Friday, 1 August 2008

Diary: Methadone vs. Morphine Update

DIARY: I have had more requests to talk about my experience on Slow Release Oral Morphine (SROM) compared to methadone and because it’s been a while since I started on SROM, it would be a good time to discuss progress. Although it was a bit shaky at the start, I am fully in the swing of SROM now and I could never go back to methadone. It was a life saver originally and I strongly support methadone maintenance treatment(MMT) but it eventually led to some nasty side effects especially depression. SROM has changed my life for the better although there as still some issues that will probably never be resolved. The bottom line is that SROM as is an excellent treatment for heroin addiction and should an alternative to other medications for Opiate Maintenance Treatment(OMT).

The benefits of SROM compared to methadone for myself after 6 months:

LESS DEPRESSION
After years of methadone, my depression was severe. On a normal day, I would be fine until lunchtime but I couldn’t work anymore after that and I would sit by myself for hours just staring into space. There was little relief and I started to use heroin again a few times a week. This really took the depression away but it wasn’t the answer being illegal and very expensive. SROM fixed all that. Having a few short sleeps would break the day up and any depression is now short lived. It’s one hell of a difference to my life!

REDUCED HEROIN USE
I hardly use heroin anymore and I don’t get that feeling that I am due for some. I sort of feel that I don’t need it or I am happy without it, it’s hard to explain. Also the once great thrill of having a hit has almost gone ... I can’t be bothered. Even when prescription heroin becomes a reality, I would still opt for SROM.

LESS DROWSY
On high doses of methadone, I was always on the nod. Even when I got my dose down to 40ml, I would still nod off when tired. That’s gone completely although I did nod a bit when I first started SROM. I can now sit up as late as I want and instead of nodding, I fall asleep like everyone else.

STRONGER FEELING OF NORMALITY / BETTER SOCIAL FUNCTIONING
I still don’t socialise like I should but tasks like walking the dogs or shopping is not put off as often with crappy excuses. I wish I could enjoy going out more to parties or to see bands like I used to but without drinking or drugs, it’s fairly boring. It’s probably just my age and going out and yahooing is not my thing anymore. Going to the movies is fine but even social events like dinner where you have to engage in too much conversation is demanding. This could just be me but it’s still not as bad as when on I was on methadone.

SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT
No more getting up at 5am and staying up. That used to do me in by midday and I would be nodding all day. Now I get up at normal hours. The downside is having to sleep during the day. Luckily I work from home so I have 2 naps each day for about 30-60 minutes. Once early afternoon and once about 5-7pm. Also if you think methadone dreams are vivid, try morphine dreams. Morphine was actually named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.

OTHER
No fluid build up/weight gain, healthier appetite, less constipation, no aching and better pain management.

Since asking to get my dose increased (which didn’t happen), I have started to adapt out of necessity. It took a good month to feel properly balanced but I am feeling as well as I am ever going to on my current dose. This was helped by initially using heroin a few times which I feel was unnecessary if my dose had been increased.

Although I am a big supporter of prescription heroin, SROM should be a priority first. All countries can easily allow SROM to be part of their OMT where as prescription heroin has all sorts of legal and logistical problems.


Support
I received an email of support from a university lecturer a few days back.



Just wanted to shoot a brief note to say thank you for what is one of the better sites on heroin use on the web. I'm opiate dependent myuself, but opted for Suboxone over the alternatives. The site is a literal treasure trove of enlightening informationthat needs to be spread and wide ... which incidentally is what I try to do myself.
[...]
I hope you don't mind my adding you site to the course's online presence as an external link ... it just speaks with such clarity to the stereotyping of heroin users and the unconscionable part played in this stereotyping by five decades of Bronwyns (love the photojob re: Faces of Meth) and Bolts of the world.

Thanking you for a truly informative, yet engaging and amusing public resource...

I receive a few emails each week but this one stood out. He attached a report that he wrote in collaboration with the Salvos and I intend to read it this weekend. I think we will hear more about this in up coming articles.

Getting feedback like this is flattering and encourages me to keep up my site going. In the non cyber world it’s very different when people find out you’re a junkie, recovering or not. I don’t associate with my partners family at all anymore nor do I have contact with most of my old friends. I’m sure some of you know what I mean. My family are fine and very supportive especially my father, who although being rather conservative as well as an ex cop, hasn’t faulted even once. My best friend who lives in another state has stuck by me as well and it’s like nothing has changed since we were at school together. Apart from a few other good friends and a bunch of “mates” I see occasionally, I get encouragement from my website.


Feedback
Does anyone have any feedback on the above items?

Yes, I want more feedback from you. Email me with your thoughts, stories or experiences. Even better, leave a comment.

9 comments:

AsYlYm said...

Science created drugs not to destroy life but to prevent illnesses.

Mikey_Capital said...

ping!

Jack Dorf said...

It's great that you've managed the dosage issues.

Re age and a lack of motivation to go out + tendencies for reclusive behavior. Hey your not alone there!

Tonia said...

Hey Terry,

Just doing some research for said lecturer & I've re-visited a source I used a couple of years ago. Thought you may find it to be useful- it's a book called 'synthetic panics' by Philip Jenkins. He advocates harm min. but also offers excellent analysis of the role of the media in drug policy in the US.

In a sense it offers hope. AU managed NEP in the '80's, but the US thought it would 'send the wrong message' (same argument used by former gov. in 'veto' of heroin trial).

The HIV/AIDS stats in AU vs. the US are a clear indication that harm min. is the best path to tread.

It's worth it to keep banging one's head against a brick wall when one knows they're on to something. Just be sure you have some paracetamol on hand.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Jack.
So we are just old, boring codgers now. Cooool.

Thanks for the tip Tonia.
I'll try and get my hands on it.

google_this! said...

Hey Terry,
mate you've done an absolutely AMAZING job with this site, i can't begin to express the truth i feel in your words and also your views. Being a teen user back from the early 90's, i have a professional job with a major pharmaceutical firm (oh the irony of it all hey!! ; ) I'm currently on a methadone program but just finding it's not working for me, your info about SROM makes me think that there is an answer to my nearly 2 decade long struggle.
Is there much hope for a methdone program patient in melbourne to get onto a SROM program currently?
Please feel free to email me directly at tantric1976@hotmail.com
I sincerely do hope to hear from you soon mate,
Cheers...
tantric1976

Anonymous said...

How do you get a doctor to give you painkillers? I'm disabled by severe pain, but the doctor said I have to wait at least two weeks to see a specialist. It seems a bit silly that a person in severe pain can't have any pain relief. Meanwhile, junkies can apparently get bottles of methadone and morphine tablets.

I'm making my own medicine with stuff I got from the supermarket baking section to try to control my severe crippling pain. The junkies are saying how much they love their sustained release oral morphine tablets.

The world is insane.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Anon.

Try pushing your doctor for temp pain relief until you see a specialist. There is a major crackdown on doctors prescribing pain meds at the moment and some doctors are rightfully paranoid.

I'm sorry if the system is denying you the meds you need but don't blame us "junkies". The global controlling organisation, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) purposely keeps morphine in short supply which has raised the ire of many medical associations. Also, the government crackdown on doctors providing pain meds and benzos is causing many problems as you are seeing.

Good luck!

Gledwood said...

Hi I linked this post to mine about heroin/morphine therapy today