Methadone Perspective

methadonefrom 25 Recovering Addicts – the addict’s perspective: Straight from the horse’s mouth.

Heroin addicts who have experienced Methadone have strong opinions.

Some call it Goverment Wine, others compare it to Orange Government Handcuffs, or some even call it Tang.

Methadone is so addictive, that many addicts are never capable of leaving that few block radius from the Methadone Clinic, out of fear of running out. The best tool for an addict to get clean is another clean addict.

Chris K. 4.12.2010 – Saving Society from the Addict crimes/Addict saved from Society ills,

Control through Dosing the addict with perpetually physically addicting Dope, a death sentence for an addict whom has no control over their life while physically addicted to drugs.

My favorite Roger Teague quote: when I was trying to kick dope and Methadone, He said. “Treating drug addiction with another drug is like Fighting for Peace or Fucking for Virginity!”

1) John shared on – 12/27/2003- In New York they call it Murdock, (Pioneer Inventor Chemist), I don’t know why?, I call Methadone – Liquid Handcuffs.

2) Methadone is like making a deal with the DEVIL, it will rob your sole. Should be outlawed. Larry H. 11.6.2007

3) You mean DEATHADONE….back some years ago I remember telling my sponsor but I am clean, I’m on methadone! to which he replied….you don’t need a sponsor, you have deathadone. Love ya Ben Ben.

Addicts interviewed on 04.11.1997

4) Methadone is a drug. Treating addiction with it is like lightly hosing a fire with Gasoline. Many addicts relapse on Methadone and mix it with other drugs or sell it to get Heroin. Getting off Methadone, involves a delayed withdrawal, that catches the addict months later. The addict as well as those around him or her, are horrified and shocked to see the troublesome business of sweats, shaking, chills and other complaints intrude on the now peaceful setting. Instead of walking the addict through this withdrawal, many take the ‘I give up’ approach to problem avoidance. While Methadone is legal, the assumption that the addict alone can make the other life changes successfully on their own is a bit on the wild side. Even with intense counseling, highly structured treatment facilities, the addict will eventually relapse. Bo – Clean 23 years.

Bo- shares seven years later:

First, realize your whole life is going to be overshadowed by the methadone till the day you die. When you realize all this is at stake, allow yourself to be willing to go through hell to get off it. Many of us clean addicts had to pass through some kind of severe trauma to get willing: the death of someone close, near death experience, etc. You have to surrender totally to your powerlessness and unmanageability to generate the level or willingness it takes to get clean. As I understand the drug methadone, it doesn’t hit you all at once. You go through a general withdrawal and think it is all over. Months later, a year later, you wake up insane one day and that is the day when you are going to want to use, no matter what. If you don’t use your clean time to prepare for that day, you will use again. Going to meetings, working your Steps, getting a sponsor all help but mainly concentrate on building your desire for recovery. Desire is the key. In Loving Service, Bo S. (3.22.2004)

5) It’s really like using a band-aid, when you need stitches … sometimes the wound would heal and other times it won’t. It really doesn’t work. Methadone is more addictive than Heroin, a stepping stone to heavy Alcohol or / and Cocaine abuse. Bobby – Clean 10 years.

6) I enrolled in a Methadone clinic in Rockville, Maryland run by the Montgomery County Health Department. Substituting a legal Narcotic for an illegal substance is not, and never will be a solution. Diane D. – Clean 5 years.

7) I’ve known the people who have been on Methadone for years and years, and the best way I could describe it, is they’ve been given a chemical lobotomy. It’s just another drug that was introduced by the Federal Government to protect the public from addict crime – not to protect the addict from his/her disease. Jeff B. – Clean 15 years.

8) Ever so often in the life of a practicing Heroin addict, he will get just plain old lazy and lose his ‘hustle.’ For whatever reason, the addict finds himself too exhausted to face the trials and tribulations of getting his butt out of bed, on the street, and jiving, cheating, lying, stealing, selling his body and soul for that next fix. Many times this period occurs in the Winter months, when it’s just too damn cold, or maybe there’s just not any good Dope in town, or the heat may have busted the top local dealers in town and Dope can only be bought hours away from town. And although his energy level has gone out the window, his driving, unending, unrelenting, and obsessive desire to stay drug induced 24 hours a day, never ever ceases!

