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Any advice for a nursing student who is tapering off methadone?
  1. #1
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    Default Any advice for a nursing student who is tapering off methadone?

    help! I am a nursing student who is tapering off methadone. I was at 86 milligrams, and now I'm on 63. The clinic will not bring me down quickly at all. They will barely let me come down 5 milligrams A month. what does anyone think about going under for detox?I need a quicker way, I would like to be off in a year. The clinic just doesn't want me off, what should I do. Help!

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    bowtiesarecool is offline Junior Member
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    >>>>, I didn't see this post yesterday. I'm going through my WD and must have overlooked it. Sadly I don't know anything about methadone to give and advice. I don't know side effects of quiting faster then a medical professional suggests. I would look to wiser folks then myself. What kind of nurse are you studying to be? And if you want to share your story that would be cool as well.

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    Im studying to be an RN. Im a single mom of a toddler, and I desperately want to be off the methadone. It saved my life, but it is time for me to move on. The doc will write the order for me to go down, but the clinic takes forever, like a month to fill it. I feel like I am getting the run around. I feel discouraged. ..and I am so sorry about your WDs. Exercise if you can, I know it helps.

  4. #4
    2BeFreeofThem is offline Member
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    Hi nursestudent13

    Congrats on your choice to get off of methadone. I'm currently tapering off methadone myself, although I am doing this through my Pain Mgt doctor who writes me a monthly rx, so I'm not at the mercy of a clinic. I started tapering I think back in early June and was at 80-90mg daily when I started my journey to get off this medication.
    I had no problem going down very quickly from 80-90mg to 30mg....read my thread to see the timeline of exactly how long it took with each drop, which to my surprise was rather quick and pretty easy, even considering I had been on this medication for the last 10yrs.

    I had to start slowing things down a bit once I got to the lower dose and now that I'm below 20mg (17mg to be exact) I only go down 1mg at a time and sometimes I stay there a week and sometimes a bit longer but by doing this I'm no longer experiencing the constant mild wds but I'm still moving towards my ulitmate goal. But I need to go this route and slow due to underlying medical condition, you may find that the mild wds are tolerable and thus can go a little faster or drop more mg. just don't rush it.

    I think a year is a reasonable timeframe to give yourself if you have kids and are in nursing school, but I also think you would find that dropping 10-15mgs every 7-12 days right now may not be as difficult as you think, except that you need to work with the clinic to do this and it appears that may not be possible for you. I know that there is a more precise formulation that can be found on some older threads on exactly how much and how often one should drop there dose, I'm just posting what I found to work for me and would still encourage you to read up on others as well.

    Either way, if the clinic poses a problem for you see about getting down to 30mg and stabilizing there and then making the switch over to subs and then taper off of them using a very popular taper plan on this site,

    Do you get take homes from your clinic?? Maybe you could do some tapering on your own on the days you have take homes if that is possible, and just get to the 30mgs to make the sub switch,,,,but make sure you read up on how to make the switch from methadone to subs using the COWs sheet and ensure your at 26 before making the switch, and I'm sure if you read the threads in the sub forum or post ???'s there, many will give you the links and great advice on how to successfully do this, one member whatsinaname has a very inspiring story and is now off of subs too now over 100days!!!

    I wish you the best on this journey, it can be done, but the best advice I've received encouraged me to take it slow and steady especially when you get to the lower doses...slow and steady wins the race....and do it right the first time...its proven to be the best advice. I would have never imagined in June that I would have already dropped from 90mg to 17mg with very little problems, I was so scared but I soon realized it was very doable and now I just have to keep on this steady pace to the end...and you can do the very same, stick with it, even if it takes as long as it takes going the clinics route....

    BTW try posting in the Need to Talk section of the forum...you will find more people will read and respond to your post there and they are very helpful with far more information and experience than me, I'm still rather new to this site. But keep posting your progress no matter how slow or how difficult, you will find it will help to see how far you've come plus help others at the same time, just think about starting a new thread in the Need to Talk section for a perm thread to post updates.
    Best wishes
    Kat

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    Thanks for your post. I am getting 14 takehomes. This is my story. I was a straight A student on scholarship at a major university. I got whooping cough my freshman year, weird I know. The student doc gave me tons of narcotic cough syrup and pain meds for cramps. I had taken pills to get high once and in a while in high school but never this. I became a full blown addict. I lied to my parents and hurt everyone I knew. Well, I got pregnant from a guy I was dating for pills. With help from my OB I left him and my bad lifestyle. I got into a methadone clinic since u cant withdraw while pregnant. Anyway I have been there three years and it changed my life, but I dont want or need it anymore. I have thought about subutex when I get down longer. I have to be off in 17 months at the latest though. You cannot receive your RN on methadone. So, I just want off. The clinic doesnt want you to go down more then 5, but what do you think about 8mg decreases at a time?

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    bowtiesarecool is offline Junior Member
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    Well, it's sounds like you are moving in a positive direction and congratulations on that. I and several other people here know what a challenge that is. I wished I could offer up more support on the matter but encouragement is the only thing I have on this subject. So please stay on the path and get your RN and give your child a wonderful life and Bethesda greatest mother you can be.

