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Oxycontin addiction methadone to detox

My husband is currently in a detox/rehab facility for oxycontin abuse.  My question is, that they are using Methadone to detox him, supposedly to "save" him from going thru the withdrawl symptoms.  But, from everything I'm reading the methadone is just as hard to get off of, and some people end up on it for years...........

Should they be using Methadone to detox him, and will he have to continue taking the Methadone once he is home?
59 Responses
Avatar universal
I agree with you completely.  Labels are created out of judgement not care and concern.  What you wrote is part of my personal code of ethics; not to label be labeled. Every situation is different and it is important not to make assumtions.  Thanks Doc for being here with us and being a straight shooter.  You are a godsned and even those of us who have been on this board a little while are still learning a great deal of new information from you.  Please do not ever leave us!  Pammy
Avatar universal
i agree with pammy, after i read your response doc i cut and pasted it and emailed it to my husband and my mother.

as you might have read, i spent 8 years clean in NA and it is just second nature to call myself an "addict" it is a habit i am trying to break, along with calling it a "disease" i think you once called "addiction" a "maladaptive behavior" and i have hung onto that since i read it. i am NOT powerless and there is NOT some big male GOD in the sky that is going to save me from myself... uh uh... nope...

this board is teaching me new ways to look at an old problem and i am so grateful for the opportunity to share parts of myself with the other HUMAN BEINGS here!

thank you,
love,
amber
Avatar universal
You are not a label hon, you are a great manys things.  I guess that is one of the many problems I have with NA and AA.  But I think you have said before you have the teachings of NA and AA with you all the time.  You do have power over your actions and you can hold yourself accountable.  Amber I am so happy that you are here.  You can email me anytime ***@****.  Pammy
Avatar universal
Hey, You just labelled the Doc ("#1 Doc") LOL!!!!.......the doctor had some very relavent and helpful info to share, that's all. Its an ingrained habit we all have- comes from our North American culture.
Take care & have a great day.
Robyn
Avatar universal
I would imagine your husband is going to be using methadone for a very short period of time if they are using it to detox him.  I lot of detoxes keep them five days to a week and let them go.  Some use it for up to three weeks or six months.  If it is confined into a one month period, your husband should have no problem with it.  Methadone does not instantly make you dependent on it.  It can be a very useful tool to make withdrawal off of something like oxy much more comfortable.  The bottom line is it is not necessary to suffer through a miserable withdrawal.  I am not saying he will get off scott free.  But, it is way better than going cold turkey.  And, depending on his health and general physical condition, it can be much safer.
Avatar universal
Hello- I always read your posts and would love to get feedback from you., Im a 31 y/o female with rhematoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I bought some ultram online and got it today. 90 pills. Whats the max amount I should take do u think? I know your not a doc but you always have such good answers and suggestions for people. I appreciate any information you can give me or advice. thank you sweetie!
Luv
Erika
Avatar universal
Any method that keeps an addict clean should prolly be condoned by another.  For me...I am a recovering addict.  Addiction is not cureable..is wut i have been told and i believe the AMA agrees.  I will listen to advice from other recovering addicts who have been clean for years and years.  Labels are not important to me.  In fact i am truley grateful to be an addict.. even though that sounds nuts...becasue without my disease i would never have gotten to the place i am now in my spiritual growth. I chose to separate myself from my disease.  I AM NOT A DISEASE.  I am Suzanne, a good person who has a malady that CAN WARP MY MIND AS IT HAS DONE FOR YEARS.  nOW I AM LEARNING HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS DISEASE'S EFFECT on my mind and how to really deal with life on life's terms without the use of alcohol or drugs to numb me and being my only tool to "cope" with life's problems and joys .. for the first time in my life.  I am set free...oh yeah.. only one day at a time...
I love ya'lll!
Thx for listening to my rambling...
Suzie
Avatar universal
As long as we have language, we will have labels. It is foolish to think we will never name anything again. It is an important part of our tribal mentality, our need to belong.  It is not dehumanizing. It is honest and that's a good place to come from. Another thing ... I don't know what kind of AA or NA meetings we are talking about here, but it is against policy to "call" anyone an alcoholic or addict. It is up to the individual to decide if he or she is such and if they chose to do so, can own up to it at the meetings. We cannot take another persons inventory. If the shoe fits, wear it! I have never seen any member of AA or NA label anyone else. And let's face it folks ... if it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck .... IT'S A DUCK!! The program is a very effective technique for getting straight, an endeavor that is a lifetime committment. I would like to see the same success from ANYWHERE else that we have seen from the 12 step program. I have have seen so many people helped through this program .... it cannot not be denied. I'm not trying to offend anyone, but the truth is the truth ..... Goldie
Avatar universal
There is no question AA/NA has helped many people.  But, they do both enjoy a very high failure rate.  That, along with a family member being sober for eleven years now without the program, leads me to believe AA/NA is not the only way.  I know of someone who was chastised by her sponsor for not announcing to everyone she is an alcoholic when addressing the meeting.  And at any meeting I attended, that was the protocol.  I have never been to NA, but I would imagine it to be along the same lines.
Avatar universal
wow, saturday morning, just got to work and all this input on labels and NA/AA. good stuff was posted.

