Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Citation:   marea. "Methadone Maintenance Treatment: An Experience with Methadone (exp62237)". Oct 1, 2009.

  repeated insufflated Heroin (powder / crystals)
    repeated IV Heroin (powder / crystals)
    repeated oral Methadone (liquid)
This is a long read, but if you are struggling with opiates or have an interest in the use of methadone as a treatment for addiction, you may find my story of interest. I am a 20 year old female and have been on methadone for six months now, and it has saved my life. I take the liquid form, 60mg twice a day. I feel stabilized and happy, but not intoxicated from my daily dose, although most clinics allow you to take as much or as little as you are comfortable with, so it can be easily abused if your goal is to get high. Additionally everyone's needs and tolerance is different, so dosages vary widely. For me, I started at 30 mg/day, and increased by 5 mg daily up until 80mg, at which point a blood test determined that I was in need of a split dose, as I am a rapid metabolizer and was starting to feel withdrawal symptoms at night after dosing in the a.m.

I am currently sober from everything else, as I am drug tested at the methadone clinic, although I still use hallucinogenic plants on a very sporadic basis, for spiritual experiences, and benzodiazepines very rarely for anxiety attacks. Over the past year and a half, I've been in inpatient treatment 3 times, hospitalized for suicide attempts and an overdose, gone into thousands of dollars of debt, all for heroin. I was only shooting dope for a period of about a year, but things went downhill fast. I still love and respect the role chemicals have played in expanding my mind and teaching me new things, but heroin took over my life in a way which was more destructive than mind-expanding, that's for sure.

I first snorted heroin at the age of 16. It was love at first sniff. A close friend/boyfriend of sorts was selling it, so every once in awhile he'd stop by my work and give me a bag or two. I'd say I was doing it about once every two weeks over this period of time.

When he moved away to avoid some legal problems, I stopped. I did not know anyone else involved in using or selling the drug, and had kept my personal use hidden from my friends, who were heavy users of about every other substance, but for some reason, even among illegal drug users, smack is the one thing that is not socially acceptable to do or discuss. So I continued on my merry way, drinking, smoking bud, doing coke and the occasional plant-based hallucinogenics, without really giving much thought to the opiates with the exception of the occasional vics or percs which would cross my path here or there..

When I turned 18, I ran into a friend from high school, Z, and his girlfriend. One look at their eyes and I knew the deal, so I pulled him aside and asked what he could get. At this point, I was working two jobs and had a reasonable amount of disposable income as I was still living with the folks. Z and I started throwing down together, and when we got it, we'd divvy it up. I snorted my portion, but he was shooting, which I'd never seen done before. I'm the kind of girl who will try anything once, and want to have see and know any and everything, so naturally I was intrigued and asked him to teach me to do that.

The first time was the most wonderful feeling. People say all sorts of things about it, better than sex, floating on clouds, pure ecstasy.. and it was, but words don't even do it justice. From that point on, I knew the only way I would ingest an opiate was directly in the vein. I was shooting about $40 worth at a time, a few times a week, but within a month or two it had escalated to daily use. I didn't see it as a problem.. I treated it like I treated all my drugs- the more, the better. I loved it, I had the money to do it as my tolerance was still fairly low, and saw no reason to deprive myself..

Fast forward a bit.. I lost my jobs, lost my drivers license, lost friends and my boyfriend, stole from my family, and pretty much fucked my shit up. I tried suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) maintenance treatment, but it didn't work for me, as I could skip doses when I wanted to use and go back on it to keep from being sick when I couldn't get any other opiates.

I know that I wouldn't be alive it weren't for the methadone program. I like that it holds me accountable- I have to physically go to the clinic to dose- every day for the first 90 days, and every other day after that. Some may see it as an inconvenience, but for me, it is helpful to have that routine in place, and the people at the clinic to be accountable to. In addition, they are very flexible in adjusting your dose, making sure it is not too high or too low. I know there is an ongoing debate as to whether methadone gets you high or if you can even feel it. In my experience, when I initially started, I felt some opiate effects, like a mild itch and warmth, a sense of well-being, but I was in no way high or incapacitated. Now that I am stabilized on a steady dose, I don't feel anything at all. I feel normal, I feel good, but it doesn't get me messed up. There are people who go on methadone to get high, and to be honest, if you tell them you need more they will increase your dose until you are 'comfortable,' so what is comfortable for one person, just to be barely kept from sickness, and to another person that may mean taking enough to feel like they are intoxicated, but for me it was about finding a happy medium, a stable state of being, and that is where I am now. If there is anyone out there struggling with opiate addiction, I highly recommend methadone maintenance. It is much more affordable than heroin, you do get a steady daily dose of opiates, legally and cheaply. It is the only thing that has worked to keep my clean (the longest I'd gone before this program was 3 weeks!) So please consider methadone if you are in my shoes, it was the best decision I've made!

Thanks everyone, and peace to all~

Exp Year: 2007ExpID: 62237
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: 20
Published: Oct 1, 2009Views: 25,873
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Methadone (166) : Health Problems (27), Addiction & Habituation (10), Families (41), Multi-Day Experience (13), Relationships (44), Therapeutic Intent or Outcome (49), Various (28)

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