Saturday, August 30, 2014

International Overdose Awareness Day!

Show your support!

August 31st, 2014 is International overdose day This day is all about educating people on overdose and how it can be prevented. It originated in Melbourne, Australia in 2001 and is now globally recognized. In 2013, International Overdose Awareness Day events ranged from remembrance ceremonies to community training on naloxone administration. 
Overdoses happen and you must be armed with education regarding them. Stixx has saved quite a few people during his time because he was educated and he knew the signs and he knew how to react quickly to save their life. He has also been on the other side himself and has overdosed a number of times, as well as myself. Too many good people have died from overdose and many times these could of been prevented. Harm reduction does work and spreading awareness could saves many lives.
Signs and symptoms vary from drug to drug but most are the same, we will tell you about what to watch for if someone is overdosing on methadone.
Many people are reluctant to call an ambulance due to police involvement, this is a huge reason worlwide why many will not call and many overdoses could of been prevented if the fear of being arrested wasn't present. With education, policy changes and promotion of such life saving items such as, naloxone, Etc. we can hopefully save more lives.

For many educational and interesting articles from harm reduction advocate, K. Lanktree, we suggest reading, she has many great views and is also a methadone patient who knows her stuff.

We would like to share with you how to spot the signs of methadone overdose and how you can react to save lives.
Methadone overdose can occur if someone accidentitly or intentionly takes more methadone than prescribed by their doctor, or taken by someone who is not prescribed methadone. Methadone is slow acting and does not provide the user with a euphoric high, because of this lack of euphoria, a person may take more and more of it in an attempt to acheive the rush, which will lead to overdose. Often times than not, methadone is taken in combination with other drugs such as narcotics, benzodiazepines, alcohol, etc. Methadone should never be mixed with the previous mentioned, as it is fatal.

The Signs of methadone overdose include:
  • Blue lips/fingernails (Not receiving enough oxygenated blood)
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Weak pulse
  • Newspaper colored face(Greyish) or very pale
  • Extreme sedation
  • Confusion/staggering/not stable on feet
  • Slurred speech
  • Shallow breathing(respiratory depression)
  • He/she wants to go to go lay down/sleep (Fatigue)
  • mucus coming out of nose and mouth
  • muscle twitches
  • weakness
  • Nausea
  • They will most likely feel very hot
How you can quickly respond to a person overdosing:
  • Call 911
  • You can call a poison control center near you, always have these important numbers on hand in your phone.
  • A cold facecloth and cold water to splash in face
  • Keep person talking/keep them aware and awake even if you have to yell
  • If possible, keep them moving using their own strength providing they haven't hurt themselves, ie fall/broken bones/car accident,etc.
  • If they aren’t breathing or their breathing is slow, roll them on their back, tilt their head back, remove anything they may have in their mouth, take a deep breath and blow into their mouth, 2 breaths at first and then 1 breath every 4 seconds until the paramedics get there.
  • Naloxone can be administered (If you have it, which you should) it can be given in the muscle. (Arm, thigh or butt)( Intramuscular)
  • It is best not to leave someone alone, but if you have to leave, leave them on their left side with their left arm and left leg out straight and right arm and leg bent, this will keep them on their side.(Recovery position)
  • Do not let them try to vomit, unless told otherwise by poison control or 911

Since Methadone can affect an overdose patient’s breathing, there is a risk of brain damage to a person who is experiencing depressed respiration. Even a suspected case requires immediate medical attention to minimize the likelihood of this outcome.
You and your friends should always learn about overdose and make a plan, it could save each others lives. 
If you have lost friends or family members to overdose, you can visit to post a tribute to them.

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222)- All of United States
Ontario Poison Control Center (1-800-268-9017) -Ontario Only
For all provincial contact numbers in Canada visit

 Too many great lives lost to overdose in the last 2 years
                      -R.I.P -
Sharon    31 years old
Bruce      48 years old
Pat          54 years old
Kelly        49 Years old
Dwayne   37 Years old
Phillip      38 years old
Tanya      32 years old
BoBo        53 year sold
Debbie     56 years old
Jimi         49 years old
Edgy        52 years old
Josh        24 years old
Bugsy      52 years old
Angie      43 years old

Your Friends in the maze,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Increased dose=Increased pant size!

Weight gain on methadone

Has weight gain been an issue for you on methadone? 
Do you find your pant sizes increasing?
Methadone & Weight Gain

When I first began methadone, I weighed a nice 130lbs, wore size 7/8 pants, I am 5'5" so I wasn't beyond skinny nor was I fat at all, even after being pregnant I went back to my normal weight. I had a flat stomach and I was in shape due to the nature of the job I held in the mining exploration industry. 

