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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

Addiction & Recovery Board Index

I honestly don't remember methadone well and only had a couple doses before I switched to suboxone, which happened to save my life. Literally.

So, I honestly have no idea about how long methadone will function in your body. Just, here is one piece of advice that took me a long time to learn and really helped me: don't rely on what you mentally feel, rely on what you physically feel. As drug abusers we naturally got into a rhythm of using drugs to make us feel better, so when we take these substitutes we often apply the same behavior and take medicine when we THINK we need it, not when we ACTUALLY need it. So just keep that in mind; regardless of how much you want it, listen to your body to determine when you actually need it.

Even though methadone and suboxone are both effectively long lasting in the body, I would assume that methadone would not last quite THAT long. Perhaps it may prevent most physical wds from happening in that time period, albeit possibly at the expense of feeling well mentally.
However, I would also assume that if your doctor/doctors know exactly the situation (time of last dose and time of next dose) that they are doing it on purpose in order to clear the body of methadone before suboxone treatment starts. The two drugs may interact negatively (some interactions can actually cause WORSE wds). Suboxone doesn't play nice with other opiates/opioids, so that may be the reasoning behind this, especially since methadone lasts forever in the body, even if effects are not felt. For example, when I first started taking suboxone I relapsed ONCE and never did again because it was such an awful experience; I went straight into wds and started throwing up, back hurting, etc. etc. (you know the drill). It effectively made me not WANT to do drugs, which is the point.

Just make sure you doctor(s) know everything about the situation and point out your concerns and ask them if it will be okay. Tell them you are simply afraid of experiencing wds and don't want to be at risk of relapsing in that period. If it is necessary, there's not much you can do but avoid making dumb decisions and relapsing, but there may be something they can do. They just need you to point out the situation to them, and tell them everything.

It also safeguards against abuse in several ways. It has the so-called ceiling effect like marijuana, which means that no matter how much you take, you can never feel more than a certain amount of the effects (technically, the side effects). What this means is that even if you tried to abuse it, you wouldn't feel much more after taking say 2 or 3, which honestly wont make a recovering addict feel anything. The only thing it will get an addict hoping to abuse is disappointed, possibly sickness, and maybe even an overdose if taken enough. It also has the sublingual delivery system. The actual drugs in it are buprenorphine, a synthetic pain killer that should be used instead of things like morphine because it kills pain as well as morphine but doesn't have near the level of addiction or euphoria, and naloxone which is a drug that effectively counteracts the other drug (and all other opiates). If someone tries to melt it down and shoot it or tries to snort it, it will send them into immediate withdrawal. But when taken properly, the naloxone is not absorbed into the body because it isn't water soluble like the other drug. Finally, its also chemically safeguarded; the molecules bind stronger to the mu receptors within the body than other opiates do, and is also able to kick other endorphins off of those receptors, effectively taking their place and not allowing others to be absorbed by the body to any great degree. This basically makes trying to take other opiates pointless. This lasts up to 2-3 days, which is the last safeguard, because it forces the addict into a little catch-22: they cant abuse for 2-3 days after taking it, but withdrawal would begin before it wears off, so they can either go through wds or just take their medicine like they're supposed to, further preventing abuse.

A lot of people don't like suboxone because like most Americans they thought that for some reason a pill was going to be the single, easy, fast fix to their problems. This isn't true. Like every medication it is just an aid, something to get you to the next stage of treatment. It is not a miracle pill because nothing of the sort exists. However, I firmly believe it can have miraculous effects, because I would never have gotten better without it, and it is extremely more successful than methadone, which can actually make addictions even worse. However it will always JUST be an aid, something to help. Counseling, recovery therapy, group sessions, healthy diet and exercise, hobbies, and positive friends and influences are still vital if you ever plan on getting better and living without depending on a drug.

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