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Can they keep me from tapering off methadone? MMT clinic

     I am currently in a situation where there is no doctor at my methadone maintenance treatment facility, so they say without a doctor they can't let me lower doses. They have been operating for 3 months without letting anyone new into the program, not allowing anyone to taper off, increase dosage, or to get step ups in program ect. I currently have an AMAZING job opportunity that can change my life for the best. However it conflicts with clinic hours on many days of the week. Despite the job I have been wanting off methadone anyways, because I've been clean for 8 months now and feel so strong and confident about tapering off and living a clean life with a great career.

     However anytime I ask for some way to taper off methadone the director and I ended up in a yelling arguement because he denies me tapering but always says I have the freedom to leave the program anytime I want (cold turkey). He did not work here when I started the program, and the previous employees informed me I could TAPER off whenever I wanted to. Now I feel so stuck with no options! The director hates me... He makes fun of me for talking quickly because of my anxiety that he provokes, he says I only talk quickly and get anxious because I used to use heroin. Except I was diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder and was taking small doses of Xanax for it long before my heroin addiction or treatment. This is only a single case of a handful of the director of this clinic mocking me. My question: Can they legally keep me from tapering off methadone? I don't want to wait another 3-6 months waiting for a new doctor to decide to move to our insignificant town, and i don't want this opportunity I have to pass me by! I hardly have any options, so I am not sure what I can or should do. This place used to be so special. Now all but 1 employee has quit and been replaced, and it is a nightmare they won't let me out of. If you know the rules or laws behind this please inform me it would help me immensely! thanks a ton in advance this means everything to me and the clinic doesn't seem to acknowledge it.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there-
It doesn't sound like a very therapeutic facility and I know they need to have a doctor there to oversee the community. Do you have a doctor currently? What dose of methadone are you on now?
Avatar universal
Yeah the doctor left and they are just keeping everyone where they are with no changes anywhere until they find one. They tell me once they get a doctor i can ask to taper, but after 3 months I'm losing hope because this job opportunity won't wait for me forever. I had saw a doctor a good while ago, maybe a year and a half or more when I actually had a bit of trouble with my anxiety daily. However I didn't see them much, and they certainly didn't know about my heroin use. I'm on 60mg daily for almost 8 months. I was kinda stubborn about dose increasing much because from the start i knew i didn't want to be on the program for more than short term. This clinic was not this way when i joined. I used to tell people i saw walk into the clinic how great and a life-saving facility it was, because I wanted to remove their doubt about joining. Now I regret my words. The entire staff changes and thus the entire atmosphere was completely destroyed. At least this is my current opinion on the place.
Avatar universal
If you want to taper off you should be able to do it! It's almost criminal that you can't! It makes me angry for you.

Can you try to get to a private doctor to help you here? Many physicians can prescribe methadone and should be able to help you with a taper. Do you think you can do that at home with a prescription? You sound committed although tapering is hard for a lot of people. It's totally doable though and you're not on a really high dose so you should do fine.

Other than that you don't have any choice unless you want to just stop cold turkey which would be rough.   I think finding a doctor privately is your best bet.
I haven't gone through withdrawals in so long, so cold turkey just sounds awful and honestly really intimidating... no matter how much i want this whole chapter in my life to finish I don't think i could convince myself to go cold turkey. I googled my town earlier because I've been searching for solutions. There's a couple doctors that may do methadone according to the search - which i might just have to look into. There's a different clinic 2 hours away that might take me, but getting to work on time and gas money has deterred me from going that route yet.
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