any nurses/nursing students on methadone? - page 4

Hi everyone, I will be starting an ADN program next week and was SOOOO worried that my methadone maintenance status was going to be a problem. I haven't heard anything at all from the program and... Read More

  1. by   elkpark
    Quote from stargazer88
    Just wondering, why does one have to stay on methadone for so long?
    People don't "have" to -- they choose to. There are two different modalities of methadone treatment -- using methadone to taper down slowly off the dependency and eventually be completely clean, and "methadone maintenance therapy" (MMT), in which the dose remains constant and there is no intent or attempt to wean the person off the narcotics, just substitute the legal, longer-acting opioid for the illicit opioid.
  2. by   michirn

    No actually it's because withdrawal from Methodone is so long and awful that they usually can't live like that and run back to opiates. I've heard people rant and rave about wishing they'd never started Methadone it's so bad.
    You sound like you're almost sneering in your statement. I'm not sure if Methadone gets people high. Even if there is a high initially the clinic would have to keep increasing your dose and they don't do that. Suboxone on the other hand does not get you high at all. Not only that it blocks your ability to feel any other opiates you take if you fall off the wagon and try to use while on it. It has a 36 hour half life and withdrawal will start in about 28 hours after the last dose. Withdrawal, think about the worst flu you ever had and then times it by 50. You wish for death, it's THAT bad.

    IWANNA, try to encourage your daughter to give Suboxone another try. My husband has been on it and clean for two years. He describes it as, "it makes me feel like I was never an addict to begin with."
    My heart cries for you, I can't imagine watching the people you love so much go through this. As a mother ugh...I hope you don't find ways to blame yourself. I know I would be doing exactly that. My husband and I both have had addiction issues with prescription pain meds and I'm terrified now that my son is 16 and has admitted to smoking weed he will eventually progress to something stronger. I talk to him about it almost daily I'm so scared.
  3. by   michirn
    Oh, I read an article once that criticized methadone clinics for their tactics in tapering dosage to wean patients off methadone. The article said they do it very rapidly so the person suffers and gets back on a maintenance dose because it's too awful. They do this because it keeps them steadily funded. It was probably ten years ago that I read that article so I'm not sure if things have changed since.
  4. by   elkpark
    I wasn't sneering -- Iwas just trying to answer the previous poster's question based on what I know from almost 30 years of working inpsych and substance abuse. There are two separate approaches to using methadone, as I noted; the slow taper approach, with the goal of getting the individual entirely off opioids, and MMT, in which there is no goal of getting the person off the opioids, but just substituting the dependence (as implied by the word "maintenence" in the name). I realize that lots of people aren't aware of this, or of the difference between the two modalities. But I did not mean to imply anything further in my response, certainly not anything negative.
  5. by   FutureHope17
    I could really use some help or advice on this topic myself. I was fired on 2012 for diverting and after that started on MMT and let me tell u it was/is a lifesaver for me. It gave me the help I needed to work through my demons. I was told I could work if a psych doc cleared me that was in June 2013 and to my surprise he did!! I thought I would be able to work, well needless to say the monitoring program I am involved in didn't like this answer and decided to send me to a different doctor who is anti-methadone much like the rest of the ignorant people in this world. He and the program said I have to wait until I had 6 months left on taper and then I could work upon successful re-evaluation. Need less to say I was at about 150mg and in nine months am now down to under 30. I have had to be strong and deal with lots of issues and don't know if I will ever feel quite "normal" again off of methadone but it is worth a try. anyway they told me yet again that I now have two choices get cleared by a new doctor or wait until I am completely off and tack on three months of clean drug screens then I don't need to get evaluation by doctor I can just start working again. I am completely lost by all this how can they keep changing everything as they go along? its complete bs. When I called to update they said there is no reason you can't work as long as a doctor clears you, well one alreDy did???? and I have a facility where I know the don and is willing to hire me methadone and all. I don't think I can wait much longer I've already lost everything and had to move in with family, we are going on two years because the monitoring program has a personal dislike of methadone. Anyone have any advice or "constructive" help, ie I am not interested on negative comments about methadone from uneducated people and btw I am new here
  6. by   catmom1
    Quote from FutureHope17
    ... I have had to be strong and deal with lots of issues and don't know if I will ever feel quite "normal" again off of methadone but it is worth a try...
    Hi FutureHope17-

    I won't address your licensure issues at this point except to say that if you end up getting an unfair deal, you won't be the first or the last. I got clean in 2004 and I am still having my past held against me by prospective employers.

    What I wanted to share with you is that getting off methadone is absolutely "worth a try." For most of my life, I couldn't imagine feeling good without a mood altering chemical in my body.

    I feel better now than I ever could have imagined, and you can too. You are worth it!

    Best wishes in your struggles.

  7. by   Twoyearnurse
    Hey and welcome! I can't speak for the monitoring program, but as an ex opiate addict myself I will say that you will feel "normal" again. It is a new normal though- I feel better with the support I've received than I ever did even before the opiates. A lot of that had to do with the idea that I am certain this is a disease, and that I have had this disease my entire life. I have always and will always wake up in panic- I will always worry needlessly. I will always feel a step behind the rest of the world. All that means to me now is that I will always have to wake up and work through it, will always need to consciously stop myself from worrying, I will always have to remind myself that I am not behind. The difference is that all these symptoms are tolerable because I know they are treatable if I put the time into it.