That’s where Methadone comes in. An oppourtunity for the addict to go into seclusion, cop an occasional nod, and stay unsick toboot. The drawback of course is that you can’t shoot Tang, at least not yet, and that beautiful euphoric rush one experiences shooting Heroin cannot be felt drinking Methadone. However in Canada, Methadone can be obtained in tablet form, crushed and shot up, which in many cases is a junkie’s dream. (It’s legal because it is prescribed, the high lasts eight hours and it’s cheaper.) Methadone usually doesn’t work because the addict has not cut loose the dopefiend lifestyle that goes along with using drugs. And those who do manage to escape the temptation to hit the streets, just end up getting strung out (addicted) on Methadone. Life becomes extremely mundane and uneventful for the addict on Methadone – getting up, going to the clinic, standing in line and being treated like a dirtball, day in and day out.

For the thrill seeker addict, who thrives on living life on a razor’s edge, Methadone maintenance is a death sentence. Then there’s the addict who just can’t get a hit because he has blown all his veins out, a sad day indeed for the intravenous Heroin user, and snorting it just isn’t the same for this breed. Methadone can be the answer for this sorry soul. Moreover, Methadone is much more difficult to kick thhan Heroin. Withdrawal can bee excruciatingly painful if not weaned off properly and most addicts never follow directions, so it’s going to be painful. Switching from Heroin to Methadone is the equivalent to switching from one hellish nightmare to another. And then there’s your ‘artistic’ addict or the unbelievably hard to imagine, ‘functioning addict’ or employed addict.

Your artists, poets, writers, and musicians find a certain comfort in Methadone because they are able to experience the best of both worlds and find that they can devote time to their artistic craft while on Methadone as opposed to Heroin. The oddball computer programmer, dentist, technician addict who cannot afford to have needle marks exposed on his body, or who can’t devote any time to hustling for a fix due to time constraints on his job, will discover quickly that Methadone is a viable alternative.

You can’t get busted for being on Methadone maintenance. Many addicts remain on Methadone maintenance for years and years fooling themselves all along that they are kicking a habit. Do you know how many Vietnam Vets we still have who came back from Viet Nam 20 + years ago with a kickass Heroin habit and went on Methadone maintenance to kick it and are still on Methadone maintenance? Fawn – Clean 18 years.

9) My experience with Methadone was definately a con. I used it to curtail my Heroin use and as I detoxed of Methadone, I never hurt so long in all my years of kicking periodically. For me, I missed the rush of my shot, so I started smoking Cocaine to compensate. John – Clean 5 Years.

10) After being on and off several Methadone programs, I believe Methadone should be used as a short term in-patient detoxification only. This drug should not be used as a maintenance program. I used Heroin daily for seven years and I used Methadone 1.25 years straight along with one month detoxifications. Dave – Clean 2 Years.

11) Speaking as an individual addict, as a treatment professional, and as a former Methadone clinic client, Methadone used as a short term detoxification tool, may have some valuable use. There isn’t an addict on the face of the planet, however, that would need to use Methadone for over 30 days in order to do that. Methadone Maintenance is a joke. Methadone is a highly addictive drug with debilitating long term health consequences. Ask any addict who has been on a Methadone Maintenance program and they will tell you how most clients in those programs continue to use in spite of the Methadone. Standing in line for your dose is a good place to cop.

The addicts I knew in the programs I was in, were still committing plenty of crimes. Mothers are having babies addicted to Methadone, who then have associated problems. The basic problem is that the addiction problem doesn’t get addressed, except by those few programs who require thier clients to attend 12-step meetings mandatory to get their dose of Methadone. Really, the programs I was involved with were operated by unscrupulous doctors solely as a way to make big money. You do the math … 500 addicts x $50 × 52 weeks = 1,300.000. The problem is that the only way to really address drug dependancy, is through improving the quality of life, education, quality total abstinence treatment programs. These solutions are long term and don’t appeal to most off the world’s citizenry, who still believe that drug addiction is a moral and/ or crime issue. Bud – Clean 12 years.

12) My personal experinece with Methadone was in 1980. I had been using Morphine, Dilaudid and ultimately Heroin for a period of about 6-7 years daily. I was beginning to experience the actual craving and hunger for Narcotics in the morning and my days were filled with getting and using and acquiring monies for more. After a particularily bad run, I joined the Methadone program to prove to my girlfriend that I was serious about trying to cut down my Dope habit.

