Methadone saved my life.

by Tami Ash
(Cleveland, Oh)

me. sober<3

me. sober<3

Hi, my name is Tami. I'm 42 years old, married, the mother of 6 children, and a grandma to 8. I started getting high when i was 12 years old.



My mom died and I blamed everyone. I first used pot, then quickly started doing anything I could get my hands on. When I got married in 86, I thought I had arrived. But i didn't. I started using tea. I found out I was pregnant and I quit, and I was very happy.


After Joshua was born, I was a mother, a housewife.. you name it. We stopped dealing drugs and using them, but we ran out of money so I took a job as a stripper. It was great money. I started drinking heavily just to do that job. I was ashamed. And then I got pregnant with Angel.


I stopped drinking but kept my job until I was 8 months pregnant. John finally got his ass in gear and started driving truck again, NO MORE STRIPPING YAY!!! Then came the light of my life my son JOB. I almost died having him - 78 hours of hard labor,5hrs of pushung, the nurses said i had the patience of Job, so he was named Job.


I got pregnant right after Job with Zacharias......very high risk pregnancy! I wasn't allowed out of bed.. nothing. I gained 150 pounds of water weight due to toximia.. He was born premature 2 months. He lived for 3 months and died on my favorite nephew's birthday.


I still grieve..this was the hardest part of my life, burying my child. I was introduced to heroi on 10-21-92 and I loved how I felt. I quickly got hooked on it. I got remarried in 95, and I was off all drugs because Mike made me feel whole again. I had access to a lot of money and started using heroin again.. I went to alot of rehabs, but nothing worked.


I found Methadone & have been sober since 3-21-11. The program saved my life, and I am grateful to be on it. Without it I might be dead! Thank you for reading this, and if you know anyone who struggles with a heroin or pill addiction, please remember this and recommend METHADONE.


I have and I have saved a few lives. If you really want to be sober and find a program that works,find the Methadone clinic closest to you and just follow the program. Not only did I get sober, but I learned how to live sober..Getting clean is the easy part.. staying clean..changing your lifestyle..it takes time and the rewards are great.


I got Baptized on Christmas Eve,how great is that?? I'm going to end this with this thought... "My worst day sober beats my best day high!!"

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Oct 22, 2017
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PTSD cop NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank u so much I just started methadone after not being able to handle subs.Im a retired cop who has PTSD and started to do H. I was terrified of wds and that's why I didn't want subs bc u have to get sick 1st. So far 1st day and wds are very minimal wish me luck

Nov 11, 2014
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It Saved My Life!
by: Jackie <3

Tami, the world is lucky to have kept you after all you've been through. Carry that grateful heart with you forever.
Thank you for sharing.

To Rae, RE: what stops a methadone patient from abusing the medication as they did drugs: MMT is a VERY strict program. Regular random drug testing, peak and trough blood teasting to determine the efficacy of patient's dose, mandatory counseling, mandatory physicals and follow ups with an appointed physician, single day doses administered by an RN at a window via a computer system with fingerprint recognition software that pours doses mechanically, waiting lines, appointments, scheduling, 30 day detox for chronic non-compliance, ... all of this to say, as succinctly as possible, that methadone clinics aren't opiate dens. After the 30 day orientation period, a patient MAY be allowed a single takehome dose (at the discrimination of their MMT assigned physician, and only IF they remain completely clean and return their takehome bottles) after an additional 90 days. There are many, many hoops to jump through.

Forgive me if I seem defensive: this program saved my life, and it's under attack by people who fear what they don't understand. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to defend it :)

Mar 10, 2014
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Amazing
by: Anonymous

You are an amazing person and for a Social Worker and another bored person with negativity in their heart to say anything horrible about something that has worked so wonderful for you is sad. The social worker needs a new job because all those mental health medications need to go if she does not believe that a person needs a medication to treat a disease. Of course cold turkey is the best way to do anything, but the reality is THAT ISN'T THE ONLY WAY. I remember a time when we believed if we just operated on a mental person's brain we would cure mental health. What a shame that as far as we have come as a society people believe that using methadone/suboxone is switching one drug for another. As far as I know, I never saw anyone that said - I want to go to a clinic EVERYDAY, see a nurse, see a counselor and go to a group JUST TO GET HIGH....YEAHHHHHHHH.....Get a grip haters and stop being so judgmental. I am proud that you are here to tell a story that needs to be told.

