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methadone addiction
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methadone addiction

How long does it take for addiction to begin after taking methadone?  A week, two,three,four weeks???
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There is no absolute number for that.  Generally, it would take at least a month.  Everyone is different.  I was on it for six weeks one time for pain management and I went to another opiate (oxy) afterwards with no problems.  I am back on it and now I couldn't say I am not dependent, but that is after being on it for nine months and being on oxy and then morphine for almost a year afterwards before going on the meth again.  That is a tricky one to answer.  If I were going in to detox and wanted to use methadone, I would try to confine it all in a one month period.
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Would you (personaly) use methadone as your drug of choice to detox from the strong narcotics such as oxycontin, herion morphine patches ect? And if yes, why, and how long would your taper last?  Thanks afriend.....
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Would you personaly use methadone (as your drug of choice) to taper from oxycontin, herion, morphine patches ect? If yes, how long/short would your taper be? Thanks..afriend...
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I wouldn't think of that methadone maintenance as addiction.  However, if you felt that methadone wasn't working for you then you can now utilize buprnorphine subligual medication at a qualified physician office for either detox needs post detox needs.  With the approval of Buprenorphine, many more patients and addicted people should be seeking more treatment for overuse, abuse and tolerance issues that evolve from long term use of opiods...michael
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Bup sounds ideal....unless your here in Canada=not available.
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Another thing, I inquired about methadone at a nearby methadone clinic and they want 100 up front and 70 a week, granted I am a bigtime pilluser but I get them from my Ortho surgeon so I only pay 10 dollars, thats a lot of money for me since I am a stay at home mom. Just venting....... Badd
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I was in a relationship with someone who went on methadone to end her pain pill addiction. I would be VERY wary of going on methadone as a means to end an addiction. Methadone is far more addictive, herion users actually say it is easier to quit herion then methadone.
In most cases people just end up stating on it because getting off is too difficult  to get off, even weaning very gradually. (My g/f was going down 1 mg every two weeks, she even went on an antidepressent to help, but she could not do it, and after only having gone down a whole 3mg she had to go back up. She tried twice. I don't think she ever will be able to get off it). The hold that stuff has on you.. it's hard to fathom. I wish I would have known that going in, I would never have supported her doing it. It was supposed to be the means to and end of her current addicton, not merely picking up another (even more severe) one.

The good side is it is doctor regulated and you only have to take it once a day (but there is alot of BS you have to put up with at the clinics, however you don't really have a choice, they have you over a barrel, you can't miss doses of that stuff). The bad side is just know you just may have to be on it forever, seriously. It's that hard to get off.

I do understand though, for some, it is the best answer. But I think every other possible alternative should be explored and tried first.

And I still don't know if the Buprenorphine is a maintenance drug or detox drug. I read is is not addictive, if it is a detox drug it just may be a miracle. But some on methadone say it is not an addiction, you are just dependent on it. (?) Is that the same with Bup? Or can you ultimately get off of it?

Thomas050


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Bup is not available where I am either, I am in Maryland near DC
I don't know of anydocs who RX it and if they do I hear you pay an arm and leg, If I had that kind of money I'd buy buy buy and try to taper myself, I hate living like this so badly I get depressed all the time. Baddgirl
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to locate a physician providing suboxone in the US:

http://www.buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/bwns_locator/index.html
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I looked up the site Thomas03 gave out and there are 40 docs who rx bup.

