1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
    Dismiss Notice

Experiences - Share your Methadone Detox/Taper Experience

Discussion in 'Methadone' started by headfull0fstars, May 28, 2013.

  1. headfull0fstars

    headfull0fstars Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    1,126
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Female from U.S.A.
    I have noticed that a lot of people on DF are currently working on getting off methadone, and I am one of those people. I know it would be helpful for those who are considering coming off of methadone or in the process of it to be able to hear about others experiences. So come to this thread and tell your story. I want to hear everything! If you tried to detox and it didn't work. If you came off cold turkey in jail. If you tapered slowly over years. Whether coming off was successful or not. If you just decided you didn't want to be at the clinic anymore and stopped going and started doing heroin again. Whatever your experience I am sure it will be helpful to someone!

    Try to include:
    Your starting dose
    Your method of coming off
    Rate of reduction
    How you felt all along
    How long it took you to feel normal again
    If you used any other drugs to help with the process.
    How you felt emotionally
    and anything else you can think of.

    <3

    headfull0fstars added 1341 Minutes and 53 Seconds later...

    Ok I guess I will go first to get the ball rolling (hopefully :p).

    My first time tapering off out of the methadone clinic was about 2 years ago. I was still using heroin and I was tired of being tied down to the clinic. I wanted to be able to take trips out of town and not have to drive to another state every day to get my methadone. So I thought it would be a good idea to taper off of the methadone and start taking subutex instead. I figured that way I could have much more freedom by only having to go once a month instead of daily. I believe my dose was at 80mg. I called around and talked to several doctors who prescribe subutex and they told me that before I could be put on subutex that I would need to taper my methadone dose down to 35mg. Then I would need to stop using the methadone for a couple of days and go into withdrawal before I could start subutex.

    So I talked to my counselor at the clinic and told him that I wanted to taper down to 35mg so that I could make the switch to subutex. My counselor said he would put me on a taper schedule of 5mg per day and then left his job at the clinic leaving me without a counselor. I continued to use heroin during the taper and I didn't feel any discomfort the entire time. It only took about 10 days to taper down to 35mg. I was really really afraid of going into precipitated withdrawals because of how long the methadone lasts so once I got down to 35mg I stopped using methadone at all for 7 days and used only heroin. At the end of the seven day period I stopped using heroin for 24 hours in order to go into withdrawals so that I could start the subutex.

    Once I got on the subutex I started feeling awful. It didn't take away my withdrawals entirely. I kept thinking that it would get better and I just had to give myself a chance to get used to it, but after a week of feeling terrible I caved in and got back on methadone. I had been out of the clinic for exactly 14 days. I remember this because that is the exact number of days my clinic allows you to be gone for before they kick you out.

    So thats the story of my first methadone taper. I really hope some other people will share theres!!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  2. PianoHarry

    PianoHarry Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    720
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    93
    Male from Australia
    Hi. I started at 150 mgs per day and have been dropping 5 per week. The doctor wrote on my script that I can drop by this amount at my discretion.
    This has been good because there have been a couple of times when I have let it go for 2 weeks without dropping.

    I have been taking methadone for 3 years and during this time have not added any other drugs except occasional methadone tablets, 30 mgs, in the afternoon. (My wife has these for pain and sometimes she helps me out).

    For the first several weeks I didn't even notice it. It was exactly as if I had not reduced at all.
    I started to feel a little discomfort at dosing time when I got down to about 80 mgs. The dose fixed it though. It wasn't till I got down to 60 mgs that I began to feel as though the dose wouldn't fix my symptoms. When I dropped to this dose it took a couple of days to stabilise.
    I am not suggesting that it was full on. It was still pretty mild but it extended into my day.

    I am now down to 55 and am going up again. This is NOT because of uncomfortable withdrawals; I have a neck injury and it was this that got me onto the opiates in the first place. I plan to stabilise at about 80 mgs and recommended titration when my neck settles down.

    What helped me most was my frame of mind. I had to be objective; if I sat myself down and asked myself, "ok, so what are you feeling?" The answer was always, not too much, a little anxiety. I have to be very careful not to take mild symptoms and build them up in my head to be excruciating mega withdrawals.

    And prayer. Prayer really does help. At least it does for me. I read the Bible too. It helps. I try to laugh, watch the Simpsons and American Dad, and not spend too much time alone in my head on bad days.

    There was a time in my life, a long time ago, when I didn't need chemicals to be happy. This may have been when I was a little kid, but there was that time. I keep reminding myself of that, and that there can be times in the future when I don't need chemicals.

