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Pain clinics closed- want off methadone
  1. #1
    vwgirlkristi is offline New Member
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    Default Pain clinics closed- want off methadone

    Hi, this is my first time posting here but I have been reading the threads for the past few weeks. I have been prescribed methadone for the last 10 years along with dilaudid and clonazapen. I got off the clonazapen over 1 year ago and have stopped taking the dilaudid over 6 months ago. I am still prescribed methadone and have 1 paper prescription left to fill and then I will either have to find a new Dr or just quit. There were recently 8 pain clinics with 25,000 patients closed here in Washington (my clinic was 1 of them) so finding a new prescribing physician will be quite difficult with so many pain patients looking for physicians and Dr's scared to prescribe and risk facing imprisonment or loss of license. There were over 40 Dr's who lost their license as a result of the investigation.
    I was already thinking of trying more natural remedies for pain control and saying goodbye to big pharma, but this abrupt closure is just pushing to me to try to ween all the way off my meds. I read on this forum that a lot of people have switched to suboxone and and only used it for 8 weeks and then been narcotic free. I most definitely do not want to substitute one narcotic for the other. Otherwise, I would just stay on the methadone (if I find a new prescribing Dr) as it works great for pain control and doesn't give me that zoned out lethargic feeling I get from other painkillers. I am prescribed 80mg of methadone a day and 12mg of dilaudid a day. I am not taking the 3 dilaudid pills and have weaned myself down to 20mg of methadone a day splitting my 10mg pills in half and taking 5mg every 6 hours. I have always been told by Dr's that methadone works best for pain if taken every 6 hours. My big question is if I am better off just weening all the way off the methadone or if I should switch to suboxone? I have small children at home and a husband that works long hours so I am only able to have minimum withdrawal symptoms from the methadone. Also, I have several debilitating medical problems but I am actually feeling much better than I ever have. The pain clinic didn't want to ween me saying that my medication was the reason why I feel so much better, but how do I know unless I try. I am ready to try something new. I would appreciate any advice or stories of coming off methadone. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwgirlkristi View Post
    Hi, this is my first time posting here but I have been reading the threads for the past few weeks. I have been prescribed methadone for the last 10 years along with dilaudid and clonazapen. I got off the clonazapen over 1 year ago and have stopped taking the dilaudid over 6 months ago. I am still prescribed methadone and have 1 paper prescription left to fill and then I will either have to find a new Dr or just quit. There were recently 8 pain clinics with 25,000 patients closed here in Washington (my clinic was 1 of them) so finding a new prescribing physician will be quite difficult with so many pain patients looking for physicians and Dr's scared to prescribe and risk facing imprisonment or loss of license. There were over 40 Dr's who lost their license as a result of the investigation.
    I was already thinking of trying more natural remedies for pain control and saying goodbye to big pharma, but this abrupt closure is just pushing to me to try to ween all the way off my meds. I read on this forum that a lot of people have switched to suboxone and and only used it for 8 weeks and then been narcotic free. I most definitely do not want to substitute one narcotic for the other. Otherwise, I would just stay on the methadone (if I find a new prescribing Dr) as it works great for pain control and doesn't give me that zoned out lethargic feeling I get from other painkillers. I am prescribed 80mg of methadone a day and 12mg of dilaudid a day. I am not taking the 3 dilaudid pills and have weaned myself down to 20mg of methadone a day splitting my 10mg pills in half and taking 5mg every 6 hours. I have always been told by Dr's that methadone works best for pain if taken every 6 hours. My big question is if I am better off just weening all the way off the methadone or if I should switch to suboxone? I have small children at home and a husband that works long hours so I am only able to have minimum withdrawal symptoms from the methadone. Also, I have several debilitating medical problems but I am actually feeling much better than I ever have. The pain clinic didn't want to ween me saying that my medication was the reason why I feel so much better, but how do I know unless I try. I am ready to try something new. I would appreciate any advice or stories of coming off methadone. Thanks.
    I'm sorry no one has responded to your thread yet. I will post on Bette's thread and ask her to stop by here to help you out, she has experience with both methadone and suboxone. She will be better able to answer your questions and concerns than I would. Hang in there... God bless us all!

  3. #3
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    Wow what up with those Drs prescribing that much pain medication!
    No wonder there is an epidemic.

    If you can taper the methadone
    I would do that ..

    I could not taper methadone because I did get that buzz from it ..

    Will your final prescription give you enough to taper?

    20 mg is a pretty small dose comparatively speaking ..
    You could go to
    15 mg for 1 week
    10 mg a week
    5 mg for 2 weeks ..


