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Welcome to the boards...the purpose of methadone, for me anyway, is to get off the opiates I was addicted to (pain pills) and give me enough "normal" time to gather some coping tools, learn as much information as possible, find meetings and a counselor, and then with all of the support systems in place, to eventually taper vveerrryyy slloowwwllyy off the methadone. Yes, I too have heard one horror story for every ten successful weaning or tapering off methadone stories. It's all in how you do it from what I've learned. Slow and easy wins the race; fast and in a hurry sets you up for horrific withdrawals. When I committed to the methadone maintenance treatment, I went in knowing that due to the length of my opiate abuse (over 20 years) combined with my age and some of the very real pain and emotional issues that helped get me to the point of addiction in the first place, I was in this program for the long haul. For me, to face 2-3 years of methadone maintenance is a welcome break and intervention into the messed up world I had created for myself by abusing pain pills. The pros and cons for me are obvious: death by suicide or 20 more years of pill abuse or take the chance at normalizing with methadone and learn some things so I can better deal with my addiction when it's time to get off of it...if ever. The money - $500/mth on pills vs. $180/mth for methadone; employment - unemployed or sporadically employed while in full blow addiction vs. having obtained the best paying job of my life only 5 weeks ago; relationships - in total isolation with only myself and pills for company vs. being able to interact on a social level with my family, coworkers and society in general; behavior - totally unacceptable while taking 15 vicodins a day vs. totally normal while under the treatment of 120 mgs. of liquid methadone per day.

I don't know, but I see so many posters who could benefit from methadone who skip ahead the light years to the eventual withdrawal from it and that is their deciding factor as to whether to take a chance with a drug program that, let me tell you, really does work! If I were to look ahead to the tapering part, which again, I can't reiterate enough has to be done very slowly, almost minimally like 3 mgs./week, then I would have probably scared myself out of this chance at a new life. Fortunately, I didn't, and I couldn't be happier with the second chance I've been given at living life. I don't care about those who say "it's trading in one drug for another," because for me it became "trading in one drug for your life." While on the pills, I was always thinking about "the end," but in my terms back then, it was the end of my life. I could not do it cold turkey, I couldn't do it via tapering, and I knew I needed help of a different kind. If for whatever reason Suboxone isn't doled out on a sliding pay scale like methadone is, I would have probably gone that route, but it wasn't...and I needed to recapture some of the money I was spending that I just didn't have to spend, and so by a vote of one, methadone won this addict's way out, and I can't express enough how happy I am with my decision, and how very much I've learned while going through methadone maintenane therapy that I know I can fall back on when (or if) it ever comes time for me to go off of it.

I hope that answers your question in your post. Thank you for the chance to be a pro-methadone voice as I've seen some hardcore posts against it, and I suppose I used this as a way to tell the other side...the success side. Withdrawals of anything is hard, we all know that, and I suppose if I was in a situation where I had to w/d c/t from my current dose of meth, I'd be climbing the walls! But it is my intention to see this program through to its fullest, and use every "normal" day it gives me as a chance to gather tools for that day when I no longer chose to use.

Good luck, and if you have any questions about methadone maintenance, I'd be happy to help...

Dallas Alice

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