just trying to help
feelsobad
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in Maryland that is.........
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Hey I live in Maryland, (A.A. County) and there are **** loads of doctors that do the Bup. thing. You can get a list from the site Thomas just gave ya or call Addict Refferal in Baltimore. Good luck.... Jim
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Hey!!!!  Where you been, big Jim?  I've missed ya!  Hope you're doing well...so happy to see you posting.  Love Lisabet
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Hi-ya-Jim..."One step forward...two steps back"...seems to be my life story...smile...  (Wasn't that a Lynard Skyard song?) Be careful on that Hog...Love ya, Lisabet
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Hey sweetheart how are ya. I haven't been online n a while but I'm glad to see you are hangin in there. As for me..... well...uhh...lol  I take one step forward and three back. I've been riding the harley alot since the weather changed but everytime I go out it seems like I end up where I don't belong. You take care and keep doin what yu are doing, it seems to be workin for you!! Glad to hear from ya.... Big Jim
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One other thing, the methadone clinic that I go to is 80 bucks a week but it's a private clinic. There are clinincs here in Glen Burnie that are funded by the state and county, those charge according to your income. I know people on those clinics that pay as little as three dollars a week. I've been on just about every clinic in the state over the years so if ya really need to know some names and #'s in this area I could give you some. Just a thought... Jim
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Buprenorphine creates physical dependence also.  It isn't up to the par of methadone, but if you are stable on bup and just stop, you will go through withdrawal.  There is a difference between being in an active opiate addiction and being dependent on methadone or even another opioid for that matter.  A person taking methadone for maintenance is taking it on par with a non addict taking pain medication for legitimate pain. How I mean that is they take it at a steady, fixed dose and take it once a day or split if they enjoy having takehomes.  An addiction is a behavior that encompasses more than just the physical dependence on the opioid.  It has to do with the constant thought of acquiring the med, hoarding it and hiding it, non-compliance, doctor shopping, lying to family, financial ruin, and so on to death in many cases.  And, if a person is on a proper, stable methadone dose, they CAN miss a dose.   If there is any reason a person can't get to the clinic on a given day, the world will not come crumbling down.  If I were to miss a day, I would be in for a world of hurt due to my pain condition.  But, that would be the same no matter what I was taking.  Also, in most cases, the methadone patient is an addict and always will be.  But, so long as they are doing it right, they are not in an active addiction while on methadone maintenance.  They are getting on with their lives.
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You are very right.
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Yes as I said, for some it is the best solution. I know it has saved families and lives. I was an active part of my g/f's recovery. I accompanied her to many of her counseling sessions. I learned a lot about opiate addiction and methadone. (I also take pain meds BTW).

The part I have a problem with (**and I am talking only about non-chronic pain methadone use here**) is only when people on it say they are not addicted to it. It is a certified analgesic and it is addictive (like opiates), it is taken for a feeling, the person won't die without it, if they try to get off it they have withdrawals. That is addiction my friends. Of course they are not out trying to lie cheat & steal to get it, they get steadily and regulary from a clinic. And also, surely we can't say an addiction becomes not an addiction when the body becomes dependent on the substance. (?)
Look, as long as people can admit it is what it is, then I have no problem with it at all, I really don't, honest. I am glad it is there for those that need it. But in the case of non-chronic pain methadone use, the person is addicted to it. Simple admission, that's all it takes to shut me up ;)
Thomas050
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Methadone is in now way a means to an end for everyone but with some it really is a life saver.  Detoxing from it will, most definitely, be different for each individual.  I was on the stuff for almost 7 years, it took me three seperate detoxes to finally get off.  I did it very gradually and while I was detoxing I took alot of supplements (especially CoQ10 which worked wonders!) and towards the end of my detox I was put on a 'blind detox', which is basically you have no idea what mg. you're at, if they lowered you that day etc;, etc; and that helps as well (psychologically speaking, we set ourselves up quite a bit, the mental part of any addiction is always the toughest- well at least IMHO).  The real set back is (for me anyway) I've been off the stuff for well over a year but it takes so long for your body to adjust (my relapses w/ drugs didn't make matters any better either), but being on methadone for long periods (me: 7 yrs.) you get so used to it and once you're done, you are a 'fish out of water'-  somedays I actually miss being on methadone, there's the psychology coming into play.  I felt 'normal' while I was on methadone, and to tell the truth, haven't really felt 'normal' ever since I got off.  It's one helluva powerful drug and one to really research in great detail before comitting yourself to a program.  The clinics, well that's just another story all together.  What I can say is that they do 'have you by the balls'!  Best advice: stay clean then you'll never have to go through this ****, the basis of my 20s has gone down the drain because of all this garbage, I'll be 30 in July and have nothing to show for the past 10 years except alot of headaches and 'war stories' and really, who cares?!!
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NDY-

Hey, I'm 30 yrs too, and have recently kicked a 2 yr methadone 'dependence'.  Was taking a very low dose (I guess) at 20mg a day plus 4-6 Norcos for breakthrough back pain.  Went CT April 11, and with the exception of Clonipin and Darvon-N (4x daily) after day 5 (when I became psychotic), am doing okay.

I know what you mean about feeling "normal".  My wife says I talk alot more now.  Basically, babble her head off and am obsessive about just about everything.  Very unlike how I was on the methadone.  I do have more energy now, but on the same hand, I'm really not doing so great in the coping/irritability department.

