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Carol
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Posts: 3278
Registered: Jan 2005
 Posted October 21st, 2005 07:43 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I'm a type one diabetic. A couple of years ago I had the tummy flu and couldn't eat. In my stupid thinking.....I rationalized since I wasn't eating....I didn't need to take my insulin. At the same time.....I had run out of testing strips and hadn't been checking my sugars. I ended up in ICU for almost a week with something called DKA (Diabetic Ketone Acidosis sp?). I learned a REAL hard lesson REAL damned fast. I cannot LIVE without my insulin.....eating or not. My body isn't just insulin "resistant".....it no longer produces any insulin on it's own.

Sounds a little familiar doesn't it?? I take my methadone in much the same way.....to live. smooooooch......Carol


CAROL SHOLITON
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Huis
Member

Posts: 73
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 21st, 2005 07:56 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
The more I look on the web, the more that I see that people are bashing methadone, in the media, in regard to Methadonia. One of them says, "they should have been harder on methadone (treatment)." It is scarey how a film that was not supposed to bash methadone and did not even go into a clinic is going to affect treatment. There is some really bad press coming out of the West Coast, to boot, which will not be terrific for us, either, where this guy says how clinics are terrible, except his, which make patients do 15 step programs (as if that is demonstrated to make patients able to function, without methadone). Yes I said "

We have
Multiple sources question JAP’s (Scared Straight) true effectiveness, and some even fear that exposure to the Lifers’ presentation may actually incite crime in juveniles! [footnote 7:
-"Scared Straight Takes a Detour; Despite National Recognition, the State Cuts Back Program, Saying It's 'Not Effective'." The New York Times. July 9,2000.
-"St. John May Try To Scare Youths Straight; But Some Say Trips to Jail Don't Work." The Times-Picayune. March 31, 2000.
-"Well-Meaning Programs Can Have Harmful Effects! Lessons From Experiments Of Programs Such As Scared Straight." Crime & Delinquency. July 2000, Vol. 46 Issue 3.
- "The Need For Experiments In Criminal Justice Settings." Crime & Delinquency. July 2000, Vol. 46 Issure 3.]
   
arlenewla
Member

Posts: 17
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 01:08 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Hi Kid,

I related to your post. No doubt, that at first, Methadone was life saving for me. Then it entrapped me. And while I thought I functioned for a while, I then starting doing exactly what you are...going from work (grocery store when absolutely a must), then back home. Nothing else..isolating..alientated from every thing and everyone else.

Re your question about WHY, after 15 years on MMT, I detoxed. It was a choice brought about by not pleasant circumstances. In the final 2 months of my MMT, I started abusing Ativan & Ambien with the Methadone. Until then, I had been abstinent from all other drugs other than the Methadone. I drove in a black-out, crashed my car, and fortunately wan't arrested for a DUI (I should have been). One problem however - I didn't have a clue as to WHERE my car was. Had to call my grown sons. The police report was less than flattering. It was at that point in time that my children drew their line in the sand stating flatly, "It's the Methadone or your family. Your choice, Mom." And you know what was scary...what the definition of the disease is for me...it's that I actually had to think about. Hmm, let's see now...my drug or my Methadone. Give me a second to consider this. Through some intervention (I now believe it was G-D), I went into detox.

Was I READY to get sober? Not on your life. I didn't wake up one morning and say, "Gee, this is a good day to withdraw from Methadone." I LOVED Methadone. Loved it too much!

So, I entered Tarzana Treatment Center Detox (California) where I spent 5&1/2 months withdrawing. I didn't detox too quickly! Hardly!! This was a long, slow, arduous, medically supervised inpatient detox. MY experience was that it sucked! It was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

And the result? A life regained. A life reclaimed. And if I sound like a broken record...so be it...it's been the 12 Step Program of AA that has been life saving. It's going back to speak on panels in detoxes that's been life saving. It's the freedom of going and coming, having my family IN my life that's been life saving. It's been having the same job for 2+ years and being trusted on that job. It's friends who trust me. It's about CHOICE for me today.

Do I believe Methadone can assist some addicts? Sure. Do I believe Methadone to be the same as "insulin for a diabetic?" Absolutely not. Unlike diabetics who can never manufacture their own insulin, recovering (abstinent) addicts CAN once again manufacture their own endorphins...a process that was removed by the use of heroin or other synethics like Methadone. It just takes the body time...time and patience...usually something we, as addicts, are not very good at granting. Best of everything to you. And, IF you decide to come off of Methadone, remember: TAKE IT SLOW! Be prepared for some unpleasant physical results. And also remember, "this too shall pass." Warmly, Arlene Ford

Quote:
kid wrote:
Hey Arlene,
I too am in doubt about long term, I look at the before me and now what I'm like. It's true I have a life & couldn't have done it without methadone. I'm missing out on a lot because of the side affects of it.Sure it took away my craving for opiates & alcohol. It enabled me to work and establish credit and do most of the stuff people do early in life. But it took away a little too much. I don't get out of the house except for work, groceries & to get meds once a month.
I have no desire to get out to date or even go anywhere to meet someone. I've been fairly stable for 12 years on MMT, but I'm looking for something or somebody that might make me want to challenge the methadone.
No doubt I'll be on it the rest of my life if I don't. That's ok too.

Arlene if you would, please tell me what factors led you to your decision after 15 years of MMT to challenge and taper completely off it. Did you have family wanting you to?
kidcur
   
arlenewla
Member

Posts: 17
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 01:20 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Dear Huis,

Re your comments on 12 Step Programs and abstinent-based recovery, I won't dignify them with a response other than to say: "CLAP TRAP!" Arlene Ford

Quote:
Huis wrote:
Two items, 12 step programs and Scared Straight.

