Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

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 Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:16 pm

I posted this under Thought for the Day 8-18-10 as well but I know some of you may not read the thought for the day so I wanted to post it here as well. That way I could make sure as many of you as possible read it and have a chance to give me your input. If you don't want to post a reply that everyone can read, please send me a private message. I would love to hear from others about this topic.

I know this isn't normally the type of "Thought for the Day" that I usually post, but I originally started it so that I could share my thoughts for the day with ya'll and today my mind is just racing and racing with this subject.

It's not easy for me to talk about and I am kind of ashamed to admit that I even struggle in this area so you guys please bear with me and I hope that it doesn't make anyone think any less about me for it.

I am not sure how to even start so I will just get right to the point. Even after over 10 yrs of what I consider successful MMT, I have a very hard time with cravings and controlling myself where my takeouts are concerned.

Everyone of us still struggles with normal cravings. Normal cravings to me are the cravings that you can deal with. You can find something else to do or think of something else to try and get your mind off of it. Eventually it will go away and you feel "normal" again no harm, no foul. But then there's also what I call "crazy cravings". These are the cravings that no matter what you do, it's a frantic need and/or desire. That desperate crave to have the feeling of "well being" or the light "buzz" that we get from short acting opiates. It's that craving where you feel like you will go crazy and/or do just about anything to satisfy it and make the craving stop.

Now, I haven't abused opiates, benzos or amphetamines (like xanax or valium and phentermine etc) in so long that I can't even REMEMBER the last time, but the only reason I don't abuse them when I'm have those crazy cravings is because I know that the methadone ends up cancelling out anything else I take like that and it's a wasted effort. To get any kind of buzz I would have to take so many that I would overdose or end up puking my guts up, having a stroke or plain out dying so it just isn't worth it to me. At least this has been MY experience in this area because believe me, I have tried. We have a few bottles of what was once my fav drug of choice on top of my fridge and I don't even want to take them...but it's only because like I said, it will not give me the feeling I am seeking.

That is where controlling myself with my takeouts come in. It's crazy to even take more methadone because I KNOW how methadone works and no matter how much I end up taking, it doesn't work like short acting opiates. I will never attain that "buzz" or sense of wellbeing that I am craving so badly, but that doesn't matter to me, I do it anyway.

It has gotten so bad that we had to buy a tamper proof safe for us to keep my takeouts in and my husband gives me my daily dose. We use to have a safe that opened with a key but on those days when I was craving so badly, I would tear the house up trying to find the key. No matter where it was hidden, I would seek that sucker out like it was calling my name. Now on those crazy craving days, I find myself punching in numbers on the safe we have hoping that eventually I might hit the right combo and be able to get inside the darn thing.

If we didn't do it this way, I would gobble up my months worth of takeouts in a matter of 1 1/2-2 weeks time. Now, I know some of you are wondering why I don't just let the clinic know and have them give me my dose every single day. Well, we live 1 1/2 hrs one way from my clinic. We have 2 small boys in school and after school activities and I work a part time job outside the home so it's not the easiest thing in the world to do and hey, let's be honest here since I am spilling my dirty dark secrets about everything else, who really wants to make that daily treck if you don't have to?

I have been on MMT for over 10 yrs. I know when done properly it works and works well. For the first several years I did it exactly like I was suppose to. But then I got pregnant and towards the end of my pregnancy the clinic wanted me to get to as low a dose as I could stand because they said it decreased the chance of the baby having w/drawals and complications from MMT. I was originally on 80mg and managed to work down to 35mg without too much trouble, but when I went from 35-30mg is when I first started having trouble. I didn't want to admit to the clinic that I was struggling because they kept telling me how good I was doing and stressing that the lower I got the better, instead I would take a bit here and there from my takeouts to compensate. It wasn't so bad where I would ever have to go without for any length of time, but that is when all of this first started.

Even after the baby was born and I got back up to my original 80mgs, I still couldn't quit. It was like I opened a door I shouldn't have and now I couldn't get it closed again. Eventually it got to the point where I would take my take outs and have to go a few days without any or several days with only 10mg when I should have had 80mgs. During this time, I was eligible for once a month status but I stayed on every two weeks because I felt that was more manageable.

