Stop Methadone Deaths

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A Call For Voices *This is a call for voices. If you are a loved one of someone currently using methadone, or a loved one of someone who has passed away because of methadone use I would love to hear from you. I am a documentary filmmaker working one a film that will expose the realities of methadone and the effects it has on our society. I am asking for stories to share that will help reform regulation of this drug, and also take away the social stigma of what it is to be on methadone. * * * *My commitment to this film comes from a very real place in my life and the life of my family. My father has been on methadone for over 35 years. My brother for five. My family battles regularly with the health issues methadone creates for both my father and brother, as well as the social stigma's that come along with someone on this medication. * * * *I am driven to explore all angles of the methadone culture. I want to hear from the loved ones who have lost someone to methadone deaths, the loved ones who are losing someone to methadone life, I want to hear from the methadone users, and I want all the same from the other side. I plan to reach out and explore what the people at the clinics believe, I want to hear from the pharmaceutical companies and the government run committees that "regulate" this drug. * * * *Please help me bring a strong voice out to the world that tells the full story of methadone. You can contact me directly by emailing voiceweneed@gmail.com. Tell me about yourself, what drew you to reach out and where you are from. I look forward to hearing from you.* * * *All the best!* * * *Angelica*

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 New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic

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LoriQ



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Join date : 2013-05-22

PostSubject: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Wed May 22, 2013 10:06 pm

I see how at least the clinic I go to really is. They do not care about the people. They care about the money. That's all it is. I cannot believe how stupid I was for believing the people at the clinic. I was so gullible. How dumb could I have been? At the time I started the clinic I was going through withdrawals from Vicodin. I somehow got addicted to it when it was prescribed to me for my back. My wife was dying in the hospital at this time also and I needed help. I didn't know what to do. I have never hung with addicts, never did heroin heck I've nver even smoked pot! I was never an alcoholic either. I don't drink. I have never been in trouble with the law except for 1 speeding ticket and 1 parking ticket and I'm almost 51 years old. I believe they took advantage of my grief, addiction and my good nature. You know if you are having a dental procedure that requires twilight, you aren't allowed to drive yourself home. They make you bring someone with you to drive you home or they won't perform the procedure. The first time I took methadone no one told me my driving would be impaired. I had to fight so hard to keep awake I prayed I wouldn't have an accident. After that I got someone to come with me and drive me home the first few weeks. That should be against the law. They tell you when you first go there in group anytime you want to see the doctor just ask. A couple of weeks ago I noticed some growths on my face. I did some research and I suspected skin cancer. I couldn't get an appointment with my dr. right away so I thought I would ask the dr. at the clinic what his opinion was. I asked at the window at the clinic if the dr. was in and she said yes and I asked to see him. The woman pages my counselor instead. My counselor asks me why I wanted to see the dr. I tell her and you know what she said? Oh I thought you were going to ask for a decrease and you aren't ready. Then she laughs at me for suspecting skin cancer and tells me I'm not washing my face with the right stuff. I never did see the dr. So, a couple of days later I had to see her like I dod every 2 weeks. Her office doesn't have much light and she says to me that she doesn't see those things on my face today. I told her the light is too dim but they are still there and she smirks. Last week I went to my dr. He suspects I do have skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma and he told me I was correct for suspecting skin cancer. So I called my counselor to tell her what the dr. said and had to leave a message. She never called back. So one day I ran into her at a local store and I asked her if she got my message. She said no. I started telling her what my dr. said and she said oh yeah I got that one. Then she said she had to run. This counselor runs the group I am in and she has never once asked me how I feel about what the dr. said or anything about it. Never asked me what the treatment is going to be or anything. She doesn't even ask me about my grieving. Now tomorrow, I have to see my counselor again and I am going to tell her, not ask her I want a 21 day taper. It is within my rights. See, this counselor I found out because I checked out her criminal history and got a hold of her docket sheets. She has a criminal history a mile long and she used to be a client there. So, what I think is this clinic helped her out of her trouble and she feels she owes them. I'm gonna tell her that maybe she sold her soul to the devil but I didn't. I don't owe that clinic anything. They owe me respect and my sanity and dignity back. They used me for a cash cow and no more. I wish I could find a group in south western Pennsylvania that are against methadone clinics so I can have a voice. If anyone knows of any please let me know. Thank-you for listening.