My problem is that it didn’t work for me. I never considered that I might stop using other drugs. And at no time was I productive on Methadone. I finally kicked the Methadone on my honeymoon on Antigua, at the cost of one bottle of White Rum and 20-30 Mandrax per day. I won’t describe the effect. I can’t go back there ever again. My opinion of Methadone is simple. It is a drug used by the medical and politcal authorities to convince addicts that they are not using a drug. Methadone is genocide. It is the calculated effort of the authorities to deprive ill people about the truth of their illness.

How many people do you know who are better off on Methadone than they would be if theywere clean? Nobody is born with an insufficiency of Narcotics. And I have never read a case of a Narcotics addict, several years into abstinence, who did not regain near normal production of endorphins. The argument that it’s better that addicts use clean Methadone than dirty needles is total bullshit.

Give then clean needles, if you must, it’s more honest. In my experience, both personal and professional, I have observed innumerable men and women, addicted to Methadone, whose livesdid not improve and never realized that it was the drugs, not the society that hampered their efforts. I have seen hundreds who continued to use other drugs, caught in the impaired cycle of non-abstinence. Methadone is a drug. As a recovering person, my opinion of drugs is simple.

When I use drugs, I do not have the miracle of recovery in my life. So, puublic policy aside, medical risks aside, genocide aside, compassion aside, I do not want my tax dollars allocated to participate in the death by delusion of my brothers and sisters in addiction. Scott – Clean 14 years.

13) Some of my friends have attempted to wean themseleves off Heroin with Methadone. The latest person said they would not have gone on Methadone if they had known about how hard it would be to get off Methadone. Harder it was than Heroin. He rationalized that he needed to get back on Heroin in order to get off Methadone and then off Heroin later. Susan D. – Clean 18 years.

14) I have heard many horror stories of Methadone clinics stringing out addicts to keep them on Methadone, to keep the money flowing into the clinics with no concern of getting the addicts off the Methadone and getting them clean. My opinion about using drugs to get addicts off drugs is that it is crazy. Jeff – 8 years clean.

15) Methadone is a social response to the problem of drug addiction and holds little respect or care for those addicts being treated. The biggest problem is that users are still loaded. Counseling someone who is loaded is difficult at best because you are working with someone who is in an altered state of consciousness. The fact that they are in a permenant buzz will also greatly diminish their initiative and capacity for desire to change. The other major problem is that are taking a substance into their bodies on a daily basis that is physically debilitating over the long course of usage.

Other difficulties arise when the client is perpetually surrounded by other ‘like failures’ which he/she will look up as role models. The sad part about this whole approach is that these addicts have no idea what complete abstinence is and that it is achievable or desirable. How can this be even remotely considered a viable option compared to the tens of thousands of addicts living completely drug free lives in 12 step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. Society likes the Methadone programs because they get addicts off the street, which of course decreases the crime rates.

They have little or no interest in the addict themselves, as they find keeping them medically addicted is a much more suitable approach, than allowing them to run in the streets and steal for their habit. As one addict put it, hell I’m not on the streets hustling but I’m still dying, man, because I’m strung-out and sick. Keeeping addicts sick is not humane and controlling their rates of sickness is even scarier. Kermit – Clean 15 years.

16) Every time I got on a Methadone program, my using other drugs increased. And I never stayed off Heroin for more than seven days. Metahdone programs always put me in circles with other using addicts. Methadone always gave me a cushion of time to go hustle more money/drugs. Now I am clean 2 years. – Jimmy.

17) My ex-husband was a long time Methadone maintained addict. Methadone is a terrible thing to do to a Heroin addict because it is more addictive and more damaging to the body than Heroin. In England, thaey have a Heroin program for maintenance of addicts. I don’t like the idea of keeping an addict on drugs,, but controlled Heroin is a better choice than controlled Metahdone. There is as much crime associated with Methadone – selling it, trading Prescription Drugs, Cocaine use.

All a Methadone clinic does is bring a bunch of addicts together in the same place legally and give them all a chance to practice their craft. Methadone is a disgusting way to ‘help’ addicts because there is little actual counseling and rehabilitation going on. An addict on Methadone maintenance can’t be helped anyway because they are too fogged out to break their denial.

