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    How to taper off methadone at home 
    #1
    HI everyone!
    Well, Iīve been taking methadone since last December, which I buy from a friend because Iīm not going to a clinic. It is liquid and I donīt really know for sure how much Iīm taking and now I do want to quit but have no idea how to taper off . How should I do it and what should I use to measure the liquid methadone?
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    #2
    personally i would sign up at opiophile.org as you will get much better advice there. not knockign this site befoer anyone thinks that. good luck I am coming off a 6 year meth habit.
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    #3
    Ask your friend how much you are taking. I really can't imagine how you have never asked this.

    Tapering off requires steadily lowering your dosage. You can do it quickly or slowly depending on the magnitude of acute pain you are willing to experience balanced against how long you want to spend detoxing. It is different for everyone. Then when you feel ready to jump off (or even before hand if you want help with some of the symptoms) check out the Opioid Withdrawal Megathread in the OD Directory.
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    #4
    Bluelighter debbbideb's Avatar
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    if you were at a clinic they would tell you to drop 3 ml every three days (at my clinic at least) Thats the long -no pain way. Otherwise I would not go down more then 8 every 3 days. But as already mentioned you will first need to know what dose your on. good luck. I would say the slower you taper the better the chance you have of staying off.
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    #5
    Bluelighter Ohayou's Avatar
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    First of all you need to figure out how many mg/mL of methadone it is and how many mL you are taking each day.

    It is very important to know how much you are taking or we cannot help you much.
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    #6
    Bluelighter Mr. Tambourine Man's Avatar
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    I tapered off of a 25mg daily habit by dropping about 5mg every 5-7 day (as symptoms dictated). Once I got down to 5mg, I dropped my dose by half every 4 days, and then fell off 2.5mg. You might want to start here, and adjust the taper speed according to the size of your habit As far as making the taper easier, I would strongly recommend using Kratom to help with the lack of appetite and insomnia/restless legs. Benzos and clonidine are also useful for helping with the anxiety, and loperamide can eliminate many of the acute physical symptoms. I used the above method to taper off methadone during a month or so, and it left me functional enough to attend my college classes. The slower you go, the less it hurts (unless cravings are a bigger issue for you).

    As far as measuring the liquid methadone: ask for a 10 mL oral syringe or vial from the pharmacy and they'l give you one for free.

    Also, for emphasis: get some Kratom! Makes everything so much easier, particularly from the anxiety/depression point of view. The stuff really works wonders.
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    #7
    Thank you very much for all you replies!
    Letīs see, I donīt know for sure how much Iīm taking because neither does my friend(not really a friend but a dealer...)know how much heīs selling to me. Apparently, heīs never taken his methadone since he started on the program at the clinic. Heīs only there to avoid going to prison. Iīve no idea how heīs managed to pass the drug tests all this time, or maybe he hasnīt passed them... Iīm from Spain and things over here are completely different from The States,for example. The main and most important difference being that you get methadone for free. Also, I believe that although you test positive they keep on giving you the methadone, however you may lose some of the privileges you earn.
    Thing is that heīs been filling a 2 litre bottle of coke with his methadone, but he told me he asked his doctor to start tapering off so, in the bottle,there is methadone with different concentrations. Does this make any sense to you? Maybe Iīm completely wrong... Heīs told me as well that one day at the clinic he heard one of the nurses say that heīs currently taking about 40mg. He says it takes about three of those bottles to fill the bottle he sells to me each time, so there should be about 120mg in it,shouldnīt be? This one bottle keeps me going for about 4 days, more or less... So I assume I take, give or take, 30 mg a day. Is that right?
    @mr tambourine man: you say I have to buy a 10ml syringe,right? Does that mean that 10ml are equivalent to 10mg?
    Previously, I had been on a methadone program from 2000 to 2009 and didnīt relapse at all in those 9 years, not even once . I was on a 120mg maintenance dose and in 2006 I started tapering off. I never had any problems, well, I came to a point where I began to sleep less but that was it.I suppose everything went so smoothly because I did it so slowly. I kept tapering off at the clinic till I got down to 5mg. At that point, I told them I was going away on holidays for 20 days. I did so in order to get pills instead of liquid methadone. Thatīs what they do at my clinic: when you had to travel to another country, they would switch you to pills. I did really want to finish at once after almost three years tapering off. Besides I was really fed up with the people from the clinic.Most of them are just idiots who judge and look down on you. I even came to the conclusion that they want patients to be on really high doses so that we are "easier to handle", so that we say "yes" to every stupid rule, so that they can threaten us: "either you do as we say or youīll get no more methadone" Do you know what I mean? Obviously, when you are on such a low dose,as was my case back then, they realize theyīre losing that control over you and they donīt like it. So, once I got all the pills, I didnīt get back anymore to the clinic. I would cut each 5mg pill in half,so I was taking 2.5mg everyday till I ran out of pills...and finally it was over! I wasnīt taking methadone anymore. Apart from a strange sensation in my legs at times (really slight RLS),I didnīt have any withdrawal symptoms at all. I had appetite, I could sleep, I wasnīt depressed either and I didnīt take any benzos or anything. I think it was all thanks to my motivation, I was so determined to quit methadone and the people from the clinic that everything turned out to be so easy in the end. How I got back to using opiates after more than 2 years is another story...,Anyways, now Iīm also really determined to quit methadone once again!! :-)
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    #8
    Bluelighter Mr. Tambourine Man's Avatar
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    You can get the 10 mL syringe without buying anything, just go to the pharmacy and ask for an oral syringe for some scripted cough medicine or similar.

