addict has limitations depending on the doctors or treatment centers available.  However, no one can make an addict accept going on a medication for life, which is what her doctor was recommending.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I'm annoyed with people telling this woman things like, 'Don't get on methadone, get on a buprenorphine detox,' as if she could just walk down to the corner store and pick up some buprenorphine.  Unfortunately, addicts (and others) are constrained by what is available. In my case, I am addicted to a huge amount of codeine, and the only treatment available to me is methadone, or detox with lofexidine, which helps with withdrawal symptoms, but by no means iradicates them. I chose not to take the methadone, although that is what the doctor wanted me to do. Not only was it his opinion that methadone was the best choice, but also, it was *policy*. He simply *could not* prescribe anything else even if he wanted to. People on the internet told me, too - 'get on buprenorphine, get another doctor.' Well, I live in England and here you must take the addiction center based on where you live. I imagine the situation is even worse in America (I am American) with HMOs, managed care, etc. who make decisions about patients based *only* on financial considerations, and not on what the patient actually needs.
Because of the constraints of what's available, in both countries, one must make a decision based on what one can actually get, rather that what one would want if you had the choice.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have a brother who is addicted to Heroin and every drug that he is able to get his hands on for approximately 20 years. He is not willing to go into a rehab program because its a waste of time. So he decided to enter into the methadone program, which methadone is worst, it is the worst drug to get out of. As a grown man he made his decision, every morning he gets up and goes to the clinic drinks his methadone, and around miday he is looking for something esle. His dosage is up to 120, and with that much dosage he still shoots up. The clinic is suppose to check his urine periodically, and if they find his urine dirty they raise his dosage. What type of program is that. The methadone program is for those who are willing to help themselves not give them an overdose. That is exactly what will happen, using all these drugs at the same time. People who have drug problems do not have a stable mind, all they want is to get stoned, they don't care how much drugs they consume, they just want more and more.

As a sister and a mother, if you are able to get into a rehab program with a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 1 year depending how addicted you are, you should go for it. The methadone is another drug which you will depend on your whole life. I ask you to please think about it first, and try to get the proper help you need, remember your life can be better without any type of drugs. I know its easier to say, since i never had a drug problem, but i have been around these circumstances for 20 years, and I know exactly what you are going through, so if you can find a different type of help then the methadone, please go for it, you will feel better knowing that you are drug free.

May God Bless you and help you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
ELIZABETH - Thank God you took time to talk with others. There
are other alternatives!  The drugs a lot of these serious users
use are problems in and of themselves, but are not the "root"
problems - just a "surface symptom" of other more grevious issues
going on in these folks bodies, minds and spirits.  Most are truly sick in their souls.  What is your relation to these drugs
you take?  Only God and you know what's really eating at your
soul.  He's been with you since you were born.  He has the
personal "spec." book on Elizabeth!!!  For some people, they are
deeply involved in activities that wear away at their personal
character or that are Biblically offensive to God.  Some folks
feel they have no personal worth - they just believe the reviews
of others.  Their sense of self worth has to be based on their
dress, cloths, social standing, performance, etc... Elizabeth,
you have a right to be!!!  THERE IS A PLACE IN THIS WORLD FOR YOU!!!  And God designated it to you.  His love is 100% non-per-
formance based.  He loves you "unconditionally"!  Also, He can
give your life meaning and direction-remember, "without a vision,
the people perish.  Consider a spiritual dimension to the physical, mental, emotional, medical and psychological,etc...
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
ELIZABETH - Thank God you took time to talk with others. There
are other alternatives!  The drugs a lot of these serious users
use are problems in and of themselves, but are not the "root"
problems - just a "surface symptom" of other more grevious issues
going on in these folks bodies, minds and spirits.  Most are truly sick in their souls.  What is your relation to these drugs
you take?  Only God and you know what's really eating at your
soul.  He's been with you since you were born.  He has the
personal "spec." book on Elizabeth!!!  For some people, they are
deeply involved in activities that wear away at their personal
character or that are Biblically offensive to God.  Some folks
feel they have no personal worth - they just believe the reviews
of others.  Their sense of self worth has to be based on their
dress, cloths, social standing, performance, etc... Elizabeth,
you have a right to be!!!  THERE IS A PLACE IN THIS WORLD FOR YOU!!!  And God designated it to you.  His love is 100% non-per-
formance based.  He loves you "unconditionally"!  Also, He can
give your life meaning and direction-remember, "without a vision,
the people perish.  Consider a spiritual dimension to the physical, mental, emotional, medical and psychological,etc...
