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Old 22-01-2012, 20:28
Dointimeinline Dointimeinline is offline
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Methadone to Suboxone - Can use Meth to aleviate w/d's?

So I have been on just about everything known to man over the past 24 years. I have been on Methadone for 9 years now at a high of 120 mgs per day. The first 7 years was off street and the last 2 years my doctor has supplied me (had a baby). I have kicked vicoden, percocet, morphine, cocaine, pot, alcohol, ativan, xanax, valium, methamphetamine, and more. Methadone kicks my ass.

For me it is the psych problems that get me first. I have panic attacks as it is, and they get really bad once I go off of the Methadone - usually starting on the 2nd day. The second worse symptom that starts is the pain in my legs which then graduate to restless leg syndrome and even my arms will start jerking like something is electrocuting me. The diahrea and stomache cramps usually kick in about then, followed by total insomnia. The longest I made it was 2 weeks and then started right back up at around 60 mgs.

My doctor now has me down to 30 mgs per day and I am taking the jump to Suboxone on February 1st. I'm terrified. I have actually been taking less trying to get down as far as I can before jumping off. I would like to be down to 5 mgs, but don't know if I will make it. I kicked the benzo's last month as my doctor said I had, had, had to be off of them as you can die or something like that if you mix benzo's with Sub's.

Due to a host of life issues and major personal problems (husband is in jail now, kids staying with grandparents, I'm homeless and living with my best friend) i have been having a hard time not using, and I really don't have an ounce of coping skills to deal with this right now. I am going through therapy and starting intensive out-patient next month with UA's to prove to DH's parents that I can raise the kids. This is Voluntary, hence the starting out-patient when I feel like it. Anyway, I started slamming Methamphetamine again on December 22nd and basically haven't stopped. First time I haven't had the kids to keep me straight, basically. Missing them alot and just wanted to escape. My doctor knows all about this and I scored a 7 out of 12 on my 12 panel drug screen. Yea, me.

So this is my plan. I am using the methamphetamine right now to deal with the psych problems of getting the methadone down to somewhere this side of manageable. I could not see myself jumping off of 30 mgs of Methadone and taking nothing for between 48 and 72 hours before starting the suboxone (which rips all the methadone off of those receptors at once and if you have a ton on there you will wish you were dead, or so I hear).

Basically, my question is since Methamphetamine is a stimulant does that mean it is on different receptors? If I go in with some in my system, will I go through precipitated withdrawels from it? I plan on using it right up until I switch to the suboxone and then easing off of it. Thanks for any advice you can give, and yes I know I am incredibly stupid for taking Methamphetamine IV style to handle Methadone withdrawels - that is how desperate I am to get off of this 9 year roller coaster. I plan on using as little of the Suboxone as it takes to feel normal and then jump off of them too.

My doctor wants me to take a bunch of the Suboxone - can't remember what she said, but believe it was 2 or 3 8 mg tabs max, but going up 2 mgs at a time. I basically have to go to her office every day that week. Anyway, she says she expects it to take me a year to get off of the sub's. God I hope not. I just am so tired of this lifestyle and want to be drug free for the first time in my adult life. Thanks again.
Old 22-01-2012, 21:04
missparkles missparkles is offline
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Re: Methadone to Suboxone - Can use Meth to aleviate w/d's?

Listen love, I know you're scared, but believe me, I was in exactly the same situation as you are now. Like you I was on a kick ass high dose of methadone for quite some time (150 mls) and as I gradually reduced the plan was for me to get down to between 25-30 mls of methadone, level out on that for a couple of weeks, and then stop for 2-3 days (I took my last dose on Thursday night) and then jump off and onto subutex (I started my first dose on Monday night). Luckily for me, and from what you're saying this move is planned for sometime in the future, so luckily for you, you can put some stuff in place before the switch to subutex/suboxone.

You have anxiety issues so your doctor needs to be addressing these problems and providing you with some kinda solution (either medicinal or counseling, whatever is best) so that you have the best chance of succeeding love. I mean even though you've been on substances for such a long time you're still prepared to take that scary step, and you're attempting to quit. That deserves all the support he/she can possibly offer. You're doing something that most long term addicts never end up doing.

