Wednesday September 17th 2014

Methadone 60mg: the blocking dose for heroin treatment

 

 

 

Methadone dosing treatment

In the past, methadone clinics mistakenly tried to keep the methadone dose of their patients as low as possible, and rarely went above sixty or seventy milligrams per day. Since that time, multiple studies have shown that patients on low doses of methadone hydrochloride are more likely to drop out of treatment, or keep using other opioids. Now, good opioid treatment centers try to get their patients to a blocking dose, so that patients get the maximum benefit. Like chemotherapy, if a patient is going to use methadone as a treatment, they need to take enough for it to be effective.

Not understanding the optimum doses for methadone, many family members will pressure the addict to reduce their dose, mistakenly thinking that if they have to be on methadone, the less, the better. However, studies show that patients use less illicit opioids if they’re on adequate doses of methadone.  Patients on sixty milligrams of methadone or more are more likely to be retained in treatment for their addiction.

Semisynthetic opioids discussion

Patients being treated for opiate addiction do better with adequate doses of methadone.  This is why methadone 60mg has become the standard in methadone maintenance treatment programs.  Still, methadone can be harmful if not used properly. And methadone 60mg is not the only or the best answer for every opioid-addicted person.  See a list of effects of methadone here.

But what do you think about the 60 mg dose of methadone?  Has methadone 60mg worked for you?  Are the effects of treatment with methadone worth the outcome?

Leave a Reply

29 Responses to “Methadone 60mg: the blocking dose for heroin treatment
Zenith15
8:26 pm December 3rd, 2010

Methadone doses average between 80-120 mgs, with many patients requiring more than that, and some less. In my own experience it was essential to be on a blocking dose (which is closer to 80 mgs than 60 mgs) in order to succeed. The knowledge that you cannot get high on opioids no matter what forces you to seek other solutions to your problems–hopefully healthy solutions.

Many patients keep their doses too low for comfort, thinking either that they can continue to use opioids and get high, or that it will make it easier to taper off methadone if and when the time comes. In actuality, however, tapers that are started from a position of already being on a dose that is too low are less likely to succeed than tapers begun from an adequate dose. An adequate dose is a dose that keeps you comfortable for a FULL 24 hours–you should not wake up in the morning feeling as though you must dose immediately, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Jana Burson M.D.
9:42 pm January 20th, 2011

You’re absolutely right. There’s so much variation between individuals as to how methadone is metabolized. Some patients may feel OK at 40mg, but the majority need much more. Doses of 80 – 120mg are the “average” range.

jamescook1380
4:06 am January 27th, 2011

I am a doctor with 20 years of experience in addiction medicine. (Dr. Vorobiev Drug Clinic, Belgrade) I am not a supporter of Methadone treatment. But I don’t deny it. I agree with all that is said here. No doubts Methadone keeps a huge number of former heroin addicts away from their drug with all following consequences. It is true. But you also have to agree that Methadone is also an opiate and also is very addictive. Withdrawal from Methadone is much harder than from Heroin due to its biochemical properties. As with any other opiate, it causes multiple system dysfunctions, immune deficit and eventually destroys the body. It is a fact. As well as the fact that millions of Methadone users are parked in their addiction without any attempts to kick it off cause this situation fits government (it is cheap, it cuts crime, takes the users out of streets). I advocate for Naltrexone therapy as alternative addiction treatment . We successfully use this program for years at v-clinic [dot] eu.

Jana Burson M.D.
6:50 am January 28th, 2011

Dear Doctor Vorobiev,
Thanks for writing. Does the government of Belgrade and Serbia allow treatment using methadone or buprenorphine?

I once attended a presentation by a physician from Russia about the use of oral naltrexone and implantable naltrexone pellets. If I remember correctly, success rates were pretty good. I don’t recall the doctor’s name.

I would like more information about your program, & your program’s success rates. The U.S. has just started using the monthly injectable form of naltrexone. I believe studies are ongoing to see how it will compare with methadone and buprenorphine.