It wasn't until we moved to another state that things got REALLY bad. I wanted to stay at my same clinic because everything else in our life was being turned upside down. It was a 3 hour ONE WAY trip to the clinic now so it was in our best interest for me to go up to the once a month status. Things got so bad that I had to call the clinic and fess up that I had taken my whole months worth of meds in a matter of 2 weeks time and had none left for the rest of the month.

They decreased my level and increased my dose. This happened 2 more times in a matter of a year. I was down to once a week (making the 6 hr drive once a week) and had worked my way up to 120mgs. Hubby and I bought our first safe and he started giving me my daily dose. Even though there were days I would still take a little extra, it wasn't so out of control and I was eventually able to work my way up to once a month level again. BUT I still struggled so badly. When I tried to get another increase (which would put me over 120mg) is when I encountered an additional problem. Because I was seeking an increase that was over 120mg, I started having problems with the clinic. The director even told me that the doc very RARELY went over 120mgs and even then it was a pt that had severe liver problems so I was not hopeful it would be approved. I kept putting in a request for one and finally the clinic made me do a peak and trough. LOOOONG story short,they interpreted the P&T however they wished and not only wouldn't give me an increase, but said I was overmedicated and gave me a decrease instead! I was stunned. I was struggling so badly and I knew if I was having such a hard time now, things were only going to get worse. I even provided them w/info from SAMHSA about P&T showing them that I fell within the numbers that indicated an increase and was again denied the increase. I had nothing else to lose and knew I had to tell them how bad things really were for me if I was going to have any hope of staying clean and doing the program right. I finally admitted everything to the clinic...about the safe, my hubby giving me my daily dose, the lack of self control with takeouts...I told them EVERYTHING hoping they would see how bad things had gotten and how desperate I was. I was hoping that I could get an increase or come up with some legitimate, valid solution so I could get back to normal again. The doc still refused an increase (he did let me go back to 120mg...oh and by this time I had been on 120mg for about 4 yrs and had put on about 60lbs) and when I asked him what did he recommend since he didn't approve the increase and I was struggling so badly, his exact words to me were "If you can't be maintained on 120mgs then maybe it's time you either got off methadone or found yourself another clinic............." I was stunned to say the least. Again, I won't go into all the details because I'm trying to keep this as short as possible, but find a new clinic is exactly what I did.

I have now been going to a clinic that is 1 1/2 hrs away. I am on once a month status and the doc gave me an increase to 130mg. The problem is that I STILL struggle so badly. I am not having actual withdrawal symptoms, at least not any major ones, but these crazy cravings hit me so hard and so frequently that if we didn't have the safe, I would gobble up my take home meds.

IF I managed to get an increase, I honestly don't know if would even help or if it did help, I am sure it would only be a matter of time before that dose no longer holds me anymore either and I am right back in the same situation only on a higher dose of methadone.

PLEASE tell me that I am not the only one out there that deals with this situation! It is so frustrating to me because again, I know that MMT works if you can get on an adequate dose and follow the program right but I am at a loss right now. If an increase is what I need, I'm sure I will have a very hard time trying to get it since I am already at 130mg, but lets say I do actually get one, then what? How much is enough to keep these crazy cravings at bay and how long would it last before I start going through the same thing again.

Should I come clean with the clinic staff and "trust" that they will do what is right/best for me or should I try something else. Again, I know that struggling with cravings will be a lifetime issue as an opiate addict but these are not just those typical cravings that you can get a handle on, these are those crazy cravings that take over your mind and your rational thinking so that it is the only thing you can think about and stays that way.

I would really like to hear from some of you about this. If you really don't want to post something for everyone to read, then please at least send me a private message and share with me your experience with this. I can't possibly be the only one out there who struggles with this.