    I am not a dr so it is of course up to you ..
    But you sound determined
    So you could absolutely do this..

    Just keep in mind your pain will seem worse for a little while at the lowest dose
    And possible 2 weeks after

    It is rebound pain ..
    I would research that just so you know ..

    It won't last
    And it is normal.

    Plus your brain will want the opiates
    It is just the nature of the drug
    Prescribed of illegal
    Opiates change the brain chemistry ..

    There is no easy way off ..

    I have been off
    Methadone > 26 months
    Off the sub
    19 months ..

    It is so worth the fight !

    Whatever pain I have
    And I do
    Is. controlled with
    Excedrin
    Acupuncture
    Exercise



    I think if you can start a thread on the
    Need to talk board
    You will get more support

    Idk why but this board your thread is on gets
    Less traffic


    I hope that helps
    Take care

    Bette
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-05-2016 at 06:18 AM.
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  4. #4
    vwgirlkristi is offline New Member
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    Thank you Ricky71. I would very much appreciate it.

  5. #5
    vwgirlkristi is offline New Member
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    Thanks Bette. I have never been able to get down to less than 60mg a day, so I'm super surprised that I have gotten down to 20 and quite proud of myself. I know that the Dr was going to lower me down off the methadone to follow the new WA state prescribing laws, but said that cancer patients can be prescribed over a 100 MED rate. I believe I was at over a 1000 MED rate so I was definitely on a high doses. Also, from reading the forums I see that most people are able to dose 1x daily and not feel WD for up to 3 days, but I literally feel like crapaeu and in minor wd after 8-12 hours. I also did genetic testing and I am a rapid metabolizer of methadone so I am sure that plays into the scenario. Hopefully since I'm a rapid metabolizer that will make the methadone leave my system faster. But, who knows. I see that you were on both methadone and subs. Do you think it will be easier to keep weening on the methadone or switch to substitute and ween from there? I remember years ago (20+) I was prescribed subs and only took them for 2 or 3 weeks but had horrible wd's when I ran out.
    I just reread your post and I won't know exactly what I have until Wednesday when I go to the pharmacy and see if they fill my script. 40 Dr's lost their licensespecially from the pain clinic closures and if my Dr was 1 of them then my prescription will be no good. But, I still have one bottle with approximately 200 10MG tabs. If I can just jump off at 5mg I should be good, but I am worried that I won't be able to jump off at 5mg at will feel too >>>>>>. I almost wish (but not really) that I was on a methadone clinic so I could taper down to 1mg and stop then. I have really bad wd and they send me into big nausea fits and I've ended up hospitalized for up to 7 days several times in the past. I don't want that to happen and I really can't afford to be sick much longer as we have bills to pay and children to care for. My main thing is not bring able to sleep. Last year when I weaned off the clonazapen I didn't sleep for over a week and the anxiety was horrible I am sure I will have to relearn to sleep. I always had a hard time sleeping. I do have some leftover clonazapen I could take, but I don't want to as I'm worried about going thru benzo withdrawal again.
    I am going to look up rebound pain and find out exactly what that is. It's funny because at this low low methadone dose I actually feel much better (and more active) than I did at the higher doses.
    I also love acupuncture and try to stay active. The more active I am, even if it's just long walks, the better my RLS is. I had RLS long before I ever took opiates but the opiates have seemed to stop it. I am just thinking that since I am this low, I may as well keep going and stop all pharmaceutical medications. The majority of my health problems were actually caused by medications that are no longer on the market so I'm not very trusting of big pharma.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. I feel very much alone in this as no one around me even knows I'm on this medicine (except my husband who has no idea what the withdrawals are like) and I really don't want people to know as I initially didn't even know I was on methadone as it was prescribed as dolophine and I didn't find out until it was too late. My own fault for not researching on my own I guess.

  6. #6
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    You could lower your dose with the pills ..

    Just get a pill crusher crush the pill and divide it into equal piles
    Use a business card and pick up the powder and swallow it..
    That how I did it with the sub
    Only it is under the tongue..

    So you could go to 1 mg if you wanted ..

    See how you feel..

    I felt better on lower doses of both ..
    I would just taper the methadone ..

    If you have 200 10 mg pills
    I think that is plenty..

    I watch drugs Inc on national geographic channel
    They do d a show on pain clinic..

    Crazy ..
    Yes look up rebound pain
    The more prepared you are the better..
    There is a Thomas a Receipe on here too.
    That has supplements that really help with opiate withdrawals..

    I would not take the benzo on there.
    But the rest really help..
    You could start them now..

    So you have a good therapeutic level in your system..

    If you metabolize methadone fat
    You could still split your dose..