michael, i appreciate what you said about the "failure" rate in NA/AA. i look at my eight years clean as having been very successful in the program. i do give NA the credit for giving me the tools that i used to stay clean for that long. BUT (always a but huh?!) i do not believe that NA or SOS or anything else is the ONLY way. it just isn't. and it is a shame to go into a twelve step program and be indoctrinated with the idea that if you don't stay clean or sober then you aren't "working the program" bullshit... working the program doesn't always mean that you will be able to maintain long term clean time or sobriety. i will leave it at that guys, this is just MY opinion to which i am entitled to.

to the person who asked about taking ultram. girl, email me! ***@**** and lets talk!!! this morning i was in the shower and i was enjoying the hot water pounding on my lower back and i was thinking about ultram... for a minute i thought, you know, maybe ultram would work... and then i remembered the two weeks i was on it and taking a responsible dose and not abusing it at all and then i thought about the three days of pretty crappy withdrawl! bad RLS, couldn't sleep... and this was taking a pretty minimal dose! i can only imagine what it would be like to withdraw from a large dose...

i want to go into how i feel about chronic pain and pain meds but i have taken up enough room!

peace,

amber
Avatar universal
Thank you so much. I need you right now and I thought you didnt like me or something cause ive tried to leave you a few posts and you never respond. I was happy to see that you did. I will be out of town until monday night so i will email you then,  I appreicate your kind words and support. I really need it right now. I feel as though im going down the wrong path and fast/.
luv
erika
Avatar universal
boy, what a change there's been in you, my friend! Your lucid and hopeful now. I couldn't be happier for you. You've obviously found a will and a way. Stick with it!

Thomas
Avatar universal
Eight years in the program and you are under the impression that you must believe in a "male God in the sky"?? Maybe I better re-read the steps and the traditions, but I thought this was also every person's individual choice. The "God" of their understanding. The group conscience, the great white spirit .... what ever. A power greater than ourselves. A power outside of ourselves. Nothing was ever mentioned about the gender of your higher power. People do make mistakes so maybe you were misinformed, but there is no such thing in NA ...
Avatar universal
I do believe that there is NOT only one way to get or stay  clean. BUT...Wutever method one uses it is necessary to commit to it 100%...this disease is cunning baffling and poweRful.  I will trust the advice of those who haveused ANY program to stay clean for years and years...as long as they are clean workin their program.. wutever it is.
Ty Thomas..you dear sweetheart!  But i have sooo much to grow.  Now though i am able to be happy despite the fact that i have no job, no home, no money left, etc.  due to this disease.  
But grateful yes grateful i am that i have this disease...
  (used to be miserably insane, now only happily insane!)
Love ya'll...Greatful to have you here to share and learn with!
Suzie
Avatar universal
To comment on the AA/NA comments.
Many addicts, though they have tried *many* times, just can't quit using on their own. (and some of you here know that drill all to well). Those programs are simply there to offer those people help and support. That's all, take it or leave it. Without statistics, and without truly knowing, I would bet that those programs have helped thousands more people than they have not helped. So, no not for everyone, but some find sobriety with their help. So to me, no matter how you slice it, they are good to have around.

