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answered 09:54 PM EST, Wed September 10, 2014
Hello Anna. I've just read your article on the dangers of combining methadone (or suboxone) with benzodiazepines. It is very clear & well-written in my opinion. I have been on methadone for 14 years & my most common 'reward to self' has been benzodiazepines. The combination turns me into a dribbling baby in a man's body (but I'm so 'stoned' that I'm unaware of this).
I am on a methadone wean and have decreased from 135mg/day to 30mg/day. I decrease 5mg per month.
I am so happy that you are Christian! God bless you!!
Sorry I havn't got a question. Love from New Zealand.

James Ingle

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds

Hello James,

Thank you for writing. I'm glad you read my article. I'm sure you are aware of how dangerous benzodiazepines are when combined with methadone. I'm so happy you have been able to decrease from 135 mg to 30 mg. That is amazing progress! You should be so proud of how far you have come. You didn't mention if you have been able to stop taking benzodiazepines. I hope you are doing well with not taking them. Abstinence will make it so much easier to come off methadone. Any abuse of benzodiazepines can set you back. Because benzodiazepines increase the effects of methadone, the use/abuse of them will make it seem like your dose of methadone is going up and down, depending on how many benzodiazepines you have taken. I'm sure you can see how this arbitrary increase/decrease of methadone potency can affect your decrease schedule. If you feel like you are going up and down in dose, you're likely to have more withdrawal and negative effects while you reduce your methadone dose. 

In regards to your mention of benzodiazepines as a "reward," it shows the addictive thinking process. An addict will commonly think drug use is a reward for accomplishments, doing well at their job, etc. But drug use only hurts the person who is using. The risks include health problems, overdose, lost jobs, failure at school, poor relationships with family or friends to name a few. I hope you have found another reward as you are working so hard to come off methadone.

Here are some suggestions for alternative rewards:

  • Fun night out with friends (movie, dinner, bowling, etc.)
  • Physical affection (hug, cuddle, sex, etc.)
  • Family time
  • Spa (massage, Reiki, sauna, acupuncture, etc.)
  • Material possessions (clothes, games, electronics, etc.)
  • Singing
  • Church services or activities
  • Dancing
  • Being silly
As you can see, there are lots of fun things to do that can be natural or healthy rewards. I wish you the best with your recovery. I hope you complete methadone treatment and have a long, healthy life without substances. 
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Page last updated Sep 10, 2014

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