There are plenty of anti-convulsant drugs and tranquillizing drugs, that can be used in a controlled environment to detoxify a Heroin addict safely and get them on the road to some type of recovery program. My ex-husband went to prison for 30 months for a series of Heroin related armed robberies. When he was released, he was clean. Well … a little jailhouse Hooch and some Reefer clean, but not addicted to Heroin. The first stop from jail was the Methadone clinic, where he was started on 40 mg/day.

He was rocked in his socks for several weeks until his body adjusted to the Methadone. He continued using all the way along. When he hit bottom, the choice was detoxification or Methadone. He chose detoxification and has been clean ever since. My ex-husband celebrated 10 years clean in NA on July 4, 1996.

When I was using, I did Methadone a few times ‘recreationally’. The highest dose of Methadone I ever remember taking was 200 mg. There is a high incidence of Valium overdose among addicts on Methadone maintenance. In my hometown, more drug related overdoses were from the combination of Methadone and Valium than any other kind. This is how my ex-husband’s first wife died while he was in prison. Myra – Clean 13 years.

18) I just had a six year anniversary clean off all drugs so my Methadone experience is a little dated, but I was on the juice twice for 2 years each time. I’m a nurse and was employed as such during that time. I never went above 30/mg. I didn’t use other drugs while I was on the juice. I tried to utilize the mandatory counseling to help me. I came for the Methadone because I was hooked on Heroin and each time I got off, after detoxifying very slowly I was back in the spoon within a very short period of time, a matter of weeks.

At the time, it cost me $ 175.00 per month and meant that I had to be there at around 6:00 am, standing in line on the street and praying that no one I knew from work would come by and see me. For a number of months I had to go there daily and then with decreasing frequency as my urine testing showed that I was’nt using any other drugs. At somewhere around 18 months I had enough ‘take homes’ so that I only had to go to the clinic twice a week.

Having someone watch me urinate, demanding urine without notice, ordering me to show up at certain times and do certain things like attend counseling was degrading. Having the nurse at the dosing window look into my eyes to evaluate me, and the suspicion shown me was especially hard because Iwas leaving there for work where I would be working as a nurse too. They really had an impossible job trying to counsel unwilling, heavily sedated, multi-drug users, most of whom had a long history of manipulating various institutional settings, and many of whom had underlying psychiatic disorders.

Much of it I believe was driven by the need to meet program requirements, produce the statistics that would show x amount of clients and x amount of counseling. My experience is that almost all of the clients drank at least maintenance amount of Alcohol and considered it the best and cheapest way to get a little loaded. Many also continued to smoke weed and never really gave up the idea that they could use Heroin also. The higher the dose of Methadone, the more Heroin you have to shoot in order to feel it.

The ones who continued to use Heroin were probably sporadic users because if they had any resources left they wouldn’t have been at the Methadone clinic to start with. I hated being there. I regretted every morning that I had to go there before work. I lived in fear of being discovered by the people in the community that I worked with. Can I say anything good about it? Yes.

When I was at the end of my rope, hooked on Dope, the Methadone allowed me to stabilizee my life by not being sick, constantly on the prowl for more Dope, and constantly broke. When I was in a postion where I was considering a third time at the Methadone clinic, I felt like I would rather be deead. Another thing was that I had to argue to get them to lower my dose, detoxing me slowly.

There was never any encouragement to get clean. When I was ready to hang myself, I found Narcotics Anonymous and I’ve been clean ever since. Paul – Clean 6 years.

19) I used to get high from time to time – buying it on the streets – in the early seventies. The first couple times I got on a Methadone program was in 1975 in Austin, Texas. Both were 21 day detox programs and it seemed that it just prolonged the withdrawals so I quit using Methadone for detox purposes and would just hold up some where and ‘cold turkey’ anytime I wanted to break a Heroin habit after that.

In 1970-80, I was on a Methadone maintenance program for about six months. I got on because I had had a plentiful, cheap connection for Morphine Sulfate that suddenly ran out and I couldn’t support the habit with street Dope, so I got on Government Dope instead. After a few days, maybe a week, the Methadone stopped giving me any kind of high and only prevented withdrawls.