As for opiate addiction, I do not believe it is in the same boat as aclohol addiction. As I learned at the methadone clinic with my g/f, after several years on an opiate, it is not simply just a matter of saying OK, I don't want to do this anymore and then just stop. There is a big chemical change in the brain, opiate receptors, etc. I can't explain it great, but that's the deal.

Which brings me to the second part of the original post...
  In cases of extreme opiate addiction (using a significant quantity for a very prolonged period of time) they do use methadone as a treatment (there are methadone clinics all over that are doing this). However, as I learned with my g/f, methadone is highly addictive, or if you would rather say - the body becomes very dependent on it. After 3 years of self research, I learned in most cases, it becomes a maintenance drug, rather than a detox drug - because it is that difficult to get off of. So those seeking to end their current opiate addiction, may want to think twice about going on methadone. It is not *necessarily* a detox program. There is no right or wrong, for some, it is the best solution. But just please know that side of it, that's all. My g/f and I didn't and she is now going to be on this stuff forever (she tried to detox several times, even as slow as 1 millogram every two weeks, and she CAN NOT do it. It's amazing the hold that stuff has on a person, I am utterly amazed). Not exactly what we were thinking when we went into it. Just an FYI.

-T050
Avatar universal
Your girlfriend tried to start detoxing after 7 MONTHS.  The longest detox program that I heard of is six months.  That is not a good plan for using methadone to detox off of another opioid.  No wonder that happened.  Not a good example.  I am truly sorry that happened.  That is not the way to do it, though.  I certainly don't condone what happened to her.  Total mismanagement.  Seven months is a LONG time to use methadone to detox off of another opioid.  Way too long.
Avatar universal
Hi mrmichael,
yea, it was supposed to be 4 months, but at 4 months we were moving and the counselor thought it best not to do it during that time. Then after that she was trying to find a job, so in the clinics eyes she was not 'stable', and thus not a good time to detox.

Thanks for your feedback though. Hmmm, interesting.

The other thing to consider though, is starting the detox is ultimately at the paitents discretion. The rasing and lowering of the dose is based on the patients feedback. She went from struggling to get the pills thru vaious means, to getting her daily fix legally and regularly. So perhaps she wasn't too eager to give that up, perhaps that was a factor, I don't know.

My main goal after all I went thru with her addiction is just to let people know that side of methadone. As I said before, the clinic proposed it to us as a nice little detox program for opiates. And it wan't a nice little detox at all. They should tell people that it is very difficult to get off of, and direct them to sites such as attwatchdog. Just so that people know that side of it before going on it and not after. That's all I hope to accomplish.

