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Methadone
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Methadone

Dear Doctor, Is there any way I can have my private M.D. to prescribe me methadone..I currently attend a clinic because my former Dr. suggested it because I have severe chronic pain..At the time he suggested a clinic I did not have insurance to pay a Pain Mgmt Specialist..I have a degenerative neck disorder brought on by a nearly lethal car accident..He was writing me so much pain meds that the DEA was asking questions;so he recommended a methadone clinic and I have been attending 31/2 years at 100mg of methadone daily..I live in the state of Georgia and was wondering what I should do because I now have great insurance and want to get a doctor to prescribe my methadone instead of paying the clinic outrageous prices and having to attend 3x weekly to pick up my meds..Any suggestion would be tremendously appreciated...Tim
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Avatar_n_tn
Any medical doctor can prescribe methadone for pain relief.  Methadone clinics are for methadone maintainence (for addicts) and not for chronic pain sufferers.  They are governmentally subsidized which is why I assume your doctor referred you there and not to a pain management specialist.  I am quite surpised the methadone clinic accepted you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I should also point out that methadone, a schedule II narcotic, may not be prescribed for drug addiction by private physicians.  Hence the need for addicts to register with and be treated by a clinic.  Furthermore, many physicians feel uncomfortable prescribing methadone for chronic pain and would rather their patients be treated by a pain center.  Methadone is long acting and works well for pain relief; however, it is very addictive and has an unusually severe withdrawal syndrome.  In fact, when addicts finally decide they want to stop the methadone maintainence, they often go through far more severe withdrawal than with their other opiate they had been addicted to.
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband is a twenty year chronic pain sufferer.  He has recently had very disabling outcomes from neurological deficits.  His doctor recommended methadone versus other opiates since he needs so many.  However, when we recently applied for disability benefits - one question they ask recipients is "are you on methadone..."  It seems like it labels all users of methadone as addicts and carries a strong stigma.  Is it worth switching over to this drug?  Are any long term pain sufferers really successful with this drug instead of codeine, vicodin, fentanyl, morphine, etc???  We need some advice desperately.  Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
As long as the physician prescribes the methadone for chronic pain, a letter to that effect from the physician can accompany any insurance or disability application.  With respect to its use for chronic pain, if the pain is severe and truly chronic, methadone is an accepted medication for such condition.  As I mentioned above, it is very hard to withdraw from methadone, so I personally would not want to be on it unless it was for the rest of my life.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the note Brian.  Does Methadone leave the patient very tired?  What are the side effects?  Just wondering.  I think this is a life long plan for now which is why I really want to know what people are like on methadone versus the other pain meds.  Thanks for your input.  Is it possible to be tapered off of methadone ever - if necessary?
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Avatar_n_tn
I took 80mg a day of methadone for neck pain from a neurologist.  It worked exceptionally well for 3 yrs.  Then, it started not to work as well, so the dr adjusted the dose to 100mg/day and I was drowsy (not bad but it bothered me) so we switched to morphine.  That was 1 yr ago.  Now, I am back on methadone, 80mg and it is working great.  I get 240 10mg tablets per month, (8 a day) and I take them 2 every 6 hrs.  It costs about 30$ for the tablets, and 64$ to see the dr. MS contin, oxycontin, and duragesic on the other hand, are (for equal dose) about 600-1000$.  I saw a pain specialist who was doing an epidural inj, and he said that methadone was exceptional at providing pain relief for spinal nerves.  He said that the gov't wants to keep it a secret or everyone would be taking methadone for pain.  Personally,  I think the drug is a life saver for both pain and those who are addicted to street drugs, and it should be made available much easier that it is.  There is no euphoria, it blocks the receptors preventing a "high" from taking anything else, and it is naturally long acting and not harmful to kidney/liver.  Any dr can rx it for pain, many are afraid of it, because of gov't.
