Back to top

Methadonia

Twitter
Cast
Michel Negroponte
Released
2005
Billie Holiday | alprazolam | Xanax | amphetamine | clonazepam | Klonopin | crack cocaine | diazepam | Valium | methadone | Dolophine | morphine
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

The realities of methadone maintenance therapy.

Methadone user Bill describes the typical pattern of escalation of drug use in pursuit of the high. He says it starts with heroin then progresses to speedballing (combining cocaine with heroin), then to escalating doses of methadone, and finally, addition of benzodiazepines to methadone. (0:00)

Methadone user Steve talks while intermittently nodding on the street. (0:04)

The narrator talks about his wife's sister Kathy: "She was totally focused on the drug. Nothing else mattered, and nothing seemed capable of stopping her from using until the overdose that killed her." (0:05)

Millie, herself a recovering addict, leads a counseling group. (0:07)

Millie talks about "28 years of... dope, conning people, being sick... " Later, in the street, Millie talks more about herself: "I'd smoke the crack. I'd have to take the heroin to bring me down... out of my mind... get more money to do the crack again... heroin brought me down. Then shooting the dragon, I was smoking in the crack pipe also heroin and the crack, chasing the dragon... in shooting galleries... you don't care." (0:09)

The group huddles for the serenity prayer. (0:11)

Narrator: "Addiction specialists call this opiate replacement therapy." (0:12)

Animation illustrates molecular occupation of receptors and antagonism. (0:13)

Bill lists different slang names for the drug. (0:14)

Bill talks about what it takes to stop using methadone: "It takes a sponsor..." (0:15)

Narrator: "In the 1960s pill habits meant amphetamines and barbiturates, but today the more common pill addictions are to benzodiazepines, a class of anti-anxiety drugs. In methadonia they're called sticks, benzos and footballs. You take a couple of them after a dose of methadone and the high is almost as good as a bag of heroin." (0:16)

Methadone user George has been prescribed "Klonopin for anxiety, Paxil for depression and another drug with a name he can't remember for the voices he occasionally hears. (0:18)

Methadone user Susie had to get off of Vicodin and was smoking crack, but she also suffered from bulimia. (0:20)

Susie in group: "I'm down to half a stick of Xanax a day." (0:22)

Eddie talks about his "six ODs... they want you to go through the withdrawals cold turkey with restraints on." He goes on to talk about Billie Holiday, heroin, and how "they made you kick in a straitjacket... in a rubber room." and"They just give me Narcon [sic]." (0:25)

Narrator: "Valium was the first popular benzo. Today in methadonia the benzos of choice seem to be Xanax and Klonopin. They're officially produced for reducing anxiety. Klonopin also prevents seizures... make a perfect chaser for methadone... available everywhere. Doctors prescribe them to addicts in recovery because recovery usually brings insomnia and anxiety. Even when they're taken without methadone addicts say that benzos are as addictive as opiates... can have a double life as a street drug." (0:28)

Methadone user Steve: "I was getting ready to go to the Brooklyn Bridge... I was gonna take all my psych medicine... do two bags [of dope], swallow all my pills... jump off the Brooklyn Bridge... if that don't work I'm going down the subway station and try to find some depressed man... to push me off." (0:30)

Steve: "You're a junkie, stoned out junkie. You're on a methadone." (0:33)

Methadone user Jeff in group: "How do I deal with painful feelings? I usually get high." (0:35)

In group Jeff says, "I hope I find my higher power." (0:38)

Narrator about the baby Susie is expecting: "The sad fact is that Leah is already addicted to benzos and methadone." (0:47)

Narrator: "It's true that German researchers came up with methadone during World War II as a morphine substitute, and they did name their new drug Dolophine..." (0:50)

Narrator: methadone "... detox can be brutal with many of the same symptoms as heroin withdrawal: muscle and bone pain, chills, body cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea." (0:59)

Narrator: Methadone user George has mood swings and "admits that he has been shooting cocaine." (1:05)

Narrator about Mario: "He admitted that he'd been doing up to a dozen benzos a day." (1:08)

Mario: "To kick a benzo habit... compared to heroin. There's nothing to compare... benzos getting into your bones, inside your bones and eat you up alive." (1:10)

Millie talks about recovery (1:11)

Steve, detoxing from methadone: "I'm very suicidal right now." (1:15)

Narrator: "Susie's infant daughter Leah detoxed from methadone and benzos before leaving the hospital. It took six weeks." (1:16)

Narrator: George is hospitalized for surgery and an infection. "George is also paranoid and writes notes saying the hospital is trying to kill him by draining his blood." (1:19)