I don't know about you all, but this drug really changed my personality.  I'm having a hard time adjusting to the new one.  I know it takes a long time, and I'm only like on day 32.  But, hell if I still can't figure out which 'me' I like better.  Pain sucks.  It makes me grouchy and irritable.  I'm doing what I can to deal with it, but spending a **** load of money (acupuncture and massage) for not the same results.

The positive for me is knowing that I am past the acute phase of w/d.  As that was hell on earth.  But what now?
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That's the real kicker for me.  The "what now" stage, after the honeymoon phase ends.  You quit the drugs, you feel proud for being able to kick it, you are regaining some of the normal endorphins and your body is becoming its' old self again.  And then you're left with the aftermath.

I think this is when staying busy, finding program, volunteering and maybe counseling (the more I hear about NA and AA, the more I dislike them, but I say find a program that works for YOU) come into play.  I'm saying this only because this is the way I felt when I was clean for about 4 months last summer.  I had successfully detoxed off of ALL drugs, totally clean, and felt wonderful.  I remember going to stay at the beachhouse for a week and a half and having a great time (I took my last Tylenol 1 just 2 days before we left for vacation) - but at first I was very melancholy almost.  I didn't quite know what to do with this new, old me.  

I'm thinking of making a list of 'things to do' in the event my mind starts 'a wanderin'.  What works for one may not necessarily work for another after you're clean, so I think that to stay busy and find your niche is what is important, especially in those first 6 or so months after kicking.  

I wish I could be of more help, I'm still in the tapering process--again.  Obviously, I didn't find what worked for me and went back to using.  But I'm trying to keep positive that I'm eliminating the wrong things to do each time and I will get it right.

About the pain, I started with the Vic's because of back pain and the pain subsided and I quickly figured out I didn't need them anymore, but for those who are still experiencing pain, I think it's important to find a compassionate doc who can help with pain management techniques, an all-over holistic approach that encompasses the mind and body.
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First of all, no one said once you become dependent, you are not addicted.  That's putting words into someone's mouth.  Second, methadone does not give a "feeling".  A person who takes their methadone dose does not feel it.  Well, at least after the beginning they don't.  At first they do, but they quickly become tolerant to those effects.  I take my 110mg and don't get high from it and that is that.  It doesn't matter whether I take it for addiction or pain.  I still don't feel it.  Methadone, in maintenance, is used to maintain an opioid dependent state.....not to get high.  You make a clinic sound like a shooting gallery.  I know you didn't use that language but if one goes to a clinic to "feel the methadone" (get high), then what is the difference?
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Yes, the 'what now'?  Exactly!  I think AlexisInTX put it best, stay busy, find a program, etc;.  I'm trying to rediscover things I did before the heavy drug abuse, I'm trying to find the simple pleasure in them again which is very hard.  For me I'm an artist and did really great stuff while I was under the influence, now it's such a chore just for me to think about it and get in that kind of zone again.  Drugs, in their own way, liberated me, now I'm in the process of basically re-programming myself, starting from scratch.

Also, we can't dwell on these things too much.  We have to just do it, take charge, even if our mind and body is saying 'NO!'- we have to perservere (spelling?) with our lives.  It's not an easy road we've laid out for ourselves, but it could always be worse- we could be six feet under pushing daisies!

Right now I'm suffering through massive cravings which I deal with by preoccupying myself and eventually those cravings will subside.  I don't know what's going to happen, the longest I've ever been clean in the past 10 years is 3 months (and that's clean off everything including methadone).  But I guess, it's just one day at a time and getting adjusted to new skin.
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NotDarkYet

Thanks for your story. Keep on keeping on. You are to be commended for your efforts.
Question. Based on some of what you said, do you think there is a relation to the amount of time on it and the difficulty level getting off? In other words, if a person is in a methadone program and does not personally intend to stay on it forever, the sooner they start the weaning off part, the better? Or is it just as hard not matter how many years on it.

Thanks,
Thomas050
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From personal experience, I'd have to say the shorter amount of time on methadone the better.  I was very naive towards methadone when I first got on it, in hindsight I would have definitely gone on the 6 month detox instead of being hung out to dry on the maintenance program.  I didn't realise how very addictive this stuff is both physically and mentally, but I sure found out!  I was on the stuff for nearly 7 years, 7 years for a heroin addiction that I had for only 6 months.

