My name is Deborah Shrira and I am the Creator of http://www.MedicalAssistedTreatment.org and this forum is part of it even though I don't have much time to interact with all of you. I really miss being a part of it but they are some great people who are members and they all have information and are only happy to share with with you and offer support.
I am a pharmacist by profession but once I started taking methadone and it worked for me, I had to open a website to let others know about what a wonderful medication it was. I became addicted to pain medication because of the numerous surgeries I had and spent many months in Residential Inpatient Treatment which didn't work for me because I still had pain. Finally, a patient told me about methadone and I showed up for treatment and it stopped my pain, withdrawal symptoms and my craving. I couldn't believe it! I was on it for years before I developed serious back problems and now I draw Disability because I can no longer work standing on my feet all day and I have the same kind of pain you have plus nerve damage and I know just how agonizing your pain is, believe me?
Have you thought about filing for Disability? It was very difficult for me to admit I could no longer work even though I have spent many long hours constructing the websites and answering emails. I am able to stop and rest if the pain becomes too unbearable without worrying about losing my position. I know it can't be easy to come up with the money if you are not working and it is much better to be able to see a Pain Management physicain if it is possible. As I said, I started out on a MMTP for addiction and my back problems developed later. I am sure you know Pain Management physicians can only write for pain and not for addiction.
You are living in Florida and it probably is one of the worse states you could be in now. If there is limit imposed on what they can prescribe, it would have to be a State law because there is no Federal Regulation imposing a limit on the methadone He can prescribe. He can't prescribe any for addiction to any person but if He is prescribing it for pain there is no limit unless a new law has been passed by Florida. I can share this with you, the DEA has just put quite a number of Pain Management physicians in jail for over-prescribing and Florida is one of the states with the highest death toll from methadone (it is #1 or #2 for deaths) Florida and North Carolina are the two states with the highest deaths from methadone. Of course, they have proved most all of the deaths are coming from the Pain Management physicians prescribing and not from the MMTPs. I don't know but I am checking into it but it is possible because of all the physicians they found over prescribing and because of the many deaths the state of Florida has, they possibly did pass a law lowering the amount which could be prescribed. It is not a law in Georgia and other states I checked on. It is not a Federal law ..therefore it has been passed by Florida or otherwise your physician is giving you the run-around.
Many Pain Management physicians will not dispense over 50mg and some will possibly go up to 100mg in Georgia but most won't. I did go to one temporarily after I was first diagnosed but I was attending the MMTP too. Methadone doesn't work too well for pain if it is given once daily therefore, I was given methadone for breakthrough pain by my Pain Management physician. When I first started seeing him He told me He would not go over 50mg on any patient. I was receiving 280mg from my methadone clinic but I had been on it for 13 years and been on the same dose of 280mg for seven of those years. It was not stopping my pain and the quality of my life had been compromised. We did a Peak and Trough to see what my serum level was and it showed I wasn't receiving enough methadone even for my daily dose and so my Doctor did go up to I believe 95 mg. He didn't usually do this but He could tell how it was affecting my life and He did make an exception which later I had to stop taking because my MMTP did not like me receiving it. They made alot of trouble for me and I decided to stop. I eventually did transfer to another MMTP but in the state of Georgia we have about 43 MMTPs and I called all of them and I could not find but one who would take me on the dose I was on (280mg). I had been on this dose for seven long years. Most of the clinics didn't care and told me they would not accept anyone on a dose over than 120mg.
I think you will find out if you call some of them that they have lowered their dose of methadone also because of all the deaths which have occurred and the DEA is putting heat on all of them. You will no longer find too many people on high doses and I am sure there are patients which are members of this forum which will share with you just how difficult it is now to obtain an increase in your dose at MMTPs. I have personally tried to help quite a few obtain an increase in their doses.
It is hard to know whether your physician is giving you the run around because He is scared because of all the heat on the Pain Management physicians because Florida has one of the highest death toll rates from methadone and maybe your doctor heard of all the arrests made in the state of Florida and has become cautious. I am checking up on it for you to see of they passed a State law limiting the amount of methadone and I will get back to you. How about checking in and letting us know just how you are holding up because we are concerned about how you are doing and I should have some news for you soon.
Welcome, and I am sorry it took me so long to answer but I seen your post and it reminded me of what I heard last week about the round up and arrest of x # of physicians from Florida which was over prescribing methadone. There is no limit on the amount to be prescribed unless Florida has just passed one...so I would ask the Doctor for more information because I think it is his decision because He is running scared. I could be totally wrong and I am checking it out for you.
I will be in touch and I hope to hear from you.