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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 Hi I'm Trish ...

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Number of posts : 9
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2010-10-08

PostSubject: Hi I'm Trish ...   Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:14 pm

I wrote up a small journal of what happened with me on another forum and I wanted to share it with others here:

Hi everyone.

My name is Trish and I've recently moved to Charlotte NC from Tampa FL. I'm 40 years old, engaged to a wonderful man who I've been with for 10 years now. I have a 20 year old son from a previous marriage, and a grandson who just turned a year old. I was diagnosed many years ago as bipolar, with acute anxiety disorder. I am on social security disability. I am also addicted to pain medication.

Back in August I packed a bag full of whatever clothes I could carry and took a bus across country from Florida to the Carolinas hoping to get help for my addiction.

Backwards ... little over a year ago ... August of 2009, I was in an automobile accident that damaged my neck and back, leaving me with acute nerve damage prominently in the left side of my back. Originally I was put on Vicodin. From there I went to Percocet. As my dependence increased over the months I was changed to Oxycodone.

I became addicted. I think that possibly part of the reason for my addiction is related to my long term use of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications (benzos). Psychiatrists never really did find anything that worked for me for longer than a year or two, and I believe that my long term usage of these medications may have possibly played a role in changing my brain chemistry.

The other reason for my addiction was straight up longing for how the pain meds made me feel. My depression was gone, I was able to be a social person again (this was huge) ... I felt that "all around good feeling". That feeling of well being. A feeling that I thought most people should feel as a recourse for living a good life and being a good person.

I was living a fairy tale. Within a year my craving for pain meds became extremely debilitating. 5mg then 15mg then 30 mgs ... 4 pills, 6 pills, 15 pills daily. And more. And more. They began to wear off every 4 hours, and only really worked for a few hours. So I spent my days in the horrible ups and downs that you all must know ... watching the clock, waiting for when I could have my next period of relief. Shaking and upset when my time of relief was up. If I take more today I'll take less tomorrow to make up for it. Riiiiight. I cried constantly.

I began to have nightmares, and a strong feeling of anxiety about sleep. I would try to stay awake as long as possible because sleep only meant that I would wake up in the middle of the night with my legs kicking wildly in restless leg syndrome, sweating profusely, and depressed with fatigue.

Every day I cried. Every day I feared the point in the month that I would run out of pills. Every day I was so afraid to fall asleep. I shopped doctors. I hopped from pharmacy to pharmacy. All for a few hours of "normalcy" in my day.

All the while my fiance tried helping me control my usage. He'd hide my pills but I would ultimately tear the house apart to find them. I hid what I could from him. I hid that fact that I was doctor shopping. Also, because I am bipolar with anxiety, he was used to me having times of the year when I would not feel right. I know it was so difficult for him to discern how bad I really was. The recession had hit us hard as well. He was out of work, and very depressed about that. We were living on my flimsy SSI check every month. And we were also living in a broken down trailer in a swampy area of Florida. As much as I cleaned, I never felt clean. The water was terrible. The heat and bugs and all around despair in living in some pretty bad conditions were exhausting - the thought of which only pushed me further into my addiction. I wanted to drown out the conditions around me.

I got to the point where I was completely out of control. I stayed awake long after he did and many times passed out cold, falling off my chair and hitting the floor. I ended up with bruises and I never knew how I got them.

I began to fear death. I couldn't watch movies or TV shows with death. I began to see my own face there. My ability to concentrate what shot. My ability to focus was shot.

And in the end I was so afraid of myself that I completely stopped counting how much I was taking at all.

In July ... a month before my final decision to leave for NC, I opted to go in for inpatient detox. The facility that took me prescribed Ativan for detox, and Trazodone to sleep. It was unbelievably horrible. Not only did the Ativan not work very well ..... it made me feel as if I was functioning on the level of a child. The facility itself was freezing cold and I continued to sweat profusely. My face swelled up to the point where my eyes were almost completely shut when I woke up in the morning. The place was dirty. We were not allowed in our rooms during the day and confined to one great room together all day.

After four days they let me go home, and although the severe withdrawals had passed, I was still utterly miserable. I was physically unable to function, basically confined to a bed, and near suicidal mentally.

With what I believed was no end in sight, I went back to taking the pain pills ... hoping that I could somehow manage them like a regular person could. (What's that saying about the definition of insanity?)

Within a few weeks I was back to where I had been prior to going in for detox. There was another addiction recovery facility that offered suboxone, and I had read that suboxone was nothing short of a miracle for addicts. Unfortunately the facility that offered it was the only one of it's kind in my area, and it cost $1,000 per day. (They did not take medicare, and after a long career in banking, I bring home too much money on SSI to be eligible for medicaid).

There was a facility that offered it in Charlotte NC, and they would take my insurance. Another positive was both my mother and my sister live in Charlotte and would be able to help. I had been considering moving to be closer to them for quite some time ... so ... ultimately, it was a no brainer.

I packed what I could, put the rest of the pills that I had left in my purse, and got on a Greyhound bus.