Mar 10, 2014
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Amazing
by: Anonymous

You are an amazing person and for a Social Worker and another bored person with negativity in their heart to say anything horrible about something that has worked so wonderful for you is sad. The social worker needs a new job because all those mental health medications need to go if she does not believe that a person needs a medication to treat a disease. Of course cold turkey is the best way to do anything, but the reality is THAT ISN'T THE ONLY WAY. I remember a time when we believed if we just operated on a mental person's brain we would cure mental health. What a shame that as far as we have come as a society people believe that using methadone/suboxone is switching one drug for another. As far as I know, I never saw anyone that said - I want to go to a clinic EVERYDAY, see a nurse, see a counselor and go to a group JUST TO GET HIGH....YEAHHHHHHHH.....Get a grip haters and stop being so judgmental. I am proud that you are here to tell a story that needs to be told.

Feb 19, 2014
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it saved me
by: tara o'connor

Methadone saved my life and gave my 6 kids their mom back keep up the good work

Aug 31, 2013
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methadone - it works if you work it HONESTLY
by: Erica (Zenith Chasing)

(continued from previous comments)

If *I* can get clean, I know for a fact that anyone can, it's just a matter of seeking out and using the tools that are available to you. Like I said before, it really does work... if you work it!
Good luck and God bless to those of you who are still suffering and to all of my friends out there working their recovery.
Love,
Erica
** www.zenithchasing.blogspot.com <--- This is my recovery blog where I talk more about how methadone and AA are helping me change my life. Please contact me (there is a form on the side of the blog so you can email me) if you have any questions or if you ever need someone to talk to about recovery / methadone / anything like that. You are not alone! **

Aug 31, 2013
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methadone - it works it you work it, be honest w/ yourself
by: Erica (Zenith Chasing)

(continued)
Methadone tapers are a very slow process as methadone withdrawal can be dangerous and there is no such thing as a painless taper. I am taking the process very slowly, dropping a mg. a week, to make the process go as smoothly as possible. The last time I was on methadone I got kicked out of the program without a medical taper and had to jump off 50mgs. cold turkey. Even at such a low dose as compared to my high of 180mgs. it was a hellish experience, extremely painful, and it lasted almost two months before I started to experience any relief. Needless to say, after two weeks of continuous physical withdrawal, I ended up relapsing. My heart was never in it that first time, I have a lot more strength and a support system to rely on now, and I believe that I can effectively taper off of methadone and be 100% clean and drug free without it. I need to keep in mind however that detoxing off methadone is extremely difficult no matter how long or slow the process. I am doing my best to pace myself this time to prevent relapsing or backsliding in my recovery progress.
I feel that it is very important to pair methadone treatment with another form of support such as AA / NA meetings or working with a therapist. I myself am doing all three and it is working out very well for me. Right now I am experiencing the most success I have ever had in a recovery attempt, I feel genuinely committed to my sobriety and am giving myself the time and space needed to do the steps right. Having a support system and coping mechanisms to deal with the difficulties of early sobriety is absolutely essential to any addicts recovery.
For eight years, almost constantly (a couple of breaks here and there but no really lasting clean time), I was a homeless junkie. I was sleeping in alleyways or abandoned buildings, traveling from state to state to escape myself and my many failures, and shooting up crack dens and public parks. I begged for change, stole from stores, and sold my body to support my ever-increasing, ever more expensive, and ever destructive addiction. I was dirty, rail thin, and covered in track marks and abcesses. I hated myself and was basically killing myself very slowly from day to day. My family and friends had all given up on me and I had all but given up on myself. It took the epiphany that I was going to die from my addiction without ever realizing any of my dreams or goals to get me to admit that I needed help. I didn't know how to live any other way, I just knew that I could not continue the way I was going, so I had to surrender my life to my higher power wholly and completely. I had to allow myself to hope for a better life even though I couldn't even imagine what that might look like. Methadone was the first step towards building that better life for myself, joining AA was the next step.
(one more i think...)

