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Methadone withdrawal HELP
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Methadone withdrawal HELP

I have been taking 70mg for about 3 years. I recently just dropped 2mg per week and got down to 58mg this week. I lost insurance coverage and my car broke down and I missed an appointment. I have no family besides my husband in this state to help me get to the clinic, pay my missed appointment fee, and pay the 150.00 per week for my dose.  I have no friends or family that can help me. My husband just got laid off on top of it all we are getting evicted because the landlord who has been taking out money 'forgot' to tell us that he quit paying the mortgage and is in foreclosure I have two kids 6 and 9. When it rains it pours.

Don't want to throw a pity party but my husband has been working at this company for 7 years now and has always worked hard. I was supposed to graduate with my associates degree this semester (fall), which will not happen now. With all that is going on my school has been postponed until spring. We have always worked hard and taken care of ourselves the right way. I got in this situation because I got extremely addicted to a pain medication that I was prescribed for a back injury I sustained and mild scoliosis that I have had since young. I feel as if my life is falling apart.

I have been wanting to quit Methadone for a while but I didn't want the withdrawals to affect my schooling so I put it off. I was however aware that our insurance would be cut off eventually so I started saving one or two doses a week, every week, for a while. I stored it in used energy shot bottles. I have around 4000mgs right now. And as I suspected my worst fear (concerning methadone) came true. I hated duping the clinic by saving doses BUT in my situation I was looking out for me and mine.

My last dose was yesterday morning (full dose). I took 10mg out of my stash tonight. I am well versed in what will happen with WDs start. I have been researching this since I started. I know I will be out of commission when that starts. My husband has locked my stash in the safe and bought an eyedropper to measure my doses. I am aware that I don't have enough for a nice year long withdrawal. At 58mgs I was on and having 4000mgs left I was wondering what you guys suggest. Should I just quit cold turkey?

I want to make an appointment with my physician but the last time I talked to him about methadone he said he was not versed in it and didn't have a good enough relationship with me to help (that was a long time ago). I have not seen him since. Will he help me at all you guys think? I heard sleeping pills and a few other drugs will help withdrawals but I don't know if he will help me at all. Maybe I should get a new doctor if he won't? I am a little afraid because I have had heart problems (was hospitalized once for a problem with my heart-rate). I constantly have high or low blood pressure which I hear can make WDs dangerous. I am going to need help what should I do?
27 Comments Post a Comment
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3092482_tn?1383176848
I think you should definitely find a new doctor and continue to taper as you planned. Methadone is a difficult detox, but is doable for many. The Thomas Recipe and Amino Acid Protocol at the bottom of this page help a lot. Imodium (immodium) is an opiate that does not cross the blood/brain barrier and helps with the symptoms. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid that may help. Lots of water, exercise as able, and some form of aftercare are a must. NA, counseling, church, whatever you are comfortable with. I think it is important to set up a plan and stick to it. When one is in withdrawal, the mind starts to be very persuasive and it is difficult to make decisions. I didn't feel heavy withdrawal until I was below 40mg, but every body is different. If you are going to run out, I would taper a little faster until you feel it, then slow it down. You don't want to cold turkey on methadone is my opinion. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
You should have plenty saved up to taper down with. Stabilize at each drop and don't drop too fast. If you drop too fast you'll know it

It's against forum rules here to talk taper schedules. Last time I had a post modded just because I described how to cut up and crush a pill.

Good luck.

.
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Avatar_f_tn
Dropping from 58mgs to ten is already hard. I am on the third day clinic free. I took 10mgs last night before bed because I hadn't dosed in 36 hours and was getting bubble gut and really bad shin pain (weird?). My head hurt. I won't say it was even close to hard WDs but it was uncomfortable.

I slept in two hour increments last night. I had nightmares and dreamed about methadone (probably because I am thinking about it constantly). I got up from my fitful night at 6am and took a 10mg dose by 8am because the pain in my stomach was getting intense.