I don't know everything about it.  You hear that it eventually settles in your bone marrow and that is why the kick is so hard and lasts so long but people (i.e. those that work in methadone clinics) will refute that.  There's tons of theories as to the long-term effects and short-term effects but basically it all comes down to the particular individual and their body chemistry.

But simply looking at it, it would seem the shortest amount of time, on any kind of narcotic, the better.  Then when that individual finally decides to taper off the withdrawls should be relatively easier than say, for a person who has been on the same drug but for many more years.  I might be reaching here, but I know it took me two miserable failed attempts before I finally got all the way down to 1 mg. then none.  One of the hardest things I've ever done (well, so far...).
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Here is a good read:  http://cdrwg.8k.com/stigma06.htm
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I would say the shorter time on any opiate or opioid, the better.  The more time on it, the more time the body has to make changes.  And, everyone is different.
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It isn't just people here or at www.atwatchdog.org saying there is a difference between addiction and physical dependence.  The AMA says it.  And, thank god they do.  Or, pain management would be at a Flintstonian state like it used to be.  There isn't a selective definition for it.  Either you are an addict or you're not.  And, having the capability to have withdrawals is not a determining factor.  Is a methamphetamine addict actually not an addict due to the absence of an abstinence syndrom (syndrome)?  If one were to use the argument that if one has withdrawals, they are addicted then that would mean all pain patients are as well.  Or, the ones on chronic opioid therapy.  Addiction is a behavior.
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I've been a chronic pain patient for the past 5 years, 2 of those years I got caught up in the methadone maintenance program way of life.  Too bad for me, no one told me how addictive that stuff is, and we didn't expect for my husband to go thru a pay cut suddenly, that gave us no extra money to pay for the clinic.  Insurance companies don't touch Methadone clinics. Clinic prices vary too from state to state.  I paid $140 at a time for a month's worth, but had the option of $7 per day or $40 per week.  I've heard of some clinics that cost $400 a month or more. If you are thinking about going on Methadone anyone, PLEASE make SURE you will be able to afford to pay for it for the rest of your life. I don't want to see anyone else go thru what I did if they should run into a financial crisis, it was pure hell.

It was a fun time to Cold Turkey off of 80 mg. of Methadone.  My present day GP doc tried every painkiller out there from the patch on down and *nothing* touched those withdrawals.  I was totally out of my mind the first 2 weeks. I do not remember them. Thank God in his younger days my husband was an LPN and knew how to care for me, althought he is still claiming it felt like 20 years, not 2 weeks. For those thinking, how come he didn't know how addictive Methadone was?  He was a cardiac surgery nurse and never was around that drug in the hospitals he worked in, so didn't know about it.  I never thought to read up on it, the old docs I had said to go on it in the first place. I paid dearly for my ignorance.

Finally after about 2 months I was able to get some pain relief from 80 mg. of Oxy twice a day with 2 Vic ES for breakthru.  I tapered down to 40 mg. of Oxy twice a day plus the Vics over the next 2 months and have stayed for the most part pain free.

Last Sunday, Mother's Day, I hit my 6 months off the Methadone. I'm still having the hot/cold chills and some joint aches and pains that aren't related to the Crohn's Disease (in remission for now), Fibro, or another female prob you don't want me to go into detail about that requires surgery in the near future. (And the reason I still need the painkillers.) When I started posting in here last November I heard over and over that after 6 months most of the withdrawal from Methadone should be gone .. and I'd say it is, but what's left is still a daily pain in my ass and I can't wait till it's gone.

After going thru that hell Methadone put me thru, I have no worries about tapering off the Oxy down to Vics and getting off, after I have the needed surgery.  NOTHING compares to the withdrawals of the evil 'done. I do disagree with the comment that addict and dependant are different. The words may be different, but when it comes time to stop taking the meds, the withdrawals are the same for everyone. The cause may be different, but physically the effect is the same.