As you know, addicts don’t use to feel normal, we use to get ‘high’, so I would mix street drugs with the Methadone and try to beat the urine drops – sometimes successfully, sometimes not. After about six months on the program, I walked off with a resentment and kicked ‘cold turkey’ again. I can tell you that I’ve kicked many Heroin habits but nothing prepared me for the kind of withdrawal that Methadone caused.

It wasn’t the intensity of the withdrawal so much, but the longevity of it. With Heroin, by the third day you’ve usually crossed over the hump and within a week you’re feelingsomewhat normal again. The Methadone withdrawal just dragged on and on.

I was sick everyday for 3 or 4 weeks, but I continued to go to work and I refused to use any opiates. I continued to drink Alcohol and smoke Pot during this period, as I never considered them a problem nor did I ever try to stop using them before I came to Narcotics Anonymous.

The experience of Methadone withdrawal broke me of ever getting hooked on that drug again. I continued to use another two years before I got clean in 1982, but never wanted to use Methadone as an option anymore. Jeff B. – Clean 15 Years.

20) Methadone for some addicts is a glimmer of hope, the first thing that seems like a way out ff the hell.

It does help Heroin addicts with a desire to stop using to not have the crippling withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, the runs, inability to walk, pain, sweats, inability to breathe properly, runny nose, inability to sleep, irritabilty, tension and cramping of the entire body, head / neck out of harms way, in fact the Methadone clinic environment can be what gets an addict to use Heroin while dosing, they see people in the clinic and they all go out and cop and use.

So, then the problem is worse- being on Methadone. Methadone just replaces Dope. I think the maintenance thing is a scam. Methadone addiction is an ugly awful thing. Ellen – Clean 2 years.

21) Methadone maintenance means you just changed connections, you are still strung out on a narcotic. get clean, completely clean, off the juice, off the dope. learn to really live- it beats that living death of active addiction. I haven’t used in over 23 years, I was a sick dope-fiend. I would not get on methadone (way back then), because it was ‘the man’ and the systems way to control my ‘freedom’.

looking back on it, I am glad I did not get caught up in the system, as I know guys who have been on that poison for nearly 30 years. I found recovery, and I am glad i did. so can you, if you really are going to get honest about addiction, and the reality of it, and the reality of living free. many addicts are living without using anything. that is the reality I live in. You are welcome to it.

Find a meeting of Narcotics Anonymous, and read the literature, listen to clean addicts share their recovery with you. It will save your life. It saved mine. Marc B. Clean – 23 years – experience and hope shared on (05/20/2002)

22) Treating drug addiction with another drug (ie Methadone) is like fighting for peace, and fucking for virginity. Greg B.

23) Anne gave me her experience on 09/29/2002
So many adopted children wind up on drugs I would call it a syndrome.

You know – I am a nazi when it comes to children. This has angered many people when I say it – but I don’t care. It’s how I really feel and so I say it. I believe that addiction is a hereditary disorder and for that reason – addicts should NEVER have children. I mean, people with other hereditary disorders are advised not to have children – well addicts and alcoholics are usually suffering from a genetic disorder too. You just can’t see it in that the limbs are fine, the heart is fine, but the brain chemistry – this is not fine.

I was adopted and was not able to raise my daughter – my adoptive parents raised her and although she did well until high school – as soon as puberty hit – those hormones brought out her brain chemical disorder too and she started to behave a lot like I had at her age. The only thing she’s never done is take Heroin. She does have a Coke problem though – thank heavens she doesn’t use needles though. Unfortunately, she likes a drink now and then. I hate alcohol and always have.
It’s a horrible thing to hear your beautiful baby daughter as a grown woman crying from the pain of her disorder and begging you “Why didn’t you abort me?”

The only thing that finally quieted her was when I explained that abortions weren’t legal when I was pregnant. Besides which – I loved my baby girl before she was born and after too. I did not leave her while I went running on the streets. I left her with my adoptive parents when she was six months old so I could go to Daytop to get straightened out.

I spent six months there, but it didn’t work and I landed back on the streets for nearly a year and then I finally went to Synanon for two and a half years. Then, I left Synanon and became a true blue, hard core addict using needles and hooking – and never got clean again in over forty years. In fact – I consider it a miracle that for the past eight years, I have finally been able to make do with just the Methadone because up till then, even Methadone wasn’t enough to quiet my addictive beast and in addition to the Methadone, I was also addicted to Cocaine, Heroin and Speed.

