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Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Low Down - Methadone


If you're getting you methadone from friends/dealers:

Comes in 5mg and 10mg tablets. 40mg diskettes are less common but still out there; used in the city clinics.

This stuff is extremely strong for the uninitiated. No more than 5mg for a first time user. As little as 10mg (one tablet) could kill someone with low tolerance.

Due to the high volume of distribution, methadone is long acting. Additionally, it takes a long time for effects to kick in; as long as 2 to 3 hours should be expected. Don't take more after an hour or two thinking it wasn't enough, just wait. Trust me.

When it does kick in, it comes on strong and hard, hits like a warm ton of bricks and continues to grow in intensity for several hours til peak.

The itchies tend to be present with methadone, don't scratch yourself til you bleed.

Euphoria is strong with methadone, especially in the beginning. Energy and motivation are usually greatly enhanced. Euphoric qualities will dissipate with tolerance, however returns with a higher dose. Tolerance to methadone grows slower than with other opioids.

Cold weather will become a non issue; you'll have no sensitivity really to the cold, however heat will be amplified. Methadone + Heat = Sweating

Nausea and vomiting is to be expected, especially for anyone who is not opioid dependent - meaning, a heavy habitual user. If vomiting bothers you, you just may want to reconsider whether narcotics are really for you. It takes time but you will get used to it. Many junkies enjoy the vomits as part of the high, part of the experience - Puking = Good dope, You're high

Sedation will become heavier several hours in. If you're not familiar with the state of "Nodding out", you'll quickly learn. The twilight sleep state is common with methadone for some, at least in the beginning.
If you're breathing heavily or having respiratory trouble, don't fall asleep or lie down. Get to an Emergency Room a.s.a.p. Methadone has a strong tendency to cause respiratory depression; the hallmark of narcotic overdose. Don't be another coroner's statistic.

Overall effects of methadone are equivalent in origin to morphine; but stronger due to the high tissue absorbtion of methadone. Very similar to high doses of injected morphine.

If you're getting your methadone through a clinic:

Most clinics I've been to or know of use the cherry flavored liquid. Your daily dose is pumped out, with a machine measuring the exact amount; then diluted in water. It looks and tastes like pink liquid benadryl. You drink your dose in front of the nurse behind the counter.

Methadone Clinics in Michigan are limited to the southern area of the state; Detroit and surrounding areas, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Lansing, etc. Prices in Michigan vary, most clinics take cash or Medicaid. I've only been to clinics in NYC, which universally take medicaid; unless you want to fork out 180.00$ weekly in cash; which is the rate at the Beth Israel Clinics. Beth Israel sponsors at least a dozen clinics throughout Manhattan and the surrounding burroughs.

Typically you'll start out at 30mg on the first day or two, then move up 10mg every other day, until hitting 80mg/daily. At that point, you will be reassessed by a Nurse or the Clinic Physician, and allowed to continue going upwards at a rate of 5-10mg every other day, until you reach a dose at which you feel is sufficient - Minimal cravings with minimal sedation/side effects.

Clinics are usually closed on Sunday; so you'll receive your sunday dose on saturday in a take home bottle with your name/dose printed on the side.

You must return the empty bottle on monday in order to receive your next dose - Otherwise you'll be written up and put on clinic probation for 6 months or so.
Each week period that you succesfully follow all the rules and have returned your take home bottles, you'll usually gain 1 additional take-home day each week. Therefore, after 6 weeks of full compliance, you'll only need to show up at the clinic once weekly, and so on - A maximum of 30 days take-home supply are permitted by federal law.

Once you're showing up to the clinic only once every few weeks to receive your take homes, It is likely that you'll be given methadone in the tablet form, large 40mg dispersable disks which you dissolve in water, like an alka seltzer.







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