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Weaning off methadone maintenance (what’s your story?)

Alicia420

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
85
So I’ve been on methadone for about 3 years. I’ve worked the program perfectly. I have never failed a drug screen and am allowed 2 weeks take home instead of having to go in every day. Methadone saved my life. I just want to start by saying that and giving credit where it’s due. I was taking RX opiates every day and it was a nightmare. I was so sick of being sick and sick of the roller coaster so I gave it a try. And it worked. The most I was ever on was 130mg I am now down to 25mg and weaning alone is taking a years+ time. But that’s ok I want to be comfortable.
The purpose of this is to ask about how you felt and how I’m feeling lately. I have no energy. Especially in the mornings. Getting ready for work is an absolute chore. Once I get to work I feel better but my energy levels are zapped lately. Just looking to get other stories. Thanks!
 
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JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
13,696
Hey, OK so like you I've been on methadone for 3 years. I'm on 80mg, I feel it saved my life too, though it saved me from a severe IV heroin habit. (by the way, super jealous that you get 2 weeks of takeaways, I only get 4 days a week. I don't get drug tested though, used too when I went to a public clinic, but not the way I get it now).

Unlike you however my experience with getting off it is largely confined to what I've witnessed in others. Im honestly not sure if I'll ever get off it. I don't think I'll make it in the long run if I got off methadone right now. And I'm not prepared to tempt fate. I know you're asking more for stories than advice, but I hope you won't mind if I give a little anyway. If so you've free to ignore it. :) <3

It's not surprising to me that you're having problems with energy, are you having any other symptoms? Like, feeling really cold when it's not actually cold? Having cravings? Sniffles, insomnia, heightened anxiety, that kinda thing?

If so you may wanna consider going back up a little and seeing if it's possible to reduce even slower. I can totally understand that you may not wanna do that, and it's up to you of course and what your priorities are and what you feel you can handle.

If you decide to proceed, I'd recommend keeping an eye out for depression too. That also wouldn't be surprising as you reduce your dose, and it's a terrible condition that can make it hard to get out of again if it starts and you don't realize it's chemical.

Congratulations on how far you've come. I know it's not easy even with the help of methadone. Good luck man, if you aren't already and if you can I'd also recommend reducing your dose slower and slower as you go down, since as your dose decreases each reduction will make up a greater percent of what your body thinks it needs, and it'll be a harder adjustment.

Take care, and good luck. <3
 
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Alicia420

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
85
Hey, OK so like you I've been on methadone for 3 years. I'm on 80mg, I feel it saved my life too, though it saved me from a severe IV heroin habit. (by the way, super jealous that you get 2 weeks of takeaways, I only get 4 days a week. I don't get drug tested though, used too when I went to a public clinic, but not the way I get it now).

Unlike you however my experience with getting off it is largely confined to what I've witnessed in others. Im honestly not sure if I'll ever get off it. I don't think I'll make it in the long run if I got off methadone right now. And I'm not prepared to tempt fate. I know you're asking more for stories than advice, but I hope you won't mind if I give a little anyway. If so you've free to ignore it. :) <3

It's not surprising to me that you're having problems with energy, are you having any other symptoms? Like, feeling really cold when it's not actually cold? Having cravings? Sniffles, insomnia, heightened anxiety, that kinda thing?

If so you may wanna consider going back up a little and seeing if it's possible to reduce even slower. I can totally understand that you may not wanna do that, and it's up to you of course and what your priorities are and what you feel you can handle.

If you decide to proceed, I'd recommend keeping an eye out for depression too. That also wouldn't be surprising as you reduce your dose, and it's a terrible condition that can make it hard to get out of again if it starts and you don't realize it's chemical.

Congratulations on how far you've come. I know it's not easy even with the help of methadone. Good luck man, if you aren't already and if you can I'd also recommend reducing your dose slower and slower as you go down, since as your dose decreases each reduction will make up a greater percent of what your body thinks it needs, and it'll be a harder adjustment.

Take care, and good luck. <3

I absolutely welcome others stories and thank you for your response! I was at work and didn’t get to be as detailed as I wanted to get. Many other symptoms honestly. I have in fact had to go up in dosage. I believed twice now. But im in it for the long haul and am aware that it’s going to take time. My counselors at the clinic keep saying one thing “you’re about to really start feeling it” and I hate that they say that honestly as I believe so much of it is mind over matter. Yes 2 weeks take home is amazing. I used to get 30 days but they removed that from the program not sure why. It was terribly expensive anyway as it’s already $13/day. I am fortunate I never tried heroin although I tried a few times to get some when I was sick. I really didn’t want to get on methadone for a damn Vicodin/Percocet habit but honestly I wouldn’t have stopped otherwise because the withdrawal was unbelievable and the post withdrawal was even worse. Now, with methadone, I just kind of feel “normal”. It’s been a struggle to get this low but I know there’s going to be some discomfort. And it’s mostly just fatigue in the morning. It’s gotten pretty severe. It seems to correct itself after about 1hr after my dose. Although I can tell I am just overall fatigued most times. It’s almost a daily grind but I know the outcome is freedom. My stomach sometimes feels crampy and icky in the AM before my next dose. I’ve even at times found it hard to get solid sleep after like 5-6am. I usually wake up for work around 9am because I work 10a-10p. But honestly for the most part those are the only major symptoms. I’m sure it’s doing other stuff to me that I won’t fully be aware of until I’m off the stuff for a while. Good luck to you man, I’m glad methadone has saved you as well. And thanks so much for sharing.
 

