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Thread: Methadone Taper

  1. #1
    tab
    tab is offline Member
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    Default Methadone Taper

    I am new to this board and have been reading all the posts regarding methadone and tapering from it. Just like everyone else, I sure wish I'd know how hard methadone is to break free from before beginning it. However, I was so out of control to satisfy my addiction to opiates (Vicodin, Percocet, etc.) who knows what would have happened to me had I not started the methadone? I only wish the methadone clinics were harder to get into and were more about promoting a 21-day taper rather than keeping us on methadone as long as we are good paying customers. I feel methadone has served its purpose and I need to begin tapering from 90/mg. but I am scared to death! Seriously, I fear the withdrawals I've read about so much so that it scares me more than death itself! Surely if I start a slow taper and stop to stablize and then resume the taper, it would be better than quitting cold turkey. I would hate to go through a slow taper only to find out that it's just as bad as quitting cold turkey. I would appreciate some information from anyone who has tapered as opposed to abrubtly stopping.
    Tamra

  2. #2
    gorun is offline Member
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    quote:Originally posted by tab

    I would appreciate some information from anyone who has tapered as opposed to abrubtly stopping.
    Definitely don't jump of 90mg. You'll just suffer more. IMHO the best option is combination of two - since tapering to 30-20mg isn't very hard, but taper down from ~25 is tricky, and in the end your WD period would last more (although it would definitely be somewhat milder). I don't know, personally I would rather suffer more for shorter period of time, than suffer less, but for few weeks more.

    You WILL feel withdrawals, there's no way around it.

    If I were you, I would start with 10mg tapper first - see how it affects you. When you get down to ~50 you can switch to 5mg tapper (every 5-7 days for example). Also, there are hundreds of threads on this forum with various taper schemes, experiences, vitamins + supplements recommendations etc. - I'd recommend you to browse through them, you'll find much invaluable info.

    First of all get some Clonidine, it makes big difference when WD from Methadone(there's a sticky on this forum, be sure to read it).

    How long have you been using Vicodin / Percocet, and how long have you been on Methadone MT?


    As for MMT for Vicodin / Percocet users - it should be banned by law IMHO - it's like "Hi Doctor, I got a flu - Mhhhhh, yes, I think we should put you on chemotherapy".

  3. #3
    arlenewla is offline Senior Member
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    quote:Originally posted by tab
    Seriously, I fear the withdrawals I've read about so much so that it scares me more than death itself! Surely if I start a slow taper and stop to stablize and then resume the taper, it would be better than quitting cold turkey.
    Welcome to ODR, Tab ~:)

    You've already gotten some great advice from Gorun who is, as we speak, going through a Methadone detox....and doing an amazing job of it, I might add.

    So, a couple of things occur to me...and the information regarding your length of time on MMT is an important one.

    First hun'...fear is always and ever a major blocker. For all of us...fear of WD...fear of living without a drug in our body. Everything about this is fear-based...fear of the unknown.

    However...what I will tell you is that, again for many of us on this forum, we found the continuation of MMT to be the lingering death; physically, emotionally and of the soul. Soo...when stacked against the fear of the unknown in getting clean...it becomes a no brainer. Face the fear....and walk through it.

    At your current 90mg....you can start to take some significant drops on a weekly basis...and slow it up a bit when you reach about 40...and then again...when you get to around 15...slow it again.

    HOWEVER...don't slow it to a stall. That's the key. To keep it on a steady downward drop is how you get off. The word *stabilization* has become somewhat corrupted in terms of MMT. Stabilization has come to mean...in some vernacular...as don't be uncomfortable. Just stay put.

    There is discomfort entailed in a MMT detox. That's a fact, darling. And that being said...there are also ways to help diminish the discomfort. Diminish as opposed to curtail. That's an important distinction in this process.

    Can you give us information on how long you've been on?

    Arlene F.
    Exodus From MMT;12-25-02
    <center>THIS TOO SHALL PASS</center>

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    Jill Clarkson's Avatar
    Jill Clarkson is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome Tab!

    A taper can take the real bite out of detox! I have been doing one on Benzo's for a long time, as I am instructed to do. But, I always stay going towards zero. My symptoms are mild. I also tapered on the Methadone, but went way too fast. I recently saw a documentary on Afganistan Heroin W/D, and I saw folks crawling the bathroom floors, bodily fluids everywhere, etc,...and I think that &lt;that&gt; is what I feared. It did not happen to me Tab.
    I was on more. As was asked however, how long was your opiate dance? Which one's, how many and for how long, K?

    You CAN do this!

    Blessings and love,
    Jill

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    dman is offline Junior Member
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    Hey there everyone.....5 years ago i went through rehab for a huge IV heroin habit...had success and stayed clean completely up until 4 months ago when i had major surgery...they put me on lots of Percocet...needless to say when that ran out I got bad withdrawals..a feeling i hadnt felt in 5 years and that i believed i would never feel again. Well I got up to using (20)30mg roxicodones a day or 600mg oxy...a big expensive habit. I decided I want my life back (I used to be a gym rat worked out 5 days a week and ate perfectly healthy without exception, now i havent been to gym in 5 months) so I got a bunch of methadone to do a in home detox just like they did in rehab.....I planned on being on for 21 days. I started at 50mg a day and have managed to get down to 10mg at day 21...i have 20mg left total and cant get anymore. i was going to go to 5mg for the next two days, then 2.5mg for 2 days after that....so about a 26 day total...I am scared about getting these horrible meth withdrawals that everyone on here talks about....can anyone please tell me if they think that I will feel somewhat ok when I finally go to 0 meth in about 5 days....have i been on too long? or is it still short enough time and at low enough dose that I am not addicted to the meth? Please HELP!! Thanks in advance to all who respond.

