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I am so sorry to hear about your experience at the methadone clinic, I can see why you felt like re-evaluating things. I can relate to your story for several reasons.....

I too decided in my infinite wisdom to start writing my own scripts. At first, it seemed so scary, but unfortunately, I got really good at it. I had 5-6 pharmacies believing I was this poor little housewife in severe pain that reluctantly took my pain pills in order to get through my day. I had so many different stories going, I could barely keep up. I had to start a "diary" of sorts, indicating what pharmacy I used on what date, what I had filled, on & on & on. Between constantly perfecting my forged signature, creatively adding deceiving little additions to my already fake story lines (afterall, I was getting these pills for a long time), counting my supply, over and over and over again (hey, I might have missed one), hiding bottles and scratched out prescriptions all over my house, well.....I just didn't have time in my life for much of anything else, not that I really wanted to. Eventually, this horrid life became something I detested with every inch of my being. I hated myself for what I had become. Everything caught up with me, and I couldn't find my way out. I had to take so many pills just to stay out of withdrawals. That was my existence. I tried to taper myself off the pills so many times I could write a book about it. I was always really strong willed when my pills were just about gone..."Okay, this is it....I'm going to do it this time" Sure....then I knew I could go get 120 more Percocets and....."Well....I'm feeling so awful, I can't even do anyhting. I've got to take the pills in order to function." And here we go 'round again.

In the end, I got caught. One of the pharmacies wised up and found out the truth. I was arrested on the spot and in that instant, my life turned upside down. I had to confess to my husband what was going on (I had been through rehab before, although he had become suspicous he was hoping I wasn't using again). That happened on a Monday, and the police made arrangements for me to come into the station that Friday morning to be booked and go through procedures. They said the only way I'd be "excused" was if I was in rehab. Here I go again. I can't even get into all of the emotional details of things at this point, with me and with my husband....I already feel as if I'm drawing this out. While I was in rehab, the medical staff was not convinced that the detox meds were working like they should. They changed several things, but the doctors on staff were not satisfied with how I was responding. I was looking at possibly going to prison....becoming and staying clean was absolutely critical. After a couple days, the doctors asked me if I was interested in methadone, I knew nothing about it. The rehab facility didn't even use it, but knew what doctors in the area did. After talking at length with the medical staff, me and my husband agreed this would be my personal best option and chance at staying clean.

You've heard all the opinions on this board about methadone, trading one drug for another. I guess I don't see things quite that way because, with one drug, my life spiraled out of control. I manipulated everyone and everything around me. I lied to the people I love the most. I became someone I didn't even recognize. I isolated myself from as much as I could. The drug was on my mind constantly...all the time...the thoughts never went away. With the other drug (methadone) my life has been rebuilt. I no longer manipulate people or lie to them, I have no reason to. I am the person my husband says "is the woman I married". He says it's "so nice to have me back". I don't think of methadone constantly, in fact, I really don't ever think about it unless I'm on my way to the clinic. I don't isolate myself anymore, I actually enjoy being with other people, and feeling a genuine appreciation for the blessings in my life. So for me personally, there is absolutely NO comparison.

I have been on methadone for several years, and quite frankly, I really have no idea how long I will be on it. I have been stabilized at a certain dose for a long time. I started out exactly how Dallas Alice described it. I also go to a very discreet, very personable clinic. The staff there is undeniably a group of people that has been carefully chosen to care for the addicts who come in for treatment. My counselor is a recovering addict (they all are at this clinic) and the doctors on staff are unbelievable.....kind, considerate, knowledgable, and passionate about what they do. I have dealt with the personal doubts about when and how will I get off of the methadone. I think once you are stabilized at an adequate dose, your doctor will probably have a better idea of how the methadone treatment will work for you. The amount of drugs you were taking and for how long makes all the difference in your treatment. When I go off of the methadone, I will be tapered off under medical supervision, at a very slow methodical rate. Is it successful? Can it be done? Only the people that have personally experienced it can tell you that. I have been fortunate to have met a wonderful friend through group therapy. She was on methadone for 6 years. She slowly tapered off of it (with no withdrawal symptoms) for 14 months. She remains clean today, and she has been off the methadone for 3 years. There are more stories like that, but for every success story I tell you, someone else will tell you a horror story. So, just like anything else, you take with you what will help you, and try to stay focused on whatever you decide. This board is abundant with personal journeys and personal opinions, that's what it's all about. My opinion is no better or worse than anyone else's, but it is this.....Find a way to get clean, and whatever that way is......taper plan, cold turkey, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, suboxone, methadone, 12 step programs, WHATEVER it is, if it works for YOU, that is all that matters. Try not to beat yourself up with people's negative thoughts or opinions, just stay focused and trust in your heart that you are doing what is best for you.

I truly hope that you can get through this ordeal you have been caught up in. If you remain interested in the methadone clinic, maybe you can call someone there and talk to someone about your experience and about your concerns. Hopefully, that someone will be respectful and receptive to your call for help. Please, please let us know what happens and how things turn out for you. I will answer any questions you have about methadone, or about anything else. Like I said, methadone has worked well for me. It has given me my life back, and since I've been on it, I haven't used at all, don't even want to. I thought I would never say that. My life is once how I knew it, but even better. I remain on probation and will be for a while. It is absolutely critical that I remain clean, and weekly UA's will document that. If I use, I lose everything and I go to prison. I CANNOT relapse, like I've always done in the past. Maybe now you see why I believe in works, and it literally has saved my life.

Please take care, sorry that I rambled, but I care about what happens to you. I want you to have any information that would help you choose a recovery treatment that would work for you. My best to you.......Fondly ~ Jen

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