Bluewater Methadone Clinic (BMC) has been helping people with opiate addictions to lead a life free of opiate drugs since October of 2004.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms are very uncomfortable –uncomfortable enough that even the strongest willed people find it very difficult to stop their use of these drugs.

Methadone and buprenorphine are both used in opioid replacement therapy. ORT removes these uncomfortable symptoms and stops the craving for opiate drugs. Addiction is not just a problem of being physically dependent on a drug. People start to develop behaviors that cause problems with their health, finances, family, friends, employers/teachers, and the law – in short their lives have changed as a result of being dependent on these medications.

Once your body no longer needs or wants opiates you are more able to move away from the other things that have taken over your life. In fact, some people are so sick of what has happened to their lives they have tried over and over again to quit opiates but have always returned to them because of the real physical discomfort the withdrawal causes. Some of these people never use again after coming to our clinic. Others decrease their opiate use gradually over a few weeks and most then quit.

Not having to buy opiates will free up money that you can spend in more appropriate ways. You may have more energy and will be more likely to start to contribute to your family and society. Patients on methadone are less likely to have medical problems or problems with the law or other agencies than people that continue to use drugs. Patients on methadone are much more likely to remain clean than those that just go “cold turkey”. Going “cold turkey” is not recommended as it rarely works and it is associated with higher mortality because people lose there tolerance rapidly  – they become more likely to overdose when the resume using.

When the ORT patient feels that their life is stable and they no longer suffer from cravings or withdrawal they may decide to stop taking methadone. This weaning or tapering is best done with the assistance of a methadone prescribing physician in a gradual way so as to not trigger withdrawal and craving. The dose is gradually lowered at a rate that depends on the patient’s wishes and symptoms. Patients are not forced to stop taking methadone – this is a decision made by the patients at a time that is right for them.