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Jail Withdrawal
Methadone
Citation:   JACKsix. "Jail Withdrawal: An Experience with Methadone (exp87571)". Erowid.org. Dec 25, 2013. erowid.org/exp/87571

 
DOSE:
120 mg   Methadone (daily)
BODY WEIGHT: 75 kg
This experience took place in 1994, at that time I had had a poly substance abuse problem for 5 years. Although I indulged vigorously in various psychedelics and stimulants I had a fairly substantial heroin habit. I had maintained my addiction to heroin for 3 years with no major negative drawbacks. I held down a job, kept a roof over my head and although I wasn't rich by any means I never encountered any serious financial worries. I was using about half a gram of heroin on a daily basis, I had two very reliable sources and countless other somewhat less reliable and trustworthy sources.

In 1993 I moved to Perth, Western Australia. I had been to Perth many times previously for stays of up to six months so I knew the place very well. I traveled to Perth with a prescription of methadone. Before leaving the UK I had been prescribed 40 mgs a day by a doctor that I had assured I would be attending a methadone clinic in Australia. He prescribed me enough to last me three weeks.

When I arrived in Australia I quickly looked up a friend I knew that used heroin and was introduced to the scene there. I already knew the price of heroin in Perth was higher than in the UK. Unlike the UK the vast majority, in fact I would say probably all of the heroin available came from south east Asia and not Afghanistan. The heroin was white and did not need citric acid to become soluable in water. Also the supply of heroin was far from constant, droughts were very common. However there was a large black market for pharmaceutical opiates and I eventually found a middle aged woman who was prepared to sell me her weekly prescription of palfium.

After six months went by I was sick of all the trouble I was having trying to maintain my habit, I was also finding it financially difficult too. So I approached a methadone clinic. I started off being prescribed 45 mgs of methadone daily, this climbed every second day until I was on 120 mgs daily. On the 120 mgs of methadone I began to feel less and less desire to use heroin or illegaly obtained pharmaceutical opiates. In this respect the methadone was very effective. At the time I was also prescribed alprazolam and temazepam. The rather chaotic lifestyle I had been following ceased and life became far more manageable. In total ignorance, at this point I really thought that going on methadone had been a really good idea and I thought of methadone as a good thing.

After being on the methadone programme on a daily dose of 120 mgs for about four months I was involved in a fight and injured someone quite seriously. I was remanded in custody to Casuarina maximum security prison. Naturally I was concerned that I continue to receive my daily dose of methadone. However this was denied me. I was shut in an observation cell in the hospital wing of the prison and given nothing but stemitil to stop the inevitable violent dihorea. As the methadone wore off I began to feel almost indescribably bad, far, far worse than any other opiate withdrawal I had ever experienced. My eyes became fully dilated, I was sweating profusely, shivering, vomiting. All four of my limbs felt like they'd been broken in many places. I was writhing and groaning, I begged the prison nurse to give me codeine. Eventually I was let out of the observation cell into the main hospital wing. I couldn't walk more than ten steps without collapsing. It was relentless day and night, there was no escape from the utter nightmare of this withdrawal. I spent three months in total on remand. I didn't sleep at all during this time. After a week of withdrawal in the hospital wing I was put on to a unit in the general population. I became delirious from the constant torment and lack of sleep. Eventually I slipped into a severe psychosis. I was hallucinating and totally paranoid. In my cell I would have delirious delusions and hallucinations, I watched a television (I had no television in my cell), I learned on this television that Michael Jackson was in this jail too. I was visited by my dead grandfather, I experienced guards coming into my cell and telling me I was going to be murdered during association. Obviously none of these things happened. Other prisoners became aware of the fact that I was psychotic. Eventually I was put back in the prison hospital and put in a single cell with a huge window so that I could be constantly monitored by medical staff. At this point I made bail. It took me about a further two months to start to feel fully recovered. In time I beat the case against me on the grounds of self defense. Since that time it has become illegal for a prisoner who is remanded whilst on a methadone prescription to be denied methadone.

I would say that methadone withdrawal is the singularly most awful experience I've ever endured in my life. Methadone withdrawal is far more severe and prolonged than heroin withdrawal. I think it is very limited as a recreational drug and its long half life make it potentially catastrophic if used in such a way because users may redose frequently as there is no noticeable peak effect. In short it is in my opinion a horrible, potentially lethal drug with few if any beneficial applications. There are very many other drugs that can be used in the treatment of heroin addiction, one of which of course is pharmaceutical heroin. A methadone prescription is a more effective way of limiting your choices and controlling you than a curfew or electronic tag. It should come as little surprise that it was developed by Nazi scientists! If any substance can be called evil methadone fully deserves to be.

Exp Year: 1994ExpID: 87571
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 23
Published: Dec 25, 2013Views: 7,101
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Methadone (166) : Addiction & Habituation (10), Multi-Day Experience (13), Hospital (36)

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