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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 PART 2 of 3 ~ TO TAPER METHADONE OR SUBOXONE OR NOT TO TAPER? THAT IS THE QUESTION.......Managing Negative Emotions

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: PART 2 of 3 ~ TO TAPER METHADONE OR SUBOXONE OR NOT TO TAPER? THAT IS THE QUESTION.......Managing Negative Emotions   Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:39 pm

This comes from Jana Bursons blog and the original link is http://janaburson.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/life-on-lifes-terms-negative-emotions/#comment-1156

It is part of a series of posts about choosing to taper methadone/suboxone or choosing to be on maintenance program to manage your addiction.


Life on Life’s Terms: Negative Emotions

The last blog entry was about issues to consider before tapering off maintenance medications like methadone and buprenorphine.



Long before tapering off maintenance medication, the recovering addict needs to learn or re-learn how to experience negative emotion without becoming overwhelmed and relapsing to drug use.

Bad things happen in all of our lives. Learning to cope with negative feelings doesn’t come quickly or easily for anyone, addict or non-addict. Ideally, sometime in life we learn to identify feelings, experience them without denial, and learn from them if possible. We know the emotion will pass, and that we don’t have to act on our emotions in destructive ways.

For example, most of us have felt so angry we felt like we could kill someone, but we don’t. We understand that’s not a morally appropriate action, and we’d end up in jail, so we tolerate our angry feelings until they pass. Some of the more spiritually evolved among us humans even pray for the people at whom they’re angry, thus changing a negative event into something more positive.

Methods of managing negative emotions are diverse. Some people talk about what they’re feeling with a trusted friend or a counselor. Some people write about their feelings in journals. Others find that physical exercise helps them tolerate their feelings. Others turn to prayer and meditation. Some lucky people use their feelings to create art in some form. Most healthy adults are able to tolerate negative emotions.

When something bad happens in the life of an addict in active addiction, drug use is often the first and possibly only solution that comes into the addict’s mind. An addict may have started using drugs just for fun, to feel the high, or even just to be social, but in the long run the addiction tells the addict he or she must use drugs to deal with any unpleasant feeling. Death in the family? Use drugs. Flat tire? Use drugs. Mad at your girlfriend? Use drugs. Coping skills that may have existed in the past weaken and fade. For this reason, strong negative emotions are often relapse triggers to people in early recovery.

Adding to the problem, emotions that have been numbed for weeks or months or years are now being felt more intensely. Often a recovering addict feels like one big raw nerve, and the addict’s brain keeps saying, “Fix this, fix this, fix this…” insisting drug use will fix the problem. And if the addict does relapse and uses drugs, he or she doesn’t learn how to tolerate emotions and the cycle continues. Plus, the addict has the added negative emotion of guilt, because of the relapse.

How long does it take for an addict in early recovery, on maintenance medications, to learn how to handle feelings without relapsing? Obviously there’s no set answer for this. Much depends on the patient’s level of coping skills on admission, and also on how much time and energy the patient puts in to learning or re-learning skills. It may take several months or a lifetime. But if the patient has some solid coping skills to fall back on during times of negative emotion – and these times will come – their risk of relapse is much lower.

This is why learning to handle negative emotion is a necessity prior to tapering off maintenance medications.


RuthAnn
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
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
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
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL


Last edited by lilgirllost on Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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floydfx05

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PostSubject: Re: PART 2 of 3 ~ TO TAPER METHADONE OR SUBOXONE OR NOT TO TAPER? THAT IS THE QUESTION.......Managing Negative Emotions   Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:59 am

We learn all these coping tools in recovery, thats why we need to STAY in recovery no matter what. For the rest of our lifes. Ive learned that.. it seems EVERY time I would get cconfident that i didnt need to go to meetings anymore,,, Im good, No problem...NOT!! I would relapse. Everytime. Everyone is diffrent we all take things in diffrently, and at our own pace... so dealing with feelings is a BIG part of our recovery..cause we need to learn how, from scratch..
I would say if your gonna get off methadone. make sure your strong in your recovery...
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lilgirllost
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Female
Number of posts : 863
Age : 45
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: PART 2 of 3 ~ TO TAPER METHADONE OR SUBOXONE OR NOT TO TAPER? THAT IS THE QUESTION.......Managing Negative Emotions   Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:11 pm

well said floydfxo5. Haven't seen you around for a while. How have you been?


RuthAnn
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
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
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
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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