Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The best and the worst of methadone:

View from a couple on Methadone Maintenance Treatment

This post was written for who had approached us to write in their amazing Ezine. This was published in the September issue. The link for the best and worst of methadone!

The debate continues on about whether or not methadone is a good tool in recovery or if it is just a hindrance. we will share with you the pros and cons of methadone from our perspective as a couple who are currently on methadone in Ontario, Canada.

As opiate addicts looking for a way out of the lifestyle after *18 years of heavy drug abuse for myself and *24 years for Stixx, and having tried other ways to succeed, methadone made sense to us. There are many people who have had both positive and negative experiences, as people would with any other treatment form. There is no wrong way in recovery, it either works for you or it doesn't. I believe people are entitled to their views, but pushing the form of treatment that worked for them on others is not right. If abstinence programs worked for everyone, there wouldn't be such a problem.If it worked for you great, but if it doesn't work for your friend, don't be negative, we are all in some form of recovery thats all that matters.

When I first began mmt I didnt really know what methadone was other than an orange drink that took away your sickness. I was so naive, I had only known two people in the past who were on methadone but it wasn't something that I had really spoke about with them nor considered for myself at the time. I remember one girl passing out at the cash register in a hardware store while looking for money in her purse, the cashier looked at me and I at her. so I thought that was what it did, to each their own I thought! I didn't realize that it would really help save my life a few years later.

Stixx knew what it was but he wasn't interested in it at all, as it was juice and something you drank, not interesting to a person using needles! He had started MMT a few months before me, at this point I didn't know him. We started seeing each other a year into our recovery and have been going strong since. Our heads are in the same place regarding recovery, so it works!
The stigma attached to methadone is unbelievable, if used as a bridge for those with severe addictions, mental health issues, disease, years of drug abuse and having tried many different ways to be rid of the lifestyle addiction places you in, it can work.

 We have seen many people in the clinic who have only been addicted to opiates for a short time and have never tried other options at kicking the habit, addiction hasn't even yet ruined their life and these people should really consider other treatment forms first! Some they are their soley to get it as a crutch between their next high, it is difficult for doctors to screen people and sort out who has or hasn't a severe addiction, people lie as they do at any doctors office just to get what they want. 
You must have a strong desire to succeed in treatment and methadone should be used in conjunction with some form of counselling/therapy to help you identify underlying issues that could cause you to slide back into addiction.

Methadone is the choice of those seeking treatment, as it is with someone going to an in-patient facility or choosing to go cold turkey, nothing is pushed on them, if they feel that's the treatment for them then that is their choice. Anyone who is looking into treatment should thoroughly research their options, that being said here are the pro's and con's of methadone maintenace treatment:

  • Allows you to focus on cleaning up your life right now, such as getting off the streets, getting to work, getting/keeping your kids, etc
  • Allows you to begin living without worry of withdrawals until you feel as though you are strong enough to begin a taper, you are not rushed to taper.
  • You can break the habits that come with addiction.
  • Improves your health and well-being all around
  • Lowers criminal activity associated with feeding your habit.
  • Many times addictions and mental health issues go hand in hand, methadone allows you to focus on those issues before having to deal with the physical withdrawals of addiction.Without doing that your chances of relapsing and possibly falling deeper into despair are much higher.
  • Methadone has been used for 45 years, effectively and there are many studies that show this.
  • Don't have to wake up to that sick feeling everyday
  • Don't have to go hunting for pills everyday,finding money,finding a place to do the drugs, etc.(Wheeling and dealing!)
  • Allows you to find a stable dose, unlike being on fentanyl, morphine, etc., where you need to continually increase dose to feel same effect
  • You drink methadone once a day, rather than using needles which could possibly be contaminated, thus contracting diseases such as Hep 'C', HIV, Etc. You no longer have to worry about dangerous infections from abcesses.
  • Methadone is much more preferrable than trying to quit, relapsing, trying to quit and so on.Each time this happens your chances of overdosing are high. On methadone you no longer have to worry about that and come off slowly while leading a normal life.
  • Methadone stabilizes the brain chemistry that has been destroyed during drug abuse.
  • Methadone eases the worry of not knowing exactly what is in the drugs you are buying, as methadone is dispensed from a certified pharmacy.
  • You do not get high and are able to function normally without looking like a drug addict. 
  • You can hold down a job, own a home and raise a family, which was impossible for some to do while in the depth of addiction.
  • Allows you to stay in treatment longer and receive proper care.
  • The cost is much cheaper than what your addiction may have cost you
  • Methadone does not cause a euphoric rush
  • Methadone is a great harm reduction tool

