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@standingbear I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

@standingbear You are right. Methadone is dangerous to go off of cold turkey and without medical supervision. Have you spoken to your provider about coming off of methadone? Providers can offer treatments to help relief withdraw symptoms.

May I ask if you feel that your symptoms have improved enough to no longer need any pain medications or will you utilizing other treatments?

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Replies to "@standingbear I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. @standingbear You are right. Methadone..."

Hello @standingbear and Erika, I am Sunnyflower. I want to extend a very warm welcome to Connect and a VERY big thank you to you and your family for your service in the military.

I had to discontinue methadone and it took me one and one-half years bc it had to be done so slowly. Toward the end, I had to use liquid for my taper as the tabs didn't come in the lower doses I needed. And, they put me on another opiate to help avoid withdrawal. There was a period quite some years ago where medicine wanted to use methadone as the drug of choice for long-term chronic pain patients. It did work quite well. Then, not too, too long afterwards, they realized that methadone has a very long half-life (the half-life of a drug is an estimate of the period of time that it takes for the concentration or amount in the body of that drug to be reduced by exactly one half (50%), up to 60 hours depending on they type of methadone. So with that long half-life, the next doses would continue to build on the residual amount of the drug still in the patient's system and it was very dangerous.

I also worked in a detox/Residential treatment unit in a hospital for 10 years and learned a lot there. Erika is right, you MUST have a medically supervised and likely very long slow taper off Methadone. I would make sure the doctor whose care you will be under, has a great deal of expertise in addiction and physiological dependence and the average family doctor does not. You should feel free to ask for a referral to such doctor without the fear of offending your family or primary care provider (PCP), if they themselves do not have this experience. A good doctor will never feel offended if a patients asks for a referral or 2nd opinion.

I wish you all the best in every way. Warmest regards, Sunnyflower