First, I would say that 12 step as originally conceived, just as Christianity as taught by Jesus' example is not what takes place, most of time, in the real world,
with followers of either of them. Dr Bill and Jesushad teachings of kindness, tolerance and inclusivenss and love. Any methadone patient going to an AA meeting, and disclosing his treatment status will tell you that most, not all......, folks are really nasty to them on that account and don't let them speak in meetings. What kind of a message is that?

12 step programs just like methadone clinics and addicts are neither uniformly evil or good things . IN GENERAL, 12 step and abstinence based programs and addicts, in between relapses, bash methadone and methadone patients., AA used to bash, like Scientologists, psychiatric medications as well. The 12 step groups shamed MMT pateints terribly and, according to some, made them so upset that they slipped or relapsed. Furthermore, the inpatient programs, which are costly and, unfortunately, have horrible long term success records with opioid dependent patients, (unless they get them after MMT has kept them alive for 15 years and allowed them to live and mature and lose some of their demons..over time) also bash methadone while they charge HUGE $ for 12 step based care, which out to be free. This attitude is changing, but the great majority (NOT ALL!) of opioid dependent patients don't find 12 step helpful and feel, after attending, that 12 step hates them. The attitudes of completely or temporarily abstinent 12 steppers, to many of them, is condesceding, Moonie-cult like, mindless, and venomous toward them. Still the MMT patients are pleased for those who need and benefit from this kind of fellowship, without making any judgments about how lame it is to need that kind of mind control, blathering and comradery with other arguably sick people, No comments about "Meeting handcuffs" or "these people have no real emotion, they are just full of simplistic slogans...what jerks." I mean it when I say THEY DON"T SAY THOSE NASTY THINGS, and neither do I. Really. .Seeing that some may benefit, we are charitable and compassionate, in spite of hurt when rejected. At least that is my personal experience, which may not have any meaning to the rest of you.

People walk away from dependence every day, in every part of the world, for reasons we cannot explain. 12 step plays no role and neither does methadone. If you live long enough, it just goes away for the great majority of addicts. Treatment works, but so does time, in my opinion. Sometimes it is religion and sometimes not. Sometimes it is ibogaine. Sometimes it is jail. Mostly, they just get over it. The lucky ones.

Anyway, what would be nice is if 12 steppers found it in their hearts to not judge people who choose to remain on methadone and feel superior and make them second class citizens in their meetings. What works for one person is not the answer for all.
I hope this helps you understand why your comments here and every other forum where you parade your personal experiences and say fairly ignorant things about methadone treatment, (eg. "I do approve of short term treatment, but..) are not seen as helpful to folks whose recovery is as complete as they want and as it needs to be, while taking methadone. They feel awful with out it, not better. There lives are full and they are productive members of the society, or as productive as they might ever be....

12 step has the best and worst of religion, depending on how people take it. I never hear methadone patient ragging about how awful it is to be abstinent and dependent on 12 step groups. They are simply happy for anyone who has dealt with their addiction in a way which they think is helpful. Why is it so rare to hear a 12 stepper with the same tolerance and understanding toward MMT? Is it so threateing that there may be ANOTHER way? Methadone programs get a lot of AA causualties and hear about a lot of AA abstinent patients who relapse and die. No one takes pleasure in that. No one feels superior about the failure. These are chronic, relapsing disorders. MMT folks would like some respect from steppers, and seldom find it, is what I think is the problem.

Next. I REPEAT...SCARED STRAIGHT does not work. Almost no methadone patients who posted and none that I know can relate to this very ill and disturbed people in this piece. If scared straignt worked, there would be no crime, no smoking, no unprotected sex, no drug abuse...Really. Who among you was scared straight? Who did not know that addiction had an ugly downside. No one will see these people and think that it could happen to them.. And, 99 percent of them would be correct. Poverty, genetics, mental illness.. inadequate medical and psychiatric care, ....these folks had it all. So...while there may be value in this film it will not be the scared straight dimension. There may be plenty of things to talk about, such as the consequences of becoming unemployable and the stigma against methadone which results in destructive myths and inadequate funding, of both MMT treatment and mental health to make it difficult from them to get coordinated care for their multiple problems.. but Scared Straight? Not a chance.
   
arlenewla
Member

Posts: 17
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 01:22 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Huis

PS: FYI - It's Dr. BOB & BILL Wilson. Arlene Ford
   
OXYLOVE
Moderator

Posts: 216
Registered: Apr 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 07:29 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Arelene-
Although I respect your right to your opinion-I kinda feel like you came to the wrong place to do it....we come here for support in our decisions regarding our own treatment. What your attempting to do is "plant" the seed of doubt in our minds. This seed is planted many many times every day of our lives. It takes a will of steel just to keep believing in ourselves and our choice most days. The fact of the matter is- most of us here have a much better life BECAUSE OF METHADONE and while I am glad to hear your experiences the truth is the site is for US-the ones that believe the complete opposite of what you do about treatment of this diesease. I might be off base here-but I just don't need to debate HERE what I have to debate in every other aspect of my life: wether methadone is a viable treatment for addiction. Like I said before-I know what methadone has done for my life so there is no way for doubt to creep in....if someone who is ambivilant about their treatment came here and listened to you-they may think it was a "wonderful" idea to just stop taking methadone and try a cold turkey to get "out from under it's spell"....and wether you want to admit it or not...the fact of the matter IS-most people that do what you did as far as detoxing will either end up dead or on dope again in a matter of MONTHS. Maybe to you it's worth the risk-but I would be willing to bet their family and friends wouldn't feel the same way when they are attending their funeral.