I am discouraged right now. Really discouraged. I was excited to get my life back but now I am just scared. I decided to take my dose in 10mg increments. If I take 10mg in the morning and 10mg before bed it will be a huge drop for me. I know it will be uncomfortable and even painful but this is my plan.

When I get used to this and taking 20mg a day feels livable. I will drop again.

I am making an appointment Monday with my doctor.

I will keep posting here with my progress honestly. If I succeed, if I fail; you guys will know I guess. Please wish me luck in this. I need it.

Thanks for the advice. I am researching the Thomas Recipe ASAP. I have heard of it before and I think I will add this plan to my recovery. For the moment I have stocked up on Gatorade and multivitamins.

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3092482_tn?1383176848
That's a pretty big jump, but I will support you in your decision. The important thing is not to jump up real high again. It is awesome that your husband supports you and is locking up the pills. I too have mild scoliosis and eventually convinced my wife to give me more and then I found the stash when it got real bad. Joint pain is a symptom and makes one very uncomfortable. Make sure your husband knows your plan in detail. Write it down and tell him to not give in no matter what you say or how hard it is for him to watch you suffer. Methadone almost killed me. It only gets worse with time, so I'm glad you have started to gain your life back. I can say now that I finally remember what emotions are again. We don't realize it as the methadone cuts us off from friends, family, and ourselves. My 8 and 10 yr old children said that i am more present now and listen to them more. Keep your eye on the prize not the pain. Read other peoples posts, watch a move, just keep your mind off how bad you feel, it makes it worse. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi mandi, I agree with what weaver has to say about methadone. Do NOT go cold turkey, you will be incredibly sick! I am currently doing a methadone taper and have been doing it for over 2 years. I was at 130mgs at the most and I have tapered down to 27mgs, I had to stop at 39mgs and regroup as I had pretty bad withdrawals, when I was at 51 mgs, I started going down 2mgs/week, it became too much so I started going 1mg/week and I am doing okay but still feeling withdrawal. Methadone is a really tough one to kick. My advice is to take it as slowly as you possible can with what you have, and if things become too much, stop and level out for a couple weeks until  you feel you are ready to drop again. Once again, please do not go cold turkey! I come on here nearly every day to read the posts and I am available to you if you choose to message me and we can talk about this. Whatever you choose to do I will also support you in any way I can. I am currently taking clonidine, daily, it really helps with the withdrawals. All the best!
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1235186_tn?1339127464
38mg drop is way too much at one time. why did you decide to do that? with 4000 mgs you could go slower.
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Avatar_f_tn
On day 4 or 5... Time is slow. I have an unusual sinus headache and tension headache that has been keeping me awake. Bubble gut is rough. I am tired but can't sleep and that is MADDENING. My husband and I took your advice here and went up to 30mg a day which is still just plain hard. I am planning to stabilize myself here over the next few weeks before I attempt to go down to 25mgs. I am seriously still discouraged BUT I am also determined. More determined than I have ever been. I am making a dr. appointment after this post. I will keep you guys posted. Thanks for the advice everyone. I am taking everything you guys say to heart. I have nobody else to talk to.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh yeah. I will tell you guys what I have been doing to stay sane. I have Imodium (immodium) and Kaopectate (which has potassium) for bubble gut. I am taking woman's one a day multivitamin. I am taking Melatonin with B6 for sleep and RLS issues. I have Tylenol for aches and pains (I think Ibuprofen would help more?).
We have a pool and when I am really sick the floating feeling in the water helps but since I am having hot and cold flashes I find myself cold in there. I also take hot showers for cramps.
I guess it's discouraging because I am not even close to hard withdrawal and it HURTS.
I am going to be asking the doc for Lyrica and clonodine (I don't know if I am spelling it right).
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Avatar_m_tn
You sound like you've got a good plan in place. You made a pretty big drop to start and it may take a little while to stabilize but once you do keep at the schedule you outlined above and you should be able to do it without much discomfort. This will probably be the worst you feel, it should get easier after this IMO.

