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Treatment - Using H to get off methadone?

Discussion in 'Opiate addiction' started by essiheart, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. essiheart

    essiheart Silver Member

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    I'm wondering if this can be effective? My husband is currently at 8ml after failing a cold turkey at about 25ml. He got to about the third or fourth night and was shaking too much, the restlessness got to him. He got fired from his job so he needs to quit the clinic. He has been going for a year and a half, his highest dose was 150ml. He was at 80ml last summer and has been coming down since then. My question is, he says that he has successfully gone through a methadone withdrawal before (no done for two weeks) by using H for a couple days to settle some WD symptoms. Have any of you had any success with this? His plan is to buy 6 bags, and that is the most he will use to get through the WD. He does not want a habit, he is going to be snorting it, and he is only even considering it because the WD scares him. Any advice?

    Also, if you haven't used H, how successful were your attempts at getting off methadone under 10ml? Please, I will appreciate any feedback. I've already got all the vitamins I can get, I've been reading up for the past year getting ready. I wish I could do more, but ultimately it's up to him and his body.

    <3essi
     
  2. mikezombie777

    mikezombie777 Silver Member

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    Sorry but I don't think that's a good idea at all, it would be going backwards and it would make your entire life a whole lot worse in the long run. You're just going to risk getting addicted to H and going back to square one.

    The best thing to do is talk to your Dr. Withdrawals are definitely horrible, no doubt. But using H to get off a cheap, easily obtainable and legal substance just doesn't make any sense.
     
  3. chillin1968

    chillin1968 Silver Member

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    H would be easier withdraws.I have suffered with oxycontin addiction a15 years and did loratab for years.I have been on methadone for last 7 years.the clinic is not where he needs to be.I was on 180 mg per day for years from clinic.moved to ks from louisiana and clinic was eating me up gas and dose for me and my wife.I meet this really cool dr by looking up online what dr privide methadone(i am hurt with records) but showed him my bottles.He perscribed me 17 10 mg methadone a day.I also started smokinh jwh 18 what spice legal herb was.In no time maybe 2 months i was taking 30-40 mg along with legal poperie(jwh series the am cause teeh pain).I was able to stay at 30 mg for 3 years.I did use krayton it works great but high grade thc will help
    I moved back to louisiana could not find dr so started back at clinic.I was back to 100 mg a day and blew 3 grand in couple months.I started reading up on methadone what i though was wander drug was my worst nightmare.The detox took me 2 months and still fill like im lost in life.Its the longest lasting withdrawl i ever exsperience.at least with oxy or h you not as sick for months only few days.Do not take saboxon with methadone it threw me in worst detox ever for 24 hours.I would take a oxy detox any day over methadone.Remember it strong enough to overide anything so its bad ass.now if i could only kick mephedrone.
     
  4. essiheart

    essiheart Silver Member

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    @chillin, so you think that the H could help then? I am going to try Immodium first since I figure even if it doesn't cross the barrier, since it is a type of opiate it will help with WD symptoms. If that doesn't work, I figure the H would, just didn't want him to go through both types of WD (methadone and H).
     
  5. Shwags

    Shwags Mercury Member

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    Ever heard of Kratom? Look into it. Plenty of info on this forum and elsewhere.
     
  6. essiheart

    essiheart Silver Member

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    I was going to get him Kratom, but got a bit scared after reading some addiction/WD stories from it. I was trying to either use OTC Immodium or H since that has helped previously without too much hassle..
     
  7. TheBigBadWolf

    TheBigBadWolf Cold Member Palladium Member Donating Member

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    essi,

    what your husband plans would be achieveable.

    The flaws in the plan are:
    8 ml of methadone is way to high to get off it with only 6 bags of H.

    I'd try and get down to zero methadone intake by weekly tapering 1 ml per week, butm You said it was not an option .

    Then, sorry to say so, I see the only way of getting off the'done without risking to get hooked on H is going cold turkey, with the help of all possible comfort meds.

    Loperamide seems to be a great aid for some people, when taken in massive doses.
    I am talking about 10mg+.

    There are antihistamines which help with sleeplessness and agitation, such as promethazine or dimenhydrinat.

    Valerian root in massive doses helps.

    Vitamins are useless, IMO, better is eating fresh food, lots of raw vegetables and fruit, white meat (chicken, fish).

    Being hydrated helps, one should drink lots of isotonic beverages, no coffee, no tea (black tea).

    Again. I am sorry to say so, but with six packs of H there is no way to get around w/d, it will be used up before the methadone has completely left his body.

    Ah, what I forgot: a hug and a kiss sometimes help more than any m,eds can do.

