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Questions regarding detoxing after long-term illness
  1. #1
    Time2makeAchange is offline New Member
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    Default Questions regarding detoxing after long-term illness

    Hello,

    I'm a thirty-something year old female who had a successful weight loss surgery 10 years ago.
    In 2013, after a year of excruciating pain and doctors not believing me, thinking I was drug seeking I was diagnosed with rickets (tiny broken bones throughout my body due to a severe vitamin d deficiency) brought on by the malabsorption portion of the weight loss surgery. I was hospitalized for 9 days and due to my inability to absorb medications properly they smacked a fentanyl patch on me before I knew what it really was. Fastforward 4 years later. I never abused the fentanyl patch. I am most definitely fight addictive behaviors all the time but never the patch. I won't bore you with recent details but last week my pain doctor started me on 40mg of methadone. I have no desire to be on methadone or suboxone long term so I am in a rush to begin detoxing from the methadone. My bottom line questions (let's be real probably only my first of many questions) are; am I dependent on methadone in 7 days? Does methadone bind to the same receptors as fentanyl and Percocet? Is it possible that the methadone has masked my complete detox from fentanyl? Can I simply begin to taper the methadone and be detoxed? I apologize for all these questions. I've been lurking a long time. Thank you for all you do and any help you offer me.

  2. #2
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Good Morning and Welcome!

    I don't blame you for being afraid of the methadone. I would be too. I've never taken it so I'm probably not the best person to answer your questions. There are a couple of members, Bette and Randy, who have used methadone, tapered to a low enough dose and then switched to subs for their final taper. They have some good amount of clean time behind them now. I hope they stop by and give you better information. Just know that it's possible and it's really good that you found this early to get some advice and to help you decide what to do and how to do it.

    I do know that yes, the methadone will absolutely remove any withdrawal symptoms from the patches. Methadone is very, very strong with an extremely long half life. Few people who want to get clean don't regret ever using it. Not to scare you. Thankfully, you're not the far into this.

    May I ask if you still have chronic pain issues? I just ask because you most certainly have had to ask yourself what you will do for pain control instead of the methadone and sharing that will help others to give you advice on how to do that switch or how best to taper. How much Fentanyl were you using? Is it your goal to stop all opiates?

    Sorry I don't have all the answers or any advice for you except to sit tight. I'll try to find Bette and Randy's threads and send up an SOS to stop and try to help you. They are quite busy in their clean lives and can't stop at the Forum everyday but I hope they notice that we're looking for them and they do manage to stop here soon. Keep checking. There will be others along too.

    Peace,

    Cat
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  3. #3
    Time2makeAchange is offline New Member
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    Thank you so much for your reply and SOS. I am going for an MRI and x Ray to make sure the medication isn't masking any bone concerns. I have back issues but who doesn't. The only way I'm going to know if the pain is real and not opioid dependence induced is to detox. My worry with the methadone is that I'm wasting time by not tapering immediately. I've decided to do a hospitalized detoxification and am just waiting for approval from insurance. They started me on 40 mg less then 2 weeks ago. It has worked perfectly leading to me wanting to tempt a quicker than average taper.

    Again thanks for your help!!!

  4. #4
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time2makeAchange View Post
    Thank you so much for your reply and SOS. ������ I am going for an MRI and x Ray to make sure the medication isn't masking any bone concerns. I have back issues but who doesn't. The only way I'm going to know if the pain is real and not opioid dependence induced is to detox. My worry with the methadone is that I'm wasting time by not tapering immediately. I've decided to do a hospitalized detoxification and am just waiting for approval from insurance. They started me on 40 mg less then 2 weeks ago. It has worked perfectly leading to me wanting to tempt a quicker than average taper.

    Again thanks for your help!!!

    Hello -

    Cat asked me to take a look at your thread. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Just been very busy with life and work. I assure you it's possible to get off the methadone and enjoy a clean life. That stuff took me down hard. I was on it for years and taking over 200mgs a day. As Cat mentioned I switched to subs then tapered off those. So yes, it certainly can be done.