    Whatever works..
    This isn't a race..
    You only have to go this 1 time..

    Just listen to your body..
    If you have to stay at
    Y your dose a couple of extra days
    You will know..

    Just be careful of your brain interfering
    If you know what I mean!!

    It will tell you you need more!

    I think you will do great!
    I will check back tomorrow!
    Take care
    Bette
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  7. #7
    vwgirlkristi is offline New Member
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    I never thought about just crushing up the pill and dividing it into piless. That is great advice. Thanks for the tip! I will definitely try that.
    I am still feeling okay right now and plan to cut down again on Friday. I am taking it slow and easy. I really have nothing to fear as the worst that can happen is I end up going to a new Dr and continuing on narcotics and since I am already on the opiates now, there isn't much worse that can happen.
    Have you ever heard of people having severe withdrawal from going from 1mg to none? That is probably what my biggest worry is. I wish I could find some successful methadone taper stories, but I can't seem to.
    I looked up rebound pain and am prepared to feel it initially. I have already noticed my back and hips throbbing but I just attributed it to the withdrawal, but now I'm thinking it may be rebound pain starting to creep in. I've started doing yoga again several times a day and the stretching seems to help. Hot showers also help a ton.
    I have also read a lot on here in the past few weeks about the Thomas Recipe and researched it. I plan on ordering the supplements etc online.
    I have also read a lot of people using kratom, but I've also heard that is kinda like a legal opiate and I feel it would be safer to steer clear.
    I used to use CBD oil a lot in the past for cancer and nausea and know that would help but have been MJ free one year and the CBD oil makes me very out of it and I would be unable to be a great mom under the influence so I am going to avoid that as well.
    It is 1a.m. here and sleep is hard at the moment as my RLS is driving me nuts. But, not as bad as I know it could be so it is tolerable. I just keep looking at my sleeping kiddos and saying that I am doing this for them. Before I was so sick from cancer etc, but now I'm feeling better so I want to be free. I think I can do this. It has been a long time since I've been opiate free and I'd like to try it. It will be a whole new natural high.
    Thanks for sitting here with me and walking me thru this. This gives me a lot of strength.

  8. #8
    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi there, welcome to the forum.

    Bette has given you some great advice. As Bette knows, tapering Methadone can be quite difficult and takes a long time. I've read so many threads on this forum of people who had to taper at a snail's pace - even at a low dose - because the withdrawal was terrible and the half-life is so long.

    It's much easier to taper Suboxone. The only downside is that you have to go into moderately severe WD before you can induct on Sub. But it's certainly something to consider. The Sub taper plan has worked wonders for countless people over the years. I never took Methadone but can attest to the effectiveness of switching to Sub and using the taper plan.

    Bette may have already suggested this. I didn't read all her posts in detail because it's quite late and I'm tired..lol. But it's worth considering. Whatever you decide, we're here to help and support.

    All the best,
    Kat
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-07-2016 at 05:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    No I have never heard of people having terrible wds from jumping from 1 mg .

    All do respect to Kat but I don't think you should switch .

    You are doing great tapering methadone .
    Most of us just could not do that..

    It takes discipline to taper full agonist opiates.
    Sub is different.

    You could do skip days in the end ..
    Probaly from 5 mg would be ok..

    It would look like this
    Dose 5 mg
    Skip a day
    Dodge 5 mg
    Skip 2 days
    Dose 5 mg
    Skip 3 days
    Dose 5 mg
    Done ..

    It gives the body time for the drugs half life to leave ..

    Sub and methadone both have long half lives..

    You could do tha from 1 mg if you wanted to go that low .

    But 1 mg of sub and 1 mg of methadone are much different.

    The highest a dr can prescribe of sub is 32 mg
    Way lower than methadone

    Most people feel their best at 2 mg of sub ..
    So completely different..

    I know you will be pleasantly surprised..
    It will not be that bad!

    Bette


    Hylands restless legs over the counter helps a lot,
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-07-2016 at 11:49 AM.

