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methadone Michele

Posted by Elizabeth on May 12, 2001, at 19:09:30

In reply to Re: Michele Elizabeth, posted by Michele on May 10, 2001, at 13:53:07

> Opiates DEFINATELY give you a high!!!!! Why do you think there is such an underground business for them??????????

It depends on the amount you take and on your tolerance (including innate tolerance). I believe I even said to someone that it is a myth that you can't get high on methadone.

Buprenorphine is an atypical opioid with partial agonist activity at the mu receptor (responsible for mood elevation). AFAIK, it doesn't cause euphoria at *any* dose. (I have taken it for more than two years, BTW.)

Under a doctor's supervision, it's perfectly possible to take opioids without becoming addicted, simply by sticking to the minimal effective dose. (Only about a third of people find them pleasant anyway -- just like all antidepressants, they aren't guaranteed to work for everybody.)

> That's why I stupidly used them.

I believe you. But that's not why everybody uses them. Many people use them to relieve pain, including the pain of depression. The latter group consists almost exclusively of self-medicators, precisely because opioids are not widely available to us in a medical context.

> Especially vicoden and percocet.... the high is fantastic.

I think you'd feel differently if you'd tried IV heroin, Dilaudid, or NuMorphan! < g >

> I'll tell you.... in my earlier years I got a higher high with pain killers...then with street drugs. Did you say they werent addictive??? I won't comment on that one... since I can't remember what you said.

Obviously! I actually said that not everybody who takes them (or even most people) becomes addicted (contrary to popular myth), and that "medical addiction" is really quite uncommon.

> I'm going to shush before I get kicked off. But one more thing.... kind of like Nikki said in getting off methadone and seeing a grown man shake and cry. Now THATS a withdrawal.

Yup, I remember it well from when I "kicked" Nardil. (Except that I'm not a man. < g >)

> People who use methadone maintance to get off heroin... don't feel they are getting off of any addiction.

Huh? I think anybody who goes into *addiction treatment* has to be aware, at least on some level, that they're addicted! But anyway, I think methadone maintenance is far more

Buprenorphine is probably more effective for the old 28-day detox, as buprenorphine has only mild and short-lived withdrawal symptoms itself, although it blocks withdrawal symptoms of heroin (or methadone, for that matter). Methadone causes a withdrawal syndrome that is quite long-lived and, although it is milder than that associated with heroin, it's still pretty tough. (I believe I've said all this before, too.)

> My step father is on it now..... he can't get off it!!!!!

Maybe he could try a buprenorphine taper (as I suggested above)?

> It is sooo sad. He knows a lot about this stuff.... and um, trust me.. he knows.

I believe you. I also believe -- no, I *know* -- that the context in which a drug is used (the intent, the quantity, the route of administration, and so forth) influences its effects.

> Not to mention... he has to go every single day for methadone. They don't just give it to you to take on your own.... that's how serious a drug this is.

See my previous post, specifically the part about the harm reduction policy in the Netherlands. Methadone is readily available to anyone who needs it, when they need it -- MMT there is not a humiliating process like it is here, and as a result recovering addicts are much likelier to be able to achieve the stability that's necessary in order to live a normal life, hold a job, etc. I live in a suburb where many people have to get on the commuter train at 6am to get to work on time. The nearest methadone clinic is about a half hour in the opposite direction and doesn't open until 8! Unless they have a flexible job situation where they could step out for a half hour or so to get methadone in the city, it is close to impossible for addicts here to get MMT and work at the same time. Protracted opioid withdrawal (the existence of which is well documented) is *hard* to live with, but for recovering addicts in my area, there's seldom any choice.




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