Citation: Chris. "My Battle with MMT (Methadone Maintenance): An Experience with Methadone (exp84368)". Erowid.org. Aug 2, 2011. erowid.org/exp/84368
Background: I started using drugs recreationally in my teens and that use went fairly heavy while in college. I was mainly into coke, although I had been on benzo's from my doc ever since my teens. After college I moved to Manhattan and after building a very successful business there, I turned to Heroin to help reduce the stress of it all. Well, it got totally out of hand after only 6 months of daily use. I never had to steal to get my dope, I made quite enough to cover my fairly high daily us of maybe 2 grams a day. I started out snorting it, and then went to mainlining, but unless I had a friend inject me, I would always blow the shot. Eventually my work started to suffer and I knew my partners were not going to keep letting me off the hook.
I finally decided I would seek help at one of the countless methadone clinics in the city. I started out at around 40mg a day and quickly went up to 120mg a day. It was wonderful. I felt contentment, happiness and with the methadone, I could go into the office and work a normal day because unlike heroin that you have to use constantly throughout the day, methadone can be taken in the morning and for me the effect stabilized me until the next morning.
My first problems with methadone occurred because of my international travels. The clinic would only allow me to take a max of 2 weeks worth of methadone each time I needed to travel. Our company maintained a house in Delhi India and when I traveled there, I often stayed an average of 3 months, so this made things quite difficult for me. What I did initially was to fly there with my 2 week supply and then when I was close to running out, I would fly to Hong Kong (only a 4 hour flight from Delhi and I often did business there as well) and go to a methadone clinic there and see a doctor who would give me enough methadone tablets to keep me maintained for the duration of my stay in Delhi. (They do NOT prescribe methadone for any purpose in India, at least they didn't in the late 1990's and believe me, I researched it quite extensively. To my knowledge and from that of the many MD's and hospitals I visited in India, they don't even import the drug there)
After a while, this started to get really inconvenient (and highly expensive) so I decided to work with an MD in Delhi who tried to calculate a proper dose switch from methadone to buprenorphine. The only problem is that buprenorphine (suboxone is very similar) is an opiate agonist/antagonist so it is completely unlike methadone or any other pure opiate/synthetic opiate. I was injecting several vials of the bupe a day, but I still felt like I was in a constant state of mild withdrawal, so this turned out to be ineffective.
When I returned back to NYC, I decided to go thru a UROD (ultra rapid opiate detox) so that I could finally be free of the methadone. (I still can't understand why I ever went on MMT, I guess it is just the addict in me) UROD's were very new in 1999, and were thought of as a wonder cure for opiate addiction. I travled to New Jersey and met my father there who accompanied me to the UROD clinic. They prepared me by giving me oral xanax and then hooked me up to a shit load of IV's and machines. I was put into a semi-conscience state whereby they flooded my body with Naloxone. They also inserted under the skin of my belly, a 2-3 month time release naltrexone tablet which was supposed to prevent me from relapse.
When I awoke from the UROD, I was sicker than I ever recall being in my entire life. I could barely move and the worst part of it was they sent me back with my father (the reason he came) to a local Holiday Inn. They gave my father instructions to call them if things got bad. They got bad really really quick. I had horrible diarrhea and I could not even speak. I lied in that motel bed as still as I could as any movement would cause pain. All I can recall is my father constantly being on the phone with the 'professionals'. Finally I was able to utter two words. Hospital and Ambulance, so my father called them and I was rushed to the ER where I began to aspirate. I was then put on a ventilator for 2 weeks and they were all amazed I didn't die.
To try to sum all this up as quickly as possible. When I returned back to Manhattan it wasn't long before I was back on Methadone again. Yet this time the methadone didn't work like it used to. Maybe that UROD changed the chemistry of my body, but to this day, over 10 years later, opiates do NOT affect me like they used to. By the end of 2000, I had lost my company and my entire life as I knew it had ended. I can't blame it all on Methadone, the whole cycle of abuse and my actions also contributed to my downfall. I had to move back to Atlanta and live w/ my parents. How defeated I should have felt. A 35 year old man who had achieved every career goal set, reduced to living at home with his parents. Remember though I said 'should have' this is because on those high doses of methadone, which were stabilized in GA to 100mg daily, I was numb to the world. Methadone took away my motivation to do any and all things productive. I didn't work, I went on SS disability and could have cared less about what others thought of me. I lived in this state of numbness from 2001 to 2009. Finally with the help of my doctor, I gradually over a long period of time reduced my daily dose to where I could finally be free of the chains methadone enslaved me with. I think you are just kidding yourself if you think you are 'living' on MMT. You are alive, but you aren't living. You are numb to the world and nothing is important. Finally after 12 years of being on this horrible drug, I am free. I am getting my life back and I look forward to the future like never before.
I am 45 years old now and oftentimes I forget that I'm still not in my 30s because life for me ended at 33 when I first went on Methadone and only started again at 44 when I finally awoke. I don't know what it is I ultimately want to do with the rest of my life, but I do know this: I want to do something that will ultimately help other people. I want to make a difference in this world, even if its by only helping out and making a difference in one persons life. My fog has lifted and things now look brite again. I know that I can never get back all that I lost, but I no longer look back with regrets and 'what if's' I can't change the past, but I CAN change the future.
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