My email is: ***@**** if anyone wants to email me.
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So, if a person gets hurt, goes on pain meds, gets better, gets off the meds and then now, two years later, are med free, are they still an addict?  Hey, once an addict, always an addict, right?  And, I do believe that once one, always one.  Once the withdrawals disappear, you are still one.  EVERY chronic pain patient on chronic opioid therapy is an addict?  That is exactly what you are saying.
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I forgot to mention that hypothetical person in the first sentence of my last post never took one extra pill and NEVER deviated from his treatment plan.  He took the pills when needed and when they weren't, he got rid of them.  Sorry, but you can't sell me on the fact that person is an addict.  You just can't because he's not an addict.  If you take them for long enough, you will become physically dependent on them.  That is just the nature of the beast.  They don't differentiate.  And mrs rat, it was your lack of funds that did that to you, not the methadone.  If you were able to afford treatment and come off of it right, that wouldn't have happened to you.  Being able to sustain treatment is a must for being on any opioid, not just methadone.
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It is so clear the people who have gained some peace in their life and those who have not.  Yes, i am not one there yet by any means.. but i am struggling to grow and learn and would never think i have all the answers about ANYTHING!  The program of recovery is by necessity, a time of breakthru growth in our lives or it ends in jail, institutions or death.
My dear Hippee is an example of one who is definitely attaining higher energy spiritual heights.  I use him as an example from which to learn.
May we all be more patient and helpful to each other.
Peace and love to ALL of you...
Suzie
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Hey!  I am impressed with your knowledge about addiction.  Gained from long hard gut wrenching experience i am sure.  I am now on day 75 and really doin well today for the first time.  I am experiencing some real glimpses of experiencing serenity for the first time.  My pain is manageable and my cravings have been nuts...but... now i believe i am finally gaining the tools i need to beat em one day at a time.  Whatever works for anyone is worth seeking.  For me it is NA.  I am blessed to have an awesome sponsor and some great friends in Na and AA to help me to see the light from my temporary dark places.
Anyway...e-mail me if ya like:  anyone feel free to...
***@****
Peace to you search for life...
Suzie
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I don't see how a healthy debate about a very relevant topic has anything to do with one not having peace in their life.  Can't say I see any correlation.

One thing I would like to add after a discussion with my mom this morning, who is a nurse (RN).  She was taking prednisone a few years back and when she stopped taking it, she had nasty withdrawals.  Is she a prednisone addict?
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After about 7 years of heroin addiction and 1.5 years of meth maintenance-I did kick meth CT from 25mg (not the way to do it) and stayed clean for 7.5 years. I found that the withdrawls were prolonged to say the least. I felt like a walking raw nerve for the first 6 months of no drugs. The next 6 months I gradually felt some improvement but still never felt normal. After 1 year of sobriety, I still did not feel physically or emotionally 'healthy'-I still felt like a big baby. I was left with the remains of years of repressing emotional issues and bandaging physical ailments. There was a lot of work to do. I had mild diarrhea for 1-2 years after kicking all narcotics and my brain felt like diarrhea too! I felt oversensitive about everything because every feeling was  overwhelming. I can say that things improved VERY SLOWLY. By the third year off of meth I did feel strong and capable of dealing with life. The most important thing was coping day to day and getting through it without thinking too far ahead. Overanalysing and dwelling on how I felt was couterproductive and when I had free time-that's what I would do. Try to keep busy ,try to excersize(speeds up natural endorphins kicking in), try to live as normally as possible and know that with time-you will get back to 'normal'. My big failure was probably not dealing with issues that caused my to use in the first place- councilling, therapy, phsyco-analysis...however you have to do it-just address it! Get to the root of the problem and deal with it. Dig out that diseased part and get it out of your body and mind. If you don't, it will fester and take over your life again. All your hard work wil have become undone. Value what you have and don't forget what you did not have. I can say this because after 7.5 years of clean time, I came upon a very stressfull time in my life....I felt  overwhelmed and started fooling around with percocets. A year later. I was up to 20 percocets/day and had utterly lost control. I am now back on methadone (30mg) and do not know if I can go through withdrawls again (especially with 2 small children to care for). I  am seriously contemlating taking out a loan and doing a 'Rapid Opiate Detox'.....anyway, that's another story.
Stay clean and tough it out- It WILL get better (slowly....very slowly). You're right- It IS a new skin you have: take care of it.
Good luck.
Robyn
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Suz-
'It is so clear those who have gained some peace in their lives and those who have not"....I don't think you or anyone else should be the judge of that.