~Lori


Last edited by LoriQ on Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bren ONeal
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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Thu May 23, 2013 12:00 pm

Hey Lou, I am so deeply sorry for your great loss, your precious wife. I understand your grief I lost my husband to Acute Leukemia in 1979. I lost my daughter to a negligent Dr. in 2006 that prescribed her Methadone for pain medication ...she died within 8 hours after her 1st dose. Unfortunately Lou, your story about your Clinic is not uncommon it seems to be more the norm. Patients are herded in and out like cattle...they want your Money. They want your Methadone increased not decreased to keep you addicted and coming to the Clinic. Do you mind to tell me what dose of Methadone you are on right now? I'm concerned about the 21 day taper b/c there are ways to taper but keep you as comfortable as possible.We agree the quicker you are out of there the better but you need to be smart about it. The info you found out about your counselor's criminal history...you might be better off to keep that to yourself for now. Please, let me know Lou, if you got to read this reply so we can advise you further.

Love and Prayers, Bren
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LoriQ



Posts : 19
Join date : 2013-05-22

PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Thu May 23, 2013 3:09 pm

Hi Bren!

Good to hear from you! Yes as you can see I read your reply. I just talked to my counselor at the clinic. She could see how upset I was. I told her I wanted a 21 day detox which really isn't a detox it's a taper but that's what they call it. Of course she told me she highly is against my decision but she also told me it's my right. See, I was on a blind dose but the nurse one day made a mistake and I saw how many mgs I am on. I am on 22.5mg. Ok, so she wrote up the treatment plan about the 21 day detox and she had me sign it. Then she said she has to have the dr. sign it so he can figure out how much to decrease me so I will be out of there at the end of 21 days. She called the nursing staff while I was there in her office and she had the phone on speaker so I could hear everything. The nurse said the doctors had left. So, my counselor told me to have a seat in the lobby and she'll see if she can have a nurse or someone sign it. She took an awfully long time, probably about a half hour. Then she called me back and she told me she wasn't able to have any of the nursing staff to sign the plan but she said she wants me to take 24 hours to think about it. She said she wants to make sure I am not doing this because I am angry with her. She warned me I might not be able to handle the decrease but she also said I might be one of the ones that will. She told me she wants me to have a plan so that after the 21 days, I'll have support so I don't start using again. Now she's got me scared that I won't be able to do it and I am so confused. I have to go to group tomorrow and she runs it. I'm supposed to give her an answer tomorrow. Bren, I'm so scared and confused. I hope you have some advice for me. Thanks!
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Bren ONeal
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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Fri May 24, 2013 7:44 pm

Hey Lou, I am sending you a Private Message.

Love and Prayers, Bren
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LoriQ



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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Fri May 24, 2013 8:03 pm

Ok Bren. Thank-you.
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Bren ONeal
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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Fri May 24, 2013 8:11 pm

GRRRRR...I was almost thru writing to you my finger slipped my whole message POOF...DISAPPEARED. Sending this on starting you a new PM, OK.
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methadonehelp



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Join date : 2013-06-01

PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:30 pm

Hi Lou. Your story sounds a lot like my own. Although in my case, I can admit to experimenting with a few other drugs, Vicodin was the only drug that I was drawn to, and I was drawn to it after an operation that I had during my high school years. I have seen several different doctors during my addiction to Vicodin, and I remember one doctor that I actually had a lot of respect for (I even respected the fact that he cut me off for my own good at one point) but he told me something along these lines: “We have a challenge as doctors when it comes to Vicodin. When patients have severe pain, Vicodin is a legitimate prescription, but the tricky part is, for every 10 people we prescribe Vicodin to for the first time, 1 person might become addicted to it from the very first time, and there is no way of telling who that person will be”. So when it comes to Vicodin, I do not blame doctors for prescribing it at all, and I do not blame myself for becoming addicted to it. When I was younger and I experimented with other drugs, I watched many of my friends abuse them to the point that it became a serious problem, and I was actually the most responsible person in the group, so who would have thought that today, it would be me that has the serious addiction to methadone? Well, Vicodin was different for me. The best way I could describe the effects of Vicodin back then: It made me feel exactly the way I’ve always wanted to feel. I am an anti-social person, it made me social. I had a problem with chronic depression, it made me feel genuinely good and positive about everything around me. Hell, I’m a horrible public speaker. I remember taking a Speech course in college as a requirement and I failed the first speech miserable. Someone commented that I kept looking at my "invisible friends" outside instead of the audience, spoke in monotone, and read every single word from a note card. From that day forward, I got an "A" on every speech. The class was amazed by my improvement, but I had a secret... I was taking Vicodin before each speech. So, I can’t help that it did all of those things for me, and not for my friends, hence the reason they were not drawn to it but I was.

