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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 any ideas about taking action?

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Number of posts : 1
Location : Seattle, WA
Registration date : 2011-10-27

PostSubject: any ideas about taking action?   Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:39 am

HI! My name is Jenny. I have been on Methadone for twelve years and am nearing the end of a two year voluntary taper. I'm now at 24mg, down from 200mg. I've come a long way since I first got on. I am now a stay at home mom and can not even imagine using again. that has become my worst fear, using. Now instead of dreaming that I am using and feeling the rush, I only feel terrified, from pleasant dream to nightmare in ten or so years. I want to start an action in my community to help the clients at my clinic and others to get off the benzos. So many people in my area are on Methadone but continue to use benzodiazapines and always coupled with Promethazine (aka phenergen etc). I think if we could get it so that the local pharmacies communicated with the Methadone clinics we could help these people by having the clinics take action on behalf of these clients. I don't know all the applicable laws and regulations that may stand in the way of this happening, it's just an idea right now, but I feel very strongly about this, having overdosed and nearly died, twice, many years ago, on those same drugs. I see the people I bought the drugs from and who were fellow users still out there to this day. And we lose at least two of our peers to overdose at our clinic every year.
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Number of posts : 48
Age : 44
Location : Stillwater ,Minnesota
Job/hobbies : the outdoors
Humor : Caddy Shack
Registration date : 2009-12-22

PostSubject: Re: any ideas about taking action?   Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:48 am

Punkipoo- from reading your post, it is clear to me that you and I have been down the same road! I too have almost died several times from the combination of opiates and benzos. The risk is very real and I am amazed at there are so many Doctors out there that are very generous with the OVER-prescribing of benzos. At one point, years ago, I was receiving prescriptions for alprazolam, diazepam and lorazepam from just one Doctor. I have done some public speaking on the issue and I have shared my story on the radio. You're not alone, but there are too many people who are alone, stuck in an endless cycle we all know about. If you ever want to bounce an idea off of me or just talk about this issue, then feel free to communicate with me on this forum or if you want, I would gladly give you my email address. Congratulations on how far you have come! I'm glad you decided to post on this issue. By the way, I have been on methadone since April of 2008 and sober for just over 2 years. Hope to hear from you 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: any ideas about taking action?   Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:08 am

Hello. Welcome to our group. First I have to say CONGRATS on how far you have come! You have SO much to be proud of! It's been 12 years now that I've been on MMT and I have tried to taper twice and had problems so I KNOW what you have gone through to get where you are, you should be so proud of yourself!

I think if you weren't worried or scared, then you would have something to be concerned about. You said yourself you terrified of messing up, so as long as you still are aware of this fact, I think you still have a good chance of making it all the way.

I also want to say though, some ppl do find it VERY hard to get off that last little bit of methadone. IF you find yourself struggling or in that position, please don't feel like a failure if you have to go back up a bit on your dose, or not go down further for a bit longer or whatever. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you do find yourself having a hard time, just be sure you know that and DO NOT beat yourself up if it takes you a bit longer to jump off that last little bit. You've come way to far to mess it all up this close to the finish line so be aware of this and give yourself a break if you find yourself in this situation.

You are so right about the benzo thing. I know I am going to make so many ppl mad when I say this, but I say this not being judgemental or looking down on anyone, but I think if you are in recovery from opiate abuse/addiction, you need to stop ALL mind altering/mood altering meds INCLUDING benzos.

Now, I have never had a problem w/benzos, i never liked them or anything that made me drowzy or sleepy, so I can't speak from the benzo addiction side of things, but one addiction is no different ultimately from any other and I think ppl who take benzos while on methadone may end up relying too much on the benzos. Now, not everyone that uses them abuses them, but I think if most ppl were honest with themselves about it, they would realize it is not healthy and they may be trading one dependence for another or again, relying on the benzos to help with the anxiety and not "working through" the issue.