The facility in Charlotte was much nicer. It was clean and in a hospital setting. I had my own room, with my own shower, and my own television. They offered group ... AA and NA every day and sometime several times a day. There was a central group room with a television and decaf coffee going all day long. The staff was friendly and warm. I took my TB test and was put on Suboxone, a vitamin treatment, and Phenobarbital to replace my Klonopin (prescribed for anxiety and something I am not addicted to ... but none the less they wouldn't allow it in a detox setting).

It helped. A lot.

When I got out of my second round of detox I had a decision to make. Pursuing a doctor that would continue to prescribe me Suboxone, or going it alone with no medication.

I gave it a good week, and was hoping to feel better each day. Unfortunately that wasn't happening. With nothing at all in my system I was starting to deteriorate physically and mentally once again. My physical pain was back (most likely escalated by withdrawal) and mentally I was lost. I knew I would have to pursue some type of longer term plan.

So I called the list of doctors that were known to prescribe Suboxone. Not ONE of the doctors on the list would see me. The closest I could get to an appointment was six weeks away. I was crushed.

But I had read about methadone.

I decided to check out a clinic. The first clinic I went to refused to take me because I was taking a benzodiazepene for anxiety. They referred me to another clinic just down the road, and finally I was able to get real help. The clinic was able to do what detox couldn't: give back a chance at living.

I've been on methadone for a little over one month now (40 mgs) and I can not believe the change. I feel alive again. Like I did before I even took an opiate. I wake up each morning with a sense of hope. I have no desire at all for a pill, and should someone offer it to me I could easily decline.

I've been able to rebuild my life. I found and furnished an apartment. Got a vehicle. I was even able to secure a better vehicle for my fiance who recently made the trip up here and started a job. I now watch my 5 year old niece frequently so my sister can work a new job she just started. I'd like to become an active volunteer in the community once I am able to. I live in a nice, clean apartment .. in a nice neighborhood. I look around me and don't see the squalor I had been living in for so long. I'm so happy to have things nice and clean and comfortable, that I'll do anything to keep it that way!

I honestly feel like I've been given another chance at life.

The only ongoing issue that I have in the pain I still have - the nerve damage in my back. But I would much rather deal with the pain as long as I have at least half a day where I can function like a normal person.

I wanted to share this with others out there who may be going through the same thing. One thing I do find is at times I still feel alone and insecure about my decision to be on methadone and my ongoing realization that I am an addict. I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to read this and allowing me to share my story with you. I look forward to reading about others and learning more about everyone out there.

Good luck to you all, and thank you once again .......

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Number of posts : 863
Age : 46
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: Hi I'm Trish ...   Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:50 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. As I read it, I was almost crying because your story sounds SO MUCH like mine. I have been on MMT for over 10 yrs now so it has been a while since I went through my ordeal with pills so I have kind of been able to forget those times and the horrible pain and depression that came along with it. Your story refreshed those memories for me so that I can be thankful again for MMT and for where I am at today.

So again, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Even though I felt it was speaking to ME I know there are many others out there who can relate.

Hang in there and stay with it. I don't mean to sound pessimistic or be a downer but there may come a time later on in your treatment (because I know there was in MINE!) when you have been stable on methadone for a while and all the sudden you find you have alot of time on your hands and you don't know WHAT to do with all that free time. You use to spend it running around chasing your pills and until now you didn't realize exactly HOW MUCH time you did spend chasing. So now what to do with all that time?

You said you have been diagnosed as bipolar so you are prone to depressive episodes. DO NOT be surprised it later on you find yourself feeling depressed. You also may feel aggrivated or angry at yourself because you think, "I am living a normal life again and things are going good now so WHY am I depressed??"

I hope it doesn't happen, but if it does, Please know that it is a NORMAL stage of recovery and it will pass! When it gets hard that is what we are here for, to help you get through those hard times and make it out to the other side. When you are in those dark times it may not seem like it but you have gained too much to let it slip back down again.

Each person goes through recovery differently and hits "stages" at different rates, but we all will eventually have this period of time. But again, just recognize it for what it is, a regular phase of recovery and self realization and do not let it wreck your progress.

I am rambling so I will quit, but your story just struck such a familiar chord in me. I just want you to know that we are here for you if you need us!

aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
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Number of posts : 9
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2010-10-08

PostSubject: Re: Hi I'm Trish ...   Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:33 pm

Thanks RuthAnn

Yes I am feeling a bit of depression. Not intense and bad like it used to be. But it's there.

After starting treatment I had so much to do. I had an apartment to find, I had to get a car, I had to furnish the apartment ... I was constantly on the go go go go. So I didn't notice it as much. Now that a lot of what I needed to do is done, I'm starting to have that time on my hands again.

And I'm starting to "think" too much.

Sometimes thinking isn't the best thing. You just need to live, rather than think about living. So I'm trying to work myself out of this cycle and keep my mind and body busy on things other than my addiction and my recovery. I need to take a look at life and start to live again.

I appreciate your support and your responses here. It means a lot knowing that someone out there is going through very much the same thing I am. It's so good to know I'm not alone.