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    Gabriel is offline Junior Member
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    Hey Tab & Dman. I was a junkie for 15 years and detoxed from Heroin / Methadone many times. I once detoxed from 120mg Meth and another time tapered to 3mg. My withdrawals were equally unbearable on both attempts. For Me, The length of time I was on the Meth was the determining factor. I'm not saying not to taper, because it may work for you. Every one is different. There are good coping methods that worked well for me. Music was the most important ( If you'r into Rock or Metal listen to something that really gets your adrenalin pumping). It really brings you back to life (If only temporary). Warm baths, exercise, (no matter how much it sucks!!!!!!!!!) Vitamins and the right diet will all help speed the process. Continue reading old posts as well as new (There are some true junkie geniuses on this site with great knowledge on the subject).

    Gabriel

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    dman is offline Junior Member
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    hey gabriel thanks for the advice....i have only been on the meth for 21 days.....how long were you on both times?? I'm hoping that it's still a relatively short time that ive been on it as opposed to others....i expect some discomfort/depression/anxiety...just hoping that it is minor compared to H withdrawals or Meth Maintenance W/D

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    arlenewla is offline Senior Member
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    Hi D Man ~

    I think you'll be just fine....very short time on Methadone....low dose.

    What I would suggest that for the 2 days at 5mg...you split dose (2+1/2 in the am & 2+1/2 in the pm). When you go to 2+1/2mg for the 2 days....dose only in the am.

    You may have a little discomfort and some anxiety....but in general...shouldn't be too difficult. You've done a great job of getting down and getting off quickly.

    Do you have particular plans for ongoing recovery support after you detox?

    Arlene F.
    Exodus From MMT;12-25-02
    <center>THIS TOO SHALL PASS</center>

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    Gabriel is offline Junior Member
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    Dman

    All Meth clinics SHOULD recommend no more than a 21 day detox. Most never will because they know you are a potential life long customer. Clinics are privately owned and operated (In other words, for-profit). In my opinion, Meth clinics are nothing more than legalized dope pushers. I was on the sh*t for 15 years before I quit and the longer your on it the longer the detox. Both attempts were made late in my addiction (Once at around 8 years, the other at 10 or so). If I were you, I'd stop now, but make sure you have a support system of some kind or your much more likely to re-laps ( I did, 35,342 times before I lost count). I just couldn't make it through the months of withdrawal and always went back to the clinic. What finally did it for me was an Ultra Rapid detox (really speeds up the process). You truly must be ready for this (the toughest thing I ever did). Go to meetings and get a sponsor (If you haven't already). H detox is worse than meth for most people. Methadone detox just lasts much longer. Every one is different, but at your stage you shouldn't have to much trouble and there are things that can help. Go see the doc and ask for Trazadone (sleep) but don't take it for any longer than you need to because it will add to your sluggishness during the day. Carba Dopa (restless legs) and clonodine, but this may also add to your feelings of weakness because it lowers your blood pressure. I always experienced anxiety and depression when I detoxed in the past, but the final attempt I used the right vitamins and almost completely eliminated those symptoms. It still sucked, but at least I didn't become agoraphobic and hopeless. Methadone is definitely a downward spiral to hell. Don't end up like me! Stop now, it only gets worse...........MUCH WORSE!!!!!

    Best of luck.

    Gabriel

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    arlenewla is offline Senior Member
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    quote:Originally posted by Gabriel

    Dman

    All Meth clinics SHOULD recommend no more than a 21 day detox. Most never will because they know you are a potential life long customer.
    I would totally agree, Gabriel. However, unless I misunderstood Dman's post, he purchased Methadone and is not doing it through a Clinic.

    The optimal would have been to do a 7 - 10 day detox starting at no more than 40mg. But that's not where he is now....so I would think that since he's currently at 10mg, 4 more days of additional taper isn't going to impact significantly....and could help lessen the final impact.

    What are you thoughts?

    Arlene F.
    Exodus From MMT;12-25-02
    <center>THIS TOO SHALL PASS</center>

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    tab
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    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post. Arlenewla you hit the nail on the head. What you wrote about staying on MMT being the death of our soul, spirit, etc. is so true. I am not even half the woman I was before methadone. I also agree with Gorun's analogy of methadone maintenance being like going on chemotherapy for the flu! I have been in MMT since May 2002. I was on methadone for about 7 months (June 2001 - January 2002) and that's when I went to a rehab and was detoxed. Upon returning home, I went through all the withdrawals (mostly severe agitation/anxiety) but after about 6-8 weeks exactly, I felt normal again. My mother passed away on April 16, 2002 and around that time, I began abusing Vicodin, Percocets just as much as before. So I went back on Methadone in May 2002. So here I am scared and stuck at 90/mg. for the past 5 yrs.

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    peacenik is offline Administrator
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    quote:What you wrote about staying on MMT being the death of our soul, spirit, etc. is so true....... So here I am scared and stuck at 90/mg. for the past 5 yrs.
    Tab,
    I was on 70 or 80 mgs for six years and I got off. And one of the biggest reasons I'm still clean all these years later is that I knew that methadone was not the answer.

    In other words the fact that you're disillusioned with it, that you regret it and feel stuck is not a bad thing. My experience is that it's those who get mad at methadone who gather the strength to give up opiates for good.

    You've been through rehab, so I'm sure you've heard the message of recovery from people who were once trapped by addiction. I love hearing the stories of triumph over this stuff! I get goose bumps still when people here share about getting free. I hope you'll check out the "Success Stories" thread up above.

    Anyway, you can do this and we've got a gang here who can help. Good luck
    Dave


    <center>"More will be revealed"</center>

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