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    Thanks for being encouraging. I feel like no one wants me off the methadone. It has taken my energy away, and I really want it back. I've been running 5 miles a day, and that seems to help. I want a healthy body as well as a healthy lifestyle. I feel like I need to be clear of all drugs to truly be healthy. I wish someone who knew something about methadone would answer my post. I think I want to go don 8-10 mg, but I don't want to feel too horrible because I'm a full time nursing student and have a toddler to take care of.

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    2BeFreeofThem is offline Member
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    I went down 10mg at a time until I reached 25-30mg and then I slowed it down just a bit, but I never had any problems going down 10mg a week until I got to the lower doses, so it is very doable. I felt better with each 10mg drop at first to be honest, and had very little negative side effects dropping 10mg at a time from 90mg down to 30mg.
    I think you will be just fine going down 10mgs with each drop, just make sure your stable before you drop again each time, I think thats the real key to doing the taper, getting stable on each dose, this is very important once you go below 30mg.
    But if I were you and could take subs then I would do the switch over once you get to 30mgs or lower and then taper off of them, I cannot take this route due to an allergy to bupe which is in subs.
    I would not suggest dropping by 8-10mg once you reach the lower doses (below 30mg) and you will need more time to adjust to each new drop with the lower doses. I just would not rush the taper if your going to go all the way down to 0mg with the methadone and not switch over to subs at some point. I think you could defintely achieve your goal of tapering off of methadone over the next 6-8mths or even sooner if you make the switch to subs.
    You can read my thread to see exactly how I got to 17mg from 90mg with very little wds, I started in June and the first part of the taper went pretty quick and surprisingly smooth dropping 10mg at a time, but everyone is different, this is just what has worked for me. My biggest challenge has been accepting that I must slow down the last part of the taper but now I understand why it was so important that I follow this advice. I'm dropping 1mg at a time right now so its going to take me a bit longer to finish up my taper but it will be worth it...it took me 10yrs to get to this point so I should be willing to understand it will take time to get off of it if I want to do so with as little wds as possible.
    You can do this with take homes, try dropping 10mg and then give your body time to adjust, you will find what will work best for you it just may take a few attempts and listen to your body. I think you will be able to drop 5-10mg each 7-10days with little side effects until you reach 30-35mg. then you may need to either lower the mgs you drop and/or stay at your new doses longer for your body to adjust. But my best advice is to switch over at 30mg to subs and taper off of them using this sites tried and tested induction and taper plan...there are tons of great people who will help you with this, its just not as many posting re methadone right now.
    Good luck...keep me posted and please feel free to ask questions, check out older threads from those who have tapered off of methadone. One guy went cold turkey off of 30-40mg recently (not something I would ever advise or do) but his thread still inspires me and lets me know it can be done...his name is FarEast. But Cheeky Whatsinaname and a few others can really give better advice from switching from methadone over to subs.

    You can do this, and having the right mindset really helps, and you seem to be in that place right now. Don't worry about what others think, do what is best for you, your child, and your future career. I wouldn't say it will be easy but I can attest to the fact that so far its been easier than I ever thought possible, and I've been on it for 10yrs, I'm proud to just have reduced my mg this far and you have already made progress in reducing your mgs.
    Just keep getting those mgs down...one taper at a time right now..Good luck~~
    Kat

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    Well, went to the clinic today and talked to the new doctor; and she was wonderful. She is going to take me down 10 mg a month until I hit 30mg, and we reevaluate from there. Feels wonderful to have a better plan!

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    2BeFreeofThem is offline Member
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    Glad to see you have a plan and it sounds like a good one. You should do well going down 10mg a month, it will give you plenty of time to adjust and stabilize before each new drop. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Even if you do not have alot of people posting, don't stop journaling it really helps to see the progress, no matter how small it may seem at the time.

    Best wishes to you on your plan, let us know how the first drop goes and just give your body time, it will adjust to each new drop.
    Kat

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    Thanks fot the encouragement! It feels good to know there is light at the end of the tunnel! I dont mean to hate on methadone, it really helped me when I was in a bad way, but I am such a different person now. I dont want to feel dependent on any substance anymore.. I know that the process will not be easy, but I want to be free of it really bad. What kind of symptoms should I expect decreasing 10 a month?

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    istrvler is offline Member
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    Congrats NS13 I know you are going to do great thanks for the encouragement on my thread. I am so sure you are going to be a great RN, using this experience as a guide to become great RN providing quality and empathetic care that will be so very much appreciated. Looking forward to the day you can tell us all you are totally free. I believe you said you had daughter, that is one lucky, lucky girl to have a Mom like you. I am sure she is going to grow into an amazing women just like her Mom. Stay Strong!

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    Thanks! Keep going strong, I know you and your wife will keep doing it. I think you may be the some of the strongest people I know!