From the time I started dosing, my first dose being 35mg, until my 3rd month, which by then I was at 90mg. well in that span I had gained a grand total of 70lbs and an additional 10 thereafter. So ya it makes you gain weight! 
I remember going to the clinic and wearing my nice size 8 capri's and three months later the same ones would literally not even get up over my thighs. The frustration I had felt and the anger as I threw my capri's straight into the closet and pulled on some joggers to go get my drink (and obviously buy bigger clothes!:-()
I can understand the frustration someone with a food addiction would have or a thyroid disorder. It makes you feel horrible, your self-confidence and self-esteem plummet and you feel like you will never come out of it.

I had asked the doctor why I had gained so much in such a short amount of time, but of course he said it was because I am now healthy, eating better and no longer running around to get my high. Really? Who says I was running around and not driving?

I have to admit though that you do get ridiculous cravings for sweets, and would wrestle anyone to the ground just to satisfy it!
Tim Horton's loves me and I admittedly love their maple pecan danishes, before this it was sour cream glazed donuts! Mmm donuts (Drool:-P)
The amount of sweets I began eating was not enough to warrant a 70lb weight gain in that short span though and it was hard to take.

Methadone does slow down the metabolism, and if you aren't one of those lucky people who have a lightning fast metabolism to burn food off, then this dip in metabolism is likely to affect you greatly. 
Now some of you may be saying "Hey I didn't gain a thing" and to that I would say "Rub it in why don't ya
No I would ask what dose you are at and how far up you had gone?

Generally higher doses mean higher pant sizes!
If you are over 60-70mgs then you most likely will have gained weight, but if your dose is less than 60-70mgs you may not have experienced it. Currently I am on 104mg and still dropping until I have reached a range where I feel good and the pounds begin to melt away!

This occurs with a lot of other side effects one faces as well. Many are unsure as to why we gain weight or retain water, but from what I have read it seems that the hypothalamus may have something to do with it and other side effects as well. 
The hypothalamus is responsible for certain metabolic processes and other activities of the autonomic nervous system.We will be speaking of the hypothalamus in future posts also when we speak of other side effects.
So now, not only do I have to accept myself and the trauma that has occurred in my life, but now I have to learn to accept my new body, which at times, is extremely hard to accept. I love the fact I no longer have to be part of a life of active addiction, I no longer have to fear withdrawals, I can focus on work and my child while taking care of my emotional and mental health issues caused by many, many years of abuse. So I guess when it comes down to it, a little bit of weight gain is not such a big deal! Just some days it is!

So what can you do about reducing your waist line?
*You can begin by drinking more water 
*Eating water based fruits/vegetables such as watermelon, grapes, celery, etc. These will also help a little with the sugar cravings,
*Try to slowly taper your dose down, if you find that you can't due to withdrawals at lower levels, then try to increase your exercise, by walking more, biking or other activities.I enjoy kickboxing.

So have you experienced weight gain at all from a medication? What were some ways you were able to drop your pant size? Please feel free to share any experiences you have had with us?
This is a little poem about being on the 'Done and how 
my pant size has grown
my need for new skinny jeans has now been overthrown 
I can hear the cries of my ever growing thighs 
Getting off the couch requires many tries and
I hate what the plus-size  tag Implies

For articles on addiction, including methadone and weight gain:
Your Friends in the maze,

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Recovery: Do it your way!

 The other day we were reading on yet another wonderful woman's blog "Life of a recovering addict" by ChelsieCharmed and her post on "Methadone: Love Hate Relationship" made me think about what we have gone through.
She wrote of the love hate relationship you sometimes feel while on methadone and we just wanted to write about this struggle.

Recovery: Love/Hate
Its ironic how the one thing that freed me is also keeping me trapped, but honestly it could be worse at least now my minds my own and I have a chance at life" Qouted from ChelseaCharmed 's post.

The truth is that yes you do feel this. Alot. You wonder if it was the right decision and with all the stigma you are faced with, it really can play on your mind and you begin to question whether or not you did the right thing. We speak about this in our post "Is Methadone Bad "

Everyone chooses a recovery method and they may not always be right for some people, this is no reason to speak badly about that recovery option because it didn't work out for you.It may of saved other people's lives. Just as methadone has done for us and many people we know. I wish N/A wasn't so judgemental of methadone patients, we are in recovery too! I will save this debatable subject for a future post though.

Some days we question whether or not this is for us, and you know what "Yes it is for us" we have our lives back, we have relapsed less times on methadone than on any other type of treatment. Most relapses happened in the beginning when we were still trying to adjust to the dose that was right for us. You have a chance to start picking up the pieces of your life, you have a chance to work-out the inner trauma which may of caused your addictions all these years, withdrawal is put on hold and you can slowly come down at your own rate when you are ready. Keyword you, your journey, about you, your life, about what's right for you and nobody else.
Yes there are days when you want to throw it to the wayside and there are days where your side effects may feel worse than ever and make you think 'what a stupid thing I did getting on this methadone', but when you step back and realize that you were in a much darker place before and what it felt like while you were there, you quickly change your mind.