Anyway, that is some of my story. Obviously, it was a demon that I could never shake. Today, it’s kind of funny that the mere sight of Vicodin makes me sick to my stomach. I guess methadone helped me in that sense alone. But then again, I traded an addiction that arguably could have taken 1-2 weeks to kick for an addiction that could take a year, so don’t know if you can really say that it “helped” even in that sense.

I am disgusted about the counseler you have at the clinic, and it’s really unfortunate that we all know someone like that; it shouldn’t be the case, but it is, especially when it comes to methadone. Don’t these people have any morals? Any feelings? Sometimes, I wish someone would force these doctors to take the same drug they are prescribing, sometimes without good reason. That might change their opinion about it.

I’m curious to know what dose the clinic put you on initially too because I have noticed that many doctors and clinics prescribe an amount that is excessive and completely unnecessary. I was taking 100mg of hydrocodone (Vicodin, norco, etc) every day and I started off on 15mg methadone daily and the amount probably could have been even less to get the job done, but I hear about people starting on dangerously high doses like 150mg coming from addictions that were no more severe than my 100mg (minimum) Vicodin habit and it’s shocking and insane to me.
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LoriQ



Posts : 19
Join date : 2013-05-22

PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:51 pm

Hello,

I was initially put on 25mg of methadone. The highest I was on was 40mg of methadone. I am now on 20mg. methadone the last time I knew. I am blind dosing and I found out by accident how many milligrams I was on because the nurse accidently wrote it down and I saw it. At that time I was on 22.5mg. Then my counselor decreased me to 20mg. How I know this is because the clinic got the brand name methadone pills. The nurses told me this and the 5mg tablets don't disolve. When I was on 22.5mg. there was a half of a 5mg tablet in the cup. I used to take it out of the cup and swallow it like a pill. Well, I then got decreased because that half of 5mg. tablet was missing and I know my counselor told me from now on I would be decreased by 2.5mg. So if I was on 22.5mg and the half of a 5mg is missing that would leave me with 20mg.

My counselor admitted to the group I am in that she had been an addict and even went to the same clinic I am going to. She also admitted she was using while on methadone. With my counselor see, she had been in a lot of trouble with the law and I am thinking this clinic helped her like maybe posted her bail or something and now she works there. See, I can't say for other clinics but my clinic is "for profit." In my opinion the clinic doesn't have the best interest at heart for the patients. As long as the people have an insurance card, especially the ones issued from the state they will try to keep you there as long as they can. No, especially the people that run the clinic, they have no morals because they sold their soul to the devil for money. Methadone is a huge business. Lots of money in it so I look at it as legal drug dealers. At my clinic there's a billboard and people put up ads for things they sell or for services people offer. Well, one day last week, someone put up a newspaper article that talks about methadone deaths. At first I thought the clinic put that up to cover themselves. The very next day that article was taken down. So now I am thinking a patient put that up, the clinic saw it and took it down. The clinics don't want you to know how dangerous this drug is because they want people to keep coming. There is one girl in my group that she said her doctor prescribed her Ambian. I'm not talking about the clinic doctor. Her own doctor. This girl brought this up in group. The counselor said to her that she shouldn't be taking it with methadone. The girl said she needed it to help her sleep. That was the end of the conversation. The counselor should have told her to stop it now and told her it could cause her death if she continues. Another thing that was brought up was pregnancy. This one girl in my group recently became pregnant. The counselor told her that she is on the safest thing she can be on for the baby and it's like taking nothing. Methadone! Like taking nothing?