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    2BeFreeofThem is offline Member
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    My symptoms were mild when I first starting dropping 10mgs, yawning, watery eyes, a little sneezing, and most of the symptoms cleared up after 3-4 days. I dosed 3 times a day in the beginning and so my symptoms cleared up with each dose and only lasted just a short time each day just a short time before each dose was due. I actually started feeling better and more energy with the first few drops.

    I started sleeping less but still felt very rested, waking up a little earlier was not such a bad thing, as I say, I still felt really rested. I also took this opportunity to get up and get started for each day without taking my dose....they say learning to get going without a dose or pills is a good habit to break.

    No matter what symptoms I felt, and some drops were not as easy and some days were a little trying, they all cleared up within a week at the most and never interfered with my daily routine, and I homeschool my daughter so it important to be functional each day. My husband did take over cooking and meals, my appetite was a little lacking at times, and this really helped but this symptom is part of my crohn's disease and might not be a wd side effect.

    I have so much going on right now with my dad in the hospital that I truly cannot remember exactly what I experienced with each and every drop...its one of the reasons I journal, if you truly want to see what I experienced it would be best to read my thread...sometimes we forget and it starts running together, but I can be certain when I tell you this has gone so much better than I dreamed possible, as I said its very doable, but don't look for symptoms, don't stress if none come at first or worry what is ahead, I know its hard but you will cause anxiety when none is needed, I had to learn the hard way, all my anxiety was caused by this not from wds.
    If your dropping 10mg every 30days you should have more than enough time to adjust to the drops and have days symptom free before the next drop, but again every drop is different and every person is different I am only going by my own experience. Its great to have another methadone taper going on right now, there have not been a lot of us here recently doing this, there are some great old timer's to offer sound advice, but its nice to see the journaling experience of another methadone taper right now.
    Best of luck and I will be here to support you if you need it, take the time to read my thread, you will get a better account of how the drops went for me...I started in June but did not start posting here until July.
    Kat

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    Thanks for your post! School has been so stessful lately! I will be happy to get off the methadone. It makes me terribly sleepy, I have to fight not to go to sleep in class. ..I hope bigger drops will help. Yes, I have noticed the energy and feeling better with some of the decreases. It makes me feel better that someone is doing this too I have been trying not to think about the decreases. Trying to keep the mental out of it..I drop 5mg next thursday, actually feeling excited about it. I know it is 5mg closer to my goal!
    2BeFreeofThem likes this.

  16. #16
    systolic_suckerpunch is offline Senior Member
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    Hello. I'm not on methadone now, but I was for about 5 years. The truth is that most clinics don't want people coming off of it or even moving in that direction because ultimately their goal is money. These clinics tend to see their patients as profits rather than people. It's unfortunate that they don't seem to want to work with you, when you will probably be one of their success stories and go on to lead a healthy and productive life.

    I noticed you said you got 14 take homes. Unless they water down your dose, the standard concentration is 5mg methadone per mL liquid. Knowing this, you can tailor your dose to fit your needs except the 2 days per month you go to the clinic. Maybe think about taking 2mL out of each bottle before you take the days dose, and put it aside. That way you can drop your dose yourself by ten mg. the only reason I mention saving it is for when you get to a really low dose and might need an extra 5mg to get thru a rough day. (Not to mention the panic I felt if somehow I wasn't able to make it to the clinic--- having some for back up made me feel better psychologically, just knowing it was there. As far as the days you have to go to the clinic and dose, you can leave a little bit behind in the cup if you don't want to take all that they give you.

    It's really >>>>ty that they aren't trying to work with you to come down. Maybe try talking to someone there who has more power than whoever you've been dealing with.

    I wish you all the best. Congrats on deciding to come off of this stuff. Yes it helped me a lot at the time, but it cost me my teeth (never had a cavity before this stuff, now I've had at least 6 teeth pulled and more that need serious work). I'm on suboxone now, had to get down to 25mg of methadone in order to switch, but now I've decided it's time to stop that as well.

    I can't say it's gonna be easy, but I promise it's gonna be worth it!

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    2BeFreeofThem is offline Member
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    Just wanted to check in and see how you were doing? I hope school is going a little better and I understand having issues with feeling very sleepy, its one of the things I thankfully no longer deal with now that my dose is lower. I sleep a lot less but feel much more rested.

    Just keep thinking that each drop is one step in the right direction, no matter the mg size or length of time between drops, your still moving forward to reaching the ultimate goal. Your doing the right thing, and I cannot imagine how hard it is to do this while in school, but I do think you will find that going slow is the right way to go, and will keep wds from interferring with your daily life.

    Let us know how the next drop goes.
    Kat
    Last edited by Anonymous; 09-23-2013 at 10:59 PM.

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    Haven't posted in a while, been so busy with school and my child. Anyway, so I am down to 55 mg down. That means I have come down 35 mg from where I started 3 months ago. I feel pretty good. I'm still getting sleepy from the methadone, even at 55. However at night, I have noticed I am having difficulty sleeping. If that is the only bad side effect I'm going to have right now, I will take it. I wonder how slow I should go when I hit 30 or 20 mg. I was thinking maybe 2 mg a week.

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