I know you mean well-and I do think your just trying to "share" your miracle---what your failing to see is that for a great many of US the MIRACLE IS METHADONE....and just as I would never try to make you feel bad for going to NA (because it saved your life so it's working)-I don't think you should be trying to persuade people to stop taking methadone...especially at a METHADONE SUPPORT FORUM.

Thanks and GOD BLESS.

Khilchey, Director
ARM-ME Chapter
www.armmaine.org

This too shall pass.........
   
kid
Member

Posts: 32
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 07:31 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Arlene, thanks for sharing your story. I did close to the same in 76'. A car wreck once and jail the next, put me on the road to abstinence. As I got older & still using, I chose to return to MMT. Hang in there. That's an adventure in itself. Opening up a new chapter in life.
kidcur

kidcur
   
kid
Member

Posts: 32
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 08:16 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Oxylove, That was very well said, That seed of doubt won't steer me, cause I know from experience the only way for me is MMT. but some people might get big ideas. I'm lucky I survived and made it back to MMT. My roller coaster lasted from 69' to 93'. I thought I was weak. Everybody told me will power & god was the way. I tried & tried, and was made to try more after car wrecks & jail put me in an awkward position. But failing time an time again proved that it must be a chemical problem. Not a moral issue.
Arlene, I'm sure your sons love you. But do they understand what kind of ultimatum they put to you. The methadone or your sons. You were abusing ativan & sleep meds with your MMT. Maybe an increase would have helped. I hope you do well, but if you relapse, don't let outside pressures from family or friends keep you from making the right choice for Arlene!
kidcur

kidcur
   
Huis
Member

Posts: 73
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 09:51 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
IDoes Michelneg offer an email address where he is willing to get private, hopefully constructive messages, relating to what might be done, and what resources might be available, to mitigate the unintended damage?

Regarding Arlene, she is dissing methadone maintenance on the HBO site,in regard to her higlhly personal and scientifically unsupported opposition to long term care, being a viable option for those who may need it.' Nuf said.l The girl can't help it.
   
mrmichael67
*MODERATOR*

Posts: 1632
Registered: Jun 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 10:06 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Huis, I doubt he would be willing to entertain an email from you and I can't say I blame him. Arlene, your experiences while on MMT are not what everyone goes through. Many people are helped by it. I am sorry you weren't. I guess in your case, abstinence was the only choice......in YOUR case. I have my family in my life. And, I don't abuse any other meds. Maybe you should go to an ativan or ambien site and trash those meds? It certainly wasn't the methadone that was the problem. It was you.
Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right--Robert Hunter
   
kid
Member

Posts: 32
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 10:41 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Huis, It's ok buddy!, I know how strongly you feel about the film. It bothers me too. and I'm inpatient. Give it a little time. I believe Michelneg is tired of defending and explaining his film.
kidcur

kidcur
   
mrmichael67
*MODERATOR*

Posts: 1632
Registered: Jun 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 11:16 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I think we all feel strongly about it. I know I do. It's just that some know how to relay their feelings in a proper way and some don't. Being rude about it certainly doesn't help keep the lines of communication open.
Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right--Robert Hunter
   
Huis
Member

Posts: 73
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 12:22 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
mrmichael67 wrote:
Huis, I doubt he would be willing to entertain an email from you and I can't say I blame him. .


I think that Michel is okay, with me, at this point. He mentioned that he was thinking of adding something to the DVD and I was hoping to hook him up with some experts, methadone programs and patients which would be relevant to that task. I thought that I had ceased to be rude, but like Methadonia, some folks might interpret my comments in a way that they were not intended.
My problem is not with the film, at this point; It is the with the negative reactions which I see, in regard to it.
The good ones, like the good clinics and the good patients, etc, do not seem to get much attention. Nowhere do I see reactions to the film which are supportive of treatment, so far.
That's all.
Hope this does not seem rude.
Really.

   
michelneg
Member

Posts: 82
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 12:23 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post

I pointed out to Huis that some of his post were getting too personal and mean spirited for my taste, and he kindly switched gears. We had some very productive exchanges in the forum, and I'm glad he participated.

But I don't expect Huis - or anyone else for that matter - to apologize for their anger. These are obviously deeply felt emotions that were generated by the film. Hopefully the anger might ultimately generate something more useful that blind rage.

How does one finally gauge the impact of a film? It may be way too early to attempt to do this with Methadonia - it takes a while for the dust to settle. But yesterday a woman approached one of the characters in the film, Steve, and said she had been using hard drugs before she saw the film, and Steve's story inspired her to go into recovery. Clearly it's only one story, but I think it counts.

My two teenagers and their friends talk about the film often. I'm amazed how thoughtful they are when talking about the plight of addicts. They admire Millie, the group leader, as a success story. They express empathy for Bill, Mario, Steve and the others. They seem to want to cheer them on, and see all of them back in straightland. I find their reactions deeply moving.

Huis mentions the failure of the "scared straight" model. I agree with him. But I think teenagers absorb this kind of information in a much more subtle way. In truth, I suspect than many, if not most, teenagers will experiment with drugs and alcohol. I did. Maybe the most important lesson is that young people have to recognize their own limits. You pray there's a little light that turns on inside their heads when they're crossing that border into the high risk range. You also pray they think twice and maybe even take a step back. Young people have to learn self restraint, and self respect, on their own. Maybe a film like Methadonia might make them think about that risky border crossing just a little bit sooner than later. That's about the most I can hope for.

I want to thank everyone for allowing me to join this forum - especially Carol. Her energy and dedication are an inspiration. Also, if you don't mind, I'd like to stay on. I'd like to keep visiting.