And you aren't alone either. flower

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Number of posts : 484
Age : 60
Location : Vermont
Registration date : 2009-03-05

PostSubject: Re: Hi I'm Trish ...   Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:36 pm

Welcome Trish,
And thank you for sharing you story. Somewhere someone will also read your story and it will help them in ways that you cannot imagine. I understand the having time on your hands thing.
Anytime that you feel like you need something to do you are most welcome to come here and post, it doesn't have to be about your addiction. You can post a favorite quote, or if you like to write poetry feel free to share that as well.
You mentioned that you have done some volunteer work in your community and that can be a way of keeping yourself busy. Do you have any hobbies that you never had time for before. Now would be a great time to start something new. You never know what you can accomplish.
Congratulations on your recovery

"I will let yesterday end so that today can begin"

Never take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider
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Number of posts : 93
Age : 34
Location : MN
Humor : It's a great day to be alive!
Registration date : 2010-06-06

PostSubject: Re: Hi I'm Trish ...   Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:30 pm

I felt the same way when I first started. It's another shot, another shot at a clean lifestyle! Congrats on using Methadone the right way and starting a new life for yourself, I am in the process of doing the same. Good luck and if you have any questions, the people here are great and will help you out. It is really nice to have support, even if you can't talk in person. Welcome. Wink
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Number of posts : 68
Age : 44
Location : Украина
Job/hobbies : нет
Registration date : 2011-02-05

PostSubject: Re: Hi I'm Trish ...   Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:52 am

***MODERATOR EDITED: Translation added beneath original posting.

Здравствуйте все кто это читает!Зовут меня Денис я с Украины наркоман с 22 года стажа,а сейчас я на программе Метадон вот уже с октября 2008 года.То,что это единственный выход я уже понял может не для всех но мне помогает сильно я не колюсь вот уже 2 года ВООБЩЕ не разу !Мне 37 лет я два раза сидел в тюрьме первый раз 3 года 6 месяцев,второй раз 2 года и 4 месяца мне этого хватило и больше туда я не хочу.Благодаря метадон я начал новую жизнь наладил отношения с родителями и с родственниками.Раньше моя жизнь была похожа на кошмар.Каждый день надо было искать деньги на наркотик потом нужно было найти вену что бы уколоться,а вен нет.Постоянные проблемы в семье и с законом.Из-за наркотиков потерял семью жена не выдержала ушла.Отвернулись друзья.Сам я стал похож на ходячий трупп.Доза росла и денег было нужно всё больше,а это криминал воровство короче говоря нарушал закон сильно.У нас в городе наркотик купить трудно надо заказывать по телефону и после тебе привозят но качество низкое.Делают его из мака варят называется "Ширка" это не героин.Меньше очищенность чем у героина.По этому вены горят и пропадают очень быстро.Когда я жил в России то там я 3 года употреблял героин.Ещё к тому же алкоголь пил много.Я ещё и алкоголиком стал.И с 2002 года употреблял всё в месте героин и алкоголь! Колоться я начал в 16 лет.Мы сами собирали молочко с мака на бинт и потом варили и кололись натур продукт.В деревнях у нас мака хватает.После уже покупали готовый раствор.Честно говоря это лучше героина.Разница только в очистке и всё.Так я покатился и стал наркоманом.Родители боролись с этим как могли.Много раз лечили в клинике.Но опять выписывался и начинал колоться.Таких историй как у меня много. Теперь благодаря метадон я могу жить нормальной жизнью.Надеюсь так будет и дальше.С уважением Ден.

Here is the translation

Hello everyone who reads it! "My name is Dennis, I am Ukrainian addict with 22 years experience, and now I'm on the Methadone program has been since October 2008 goda.To it's the only way I can not understand for all but helps me much I did not kolyus here for 2 years no time! I am 37 years I have twice been in jail the first time 3 years 6 months, the second time in 2 years and 4 months of me that was enough and I'm not there anymore hochu.Blagodarya methadone, I started a new life has developed relationships with her parents and rodstvennikami.Ranshe my life was like koshmar.Kazhdy day had to seek money for drugs and then had to find a vein that would prick and venous net.Postoyannye family problems and zakonom.Iz the drugs lost his family wife could not stand ushla.Otvernulis druzya.Sam I was like a walking trupp.Doza grew and the money was needed more, and this criminal theft in short silno.U violated the law in our town to buy drugs is difficult to order over the phone and after you bring but quality nizkoe.Delayut his poppy brew called "shirk" is not geroin.Menshe purity than geroina.Po this vein burn and disappear very bystro.Kogda I lived in Russia, there I used the 3-year geroin.Esche also drank alcohol mnogo.Ya also an alcoholic stal.I since 2002, employed all at the site of heroin and alcohol! I started to shoot up to 16 let.My able to collect milk with poppy on the bandage and then cooked and injected natures produkt.V villages have already bought poppy hvataet.Posle ready rastvor.Chestno saying it's better geroina.Raznitsa only in cleaning and vse.Tak I rolled over and began narkomanom.Roditeli struggled with this as mogli.Mnogo times treated in klinike.No again discharged and began kolotsya.Takih stories like mine a lot. Now, thanks to methadone, I can live a normal zhiznyu.Nadeyus so it will be respected dalshe.S Den.
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