Methadone isn’t a perfect drug, but it does save lives. A study conducted in the U.S. in the late 1960’s through the late 1980’s showed mortality rates for heroin addicts not in any treatment was sixty-three times that of age matched controls. (1) This dropped to only eight times age matched controls, while these heroin addicts were enrolled in methadone maintenance treatment, which correlated to a death rate of 1.4% per year.

I simply don’t agree that methadone “eventually destroys the body,” and I challenge you to produce an appropriate reference for that statement. Yes, it is hard to get off methadone, and it has significant side effects: constipation, sweats, and reduced libido. But dead addicts don’t recover. If methadone keeps them alive, we should use it, until a better method is proven.

The U.S. has a fairly restrictive system for dispensing methadone, compared to other nations. Fifty-five countries use methadone to treat opioid addiction. (2) Israel has the most restrictive system. It requires limits on the case load of each clinic and each physician, regular urine drug screens, limits on daily dose and limits on take home doses. Methadone can only be prescribed by addiction medicine specialists and only in specially licensed facilities. France’s system is the least restrictive, requiring only monthly drug screens and limits on daily doses.

In Russia, it’s illegal to use opioid replacement therapies, much as it was in the U.S. from 1920 until the 1960’s. Russia also has the highest rate of heroin addiction in the world, with an estimated five million heroin users in a country with about half of the population of the U.S. (3)

In Russia, intravenous heroin use now causes about eighty percent of the HIV infections in Russia, where needle exchange programs are still quite controversial. At present, around 1.1% of Russia’s population is infected with HIV, compared to less than two-tenths of one percent in the U.S. (4) Obviously, Russia’s present opioid addiction treatment policy isn’t working.

Until/unless I see studies that prove naltrexone out-performs methadone and buprenorphine, I will continue to advocate for these treatments.

If you care to give me your mailing address, I’d love to send you a copy of my book, “Pain Pill Addiction: Prescription for Hope,” which describes the current state of prescription opioid addiction in the U.S., and gives information about the treatment methods we’re using, and the good and the bad of these methods.

Respectfully,
Jana Burson M.D.

1. Gronbladh, L, Ohlund, LS, Gunne, LM, Mortality in Heroin Addiction: Impact of Methadone Treatment, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Volume 82, issue 3, p 223-227
2. John Strong, MD, “The International Experience” lecture, ASAM Conference, New Orleans, LA, 5/09.
3. New York Times, “Russian Scorns Methadone for Heroin Addiction,” July 22, 2008, accessed online at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/health/22meth.html on 7/5/2009.
4. USAID Russia, HIV/AIDS Health Profile, 9/08, accessed online at http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/Countries/eande/russia_profile.pdf on 7/5/2009.

jules ziekenopopaser
10:50 pm February 1st, 2011

i have been on 65mg for 2 years on and off for 2 years (i got off it last year but had a relapse) and im telling you it is the hardest thing ive ever trird to give up….. I’ve been off it for 5 days now and i can’t sleep,cant function and basically can’t get on with my life and also my mrs has kicked me out (nice chick….NOT!!!) I went to the doctors today and he pescribed me Diazepam @ 5mg x 3 a day for 10 days …. I’ve already took all of them and i still feel poo….. DONT DO IT COLD TURKEY !!!!!!

Brian
11:12 pm February 16th, 2011

You should never ever quit methadone cold turkey for many different reasons. You will get very sick and tho that will be horrible in itself, it will also increase the chances of u relapsing. It can cause medical problems if u quit cold turkey so by doing a slow taper, you can reduce withdrawal symtpoms if not cutting them out all together. It takes a LONG time to taper down from methadone but doing it that way is the right way and you will not have w/d symptoms and will be able to go back to a normal life without drugs. I attend a methadone clinic in Indiana and it saved my life from my Oxy addiction. It allowed me to quit oxy, alcohol, weed, and it took away all my withdrawal symtpoms and I feel normal again with no cravings, no high, and no euphoria. I feel sooo much better and I’m glad that I went into treatment before getting arrested or ended up dead…

