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Weaning off of Methadone
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Weaning off of Methadone

  This post is for my girlfriend; although she does not know I am doing this, I care a lot about her and wish to help her out in this time of need.  She was perscribed oxycodone for her back pain and became addicted over time.  She was tried to hide her addition from me and tried to quit pills cold turkey, but the withdrawl (withdrawal) effects were to powerful for her so she went a methadone clinic.
  At first, it seemed that Methadone was perfect for her; it helped her out for her back pain and helped her out with her headaches caused by a sinus infection (which she's had for a long time).  After countless amounts of adverse symptoms, we both starting having second thoughts.  
  One day, after being 5 mins late for dispersal at the clinic, she was denied her dose for the day, so we both decided for her to start getting off of methadone. She is currently at 120mg a day and we feel that she can easily get down to 20 - 30mg a day, after reading most of the articles and forums, but what we are worried about is once she goes below the 20 - 30mg a day, how she will react to the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms?  We know that the methadone is masking her back and head pains and we are worried how strong will they come back once she gets below 20 - 30mg a day?
  Also, she does not have medical insurance, so we are worried that if we need any medical treatment we won't be able to afford it.  Does anyone have any help or advise?  
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Avatar_n_tn
If she can taper to that amount then she can taper lower untill she is off the methadone untill she is completely clean, on the other hand if she has genuine pain then there is no reason she should have to go through life with that pain. The thing to watch for is weather or not her pain is real or the addicted brain telling her that it is still painful. The addicted brain WILL try to play tricks. Good luck and keep coming back here. We all are here for you and to support you and her. Maybe you can get her to join the forum herself. It really works better for those of us who are addicted to speak for ourselves, and to speak to others like ourselves who know what we have been, and are going through.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi just respoding to your question about weaning off methadone. I can only tell you how it was for me and I that I am so happy to be off methadone. Horrible withdrawls especially at the end. However I was taking more that a 120 mg. The clinic increased my dose a little more and I went to a clinic to get off norco's had taken oxy's in the beginning then went to norco's. When I could not resupply the drug I pannicked and went to a clinic. If I knew what methadone would have been like when withdrawing(w/d are longer acting then other opiate withdrawls) I would have not even started at the clinic. I actual went into rehab to be withdrawn off the drug in 45 days at a high dose . At the end I have the worse w/d's and they continued for 3 weeks after the last dose. I went back to treatment because I did not want to ever take methadone again and wanted to live a life free of opiates. Although it was tough being withdrawn from the drug and this is only my experience I am so happy I am not a slave to the clinic anymore!!! I wish I never went there. However it is a good transition from oxy's to methadone and I would definetley encourage you to continue the taper and hang in there through the tough part. I am not a doctor, just have had a horrible experience with methadone and I know bupinorphine is an alternative you can ask about ? I hope this helped at all and you should be proud of her for the progress.
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Avatar_m_tn
Insurance is always a problem but Addicts find ways to see Doctors> Somehow she needs to scrap enough money up to see a doctor who treats addicts. They can perscribe subutox or suboxone which are very effective for withdrawl (withdrawal) symtoms (symptoms).
Methodone is a very good way to get off drugs but the addict will start to use Methodone as a replacement and then things go to hell.
I agree with a reply to your post pain is pain. But in an addict the brain can fool the body. You can be pain free physically but mentally fooled. The pain can feel real as long as your on meds. Addiction is cruel, it changes your life like you can't believe. Some are lucky and fight through it without much collateral damage some not so lucky and leave many victims in their wake.

good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Here is a quote from Dr. David Arneson's online article, found at this website: http://www.dpeg.org/treatment/methadone_withdrawal.htm;