  10. #10
    vwgirlkristi is offline New Member
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    Thanks both Kat and Better for replying. The support really helps. I don't why but this last cut to 20mg seems to be effecting me more than all the other cuts. I cut on Wednesday, and although it's Monday at 1a.m. I am unable to sleep and my bones are just throbbing. I read somewhere about hitting a "threshold" so maybe that's what's going on. I think I will wait a few more days until I feel a lil better to do my next cut.
    Also, Better, I will definitely look up Hyland RLS med on Amazon as I already purchase other Hyland products for my children and like their stuff.
    Today for the first time, I started questioning my decision and told/asked my husband if perhaps I was destined to be on pain meds for life. 3 years ago, I never imagined anything different. I used to always think I'd be on pain meds until I died. But, my recent better health has started me questioning everything. The pain meds made sense before, but now, I am hoping to use more natural ways to help my various other non-cancer health issues. I have just been on opiates the majority of my life (more than half my life now) so I know this is probably going to take a lot of work. I finally got referred to a new pain specialist and plan on telling him my plan when I see him in September and sticking firm to no opiates unless it's for the purposes of tapering only. I keep reading that slow and steady is best so I am going to keep trudging forward slow. I think my next cut will be more to switch to 2x daily instead of 4 as that will make tapering easier as I get into the smaller amounts. I just don't understand why methadone only lasts me 6-8 hours when most people report 12-48hours okay. But, nothing is gained without trying.
    Thanks so much again for all the encouragement. It really helps to have people who understand on my side.

  11. #11
    vwgirlkristi is offline New Member
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    Okay, so I just wanted to update. I haven't really figured out how to use this forum best or where to post.
    I was doing good, but hit a snag in the road while going from 25mg methadone to 20. I stayed in 20 for 6 days bUT then yesterday the pain (may be from withdrawal), the irritability, the RLS and the aching bones just got to be too much. I ended up taking 35mg yesterday just to feel better. I know I know, I feel like a failure. I was hoping that upping my dose for 1 day and going back down would make the level easier. It has in the past. I did something similar when I lowered from 35 to 30. But, today, it took every will power in me to drop back to my 5mg every 6 hours course. I kept hearing those voices in my head saying it will be better if I just take more, I'll probably not be able to completely ween anyways and I'll be on pain meds forever. It is just so hard. Plus, I have a very active 7 year old boy and 15month old that have boundless amounts of energy. I have to care for them whether or not I feel like it and even if I have a "bad" day. My mom game has been lacking and I'm not doing all the activities with them and children's museum trips, etc that I usually do. I can feel depression creeping on. I wish I could just go away for a month and quit cold turkey and get it over with, but that is not a reality. Maybe if subs are easier (I've read Robert's induction taper schedules) I should just do that. I don't knowant. Feeling so torn today.

  12. #12
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    Subs are easier to taper.

    That is a fact.
    The induction is a little tricky but possible..

    If you decide to do that.
    Please make sure they use the
    COWS scale and you hit 26 or greater..

    Many Drs will tell you that time off of methadone will be a good indicator of readiness to induce..
    But
    That is not true at all because everyone's metabolism is different..

    I know it is easy to start to think yo ay need to be on Meds for life..

    But that is not true..

    Life is so much better from this side..

    You are at a low enough dose of methadone to induce..

    But you have to be in full blown withdrawals to start the sub..

    Because sub will knock all the methadone off your receptors at once!
    Not a pretty picture!
    I have gone into precipitated withdrawals 3 times !
    It sux!

    But if you decide to go on to sub ..

    We can help you induce
    Onto a low stable dose!

    It is easier..

    So let us know what you decide..

    I know this is tough but you are strong and have been able to accomplish a lot!
    I hope you can be proud of that!
    And
    Give yourself a break!

    I will see you later..
    Bette

  13. #13
    vwgirlkristi is offline New Member
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    Thanks Bette. Wish there was a quick fix, but I guess it took years to get into this mess so it will probably be awhile to get out of it. I went to my new physician on Friday and they were very surprised that I was able to taper so far down on my own. I have been able to stay down on my 20mg methadone dose and feel like I am just now starting to stable out. I did run into a lil complication because I was drinking antioxidant drinks and it thru me into a full-blown interstitial cystitis flare up. The pain has been quite unbearable so I had to take a couple break-thru IR meds. I have only took them the last couple days and only 3 total just for the horrible pain. I have changed my diet up to help tolerate the open wounds in my bladder and I'm hoping I catch it before it turns into a 6 month flare-up. It is times like that when the pain gets so bad that I am reminded of why pain medications are so great. But, I plan to continue to ween down. I think I should probably just start weening a bit slower now that I have reached a low low dose. Up until now I've been weening 5mg at a time.
    I'm still not sure of the subs. 3 days sounds like a long time to go. But, I do remember years ago when bupenorphine was relatively new to the market how that felt when I tried switching to it and I must've done it completely wrong because it was the worst feeling ever. It was like day 4, 5 and 6 all in one grand slam. I don't ever want to do that again. I haven't tried it since although some Dr's believe that subs/bupenorphine works better for pain. I'm just not sure about that.
    I think I will just continue the course slow and easy for now. If something health wise should pop up, then I will deal with it, but in the meantime there is no point on stressing on the future.

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