Don
12:49 pm September 9th, 2011

I replaced methadone with bup + naxalone and was crazy depressed, no emotions, and zero sex drive. Like a zombie – scared the crap out of my girlfriend. I later went back on a low dose of methadone, except now even at only 40 mgs, I have no sex drive (like I am on 120 mgs). I also have to take it early, or I end up in withdrawl first thing in the AM. So I am investigating what herbs I can use to increase my testosterone rather than going on medication to do so. Oh, the reason I wanted off methadone was because of the rumours I hear about methodone wrecking your body and destroying your teeth. I found out later, after I went off methadone, that this was misinformation. I found no references to any of these effects and in fact that methadone was one of the safest drugs one could be addicted to. I could be a diabetic and be addicted to insulin, which has a lot more side effects. So before you jump off, get your fact straight. Some people live with pain meds for life, and so what? Some people are on anti hypertensives, valium and anti depressants for decades with lots more side effects.

johnattan
9:44 am September 20th, 2011

for me, it ok an dose of 12mg-25mg, in UE we use lower dose then US( in US they use 80-200mg), even if our heroin is stronger then that in US.
Some of my fellows use 60mg or so, i am feeling very good with 25mg or lower.

Clint
6:31 am October 12th, 2011

I’m currently at 100 mgs. and yet really get no blocking affect – I do stay well though for 36 hours and it really has been a godsend providing me with needed stability.

Heather
12:57 pm November 11th, 2011

here in columbus ohio at the comp drug methadone clinic they start you at 30mg and in order to raise your dose you must wait at least 7 days then you have to make an appointment with the dr which can be an all day event then they will only raise you up about 10mg and then you must repeat the process of waiting 7 days and then they raise you only 10 more mg they used to start you at 60 mgs but a couple of addicts who keep in mind were only addicted to vicodin and other low level pain killers said that they felt comfortable at 30mgs or less this clinic is absolutaly ridiculous they really need to be investigated sorry I just really needed to vent

1:12 pm November 11th, 2011

Hi Heather. Thanks for your feedback. And it must be frustrating to feel that you are not getting enough methadone…but have have you asked the clinic directors why they have implemented this policy? It might be good to get the facts first, and then you can file an official complaint (if needed), later.

adpage
9:09 pm November 11th, 2011

I also noticed that my social anxiety improved with a higher dose. I used to be really panicky when reading in public. But when I was on a high dose, that seemed to disappear.

Has anybody had a similar effect

Christopher Cook
11:58 am January 27th, 2012

I am a Civil/Structural Engineer with 2 degrees in engineering. I was able to completely return to work on MMT (methadone maintenance therapy). I also attend 12 step meetings 4 to 5 times per week. I have over 21 years clean. There is one scientific fact that is almost universally overlooked; long term drug use (especially opiod) causes permanent psychological, neurological, and brain damage! That is why addicts relapse; they don’t feel good at all! There have been many medical studies proving this. I developed a terrible chronic depression, anxiety, etc. Once I initially got clean without MMT. Antidepressants are not effective alone. Once I began MMT, my depression gradually lifted as did my anxiety. I also began taking Zoloft with MMT and honestly right now I have never felt better. All addicts need chemical aid in recovering. You cannot ignore the organic damage done by addiction. That is why I myself initially relapsed many times before I got on MMT. 12 steps help but they are not effective against the neurological damage; steps help only with the psychological.

I think the aforementioned is rarely understood by doctors or addicts for that matter. It needs to be at the forefront of our discussions on addiction! Once I got stabilized on MMT, I found that I no longer had any reason to even consider relapse-I felt normal in my own skin again. No one understands how excruciatingly painful it is long after you detox! You just don’t feel normal at all if you are an addict. The only way I got well was a multi pronged therapeutic attack:

1) 12 step meetings ( I love AA myself)

2) MMT – fixes and maybe even reverses structural damage to brain/neurological functions

3) antidepressants – are synergistic with #2

Christopher Cook
12:07 pm January 27th, 2012

Also I just get so angry when I see these things on TV like Dr. Drew and they advise these long term addicts to go to sober living and then 90 meetings at 12 step groups! As if that was in any way a permanent solution!? That is NOT going to make that brain damage get any better! They are not looking at the overall reality of addiction.