So I suggest you have a chat with your prescribing doctor and you explain that to enable you to have the best chance of success you need all of the help they can provide. Now I found CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) relaxation and a really short course of zopiclone (for sleeping) to be used only when absolutely necessary, and access to a drugs counselor as and when I needed them for the first few weeks, worked for me. Now that's just what I needed sweetheart, your needs will be different. But you need to make sure everything is set up for you beforehand.

I realize that your main worry though is the jump off from the methadone and that 2-3 days on nothing. Then there's that fear that the subs just won't cover the wd symptoms. I can tell you love, once you get down to 25-30 mls of methadone, what with methadone long half life you shouldn't feel too uncomfortable. And while I found that my very first dose of subs (4 mgs IIRC) didn't completely cover all of the symptoms I was a helluva lot more comfortable after taking them than I was before. And by the next day (my dose was increased to 6 mgs) I had few, if any wd symptoms at all.

Although I did feel the high from the subs, eventually, it was a lighter high, less monged out, if you know what I mean? As for the question about the methamphetamine, I'm almost certain that the subs wouldn't affect the high from the methamphetamine, but why go through everything that you're prepared to go through to get off of opiates, to begin the process of becoming addicted all over again? Cuz if you need to use methamphetamine to quit opiates you're gonna be risking becoming cross addicted.

You shouldn't have to do this sweetheart, you deserve much, much better from your prescribing physician, honestly love. Please don't put yourself through all that you're prepared to go through only to sabotage your efforts from the getgo. Believe me, I know that the thought of doing this, and all of the horror stories that you've possibly heard are far, far worse than how it's really gonna be. But then you've had the guts and determination to get this far, so that says to me that you're really determined to get through this. And for that you deserve the very best you can get.

Try to anticipate all the problems that you might come up against, and attempt to place some safety nets to catch you if you fall. If you have family or friends that can be there for you, especially at the switch over time, that would reduce the pressure on you. Maybe consider using NA, get some phone numbers, they'll always pick you up. If nothing more they'll talk to you on the telphone if you just need to offload. I know NA is not popular with some people because of their philosophies, but my personal philosophy is I use what helps me and leave the rest. And remember, NA don't require you to swear a blood oath that you'll follow the 12 steps religiously for the rest of your natural life. But don't reject any offer of support love, you never know when you might need it. Be open to all suggestions and ideas, cuz after all, you don't have to go along with them all. As I said before, you take what works for you and ditch the rest, right?

Lastly, if you do feel unsure or uncertain it ok, that's quite normal, cuz no one would consider going through something so life changing without being worried or nervous about it. That's a normal reaction love. Just know that there are people here at DF that care, and who will be there for you every step of the way. And they'll know just how you're feeling cuz they've been stood exactly where you're standing right now. I know I can totally connect with just how you're feeling.

If you wanna talk to me about anything, if you need any reassurance, wanna vent, rant, or just feel like a chat, please love, feel free to PM me, ok? But never forget sweetheart, you're not alone.


Last edited by missparkles; 22-01-2012 at 21:22. Reason: typos
Old 24-01-2012, 15:28
Dointimeinline Dointimeinline is offline
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Re: Methadone to Suboxone - Can use Meth to aleviate w/d's?

Oh my goodness, I had an entire thing written out and managed to do something and it disappeared. Uhg. Let me see if I can remember it all!

First, I wanted to say that I don't think anyone has ever written me such a kind and really from-the-heart letter like this - thank-you! I really appreciate all the good information and advice you gave me and I can tell that it comes from a place of genuine concern. You really don't find that anymore these days. Most of the time when people come over to the places I have been staying lately, I just try to keep an eye on my stuff as enough of it has disappeared already!

Good friends and Good company tonight. Enjoyed talking to them, smoking some weed and meth. Spent so many years shutting myself off from people. It's going to take some time to get used to doing things again, but at least I have my small group of friends. I told them that I am quitting tonight and both Rachael and Joe said they would go to NA with me on Thursday. I'm glad because I didn't want to go alone. I had looked up NA on the internet and used the find a meeting part to find that there are those 2 here at that time. Rachael is in the same out-patient group that I am enrolling in, but she got a positive for pot so has to do a 28 day rehab and then back to out-patient. She may be with me the first week, I am not sure. Joe had 2 years clean, but began using again recently. He would like to stop, too. Steve - not so much. Says he has it under control, and we all know he doesn't. Candice is his girlfriend, but uses only some occasional weed. She wanted to get married - Steve not so much.