A million thanks. Peace. Michel (michelneg@aol.com)
   
Huis
Member

Posts: 73
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 01:03 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I agree with everything Michel says and look forward to hearing from him, when the dust does settle.
I do support showing this film to teenagers, for example, to stimulate discussion, if not for the scared straight dimenson. You would not want people to be scared away from methadone maintenance treatment, if they, later in life, and in spite of everything, needed that kind of help. I hope there would be some accmpanying explication that that says this film is not about methadone maintenance treatment , but about how addcticn car ravage lives, in spite of all the optioms for treatment, that exist.
Certainly, pointing out the likelihood that these people might not totally compreahend it, but that methadone, when they did use it, probably protected them from overdcse and allowed them to cope with their demons, and to live another day.

Thanks for your knd words, Michel.


   
OXYLOVE
Moderator

Posts: 216
Registered: Apr 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 01:36 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Michel-
YOU DONE GOOD....thank you for talking with us. At first I wanted to believe you made this film as a rant against methadone so I could be angry-but I think you actually DO give a shit--which is a rarity these days. "throw 'em out with the trash" is the usuall attitude of people concerning addicts. Although I still wish with all my heart that this movie hadn't been made (at least not until we had mad more progress in getting people to understand addiction and MAT)--I still am ever thankful for you for showing the world that addicts are HUMAN and we do have HEARTS.

Stick around-it's fun around here.

Khilchey, Director
ARM-ME Chapter
www.armmaine.org

This too shall pass.........
   
Bobby
Power Poster

Posts: 143
Registered: Aug 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 02:53 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Hey Alll--

I did something with my computer to not allow "cookies", hell, I didn't even know what cookies were until my wife explained them to me?

Anyway---I just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I think that "Anything" that brings dependance and addiction to the forefront of conversation is good. I am on record that I did not like the substance of the film "Methadonia", but it does bring about discussion about addiction.

For way too long, this country has kinda just shunned addicts under the carpet, putting up "clinics" where these addicts can go quietly and get thier drug so that they don't commit crimes to cop dope.

Putting a film out like "Methadonia", starts conversations at the so called "water-cooler" that puts addiction in peoples minds. When it comes time to see whether or not a planning commision will accept another clinic in an area, this movie might just have made more people have empathy for the plight of the addict.

And I love the discussion of whether MMT should be a long term thing or a tool to abstinance. I, myself, would have never dreamed that I would become opiod dependant when I was young, that I would become the "seterotypical addict". But I am, and for whatever reason, I have a very hard time when I try abstinance methods. Believe me I have tried just about every kind of method there is to get off opiates. I do not like being "bound" to a drug---no matter if it is saving my life or not. BUT----in the same sentence, I can honestly say that I am so damn glad that there IS methadone, because nothing else, for right now anyway, is working for me.

Just an update about what is happening up here in the Northland. On Friday, there was a letter sent to the President of the School Board requesting that this film NOT be shown. I received notice last night about 6 PM. I do not know who this letter is from, and have not seeen it, nor why they would not want it to be shown, but in essence it said that it should not "advocated by a publicly funded school administration."

Candy, (the lady that is 'promoting' this event), told me right from the beggining that this may happen. And it is THIS, that confounds me. I can only imagine what the writer of this letter is actually trying to say? That they do not want public dollars spent on trying to inform the youth in their community about the dangers of addiction, to admit that it exists? The fact is, is that there is NO public tax dollars being spent , and that it is an 'educational event', one without agenda---other than to bring up the subject of addiction, and methods of treatment.

I will be seeing the school board on Monday night, in response to this letter. The school board was all for it, as was every single principal in the district. They KNOW that drugs and addiction is one of the single most important issues facing our youth today! Methamphetimine use is rampant today, and is getting a lot of press.

Anyway, this really pisses me off that one person may be able to stop this whole event, and in effect may start the domino effect of regarding MMT as a "no talk about" subject. I do not know if this will be the case or not, I hope and pray that it will not. It is when people do not talk about, or discuss issues, that nothing will ever be done about them. In that regard, I have to say that "Methadonia" did methadone maintenance treatment a justice----by just "getting the issue out there."

I'll keep everybody updated on whats happening. In the meantime, Michel has sent me some questions to pose to the people at the event, Does anybody else have any? There is another thread here, under "Methadonia" that you could pose. Personally, it is my intent on just bringing up the issue of addiction--to START the talking process. It will be interesting to find out what people think about addiction and/or addicts in general.

God Speed~~

Bobby

i Bobby
   
Bobby
Power Poster

Posts: 143
Registered: Aug 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 02:59 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
And......BY THE WAY.....
i Bobby
   
Bobby
Power Poster

Posts: 143
Registered: Aug 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 02:59 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
And......BY THE WAY.....

Just to let everybody know. Even though I think that the film "Methadonia' did bring discussion about methadone and addiction and treatment out---does not nescesarrily mean that I like the content of the film-I don't.

One of the things that I am going to try and do, is to take the "myths" out of the film. Even though there ARE people like that on methadone, the majority is not even close to like that. You could say the same thing about AA, or NA, or even people in Overeaters Annoymous. There are always a few people that abuse or misuse the system, but that does not and should not reflect on the whole "system".

I am in collaboration with my friend Candy, and her class, to try and present opiod addiction and MMT as a REAL thing. Something that could possibly happen to them (the students, the counselors, the principals---anybody). To make a point that a lot of people on methadone today, started using opiates by a prescription of vicodin from a dentist---it started something in the brain that is called "addiction". It is a "disease", not a moral issue, not a "will power" issue--but a disease-like a cold, or the flu--same thing.

Science is backing up this fact by study after study, concluding the same thing, over and over.