    These things and anything positive I can put in my head, help.

    I wish you well in your journey.
     
  3. RichInMethadonia

    RichInMethadonia Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    55
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    131
    Male from Florida, U.S.A.
    How is everything going headfullofstars?!?!?!?! I hope everything is well and don't sweat it if you had to go back up to 120mg's. When it comes to methadone detoxing going down low and slow is the best thing for you.

    Have you ever thought of going on Suboxone/Subutex detox THIS TIME when your methadone dose is down to like 30mgs a day? I know a lot of people do that and they say it makes it easier than trying to detox all the way down, but everybody is different :)

    I just hope you are doing well and don't let the detox get the best of you ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  4. headfull0fstars

    headfull0fstars Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    1,126
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Female from U.S.A.
    Thanks for sharing your experience PianoHarry!

    RichInMethadonia- Thanks for checking in on me! As of today I am down to 90mg! For the first time in my life I am starting to understand the meaning of taking it one day at a time. Right now I am just focusing on making through every decrease. I am really trying to not focus on what I am going to do at the end. I have set a mini-goal of 60mg. That'll be half of my starting dose. Once I get to 60 I will reevaluate my methods and make sure they are still working for me and consider other options. After that I plan to do the same thing at 30. I know I will have more options once I get down to 30. My 'mini goals' are really just vague guidelines, if I feel like it's time to change things up before I get to a mini goal or if things don't seem to be working then I will still modify my plan to make it work.

    So right now I guess you could say I am playing it by ear. I'm learning about all kinds of options, but I am trying to not get ahead of myself.

    How are you doing?
     
  5. connorsneezes

    connorsneezes Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    25
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Female from U.S.A.
    I'm 23, was a heroin user from ages 17-19. I have been a MMT patient for 3.5 years. I never relapsed, unless a script for marihuana and xanax count! I tapered down from 115 mg voluntarily. I was done, I love methadone, I believe it saved my life.. however my time was over going to a clinic all the time.
    Near the end of my taper, I unexpectedly got pregnant. I had to stay on to be safe, and stop my taper. My dose was hit 80mg at my baby's birth. (I was a model patient during this period, with all priviledges)My son was born perfect. He wasn't addicted, had no w/d whatsoever, and came home with me 2 days after arriving. (This is another story for another day)
    I wait a month, and taper again. 3mg/week.

    80-20 mg- I was fine, perfect. I felt normal and comfy. No w/d.
    20 mg- In the morning, I get that dopesick feeling. Aw hell, it's going to begin. :(
    12 mg- By now I am so tired, have no energy, and have tummy issues. RLS and the weird "gotta get outta my skin" feeling sets in.
    6mg -same as 12. This all sucks, but is mild and completely bearable without any medications to alleviate symptoms.
    3mg- I go in, get my weeks supply, and anxiety sets in. The anxiety has been terrible. Same symptoms as above, it's hard to move. Once I'm standing, I'm dizzy but can keep going. Ugghhhh.
    0mg- Same as above. 3 days after my last dose, things hit rock bottom w/d wise. Still sucks but is bearable.
    The first 2.5 weeks were the worst. 3rd week, I felt better. Happier, more energy. I began a Vyvanse script my methadone dr (an ob, psychiatrist, and addictions specialist) prescribed. (Withdrawal amplified my adhd symptoms) I started toking after my last drop, and it helps me do things such as stand up. ;) Big help. 4th week- Diarrhea, the mornings, sniffles,and the no energy achey thing lingers and sucks. More comfortable, and it's very very bearable.

    Occasionally I take neurontin for the anxiety and clonidine for the w/d. Great when combined with some nice toke. Kept me moving and comfortable.

    I've been eating my ass off. My sweet tooth is in full force. No drinking here. My self confidence has taken a dive, and insecurity is popping up here and there... which is NOT who I am. My dr said it was a side effect of the methadone w/d.

    Anyways, I'm happy, comfy, and so happy to be a month into withdrawal. It seems like yesterday I was terrified to jump. I put w/d up onto a pedestal, and it had no place there. Mind over matter is a powerful thing, and keep your spirits up to anyone reading this. When I was beginning w/d I read forums to gain insight into others' experiences. Take what you read with a grain of salt.. My w/d has sucked, but is mild. Very mild.

    Hope I can give someone a little hope and motivation with my good experience with w/d!!!