    If you have questions or need links to threads of this topic, please feel free to DM me.

    Good luck
    TBBW
     
  8. Tripped Out O.o

    Tripped Out O.o

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    This seems a little opposite
     
  9. Shwags

    Shwags Mercury Member

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    Your scared about the addiction to Kratom, so you're going to use Heroin instead? hmmm...

    If you take Kratom everyday it can be very addictive, but im quite sure it doesn't compare to powerful opiates regarding addictiveness. For short-term withdrawal maintenance I would say it is your best bet.

    Shwags added 0 Minutes and 38 Seconds later...

    And it's cheap and legal...
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  10. TheBigBadWolf

    TheBigBadWolf Cold Member Palladium Member Donating Member

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    :eek:fftopic:

    Could you please elaborate this some more?
    What exactly do you think is "opposite" and for what reason?

    Only throwing a wild statement in the discussion only leads to cluttering the thread up unnecessarily, Useless one-liners are frowned upon and might lead to getting negative reputation points.

    Regards
    TBBW
     
  11. source

    source Palladium Member

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    Couldn't agree more, using heroin to come off methadone would be going backwards if anywhere and not really worth the risk.
    Yes the withdrawals are a little easier than with methadone, but your other half is going to go through some form of withdrawals regardless.
    I came off at 6ml (6mg), using all the advice I had found on this forum re: opiate addiction & recovery. The bad day for me was day three, I did need a little assistance from my doctor so that I could sleep through the uncomfortable restlessness.
    But all in all, coming off at 6ml/mg could have been a lot worse!

    So yes, I'd say reduce as much as possible in preparation, if he manages 5ml/mg then the 'physical' withdrawals shouldn't last longer than 3-4 days, and even then they aren't too bad considering.

    Good luck :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  12. mickey_bee

    mickey_bee Gold Member

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    All I can say is no, no, no, no, no, fucking no!

    He's on the methadone to get off heroin right? Heroin is the problem here. If he's not been using heroin whilst he's been on methadone, then he's already done a lot of hard work, as every day away from heroin is a day closer to not craving the drug, and being able to go on to lead a life where heroin is not an issue.

    To take heroin now, be it just one line, would be to piss on all of that hard work, and reset the clock. The physical withdrawals are not the big problem when it comes to getting and staying clean, it's the mental lust for the drug which, combined with other things, drags people back to heroin. There's no quick way to get over the mental side of things, the only way to get over it is to stay away from heroin totally, and allow your brain to simply forget about the drug. It does happen, but it does take a little while.

    So many people get fixated on the physical withdrawals, but they're not the killer, it's the mental addiction which is.

    I'm on a methadone reduction myself, and this time round have opted to take it nice and slow, as I now know that you can't rush how quickly your brain gets over addiction. I'm now on 5mls, having reduced from around 80mls about 14 months ago (which I'd been on for about 2 years), and haven't used in that time.
    Now that it's been 14 months since I last used, I'm really not finding it very hard, my brain has largely forgotten heroin, like it does everything else. The acute struggle to not use just isn't there. If I'm finding it tough, I'll hold on a dose for a bit, until I'm feeling comfortable, and then keep going down, in very small drops, (1ml drops since I got to 10mls).

    Yes, it takes a while, but it's a hell of a lot quicker than relapsing and then trying to get off all over again, and again, and again.


    The very fact he's suggesting using heroin shows that he's still in the early stages of recovery - after a while, there's no way in hell he'd ever think about touching heroin intentionally like that. This isn't him making a pact with the devil only in order to get totally clean - it's him thinking of one last hurrah. But it won't be just those 6 bags. It just won't.

    Any advice I can give is try and get back into a stable methadone reduction again. If that's impossible at the moment, then try and acquire some methadone to keep him stable and *away from heroin* until he can get on a proper reduction again.

    If you want to get off heroin, rule No.1 is, 'Stay the fuck away from heroin'. It's that simple. Wish you both the best of luck.
     
  13. essiheart

    essiheart Silver Member

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    @mickey, I understand your post a lot since this was exactly mindset. Even discussing this with him now, he gets defensive and irritated. Claims that it is only because he knows it has helped him to get off the methadone before. I am terribly scared because although our relationship was what made him quit (I couldn't take him being on it, and he wanted to be with me more so he just stopped using), I am scared that after those 6 bags he will keep wanting more.

    His rapid detox begins tomorrow, he is on 7ml and they will reduce him over a period of three days and then no more. I am still going to try the immodium since we both have it in our mind that any other type of opiate will help with the WDs. I am just scared because he keeps mentioning that he would like bags for comfort, as a safety net. He would also like to get xanax to help sleep (he has never had a benzo problem, he has taken xanax maybe three times, didn't like it)

    essiheart added 0 Minutes and 32 Seconds later...

