A great story of recovery and the professionals who didn’t believe that it was possible. We get calls from people with the same experience here in the U.S., they want to get off methadone and the clinic treats it as noncompliance. They often feel that their only options are to get back on heroin or con a doctor into an opiate prescription, switch to the heroin or opiate Rx, and then detox themselves from the heroin or Rx opiates.
…I decided to look into rehab options. I met with my CAU key worker, explained that I wanted to get off the methadone as I wasn’t using heroin anymore, and go to a rehab, I was told in no uncertain terms that she thought I wasn’t ready for rehab and the local authority wouldn’t be funding it.
As it happens that was probably for the best as I found a rehab myself, funded by housing benefit in Cardiff, that had a place for me. So I left hospital and went straight into LivingStones Rehab. I wanted to discuss reducing my methadone, so at this point I went to see my key worker again, really chuffed to be able to give my first negative urine sample(negative for heroin), She said that’s great but I’d like to increase your methadone dose, just in case. I couldn’t believe it, why raise it? I’d stopped taking heroin, was in a stable environment, with support and they wanted to raise my dose? After a lengthy discussion, she agreed to not increasing it but would have none of it when it came to talk of reducing it.
So I decided to write my own reduction plan, as I was on weekly pickup it was possible for me to measure it myself and discard the remainder. I decided on 10% drops every week, until I was completely off it. I let my key worker know my plan, accepted the flack she gave me and got on with it.
Every time I went in for an appointment after that I ended up being chastised for reducing myself,it was going smoothly but she still wouldn’t agree to reducing as I wanted and would only drop it to the level I was on that day, so by the next week I was having to measure it and throw away the excess again. No matter what I said or how I explained it, the CAU would not reduce it for me, worse than that they put every barrier possible in front of me. This went on for months, in fact it wasn’t until I was on 8ml/day that they realised I was serious about coming off methadone for good and actually started to reduce it for me when I asked.