6 Thoughts I Had During My Methadone Maintenance Treatment
Going on methadone maintenance therapy changed my life completely. Before, I was a complete drug addict, unable to go even a few hours without taking another dose of my beloved heroin.
It was only when I overdosed and nearly died that I realized I needed to take charge of my life. I was admitted into treatment and given a course of methadone to help me get off heroin.
However, my doctor recommended that I continue on methadone just to make sure I wouldn’t relapse. At first I was reluctant, but as I continued taking the drug, I realized there wasn’t any other way.
1. Will I Ever Be Able to Stop Taking Methadone?
My most prevalent thought throughout the course of my treatment was if I would ever be able to get off methadone. I was eager to be completely drug free and put this whole thing behind me.
Typically, methadone maintenance therapy takes a minimum of 12 months before a person can start to reduce their dose. However, some people might even need a few years before they feel safe going off the drug.
Good things come to those who wait. I eventually got off of methadone after one year and four months of taking it daily.
Everyone is different, so if you’re still worried about how long you’ll need to be on methadone, I suggest calling 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) for more info.
2. What Happens If I Relapse While on Methadone?
As a recovering addict, my single biggest fear was relapsing back to heroin. Some days, it honestly made me afraid to even leave the house for fear I would go back to my drug dealer to try and score.
What made the fear even worse was the uncertainty of what would happen if I took heroin while also on methadone.
Curious, I asked my doctor at my next checkup, and he put my fears to rest. Methadone prevents the effects of other opiates, meaning that taking heroin wouldn’t even get me high. I would feel nothing from it whatsoever.
3. I Feel a Lot Better Than Before
Even with the fear of relapsing I came to realize something – I felt a lot better than I had before. Infinitely better.
Methadone helped to improve my health, as it brought my appetite back and helped me change my diet. It even helped me get a job and revitalize my social life.
4. Once a Day Is a Good Routine
At first, taking methadone once a day seemed like such a hassle. The only way to receive methadone is to go to a clinic, meaning that I had to make this trip daily on a set schedule.
However, I quickly realized that this routine was good for me. It helped to stabilize my schedule and keep me out of trouble, so to speak.
5. Can I Take Too Much Methadone?
This was a secondary fear of mine, though it really was never an issue. Since the clinic regulates your doses, there’s really no chance to ever overdose.
Generally, most people start on a dose of 20 to 30 milligrams. However, this is quickly raised to 80 to 120 milligrams per day after tolerance occurs.
6. This Is Easier Than I Thought
It surprised me just how easy methadone maintenance treatment was. I thought it might be a grueling process that would include tons of side effects and wasted time.
However, it was really quite easy to go to the clinic everyday. Even better, while I had some initial side effects, these disappeared a few weeks into treatment as my body adjusted.
With my methadone maintenance treatment, I was finally able to feel normal again. I’m happy be off methadone completely now, however, I would never in a million years be where I am today without it.
If you have more questions about methadone maintenance treatment, be sure to call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) to get answers.