Recovery is difficult no matter what method you have chosen for yourself. you will have days of confusion, days of pain and discomfort. We are on a huge journey of discovery of who we are, where we are going and why it is we want to get there. Everybody is different and their why's and how's will be different.

If you want this journey to be successful, you must be willing to face and feel the discomfort that may come with it. As addicts we never want to deal with pain and discomfort, so we run to anything that will take it away for us, even if temporarily, but fact being, we must face it at one point or we will forever more be caught in the webs of a nowhere life and forever unhappy.

Due to the stigma that surrounds methadone, you try to quickly come down when you are not ready and this leads to being in extreme pain and the possibility of relapsing. Only when you feel you have reached a good place emotionally & mentally where you are now stronger than ever before and have worked through all the issues you have held onto for far too long, will you be ready to slowly wean yourself off methadone. Never let anyone rush your recovery efforts and never allow someone to make you feel that you should force yourself away from what is working for you.

"Good things require effort and determination" Qouted from ChelseaCharmed's post.

Have any of you felt this love/hate relationship with your recovery? Has stigma ever made you question if you were doing the right thing? If so please share your story with us! 

We love hearing from you all! No Judgements are ever made here!
Your Friends in the maze,

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Do you have “Addictive Personality”?

Addictive Personality! What is it?

Addiction is a compulsion and is all about extremes, we know no limits or boundaries. we always want one more of anything. I was reading a post on a great blog, "Love. Don't Judge. Addiction isnt a moral deficit"
She spoke of her past struggles with food addiction, love and sex addiction. And it made me think of people I have known, including stixx and myself, that just naturally have an addictive personality. Sure we are in recovery for drug addiction, but the amount of sweets we eat, the amount of items we buy, movies we collect, and the list goes on and on. It seems that people with addictive personality just replace one addiction with yet another.
You feel compelled to use, eat, buy, etc. Extreme moods, extreme everything!

According to wikipedia an "addictive personality refers to a particular set of personality traits that make an individual predisposed to addictions. Addictive behaviors are defined by the excessive, repetitive use of pleasurable activities to cope with unmanageable internal conflict, pressure, and stress."
People with addictive personality have addictions that just aren't limited to drugs, no way, an addiction can be anything, be it food, love, alcohol,exercise and heck even the computer.
There are many people that have addictions but do not view what it is that they are doing as such, they are not any different than someone addicted to drugs and they will have similair behavioural traits.
"Any behavior that's carried out in a compulsive manner can over time become a type of addiction. A behavior becomes an addiction when other areas of a person's life suffer as a result" source

Addiction can have adverse effects on peoples lives in many ways, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and can affect the lives of those around you as well.
People who have addictive personality are usually in denial and always seem to have an answer as to why they do what they do. As Pearl pointed out in her post, people stay in denial because there is such a stigma attached to addiction.This keeps many people from speaking up and seeking help .

The world needs to understand that addiction is considered a disease, as a physiological dependence occurs within the brain.
In our brains there are reward centers which secrete certain "feel awesome" chemicals that contribute to how a person experiences a behavior which makes us return to that same thing over and over to experience those "feel awesome" chemicals again and again. Whether you do drugs, watch TV or eat cake, the process is the same my friend.

So, Why is it that some people are more prone to having addictive personality?  
  • low self esteem and low self confidence, emotional avoidance, the need for love and approval, all play a role.
  • If you had an unstable childhood or experienced trauma and abuse you are more likely to have an addictive personality. if you were surrounded by substance abuse, you also have a greater chance!
  • Inability to cope with stress. (Parents didn't teach you resilience strategies).
  • Endorphin deficiency (I will speak of this in a future post)
  • Anxieties and fears
  • Highly sensitive and unable to deal with difficult emotions
  • Neglect, abandonment, no social support as a child. 
  • Internal conflict
  • Mental Illness, and much more...

What you are surrounded by in childhood impacts your brain,  if you were denied love as a child you will be searching for things to fill the void.
We use our addictions as a coping tool to deal with stress or conflict. The emotional relief felt when engaging in the drug or activity is enough to keep a person using over and over again and not want to give that feeling up. How else are you going to cope with life without the very thing that has brought you such comfort, even when it has caused you lots of heartache, the feeling that is felt cannot be beat.

To help you figure out what causes you to run to your "Drug" whether it's heroin, oxy's, alcohol, sex, food, etc.? Try jotting down what you are feeling at the time you experience an urge or craving. This will help you to work out the reasons why you do what you do. It is tough to pull apart your life, but to fully heal you must find the cause!

*To overcome your addictions you must learn to overcome your addictive personality, otherwise you will continue replacing one thing for another*

Are you a person of extremes? We'd love for you to share, so please tell us your story below!

Your Friends in the maze,