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