    **Sorry this post isn't written well, I'm in a hurry!*
     
  6. ladiwolf

    ladiwolf Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    Female from U.S.A.
    hello my friends I have a very true story and I beg you listen. First I wanna say do you have an idea how powerful your brain is over your body? It is more powerful than any meds we take if we stay focussed. I was on methadone 195 mgs at my highest for 3 years. Their is so much money to be had by the pharmaceutical companies your clinic DOES NOT want to let you go (unless you are me and get put on an admin detox for my smart mouth} So anyways I had started training my mind against the horror stories i mean sshit i cold turkeyed a hell of a habit before like im sure ya all did. SO THEY DON"T WANT YOU TO LEAVE THEY TELL YOU HORROR STORIES. They say methadone withdrawal is like living in hell for a month. FUCK we get scared to death, never miss a dose PAY OUR MONEY who wants to go to hell right. SO check it I got pissed and started cutting my shit 20 a week my mind and my people absolutely believed this could be done. I was surrounded by loving people ready to help. SO I go to my other doctor and she says just quit it she gives me a few benzos, I go home and slam the last of my bottle i call the clinic and say no more assholes IAM ON DAY 8 I HAVE NOT HAD ANY AND I MEAN ANY WIYHDRAWAL{i lied a week when cuttin 20 slight flu feelings. This happened I am for real babes ya gotta believe in your brain. You want any help getting off, no more handcuffs. oh hell yeah I am free you can be too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2013
  7. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    12,257
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    11,136
    41 y/o Male from ireland
    If you have information then post it here, do not post contact details.
     
  8. istillloveit

    istillloveit Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    51 y/o Male from Australia
    cold turkey in jail 50mgs 13 years ago took me 2 months to come good went on done again 3 years later as I got sick of using & wanted to go back to fulltime work.
    got injured at work 18 months ago went up to 70mgs a few months ago made me a zombie so I jumped off 70 mgs 20days ago still feek a bit crap had some physeptone the first week lyrica pot endone oxy but now the pain in the neck from my operation is back so im weighing up what to do ?

    go back on the gear or try to cope with nothing yes I still love it but 30 years of using
    making me mentally tired so coming off done? its pretty shit but the end result is worth it.
    istillloveit

    istillloveit added 37 Minutes and 33 Seconds later...

    nice post very much the same on my 20 th day jumped off 70mgs first week was shit
    like you I started to eat again yesterday & getting my sex drive back :) man my girl
    is gonna be rapt...


    its my 2nd time jumping off so I knew what to expect still no easier but like you say
    mind over matter suck it up & get it done
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  9. mcspeedi

    mcspeedi Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    65
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Messages:
    81
    Male from U.K.
    Well I've been on methadone for around 18-24 months and started on 40ml and worked up to 90ml and this of course is where my journey started. Over the last 12 months I have been putting in for reductions of 5ml while I was at the higher end and 2ml at the lower end. Of course I get 6 days takehome and drink one supervised so I have been bringing myself down and then putting in for the reduction when done so I know I won't end up regretting going down. I am currently being prescribed 44ml but as of the last week have only been drinking 25ml max (i have measuring cups) and today only 10ml.

    I am kind of confused why I am not dopesick as before when taking my entire dose of 44ml would wake up ill but I've only cut my dose below half and the worst I'm getting is hot cold sweats the odd bit of crawling skin and how I don't no but no consistent crawling skin which along with cramps are my worst symptoms usually.

    I am in no way naive to the withdrawal I know is coming but I would like to know when as I need to get off this and get on with my life I'm 23 and only just realised I've had enough of all this shit,.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  10. headfull0fstars

    headfull0fstars Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    1,126
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Female from U.S.A.
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean or what that is in reference to. Did I do something wrong?
     
  11. freddiebebop11

    freddiebebop11 Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    51 y/o Male from Maryland, U.S.A.
    I just wanted to add this...When I got to 30 I considered going the suboxone route however I have a friend who did this and from what she told me I decided to stick with my SLOW taper all the way off methadone with no other drugs...Im not going to lie to you all it wasnt a day at the park however it was no where near as bad as i expected it to be...The key is TAKE IT SLOW...It took me decades to screw my life up to the point of being on 180 mg of methadone a day and i didnt get to where I am today 10 days free of methadone overnight...My only problems were anxiety and loss of energy however it wasnt half as bad as i thought it would be...Its friday night I have 10 days clean and I feel incredible after just 10 days my energy is coming back more every day...Hang in there it only gets better and GOD bless you all your in my daily prayers Lewis.