I just wanted to bring out the fact that even though "Methadonia" did bring out discussion about addicts/addiction, treatment, etc.. I still do not like the way it protrayed methadone. And in fact, Michel Negroponte e-mailed me and told me to go ahead and say what I thought about the film and it's contents.

Once again, Mr. Negroponte is showing himself as a man of integrity by inviting criticism. I seen on another thread that someone said that "he used us". Well, it would be very hard to do a show, a documentary about methadone without showing people ON methadone. So, in that regard, yeah he did use us.

I just do not think there should be personal attacks. Look at the discussion this film brought to this board, and to many meetings that I have attended lately, and on other boards. Talk is good---talk brings about change, change is good.
God knows that the typical methadone maintenance patient is being "de-humanized" every day, is being punished, is being shunned, but Michel brought faces and souls to these people ----the addicts. so, in that light-thanks Michel.

God Speed~~

Bobby


[Edited by Bobby]

i Bobby
   
Carrie
*MODERATOR* - Started MMT, February 2004

Posts: 173
Registered: Jan 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 03:06 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Mr. Negroponte,

I have been out of town with a huge loss in our family, so this is my first time back on the board in ages. I wish I would have know that you were here, I would have fought tooth and nail to speak with you.

First off, I wanted to say thank you. You are the first person to find a way to explain addiction, and what is like for us, to a certain point. I have never been able to put it into words, but when my husband saw this, he finally got a grasp on how bad it is to live in our bodies, and minds. BRAVO. You explanation was just what was needed in my opinion. I also think your film was well made. However..... (you were waiting for that huh..), I personally think it is named wrong, it focuses more on the dangers of the Benzo's than the Methadone.

Secondly, as I have been reading here, you have heard it all. The Methadone community has lived under stigmas for 30+ years. People fear what they don't know! Just like I did. Your movie did give more information, but I wish that you would have done the movie about Methadone MORE than you did. Everyone I talked to, thinks that group of Millie's is what the groups are in the CLINICS. I actually had friends of mine ask me if that is what I go to. I told them no of course, but wow, I fear that it may stop those who are thinking about the program, if they think that is the counseling they will have to endure.

Making that first step through the door is hard. You are sicker than a dog, and scared to death of what getting into the program means. I wish you could have focused more on the fact that when the two who detoxed off the benzos, and looked human again, where still on the Methadone Program, and working it properly. Everyone in the world could see the differences in those men. It was not the Methadone making them look like the zombies, it was the combo of the two, and I have seen the "zombie look" with just taking Benzos only. The part with Steve was so hard to watch. I applauded him getting off the Methadone. However, most clinics will not HURT you to help you get off the program. That dead man drop was terrible. I know our clinic does it 1-3mgs per week, any more of a drop than that, the doctor has to ok it.

When I got into this program, I was scared of it. I was scared because of the rumors. I did notice that you dispelled some of the rumors, thank you. I just knew that I was not going to be able to do this any other way. I have chronic pain issues as well, but that is not why I have stuck out the MMT program. It works for me. It gave me back my life. Since getting my life back, I started to give back to the program. I got involved with Carol, and the group here. I got involved with my clinic, and plan on getting more involved with that again. Life has been crazy for me, but I can handle life. I owe that to this program, and my own desire to live my life in recovery. My clinic is getting ready to have a discussion on your movie. It is on the 26th of October, and when I spoke to my counselor, she thought it would be a good idea.

I am not saying the clinics have it all worked out, and there are no problems, because there are. Everyone has a different clinic, and different problems. Some of them are big issues, and some are small. I did notice that you do not want to do another film about this, and it is a pure shame. You are talented, and you can make the world sit up and take notice. I just wish that there would somehow be a way to show the other side of Methadone. Help us to put some of the stigmas to rest. Of course there will always be those who fight against it, and it is because they have to fight against something all the time. When they end up looking the fools, is when they find a new cause.

If you do not want to film the other side, maybe you can give me an idea of who might? My email will be at the bottom if you can think of anyone. I would love for it to be you, and I want to say thank you for coming here, and talking with everyone. You are great for doing it, and for having an open mind. This program has saved more lives than it has ever hurt. That is a fact. When the program is followed, a person can live a happy, normal, and recovery filled life. This is what I choose for myself, and my family. They are happy to have their wife, mother, daughter, grand-daughter, and sister back. I am glad to be back.

God Bless,
Carrie Sutterlin
methadoneanonymous@comcast.net

Educate! Educate! Educate!

People are frightened of what they don't understand.
   
mrmichael67
*MODERATOR*

Posts: 1632
Registered: Jun 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 05:10 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Yes Michel, you done good, as Kristan says. I do believe you give a shit. How many people would have engaged us, as you did? I did miss the brief exchange between you and huis. It's good you two moved on.
Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right--Robert Hunter
   
Carol
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*ADMINISTRATOR*
    Forum Mama
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posts: 3278
Registered: Jan 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 06:16 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Good afternoon, everyone! This has been such a nice week here that I was almost hesitant to stop in today .....for fear that it had all ended as "the week" was up yesterday.

Michel!!.....I need to get a recording that just says "Thank you!"......"Thank you!"......just for you, lol! On top of which.....I'm running out of my home-made thank you gifs!!

(bottom of the bucket, lol)

Soooo.....thank you for being here....and thanks so much for the kind words. I'm going to leave this forum up and you are welcome here ANYTIME.....we'd love it! Even when I take the forum down at some future date.....once you're registered here it's good for ANY of the forums. Best of luck with all you do, Michel.....please keep us updated. Like it or not.....you're now part of the "Methadone Support Org" family!!



