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 Post subject: My addiction history
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:08 pm 
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Folks, this is going to be a LONG one and I apologize in advance because I know I will digress a bit.

Wow. Where to start?? I guess the beginning was years ago, when I was 18 and working at a dentist's office. I had never up to that point taken any pain medication that I can recall. One day, I noticed that the Doc had literally hundreds of samples in the dark room. For some stupid reason, I took a few (Vicodin ES) and LOVED the way they made me feel. This went on for a few months until I felt so guillty about stealing them that I quit the job.
Fast forward to the age of about 22. I had a friend who turned me on to Percocet 512s. I only used them recreationally every so often, but damn they made me feel so much better than the Vicodin, and so I found a new love. This period in my life only lasted a few months--until I realized what they were doing to HER. At that point, I quit hanging around her and cleaned up my act again for a while. For the record, my friend has now been clean for almost 4 years now and going strong.
Then I discovered cocaine...which I only used about 10 times in 2 years. I liked the buzz, but absolutely HATED how I felt the day after. I decided NO MORE of that. Ahhhhhh......and then I discovered extacy at the club one night. I used it every weekend for about 2-3 years until I met my ex--who was 12 years older than I was and I knew she would NOT tolerate drug use. So, again I cleaned myself up. Stayed sober for the duration of our relationship and then some.
Starting around 5 years ago, at around 30, all hell broke loose in my life. At the time I had a wonderful job that I had been with for years. My father was diagnosed with moderate Alzheimers. About 2 months later, my mom (who had NEVER been in trouble with the law) called and told me that she had been arrested for embezzlement from a company that she had been with for 22 years. She went to prison for 3 months. I moved to a small apartment behind their house and took care of my dad and grandfather while she was gone. At this point, I was still clean and working 60+ hours a week, but still managing to take care of them. Mom gets out of prison and all is well....for a while.
3 years ago, I hurt my shoulder badly in a boating accident. Went to a doctor who prescribed me Mobic on the first visit. No problem. I took the Mobic but it didn't help. Went back to the doctor a month later and he asked me how the Mobic was working......it wasn't. Then he looked at my chart and said "well, we never took an x-ray, did we"? NOPE! The jackass had me on rheumatoid arthritis meds without ever taking an x-ray. This went on for another month or two, but the pain just got worse. I was at a friend's house one day and asked if she had anything for pain--I was thinking more along the lines of 800mg ibuprofen. What she handed me was roxicodone. And, by God it WORKED!! NO pain and that stuff gave me more energy than I had had in years. I was HOOKED! My grandfather, who I was very close to died 3 years ago next month. I started upping my doseage because I didn't want to feel anything. This went on until the following May. I was out of town and ran out of meds. I thought nothing of it because I had never experienced WDs before. That was the worst I have ever felt in my life!!! I decided after the 2nd day of WDs that I did not EVER want to go through that again, so I got clean again....for a while. I had just bought a house with my current girlfriend and then lost my job. So....here we go again.
The ex that I mentioned earlier and I were still great friends. She was diagnosed with colon cancer 3 years ago. I could not be there to support her because my current GF does not understand how exes can still be friends. A Less than a year later and after a clean bill of health, her doctors found that the entire right lobe of her liver was completely eaten up with cancer. Again, I could not be there for my friend. During surgery at the Mayo Clinic, the doctors noticed that the cancer had gotten into her bones. I could not handle this along with everything else, so I started using again. In february of this year, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died shortly after surgery. Again, I could not be there for her. So, I started using more and more to cope with the loss. I did NOT want to feel that pain. Around the same time, I found out that my mom was leaving dad at home for up to 16 hours a day because she had rather be gambling, which is a no-no if you're not paying your damn restitution. My father has also been dealing with bladder cancer. I was taking him to his appointments because mom "had to work". No problem.....until I continually caught her gambling on days that she was supposed to be at work. I found out a few weeks ago that my father has lost 14 pounds in the last 3 months because she has not been there to feed him. I started using more to suppress the emotional pain. And then the kicker....mom has not paid her restitutionin months and will more than likely be going back to prison in the next few weeks---for up to 3.5 years. I decided then and there that I had to get myself together because I will be the one to take care of him during that time.
I tried cold turkey, but could not stand the withdrawals again. Then, a friend told me about Suboxone and how it has helped her. I did some research about it and found this WONDERFUL forum. I have been trying for a week to get in touch with a Subox Doc, to no avail. One won't see me because I have no insurance. Another isn't taking new patients right now. And the other....I have left voicemails for the last several days with no response.
I want nothing more than to kick the crap out of this addiction so that I can give both myself and my father the care we deserve. I really feel that Subox could help me given my past with adiction, but I just can't seem to find the help. Can any of you help me with suggestions on how to find a Subox clinicaside from the Physician Finder on the drug website? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