Thomas-
There is... being physically addicted and there is... mental addiction. Most people have both but there ARE people who have a physical addiction to methadone and no mental addiction what so ever. This is particularily true with chronic pain patients. It is insulting to say that all those in methadone treatment are addicts peiod. That is a very closed statement. I understand that your girlfriend may have had a very bad experience  with methadone but she would be the only person that would be able to say so. Your impressions about methadone sound negative for the most part and it is smart to be weary of the drug but do not  make assumptions about a drug you know nothing about from fisrt hand experience. There are people that are addicted to methadone and there are others who use it much like a medication, It is NOT paralell to insulin, heart medication etc...I don't agree with that either. However, It CAN be used as a medication- to improve the quality if your life by using it to block withdrawls and block and attempt to get high. If the proper dose is administered and the patient is in the right frame of mind-the methadone is not abused- it is used.
Like anyother narcotic, it is GENERALLY a good thing to be off of any 'narcotic treatment' as soon as possible.  With methadone there is such a thing as too soon...I would not go in to a meth treatment program with the intent of weaning off of your pill habit slowly. This is not to say it cannot be done but Methadone is better used to stabalize an addict (allowing them to use this stabilization period to address stressors in their life and how to cope without the use of drugs, to get back to a healthy lifestyle of eating properly and excersizing etc...), after the stabilization period (which can be anywhere from a month to 2 years depending on the person), the person can then decide to taper themselves down slowly. It has been statistically proven that patients on methadone for 1-2 years do better than those doing a quick 30 day detox. I would think years and years of methadone maintenance would be a much harder kick than someone on meth for 1-2 years.
How long has your G/F been on meth?....maybe psychologically  she is not ready to taper?....anything over 15mg is do-able without great discomfort IF you are in the right frame of mind. I would not blame it all on the meth- it would probably be the same scenerio if it were pills. heroin ...whatever...I'm sorry she waked into the program with so little knowledge abot how it should and should not be used.
All the Best, Robyn.
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Prednisone is very nasty and dangerous to get off of. If you don't taper, it can kill you. I've been on it myself, but never say of myself, "hi, I'm burn, and I'm addicted to prednisone."
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teehee...that's funny.
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>>This is particularily true with chronic pain patients. It is insulting to say that all those in methadone treatment are addicts peiod.<<

Robin, I had stressed I was not talking about chronic pain patients, so there was no insult.
I can concur with most everything else you said.

Some medications are stated by the medical industry as 'may be habit forming' and others are overtly known to be addictive (ie: pain meds, have you never heard of a doctor not refilling pain meds for someone because they don't want the person to become addicted. I have. They are vigilant with medication like that for that very reason). If the person continues using and then at some point they try to quit and can't, personally I would say they are addicted - the very thing the medical industry warns with prolonged use of it. If you want to call it dependency, that's fine. I guess the end result is the same for the person trying to get off it, just a different way to word it. And there are people out there who are not chronic pain patients and are on methadone and wish to get off it and are having a terribly difficult time doing so (there is very evidence of it right here on this board). Wonder drug for some (I agree to that), nightmare for others (I agree to that). And for my girlfriend it was the later, she did not want to be on it, but had to be because of how difficult it is to quit (which basically boils down to the level of withdrawal when you try to stop taking it, even when tapering). Again - addiction, dependency, whatever you want to call it, it sux for that person. If the distinction between those two words was what was causing the argument here, i apologize.

Regards,
Thomas050







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It may be a different wording for you, but even the AMA states that there is a distinct difference between physical dependence and addiction.  Many doctors are concerned about addiction when prescribing opioids.  That is a fact.  What is also a fact is all patients who take opioids chronically will become dependent.  Like I previously stated, it is the nature of the beast.  But, not all will become addicted.....actually less than 1%.  I could do this over and over, but here is another link:  http://www.paincare.org/pain_management/perspectives/patients/reluctance.html
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BMack:
know this....I'm going to care about you and pray for you and there is not anything you can do about it!

keep an angel on your shoulder...ok
kip
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If you would like to become informed, read through the below links.  You will see what is considered accepted, medical practice these days.  There are many more, but I think these will suffice:

