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Husband Coming off of Methadone

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  • Husband Coming off of Methadone

    Hey guys!
    My husband has been an addict and used most every substance known to man. He traveled the world for 15 years looking for the best high he could find... well, fast forward to 5 years ago.. he was a Coke addict when I met him. Was shooting it at least once an hour. Also drinking very heavily. One day he decided to quit the coke, and did. Cold turkey. He had NO problems with it, whatsoever. He did continue the alcohol abuse, though.
    He eventually started taking pain pills to get high. Usually a handful of some type of opiates would serve him good for a few hours.
    But, I got sick of it. (I don't use anything. I don't even drink caffeine) The money being spent was ridiculous and he thought so too. He just couldn't kick the habit. It felt too good and was too accessible. So, we heard about the mdone clinic from some of his friends, and thought it'd be a great idea. We didn't do any research. In fact, we were both extremely excited about him kicking opiates.
    Bad, bad, bad, bad mistake. At first it was great. But long term use (over a year now) has proven to be terrible. He has TERRIBLE stomach cramps, vomiting, constipation, etc at night. There is at least a few times, every day, that he is nodding out from being so tired, and we don't have sex!! He has no libido.
    He is absolutely ready to come off of the mdone. He had kicked and screamed and cried and begged to be done with it. So, he has come down to 50mg per day, from 110mg per day. He has done this over the course of 1 month. He has been feeling so much better during the day, since he has tapered off. He hasn't had any severe symptoms, and has had much more energy, until last night.
    He was SCREAMING in pain with stomach cramps. He ended up lying in the bathroom floor, puking all over himself and crying. We both felt helpless, but I would clean it up and either put a warm blanket on him or cold washcloths on his body (whichever he happened to need at the moment), until he finally got some relief and was able to go back to sleep.

    Now, we have both read a lot of forums and blogs on getting off of Methadone. Some say to go cold turkey, some say to taper, some say you'll be better in 5 days, some say 5 years. We are SCARED. He does not want this life anymore. All that is holding him back is the physical withdrawal from methadone.
    He actually wants to just jump off at 50mg because he believes he is prolonging his pain and suffering by walking down.
    What do we do?
    The most severe symptoms are most definitely the stomach cramps. Something, anything has to be done for them.
    He has xanx for sleep, acid reducers for acid reflux, vitamins that he already takes on a daily basis, horny goat weed for blood pressure...

    I also must mention that he doesn't have any diagnosed health problems. He was extremely fit and healthy before starting methadone and has always lead an active lifestyle and healthy diet.

    He also wanted to go to a detox facility, but they discouraged him from coming by telling him that it wouldn't help, because he wouldn't feel the withdrawal until 2 weeks.

    Any advice to help me get through these really tough times, as a wife, would also be much appreciated.

    Sorry for the book, and thank you all, in advance.

  • #2
    Welcome to the Forum......First of all....has He Ever Considered Treatment?? I have never tapered off of Methadone....but figure it's just as tough...or tougher than any other opiate??..You also sound just a little bit like you could use an Al-Anon meeting?? Ever consider that for U???..Hopefully you will get somebody drop by with methadone w/d experience!! Meantime....Prayers to you both!! Stay Strong Just For Today!!


    • #3

      I'm sorry that you are having to go through this with your husband. I have no personal experience with methadone, just what I've read here and from those I've followed. I understand that methadone is a bear! It has a very long half life and needs to be tapered very slowly. I think that getting down by 50% over one month was likely too quickly.

      I wouldn't attempt to jump at 50mg/day. The half life is just too long and it is apt to be pretty difficult. If I were you, I'd see if things get better in the coming few days. It might be rough going though. Another is to increase his dose a little bit at very small increments until he feels better and then begin to taper more slowly. How slowly? I'm sorry I can't tell you that. I just don't know what would be best but someone else will come along and help you with a better taper plan if he decides to continue this way..

      Hang in and check in often. Randy and Bette have been there. They both reduced to 30mg/day of the methadone (I think) and then switched to subs and did the taper plan recommended on this site--Robert's Sub Taper Plan. I think this last choice might work the best. Both of them have a good amount of clean time behind them now. I hope one of them stops in because I know that they can help you.

      Don't get discouraged. These boards are typically slower over the weekend so check back often. I'll see if I can sent up an SOS for Randy and Bette and ask then to stop here and offer you some advice.




      • #4
        Check back here often. I've just posted to Bette and to Randy asking them to stop in. I know they'll both have good advice for you and will help.




        • #5
          Hello Megan -

          My friend Cat asked me to stop by and I'm happy to do so. Cat's right, I've been in your hubby's shoes and know exactly what he's going through and dealing with. And it's just as horrible as it seems. Getting off methadone is one of the toughest things an addict will ever do. Sadly, many never make it. But that doesn't have to be your husband. I can certainly help him get off if the both of you are willing and prepared to follow a few simple suggestions?

          Methadone can be tapered down, but it MUST be done very slowly. When the person is on doses of around 100mgs per day and higher they can taper a little aggressively at first. As the dose gets lower, down to say 50-75mg or so, the reduction amounts need to be much smaller, as in 2-5% of the current dose. And the plan, if tapering is the choice, needs to be reduced down to nearly zero mgs per day. Yes that will take some time, but ti's the best way off to avoid the horrible symptoms.

          Now the other way, and the choice I and many, many others have made is to get the methadone dose down to around 30mgs per day and switch to Suboxone. You can technically make the switch at any dose of methadone, but the lower the dose the better. Why Suboxone at this point? Because it's much easier to taper the subs than it is the methadone. The methadone will still produce a high and euphoria and the subs will not. In your husbands case I would not hesitate to get on the Suboxone, and that's my opinion based on experience.