  • The stigma that surrounds methadone is sometimes a barrier to receiving treatment.
  • Side effects such as sweating, weight gain, libido loss, etc (Some side effects will not occur if your dose is fairly low, higher doses increase chance of some of these side effects, but not in all cases)
  • Some of these side effects can really affect your relationship and cause extra problems you don't need while in recovery
  • Overdose can happen if you take other pills in combination with methadone, or take more than you are prescribed. This happens usually in the beginning of treatment when you still haven't reached a stable dose to keep you drug free (We continued using until we reached that level, but overdose was possible each time we took pills and due to the "Blocking effect" (antagonist) methadone has. You take more pills until you feel them. This is dangerous!
  • The possibility of losing employment if screened for drugs, as some people consider methadone to be illegal and illicit. There is much stigma in being employed as a methadone patient
  • You are forever going to the clinic until you can receive carries or take-homes
  • You have to make arrangements to go out of town. So you are kind of limited as to where and what you can do I.e camping, job related travel, Etc. If you do not have carries and have to dose daily, you are unable to go, unless your clinic/pharmacy is lenient and allows you to carry a day or two.
  • Transportation costs/finding ways to get your dose for some people living in rural areas or if your town does not allow methadone clinics/pharmacies.
  • Having to plan your life around the methadone clinic

Despite the drawbacks of methadone, it is better than the lifestyle of addiction and the pros far outweigh the cons. Again, always research a treatment option rather than jumping straight into it.If you are unsure if this treatment is for you then please read our article, "Who should or shouldn't take methadone" it can be helpful in seeing if methadone is a choice for you. We hope this has been helpful and we hope it helps at least one person take a positive step in the right direction.

*(these years are not exact, it is hard counting back the exact amount of time, I think we lost a couple years somewhere, Stixx is more like 27 and mine is more like 19.5 or 20 LOL, it matters more to us the length of time we have been clean!)

Your Friends in the maze,
 Chixx & Stixx

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Methadose: Why Risk Our Sobriety?

We would like to share with you all a guest post written by ChelsieCharmed. Her amazing blog can be found at can also be found on Twitter, Google+ and Ebay, where she sells beautifully handcrafted "Healing Trees".We hope you enjoy her post!

Methadose Switchover: Why?
Written by: ChelsieCharmed

The BIG Pharmaceutical companies want to save money and their willing to jeopardize a lot of people’s sobriety to do it. 
I've recently found out that people on the methadone maintenance program, like myself, will be switched over to this new form of Methadone called Methadose. A medication that hasn't nearly been tested enough as to how effective it is and its side effects, especially compared to the original methadone, is now being given to methadone patients instead of the original version for the sake of having pharmaceutical companies save money. Oh and they haven't even taken the time to inform most of us of this change, or ask us our preference. Fair? I think not!

One of the problems with Methadose is that it doesn't seem to be lasting its full 24 hours and the numbers of relapses since the switch is astounding. Why change something that was working perfectly fine. Well Greed of course, why else not ask us which one we would rather. Being pregnant, I'm wondering, and really worried, about how well this new methadone has been tested as being safe for pregnant women. I think this is beyond crazy and unjust. Just because were recovering addicts doesn't mean we don't have rights. Even though this is probably not against the law, it definitely should be! 

Since getting switched over I went up on my methadone because it wasn't lasting and that's something I didn't want to do because I do want to start tapering off after my pregnancy and this is just going to make it more difficult for me. The worst part is that even though I went up this week I feel even worst then before. My back, legs, neck etc. is so sore it takes me forever to fall asleep at night. I don't even feel 100% right after taking my dose when it’s supposed to be the most effective. I know some of this pain is caused by being almost 8 months pregnant but I wasn't nearly this sore before they switched me.

I want my voice and opinion to mean something. I don't think it’s fair at all and I feel like because I'm a recovering addict which is part of stigmatized group my opinion doesn't matter.
I've heard many methadone patients aren't even being believed by their doctor when they tell them the methadone isn't working properly. I really want something to be done about this and I'm hoping by writing this article I'll bring a little bit more attention to the problem Methadose is causing. If there was some kind of petition I would definitely sign it and share it everywhere I could.

Yours truly, Charmed

If you would like to share your thoughts or opinions on this post, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

World Suicide Prevention Day!