Perhaps it’s got something to do with hormones – since menopause I have feel a lot more in control of myself. Don’t have raging hormones to deal with anymore and I’ve found a small amount of peace. I even stopped smoking two years ago. Something I thought I could never do.

Anne A. New York City

Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

4 again) Bo —> Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Recovery groups say NO to DS

Suboxyen is a dangerously addictive drug and is in no way a cure for opiate addiction. It is a fresh equivalent to methadone, which was first presented as a cure for heroin addiction. Heroin in its early days was presented as a cure for morphine addiction. And so it goes. Somehow, the practice of prescribing this drug on a widespread basis has become fashionable.

This is exactly why members attending Recovery group stands clear of outside issues and that includes marketing pressures from treatment centers and pharmaceutical companies. While we hold back from forming opinions on outside issues to maintain our focus on recovery alone, it is no more an outside issue than poisoning or botulism showing up in canned foods is an outside issue to public health. Drug Substitution (DS) is using drugs.

Our literature stressing avoiding un-necessary medication and seeking the help of an informed physician. The point of this phraseology is to insure that addicts get medical help from doctors who know addicts react differently to chemicals than non-addicts. Not playing doctor and avoiding giving out medical advise is not the same as calling a spade a spade or a addictive medication for what it is. Suboxyen in particular is as much an abuse chemical as heroin, LSD, crack cocaine or whiskey. It is incumbent on us in NA that we are direct and forthright when such a situation occurs. Concern is awareness of this problem has been growing steadily and it is not over-reaction to take a stand now.

An informed physician should be a doctor who has some education in addictionology as well as some familiarity with our recovery literature. Else all our efforts as a Fellowship and Program can be overturned in a few short years. Many of our members will succumb to their addiction long before that!

In Recovery we practice total abstinence which in practice involves avoiding using any un-necessary meds, foods or inhalants that could trigger relapse for an addict. We readily acknowledge the proper use of medication prescribed by a doctor informed about addiction.

We advise our members to seek other medical help if this point is unclear to our current physician. We also lay claim to practical spirituality. Honesty, open-mindedness and a willingness to try demand that we draw the line on using drugs and calling it recovery.

24) Jim —> Suboxone deal—-three day dosing in the rehab with it after three days of withdrawal. Three days of it worked well. My concern is the ‘chiropractor factor’ with private practice ‘Suboxone doctors’. They spin it in a way that the patient believes she/he must keep coming back. The Suboxone doctors usually have another specialty involving some other medical expertise. Most are not ‘addictionologist’ doctors.

They make you think you got to keep coming back. {Suboxone has a partial antagonist in it, unlike its first cousin Subutex, which does not, so you can’t crush it and shoot Suboxone with any effect. They are both buprenorphine.]. The Suboxone doctors must take an 8 hour seminar/course on how to dose it etc. They were originally limited to 30 patients each.

The issue is a huge political football against the Methadone cabal. Lots of money at stake. Suboxone prescribers now can see 100 or 110 patients [the number may be higher now]. There is BIG money in this.

A typical first visit is $200 and up—in cash—to be evaluated, then prescribed. Subsequent monthly visits are $100 and up for a ’15 minute update’ on your ‘progress’. You do the math. I know of one internist who sees his Suboxone patients from 8:30 to 10:30am, at which point he turns into the internist. Day after day, he doesn’t spend his 15 minute intervals [in reality, less time] to call GEICO and compare his car insurance rates. Like I said, BIG money, in cash.

Typically, they titrate you to lower doses as the months roll by. Their ‘goal’ is to have you off it in a year or so. I am sure many want their patients on forever. CASH COW—-MOOOO MONEY!

[Another big problem associated with it is that if you should be unfortunate enough to have a painful mishap or accident or need surgery, the analgesics won’t work, because of the Suboxone in your system.]

25) Dan —> Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

My experience with this program is that it works by addicts sharing their experience, strength and hope, not their advice. If we think Suboxone is dangerous to addicts, which I argue it is as currently prescribed in many clinic settings, then we owe it to the addicts coming into our program to share with them our experiences using and abusing Suboxone.

