Home > All Posts > Despite controversy, methadone program gives some addicts a way out

Despite controversy, methadone program gives some addicts a way out

Despite controversy, methadone program gives some addicts a way out

The Post and Courier
Sunday, July 13, 2008

When he tried to quit using OxyContin, heroin and other opiates cold turkey, the pain was so great he felt it in the marrow of his bones, says Ken S., a patient in Charleston County’s methadone program.

Ken, 40, who chose not to give his last name so he could remain anonymous, said that about a year ago he landed on the door step of the Charleston Center, the county’s drug and alcohol treatment program which runs the state’s only public methadone program.

He had been abusing opiates since he chugged a bottle of codeine cough syrup at 10 years old. And he was at the end of a two-year spree of heavy abuse of prescription opiates and heroin that left him in fear of losing his job and his family.

He was so out of control, he said, that he physically and verbally abused his wife as his child watched. “My 9-year-old son was scared of me.”

Ken was so ashamed of what he’d done that he tried to stop using the drugs but the withdrawal symptoms were unbearable. He found himself doubled over and vomiting in the shower as nearly scalding water washed over him.

“It was disgusting,” he said. He knew then that he desperately needed help.

He remembered hearing that a former girlfriend, who also was an opiate addict, had participated in a methadone program and was successful getting off the drugs.

So, he showed up at the Charleston Center. It was his last hope, Ken said, “the last house on the block.”

Read more about Ken’s story and the methadone treatment program in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.


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