"Furthermore, long term opiate use eventually create[s] what is termed the opiate pain syndrome
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on methadone for 6 yrs.  I was taking about 30-40 mg. a day and after about 4 yrs. I decided to  get off this stuff.  Well, I tapered down to 10-15mg. every other day but I WANT TO GET OFF, please help.  I am afraid of getting withdrawals.  If I continue to taper off will I eventually get off of this stuff.  Please help.  I really want to get rid of my crutch!!!!  With much gratitude.      Chicken
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi! I am on 200 miligrams of methadone and I was told by my counselor that going down 10 miligrams a week would be ideal until I get to about 150, then go down aloswer...is 10 miligrams too much to start? even though I am on a high dose. Has anyone else been on a high dose like me and weened off at 10 miligrams to start? please give me advice
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Avatar_m_tn
As is it here at 2 in the morning and I am looking at these pills wondering just how bad this is going to be i get a tiny bit of hope thrugh reading these testimonials.  I am scared to death of going off of the methadone but for the last time i will not be called a drug addict again.  Why can't doctors understand that low dose methadone is a fantastic way to control long term acute pain.  I suffer from mulitlple Myaloma in other workds cancer.  I went on this drug to stop from taking 200 to 300 mg's a day of morphine.  What I can't stand is the sygmatism over this drug.  What did I do to deserve this label and it is such a tragic thing.  I wish I could make he pain stop in my hands.  I can't even hold paper or close my fingers.  But that is the deal. If I can just get off of the methadone I can deal with the pain either through holistic means or some other non narcotic way.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Brent, First off, I am so very sorry about your cancer. What a shocking diagnosis that had to be. Good news is treatment in MM has come so far. I don't have any expierence with Methadone, but plenty on here do and will be along shortly. Is it just the stigma that has you wanting off, or are you suffering secondary problems from the meth? Only you can judge your pain level and weigh the odds. I was taking hydo's for a couple years and it became a problem for me as my tolerance kept growing and my health was suffering. Hang tight and others will chime in. You may want to start your own thread as this thread is from 2007 and may get overlooked. You've come to the right place!
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Avatar_m_tn
I am at present weing my daughter of methodone the same as yourself, you are doing really well to get down to the dose that you are now on.  Dont be to hard on yourself because 15 - 20 mg isnt impossible to combat the thing to do is drop down a half mg at a time each week and see how you go. Keep up the good work.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am at present weing my daughter of methodone the same as yourself, you are doing really well to get down to the dose that you are now on.  Dont be to hard on yourself because 15 - 20 mg isnt impossible to combat the thing to do is drop down a half mg at a time each week and see how you go. Keep up the good work.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was told not to drop your methondone usuage to quickly, a little at a time maybe 5 mg if you drop to quickly you will only be looking for  something to subsitute your needs. Take it slowley it may take a while I would 5mg every month at first.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was addicted to oxys and went on methadone and went up to 130mg.After a year or so started going down.When i got to 60mg i went down 5mg a week and now at 20mg.Has not been that bad at all.It is a mental thing when you want to get off it you will start to decrease and be happy with yourself. Now at 20 i am starting to go down 2 or 3 mg weekly and should be off soon.Being a slave to the liquid handcuffs is not fun and you have to start sooner to get off it.Have had problems sleeping and lost weight also so it does have to be done slowly.I will be so happy when done going to the clinic.
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Avatar_m_tn
You will have no problem until around 80 then 5 a week until 20 then 2mg a week and next thing you will be done. It will get hard to sleep when you get in the 30s but just stay with it.I am at 18 now from 130. Your Dr should never of put you up that high now comes the long journey a couple years for some. Good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow i also suffer and the Dr put me at 130mg of methadone after being hooked on oxys for pain.I am down to 20mg now of methadone took a long time and boy is the pain back.Also coming off this crap can't sleep when getting at a low dose even Drs sleeping pills do not work.It ***** but will be happy when done. I had a Dr tell me 50 or 60mg of methadone is plenty and no need to go higher then that. It was not the methadone Dr but another 200mg is crazy better to be on pain meds.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think it is great that you are clean. You must of went off the methadone to fast to get that sick. Also from what you have stated must realize that you might of put the fear of god into people trying to taper off and they just might stop and be to nervous to continue there battle. I was at 130mg and now at 22mg and have started to feel a bit sick but was going down to fast 5 mg a week and when hit 22 started to feel it. I once went off oxys and must say there is no comparison to this.I try and stay positve and know it is a lot better then coming off oxys.
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