Regards,
T050



Avatar universal
I didn't want to be the first one to say that, but I did consider your girlfriend's happiness with just staying where she is nice and comfy.  That does happen.  If someone were to use methadone in a detox type of situation, they would have to stay focused and get on and get off.  Make a plan and follow it to the number.  It is very easy to get comfortable with it and over stay your welcome.
Avatar universal
I think Thomas might be right on this to say Methadone should be used on the ones who take larger doses of Morphine or Heroine or long time users, My Mom detoxed off Methadone after taking the above drugs and she did it. she spent 4 months after with no sleep ect.. I went through a w/d with her before methadone and I thought she was dyeing but for me and Hydro I don't think it's the way to go, w/d will be much worse with Methadone then the Hydro, Methadone builds up in your system after a while so getting it out takes longer. That's what I was told anyway, If I'm wrong let me know cause I'm not a pro. TER
Avatar universal
How long was your mom on methadone?  The reason I ask is if she lost sleep for four months, then she must have been on it for an extended period.  I agree with methadone being used for detox in the period of a month or less.  And, it is the last option....after every thing else has been exhausted.  I feel like a broken record after writing that last sentence.
Avatar universal
My Mom doesnt talk about it much but I will ask her, I just remember bits and pieces of what she said but I'll find out, I remember finding a burnt spoon in her bathroom when I was young, but I know it started when she got a boob job that got very infected to the point that they had to remove her breasts thats when she got addicted to morphine then went to heroine, she told me I should try Methadone but thank god I read this forum I don't think she was familiar with Hydro w/d since she did the bigger stuff, shes been clean for at least 10 years then went to alcohol until she ended up in the hospital with liver damage and the doc said quit drinking or your dead so she did. she still smokes pot but I'ld rather that then the latter, I will find out the details in hopes it might help anyone here she has lived a very hard life, my sister was killed because of drugs and I know that hits her hard I wish I could get her to tell her story here everyone would be amazed but I wont bore anyone with  it even though I think she could write a book.  TER
Avatar universal
Unfortunately, that is how many end up on heroin....from an injury or surgery or whatever that caused pain.  I notice you separating heroin and hydro.  Of course, I don't know what your mom's tolerance was and I don't know how much heroin she was doing.  I just want to comment on that because it happens often where people put heroin in a different league and in many cases, it isn't.  I am not trying to say heroin is not way stronger than whatever because that wouldn't be true.  What is true is many oxy or hydro addicts have tolerances that rival that of a heroin addict.  Actually, I just use the term "opioid dependent" or "opioid addict" as that is basically the bottom line....if someone is addicted to oxy or hydro, they are addicted to opioids, period.  I have talked to someone about a month and a half ago who is an opioid addict with a very high tolerance and was doing a few hundred mg of oxycontin a day.  She didn't realize she was also tolerant to heroin, or any other opioid for that matter.  If one were to take opioids for pain and be on one for a considerable time and then change meds, they would be able to get by with a slightly lower dose with the new opioid due to incomplete cross tolerance.  But, they are still tolerant to the new opioid.  The cross tolerance may be incomplete, but it is still there.  She was so surprised by what I told her.  If you could find out how long your mom was on the methadone, that would be great.  Any info helps.  And, you might have already known what I just wrote.  I just wanted to touch on it as that thought is very prevalent.
Avatar universal
I totally agree, I think of herione as bigger meaning stronger. Be addicted to an opiate is just that addicted It doesn't mean I'm a better person because I didn't try that, To me it means my w/d probly won't be as bad as that of someone who is taking herione but the end result is the same we all have to fight those demons in our head to keep us off and I'm struggleing with that right now, I saw my mom w/d or try to w/d from heroine, that was something I never want to witness again I believe thats when she started the methodone program, I tried to call her but she hasn't been home. I too believe the pain got her started but I also believe in her case b/c she was so stressed not every day stressed but she was on trial for murder (self defense) I really believe in her depressed state she was trying to be numb to the whole situation. I was proud of her years later, that she didn't go back to it when my sister died because of drugs, The pain that drugs caused my family, I have to wonder knowing this why I even have thoughts of going back. they are so strong right now, I need to be open with my mom right now so maybe she can talk me through this, I will let you know the details, something I want to know anyway. Thanxs TER
Avatar universal
Well, there is more to it than willing yourself to not do it.  Wouldn't it be nice if opioids were like weed?  Well, maybe not.  It would just be nice to be able to put it down and walk away if one wanted to.  I would like to be able to walk away, but for a different reason.
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