If you took the time to read all of this, thanks for your patience!! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:07 pm 
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I've read your story and I'm sorry for all you've been through in the past couple of years. I have always used drugs since I was a teenager but, like you, when life got rough my drug abuse became an every day - all day routine. The bad part about using to cope with tragedies in our life is that they are always waiting for us when we get sober. Sure drugs help us cope but we never grieve or heal. All those things will hit you like a ton of bricks when you are newly sober. I've always said my first year of sobriety was the hardest year of my life. Not because of withdrawals or PAWS but because I had to deal with all the guilt and remorse that built up over more than a decade. This is where suboxone is a life saver, IMO. We are so used to not feeling anything that when we do start to feel we imediately want to numb ourselves. Being on suboxone helped me get through those early times. I was able to learn to feel and cope without the constant obsesion to use.
About finding a doctor... I've posted a few times on here about trying psychiatrist in your area. Lots prescribe suboxone but don't advertise it. My psychiatrist has been prescribing for me the past 4 years. The only problem is that some won't start your suboxone treatment. Mine for example will take new patients but only if thier already stable for a year or so. I'm not sure if they all work that way but that could be a road block if you try and go that route. Also try some doctors outside your community. Some will have no luck finding a doctor in thier town but will have luck a town or two next to you. It might add some driving time but it's well worth it. Hope some of this helps, best of luck.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:34 am 
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I found my doctor through NAABT.org doctor-patient matching service. My friend used the service too and was able to find a doctor who would work with her on a sliding-scale and got her set up with Reckitt's patient assistance programs so she got her meds for free, and he only charged her 50 bucks per visit.

You might have to call a lot of docs and explain your situation, but hopefully you'll find someone who will work with you. Also, I don't know where you live, but in my state (WA) people who are low-income and are trying to get help for addiction can qualify for state benefits. If I was you, I'd get on the phone and start calling any kind of community health services that you can find and keep talking to people until you get the info or referral that you need. Some ideas to help you get started: Is there an alcohol & drug hotline in your area? Do you come into contact with any social workers in the course of dealing with your mom & dad's situations? (Sometimes they're aware of resources that no one else seems to know about). You could also try calling local rehabs or detox centers - the people who work there usually know the ins and outs of the system. And you can try the county hospital (you know the one that takes people with no insurance) and see if they have a Sub program or if they can refer you anywhere. Look for suboxone or bupe research studies in your area as well - that's where I started my Sub treatment and when I left the study they hooked me up with a Sub doctor to take over my treatment. I know that all this calling around can seem overwhelming, but it's worth it.

Welcome to the forum - there's a great group of supportive people here. I'm sorry for all that you've been through in the past few years, and I really hope that you'll be able to find the help that you need.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:43 am 
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Hello boots and welcome to the forum. You've received some great information from Smoothy and DOQ. You may just have to keep calling and keep calling. I also found my doctor via the doctor-matching program on NAABT.org. Turned out he's also a family doctor, which worked out well for me.

The idea about clinical trials is a really good one. Here's a website/database of clinical trials. http://clinicaltrials.gov/
It's a really good resource.