http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/425.cfm
http://www.whocancerpain.wisc.edu/eng/11_3/tpda.html
http://www.geisinger.org/services/palliative/pain_mgt.shtml
Notice if you read, this one also is endorsed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine:  http://www3.us.elsevierhealth.com/WOW/pu080.html
http://transrecovery.com/oxycontin.htm
This one even addresses the fear doctors have of addiction:  http://health.discovery.com/centers/pain/medicine/med_addict.html
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2001-08-09-opioids.htm
http://www.eperc.mcw.edu/educate/flash/fastfact/418.htm
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I don't know all the medical terms you two use about this subject but I have known you two since my beginning here. I have read and listen to you two very closely since I came. I am a chronic pain patient and I am an addict. I have been to addictionoligist and several so called experts in drug dependence. I was just basically kicked out of a 1800 person study here in Alabama because of testing positive for pot. Anyway that doesn't really mean **** here but I have struggled with the addiction/dependence debate for over 10 years now. I am dependent on morphine, without it I am in severe pain. Without it I go thru withdrawals because my body is dependant on it. I am also an addict. I mean I will get high from it or I will find something else or take more to get the 'normal feeling' we all kid ourselves about. So in reading both your opinions and talking to several Doctors about this issue I say if you are a chronic pain patient yes you are dependant on the drug. If you are like the other opinion and are not in pain just a user you are addicted to the drug. I see a huge difference here between it. Some of you don't . It means the same thing to you. To me it is day and night. But none of this really matters anyway. I am still a drug addict. I use it to remain high 24/7. I also have severe pain and without it my quailty of life sux! So I have a dilemma. Which catagory do I fit in Thomas, MrM? In both of your posts you both make great points. But I am asking for both your opinions on me. You both know me equally well and have been with me since I started the Kadian. I am really interested in you guys opinions. If you would rather do this in private:
***@****, thanks guys and it is good to be back!
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The Thomas050 on this thread is new to MedHelp.  The Thomas you are thinking of, our Thomas of the Thomas Recipe, is the nick Thomas03 in here.

MrMichael still has his same nick with no numbers, so he is easy to know. LOL.

I saw you say you hadn't been in here in awhile, so I see how the nick and number confused you, it did me too when I started reading in here again.  Want I should handcuff Thomas03 down and magic maker his nick on his forehead so he won't change it again and confuse us all? (Just email the the $1 charge, heh.)

Read you are detoxing again, know you will be in my prayers.
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You are getting high on your meds 24/7?  That would mean you aren't taking them as prescribed.  If you are, you would be way used to them by now.  Even though my active addiction is at bay for the time being, I am an addict.  I always will be.  I would have to say you are too, Bill.  But, you also need to be medicated for your quality of life.
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I don't think what transpired was an argument.  It was just a debate that is, unfortunately, common.  Many are uninformed.  The patient who tried to quit and can't is a bad example as I know I never said that.  The person who can't quit is most likely an addict.  Not so hard to agree with that.  Well, if they can't quit because of cravings and the behaviors are in place.  If they can't quit only because they can't stand the sick feeling and they aren't being treated properly by their doc, then that is a damn loose interpretation of addiction.  Actually, it isn't.  All I know is I am glad the medical community agrees to their being a difference between the two.  Thanks to that, pain management has come a long way.  The topic of this debate is one of the main reasons why many still needlessly suffer.
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Thanks and I know I couldn't stop you if I wanted to Skip! You have always been set on that. I am a Christian so I agree. Can we say that 'word' here? One never knows! But thanks guys you all seem to know me well. I ain't foolin no one!
It just hurts and I am here to vent my frustrations once again.
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You have to do what is best for you.  Regaurdless of what that may be.  What good is being in pain and not being able to live your very full and happy life?  It is quite the catch 22 damned if you do damned if you do not.  I am here for you bro with the rest of the "P's"!  Pammy
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You continue to completely miss my point. I do not need to be educated, I am not against methadone nor am I against chronic pain treatment.
I am speaking sloely about the person that abuses oipates then gets addicted, then tries to quit and can't, THEN in some cases like my girlfiends, go into a methadone program as a detox program, then after stabilizing on it and then try to wean off, can't because their body is so dependent on it. It has nothing to do with how it is being prescribed, the tapering is doctor regulated, is very gradual, is at the patients discretion, it includes mandatory counseling and can even be accompanied by other doctor administered drugs such as antidepressants and muscle relaxants to help. And the person still has a hard time going off because of the discomfort level of the withdrawal. They want to get off but can't. And they are doing it as clinic/doctor-supervised as possible. There are cases like that. I witnessed it first hand, and I have also read testimonies in forums like this.

In every reply you keep mentioning chronic pain. And I keep stressing am ***totally OK with chronic pain treatment*** (methadone, morphine, whatever works for the person).
I can't make it any clearer than that. But there are people who are not chronic pain patients who want to get off methadone and can't and it's because of the nature of the drug. That is what i am specifically talking about. There really is nothing to debate here, to debate that would be going outside the bounds of logic and reason.
This will be my last post on this as we are dragging this out a bit.