Aug 31, 2013
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Part two - methadone - it works if you work it!
by: Erica (Zenith Chasing)

(part two of my very very long comment)
I am currently working the 12 steps in AA. I have a sponsor. I told her about being on methadone but I do not openly share this information with other people in the rooms. Many AA members, even more so with NA, are against drug replacement therapies like methadone and suboxone. NA has published articles specifically referring to methadone and stating that taking methadone as prescribed by a doctor is synonymous with using in the eyes of the NA program. AA, to my knowledge, has not published any such articles and they seem to have a more lenient view on the subject. I personally consider it to be an 'outside issue', like taking meds for depression or bipolar, or taking prescribed pain meds for an injury; thus no ones business but my own and possibly my sponsors. It's up to you whether or not you want to disclose this to other members of your AA or NA group, just do not be surprised if you encounter some negative viewpoints, stigmatization, or even discrimination. Worst case scenario, you may be excluded from sharing in NA or even told to leave a particular group, if you share that you are on a methadone program. I am very lucky to have an exceptionally understanding and kind woman as my AA sponsor, even so I was still very afraid of being rejected or judged by her when I told her I am on methadone. It is an issue some people in the rooms feel very strongly about.
Personally I do believe that methadone saved my life. I would not have been able to kick the heroin habit that was destroying every aspect of my life without methadone. Now that I am also working the steps in Alcoholics Anonymous I feel that I have built a support system for myself that will allow me to safely taper off of methadone without relapsing on heroin. Some people choose to stay on methadone maintenance for years, some people even stay on it for the rest of their lives, still others make the switch to suboxone or get a private doctor to prescribe methadone pills or wafers. I have my own reasons for wanting to limit my time on the clinic, and I will again urge you to do your research into the side effects of methadone before you start on a program.
(continued in next comment, guess i have alot to say on the subject, lol...)

Aug 31, 2013
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methadone - use with caution and be honest with yourself!
by: Erica (Zenith Chasing)

Okay, it's kind of like how in the rooms we say 'it works if you work it', methadone works, but only if it is used as prescribed and taken seriously. Methadone is a very strong opiate and needs to be regarded as such.
I have been on methadone twice in my life. I was a heroin addict first and foremost but I also drank, smoked crack, did meth (and pretty much anything else I could use to destroy my body and my mind) for eight years prior to my current sobriety. The first time I was on methadone I did not take the program seriously. I took way too much, raising my dose whenever possible, and also used other drugs including heroin occasionally while on the program. I drank constantly. I was not at all serious about recovery and made no attempts to quit using. I basically just dosed so I wouldn't have to worry about ever being dope sick. Things have been very different this time around because I have finally realised that I have a serious problem and that I cannot continue to live my life that way.
There are strict rules regarding drug use and mixing drugs / alcohol with methadone at all methadone clinics. Mixing alcohol with your dose, using opiates with it, or taking benzos (benzodiazapenes - aka anxiety meds like klonopin or zanax) on top of your dose can be extremely dangerous and often leads to fatal overdoses. A lot of people drink or take benzos to potentiate the 'downer' effects of methadone. Not only does this defeat the purpose of getting on methadone in the first place, but I really cannot overstate how dangerous it is. When your clinic tells you not to drink / take benzos, listen to them! It could save your life to abstain from mixing methadone and illegal drugs / alcohol.
Methadone is not supposed to get you high, if it does you are probably taking too much. The first time I was on a clinic I got up to 180mgs a day. Now I am on 48mgs. a day and slowly tapering off of the medication. Though I have been offered the opportunity to raise my dose many times since I started this new clinic I have refused every time and kept my dose at a high of 50mgs. a day. This amount of methadone has been enough to prevent physical withdrawals for me and that is why I am on the dose in the first place, taking any more than necessary, to me is the same as using. It's all about your intent. If you want to be on methadone to get fucked up or avoid being dope sick while still doing dope or other opiates, don't waste your time. If you want to be on it to take the first step towards your recovery from opiate addiction, methadone can be a very powerful tool, just please do your research first.
(continued in next comment)

Jun 18, 2013
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Are you still using?
by: Shim Frankel, MSW

Thank you for sharing your story. The real question is not really does Methadone "work" but rather how to decide if the treatment was successful to arrest the addiction. So the missing part of this story is: have you been able to effectively taper off methadone and continued to stay "clean and serene" or have you become dependant on the meth to keep you clean?