You should have plenty to work with, just don't drop too fast and you should be alright.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi again mandi. I can sure understand why you feel so badly! You dropped from 58mgs to 20mgs which is a 30mg drop which is huge, but now you have gone back up to 30mgs, good idea, but nonetheless that is still a big drop and I would surely expect you to be feeling sick. I got sick for a week dropping from 51mgs to 39mgs and I was tapering 2mgs/week in between, so at 39mgs I was really sick and had to stay there for about 3 weeks. My mind is wanting to advise you to go back up to at least 40mgs, then start your taper but you do sound determined. As I said earlier the clonidine helps quite a bit, with the sweats and the hot and cold. I have take Lyrica before but not for withdrawal so I am not sure how that will work but I hope you keep posting and let us know how you are doing. I am basically in the same boat as you right now at 27mgs but am not sick as I have only been tapering one mg/week. All the best, and once again please feel free to message me anytime..........
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Avatar_m_tn
HI just found your post dont know how I missed it I read threw everyday.........go up to walmart and pick up a 3 in 1 vitamin calcium magnesium zinc it only 6 bucks for 250 start by taking 4 with breakfast and 4 with dinner this is a proven way to cut your withdrawals way down also dont drop so much at once you have a lot on hand hang in there you will make it threw thisI cam off 150 and did it in 1/2 the time my clnic wanted me to go I pulled mine from my takehomes I will e/mail you some info on how to bring yourself off this stuff...............Gnarly
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3185587_tn?1356511448
I understand how some comments say not to quit cold turkey, but in my opinion weening almost prolongs the agony.  I have quit methadone twice cold turkey, the first time from 60 mg and the second time I was at 150 mg.  The first time it was completely on my own, I basically drank a bottle of vodka a day to try and help with withdrawals, the second time was at a rapid detox and was of course much easier because the withdrawal didnt last as long and I was given meds to help with withdrawals like clonidine, xanax, etc.  The worst thing about methadone withdrawals I would say it the restlessness, it feels like you want to rip your own stomach out, and the sweats suck.  Its obviously your decision if you taper quickly or slowly, but I will tell you if you do quit cold turkey and want to just get it over with and not prolong the inevitable you will have about 2 to three weeks of withdrawals.  Let us know what you decide to do.  Right now I am withdrawaling off fentanyl-not fun, prob the worst withdrawals I have ever had.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay I am down to about 20mgs now without any real pain involved. I went to see my Dr. (He used to be a real JERK but for some reason was so sweet and helpful). He prescribed me Phenergan, prescription strength Ibuprofen, Ativan & Ambien for my actual withdrawal. I won't be taking them at all until I am in hard withdrawal (probably 2 days in to ZERO mgs). I also have stocked up on Imodium (immodium), One Daily For Women multivitamins, B6 & 12 Vitamins, Fish Oil, Potassium, and Calcium/Zinc/Magnesium Vitamins. I bought a bottle of Benadryl for good measure.

I will let you guys know how it goes. I welcome feedback about my supplements and drugs. Also I am thinking about having my brother pick up some weed for me. I know it's not ethical but I heard it can help...
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Lilly... I am sorry you have to go through this crap again. I have been having a tough time too. I kinda want to just drop off at 20 because it has been so hard to get here and I feel like I could almost have been done with all this by now if I had quit outright. Let me know how things go with you, if you need anyone to talk to (or just complain with) I am here.