    "since this was exactly my* mindset"
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  14. Shwags

    Shwags Mercury Member

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    I don't know him, but I can confidently say he absolutely will. Mickey spoke the truth. So try to get a weeks worth of benzos if possible, Diazepam (Valium) has a much longer half life than Xanax so that would be reccomended. Or try Kratom, however it is a valid concern that any opiate like substance may result in a new addiction. So maybe just go with the benzos, only for a week benzo withdrawal is arguably worse than opiate withdrawal I've been through it. What do you mean about immodium? That's not an opiate... Isn't that to treat the diarrhea or something? Best of luck, you really shouldn't have him go anywhere near heroin.
     
  15. kailey_elise

    kailey_elise Gold Member

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    I don't know what part of the USA you live in, but if he's lost his job (& thus insurance), can he apply for state-assisted insurance? Or doesn't unemployment come with insurance???

    Taking Heroin now is really a huge step back. I mean, ideally, by the time you're getting off of methadone, you won't KNOW any Heroin dealers anymore, nor will you want to. ;)

    If he really can't find another form of health insurance, there isn't a clinic close enough that offers sliding-scale payment (has he discussed with them that he no longer has a job?? they might be willing to work with him in some way...), and can't do a completely cold turkey detox....

    I'd recommend getting him as many comfort meds as you can. Immodium helps many people tremendously; Lomotil would be even better I hear (but it's prescription). Clonidine, though prescription-only, is vital to any opioid detox IMNSHO - if he goes to the clinic, he can easily find someone with access to clonidine, but honestly, it's very easy to have your doc prescribe - it's commonly used for anxiety as a benzo alternative, especially for "stage fright" type anxiety. I won't take benzodiazepines, and my doc prescribes me clonidine instead. It's just a blood pressure lowering medication, but OMFG, does it work WONDERS on many of the physical effects of wds!

    Anyway. Phenergan (promethazine) is the best 1st gen antihistamine you could get & is great for opioid withdrawal as well, but it too is prescription only; next in line would be hydroxyzine (also prescription) and then diphenhydramine (Benadryl in the USA). Benadryl is another medication I take for anxiety; sometimes the clonidine makes me too sleepy, so I take Benadryl during the day. Any of these 1st generation drowsy antihistamines will help with the anxiety as well as help with sleeping. Some people recommend doxylamine (I think that's how you spell it - it's Unisom, which you can get OTC) instead, so try both.

    Some long-acting benzos can help (Librium, Serax (oxepam), Valium (diazepam) - maybe even Klonopin (clonazepam), but this is starting to tread in more dangerous waters; I'd use benzos VERY short term & only when absolutely necessary. Valerian root (I prefer the tincture) works almost as well, especially in conjunction with kava-kava.

    I'd also secretly order some kratom - just plain leaf. If he's having trouble with the above comfort meds, give him some kratom. Kratom is a far better choice than Heroin!!!

    So....

    OTC-only:

    Immodium (loperamide)
    Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
    Unisom (doxylamine)
    Valerian and/or Kava-kava

    non-addictive Prescription help:

    Lomotil (I forget the generic name, but it's for tummy trouble/diarrhea too. also like Immodium, it's an opioid, & can in fact cross the BBB if I recall correctly (meaning he COULD get high), but it's mixed with another drug that boosts the effects & makes abuse impossible)
    Phenergan (promethazine) or Vistaril/Atarax (hydroxyzine)
    Catapres (clonidine)
    *maybe* some kind of long-acting benzo (don't even THINK about something like Xanax (alprazolam) - the faster a drug hits, the easier it is to become addicted to it, even if "just" psychologically)

    Back-up Plan:

    Kratom in plain leaf form (search forum for dosing help)

    And I'd try to get some clonidine no matter what. It really it practically a wonder drug for opioid withdrawals.

    Good luck!!! :)

    ~Kailey
     
  16. TheBigBadWolf

    TheBigBadWolf Cold Member Palladium Member Donating Member

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    Lomotil is a combo med made out of diphenoxylate ( a µ- receptor agonist) and atropine (muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist)
    It is Schedule V in US and when overdosed can lead to serious side-effects because of the atropine.

    So if one tends to overdo it with meds, they should better stick to loperamide (ImodiumTM)
    which also is a µ-receptor full agonist, but can't cross the BBB under normal circumstances and so stays mainly inthe intestinies, where there are most opiate receptors save for in CNS.