My Vicodin habit got to be where I was prescribed 1 10mg. tablet 3 times a day. I was taking two 10mg. tablets 6 or 8 times a day. So at the most I was taking 160mg. a day of Vicodin. I never did heroin and most of the people that go to my clinic was on heroin and they are on over 100mg. of methadone. Maybe that high of a dose are for those people I don't know. But yeah, the clinic wants you to become addicted to their drug because it's profitable for them so how is that any different than a drug dealer off the street?

Ok, I'm going to go but if I missed one of your questions or if you have more please let me know and I will do my best to answer them.

~Lori


Last edited by LoriQ on Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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LoriQ



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Join date : 2013-05-22

PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:52 pm

Oh, I am going to look at your website now!
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methadonehelp



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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:33 pm

That is a really disturbing story about the clinic. I don't mean to poke any humor at this, but do you know what it actually reminds me of? I recently read and watched Bram Stoker's Dracula and when the young Jonathan Harker travels to Count Dracula's castle on business and then as the days go by, learns that Dracula has no intention of allowing him to leave the castle and at one point Jonathan mentioned something along the lines that he had come to the realization that Dracula would keep him prisoner as long as he wanted to and there was not a damn thing Jonathan could do about it. In your case, Methadone clinic = Count Dracula's castle. It sounds to me that your clinic unfortunately . I'm not sure whether I should consider myself fortunate that I have never been to a clinic to get methadone, but since I have a lack of knowledge due to lack of experience when it comes to methadone clinics, forgive me in advance if this sounds silly but... Since your clinic does sound like the epitome of a stereotypically bad methadone clinic, surely somewhere out there should be a better option? Or am I being naive? Are there any other clinics in your area that you could go to instead? I know there are SOME good counselers out there too, good people with good morals that want to guide you in the right direction. For example, I received feedback from a visitor on my website about a month ago in response to a guide I put together about tapering off methadone. It said: "I am a former methadone patient who is now a counselor in a methadone clinic. I successfully tapered on methadone a number of years ago and I have done my share of research as well. This is by far the most comprehensive and well-researched guide to methadone tapering I have ever read. Just printed this out to use in my group! Thanks so much!" Anyway my point is, I'm not sure if this clinic is the only option in your area, which would be unfortunate. But if you live in an area with other options, it would probably be worth your while. Because where you are at now, doesn't seem to give a flying 'f' about their patients. And Blind doses? I guess I can see the purpose behind that (assuming it was being done with the right intent, and it definitely seems your clinic isn't thinking about that) but all I can say is that out of everyone I have had the privilege of talking to after successfully quitting, they all had control of their taper and most of them were very specific in terms of how and when they drop the dose. I think we should have the first voice there as well, when the patient is intent on tapering, but it's just my 2 cents.

But you know, bottom line, I am just amazed that so many people at these clinics work so carelessly day-to-day issuing these excessive doses while never taking a moment to think they are dealing with people's lives. I mean how morally corrupt to you have to be?!
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Bren ONeal
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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:26 pm

Thanks methadonehelp, As you know I value your opinion and appreciate your input concerning Lou. You, Lou and I are all in agreement this Methadone Clinic and Counselor do not have the patient's best interest at heart. It's another Clinic opened to anyone who walks in the door looking for help and they are willing to take their money. Lou, could have came off Vicoden all alone with withdrawals lasting 7-14 days however with his wife in the hospital Lou needed medical help and sadly landed at this Clinic.

As for you being naive about good Clinics and their professional staff it is my 2 cents yes, you are. I have heard these stories for 7 years now these Clinics are all across the United States. This is hard to believe I know...State and Federal Guidelines are not being enforced. No one is being held accountable to anyone. There are no true death stats from Clinics b/c they are not all being reported to the CDC or anyone. Methadone patients have the mindset what we stand for means we hate the patients. That makes no common sense b/c it is the system that has failed all of us.