WOOOOPS!.....wrong family portrait! (lol)

ARLENE!!....I wasn't going to open this can of worms...just seems to always end up being such a volatile discussion. Oxy is correct...this IS a place of SUPPORT for people on MAT....as well as people taking opiates for pain etc. Like somebody else pointed out (sorry....can't recall who and too lazy to go back and reread)....it does indeed sound like you did not have success being a methadone patient for WHATEVER reason. HOWEVER (you knew dat was coming, lol)....I would venture to say that MOST of us at this forum do NOT have the same behavior as you experienced. I'm an "old fart Mama".....have a little 10 year old daughter and I'm 50. Altho I certainly don't hide the fact that I'm on Methadone (my name is all over Google, lol).....I guarantee that none of the other parents of the kids she goes to school with have a CLUE that I take insulin OR Methadone! I spent MOST of my life as a total addict......until I was almost 40 years old. Since that point I have not only become a "stable"....er.....Normal (aaaaaack!) adult.....but I have THRIVED! Do I think or feel like I'm any less of a person because I'm NOT the AA definition of "clean"?? And, btw.....I DID give it a try.....mannnny times on my own. I started using opiates when I was 13.....and after almost 30 years my endorphins work about as well as my pancreas....as in....not at all. Arlene....you are most welcome to stick around. However, if it's to debate abstinance time after time....it's going to get a little tired. Not only that....I've worked HARD to make this a very SAFE place for patients and providers to be. We have no quarreling here...and people depend on that. Enough blathering ....sigh.....you know what I'm trying to say.

MISS CARRIE!!!!.....so nice to see you, darlin....welcome back!

I had other things I wanted to say....but per usual .....during this post I've gotten up to make "the Princess" a sandwich....answer the phone and G-d knows what else, lol....lucky I remember my name!

smoooooooch to all.......Carol



CAROL SHOLITON
President/CEO
METHADONE SUPPORT ORG.
http://www.MethadoneSupport.org
Carol@MethadoneSupport.org

COME CHECK OUT OUR MAIN WEBSITE!!!!






    
    
    


   
arlenewla
Member

Posts: 17
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 07:51 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Hi Carol,

Interesting, my name is all over Google too...IN SUPPORT OF METHADONE MAINTENANCE...written back in 1991 (I think). I am a 58 year old grandmother...someone of 21 years of active addiction.

As for my comments not making it a SAFE environment for those currently on Methadone, frankly, I don't get it. What I don't get is HOW sharing the experience of an ex-Methadone patient of 15 years duration who just MIGHT be pointing out the pitfalls makes anyone feel less SAFE? What I don't get is that (from what I perceived of your message), that the website is solely to reinforce MMT. How about the other side of the coin? That for those who are struggling with MMT, having second doubts...maybe...just maybe...there's life after Methadone Maintenance. I truthfully don't understand how this is UNSAFE.

Sorry you all felt I was foisting 12 Step Recovery...that's not what it was about for me. Am pleased for those who MMT works for. Recovery however (you knew that was coming) is not (a) or (b)....recovery is a BOTH/AND. There are always options; Methadone AND 12 Step are just two of them. Posing this, I don't believe, makes anyone less SAFE. Regards, Arlene
   
Swede
Started MMT - January 2005

Posts: 166
Registered: May 2005
 Posted October 22nd, 2005 08:06 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
...about the growth of "seed of doubt"....

Well, OK, I will confess... I actually WISH I didn't have to take methadone.. I hate the sideeffects. I hate the stigma... I hate the way many people look at me after learning I'm on methadone... I hate... many things about it. That's the truth really.
However, I know that this time around is NOT the only time I've really put an effort in being drugfree... but what I DO know though is that this is the first time ever I've been succesful.
I KNOW that without methadone I will be out using heroin and probably also benzos - within weeks...perhaps even days. That's is the way it has allways been - for me!
Simply put: I have no choice....without methadone I will continue my abuse of heroin and benzos. And I left that addiction about 1½ years ago at a stage where it was killing me... I used to take heroin and benzos to the extent that I was lying lifelessly on my floor for the most of the days...
I seriously believe I will die within months without my treatment.

So again... it's not a question of me loving my medication - it's a question of me NEEDING my medication...

***************************************

Most people fall every now and then... don't be like most people, buckle up and be in for a hell of ride!
   
Bobby
Power Poster

Posts: 143
Registered: Aug 2005
 Posted October 23rd, 2005 12:49 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I have to agree with Sweede, and I think I posted this before. Arlene and I are in somwhat of a similar boat. I have been on MMT for over 10 years. I abused benzos, although prescribed, I KNOW in my heart of heart I was abusing them.

Secondly, like I said in an above post, I do not what to be chained to any medication, whether life saving or not----IF I HAD A CHOICE! The point with me anyway, is that, for right now, I do not have that choice. I have tried UROD, medical detox, and a slow gradual taper/hell. It didn't work---for now.

I can understand everybody wanting support, especially on a Methadone Anonymous SUPPORT Forum. But, if ONE PERSON out there can tell me that everybody on this board, did not wish, at one time or another, that they did not HAVE to take methadone, I would consider that highly skeptical!

Come on man...we did not want to grow up addicts! When I hear of a story of somebody getting clean of methadone, especially after being on it FIFTEEN years, I am interested on the how, why, what & where of it. You bet!

And on the same note.......I might have missed something, but I did not think that she belittled anybody for being on methadone---or saying that abstinance based programs are the REAL thing, and that methadone is just the "substitution thing" (that I hear so often, and disliike!).

Let's keep our minds open, If given a choice of whether or not I (speaking for myself) wanted to be on methadone or free of opiod dependance/addiction, I would chose to be free of opiod dependance/addiction. Now, pose that question to yourselves and be honest!