    You are amazing to deal with all the frustrations that keep coming your way. It shows a lot about your character and recovery.

    I am one who believes that MMT is not a bad thing, everyone has a different treatment for their illness. Just like some diabetics must take Insulin and some can treat themselves through diet changes alone. I am fortunate that I can treat my illness through lifestyle change . I truely hope that at the end of your taper and some time after that that you are able to do the same, not all of us can. Welcome to the site!
  8. by   FutureHope17
    Found some interesting info on a case in pa where a nurse is suing the BON for taking her license because they found out she was on methadone for 20 years. Its quite interesting. Apparently they have a "secret" policy that people aren't supposed to know about and will not let nurses practice on methadone even though it is illegal. It is a violation of the American with disabilities act and the rehabilitation act. And if a doctor clears you they have to let you work. Its funny cause that is what happened with me. I was cleared by there doctor. I think I may look into this closer and consider hiring a lawyer.
  9. by   zachjessmom
    I know the withdrawal from methadone and suboxone are awful but I went through it for suboxone and I am so grateful to be done with it forever. Do I wish I never took it at all? Sometimes- but I took it for 2 1/2 years and have been off it for 3 years now. I worked hard and got my nursing license back. But I am on probation for the next two years and I am having trouble getting a job. I have also not worked as a nurse for seven years. I do have 16 years of nursing experience though. So I will just keep trying.
  10. by   Vern4229
    Is this too old to comment on? Because I was on Methadone Maintenance for 9 months to recover from an opiate addiction after nearly 10 years of prescribed narcotics. Oh-and I was an LPN for 6 years and am currently an active RN with a clean liscense. I didn't do it because I was in trouble with it, but didn't want that to ever happen. Today the number of RNs that have an addiction to either drugs or alcohol is 3 out of 10. That's HUGE. And I know all too well that nurses judge as well as eat their young. So I will tell the misinformed nurses on this site that methadone does NOT get people high like other opiates, simply takes the cravings and sickness away. I was able to get off of it after tapering in a relatively short period, 8 months, but it saves people's lives. And I know I was a much safer nurse once I came out of the dark for fear of retaliation. So many more need to do this for their own safety as well as our profession. Ignorance of the way the medication works gives no-one the right to say it's just a replacement drug.
    Last edit by Vern4229 on Aug 11, '16 : Reason: Spelling
  11. by   deltakappamu
    I am currently on Methadone and I am also in a monitoring program. Methadone saved my life.

    I feel as there is such a stigma attached.

    In order to get a nursing license and be cleared for work I had to do many expensive evaluations (neurocognitive testing etc,) however, I was cleared to go to work and it was deemed that I am "not impaired " and safe to practice.

    I don't plan on being on it forever, and I am already slowly tapering down.

    I am so glad to see a thread about this here, because if anyone ever finds out about me on methadone, they act like I have two heads. I am literally saddened by those who think methadone gets the person high. Please, educate yourselves. This type of thinking is dangerous, especially in our line of work.

    Congrats on your recovery Vern!
  12. by   Khukabee
    Hi do you know why the lab was able to give them the meds you didn't list? Isn't that against Hipaa to disclose prescribed medications? Im on a narcotic and worried that a lab might somehow tell them what I take. Im also a nurse. I appreciate your response!
  13. by   MFTinRN
    This is an interesting thread, I know it's older but I just came across it. I do believe there's a big stigma attached to the use of Suboxone and Methadone, unfortunately. I have just completed my eval this week for FL IPN. I was placed on Hydrocodne 4 years ago after an accident in which I sustained multiple traumatic injuries. I have attempted to wean myself off of narcotics several times but the pain typically causes me to use them again. During my eval the physician asked several times if I've tried meds such as Suboxone and he mentioned I'd be a prime candidate for an opioid antagonist like Suboxone for pain management without the high of opiates. I'm wondering if this is a possible treatment he might recommend, and if so, how does the monitoring program approach that? Would it be acceptable? I can't imagine being told you must live in pain daily, after all our new priority as health care professionals has shifted to keeping patients comfortable and pain free. So how can they dictate that a medication like an opioid antagonist that could allow someone to live a more pain-free life and at the same time allow them to maintain the ability to function as a nurse without the dangers of opioid use is inappropriate? If they take it so far as to say you can't take Diphenhydramine for those in the monitoring program, then that should be across the board. No nurses should be allowed to take Diphenhydramine, period. No nurse should be allowed to get plastered after work and on their days off. It doesn't make sense. I mean, the statistics are based off of nurses IN the program, just think of all of the nurses that don't get caught or admit to having a problem. Almost every nurse on my unit smokes weed and drinks frequently. So if they want to be that technical then make it like nursing school and do random UDS's a couple of times a month for EVERY nurse. There's not much difference in someone who smokes a joint daily after work to "unwind" than in someone who takes prescription medications to manage life, is there? I don't think so. So if someone needs pain management that is monitored by an entity that gets to make the guidelines so be it, as long as you're safe to practice and monitored while taking prescribed meds then it shouldn't be a problem. I really don't understand how consuming alcohol to alter your mood is acceptable but managing pain isn't.