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Avatar_n_tn
continued---got cut off.  Kay, people taking methadone for pain are happy and almost pain free.  There is little or no side effects.  In my case when the dose got high tho, I would get really tired at night, so we switched for a while.  The methadone is pennies per tablet compared to dollars, and the large manufacturers of oxy/ms contin (same company) will do any and everything to convince dr's that those products are superior.  However, most pain dr's will tell you that methadone is just as good or better for pain relief than the other drugs.   I had a dentist tell me once when he saw my registration form/medical history (list drugs) and I put methadone, he said he wouldn't treat me.  He obviously thought I was a heroin addict and would try and play games with him for prescriptions or something,,,,,WRONG.  So there is some stigma with it.  This is a great forum, and I am trying to learn about substance abuse to help a friend.  THANKS
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Avatar_n_tn
Anyone thinking Methadone is a geat drug has never had to withdrawl (withdrawal) from it.  A significant number stay on the rest of there lifes because the withdrawl (withdrawal) is so severe.  More severe than Heroin by far.  It was the very worste experience of my life.  So before you condone the use of methadone make sure you have done it for a while and have Stopped succesfully.  Its easy to say its wonderful while your on it.  Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree shreddi, however, there are those who abuse/get addicted to whatever, and those who use them for what they are for.  I stopped methadone in 1 wk.  I had some withdrawls, it wasn't pleasant, but I took it for pain.  It can be done.  I dont buy this "its impossible to get off" business.  I think its easy to get off.  THE OTHER ISSUES IN YOUR LIFE ARE WHAT MAKE IT HARD TO GET OFF, NOT THE DRUG, THE VERY REASON YOU GOT INVOLVED IN THE FIRST PLACE.  YOU HAVE TO FACE YOUR FEARS, HONESTLY, OPENLY, and deal with them.  Then, you do not have the need for the drug and its a much easier road to travel.  Sounds corny, sounds easy, I know its not. I just wanted to differentiate the two.    I think there is a lot of truth in it.  love, mark
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374251_tn?1246239257
sorry to bring up such an old post, but i came across this doing a search.

i wonder how things worked out for "Mark", a follow up would be nice huh? let us quote, "i stopped methadone in 1 week, the other issues in your life are what make it hard to get off, not the drug", really?

this guy sounds like alot of our doctors..    sorry i sound so bitter, i'm just wicked frustrated i ever started taking this devil-drug !!    peace, -jesse
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Avatar_f_tn
I was just reading and saw you pulled up this old post and I had to respond.I agree with him saying 'it's not  impossible to get off',but to say it's easy is certainly not the word I would chose to descibe my detox from it.Easy isn't even in the vocaulary when your describing methodone detox.It makes me so angry that someone who is on methodone themselves has the nerve to sterotype others who have been or who are ona it.I find that most of us here who have taken methodone did so seeking help to stop our addictions,and that most of us were totally misinformed by doctors and clinics about what methodone really is.Now I know I bare some responsibility because I should have known what I was taking before I took it,but I'm just going to be honest about myself right now.If back then someone would have told me to eat kitty litter and that would have helped me to stop taking the pills and not get dope sick I would have done it.When I went to that clinic I was desperate to stop abusing the pills but I thought at the time I wasn't strong enough to handle the withdraws,and maybe back then I wasn't.So when you have a clinic tell you, you can take this methodone and you won't want the pills anymore and you won't get sick if you don't have the pills and in a few months you will just walk off the methodone.Well for me I know I thought my prayers had been answered and this was a miracle drug and the answer to my problems.Little did I know then that I had just jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.You don't just walk away from methodone.You fight,kick,scream,punch,claw and cry your way through that detox for weeks.So I will keep Mark in my prayers if he is still taking the methodone,but especially if the day comes that he has to or decides to stop.I believe then he will realize what the rest of us who are struggling with  or have gone through methodone detox mean when we say 'yes it can ABSOLUTELY be done,but there is nothing easy about it."I'm sorry Mark[if your out there],I just don't believe that just beacause you took methodone for pain and I took it to help overcome a pill addiction,or so I thought it would help me,that you were able to detox from it in a week and it was easy,and it took me 4 weeks to feel human again.Your body doesn't know why your putting the methodone into it,whether it's because of pain or addiction,but your body sure knows when you stop.The detox was the fear for me but I did face my fears honestly and openly.I detoxed off of methodone and it wasn't easy,but it can be done.Peace.
