Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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Confessions From a Methadone Clinic. Part I


While he is waiting to dose at The Methadone Clinic, one of my clients sent me this. Let’s call him, John.

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 Those of us addicted to opiates and those of us in the addictions industry that are familiar with the Recovery Community know that Methadone is a powerful tool used to fight addiction. It has long been the front runner to fight the deadly cycle of opioid addiction and now shares the stage with Suboxone as the leader in the fight against opiate and heroin addiction.  However, it is now becoming obvious that Methadone is quickly becoming the new recreational drug and recreational high.  How am I so sure of this you may ask.? I know this because I am a recovering heroin addict who has recently begun using the methadone clinic to treat my heroin addiction and stay clean and sober from all opiates.

But, as I have gotten familiar with my methadone clinic and the other recovering addicts that frequent the clinic, I am hearing a very familiar story. And this story is that a majority of those coming to the clinic I use have been coming for multiple years and have no plan or ambition to stop using Methadone. Now call me crazy, but my plan is to use Methadone in an attempt to stop using heroin without going into too dangerous withdrawals.  Once I get stabilized I want to taper backwards to a point where I am no longer using Methadone or any other opiate.  This should be the plan of every Methadone user. And this should also be the plan that every doctor put into place for the Methadone user, but it is becoming painfully obvious that neither the clients nor the doctors seem to want the tapering plan to be on the forefront of every client’s plan of recovery.

As I sat in my car at 530 AM waiting to dose,  I listened to a young lady talk about trying to quit Methadone cold turkey after getting her dose up to 100 mg over a four year period of time. She talked about her horrible 13 day detox and not being able to get off the couch for an entire 30 day time period.

 I heard another story of a person that had been on either Methadone or Suboxone for over seven years and is having his bones breaking  due to the damage done from Suboxone or Methadone. His teeth are rotting right out of his mouth and he didn’t feel the pain because he was on such a high dose of Methadone.

As I sit outside,  I’m not hearing any stories of tapering off of Methadone altogether. I’m not hearing any stories of people succeeding and beating their opiate addiction through the use of Methadone. All I am hearing is how long these people have been coming to the clinic. I am hearing terms of seven years , 11 years, 13 years and longer.  These clients have just traded their heroin for Methadone and if they don’t begin to taper and try to get off all opiates altogether, they are going to be in for a rude awakening to when they are finally cut off from Methadone. Seriously talking, a cold turkey detox should never happen without proper medical supervision.

This led to my thinking, should the clients themselves be held accountable and responsible for getting themselves off of the Methadone? Or should the doctors themselves be held accountable for pushing people into a tapering recovery-based plan. Either way, I got my dose and left. Tomorrow I step down again. Wish me luck.

Need help getting off Methadone and Suboxone? Dr. Cali Estes specializes in helping people kick opiates and for a long term time period. She and her medical team can help you get off opiates for good. Check out her website www.theaddictionscoach.com today and call 800 706 0318 ext 1     

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