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I was on Methadone for 9 months.  The first 6 months I was still using.  I tried to kick Heroin before but never made it past 24 hours.  My last dose of meth. was 14 days ago, 90mls.  It has been hell!  But I made it 14 days so far, that is better than 24 hours.  Each person is different, but if i had to do it again, I'd rather go cold turkey than have gotten on the meth.  It takes longer to kick meth. because it gets into your bones as they say.  Anyone who has been there knows what I mean.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
New to the site and like most say, I AM NOT A DOCTOR, but feel that I must put in my two cents worth. For those thinking about methadone please make sure that you are using this as a way to detox. However detoxing from methadone can be just as difficult, sometimes even worse. The problem ( my sister is addicted to methadone but was told about the "clinic" because of pill addiction. She got into some problems with the law and it was either this or jail.) It is now going on 7 years and she has yet to drop below 70mls. The problem is the clinic where she goes is more of a "legal drug house" then a program designed to help her with her addiction. $11.00 a day for seven years. Another problem is that she was introduced to many other addicts (some not really trying to recover) and decided to make friends.You know people she could relate to, going through the same things she was. Blah blah.    It is obvious that at that time in her life she was not making good decisions, and was vulnerable to drugs and began smoking crack. this of course is not likely to happen to everyone as there are alot of people out there really trying to recover. I would just like to say to those of you out there make sure that is the game plan. I don't think methadone is a long term plan for addiction. I watched methadone take her down  (of course it alone did not do this and she played a 99% role.) but not only that I watched her nod of while driving, smoking, feeding her new baby, or just during a conversation, she became unable to sleep had major depression and alot of emotional difficulties that go along with addiction ( guilt and shame )and although she said that she did not feel "high" from the methadone she lost most of the person that she had been and became a zombie. Maybe due to her refusal to go down in her mls. She used methadone as a crutch always saying that she was scared to go down because she felt she would use again. this is the reason there should be counseling along with the program ( her counseling was vol.alot of the clinics have this and it should be mandatory with every patient ) even though the whole time she pretty much was using. Be wise to changing one drug for another. If used properly I guess meth could help, but in my sister's case I think it really made things worse. Now she says she is ready to detox off of methadone and I want to help her but really don't know what to expect or what to do. Any advice for a "helper" would be great. I don't want her to be to dependant on me, but I want her to know that I am here for her when she needs me....Help...!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
also would like to know some info on buprenporphine. is this really a good choice for detoxing off of methadone or again would she be changing one drug for another? is it addictive? would she then have to detox from that? it is hard to find a doctor out there who would suggest anything other then methadone and then even harder to find one that is willilng to help her detox "from" the methadone that she was placed on. Beings that she went on methadone in the first place to save herself from jail is in itself ridulous. How can a judge decide what is the best program for someone.Seh had only been using pills for about two years and had never tried to quit before. She began shoplifting and was then found to have drugs in her system while pregnant with her son. The state was going to take her baby unless she went into the methadone program.No other option was given to her.  In any case again I would like to say to anyone thinking of volenterring for this program think long and hard...There could be better options out there for you.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hello
I my self  have worked at a methadone clinic for a while now and will tell u honestly if u can go thruogh detox do so methadone is just another addiction u will be on it for the rest of your life unless ofcourse u go thruogh detox from methadone . Ask lots of questions your bones get brittle  your teeth rgo bad and u cant go a day without it methadone in a perfessional point is damage controll if u can avoid without causing harm to  yourself and others do detox  . Not trying to be a downer but i have seen ppl on the program that wish they went to detox
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been an alcoholic for many years, up until 4 months ago. I don't know what it's like to be a drug addict, but no matter what the addiction, I truly think that if you yourself want something badly enough you can certainly do it without the methadone program. There are plenty of good detox and inpatient programs available these days. I would do a whole lot of research before ever thinking about the methadone program. It would in my opinion trading in one addiction for another. I wanted my life back, and slowly but surely I'm getting it between AA and having a Sponsor. In this system they say you are never alone and your not. You will have something in common no matter who the person or the addiction. I want to live a clean and sober life. We never know when our time is up, but I'd rather go clean and cherish what I have today. It's one day at a time, and there will be some really bad days, but the rewards are sweeter when clean.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Addiction: Substance Abuse Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Addiction Answerers
352798_tn?1399301754
Blank
GoingToMakeIt
Near Seattle, WA
3197167_tn?1348972206
Blank
clean_in_ks
KS
3092482_tn?1383176848
Blank
weaver71
CA
4113881_tn?1401895587
Blank
ActingBrandNew
Torrance, CA
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
gnarly_1
phoenix, AZ
6942344_tn?1405732905
Blank
Amandag78
Perth, Australia