Regards,
Thomas050





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I think methadone is the good choice for releiving chronic pain. I use it for sometime and it is not an addition. However, it takes time to start acting on the pain. However, the timeline for each person is different and it is difficult to predict.
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I'm in a relationship with someone who uses methadone. And honestly, I wish I would had known what I was getting myself into before I got with him. It hurts to see him doing it. He's tried to get off, but his withdrawals get so bad after 4 days, that he just goes right back to it.. I've tried talking to him about it, but it doesn't help anymore.. does anyone have any advice on what I should do? Or what I should say? He spends almost 1400 a month on the pills, and its hurting both of us so bad.. I don't want to end the relationship, but I want him to end the relationship with the drug.
Desperategf
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Regarding your post, Dated May 14th, 2003:


"After about 7 years of heroin addiction and 1.5 years of meth maintenance-I did kick meth CT from 25mg (not the way to do it) and stayed clean for 7.5 years. I found that the withdrawls were prolonged to say the least. I felt like a walking raw nerve for the first 6 months of no drugs. The next 6 months I gradually felt some improvement but still never felt normal. After 1 year of sobriety, I still did not feel physically or emotionally 'healthy'-I still felt like a big baby. I was left with the remains of years of repressing emotional issues and bandaging physical ailments. There was a lot of work to do. I had mild diarrhea for 1-2 years after kicking all narcotics and my brain felt like diarrhea too! I felt oversensitive about everything because every feeling was  overwhelming. I can say that things improved VERY SLOWLY. By the third year off of meth I did feel strong and capable of dealing with life. The most important thing was coping day to day and getting through it without thinking too far ahead. Overanalysing and dwelling on how I felt was couterproductive and when I had free time-that's what I would do. Try to keep busy ,try to excersize(speeds up natural endorphins kicking in), try to live as normally as possible and know that with time-you will get back to 'normal'. My big failure was probably not dealing with issues that caused my to use in the first place- councilling, therapy, phsyco-analysis...however you have to do it-just address it! Get to the root of the problem and deal with it. Dig out that diseased part and get it out of your body and mind. If you don't, it will fester and take over your life again. All your hard work wil have become undone. Value what you have and don't forget what you did not have. I can say this because after 7.5 years of clean time, I came upon a very stressfull time in my life....I felt  overwhelmed and started fooling around with percocets. A year later. I was up to 20 percocets/day and had utterly lost control. I am now back on methadone (30mg) and do not know if I can go through withdrawls again (especially with 2 small children to care for). I  am seriously contemlating taking out a loan and doing a 'Rapid Opiate Detox'.....anyway, that's another story.
Stay clean and tough it out- It WILL get better (slowly....very slowly). You're right- It IS a new skin you have: take care of it.

Good luck.
Robyn"



Hello-  The post I'm replying to is only 9 years old - but perhaps by some mythical chance you're still using this login and you'll get this message.

I simply want to see how you're "journey" is going. Corny, yes? Do I have any other words for it, not so much. I know it never ends once it begins-the madness of addiction, so "journey" seems to like a good word / fit.

SO, before I go any further, lemme know if you're still around, I would love to you ask you more questions, if you would be open to it, I need all the help I can get-as do we all, right?

I love the way you're realistic, honest, and open, yet not suicidedly depressing about the subject of getting clean. (especially from Methadone) I SO hope that this message finds it's way to you....

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I don't know if you are still monitoring this site, but if you are, I would like to address your question.  No, I would not recommend methadone as a means of detoxing.  I have been using prescribed narcotic pain relievers for over 25 years and I will probably be using them for the rest of my life.  After a pain management doctor had me taking 900 mg of morphine a day (yes, I said 900 mg), he discharged me from the treatment program for altering the date on a prescription and I almost died from the withdrawal.  Narcotics withdrawal isn't supposed to be fatal, but at the level I was at death was a very real probability.  I got picked up by another doctor that I met in the hospital who switched me over to methadone, which I took for about two years.  He was an intern and when he completed his internship and moved on, I was transferred to another doctor who switched me to Oxycontin.  Even though I was still taking narcotics, it was no longer methadone and I experienced a HORRIBLE period of almost two months while my body tried  to cope with the absence of the methadone.  Most narcotic pain relievers are natural opiates, but methadone is synthetic and there is something in it's composition that will make you sick when you stop it, even if you replace it with another opiate.  I ached, I was sick to my stomach, had diarrhea, tremors, headaches and mental confusion for several weeks before it finally started to subside.  I will never go back on methadone again and I strongly urge you to avoid it if it isn't already too late.
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