I would especially like to hear from any of you that are on the clinical side of MMT and hear your take on things.
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Happylady5

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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:38 am

I am sorry that you are struggling with your cravings. I used to take some out of my take-homes when I first started (only a year ago). I stopped because the next day, I would feel like crap and I regretted it. Also, Our clinic does mandatory dose checks. The clinic calls us and we have to bring in our take-homes within a 24 hour window. You can't open up your morning dose till you get to the clinic. If you don't show up or they can't get a hold of you, they put you right back at phase one. They will make you dose everyday. So that is motivation enough to not touch them. Even though I have thought about it many times, when those crazy-cravings come around. I've worked too hard for those take-homes to be taken away. Maybe a system like that would help you not touch them? Does your clinic do that?
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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:23 pm

Im sorry your struggling so bad, Its the worst feeling ever, cause it takes over your whole thought process, and NOTHING makes it go away except
some type of opiate. I dont know why your clinic doesnt increase your dose, I was up to 200mgs for 3 years, and that was no big deal, EVERYBODY is diffrent.
My tolerance is high and it sounds like yours is too, so it does not makes sense to me, you should make an appointment with the clinic doctor and get on the dose that
you need, or whats the use of even taking methadone. That is the reason your on it, to take your cravings away, the only way is the dose that does it, like I said everyone is diffrent, it shouldnt matter 30- 60-100-200-250... no ones the same.
I hope you can get on the right dose so you can get on with life!!!
PEACE...........Debbie
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lilgirllost
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Location : live in Louisiana but attend MMT clinic in Tx
Job/hobbies : COUPONING & GEOCACHING are my favorite past times but I also love reading and spending time with my husband and kids
Humor : I don't have a sense of humor.............
Registration date : 2009-05-25

PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:55 pm

I forgot to mention, my clinic does call backs as well but so far I have been able to avoid being too low to "fix" by the time I came in for my call back. I know about every 6 mths they will do one so I try to be extra careful around then and I have like 48 hrs to come in from the time she actually gets me on the phone. So, the first day she calls I may or may not answer the phone, depending on how far behind I may be, and then try to go from there. They don't require me to take the dose in front of the for the day I actually come so I can use that as another chance to make up for a dose. ALSO, the security seals on the bottles I have are breachable. But again, that's not the point. I KNOW that MMT works if done right and I want to do this right. I don't want to keep doing like this, that is why we have bought the safe and my husband gives me my daily dose.........but it isn't fair to him, he shouldn't have to be in this position and I don't feel like it's fair that I have to struggle either.

It IS very frustrating. I don't have any actual physical w/drawals, or not any that are that major anyhow, it's just the craving that sense of "well being" or the little pick me up that I would get with fast acting opiates before methadone. I don't know if an increase would actually help these cravings or not, I am just at such a loss as to what to do.

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Happylady5

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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:02 am

Uhhgg! That sounds so frustrating! Sounds like you did the right thing with the safe. When you got married he said vow, "...through sickness and health..." I really feel bad though.
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floydfx05

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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:13 pm

I really think you should try the increase your dose, because by you taking out of your take homes
you are increasing what your taking and you cant measure what the dose is your taking xtra ya know.
so its messing with your exact dose. your kinda on a roller coaster of methadone, you need to get on a Higher dose.
The only way your gonna feel good and back to normal is if your dose is what your body needs and to stick with it.
PEACE Debbie
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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:21 pm

I believe the reason I dont have those cravings anymore IS because my dose is where it should be, I was at 200mg 2 years ago, Ive came down slowly in those 2 years and now Im at 125mgs and Im comfortable here feel good. and thats where you need to be where your feeling good, its like using again, you wanting to get in that safe.
It shouldnt be like that.
anyway, Im just really feeling bad for you and I hope you get where you need to be.
PEACE....Debbie
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Happylady5

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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:38 pm

I think Debbie is right. When I have the right dose and I am comfortable I don't want those take-homes because I am at a comfy dose. I think you should try again to get your dose up'ed. You shouldn't have that constant nag to get the "sense of well being". If you still feel the need, after a dose increase, then deal with that as it comes. Lilgirllost, you also have been on MMT for alot longer than I have. I hope that isn't a defect I have waiting for me, in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:04 pm

I am so sorry you are going through this. As I read your story my heart really went out to you. It's like you are on that same mental roller coaster you were on while using.