    Also, as far as 1 mL being 1 mg, there is no way to know whether or not this is true. Since you say the syrup is a mix of different concentration, there's no way of guessing what the strength is. However, what you can do if find out how many mL you take per day, and then decrease you're dose by 20% every week or so (maybe diluting your dose so its easier to divide five ways). This would be generally the same strategy as the one I suggested, except you would just be tapering by a certain number of mL than mg.

    Best of luck!

    Edit: They may actually be 5 mL syringes/vials now that I come to think of it. Just ask for a liquid oral measure.
    Last edited by Mr. Tambourine Man; 07-02-2012 at 07:15.
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    #9
    Thanks a lot, mr tambourine man.
    Just one question,out of curiosity, Did you taper off methadone yourself or you were at a clinic?
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    #10
    Bluelighter Mr. Tambourine Man's Avatar
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    I tapered off it myself, since I had been using for a period of pain management, and didn't need to be on such strong painkillers at that point. The hardest bit was actually just coming off the 2.5 mg, the tapering prior was not as unpleasant.

    If the first part of the taper is not too terrible for you, I would advise saving your benzos/kratom/hot water bottle etc. for getting off the last few mg's, which is when you'll appreciate it most.
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    #11
    Thatīs curious because I myself didnīt feel anything when I went from 2.5mg to zero. I think this just goes to show the different ways in which people approach or feel a certain situation, in this case withdrawal. i remember asking my doctor from the clinic when I was at 5mg whether it would be too hard to quit at that point,and his answer was to try "to scare me": "youīll feel terribly bad if you stop now. From now on youīll have to taper off it very,very slowly" was his reply. Somehow, I convinced myself it couldnīt be that bad to quit using just 5mg. Come on! 5mgs!! You canīt really go into withdrawal for such a small dose, can you?! As I said in one of my posts above, going from 5 to 2.5mg was ridiculously easy for me,and no benzos throughout the process.
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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by keanux View Post
    i remember asking my doctor from the clinic when I was at 5mg whether it would be too hard to quit at that point,and his answer was to try "to scare me": "youīll feel terribly bad if you stop now. From now on youīll have to taper off it very,very slowly" was his reply. Somehow, I convinced myself it couldnīt be that bad to quit using just 5mg. Come on! 5mgs!! You canīt really go into withdrawal for such a small dose, can you?! As I said in one of my posts above, going from 5 to 2.5mg was ridiculously easy for me,and no benzos throughout the process.
    Going off even 1 mg of methadone can be hella bad. Jump off at 5 mg and see what happens. Wish I had a better answer for you but in the interest of honesty, I don't. Your doc was not trying to scare you - he was telling you the truth, IMO. Methadone w/d is brutal at 100 mgs and brutal at 1 mg.
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    #13
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    I agree with getting an oral syringe to measure out your dose. You shouldn't have any problems getting it from the pharmacy since people use them legitimately for dosing over-the-counter meds, so they should sell it to you with no problem.

    You should try to get the largest amount you can off your dealer, this way if it's all in the same container mixed together, the dose should be uniform throughout. From there, find how many units of the solution it takes to keep the withdrawals away by measuring it out with the oral syringe. Once you find out how many units it takes to keep the withdrawals away, then plan out the taper by reducing the amount of units you take each week. If they start to taper your friend down, then this can complicate things, which is why I suggested trying to get as much of it as you can from him at once, so you at least know that you can rely on the oral syringe to give you an equivalent dose, even if you don't know the potency (mg/ml) of this specific solution.

