There are SO many things in life that you will never believe just because someone tells you about it. Anyone ever addicted to anything knows what they were told about the "dangers of drug addiction". But we did it anyway because we had to find out for ourselves. At least I remember being conscious when making the decision to begin to use harder drugs that I was doing it partially because I knew I couldn't judge it without properly experiencing it for myself. In the past I had looked down on people who became addicted - I maybe was not even aware of how judgemental I was before I became an addict. In a lot of ways I would not do a thing differently, I learned a lot about myself through my addiction, I actually became a better person in many ways. I'm much more forgiving of the faults and shortcoming of others and I see my own much more clearly than before.
But today I am not a better person, I'm a bitch to everyone and I feel like crap. No one ever mentioned during my methadone intake that there was a huge potential to gain a ton of weight unless I was very thoughtful about what I ate. I gained almost 65 pounds just because of the methadone. Well, I can't blame it all on simply taking methadone - but it does make you feel sleepy and lethargic in a way entirely different than real opiates. There's no euphoria just the sluggish, heavy feeling especially at first and then you get used to it and start to think it's normal. Beware of all the sweets cravings that many people get when they get off H. I thought I ate a lot while I was using, rehab nurses were always impressed by how healthy I seemed despite my heavy usage. But I realize now that I ate hardly anything or I threw up what I did eat or fell asleep in my food dish. I had also been naturally thin and fit my whole life from playing sports and being active and had always been able to eat whatever I wanted. That changed abruptly after getting off H and I really wish someone had drilled it into my head that I better watch what I eat because now I'm miserable and have never been so overweight in my life. I was always under 110 lbs and now I weigh in at 155.5 on a good day. I'm hoping that as I keep going down on my dose I'll lose weight more easily, I've also really begun to pay attention to what I eat. A word to those with better planning skills - Try not to come down on your dose too fast and deprive yourself of food at the same time, you may not be safe for public exposure,
I've been on methadone going on five years or more now and I know there's people out there who make me look like a baby in the life of methadone maintenance. But despite the fact that I hope to God that I'm not a methadone lifer as far as being a patient, I do want to be involved in making methadone patients legal rights a lot more clear. Aside from all the physical discomfort and cravings patients feel while getting on or off methadone, we also suffer from the heavy burden of social stigmatism for being addicts.
I also have a bone to pick regarding the absence of proper aftercare for patients. Some clinics offer some counseling for a short period after ending dosing but it does not seem to be common. I don't even get regular counseling while being on the program. What am I saying 'regular'? I havn't had an appointment since I began. Since my intake at my current and least favorite clinic, I have heard more about my counselors life than she has of mine. I feel like I have to find my own support system because it is really the money that theses clinics are seeking. Heck, I could open my own clinic - there are permits to obtain but it is a profitable business like any other.
To anyone considering beginning or ending methadone treatment, please leave a response, I really want to hear other people's experiences. I'd like to know what people like or don't like about the clinic they go to. There are clinics all over the country, the world - what is it like for you guys out there. We need to let people know that we are medically taking methadone and we need people to know that it can make us really sick and we need rights. We should not have to be afraid to tell our places of work that we are on methadone, we should not have to feel discriminated against because of something we were genetically predisposed to and are attempting to remedy. Please let's hear from all you Daily Dosers out there!