I personally think that if the issue of brain and neurological damage is not addressed, no addict will achieve truly life long freedom from addiction. MMT and suboxone, etc. definitely are an integral part of recovery if one really wants to stay clean and sober for the long haul.

Christopher Cook
12:09 pm January 27th, 2012

Here is a link to a study done in 2000 that confirms some of what I just discussed:

http://www.rockefeller.edu/pubinfo/news_notes/121500e.html

4:01 pm January 27th, 2012

Hi Christopher. Thank you very much for sharing about your experience with MMT. I hope that it can help others looking for successful recovery.

And thanks also for sharing the link!

adpage
7:53 pm January 27th, 2012

MMT restores an imbalance. Just as insulin does. The side effects are less than those of other medications. In fact, I can not find any data on the long term affects of MMT. If there was published data that was valid and reliable and replicated that indicated some nasty negative effect of using this medication long term, then I’d consider trying to stop again. Having said that my only other option, besides a prolonged and protracted, acute and post acute withdrawal, is suboxone. The side effects of suboxone were so nasty, that I had to stop within a week or being on it. I was totally depressed, almost catatonic!
In my opinion, I am on MMT by choice. I could go through the pain of getting off but would only do so if I could find a medication that put me in another state of mind while I went through it. Which at this point I am not prepared to do.
I also think, that if a MMT patient decides to get off methadone, they should be weaned off very slowly with morphine instead for at least 6 months to a year, so that the post acute withdrawal phase passes. However, this is not the case now that they have suboxone.
Now at my age I suffer from pain associated with MVA’s and one major MVA when I was 20 years younger that now are manifesting. So even if I came off MMT, I would need something for pain management most likely. In fact as we age we are likely to experience pain more often on average, so I am on 65mg now, with room to move up should need be the case.
The only side effect I have had complications with is constipation related, which presently might require day surgery to fix an anal tear. That had more to do with poor habits than methadone. Straining etc., is something I have always done and I have had to stop doing.
I use Energy Psychology now versus psycho-social therapy because I realise that most of my problems come from my subconscious mind, which can be undone so to speak with regular practice of EFT, Be Set Free Fast, Psych K, etc.
More on things later.

11:57 am January 28th, 2012

Thanks for sharing about what works for you, adpage. It seems like you have a very strong awareness of what you need and are taking life as it comes. Perhaps a day will come when an alternative to Suboxone is available. Please let us know if you come across anything in your travels.

All the best!

antimeth
7:16 pm March 25th, 2012

I’m sorry but you are so very WRONG! My 10 year experience with methadone has taught me so much more than what can be read or “theorized” on. 120mgs makes you inebriated and the only reason the patient dont realize is because you never come down until detox. I never used opiates at 120. I detoxed(quite rapidly) due to the constant fatigue,weight gain,….but I relapsed and went back and went on a lower dose(70) and did not use opiates either. In fact my resolve is more firm and lower doses of methadone to a patient who has been on more is very different than the higher doses. Also Methadone only works short term. In my case,I have spent so much more time on methadone than drugs. How is it OK to have a patient more hooked on methadone than any street drug? methadone is a cruel system that treats every person exactly the same and makes that person so addicted that they are your Prisoner! Your CHEMICALLY INCARCERATED PRISONER! Clinics are not for patients they are for society. As long as they can hold addicts prisoner to a drug that makes them feel entrapped physically,mentally,financially and treats patients like prisoners. Threfore violating The Constitution! ONLY Prisoners are denied such rights! You Methadone Clinics and Investors are getting ready to see the end of your Corruption along with your Outdated Drug!

12:20 pm March 26th, 2012

Thank you for sharing your perspective, antimeth.

adpage
7:27 pm March 28th, 2012

I am a certified addiction counsellor, teacher and social worker. I worked for over 20 years in the field of addiction and have been successfully managing my addiction for over 5 years now.

There are new methods of treatment that are being proven to be more effective than traditional methods.

Mental health and addiction go hand and hand. Recovery is about erasing old subconscious programming. Without which, your life will unfold, as it is now perhaps, and you will call it fate.