    I for one would not be keen on having unnecessary atropine in my system, knowing well what nightshades alkaloids can do to you, if dosed uncorrectly.

    Anything else in Kailey's post is seconded by me.

    TBBW

    sources: user informations of manufacturers, found on the interwebz
     
  17. Tigey

    Tigey Newbie

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    Heaps of help from Kailey there. All good content.

    Now - I share Kailey're stance - I'd suggest clonidine if they'll prescribe it plus loperamide. Naloxone (Naloxone HCL is a large opioid that doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier) which is worth investigating, but even so, I'd suggest using Immodium instead. Between that and clonidine and a sedating antihistamine (or even a normal one), plus improvements to his detox routine, he should be good to go. Based on TBBW's info on Lomotil, i'd avoid it in your husband's case.

    The problem is that it sounds like your husband is (probably inadvertantly) looking for an excuse to use. He'll know as well as anyone that 6 bags isn't enough to taper off 8mg methadone comfortably (well, at least, not for anyone I've ever come across - I'm not promising there's no-one out there it wouldn't work for). He's swapping a strong opioid which is difficult to get off for one which is equally potent.

    With the 'methadone (or heroin) gives you easier withdrawals', remember that it varies from person to person. In my time on DF I've found no consensus opinion that one is easier to withdraw from than the other.

    In an article by Toombs & Kral publishing in J Am Fam Physician. (2005 Apr 1;71(7):1353-1358) called ' Methadone Treatment for Pain States' it lists the drug interactions with methadone - worth knowing these (and checking them from other sources) as your husband is on it.

    I think other's are right in when they bluntly say that coming off methadone by using heroin is ass-backwards. All it'll do is fire up those already primed receptors for a high, and make withdrawal worse. Methadone withdrawal is usually longer and less intense than heroin withdrawal, which is why the tapers are so slow. If he takes heroin now, he's likely to end up with the worst possible option - short term, horrible w/d from heroin and longer-term w/d from methadone. You can't get the methadone out of your system by taking heroin, so you'll go through the withdrawals from it anyway.

    I wouldn't go looking at the benzo's. It's stupid of the methadone clinic to cold turkey your husband, do you have an explanation? It's irresponsible at the very least :/.

    It worries me that your husband still has his 'connect/dealer' and knows he can go to X and get 6 bags when he wants to. It's the kind of thing where if I was struggling with strong opioid addiction and wanting to get clean, I'd want my wife to make us move house to somewhere new! (for disclosure, I have struggled with rec. use but I've now got some damage which isn't giving me any choice in the matter, and I'm not drug-seeking).

    So it seems like your husband quit because of you rather than because of him. Is this gonna let him stay quit, or will he use when he feels down/low and can get drugs? As the wholesale cost for a methadone script to the pharmacy is about $3-5/month in your husband's case (referencing: Methadone for Treatment of Cancer Pain by O'Rourke, Shalabi and Webb in JAMA. 1996;275(7):519-519.), I'm wondering if there's any way of keeping him in the programme - what the programme's other costs are.

    There should be some form of Medicaid, as Kailey says, but americans will know more about this than me. Unfortunately the waiting lists can be long (up to a couple of months), but if they could be one end of the bridge, you might be able to get help with the other end.

    If your husband comes down to doing it cold turkey, the important thing is that it CAN be done. The more scared of w/d he is, the worse w/d will be - psychological studies prove that. The best thing is to go in, not expecting anything in particular in the way of symptoms, and, being prepared for all of them on the list, knowing that he may just as likely get an easy ride as a hard one. He's done brilliantly to get down to 8mg - I know it's a slice of the pie thing and the smaller the overall pie gets the harder the taper or w/d is on a per-mg basis, but you must be proud of him!?

    What's the story with the clinic and stopping entirely? Cost? Is there a family physician who'll prescribe?

    (sorry for my ignorance - I'm not american!)

    I agree also with Kailey about the clonidine being a wonder-drug, as long as you can be very careful with your dose. Read up on it and side effects before giving it to your hubby!

    As far as @chillin1968's advice goes, I understand it but disagree with it. It seems like he was doing just fine on it at a place where someone cared and worked on his taper with him. If he'd played hardball with the clinic over his dose, he (presumably) could've got it down. He never /needed/ to go back up to 100mg, and for most people I know, if they have willpower then switching clinics is often a good time to do the next jump in the taper. While it's true that some people are probably better off avoiding methadone and doing a straight 'normal' opioid detox, the emotional roller-coaster and sheer intensity of the nastiness makes methadone an easier detox for many - especially where willpower is an issue.

    (It comes down to different strokes for different folks).

