Methadone – My Savior, My Ball And Chain

In March of 2012, I was sitting alone in my bed. My husband was sitting in a Virginia jail being held without bail, a dear friend was sleeping on the couch in the family room. I was taking him out a few times a week to go boosting and getting high sometimes. Albeit less then I was previously. I had some suboxone and was taking them sometimes. At my husbands last bail review, the judge denied him bail because he was already out on bail in Baltimore City on a possession of heroin charge. Actually he had been arrested on possession and intent to distribute, but the felony distribution charge was dropped at his preliminary hearing. In The crazy ass Commonwealth that is Virginia, almost anything (and everything) is a felony, and possession is no different. The judge said that he could not grant him bail on this felony since he was out on bail on that felony. We explained that he was not out on that felony, it was a misdemeanor. He would not believe us. “If you can prove that he is not out on another felony bail, I will grant bail,” he said, all high and mighty as he was just so sure that we were dead wrong. Of course, I knew that I was right, and I knew that I just had to have the lawyer bring the Maryland state laws to show him and my husband would have a bail. 

So here I was sitting, knowing that in three weeks time, my husband would be granted bail. I had to do something. I didn’t want us to go back to the life that we had been living. My friend who was staying on my sofa, got arrested and happened to have three Maryland warrants as well as a Virginia warrant (he was my husband’s co-defendant in the VA case). So I contemplated my options. I was the sole care giver to two children, at the time ages 6 and 3. That meant cold turkey wasn’t going to happen. I only had like two suboxone left, plus I don’t do too well with those. So, I pulled out my IPad and went to my Medicaid carrier’s webpage and looked for methadone clinics that took my insurance. The one that my sister went to for a couple of years before she relapsed took it. I called. It was a Tuesday. They told me the doctor comes on Thursday for new intakes, and the got my information.

So, that was over two years ago. So yeah, it took me a few months to actually use the program right and to get my head out of my ass and get clean. Funnily enough, they were most concerned with my benzo use, and I rarely use benzos. They just stay in your system for so long that I failed a few drug tests for Xanax. Heroin too. It took until August of 2012 before I started to have clean urines. They have been clean ever since and I now only go once a week. I actually should only have to go once a month, but my insurance will not cover that many take homes at once, so it is once a week unless I want to pay out of pocket.

I would, by the way, pay out of pocket. It is $80 a week. I was spending like a thousand a day between my husband and I. You do the math. Methadone has undoubtedly saved my life, my marriage, my relationship with my kids, with my mother. I have gotten used to being sober. I have goals again, and I realize how far behind I am on achieving them. I write. I study makeup tutorials. A friend sent me a thing about what classes I need to become a addictions counselor.

I am not, however, unaware of the sharp and painful juxtaposition that methadone is. I am getting the phrase, “that which nourishes me, destroys me” tattooed on my arm in French. This pretty much sums up my feelings on methadone. I think it is great. I can not stand the holier than thou NA members who will not let you in the sanctity of their group if you are using methadone or suboxone, even if it is with a prescription. No, I don’t believe in that at all. I don’t believe that you should deny yourself anti-depressants or anti-anxiety mess if you need them. I don’t think that if you get a major surgery or some shit like that you should not take any pain meds. I feel no difference in medications that sole purpose is to keep yup sober.

I am not ignorant to the fact that I am addicted to methadone. I am going to have to detox off of it someday. It is a hard drug to detox off of. For me, at least, it is by far the lesser of the two evils. I don’t spend thousands of dollars on it. I do not participate in illegal activities to obtain said funds. I do not get from a drug dealer. I do not have to wait in a line in an alley and have to run to the car, hoping that a cop doesn’t see my white ass anywhere near the area and fuck with me due to my race. I can carry it on me and in my car. I even flew with it to DisneyWorld. My name is on the bottle. It has the doctor’s name, the clinic’s name and number, the date on which I am to take it. It is legal. All of that is good.

I do. I do not want to be on it for years and years. I do not want it to show up on a pre-employment drug screen, and while I have a prescription and they could not legally deny me employment based on it being in my system, they could then decide to look up my criminal record. I only go one day a week, but I still have to plan around it. I have to make sure I can get there. My husband and I only have one car and he works 6 am to 2 pm, in D.C., which is 45 away with no traffic. The clinic is open 5:30 am to 11 am. See the problem there? We are planning a trip to Ocean City over the summer, I have to make sure that we either don’t go there until after I go on Thursday, or that we are back by Thursday. See it is my ball and chain. The chain is just much longer than the one that heroin had me on.

Methadone is not particularly great for your body either. It is bad for your heart, your teeth, and a whole lot more. If I ever do need surgery or get into a car accident or something, normal amounts of pain medicines will do nothing for me due to the daily dose of methadone that I take.

I hope to detox some time over the next year. They drop you like a milligram a week, and you can stop or go back up at any point that you want. They help you to do it in your own time. I do not want to use it as a crutch forever. I want to use it for what it is for, getting you clean off of illegal substances, and it has done that wonderfully.

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