Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

To provide a better understanding of the very important role methadone plays in the treatment of addiction.
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 Eighteen Years of Success

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Number of posts : 13
Location : Boston, MA
Job/hobbies : I love animals and all arts/crafts.
Humor : silly/ironic
Registration date : 2009-12-23

PostSubject: Eightenn years of success...   Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:52 pm

Until May of 2009, I had been highly-functional and productive due to methadone maintenance. I had been on 100mg and received 5 take home doses (the maximum at my clinic) per week. During those eighteen years, all my urine tests were clean as I was doing no additional drugs, I paid my fees promptly, I attended all required individual and group therapy sessions, and was an all-around good example of what methadone maintenance was designed to do. For eighteen years I was able to produce a supervised urine test, though it could take me a few minutes. Last winter of 2008, the newest addtion to the urine test monitoring staff began timing my supervised urines which immediately created anxiety for me. I spoke with my therapist about this numerous times, but she was SURE that I would never have a problem. At the end of last May, I was unable to produce a urine sample in the mysterious allotted time. I had asked numerous times what the exact time frame was but never received an answer. I was only told that I was exceeding it. I immediately lost my take homes which turned my entire life upside down. I have had severe problems with depression since I can remember and have been on disabilty for agoraphobia and depression (also chronic pain issues from several auto accidents) for quite some time. Having to go to the clinic every day, caused panic attacks that were so extreme that just the thought of going to "that place" made me shake uncontrollably. I quickly detoxed and was off the clinic by the beginning of September 2009. It didn't take long for me to understand that my "house" was built on a daily use of this medication. I am an artist and jeweler, and had always manged to produce at least one piece of art on a daily basis. I haven't produced anything now since last May when this all started. I quickly lost 45 lbs and now suffer from horrible headaches, no sleep, chronic pain and depression. In November, I decided that I had no choice but to start at a new clinic. Someplace in my dumb old head, I figured that crossing the obstacle of just starting a new clinic would be my most difficult task. Little did I know, that clinics are now very reluctant to give you the dose you need. Now I'm stuck at 80mg (of liquid...I had been taking wafers at my old clinic) and it's not working. I have no idea how to start looking for drugs and really don't want to, but I'm feeling very trapped and hopeless. At this stage of my life (I'm 52 years old), I'm absolutely feeling like my time is up, and I'm becoming too tired and depressed to continue fighting to regain my former life. It's impossible for me to relate to the positive and productive person I was a year ago. Now I'm much more of the depressed and suicidal teenager that started taking drugs to begin with. I feel as though I've been treated like a criminal, and now that I'm reading more about where MMT is headed, my already hopeless attitude has grown even worse. I never thought I'd see the day that a drug dealer would have more to offer me than a clinic environment. I have yet another appointment to meet with the young new clinic doctor next week. I fully expect him to repeat his previous lecture on "the incredible half-life of methadone" or "did you know you could have a heart attack from this stuff?" rap. At this point, a heart attack would be a welcome resbit from my daily torture of depression, pain, and hopelessness!
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Number of posts : 51
Age : 60
Location : Vermont
Registration date : 2009-03-05

PostSubject: Thank you.   Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:22 am