You DO have the power to change your life. It’s just that we are looking in the wrong place. Like the story of the guy who loses his keys in his house and is outside under the street lamp looking for it because his hydro is out in the house.

Research that supports harm reduction is influenced by the powers of the government and there is no funding flowing to the real problem – which is addressing the cause of addiction.

I know that you may believe that there is no cause of addiction and have been told that looking for the cause will be of no avail. I will prove to you that this thinking is dead wrong. There is a cause and it can be treated, and completed erased!

Sincerely

Don aka Adpage

Best to all of you!

I want to thank the creators and supporters of this platform for supporting us in our research!

Journey
6:22 am April 13th, 2012

The advantages of methadone are that it is legal and cheap. The disadvantages are that is very toxic and difficult to withdraw from. My belief is that the classic 21 day detox is a setup for relapse, since the time period is not medically sound. The arbitrary 60 mg “blocking dose” is not a good rule of thumb. There are many factors involved. 80 mg was typically a minimum for myself and other addicts with significant tolerance.

I also personally believe that methadone maintenance is physically, emotionally and spiritually crippling in the long run. The long term medical effects are well known and I have personally seen the emotional dysfunction of maintenance users. The spiritual aspect is based on my personal experience and beliefs.

I would refute the idea that MMT addresses a natural chemical imbalance. MMT addresses a neurochemical imbalance caused by opiate use. The original mood disorders that may have been partially causal in the developing substance use disorder would most likely have responded to other treatment prior to opiate use. Now they are subsumed by the cycle of MMT. At best, MMT addresses what society considers maladaptive social behaviors. Apart from the convenient half-life, IV diacetylmorphine (heroin) treatment has been shown in trials in Europe and Canada to be far more effective in this same role.

I have personally experienced cold turkey withdrawal, older type medical detox (phenobarb, clonidine etc.) methadone detox and buprenorphine detox. Buprenorphine can also be used for a maintenance regimen, with far fewer side effects. However (specifically addressed to Don) you cannot go from MMT to buprenorphine, it is guaranteed to make you miserable due to a conflict involving the methadone half-life and agonist/antagonist properties of buprenorphine. Consult with a doctor who is informed about this dilemma, some will even prescribe other opioids until your body has eliminated the methadone and then switch you to buprenorphine.

I found the buprenorphine the most helpful, the caveat being that you do experience some withdrawal, as opposed to methadone, which will give you that sense of well-being opiates give. This means, used correctly at the right dosage, bup. will eliminate major physical withdrawal, but anxiety, insomnia etc, may still be challenges.

How you address those challenges may very well be the determining factor in the quality and consistency of your recovery. Moving from an addictive lifestyle to one without substances can be very uncomfortable. Finding strategies and supports in your journey is vital. Using classic benzodiazepenes (under medical supervision) to manage the anxiety and with a long term goal to wean off can be effective in conjunction with these other strategies. It is important to realize that giving your brain time to restore its natural balance will be uncomfortable, you will not feel good initially. However, the reward is that your life will be infinitely more enjoyable in the long run.

Personally, I use no medication, am very judicious in my use of the socially accepted substances, such as coffee, but focus heavily on mindfulness, therapy, having a productive life and social supports. I do not use the 12 steps, but feel that they can be an important support for many.

It is critical for the individual to determine what works best for them and advocate for their needs with medical professionals, counselors and other clinicians.

Also, be nice to yourself. You have been through enough without beating yourself up. Everyone faces challenges and needs help.