Having said that and again I am sure upset many ppl, (please know I am saying this from a good place!) there are clinics out there that will allow patients to be on MMT AND benzos at the same time. As long as they have a script from a doc and it's all legit, there are many clinics out there who don't have an issue with this.

On the flip side, there are some that will not accept a patient for treatment if they are on benzos legit or otherwise and will require you to get off the benzos before they allow you in MMT.

I think it goes back to the risk that so many opiate abusers also abuse many other meds ( again if we are totally honest w/ourselves, you have to admit this! how many time would you take whatever you could get your hands on even if you had no clue what it was???) and when you mix benzos and methadone in large doses (and again, honesty here, there are many of you that take benzos that take more than the amount that you are suppose to) and it can kill you.

I am not trying to beat anyone on the head about this, I know it must be hard to come off benzos. There are side effects that are very unpleasant, just like w/opiate addiction. But it is so dangerous to mix those two types of medications.

I say all that to say you have a very good idea. But I see a few problems with the idea that would have to be worked through. First, you would need to check and see what clinics allow benzos and what clinics don't. Second, I am sure it is a breach of confidentiality for the pharmacy to call up a methadone clinic and vice versa to "share" this type of information. I don't know how you would get around something like that.

You might could just start a support group out and put it out there for those that are in this situation and try it that way. Then no matter if the clinic allows it, or doesn't allow benzos, the patient has the opportunity to reach out if they want/need help in this area. You could really push the info out there about how dangerous it is to mix the two, but again, if the clinic allows benzos with a script, there isn't alot you can do if the don't want to get off the benzos. Just like opiates and any other addiction, until they realize it's a problem, they won't see anything wrong with what they are doing (against clinic rules or not!) and you can't force them.

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
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Number of posts : 17
Location : USA
Job/hobbies : I enjoy outdoor activities.
Registration date : 2011-10-30

PostSubject: Re: any ideas about taking action?   Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:04 pm

I agree with you that there is a big problem with Benzo's. I know several people have died mixing methadone while abusing Benzos as well. My question is this: What does a person on methadone do if they need a benzo for anxiety? I think if a doctor knows a person is on methadone and is stable then why is it a bad thing for that person to be prescribed any other medication if there is a medical need for it? Patients die from mixing methadone with other opiates prescribed by their doctors just as they do with benzos but they might need an opiate to control pain just as they might need a benzo to control anxiety or other things. As far as I know the clinics do not tell patients that they cannot be on methadone if their doctor is prescribing an opiate to them so why do they do this for the benzos? Do you think the press coverage on methadone/benzo deaths has anything to do with it? Is it the insurance carriers? Public opinions and societal pressures? The DEA, DOJ, FDA, etc?

I know the clinics are very concerned about people dropping over dead from benzo abuse but don't you think a lot of that clinic policy which prohibits any benzo use while on methadone is just the clinics way of covering thier own tail? They don't seem concerned that patients go into convulsions and die after they have had a 2 day detox so it doesnt quite make sense to me that they now tell patients that they cannot be on methadone and take prescribed benzo's which the patient's doctor thinks they should be on. After all if the patient abuses the benzo then the doctor will catch on in short order as the prescription refills will be called in or requested before the due date. It worries me because every time the clinics are given a little bit more power over our lives they (some of them not all) seem to end up using their new found power against us instead of trying to help us, support us, educate us, etc.

It also worries me to think that people out there are not able to have proper medication for their anxiety/panic/etc problems. These issues can be very hard for a person to live with and if they cannot be medicated then some of them have a life that is horrible. I know one person who has social anxiety so badly that she has a hard time even leaving her home. She cannot take the proper medication which would be a Benzo due to her clinics policy that they do not allow any patients in their program who take any type of Benzo even if it is prescribed by a medical doctor or psychiatrist. I just think it is a sad thing to force a person to choose.... either they can be gripped in fear/anxiety/panic etc from a lack of Benzo meds or they can be locked into addiction and possibly die on the streets from a lack of their methadone meds. It is really a no win situation for those people who honestly need both medications. Just my opinion....
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