    I see you've decided on a hospitalized detox? If that's the way you want to go I wish you the very best. Should your plans change and you want help getting off the methadone I would be happy to help you do that. It would require a very slow taper to avoid harsh wd symptoms. You could taper all the way down to nothing or switch to subs at some point. It's easier to taper subs than the methadone.

    I hope this works out for you. We're here to help and support no matter how you do it. Please keep us informed how it's going.


    Randy

  5. #5
    Time2makeAchange is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Hello -

    Cat asked me to take a look at your thread. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Just been very busy with life and work. I assure you it's possible to get off the methadone and enjoy a clean life. That stuff took me down hard. I was on it for years and taking over 200mgs a day. As Cat mentioned I switched to subs then tapered off those. So yes, it certainly can be done.

    I see you've decided on a hospitalized detox? If that's the way you want to go I wish you the very best. Should your plans change and you want help getting off the methadone I would be happy to help you do that. It would require a very slow taper to avoid harsh wd symptoms. You could taper all the way down to nothing or switch to subs at some point. It's easier to taper subs than the methadone.

    I hope this works out for you. We're here to help and support no matter how you do it. Please keep us informed how it's going.


    Randy
    Thank you for your reply, I'm sorry it took me so long to answer. I am going into a hospital because they are aware of my physical concerns should there be problems during the detox. I will be staying for rehab. The reason I chose this specific hospital is because they will allow me to taper and switch to suboxone and continue to taper throughout the rehab rather than the usual 5 days and you are left to the irony of choosing to save your life but now wishing you were dead. 5 days is just not ok for people on opiates for so long. I've read a lot of the old posts by Robert. I imagine I will be switched to suboxone. If so I am going to ask to do it with the method I've read all over this forum. Can you tell me, if I was outpatient what would be the method of tapering the methadone? I know it varies but at 40mg, about how long would you guess it would take to switch to the subs? I hope you read this and THANK YOU in advance.

  6. #6
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time2makeAchange View Post
    Thank you for your reply, I'm sorry it took me so long to answer. I am going into a hospital because they are aware of my physical concerns should there be problems during the detox. I will be staying for rehab. The reason I chose this specific hospital is because they will allow me to taper and switch to suboxone and continue to taper throughout the rehab rather than the usual 5 days and you are left to the irony of choosing to save your life but now wishing you were dead. 5 days is just not ok for people on opiates for so long. I've read a lot of the old posts by Robert. I imagine I will be switched to suboxone. If so I am going to ask to do it with the method I've read all over this forum. Can you tell me, if I was outpatient what would be the method of tapering the methadone? I know it varies but at 40mg, about how long would you guess it would take to switch to the subs? I hope you read this and THANK YOU in advance.


    Nice to hear from you!

    You can certainly switch from methadone to suboxone on an outpatient basis. Don't need a hospital for that. I sure did and so have many others here. But you have to do it the right way.

    You can technically make the switch at any dose of methadone, but the lower the dose the better. One member here, Bette, made the switch at 150mgs of methadone I believe. And she had great success doing it and is now clean a couple years. I myself reduced my methadone down to 10mgs and switched to suboxone. So at 40mgs now you can absolutely switch to subs at this point without tapering lower. If the hospital says different they are incorrect.

    The hardest part to this is how long you may have to wait in wd's before you can safely take the sub. Methadone has a real long half life as the subs do so it remains in your system a while. You'll need to completely stop the methadone and allow yourself to go into wd's. We HIGHLY suggest using the Cows to induct safely. With the long half life of the methadone it could easily take between 24 and 72 hours, even longer before induction can take place. It took me nearly 90 hours before I hit the 26 score needed on the Cows. I waited as long as I possibly could. The very LAST thing you want to do is take the sub too early as I did the first 2 times I attempted to induct. I got in a hurry and paid a stiff price of going into precipitated wd's both times. Talk about sick.

    Let me know if I can be of further help. All the best to you.

    Randy
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