I gave my little cocktail of drugs above I will keep this updated throughout the process. I expect this to be a success story and hope it can help somebody else, someday, who feels like they can't win.
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1235186_tn?1339127464
hi mandi,
great job, you are doing awesome. thats good the doctor is helping you with some meds for your w/d. i am glad you are feeling ok. how is everything else going for you and your family? this too shall pass......
keep the faith...... there is always hope.......
sending support and prayers
debbie
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Avatar_m_tn
I have lived with opiate addiction for 22 years now and have tried every way to get clean. Methadone, suboxone (subutex), lofexidine, induced coma (detox 5), codine, other street drugs, alcohol, benzodiazepines, tramadol..... Etc etc.
Don't be fooled into thinking you can stop one addiction by drugging yourself up with a substitute, don't think the drug companies that are getting rich off your pain want you to break free and stay free, if they did, there wouldnt be all these substitutes. They are not cures.
Wake up, open your eyes and except that it will be a bit uncomfortable for a while, but that you will be free and clear so  much quicker
I know it's easy to say, but I also know its really easy to do. You are doing nothing after all, it's not as if you have to work really hard at being curled up twitching on the floor.
Harsh i know, but true. If you search the net for a thing called a bio tuner, get some tens machine pads cut them to fit behind your ears just above the bump in the dent. keep it on continuously for four days or so, continue to take what you would normally take drug wise. find a hypnotist and ask to be given the power to hear your own voice in your head that has been gagged for so long by the addiction you have lived with. Practice listening to that voice, hear it shout loud and clear. If you are really ready to break the cycle  it will be pain free and easy. I know I have developed how to do and helped many people beat heroin with this technique. Believe it can be pain free. Try and if it doesn't work, I'll not believe it. Use your minds people, not some chemical crutch, good luck and remember to breathe.
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay so I am in day 5 of omgs methadone. What happened was that I, being the addict that I am did not taper enough and spilled an entire bottle of like 300mgs of methadone into the carpet. I ended up with half a bottle. I panicked and went from 40 mgs a day to about 5mgs a day THAT day. I was on 5mgs a day for about a week and that put me into FULL withdrawal. At the end of that week we decided that the 5mgs a week was doing nothing for me so I quit.

I was puking but the Promethazine helped. I had diarrhea but the Imodium (immodium) stopped it. I had shakes and pains and cold sweats which marijuana helped with IMMENSLY (don't condone it just saying) The restless leg was ticked up by the marijuana though so an Adivant and xanax helped me sleep. I also had Ambien. The Ambien didn't help with sleep unless I used Adivant or Xanax with it so I only bothered with it the first 2 days. I slept every night, I was in some pain but I found ways to manage. If I got to my wits end I would take a steaming hot bath.

All in all...I am near day 5 at zero but I should count that week of withdrawals from dropping to 5mgs because that was the worst so far. Today I don't feel that bad. I have cramping but that's probably from the Imodium (immodium) constipating me and PMS.

Also the pot helped me eat throughout the entire thing.

I took fish oil, 2 multi vitamins, and Potassium every day. I took another Potassium at night. It's supposed to help with the RLS.

I think the reason this worked for me is that I HATE benzos I HATE marijuana. In fact although I liked that they helped it was uncomfortable for me to have that heavy feeling over me. I had a script for xanax for years that I never touched so that's how I got them.

I plan now to keep up with the vitamins and only take the scripts if a moment pops up that I can't deal with. I slept today for hours with no drugs.

Oh yeah and I know I will be a little sick for a week but it was the best choice I made so far. I'll keep posting.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh yeah and I did this with the Methadone bottle sitting next to me. I don't know why I am so afraid to throw it out. I feel like I will die when I flush it. Im not throwing all this time away for another dose of a drug I disliked being on. I don't know I think I will dump it tonight.
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Avatar_f_tn
Day 7-13 were terrible. I didn't eat or drink. I had anxiety and insomnia. Worse than anything was the stomach cramping. It was so bad I could only cry. Dumped said Methadone because I am deathly afraid of it now. The Ativan and Xanax were only good for an hour or two of sleep. I kept obsessing about random things. I couldn't watch movies or read because I couldn't focus. Minutes seemed like hours. Everything tasted like CRAP. I smoked a lot of cigarettes that tasted like bile. I don't know why but I just wanted to smoke and smoke. I stared at the wall for days. Music and chatting online were a MILD distraction. Laughing helped. Hot baths were great for temporary relief. The stomach pain got so bad by day ten that I went to the ER. I could just feel this swooshing and churning like there was ten pounds of painful acid. They offered Suboxone but I declined so I got a Chlonidine patch that lasted 7 days,GI cocktail (which stopped the pain) an IV and Protonix (whatever that is). I felt pretty good when I left but the Chlonidine dropped my blood pressure so freaking low that I was dizzy and weak. I took it off after 4 days. Oh and he also gave me Prilosec.

