Email from LULU & my theories on how to withdraw from drugs

Wow. Just got an email from “L”, which she wrote over a week ago. I don’t check that email box often enough. Sorry Lulu. Have not seen any new posts on your WordPress thing recently. Must check my reader. It annoys the hell out of me. I like reading other peoples stuff. But never really do. And then it annoys me when they write stuff similar to mine later. Or have a photo similar to mine. Or whatever. But that is just crazy. Everyone with similar stories and interests is going to say similar stuff some time or another.

People on Same Wavelength, POSA (Finnish for Wavelength, Aallonpituus, sounds better – POSW just sounds silly) and all that.

Hi NZFiend,
 Just wanted to check on you and make sure your methadone withdrawals are bearable for you ? I’m “L” from the blog Wait Til You Get A Load of This! I hope you’re not miserable…just out of curiosity, if you don’t mind my asking, feel free to say “fuck off” LOL but why did you quit methadone without weaning off the last 50mg? From what I have heard, it’s difficult for most people to quit after getting down to TEN MILLIGRAMS only/ I’d really like an update, if its not too much trouble 🙂
fuck off
Nah, kidding. Sorry about that. You are correct. Jumping off anything like 50mg is simply stupid to most people. 10mg’s is generally considered to be a “fail” territory too. Some “fail” from 1mg!
You see, you need to hang out, no matter how low dose. Sure, the withdrawal is a little easier from a lower dose, but you still need to hang out at some point. Grit your teeth and do it.
It is a good question why I did it this way and one that should be answered again really. I decided to quit. There were a number of issues.
  • I was thinking of quitting anyway –
    My sister was coming back to New Zealand from the U.K and was very ill with terminal cancer. I thought I should quit for her. But then she got back all of a sudden and I was caring for her and getting all upset and crazy with being up all night and running around like a drug crazed moron all day.
  • The cost of street methadone ($1 per mg) is crazy –
    I hated myself for giving so much money to people who got it for free and therefore supported them in their stupid addictions even further.
  • Life was getting out of hand again –
    I have spent the better part of my adult life addicted to opiates and benzo’s. And alcohol. I remember being able to operate with these drugs sometimes for years at a time. Unfortunately my back is stuffed. I have had operations for claudia equine syndrome and have had bad arthritis and degenerative conditions for twenty five years. I am not paralyzed, but sometimes I feel it would be better to be so.
  • Sometimes you really do feel powerless over your addiction –
    It was getting annoying. I was annoyed at having to stick methadone into myself three times a day. It was not hard really, but I was just getting over it. It was getting in the way. I would be paid a few hundred dollars a day and have to pay petrol, someone to help (my back doesn’t allow me to do certain work by myself) and pay for methadone. This ate up all the money. So I felt like I was working for drugs.

So, I went to the Addiction Services (Addict DisServices) and the psych guy there, Sam McBride, told me I would fail a detox and put me on the waiting list for methadone maintenance as an OTS (opiate treatment service). Please read this for more about how that meeting went…

In New Zealand they don’t do split doses if you are on the programme legally. They give you a daily dose. This DOES NOT WORK FOR ME.

Going to the chemist each day, having to stay at home. Not being able to travel freely. DOES NOT WORK FOR ME.

And besides all of that, I just was sick of being on opiates again.

My back is not getting any better, but hopefully this time around I can talk the bloody doctors into giving me pain killers only when I really need them. I can withdraw from opiates. Anyone can. Methadone is the worst to come off. Tramadol, Oxy, Codeine, Morphine, Heroin. I’ve come off them all. A small script of codeine for a month would be a good way to come off methadone actually. Take quite a few MG’s of codeine and find how much you need to sleep at night. Then be prepared for mildish opiate withdrawal for a week at the end of that, rather than insane withdrawal for a month from 50mg of methadone! Hahahah! Good luck!

When I was younger I got taken of huge doses in jail. This set me up for a life of going on and off drugs left right and centre. I can cope with withdrawal most of the time. It is getting harder though. Jumping of 60 or so a day was bloody hard actually. I do not recommend it to anyone without the aid of proper detox help – suboxone and sleeping pills at least.

I had nothing for two weeks. Just about went insane due to lack of sleep and went to doctor begging for Suboxone. Would only give me sleeping pills…. Felt a lot better after being able to sleep with some pills.

As explained, I have come off many things, and have always gone back on. My idea of quitting is not so much gradual withdrawal but short sharp shocks.

I will shock my body into it. I will give up whatever I am giving up entirely for a day or two until the withdrawals get really bad. Then I will go back on with a half dose for a few days. Then have another day off… Then go back on for a few days, and then go off for a few days. Eventually you will simply go “right, fuck it. I am doing it this time. Saturday is the last one” and take the last one on saturday.

For instance – SMOKING.

It took me three goes to give up smoking. Tried three times over five years. Was a two pack a day or 80gm of rollies a week. More like 100gm really. Ahem.

Uhm. So, what I did the third time was to get nicotine patches. Big ones. And then I wore two, against all advice. But this is my “blockade” dose. If I had a cigarette I would feel a bit ill. I did this to prevent myself from doing the habit of lifting something to my mouth when I was stressed or at certain times of the day. My ex complained we didn’t have our fifteen minute sit down conversations after work any more. Fair comment. I wonder if no smoking ruined our relationship?

After a few days of this the constant nicotine started to headache me (I kept it on 24/7 and kept adding more as old ones were removed after twelve hours…) so went down to one patch. After only a week or ten days at most I found I no longer felt like moving my hand to my face every time I had a coffee or a break at work. So I took the big patch off for a day. Then put a small patch on for two days. Then “cold turkeyed” it. The withdrawal from nicotine isn’t that bad. But combined with the habit of moving your hand to your mouth it is a killer. You have to go through withdrawal sometime. May as well be now. 


I managed my daughters withdrawal from methadone when she was one month old (methadone baby, born happy. Going through extreme withdrawal the next morning. Not pretty) after the doctors stuffed up a dose or two with the nurses and they wanted to give her more opiates once they realised a few days later. I said “no fucken way” as she had been there three weeks and was now only addicted to 0.5mg morphine every eight hours. No way I was letting the last three days of horror be repeated. I sat there day and night caring for that little bundle of tantrum for 48 hours and then the head doctors came in and said we could go home.  They would have had us there “weening off” for another two weeks. My daughter was smiling and happy and only showing minimal signs of ever being addicted.

They looked at me with a little respect actually.

Which is more than I ever got from her Mum.



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