I agree also that you should increase your dosage. As Debbie said, messing with your other doses .. and what dose are you really at? You probably don't know at this point.

Also, you may want to possibly get into some one on one therapy. Since this is the mental cravings and not the physical ones, maybe there is something around you or some type of behavior that is triggering this mentally in you. It seems like you are constantly being triggered, tripped up and you need to find the source of it.

The good thing is that you are willing to admit it and work to make it better for yourself. This is a very powerful step. Now you just need to find someone to work with you ....... the clinic to help get you on your "right" dose, and possibly a therapist to help find that trigger.

Good luck and please write and tell us how you are doing.
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wildsimian



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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:56 am

Another thought.

(yes you've been on my mind)

What is your diet like? Do you eat well, exercise, all over healthy ..... or have you been like me, not paying much attention at all (until now)

I was reading about relapse, and it might pertain to your situation as well. Anyway I read: The drugs you used left residue locked in the fatty tissues throughout the body. These residues (residuals) may be released into the blood stream at any time, even years after you have stopped using these drugs. These residuals can and usually do cause cravings to satisfy the need for more drugs. Hence, relapse. (or possibly in your situation, intense cravings that aren't the usual physical cravings that we are all familiar with.

It may be something to think about.
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lilgirllost
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Humor : I don't have a sense of humor.............
Registration date : 2009-05-25

PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:15 pm

hmmmm....trish as a matter of fact what you have to say may play a part in some of my problems.

I have type 2 diabetes that I have a very hard time keeping under control. I take medication (no insulin yet) and yes, I am overweight. (I weigh more now than I ever did 9 months pregnant) I don't eat healty if I am totally honest with myself because we are constantly on the go.........running the kids to practice for this, practice for that, games for this or that, work blah blah blah so it is much easier to grab something quick to eat.

When I first started having problems though, I wasn't that much overweight but I do know that sometimes the feelings I get when my blood sugar is out of whack is sometimes very similiar to withdrawals........the sweating and anxiety, shakes and depression. There are many times when I start feeling funny and/or craving that I find if I will eat something the feelings go away so then I know it was my blood sugar that had me feeling wiggy and not withdrawals.

Course I wonder if the fact that my blood sugar is so out of control may have something to do with me "using up" my dose faster or metabolizing it faster. Since I have been on the 120mgs, I have put on over 60 lbs so I am sure that has something to do with things to.

Being diagnosed as bipolar all those years ago, I only take welbutrin now so I find myself getting depressed somewhat (nothing like I use to where i was suicidal or anything) and I know that has some to do with my cravings because when I used, I wasn't depressed. BTW this is totally off subject, but I found some articles the other day and I will have to look them up and share them with you guys, but it was a study where ppl who suffered from depression that couldn't seem to control it on regular antidepressants, they were treating sucessfully with opiates like methadone and the results were favorable. So maybe those of us who did feel like opiates helped w/depression weren't so crazy after all??? That's a whole nother' topic, but it was an interesting concept all the same.

Anyhow, thanks for you guys' input and for sharing your thoughts and experiences on this subject.


RuthAnn
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wildsimian



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PostSubject: Re: Do any of you still crave that sense of well being from opiates and/or struggle with your takeouts?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:26 pm

I have to tell you, I know very well that opiates definitely did help with depression.

Being diagnosed as bipolar myself, even the methadone helps with depression I was feeling. I could feel it work right away. Now that's not to say that it will always be this way ... heck I've only been on it little over a month. But I do know that the opiates basically "took over" where my antidepressants were concerned. It's as if they didn't work at all while on opiates. I still continue to take them though.

Idea argh. I couldn't take welbutrin at all. Well ... the first time I took it I lost a LOT of weight. Ended up having to go on something else because I had no appetite at all. A few years later I revisited Welbutrin when my other antidepressant stopped worked and it turned me into a madwoman! Literally ... I was vicious. Tearing everyone around me apart. Full of rage. It's odd that didn't happen to me the first time I was on it.

How are you doing with your take homes now? Are you still having the same problem?

I hope you are able to find some way to resolve this issue. It must be so frustrating wanting to do the right thing, and feeling so out of control.
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