          But I tell you now that IF he wants to give the subs a try he MUST make the switch correctly. He will be completely stopping the methadone for a few days and taking nothing that will make him feel better, then waiting in wd's to be able to take the subs safely without going into precipitated wd's. I would be more than happy to walk him through the entire process when the time comes. You just have to do it right the first time.

          Let me know what you think. I'll check back later to see if you've responded.



          • #6
            Hey guys! Thanks so much for the quick responses!
            Our problem with tapering slower is that he wanted to get off the methadone, so he's done a financial walk down. He didn't want to have the choice to bump his dose back up, so he hasn't paid for his methadone for a while. If he wanted to go back up, or taper slower than 10mg every other day, he would have to pay for all of the "back" doses. Unfortunately, we aren't in the position to do that. He quit his job so that he could have some recovery time.
            I am very interested in the subs, though. He missed a mdone dose once, and took sub, thinking it would make it better. Whew!! That was a ROUGH night.
            But, we are willing to try anything at this point for a safe and half as painful detox.
            He's feeling great today. He didn't have a bad night. That gives me hope and calms down my "scared-ness".


            • #7
              Hi there..
              I too have been in your husbands shoes.
              I did not do any research before getting on it either!

              I think that old saying apples to methadone..
              If it sounds to good to be true!

              But the good news is ..
              getting off of methadone is possible..

              Subs would be my choice for you ..
              after reading about them fee toxing him..

              Cash cow those clinics!

              But he has got to follow the Cows to get on the sub.

              Time is not a good inducator of readiness to start sub
              Especially coming off of methadone..

              Since he will be down to 30 mg pretty quickly it might be a good option..

              Does he have access to sub?

              Randy and I both have taken the sub too quickly with methadone in our systems and
              Know what happens
              At that point..

              It sux!

              We will help him to avoid that again at all costs..

              So I will check back later to see if he has an option to take the sub and do a taper..

              Then there is a very detailed explanation of the induction and taper on this website.
              But we will be here to help..

              God Bless you for being there through this!
              I know it can be so hard on the whole family..

              Please take care of yourself too!


              • #8
                I have talked to my husband and he says no to subs. He says he just wants to get off of all drugs and doesn't want to use anything else.
                He is very stubborn. It makes it much harder...


                • #9
                  It can be done.
                  I have been off methadone 3 years in May.
                  Off sub 2 years.

                  I used the supplement withdrawal ease..

                  It has all the necessary supplements in 2 pills for am and 2 for pm..

                  Check out the website very informative..

                  My friend has been off methadone 15 days
                  And she did a drug test at the dr and the methadone still in her urine..

                  Takes awhile..

                  Check out the Thomas Receipe on here..

                  Methadone robs your body of necessary minerals and vitamins
                  So supplements are very important
                  When getting off ..

                  He can do this!

                  But it is a process!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MeganLove View Post
                    I have talked to my husband and he says no to subs. He says he just wants to get off of all drugs and doesn't want to use anything else.
                    He is very stubborn. It makes it much harder...
                    That's fine if he wants to do it without the subs. No problem there. But the last thing he should do is stop cold turkey or taper too fast. He will be in a world of hurt. If he goes slow and steady with small dose reductions over 5-7 days he will be fine. There will always be a few symptoms, but he should be able to handle them if he wants this more than anything.

                    Positive Attitude = Positive Results!

                    If at some point he decides to try the subs let me know. I'll walk him through the process.



                    • #11
                      Alright, thank you, Randy!


                      • #12
                        He is down to 20mg now. The past 2 days have been bad on him, emotionally. He started using Kratos, which makes him feel so much better. He still doesn't want to do a sub taper. I know he is so ready for this to be over, and so am I. I may be more afraid than he is. In 2 days he will drop to 10, then 0.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MeganLove View Post
                          He is down to 20mg now. The past 2 days have been bad on him, emotionally. He started using Kratos, which makes him feel so much better. He still doesn't want to do a sub taper. I know he is so ready for this to be over, and so am I. I may be more afraid than he is. In 2 days he will drop to 10, then 0.
                          Megan - I've read through your thread and I really think you need to convince your husband to SLOW WAY DOWN! Like Randy said (and trust me, he knows) if your husband tapers too fast or by too much he is going to be in a world of hurt!

                          I understand that your husband does not want to go the sub route because you said in an earlier post that "He says he just wants to get off of all drugs and doesn't want to use anything else"... I also see that you mentioned that "He started using Kratos", I'm assuming you mean Kratom? If that's the case then he is using a very addictive substance, Kratom works on the same receptors as opiates and that is why he feels "so much better"! Like I said, Kratom is highly addictive and by him using Kratom he is replacing one drug/addiction for another! I suggest doing some extensive research on Kratom before that becomes a problem as well? Here's a link to a thread about Kratom withdrawal -

                          Best of luck to you and your husband. Take care... God bless us all!


                          • #14
                            Hey Ricky, he is doing the financial walk down. They won't let him go any slower than 10mg every 2 days.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MeganLove View Post
                              Hey Ricky, he is doing the financial walk down. They won't let him go any slower than 10mg every 2 days.

                              That's WAY TOO FAST Megan. They are setting him up for a real rough ride, and failure. Sure it can be done, but the odds are extremely low I'm afraid. Seems like they could care less? Wish I could have a talk with them or they were going through it. Bet they would change their minds rather quickly.

                              I'll again say that if it were me I would find a Suboxone doctor and get on subs rather than taper methadone at the rate of 10mg every 2 days. That's a fact. Probably not what he wants to hear, but he wouldn't be having anywhere near the same amount of wd's he's gonna be having dropping the methadone that quickly.

                              I just want to help is all.