Thank you for sharing some of your story, Kim. It has been a pleasure reading "Your Journal." You haven't been alone in your suffering for many of us have shared similar stories but I must say yours does take the cake! I can't believe and see no logic in timing a urine. You made the right decision in sharing with me and I will definitely braodcast it to all the Internet, besides other action will be taken soon.
I know and realize how difficult it must have been for you but it didn't kill you but I am sure there were times you had wished you were dead. I can't believe how many "Opiate Treatment Programs" have started back using "Observed Urines." What is it they hope to accomplish by this? How will it stop any diversion? I found out the other day we even had cameras in one of our "Opiate Treatment Programs" in Georgia. I do not approve of cameras at all for there are better methods and I really want to take the time and start seeting up interviews and asking why they are using cameras, setting a time limit on a drug test, and/or obtaining observed urines? Why are they allowing them to get by with these invasions of privacy? Aren't all of you getting sick of it?
I am not saying they shouldn't do drug -testing because I think it is important for them to know if you are using benzodiazepines or other medications which could cause your death if mixed with methadone. I believe it is a way of catching it but I don't believe and really don't see where all this other is at all necessary and if any of you do, then please by all means explain it to me? I really am intersted in knowing how many of you are being given observed urines? If it is not too much to ask, then please do give me the name of your "Opiate Treatment Program" and where it is located. I really want everyone to know about them and just maybe we can manage to locate other facilities and put them out of business. They are making good money off of us and we have to spend the money to pay for the methadone even though many people believe it is paid for by the government (many years ago, maybe but most all of them today are for profit and they exploit us).
I'd like to welcome you Kim and would like for you to share more of what happened to you with the rest of the patients. I know the ordeal took its toll on you just as mine did on me. It didn't kill you and you have found another one now and since I spoke to you, they have increased your dose and I am so hoping you don't have observed urines there and I see no need for them unless there is suspicion concering you. I think you will find in time you are much stronger than you thought for you did survive the ordeal and lived to tell others about it. You exercised patience and never lost it and it is more than I can say about some of us and this alone should make you proud. I have a wonderful hard-to-believe story to tell and I am going to let everyone know about how they treated you. I have given all of you a voice to speak out and all you have to do is use it. I will publish whatever it is you want to get across to the public and I'm begging all of you to speak up for yourself.
You do need to be extremely careful while you are still attending your "Opiate Treatment Program" but after you have transferred and left, then it is time to let others know about it and at least we may could stop others from going there and ending up as you did. Don't we owe this much to our brothers and sisters? We are discriminated against more than anyone and we are looked down upon and all of us have probably been abused at least once by a staff member. How can you possibly respect yourself if you don't speak up?
I want to thank Kim for having the courage to write me about it and give me permission to use it and I have sent a copy to my Contact and I will keep all of you updated. We need others to speak out and name your program if it is violating your self-respect. I am not asking you to speak out while you are there unless it is what you must do because it is most important you do not lose your temper and most of the time filing a complaint will only cause you more retaliation and I believe most of you will agree with me. You do need to examine your actions very carefully before you move on any of them because I don't want to see any of you end up without your methadone. Many have by speaking out ...

They have actually had to go and purchase it on the street and I don't think this is good for anyone. I'm not saying I don't understand because I do. They are driving many of you to the streets to purchase it but you have so much to lose if you get caught. You could have your children taken away ...and end up in prison and then there would be no methadone... None of us would choose to go this road but I do understand how we could end up on it. Yes, I will never judge you if you must take it ...but just try and hold your tongue until you can locate another program. Call me ...and I will talk to you and help you locate another facility or see if I can get help for you. Don't give them the pleasure of making you lose control and then discharging is why we are here for you.
My phone is ringing and I must close but I wanted to congraulate you, Kim. You lived through it all just as I did and you are the better for it. I believe as they increase your dose your old self will return and you will forget all the bad memories. It took me nine months to heal and I still have nightmares about it bust since you and I have lived through it, we now are able to help others and identifywith them. Thanks, Kim and you really are a trooper!

Last edited by Admin on Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edited spelling)
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Number of posts : 3
Age : 61
Location : Southeastern,MA.
Job/hobbies : Reading, researching subjects of interest
Humor : dry, love puns, a bit sarcastic, never hurtful.
Registration date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Eighteen Years of Success   Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:20 pm

Dear Kim,

I think I know what clinic you are on-just by the description. The young Dr. you spoke even sounds familiar. I know that the guy we have seems to dislike MMT. One wonders why he is there at all.
The clinic I am on used wafers and Dolphin and then suddenly one day changed it, assuring us that it was "all the same thing". It wasn't. You never would see someone on over 250 milligrams of methadone, but you do on methadose-and the quality is very poor. One day it is alright, the next day I have to check to see if I actually dosed! (I have 4 take homes-although I am eligible for one more I will not get it because I am not working despite the fact that I have documentation of my lifelong depression, social isolation which is very much like agoraphobia-I never go out, but if I have to I can. It has a huge impact on my life and the BiPolar Disorder doesn't help at all), but at least now they tell the truth, a holding dose of methadose is about 90 milligrams, and that is an average-not by any means what you may need. I am on 80-and that is considered a fairly low dose. A holding dose on methadone was 50 and you truly didn't have to go much higher.
All I can say is that from what I hear the price of heroin has skyrocked-but I don't know how true that, but if it is true you would have to boost everything in sight to support your habit.
At this point it is the lesser of 2 evils.At least that is how it sounds.
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