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547883_tn?1218796026
im wondering what MARK was taking while stopping methadone for his pain oxy's morph etc etc, this cracks me up
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547883_tn?1218796026
i could also give up done in ONE day if you gave me a kilo of heroin LOL
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Avatar_n_tn
i just wanna say that me ande my girlfriend started taking oxys and over the corse of a year the habbit grew from 20 to 180 mgs of oxy at least each per day (over200 a day for us both what a bill, street prices) amd we had no script.  i went to a doctor to check out suboxone but i cant stomach it so i switched to methadone and since i have a valid suvere pain issue (prolonged oral issues) it was cool.  so over the next six months i started reading about peoples experincewith methadone and mine was very different and my girls too.
      to be honest i feel like people should try to detox differenbt ways before they say theres no way....ours was not as bad as oxy at all longer yes but halofg as bad...smoke as much weed if you dont smoke start for this 6-9 days and than go to aa
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello,
I am a 22 year old undergraduate and I was addicted to heroin from the age of 16 to the age of 21. After several failed attempts at getting clean on my own via 12 step programs, a 9 month long stint in a recovery home, I turned to what I looked at as my last option: Methadone. I was very committed/devoted to making sure I did not have to remain on methadone for any extended period of time. My experience with methadone lasted approximately a year. Throughout that year, there were ups and there were downs, like any year. I started at a high dose (100 mg). Meaning that dose made me feel comfortable. Subsequently, my counselor (aware of my want to be off methadone eventually) was extremely helpful. He informed me, that the people who got off methadone and remained off all drugs detox at a very slow rate. He even proclaimed that the slower you go, the better your chances. I heeded his advice and started coming down on my dose almost immediately. By the time I got to my third month I was taking 40mg a day. From this point forward, I had my ups and downs but knew that if I just held on that one day I would reach my goal. 9 months later I was on my way to my clinic when I received a call from my counselor informing me that methadone was no longer in my system and that I had officially completed the detoxification process. Now, it was not all peaches and cream I experienced discomfort during periods of my detox but I had mentally prepared myself. Not to mention that for me personally (everyone is different biologically and psychologically) I felt that withdrawal from heroin was much more uncomfortable in fact exponentially so. So for me, it came down to will and power of choice. I did not want to be a statistic and want to let anyone know that it can be done. If you want your life back bad enough nothing can stop you. I personally believe that the "liquid prison" mindset is exactly that....a psychological manifestation that can be overcome with the help of good counselors/good people in general. While detoxing from methadone you are very fragile and vulnerable so it is imperative that you surround yourself with the right people and more importantly don't keep secrets about how you're feeling. If you feel hopeless and get cranky and want to get high-talk to someone who cares about you. The people who care about you the most will be the people that help you through. They act as a reflective entity and in them you can see yourself more clearly. Which makes it easier to just bluntly face the facts. I am an advocate for anybody who wants to improve their situation. Everyone is different and everyone recovers differently.
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Avatar_m_tn
Shreddi,
Curious about your experience getting off....how long did it take? How bad were your withdrawls? Did you do it @ home? How long were you on it?
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Avatar_m_tn
Congrats to you! These are the stories that give people hope...thanx for sharing!
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2010150_tn?1328549447
I am curious too.....I am detoxing now....and am scared to death....been on it 7 yrs. began taper at 90mgs a day....now on 40mgs a day due to conditions beyond my control I am going to only beable to take 30 for a couple of days then 20 for a couple of days then i have found a medical detox place i can go into,,,,,scared to death
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been on Suboxone for 3 years and at first it helped my pain and helped me get off a high dose of roxicodone form an injury. So I am very familiar with all opiates including methadone. I asked my Dr if he would prescribe me Methadone for mainteance since he is already giving me Suboxone. He said ' that a regular MD needs a certain Certification these days to give Methadone and only Pain Clinics and Methadone Clinics can prescribe it.

i have been on the Clinic and would NEVER get tied down to that clinic again. Is this true in the state of Florida? I use to get sealed bottles of 40mg Diskettes 10 years ago from a general Practice Dr... So can any MD give Methadone if they want or they need a certain Cert. these days? I have MRIs, Xrays, and all  needed Documents for a pain clinic. These Suboxone are breaking me financially..I can get a low dose of Methadone for 30 bucks a month, compared to the hundreds I am paying now.