ak
2:34 am November 29th, 2012

I used to be one of those people who was against MMT,& tried everything else to stop.Now,I’m on MMT,& I surely wish I’d done it sooner.Alot of doctors have now jumped on the bupernorphine bandwagon,thinking it is THE answer.But they can’t seem to get it through their thick skulls that everyone’s different,& I know for me & many,many others,bupernorphine has ZERO effect.It’s more for people who’ve a.been only using a few years tops,or b. have extremely low habits.And then some seem to favor naltrexone-I’d have to think it’s safe to say that they themselves have never been an opiate addict.This whole idea of being off all narcotics is nice,& of course ideal,but some of us can’t afford that.I don’t go around saying I’m ‘clean’-that’s a matter of opinion when you’re on MMT.Of course I’d rather not rely on having to have an opiate,but this is what works for me.The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over expecting a different result.Yet doctors continually want you to try what you’ve done & failed at many times.I figured it was time for me to try something different,& it’s really been a godsend.The way I see it is I could be ‘clean’,& then totally crazy depressed & miserable,for what?To be able to say I’m clean?To impress all the AA people?Sorry,but I’d rather feel stable & be able to function rather than to be able to say something.Some may say,’you have to find why you’re depressed w/out opiates’.While this is true,some of us didn’t have any traumatic events,weren’t abused in any way,& have had otherwise normal lives.So I think rather than do what I tried before,which was therapy,meetings,& groups,which really,did nothing for me,I’d rather do something that’s working.I’m not one to care about what others think,& many will say MMT is wrong,but different things work for different people.And it’s important that people get an ADEQUATE dose.Not too much,not too little.

Chris
10:35 pm April 15th, 2013

Ugh really? methadone destroying the body? U know what destroys ur body….spending every bit of money you have on opiates..not sleeping…living off little bits of junk food here and there or possibly living on the street…thats what destroys the body. I’ve been on methadone for about a month im 24 im an afghanistan war veteran and honestly it saved my life…the problem is that too many opiate addicts are used to babying themselves..im sick this isnt perfect my dose isnt high enough ….I know i’m much happier now…I look a thousand times healthier than when i was on drugs…i run i bike i train daily..sometimes it sucks..sometimes i sweat a lot some days i vomit and just dont feel right..other days are great…but my worst day on methadone is better than my best day when i was using…just remember where you were before u started…and if it wasnt that bad maybe go back and bang your head some more before ur ready to appreciate the small things in life like finally gaining some peace and comfort on methadone…yah we know its bad guys…but im sure the drug lifestyle is a lot worse.

Kirksey Nix III
1:33 am November 13th, 2013

I have to agree with Don, Methadone is the way to go for treatment. Suboxone does not stop the cravings and I lived a much better life, and worked a lot harder on Methadone. Government should not have a right to say I can or cannot do this or that, I just don’t understand why we have to suffer our entire lives over a money game played by Big Pharma. Also Methadone is much cheaper (since on one holds the patient on it) I guess I bought into the lie that America is a “free” country. Drug addiction is not respected as a disease, it’s looked upon by society as a “criminal act” instead of a disease. Wasted lives, I’ve seen so many people have their lives wasted over the prohibition laws then the actual drugs itself.

lizz dowell
10:15 pm January 2nd, 2014

This is my 2nd time being on methadone. The first time the doc at the clinic kept asking me if I needed a raise in my dose and I’d say yes. Well duhh, I’m an addict just coming off the streets. But he raised my dose up to 275 mg over the time I was there. This is not a mistype, 275 mg. I stayed on the methadone program and worked a recovery program for 2 and 1/2 years and decided to get off methadone, I had first started using opiates to self medicate, and after detoxing and 3 months of post acute withdrawals I realized my pain had gotten much worse. So I went to a doctor, (because I’ve learned thats what normal people do instead of self medicating) and found out I have several chronic pain conditions. And went to pain management. I was there for 3 years and was fine, but eventually they weren’t controlling my pain enough and I began self medicating (adding to) again. That didn’t last! I chose to go back to the clinic and swore to myself I wasn’t going over 50mg. The doctor and I decided I needed to go over the 50 mg when 50 wasn’t controlling the pain because I knew if I hurt enough I would use. I was very cautious and went pretty slow. I have been there 10 months and am currently at 160 mg, (a split dose) I take 80 mg in the morning and another 60 mg in the late afternoon. I took a peak and trough test and it showed I was metabolizing the methadone quickly. I am still in a lot of pain, if I do much of anything in done for the day, but I’m afraid to ask for a raise in my dose. I remember the zombie that was on 275 mg., and I don’t want to be her again. I feel like either way I look I’m going to feel useless. Addiction and Chronic pain is a very difficult thing to deal with. I am glad I was introduced to recovery early, I don’t know if I’d be able to stay clean without the tools I’ve learned in meetings and from my support group. Using isn’t the 1st thing I think of anymore when something goes wrong, and that’s a great feeling when I notice that or someone brings it to my attention. But when I hurt to where I hold my breath and can’t lay down or sleep or sit or stand for more than 20 minutes tops from the pain for a number of days my mind can tell me you know how to get yourself out of this pain. So that’s my experience and why 60 mg wouldn’t work for me personally. Thanks.

