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methadone addiction

How long does it take for addiction to begin after taking methadone?  A week, two,three,four weeks???
55 Responses
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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?!!
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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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