Although, Suboxone mixed with a low dose of Valium doea help my muscle spasms and pain. Thank You.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was for years < back in the 80s-90s_ suffering from pain.  AT the time I Dr. shopped for the 'fabulous' relief pain meds,,,however after spending time in prison for writing scripts, I was referred by a highway patrol officer and county sherrif  I' had turned to herion for many of those years , needless tosay 17 years ago I became a methadone patient at a clinic in Fla   I was dosing for the first year daily 460 mg < as within an hour of dosing in front of the nurses my system ate it up so fast that thru the urine and bloodwork an hour and a half after dosing it didn't show up in my system  I was at that HIGH DOSAGE  I have weened myself down over 16 LONG YEARS to only 260 mg per day / when I moved to Ga my wife did the due dilegence on methadone clinics here < many because of her opening the can of worms on so many of the clinincs here in Ga / many many Drs, clinic directors and staff were fired and clinics closed because they would dose me for up to 10 day's < first day dose at my high dosage then within the 10 day's want to ween me down to less than 100mg per day / HOW STUPID WERE THEY...NOT TO MENTION THERE IS NO CAP AND THEY ALL PUSHED A CAP ...so my wife put out an email to every clinic in Ga after we moved here < oh I had no choice but to fly back to Oregon for my first months' take home back to Ga so that would buy me time to find an HONEST clinic / needless to say found two who actually stepped up and emailed her back / I drive 50 miles one way to get my take homes < 28 day's at a time / I am handed bottles with my discs  I have earned over the years...MY problem is which for the most part SEEKING HELP / I recently ( 2 yrs ago had no choice but to fold my business / my wife has been disabled for 8 yrs / we litterly lived  on her lousy $717.00 monthly check / hell our house mortgage came to $702.00 per month not counting utiliites or food / so we eventually got evicted now living < no not living but existing in a 25 yr old mobile home / I finally was awarded by the court SSI , which gotta tell ya the monthly check I receive SSI is ONLY $184.50  what's wrong with that picture?? anyway I pay OUT OF POCKET for my methadone cuz the clinic is too small to accept any insurance < which I now have medicaid / of which I am gratefull as my Humira < severe arthritus injections are $2,647.00 per month which medicaid covers / I will be starting a new medication in January ONLY if medicaid authorizes it for Hep C / severe liver...now my problem is I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND ANY HELP FOR PAYING FOR MY METHADONE.......SO MY QUESTION IS < NO MY PRIMARY DR.ISN'T CERTIFIED TO DISTRIBUTE PERSCRIPTIONS FOR METHADONE/ SO MY QUESTION IS:::(2 questions actually ) A)  does anyone know a Dr that is certified to perscribe thru a perscription that will accept medicaid??? / obviously what pharmacy will accept a perscription with that high of dosage < I can't afford to drive to clinic and obviously I can't go thru the withdrawls with severe seizures, convulsions as my wife pulled me thru before when dropping from the HIGH 460 per day down to 260mg per day............ALSO:  for those who are taking 100mg or more there is a wonderful hospital in California SPECIFICALLY FOR DETOXING METHADONE PATIENTS / HOWEVER IT IS A CASH ONLY , they don't accept insurance / but the detox method is Waisman method < pull it up on google and read / 3 yrs ago the cost was $10,.000 it has gone up to $32,000 for the detoxing which works if you are a candidate / I would love to be able to go out and see if I am in fact a candidate but need the funds < gotta drive out cuz If I am a candidate my wife and dogs will need to be there also < wife with me dogs at motel close by / the detoxing takes 24 hours but gotta be inpatient for monerting for no less than 72 hours following the 'sleep' detoxing method .  I don't have the funds, I don't have credit  so basically I'm screwed .  NO ONE seems to have any funds to help me thru this yet these same people will and have donate thousands of dollars to SAVE THE ANIMALS .....Does anyone have suggestions for me or a way I can receive funds not only for methadone clinic < need $308.00 for upcoming Jan take homes,,,,,BUT maybe there's someone out there with money that could help or even a DR who would step up and accept medicaid for this ????????? I've been truly blessed with my wifes help thru all these years and her disability is now getting worse......she asks for nothing except she humbled herself this mornig and started calling different agencies for help with current monthly bills ,,,,in 17 yrs we've been together we've NOT gone out on a dinner date or movie or anything We don't shop...we have lived within our means and now can't even do that / HELP PLEASE
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938809_tn?1394717483
I know this is an old post but I am wondering how you and your wife are? I have been on methadone for 20 years and now It is coming out of my disability every month. These programs need to be more acessable to low incomes. When we got on methadone we did not know things would happen that would cause us to not be able to get off and have to pay out our budgets for bills and groceries. Let me know how you are if possible.
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