So much so that for me I have tried and tried. I am coming to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, I am either too old, (YAAAACK!) or my chemistry is so messed up, that it may not be possible. And that is okay too. I am not going to discredit either way---to be ON MMT or on an abstinance program, for me it is all the same----harm reduction! And for me, methadone is my harm reduction, and is giving me a life.

God Speed~~

Bobby


i Bobby
   
C.Hilger
Member

Posts: 5
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 23rd, 2005 02:55 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Arlene,

1. Detox is what we do from illicit drugs.
2. Medically Supervised Withdrawal (MSW) is how people withdraw from methadone.
3. I have never met anyone who would remain on methadone if they KNEW they could “get by” without it.

That being said here is what else I know:
A. I have met people who have successfully completed an MSW without difficulty.
B. I have met people who have successfully completed MSW with extreme difficulty.
C. I have met people who do not know whether they can get by without Methadone.
D. I have met people who have completed an MSW and relapsed.
E. I have met people who have participated in a MSW on several occasions spanning more then a decade only to relapse each time.
F. I have met people who know they absolutely can not get by without methadone.

Here is why you are meeting resistance.
You were once in the (F) category and now you are in the (B) category.
Everyone would like to be in the (A) or (B) category and most persons who fit into that group no longer come to this site because they do not need support for methadone.

Conversely, those that come to this website have generally been on methadone 2 years or less. Many of these are in the (C) category – they don’t know yet, and may be struggling with accepting that this could be a lifelong medication; often a necessary step before deciding to attempt an MSW. The rest have either accepted that fact, or tried an MSW with varying levels of success.

Lastly, there are not many hospitals that are willing to do a 5 ½ month detox which means you have access to resources that most patients do not. By the way, 5 ½ months is pretty quick if you were still on 120 mg, as mentioned earlier. A little slower might have been easier.

So, basically your message is being heard by those that will not be able to follow you or by those that are not ready to follow you yet.

It is often hard to hear “I did it and so can you” when those listening do not have the same resources, are not yet prepared, or know (through past experience) that they are absolutely unable to do what you have done.

Arlene, Let those that are interested seek you out. To regularly point out why or how what others are doing might be improved upon is to invite anger and criticism – remember…attraction rather than promotion.

I also understand (and applaud) your compassion and your desire to help, but everyone is different. Not everyone is ready to do an MSW today; despite your inspiring and convincing argument.

“Everyone is where they need to be at”, and who are we to rob them of the anxiety of learning? Counselors at treatment centers encourage patients to try MSW’s and suggest tapers once a person has stabilized in other key areas of their life.

If you want to encourage something or someone, try supporting their decision to discuss the MSW options with their counselor or case manager.

Keep up the good work
Chuck
   
Swede
Started MMT - January 2005

Posts: 166
Registered: May 2005
 Posted October 23rd, 2005 06:35 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
..And Arlene! I must say that I didn't really mean to offend you in any way...if I did? I also admire you and actually are hoping to be able to do the very same thing as you did - succesfully tapering off methadone!

But... I think what most people here (that might have included me) object against is partly the words you used and partly the fact that you (seem to) promote a program - of the 12 steps - where we who are in recovery with the assistance of medication(s) are not welcome...

As for the first point; you mentioned there might be life after Methadone maintenance which propose there is NO life while being ON methadone maintenance. You also used the word detox which I know many here don't like being used when really referring to a MSW - both because of the fact that methadone is NOT to be considered as toxic and because of the fact that it isn't an illicit drug as it is used in healthcare... And you also said that you were struggling with methadone addiction while performing an MSW while most, if not everyone here, believes you really are not addicted to methadone but dependant! Addiction is what the other opiates are causing in us...not methadone.

And regarding the 2nd point. Well I don't know if I have to say very much about that. It's simply a fact that people on methadone or subutex or in any other MAT is not very welcome to participate in a 12-step-meeting - and if allowed to sit in we are most certainly NOT allowed to speak! It's even written in NA's bulletin #29...

Well, even though I believe that many consider you (Arlene) a success and might even admire you and also probably wish they will also be as fortunate as you it seems that you, while promoting the thought of that a succesful taper is possible and in our grasp, tends to use the same words as many people in 12-step-programs, that are generally against MAT, generally does!

...well, these were just my thoughts on this issue though...

***************************************

Most people fall every now and then... don't be like most people, buckle up and be in for a hell of ride!
   
arlenewla
Member

Posts: 17
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 23rd, 2005 09:54 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Dear Bobby,

You wrote-

"When I hear of a story of somebody getting clean of methadone, especially after being on it FIFTEEN years, I am interested on the how, why, what & where of it. You bet!

And on the same note.......I might have missed something, but I did not think that she belittled anybody for being on methadone---or saying that abstinance based programs are the REAL thing, and that methadone is just the "substitution thing" (that I hear so often, and disliike!)"

Bobby, thank you for "hearing" me...that's EXACTLY what I was trying to say. All my best, Arlene

   
OXYLOVE
Moderator

Posts: 216
Registered: Apr 2005
 Posted October 23rd, 2005 10:03 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
So, basically your message is being heard by those that will not be able to follow you or by those that are not ready to follow you yet. -C.Hilger

YES! That is exactly what I meant.