    Anyhow, if it's a case of too long, didn't read - read Kailey + TBBW's posts and ignore mine. I only say 'heroin bad idea in this case, sorry about the cold turkey!'.

    Taper > turkey is okay really. At least he's down to 8mg and has downregulated his receptors that much.

    all the best and GL!

    Tigey
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  18. justaukguywithprobs

    justaukguywithprobs Newbie

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    This is my first ever post on this forum so I hope it is ok. I am going to be very honest here. I had a problem with H a few years back, I went to detox 5 times in total - all in london. (my addictions were not just H but also Crack, Diazepam, codine phosphate but mainly the mixture of crack and H (IV) Methodone was prescribed and I am still on it now sadly but I would agree that there is some sense in what I did the 3rd time I went away and it was the longest too (6 weeks) (lasted 9 days the 1st time) Contravertially, the Meth did not hold me when I got from 100ml down to 35 (reducing at 5ml per 14 days) so I swiched to heroin because I realised I was using both methodone and H so I chose 1 and decided from previous experiance of seeing methadone users in detox that H is easier to get off in a shorter space of time than Methadone (im only back on that now because a/ ruined my subutex detox by relapsing and I can not be paying UKs double price shit H now!)

    The most sucessful cleantime i had in 12 years was ditching the methodone and doing H for about a week until my hospital admission where I chose subutex. The first 3 days were HELL, cold turkey then getting the subutex into my system. They called in the docs when I was still rattling on 28mg and put it up to 32mg but in the 6 weeks I then reduced that to 4mg and my valium to 0. That felt horrible and admitedly I stayed longer than any other patient (of 18) but 4mg was just too low so I phoned the doc, said 'put me on 10mg of val and 8mg suboxone(same as subutex) and for some time I was fine (some months in fact) I would say that sleeping tablets in the first 4 days would of helped tremendously but I was feeling great on about 20mg subutex when it was in my system I was a normal guy but fuck me, when it was reduced to 2mg i was getting 1hrs relief then cluckin the rest of the day. Sorry, I am rambleing on a bit, my point is, I saw in the detox people come to get off C,H mostly or C and Meth and I would say 5 days you wonder why you ever did crack and also I knoticed meth users were having a much more drawn out withdrawl than the short sharp shock of Heroin. Make of that what you will and draw your own conclusions, that is just my experience.(one of many). If detoxes reduced the last bit slower I reccon they would suceed more too. This is why the rest of the people I made friends with left early, they were strong minded but freaked out at the last minute with a lot to loose, be it kids, gf etc Anyway Im chris by the way, I just saw 'using H to get off meth' and thought Id comment coz I did just that but then Subutex if you dont stick to it you can be right back on the smack in a few days as I found out. Best Regards.





     
  19. Tigey

    Tigey Newbie

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    Essi, I just saw the post about and the methadone thing. The simple truth is that most of my using friends either quit heroin via methadone or are dead. Of those who did the methadone, about a third of them did a long taper, some of them (maybe 5-6) cold turkeyed in the middle of the taper and then hacked out the withdrawals - one guy only got 10d of w/d, others got ~3 weeks. My friends lucked out I think - few relapses. But we lost one of our group every year, so we had a lot of incentive not to be next.

    Tigey's like warm meat and cold turkey, personally.

    <3 Tigey
     
  20. mickey_bee

    mickey_bee Gold Member

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    I know most people who do a rapid taper off like that use benzo's for a few weeks to help them sleep etc. Provided he doesn't have a history of problems with benzo's, and it seems he doesn't, then, in my experience, they help a lot. They're also good mentally, as although it's not opiates, it's something.

    Dropping off quickly from 7mls is doable, what it really comes down to is whether deep down he's ready for it/wants it enough.

    You can't make someone get off drugs, but you can help them. Be as supportive and encouraging as you can, just make it clear you're not willing for him to take heroin, at all. If it was just 6 bags, then there'd be no problem, but unfortunately, that's why heroin's such a bitch, because it never is x bags.

    Kailey gave a pretty detailed post about all sorts of potions and remedies to aid the drop off, again, like with benzo's, a lot of people find having various OTC drugs around a big help, both physically, and mentally.

    Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the way methadone is prescribed in the US to be able to offer you much advice on getting back into some sort of program. But, (as I'm sure you have anyway), look into any options for getting back into a proper program, particularly if he's hitting trouble.

    Again, good luck, and I feel for you both with him getting kicked out of a methadone program. Kicking people off methadone reductions kind of defeats the entire point of them. Had I been kicked off this time last year, when I was only a few months into things and on a highish dose, I'd certainly be fucked.