My doctor's appointment went well today. I'm starting the Suboxone next week. My Dr. asked how I was feeling about it and I said I was terrified. Which is true. Past attempts to get off of Methadone have met with severe panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, restless legs and arms, inability to sit or stand for any length of real time, Stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to move from one position to the next at times, hot flashes, chills, yawning, runny nose, tears, pounding heart, red flushing, itching (especially face/cheeks), nightmares, hallucinations (mostly hearing things - almost like a radio is on in the room somewhere), and these have been shown to last for MONTHS. This is in part why I decided to do the Suboxone. I didn't want to as it is part opiate, but I also want to succeed and Methadone is one of the most addictive and hardest to quit. All the research I have read says it is twice as hard as morphine, etc. Sheesh. I picked a winner, didn't I. Read where people go on heroin to get off of methadone.

Anyway, I have my quit date -Sunday, January 29, 2012. I take my last methadone on this date and then go through withdrawals on Monday/Tuesday and report to doctor Wednesday morning for all day session. Then Thursday and Friday - then once per week, once every two weeks, once per month. Medicaid will pay for 6 months of suboxone, and then a 6 month extention and after that out-of-pocket. Definately cannot afford $650 for 75 pills so I will need to taper almost immediately instead of waiting the year so that I can be sure of being off of the subs in a year. I told my doctor that I was concerned because I didn't want to be in full-on withdrawal in the waiting room. It is going to get ugly and I don't want to be stared at by people who have no idea what they are watching except thinking I am some sick and crazy lady. My doctor said that her nurse, Kelly, would quickly get my vitals and things done so I can rest as much as possible that morning. If I am in really bad withdrawal, then great. If not, then we wait. She had someone wait for 6 hours once until they felt ready to take the suboxone because they were afraid of the precipitated withdrawals. They didn't want to leave the office because they would go and buy something to ease the pain.

I am pretty much planning to do this the right way because my doctor said she really didn't want me on the Meth at my appointment on Wednesday, because it might actually do the job and that would skew some of her assessment of my withdrawals. The symptoms would be masked and she is going to be doing some kind of opiate withdrawal scale test to see when to give me the first of the subs. For example, one of the things they watch is my pulse and blood pressure. The meth will make that higher. If I don't take anything at all this weekend, then I will definately be in withdrawal on Wednesday. I just hope I don't get too sick. I don't want to go into some kind of psychosis or something and end up in the hospital. I am going to slowly come down from the meth now as I have pretty much been taking that to varying degrees since December. I don't want to crash on two things at once. I am still taking only about 10 mgs or so of the methadone. The last time I withdrew from Methadone, I was on about 60-80 mgs and had been taking more than what my prescription gave me so I had run out a few days before I got more and I still remember how sick I was, and that was 6 years ago. Since then, I have run a little short here and there - a day or two, but nothing like that summer. I think I was out for almost a week and it just never got better. I am hoping the Suboxone coupled with the fact that I am taking less right now than I was then will work in my favor.

I am to call my drug counselor, Debbie, on February 2 which is 1 day after I start treatment with Suboxone. Attend NA twice weekly, therapy twice weekly, 3 hour out-patient group and classes daily through 5-day week. Give one random urine every week. Bring my kids home to me from Nana and Papa as soon as I am compliant with what they want me to do. )

Please, if you will, pray that I do well in this and do not fail - or think good thoughts - or light a candle. There are no words for how much I want to do this. I want to build a good life for me and my kids. I would love to prove my father-in-law wrong and show him I can do this. He works with the women, and men, at the county who have mental illnesses and drug addictions and gets them services. So I'm basically right up his alley. He would like to see me in an intensive in-patient program for 18 months. I don't want to be gone from my kids for a year and a half. My baby won't even know me and my toddlers would hardly remember. My kids are 17, 4, 3, and 10 months. I need to work hard to get them a nice home and nice things to wear to school, etc. I love my kids.

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