Dec 18, 2012
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WORKS IF YOU FOLLOW THE PROGRAM
by: Anonymous

WELL, I WOULD SAY THAT METHADONE ALMOST KILLED ME, BUT REALLY, IT WAS THE WAY I USED IT. I WOULD DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE PROGRAM SAID TO DO. I WOULD DOSE, LEAVE THERE, GO ONE BLOCK AND GET ALCOHOL, AND SMOKE WEED AND TAKE XANAX AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. AFTER FAILING DRUG SCREEN, I WENT FROM 100MG DAILY FOR 9 MONTHS TO ZERO IN 12 DAYS. THIS WAS ABSOLUTE HELL! I CAN SEE THAT IF I WERE TO HAVE FOLLOWED THE PROGRAM IT WOULD HAVE WORKED. HOWEVER, I SAY THAT IT DID WORK, BECAUSE I NEEDED TO GO THRU THAT HELL TO GET CLEAN. ALMOST 7 MONTHS NOW CLEAN AS A STRING BEAN!!!

Dec 18, 2012
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No longer my way or the highway
by: Anonymous

I, too, am free from opiates. 3 years, but it wasn't easy. I went cold turkey-many times, and always believed that was the only way. Suboxone and methadone, to me, was simply switching one drug for another. Today I realize my way isn't the only way. Too many of us are dying. If suboxone or methadone are part of someones program to stay clean and sober, and alive. Go for it.

Dec 18, 2012
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methadone is a joke
by: Anonymous

i would not recommend methadone for any one all your doing is trading one drug for another im clean from heroine 14 years now and i did it cold turkey

Dec 17, 2012
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It saved my life, too!
by: Eliza Player

Wonderful story! Methadone saved my life, too. I was on methadone for a number of years, and now I have been opiate-free for almost 6 years. I would probably be dead without methadone, and I most certainly would not be opiate-free, a successful writer, and a happy mother and wife today without methadone. Too many people seem to bad mouth the methadone program, but the fact of the matter is that it does work for some people, as it did for me and for you. We need to speak out in support of methadone, because it does save lives! Thank you for sharing your story!

Sep 14, 2012
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Well done
by: Vincent B UK

Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad you have turned your life around. Keep up the good work.

Aug 15, 2012
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suboxone
by: sara

I have been on suboxone this time for a year and a half my clean date is 1/11/11 cool date right! I have struggked with a lot of people who say since I am on suboxone I am not really clean however I have not used any drugs or alcohol since I have been a patient at my local suboxone clinic I thank god for caring doctors who have helped me throughout my expierence. Thank you for sharing your experience strength and hope.

Dec 28, 2011
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Be Blessed
by: Linda Grier-Hughes

I am happy for you. Continue to be blessed.

Dec 27, 2011
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To Tami Ash
by: Rae

Hi Tami,

Thanks so much for writing in and sharing your story. It sounds like you have been through quite a bit in your life, but somehow you have managed to make it out the other side. I think that is amazing and very admirable.

It's really easy to stop using drugs, but sometimes once you stop, you end up forgetting why you stopped in the first place. It only makes sense to start using again!

I'll be perfectly honest and say that I don't have personal experience with Methadone so in that sense, I don't know much about it. I have read all about it and I know a lot of people who have been on it, but that's the extent of my knowledge. I think a lot of people have very opposing views about methadone.

I know a lot of people end up abusing it, and I also know that some people, (like you!) say it has saved their lives. I certainly am not here to judge; you sound SO much happier because you found something that worked for you. I just wonder what stops a person from abusing methadone the way they abused other drugs? Maybe you can share your thoughts on that if you get a chance.


Again, as far as I am concerned, if it works for you, then I can't say anything bad about it. Are you involved in 12 step programs/meetings, or have you found that the methadone alone is enough to keep you clean?

I know that for me, I can stay clean without a 12 step program, but I am generally a lot happier when I am actively participating in a 12 step program. Everyone is different though, and I truly applaud you for your clean time and your accomplishments.

Thanks again for writing in, and feel free to write back! I'd love to hear some more of your thoughts on methadone, and why some people think it's dangerous and etc.

Take care!
Rae

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