All of us already KNOW your side of the story-we have lived it ourselves (most of us)---I am not saying it's not an important story, OF coarse it is. Anyones journey to recovery is an important one. But your story also has little ineuendos that assume that everyones GOAL should be to get off and stay off methadone. Which in turn assumes that THAT is the only way an addict can ever really be in recovery. Recovery is about having love, caring, kindness, success, stregnth and determination in your life (because you have NONE of those when your sick with addiction)---I know I have all of those things NOW-therefore recovery is something I no longer need to SEEK. If the time comes when my recovery no longer needs methadone to continue its path in my life so be it-if NOT I can think of a lot worse fates then popping one pill in the morning so I can go on about my day. Millions of people do just that everyday of their lives-they are just taking a different medication. I think you understand that none of your posts are accepting of THAT concept....and if I was a newbie looking for ONE place on earth where self doubt and prejudice didn't follow me this SHOULD be a place they can find it.

Khilchey, Director
ARM-ME Chapter
www.armmaine.org

This too shall pass.........
   
arlenewla
Member

Posts: 17
Registered: Oct 2005
 Posted October 23rd, 2005 10:32 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Hi Chuck,

I read, and re-read your post. And I gratefully thank you for your best wishes. Your post was extremely well thought out and you have numerous points I agree with...and several I don't (surprise!).

First...the factual part. I actually came off of 250mg. And, when I entered Tarzana Detox, I had NO resources...zip! The County of LA and then State of California funded, in total, the entire 5&1/2 month stay in detox. And although I was basically labelled, by detox staff, an NFC ("No F___cking Chance"), the medical director of Tarzana hung in there with me because, thank G-D, he seemed to recognize that I was serious about this...he actually saw something I wasn't even aware of at the time...hope. He went to bat with both the County & State to pay for my treatment. He hung in...I hung in.

If I understood you correctly, you seem to disagree with my definition of "detox"...I think you would prefer the word "withdrawal". The dictionary definition of detox is: "A medically supervised treatment program for alcohol or drug addiction designed to purge the body of intoxicating or addictive substances. Such a program is used as a first step in overcoming physiological or psychological addiction." The dictionary, nor I, makes a distinction between coming off of illegal or legal substances.

Absolutely agreed...I would refer any patients interested in tapering/withdrawing to their counselors/case managers. However, based solely on my experience, I found the "topic" of tapering/withdrawing a NON-TOPIC by MMT counselors...unless broached by the patient. There were NO groups held on this subject. It was something only whispered about. There seemed to be little or no support for this unless the patient seriously advocated for themselves. Clearly, my experience...it may be different for others.

And again, you're right. It is a "Program of Attraction..Not Promotion." It is ALSO a Program that has instructed me, as a rime directive" to "carry the message." It's also a Program that reminds me that I can't keep what I have unless I give it away...another BOTH/AND. You indicate that "its often to difficult to hear I did it, so can you." And if this is the way my message came across...it was not my intent. My intent was to say that IF you are thinking of coming off, there is the ability, the possibility that it can be done...to share "experience, strength & hope."

Re my message being "heard by those that will not be able to follow you or by those that are not ready to follow you yet", I believe the ability to "hear"...to remain open...to remain teachable to change...is at the heart of recovery; recovery whether Methadone aided or abstinent. I firnly believe, based on my personal experience, that change is always possible. It may not be easy...clearly not. It may be uncomfortable....you betch'a. AND it IS possible. If I didn't believe this, I wouldn't have to MMT in 1988 to get my life back on track following Percodan addiction. If I didn't believe this, I wouldn't have to 12 Step abstinence in 2002 to get my life back on truck following Methadone addiction.

I was not looking to be adversarial...this is NOT what it's about for me. Just attempting to offer the fact that there options...to offer hope...to offer possibilities. Best, Arlene



Quote:
C.Hilger wrote:
Arlene,

1. Detox is what we do from illicit drugs.
2. Medically Supervised Withdrawal (MSW) is how people withdraw from methadone.
3. I have never met anyone who would remain on methadone if they KNEW they could “get by” without it.

That being said here is what else I know:
A. I have met people who have successfully completed an MSW without difficulty.
B. I have met people who have successfully completed MSW with extreme difficulty.
C. I have met people who do not know whether they can get by without Methadone.
D. I have met people who have completed an MSW and relapsed.
E. I have met people who have participated in a MSW on several occasions spanning more then a decade only to relapse each time.
F. I have met people who know they absolutely can not get by without methadone.

Here is why you are meeting resistance.
You were once in the (F) category and now you are in the (B) category.
Everyone would like to be in the (A) or (B) category and most persons who fit into that group no longer come to this site because they do not need support for methadone.

Conversely, those that come to this website have generally been on methadone 2 years or less. Many of these are in the (C) category – they don’t know yet, and may be struggling with accepting that this could be a lifelong medication; often a necessary step before deciding to attempt an MSW. The rest have either accepted that fact, or tried an MSW with varying levels of success.

Lastly, there are not many hospitals that are willing to do a 5 ½ month detox which means you have access to resources that most patients do not. By the way, 5 ½ months is pretty quick if you were still on 120 mg, as mentioned earlier. A little slower might have been easier.

So, basically your message is being heard by those that will not be able to follow you or by those that are not ready to follow you yet.

It is often hard to hear “I did it and so can you” when those listening do not have the same resources, are not yet prepared, or know (through past experience) that they are absolutely unable to do what you have done.

Arlene, Let those that are interested seek you out. To regularly point out why or how what others are doing might be improved upon is to invite anger and criticism – remember…attraction rather than promotion.

I also understand (and applaud) your compassion and your desire to help, but everyone is different. Not everyone is ready to do an MSW today; despite your inspiring and convincing argument.

“Everyone is where they need to be at”, and who are we to rob them of the anxiety of learning? Counselors at treatment centers encourage patients to try MSW’s and suggest tapers once a person has stabilized in other key areas of their life.

If you want to encourage something or someone, try supporting their decision to discuss the MSW options with their counselor or case manager.

Keep up the good work
Chuck

   



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