I'm on over 100mg of methadone a day, by the way so I have to think of the reduction in three phases. Phase One: taking the dose down to anywhere between 90 and 60mg. 70 or 80mg used to be the ordinary highest dose an NHS methadone clinic would allow in days gone by and prescribing practices seem to be reverting back, with people who once were on relatively generous doses complaining the clinic won't reinstate them.
Oral methadone is said to have an equivalence to IV diamorphine of anything from 4 to 1 to 1 to 1. 4-1 meaning that 150mg methadone would cover a habit of 600mg diamorphine ie about a gram and a half of street heroin as it used to be at 40% purity (about a year ago). Since the Great Heroin Drought in this country heroin is only a fraction of its old potency, making methadone very much easier to stomach for me. It holds me way, way better than it ever used to.
Once I get down to Stage 2, which will be hopefully not much more than 60mg, I'll push for them to reduce it at 5mg a week until I'm down to about 30mg.
From 30mg methadone you can in theory transfer over to Subutex or Suboxone (same difference, from what I've heard). I would like to go on Subutex but I'm scared of the upheaval it involves. You have to go days without methadone until you're in pretty florid withdrawal, then switch over to this stuff that made me feel hyper, shrivelled my sleep down to a maximum 4 hours for days on end. Even when it started coming back I was only sleeping 6 hours. I felt so high on days 2 and 3 of Subutex I barely noticed the withdrawals. Looking back I had quite a few symptoms of hypomania during this time. I don't mind being hypomanic but my moods and sleep are so incredibly sensitive to withdrawal it would seem unwise to rock the boat unnecessarily.
From much below 20mg if I stayed on methadone I'd want absolute control of how swiftly and by how much I reduced and if the clinic won't accommodate me, from here on I would just score methadone myself and drink it to suit my own timetable. I don't trust drug clinics. The new one I'm at offered to transfer me to Subutex from over 100mg methadone. Which all sounds very nice but would probably put me in a mental hospital. They don't care. So when I have to, I'm looking after myself. The ONLY reason I'm sticking with an official clinic during the cutdown, apart from the will to save money, is so that if I ever DO end up in a nuthouse I'll get my methadone automatically without having to go through "titration" (chemical torture when they won't give you enough for days on end).
When I'm near 1mg I'm just diluting the stuff in a huge bottle of water and supping it all through the day. I would cut down to zero over several days ending up on microscopic doses so tiny they couldn't possibly be doing anything (why not?)... then finally at some point many months from now... I SHOULD BE CLEAN!!!
BTW I have to be heroin-free for anything bar the very beginning of my taper to be worthwhile. So I count myself off the gear as of now. My methadone dose goes down 10mg as of the middle of next week.
Ha! Becha all thought I was going to post exclusively about Anna (again). I have little to say about her. Except that I put her book up here because if she wants attention HERE IT IS. She says she faked her suicide because she wanted to end her blog. The post by a "friend" does echo this:
Anna wanted me to say Good Bye to everyone who reads this blog. She's sorry she couldn't keep it up.
I'm not at all convinced she properly thought out what she was doing or going to do.
On 4 June she mentioned an Hispanic guy named Jose staying at her parents' house. On 14 June 2 news reports appeared about a Jose Machiote, who was in possession of drug paraphernalia, being arrested for armed robbery at a corner shop. Which does chime with Anna's post on 24 June:
That homeless guy I had staying with me ended up sticking up a store and getting caught.
~Green Bay Press Gazette
So that seems to be true. But...
I really wish she hadn't lied like she did...
I feel depressed enough and stressed out enough (about coming off this methadone (and moving house)) as it is. I keep waking up in the middle of the night in horror. My head kind of resonates with stray words in an odd sort of way. The way I wouldn't be surprised if I'd smoked a spliff and it did that, only I don't smoke spliffs at all. And I'm pretty fed up with methadone clinic staff for having lectured me that all my problems would evaporate if only I gave up drugs and they plainly haven't and didn't when I was just on methadone. (My depression was constantly blamed on crack. They no longer lay my moods at alcohol's door, as the amount I drink is so tiny now.) I want off drugs because I'm fed up of them, not because I believe life will be any better. What I want to do most of all is just up and away and get out of the country, which I cannot do on methadone. So that's my goal...