And yes, you are blessed not having any experience attending these Clinics

Love, Bren
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LoriQ



Posts : 19
Join date : 2013-05-22

PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:14 pm

Methadonehelp, I didn't know anything about addiction & recovery when I was seeking help. All I knew at the time was I needed help. My wife was dying in the hospital and I didn't need to feel the way I did from the withdrawals. In other words I needed help NOW. At the time I was seeing a counselor at a place called Axiom. I found out they offered Suboxone. I inquired about it and they told me I had to be on a waiting list and there were 300 people on the list. I walked outside and I saw this guy and I started talking to him & he told me there was a place not too far away & he gave me the number. I called that number & they said they weren't taking any new clients & didn't know when they would be. Then I remembered I used to have a neighbor and I used to give him rides to this clinic called ASI. That's how I got started with this clinic. The next closest one is about 40 miles away from me and the one after that is around 50 & I didn't know that till after I started this clinic. I had no idea how bad this clinic was and I had no idea what methadone was. I slowly learned what this clinic and now I see other clinics were all about & that is how much money they can make. I have learned the methadone business is a multi-billion dollar industry. Right now I am tapering & my so-called counselor told me I will be done no later than August 15th. I started in October, 2012. I am on 20mg and have till August to be done. My counselor told me that they can only bring you down to 2.5mg because they can't cut the pill any more than that. My counselor told me that when I get down to 2.5mg I will be given that every other day for a week then that's it.

I do feel dumb now when I look back for starting at this clinic but I had no idea what it would be like. My wife passed away in November, 2012 and going through grief I guess I wasn't paying attention to what was going on. Only recently I felt like the fog has lifted & I was able to see what goes on at my clinic. I don't plan on needing this type of help again but if I ever do, I will not be going back to this clinic or any other methadone clinic. I will seek other options. You are so lucky to have not gone to one of these clinics. They are bad news & I will advise anyone to stay far away!
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LoriQ



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Join date : 2013-05-22

PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:09 pm

Well, today I have made a decision to take a 21 day detox my clinic offers. I am only on 17.5mg now and I want to get outta there. My clinic is a farse and I will not be part of that any longer. I have been lied to, laughed at, had my intelligence insulted, talked down to, have been brainwashed and I am fed up. I am taking charge of my life and I am starting to think for myself again. I will not allow myself to be brainwashed any longer. I know how to think for myself and I am going to continue to think for myself. Boy, wouldn't it be great if my clinic saw these forums! I would love for my counselor to see my posts! My counselor is an ex drug user, at least she says she doesn't do drugs anymore and an ex-convict. Her brain is "burnt" and she can never make her mind up. One day she says one thing the next day she says another and the next day she says she never said that. So how can you believe anything she says? You can't and that is one of the reasons I am leaving. She has a group of people that are young and vulnerable that agree with everything she says as if my counselor is God! These people hate that I don't agree with everything she says. Too bad. I'm an individual and I think for myself. I am not some robot you can program.

When I first went to the clinic my counselor told me she can't give out her cell number. Guess what? One of the girls in my7 group has her cell number. So I asked my counselor a while ago why this girl has her cell number. She told me that happened a long time ago and she was told she can't use it anymore. Guess what? Today she sent my counselor a text message. Yep. This girl walked in late and asked my counselor if she got her text message. What kind of place is this? These clinics need some oversight because I do not see anyone being accountable for anything to anyone! This needs to change and it needs to change now!

~Lori
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Bren ONeal
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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:17 am

Hey Lori, Thank you for your honesty. So many Methadone Clinics are failing their patients for numerous reasons. Methadone Clinics originally opened to treat IV  heroin users however the majority of people have become addicted to pain medications that attend. Your counselor should not be giving advice to anyone that has a brain from what all we have discussed. I am so sorry you have been so mistreated and misled. Whatever decision you make you have my support. We are working hard to get these Clinics to be held accountable all across the United States. People like you Lori, will help bring about change. Love, Bren XXOO
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LoriQ



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PostSubject: Re: New Here and My Story About A Methadone Clinic   Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:22 pm

Hey Bren!

You are so welcome and ty for everything! Yes I have heard that the clinics used to only treat heroin addicts. Regarding my counselor I have nothing good to say about her lol. I hope we can work together successfully to bring about a change. These clinics need to have more oversight and weed out the types of counselors that mine is.

Love & Hugs,
~Lori
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