September 10th

Suicide affects many people, whether you have been affected yourself or have had a close family member or friend affected it is of great importance to speak of it to others. Awareness must be spread and people need to recognize the signs long before someone feels so hopeless and full of pain, they feel it's their only way to end it all.

Phychological trauma is generally a major contributor, as well as poverty. Trauma leads to suicidal thoughts more times than not.There are many reasons that cause people to consider suicide, not all are very obvious to the average person. Never assume that just because it seems like someone has a great life, means that they are alright inside emotionally.They may not be.
See the many causes of suicide at:

I have experienced suicidal thoughts myself and have had two members of my family commit suicide, I know all too well the feelings that lead up to feeling this way. Severe hopelessness, you feel as though nobody gives a shit.
I was raised in severe poverty and was sexually, emotionally and physically abused My parents were addicts/alcoholics and my step father still is to this day. My mother is a narcissist and I have recently cut all ties with both her and my step father.
Since we were raised in such conditions we were continually the targets of bullying at school, this combined with the abuse at home made it even more hopeless. I started using drugs and alcohol to ease the pain, I even began cutting myself at age 9 for some relief. Many times I would think about pushing the knife deeper and deeper just to end it all. Being a super sensitive introverted child didn't make matters any better for my mental health.
When I was 5 living in an apartment complex, we witnessed a man jump to his death from his balcony, many times at night I would lay there in bed thinking about how it would be so much easier just to end the constant pain inside that endlessly ate at my soul. I'd pray for it too end and I even started believing that God too was against me.
If there was good in this world I would never get too experience it! I saw some friends who had good lives and wondered why I didn't get that chance. I even thought if I was a better kid or tried to be perfect that the abuse would end and my parents would love me, but it never did happen. I felt like why bother living, if living a week like this felt like a lifetime, imagine what a lifetime would feel like, right!
It was constant, 24 hours a day abuse. Eventually all hope is gone, you don't know how to feel, you are convinced that for the rest of your life people will harm you, you believe in nothing because there is nothing.

My Real father is still to this day mentally unable to handle life and the stress, he witnessed my uncle commit suicide with a shotgun, this combined with my narcissistic mother made him unwell.I finally got to meet him at the age of 23 after I tracked him down. He still drinks to handle the pain he went through.

My cousin Liz grew up just as I did and had attempted suicide many times, after she had her two children she was unable to cope and took her life with pills. I still think of her and all the times we've cried on each others shoulders, we felt the same hopeless pain.
Suicide needs to be openly talked about and not hidden! The stigma that still exists concerning mental illness is the biggest reason why many people who need help do not ever seek it.This has to end!
If you or anyone that you know needs help, get help now.

To help a suicidal person:

Always take talk of suicide seriously.  Assuming that the person is only seeking attention is a very serious, and potentially disastrous, error. Get help immediately

Don't be judgmental. Do not invalidate anything that the person says or feels. The person is probably suffering from a chemical imbalance in the brain, and thus could not possibly think clearly. Be supportive and caring, not judgmental, but get help immediately.

Be careful of the statements that you make. You do not want to make the person feel any worse than he or she already does. Again, the person is probably suffering from a chemical imbalance in the brain and is thus extremely sensitive.

Listen, listen, listen. Be gentle, kind, and understanding. Again, allow the person to talk as much as he or she wants. Always listen very attentively, and encourage him or her to talk more. Be as gentle, kind, and understanding as possible.

For all the ways in which you can help a suicidal person, please visit!

Suicide Facts:

**75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are

**Talking about suicide does not cause someone to experience thoughts of suicide or increase the risk.

**Four out of five people who die by suicide have made at least one previous attempt

**Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social and ethnic boundaries

If you have experienced suicide in your life, please feel free to share your story with us below. Remember there are never any judgements made here!

Your Friends in the maze,

Chixx & Stixx

Monday, September 1, 2014

National Recovery Month

This September is the 25th year of Recovery Month. 

So let's celebrate!

Speak Up, Reach Out!
The goal of Recovery Month is to promote the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance disorders. 
This year's theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak up, Reach out," which encourages people to openly speak up about mental and substance use disorders and the reality of recovery.

So share your recovery story with the world to educate people and celebrate your successes! You can post your story at or read others stories at

"The Working definition of recovery from mental disorders and/or substance use disorders is
a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential"

There are many amazing blogs which focus on recovery from many different substances. Some of these blogs you should visit are:
Show others that Recovery from addiction is possible! 

Your Friends in the maze,