lizz dowell
10:31 pm January 2nd, 2014

I read some peoples comments, what people need to realize is while the drug is the same it does do people’s bodies differently. What may have inebriated one may not be enough for another. That’s why there are doctors that prescribe the dose accordingly and why there isn’t just 1 standard dose for all. That’s why there are tests like the peak and trough to see exactly how the patient metabolizes the methadone instead of taking an addicts word for it who may just want more. Thank goodness there are some doctors that are taking it upon themselves to learn about things like addiction and methadone treatment. I for one am grateful for methadone, even after the doctor had me on 275 mg. and it took 2 years from the last time I dosed to feel somewhat normal again. I was a wreck, but it was MY journey and I wouldn’t trade one day of it. I may of relapsed by adding pain pills to my prescribed pain pills trying to control my own pain again, but I haven’t went back to heroin yet. And I don’t plan to either. I never want to forget one day of my misery. That is mine to keep and do with as I will, and I choose to never forget it and to pass on what I can to help the next person. Even if I help only 1 person for the rest of my days, it will make it all worthwhile. I still saved someone from some the hell I endured.

Nick C.
9:33 pm February 4th, 2014

If you need it for pain then go for it but if you are like most people I’ve seen in clinics, over 40 years, kicking a habit, then don’t use methadone. Addicts minds will tell them they are a lot worse off then they really are. The last habit I kicked was six years at 120 mg. If I was wise then I would have just kicked and passed on the methadone. I’m drug free for six years now and the only thing I can say about methadone is it ain’t nothing but a ball and chain.

Lozz
4:33 am February 14th, 2014

Hi everyone… I came across this article whilst researching long term effects of babies born to mothers on subutex!! I’m a 34 yr old female who has been an addict for about 18 years… That’s scary when I say it out loud!! I haven’t been a full blown heroin addict over the last 5 yrs- though I can thank bupernorphine for that!! I was on methadone for 8yrs (80mg) and though it helped me gain some sort of normality in my life, I still continued to use heroin and if anything knew if I used enough I could get over my dose to feel something!! On the other hand subutex has been a heaven sent, I know when I’m taking subutex I won’t use as I will NOT be able to feel it! I may think about getting heroin but as soon as I have the thought I immediately know that it would be useless and that’s as far as the thought process goes!! I look back a photos of myself on methadone and I look like a zombie and VERY high!! It was hell to get off- a 100 times harder than heroin its self!! I was sick for months and didn’t sleep for about 4 months.. I know that there is an important use for methadone, but I don’t believe it is a long term help!! PLEASE PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT GETTING ON METHADONE…BECOME WELL INFORMED THAT IT IS ONLY SWAPPING ONE FOR THE OTHER!!! SUBUTEX HAS A BALANCE OF BOTH BEING A BLOCKER AND ALSO KEEPS U CALM!!! SUBUTEX IS SOOOOOOOOO MUCH EASIER TO GET OFF!! ONLY TAKE METHADONE IF YOU ARE HAPPY TO BE ON IT FOR YEARS!!! Good luck on your journey everybody!!! Love and light

Leave a Reply

About Dr. Jana Burson, MD

Jana Burson M.D. is board-certified in Internal medicine, and certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. After practicing primary care for many years, she became interested in the treatment of addiction. For the last six years, her practice has focused exclusively on Addiction Medicine. She has written a book about prescription pain pill addiction: "Pain Pill Addiction: Prescription for Hope." Also see Dr. Burson's blog here.