Sky God

Bluelighter
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
210
Location
Flying high in the Sky
I am weaning off methadone but once i get so low the cravings get bad and i use and then my dose needs to go up. Just go slowly. My mistake was rushing to get off because i hate being tied to a clinic but shooting fentadope is far worse.
 

F.U.B.A.R.

☠Rattus norvegicus☠ Moderator: BDD, OD, EADD, LAVA
Staff member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
19,877
Location
UK
The slower the better. There will be times when you need to increase the dose again, but time and dedication is the key. I got down to 2mg/day before I finally realised I didn't need that shit anymore and my addiction was purely psychological by that point. Jumped off with absolutely no withdrawals.

It's a fuckin godsend, but don't abuse it.
 

Alicia420

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
85
I am weaning off methadone but once i get so low the cravings get bad and i use and then my dose needs to go up. Just go slowly. My mistake was rushing to get off because i hate being tied to a clinic but shooting fentadope is far worse.
Thanks for the response, skygod! Definitely won’t be rushing! I’ve already been weaning for about a year. Give or take. Best of luck to you, and I’m so sorry you’re having trouble at lower doses. My thoughts are with you and hope you find a way to beat that devil!
 

Alicia420

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
85
The slower the better. There will be times when you need to increase the dose again, but time and dedication is the key. I got down to 2mg/day before I finally realised I didn't need that shit anymore and my addiction was purely psychological by that point. Jumped off with absolutely no withdrawals.

It's a fuckin godsend, but don't abuse it.
I couldn’t agree more with the last sentence you typed. Methadone truly is a godsend if you do it like you’re supposed to! And thanks for the advice I’ll be sure to keep it slow. And I also agree with the psychological point you made. Since I’ve gotten so low, twice now I’ve not taken my dose until night time because I never even thought about it in the morning. I forgot! That never would’ve happened 20+ mg’s ago. The first time I did it I know I could’ve gone without it until the next day. But once I realized it I basically sabotaged myself. The second time I was feeling kind of anxious and had trouble concentrating and realized “shit I forgot to take my methadone!”
I’ve had to increase twice and it’s fine I’ll do what I have to do. Just wish I was a little more energetic during this phase. Thanks again!
 

RedRum OG

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
3,462
Location
MN
Exercise, loperamide, gabapentin, weed, kratom, and laughter. Those are my saviors. Made it from 120mg to 20mg. Not quite mentally read to jump all the way off.

Exercise is more worth it than you think.
 

Alicia420

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
85
Exercise, loperamide, gabapentin, weed, kratom, and laughter. Those are my saviors. Made it from 120mg to 20mg. Not quite mentally read to jump all the way off.

Exercise is more worth it than you think.
Absolutely! I definitely don’t want to get on anymore meds, especially like gabapentin. I’m a nurse and that’s a nerve pain medication and sometimes it too has dependency issues and isn’t something I need to be taking at 39 for drug withdrawal. Less is more at this point. I’ve tried Kratom when I was addicted, before I got on methadone and I think it has its own issues and not something that worked for me but I’m glad it does you. But weed and exercise I agree 1000000000% with. Thanks for the response and best of luck! I know from personal experience if you’re down to 20mg it wasn’t easy so congrats you’re almost there!
 

CoveBoy

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 3, 2020
Messages
23
Currently working to get off methadone. The highest I was at was 125mg. I’m at 102mg right now. I go down 5mg a week. Methadone may have saved my life, but it also has some nasty side effects. I gained 80 pounds, sex life went to hell, and overall I’m just unhappy. I’m scared to quit, but I know I’m ready.
 

Alicia420

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
85
Currently working to get off methadone. The highest I was at was 125mg. I’m at 102mg right now. I go down 5mg a week. Methadone may have saved my life, but it also has some nasty side effects. I gained 80 pounds, sex life went to hell, and overall I’m just unhappy. I’m scared to quit, but I know I’m ready.
Sorry about the bad side affects, yes, it doesn’t come without its sacrifices. 5mg/week might be too much in the future. If you can handle that, more power to you! But once I got under 40 it started to get rough and I’m only going down a few mg’s at a time. Also, if you have to go back up and then back down, or up and then hold for a week or more DO NOT get discouraged! Most of us have to do it. Good luck, you got this. And we have to take the good with the bad. Methadone is a bitch but it’s a necessary bitch as it was likely our last resort.
 
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