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.
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.