Thursday, April 16, 2009


One of the properties of methadone that make it ideal for heroin addiction recovery is that is has a half-life of 24 hours, and can last as long as 36-48 hours in stabilized patients. Yet methadone can be a fickle lover, and there are many things that can cause an early detox, or aberrant metabolization. Too much coffee, extreme stress, not enough sleep, certain medications…the list is as individual as the person. This is one methadone client’s post of a “sleepless methadone night”.

“The plaintiff stood nervously at her lectern, shuffling papers, smacking her lips to smooth her lipstick after combating her nervous dry mouth with a sip of water. The well dressed young woman came before this court to recover a cell phone debt incurred by the defendant, a flamboyant Hollywood boy-toy dressed in a colorful poncho and carrying a designer alligator bag, or brief case, or whatever you want to call it. But the braggart placed it on the table next to his lectern and microphone with a sly and better than thou attitude, shifting his weight from one hip to the other, in that very L.A. metro-sexual way of saying, “oh honey, let’s just get this over with!”
And I heard, “…but the defendant says that she was riding his coattails to the best bars, and normally he wouldn’t have even bothered with someone with only one broken Gucci bag, but he felt sorry for her.”
Huh? Suddenly my attention was piqued for one unbelieving moment and I immediately became disgusted and the phoney wannabe-ness of this ignorantly and narcissistically damaged person (of male persuasion). The plaintiff, smiled in her sweetness in a ‘what can I say?’ sorta way. And for the brief moment it takes to regain consciousness from a restful sleep, I forgot that it was just three o’clock in the morning and that I had only passed one half hour of this endless night.
I try to go back to sleep…sometimes if I close my eyes, when I open them again, an hour or so may have gone by without my knowledge while in this predetoxification state. It is a feeling that I have gotten used to, but that I will never be able to accept. I start to kick my legs as they cramp up on me, and a horrible feeling like a wash of chemicals runs through my esophagus and I can FEEL the taste and smell of the drug that is in every functioning cell of my body.
Getting up and moving around gets rid of that dope sick feeling for a time, and I take advantage of this fact to keep the promise I made myself when I first started this journey on Methadone: I would never dose before 4:30 a.m. An arbitrary time, an arbitrary rule, kind of like many of the clinic rules: just something to keep me in control of these insidious orange disks.

Stop the War: Begin the Healing
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