If we don’t have that experience, we can steer them to those who do. The same is true if someone is telling me about his or her struggles with a parent’s death: I may try to comfort that addict, but I don’t try to identify or give advice about such an emotional topic with which I have no experience. I may share my experience that going to meetings and talking to other addicts and not using have worked for every situation I’ve encountered thus far in my recovery, but the point is that I don’t tell an addict how to live his or her life unless he or she asks and I have specific experience in that area.

When it comes to drug replacement therapy, there are those who have experience with methadone and Suboxone, and who are now clean, who can provide some insight into how they got free of their burdens. For some that might be the experience of coming to recovery support groups for awhile, still taking the replacement, and then coming to realize that they needed complete abstinence to really get in touch with their spirit.

For others, it might be that they were cajoled into stopping their drug replacement by opinionated addicts. For them, I say go ahead and share that experience; pass it along to the newcomer. My concern is for those who take this approach without having specific experience in that area, based simply on their belief that they’re doing what’s best.

Recovery support groups are a program of attraction rather than promotion. Many of us have had people telling us to get clean for many years before we were graced with recovery. The same, I believe, is true with drug replacement. From what I see, treating addicts as less-than-members while they’re on Suboxone does not attract them to the program. Loving them despite their disease does.

Recovery support groups are rich in experience, but that experience is diluted when mixed with opinion and self-righteous judgment. There are plenty of addicts in our meetings who have been through drug replacement and are now living happy joyous and free lives, clean from all mood-changing and mind-altering substances. Why not use their experience to help addicts who are being misguided by doctors (many, but not all, of whom prescribe drug replacements because they think it’s the right thing to do, based on solid medical research)?

I am in favor of building momentum against the use of drug replacements, but I don’t think that Recovery support groups are the right forum for what is effectively a political movement. We should, however, band together outside of the rooms and organize against this medical mistreatment of addicts by getting the word out that drug replacement is cruel and unethical.

We could form a non-profit group that lobbies against the pharmaceutical and medical industries’ bias. We could take our argument to our government and let them know that addicts are being denied freedom from active addiction under the guise of protecting society from using addicts. We have an uphill battle, for sure, but if anyone thinks it’s a cause worth fighting for, I’m in.

26) Paul E. 6.10.2011

As an ‘early’ experimented upon dope fiend—Here is my ESH

1969 – As the song goes I was 21 – Already facing 15 years upstate for 5 felony bust at Newport Jazz Festival strung out to the max on heroin — Bags were 2 dollars — You got 1/2 load [15 bags] for 26 or 27 dollars —

P.S – A 2 dollar bag [at least initially] whacked you for the better part of the day — Cheap/Affordable/Exciting Results!!

By 1969 — 30 bags were not nearly enough to keep me functioning —

When facing this massive prison sentence—There was an ‘experimental’ program—Just starting in NYC called Methadone maintenance—I was the perfect candidate –

They had determined that 120 miiligrams per day was the appropriate blocking dose – [I certainly didn’t complain] — As a matter of fact — For the better part of teh next 10 years—I became a somewhat ‘functionl’ methadone addict — As long as you didn’t need to take a dump but once eevry 6 or 8 months — All was well —

I finally flipped out in 1976 — They had to lcok me up in th State Hospital for 3 months to helkp me off the methadone — It was nightmarish — After that —While I didn’t go on a regular ‘program’ again — I began numerous 21 day detoxes — times 2 or 3 simultaneously with different ID’S –

The influx of suboxone into people in ‘recovery’ has me very concerned – I sponsored a guy for almost 5 years — He was doing great — Had some stuff come up — Physical – was put on suboxone —- Still attends meetings and participates —

Obviously, he got another sponsor — Didn’t want to hear what i had to say on this topic —

The sad thing—There are poeple that he still sponsors — that think he is clean — Everyt ime I see him — I can’t get past the fact of the ‘pinned eyes’ —

It is an absurdity to think that someone on suboxone – Methadone or any other opiate can possibly be a MEMBER of NA —

Actually — Let me take that back — They CAN be a member [ as the only requirement is a desire…..] —- HOWEVER,I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN MEETING — IN ANY CAPACITY

Perhaps if they see enough examples of ‘True Abstinence’

They may be attracted to clean up —

I am so grateful to God, NA, some great sponsorship and the 12 traditions and steps that ahve allowed me to be a gratefully recovering addict since Feb 12th 1980 —-

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