Went back to doctor and told him what was going on and he only wanted to treat me for insomnia so he put me on Restoril. I didn't even know it was a benzo till I looked it up and I was pissed by this time (yesterday)  because I was worried about having to withdraw from that too.

I am on day 22 and have continued with the vitamin daily. I have gotten my appetite back for the last 3 days straight. I have been taking the Prilosec since the day at the ER. I am still fatigued to the point of not being able to do much of anything. Stomach pains are dulled but far from gone. Insomnia even with the Restoril is still bad, I still have a bad taste in my mouth that won't go away. My fingers are shaky. I have depression. No more Marijuana. I bought some ZZZQuil today instead of taking Restoril. I dunno, it has been freaking rough. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow mandie, that is quite a story! Thanks for sharing it. I believe you suffered so much because you came off methadone too fast. I understand that you wanted to be done with it but I think if you had gone slower and tapered more, things would have been better. But you are starting to get better now so maybe it was worth it to you, I don't know. I don't have any advice for you as I am on methadone too but have been tapering for over 2 1/2 years and now down to 13mgs and I am not sick. I am hoping to avoid really bad withdrawals by doing a very slow taper, I know I will suffer some, but hopefully not as much as if I had gone quickly. I feel bad for you that you suffered so much and continue to do so, I guess time is going to be your true healer. Thanks for sharing your story and I wish you all the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
Day 40 something feeling okay except the stomach pain and issues.  I think the prilosec was just preventing the natural flow of my healing so been off it for a week. I requested a non addictive sleep aid. Dr gave me trazadone. Slight nerve problems still but non unbearable. I dunno it's going okay. That was one long road...
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Avatar_f_tn
Eleven months clean. Feeling better. Stuck through. No real cravings. Any time I have had a craving I think of thee horror of withdrawal. It took 3 months to make life bearable. 6 months for any sort of normality. 9 months to almost feel like myself again and now I am reaching 12 months and feeling like myself. Sleeping is still strange sometimes I wake up super early with a panicky feeling. I am no longer on sleep meds though. I fear the worst part is that the Methadone use and withdrawal may have caused some sort of damage to my stomach lining. I still have stomach pain and bloating and bathroom issues. But hey! Life is getting better. If anyone reading this ever needs help feel free to message me.  
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5840009_tn?1395493115
HEY GIRL! CONGRATS TO YOU! SO glad to read that you are doing well!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you. It is the BEST damn feeling.
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5614081_tn?1386999408
I like the way you went and dug your old thread up my friend! Very proud of you for everything you accomplished, its a wild ride for sure eh! 11 months is something behold, keep it safe and here's to many more months/years to come. Well done Mandi!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on methadone for five yrs. Before that was yrs of pill and dope abuse. I have been clean off illegal drugs since the day I started methadone. I decreased from 75 to 5 mg in three months. I am stable   now at five. It's was a rough trip but worth it. The only thing that really helped, is my Klonopins. But you have to watch because you don't want to end up with two addictions. Benzos detox plus methadone detox = pure hell. Now I have a question you can email me at kruell.***@**** how do I get off 5 mg without becoming sick as I have full custody of my 8 yr old daughter and cannot be bedridden. Any answers would be grateful . Thank you sincerely Ryan ..
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi jumping off at 5 mg wont be all that bad I tapered all the way down to one but your miserable tapering below 5 so just jump the withdrawal will be about the same just know it is very doable if your not on the vitamins yet start the calcium/magnesium/zinc you can get it at walmart and start taking 4 in the morning and 4 with dinner this will cut way down on what your feeling the withdrawal can not be beet but can be managed also this isa old post go to post a question and start a new thread for yourself keep posting for support good luck and God bless....................Gnarly  
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