More Observations from the Methadone Clinic…
Every morning I drag myself out of bed to get to the methadone clinic before work. And every day I see the same things that disturb me like you wouldn’t believe.
First off, I am a non-smoker who has to stand in line with twenty chain smokers who OBSESSIVELY smoke one cigarette after the other, not caring at all for the non-smokers who have to sit there and breathe their second-hand smoke. I suppose that they have the right to smoke outside in the line waiting to go in, but I guess I expect a little common courtesy towards those of us standing there in that same line who do not smoke, but it just never happens. As soon as one chain smoker finishes his or her cigarette, another chain smoker lights up. It’s horrible for us non-smokers, but the worst part is is that nicotine pings the same opiate receptors that heroin and other opiates ping and new studies show that smokers have a FAR WORSE success rate than non-smokers do when it comes to beating their opiate addiction. So I guess when I am long gone they will still be standing in that same methadone line puffing on their 10th cigarette waiting for the doors to the clinic to open at 5am.
Another alarming thing that I am seeing is the TRANSFERING to other drugs while being treated for an opiate addiction which, in turn, leads to mixing methadone with other harmful street drugs. I have come to know and like a fella we will call “Max”. Me and “Max” are about the same age and seem to have similar interests, so we strike up friendly conversations each morning while we wait for the clinic door to open. Then yesterday one of the other clinic clients openly apologized to “Max” for not being able to score him Adderall. She talked openly to “Max” about not being able to get the drugs for him. Then “Max” showed up the following day EXTREMELY HIGH on meth telling me he had not slept in 3 days. WOW, so much for trying to get clean and sober. Once the clinic doors open we file into a waiting room to wait for our number to be called for our dose. As I look around, I see two women obviously nodding out on heroin BEFORE they get their methadone dose. The nurse in the back saw them nodding as well and came out to let them know that they needed to wake up and act appropriate while in the clinic.
One of my most disturbing confessions from the methadone clinic comes from the mouths of my fellow heroin addicts waiting to dose. I hear people talking about the fact that they have been coming to the clinic for 3 years, 5 years, 7 years and even as high as 12 years. Methadone is supposed to be a temporary treatment plan for opiate addiction. We are supposed to find our comfortable dose, stabilize for a few weeks, then taper backwards until you are off methadone for good. It wasn’t meant to be taken for years and years.
If you are addicted to any drug or now addicted to methadone itself, please feel free to call us here at The Addictions Coach at 1-800-706-0318 or visit our website at http://www.theaddictionscoach.