    I have never tapered off of methadone long term, and have only used it for 4 days to taper off of other opiates, so I can't really comment further.
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    #14
    I already got an oral syringe and have already found out how many ml it takes to be okay for a bit longer than 24 hours: 20ml. Too bad I donīt know for sure if that is 20mg!!, in which case Iīd be on a quite low dose,wouldnīt I? As for getting more methadone each time,well,I think it is a good idea. He charges about 90 euros for a 50cl bottle full of methadone. Is it ok to speak about prices on Bluelight? If it is not,Iīm very sorry and will edit this post.
    I didnīt jump off a 5mg, but I did at 2.5mg and ,believe me,Iīm not making it up or anything and to be honest, Iīm not a really strong-willed person, but I didnīt feel any withdrawal at all. And I had been on methadone for 9 years, which,in my opinion, is long enough to mess my receptors forever. So it is really beyond my understanding how quitting methadone at 1mg can be brutal for some people.
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    #15
    My question about the different concentrations of the doses is why is it being done that way? It doesn't make any sense because you would think that if they were going to adjust your dose they would just raise or lower the volume (for example a patient is being tapered off of methadone and the next decrease in dosage is 5 mg the solution is 1 mg per ml so they lower the volume 5 ml not dilute it). Does anyone else see my point? I think the dealer is feeding the OP a line.
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    #16
    You may be right,ihatepipes. Though my dealer hasnīt really told me anything about different concentrations, thatīs just something I thought myself when he said he was gonna start reducing his dose. The problem is that, to begin with, we never know for sure if thatīs the ratio they use,1mg=1ml, because they wonīt tell you anything about it. Nonetheless my guess is that they do use that ratio but,since they donīt usually want patients to know their exact doses when tapering, they randomly add water to the solution, thus diluting it. Does this make any sense to you guys?
    I just remembered that my dealer commented that he had kept the methadone in the freezer for some time and that maybe,when thawing it out,it had lost some of its "properties". Is this possible?
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    #17
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    @keanux, I think the biggest problem you have is purchasing the liquid methadone. The seller can tell you it is 100 mgs. or 10 mgs. and you are not able to tell the difference. Are you in a position to purchase the wafers? At least you will know what you are getting! Dealers are not exactly known for their honesty.

    Since this is a harm reduction site, as a formality I feel compelled to recommend to you to think about trying the legal route to get methadone.
    Last edited by rocketqueen; 09-02-2012 at 08:22. Reason: Never mind/technologically stunted
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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by keanux View Post
    I just remembered that my dealer commented that he had kept the methadone in the freezer for some time and that maybe,when thawing it out,it had lost some of its "properties". Is this possible?
    No.
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    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by keanux View Post
    HI everyone!
    Well, Iīve been taking methadone since last December, which I buy from a friend because Iīm not going to a clinic. It is liquid and I donīt really know for sure how much Iīm taking and now I do want to quit but have no idea how to taper off . How should I do it and what should I use to measure the liquid methadone?
    You don't even know how much you are taking? Start there. Know what you are putting into your body.

    When methadone clinic gives takehomes they seal the bottles (atleast the clnics I have been to do). Ask to buy sealed bottles so you know it's 100mg or 10mg.
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    #20
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    Methadone might be the worst opiate out there. Not for the nice sleepy feeling it induces, but for the shit side effects and completely horrible withdrawls (which are typically quite lengthy). Your best bet is to get down to a reasonable dose (30 mg or under), then switch to suboxone. I will tell you from experience, subs are a HELL of a lot easier to come off then methadone. Also sub tapering can be performed much easier in the comforts of your own home. So i would not try a methadone detox, i would try a suboxone taper (longer the possible). If you want to avoid as many w/d effects as possible you are gonna need to get down to a dose under .25 mg, preferrably .10 or .5. Again speaking from experience my friend
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    #21
    Well, as for methadone wafers, I wish I could get a few of those!! but I think it is quite difficult,if not imposible. In my city, when it comes to opiates on the black market,all you can find is either heroin or liquid methadone.Thatīs because over here, clinics only give you liquid methadone, and only in some very special cases can you get them wafers.In my case, when I had to travel to another country, they would give me pills, but only because of the ban on liquids when traveling on a plane and because I had been on the program for a long time and had never tested positive. Also, suboxone treatment is virtually unheard of in my country, at least as far as I know. Maybe if you go to a private doctor,they could prescribe you suboxone but from clinics all youīll get is methadone maintenance treatment.
    @rocketqueen: I agree with you about the legal route to get methadone, but at this point in my life, I think that would only make matters worse: Having to go to the clinic everyday to get your methadone,all those appointments with the doctors,etc.And the most important thing is that I "canīt stand" the people who work at the clinic. I live in a small city and there is just one methadone clinic, so itīs not as if you had plenty of places to choose from...
    @maxim10553: I canīt say anything about suboxone because Iīve never tried it myself but methadone detox,from my own experience,isnīt that difficult. I did it in the past and canīt see why I couldnīt do it now.BTW,Iīm now already under 30mg, actually IĻm taking approximately 25mg of methadone.
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    tapering off methadone,morpine, and xanax at home 
    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by keanux View Post
    HI everyone!
    Well, Iīve been taking methadone since last December, which I buy from a friend because Iīm not going to a clinic. It is liquid and I donīt really know for sure how much Iīm taking and now I do want to quit but have no idea how to taper off . How should I do it and what should I use to measure the liquid methadone?
    I need some advice.Ive been quitting cold turkey&now I see why you should taper down 1st!!!!!
    ive been on methadone for 7years and bezos for 12 years...i ended up in the hospital yesterday.they tried to admit me because of my vitals but i left ama...
    ive got like a 50%chance of getting a refill on methadon 60mg a day, next monday....
    is it against the law(im in mi) for them to take it away because i teporarily lost my insurance??
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    #23
    @lizzie31313: Instead of asking that here, I suggest you start a new thread. That way, Iīm sure youīll probably get many more replies to your question, about which, by the way, I know nothing.
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