I wish you all the best. Again, welcome. Hang in there and please keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Smoothy, thanks for replying so fast. I wanted to reply last night, but we had a terrible storm here and my internet went kaput for the evening. I've spent most of the day looking for any type of Subox facility/Doctor. I know, without a doubt, that without the help of a psychiatrist I will never get to the root of the problems. I also know that I am definately going to need someone to talk to while spending the next few years taking care of my father. Alzheimers is horrible at best. It's been very difficult to spend the last several years watching his decline and knowing there's nothing I can do to "make it better" for him. Absolutely heartbreaking. I feel that now...so I can only imagine the emotions that will come out during my first few months of sobriety. Hell, I still haven't dealt with my grandfather or friends death yet. Just take another pill to numb whatever emotional pain manages to surface, ya know?
As for finding a Doc.....I will travel as far as need be to get treatment. You would think that being close to Research Triangle Park in NC, that I'd have more luck than I have. But I won't give up. I can't. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Diary--Thank you SO much for the referral to the NAABT website. I signed up this morning and got a reply. The only problem is this doc can only see patients with Medicaid right now....which I do not have. I'll keep calling and trudging along, though.
As for the alcohol and drug hotline....no good here. I'm not being prejudicial, but our county is so inundated with illegals that I have actually waited at the health dept for an entire day without being seen.
I've been waiting for 3 days for a response from ADS (a local non-profit treatment facility). I've left several messages each day to no avail. So, I continue to persue other avenues. There are no social workers involved with mom, just a PO. Dad's medical care comes from the VA, so no luck for me being non-military.
Thank to all of you for your kind words and advice! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Maybe someone at the VA can help you out with a referral though - it's just a thought. The research study that I was in was conducted through the VA (it took non vets though) and the study doc was the head of addiction treatement at the VA hospital. He was the doctor who referred me to the Sub doc who took me when I left the study. It might be worth a shot just to ask if they know anyone in your area who can help you.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:23 pm 
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Hello boots,

Just wanted to say hello and welcome, I have found this site very helpful! I am sorry you are having trouble finding a dr. I know its hard, a few years back I tried and kept hitting walls. Then one day a Dr. called me back from like a year before and said "Are you still interested in the suboxone program?", destiny I guess! Have you tried the Here to help program? I have a one on one through them and I have heard they can help you find dr.s.

Good luck!!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:26 pm 
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Boots,

The here to help phone number is 866-974-HERE {4373} or HereToHelpProgram.com just incase your interested!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Diary----thanks for the info on the VA. Great idea! My dad actually has a pre-op appointment next Monday and I will be taking him, as usual. I will certainly talk to some folks while I'm there. I found out about an hour or two ago that my mother has a court date on the 30th of this month and will almost definately be going back to prison for at least 5-6 months (according to her PO), so it is imperative that I find something and soon. The upcoming date is a hearing to determine the actual court date (which makes no sense to me, as I have never been in the "system"). :?

Hancal--I have not tried the Here to Help program, as I was not sure quite what it was. I will call them this evening or first thing in the morning.

Again--thanks to all of you for your support and advice. It is greatly appreciated. :)


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 Post subject: Update
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Well, I finally found a Sub Doc thanks to all of your advice and the NAABT website. I called yesterday, told them the situation and they fit me in today!! I got my paperwork done and got a therapy session in. Tomorrow is my induction. I really liked the facility and the folks I met there today. I am very much looking forward to beginning this journey!

Again---MANY thanks to all of you who have posted!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:35 pm 
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YAY YOU!!! I'm so thrilled for you. You must be so relieved. Just goes to show you what determination can do. I'm so glad you kept trying. Please let us know how the induction goes. Congratulations!

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Boots,

That is GREAT new!!!! Wow, and you can start tomarro that is awsome!! Please let us no how your induction goes. Good luck tomarro I look forward to hearing about it!!!


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 Post subject: Induction
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Well......I got to start my suboxone yesterday. I swear, within an hour and a half I was a different person. By that I mean that I feel the best both physically and mentally that I have in years. I took my first dose at 3:00 yesterday afternoon and by 4:30, I was out mowing the grass and weedeating. And felt GREAT! I do have a question that I hope someone can help answer. Did any of you find that the Subox kept you awake at first? I was up until 6am and had to force myself to lay down this morning. Not sure what to think of this. My dose was only an 8mg tablet.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:48 pm 
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I think the insomnia/awakeness thing is pretty common when people first start Sub, but it should go away soon. Maybe taking your dose in the morning will help with that.

Also, I wanted to tell you that I love your screen name. Every time I see it I giggle.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:02 pm 
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Congratulations on what sounds like a very successful induction! This is the first step in getting your life back, or for some of us it's more accurate to say we started a brand new life. I agree with DOQ - maybe taking your dose in the morning will be better for you. It's funny, for some people sub makes them sleepy, yet some others have the opposite effect. (It doesn't seem to do either for me.)

I'm really happy for you! Keep us posted on how you're doing. I hope you stick around.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Dear Boots,

I am so sorry to hear about everything you have been through. I just read through this whole thing and found myself cheering when you said that you finally found a doctor!

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's is one of the most intense, difficult things that anyone has to do. It is a 24-7 job, and a thankless one. You will be caring for your father, while just starting on your road to recovery. I don't know about where you live, but where I live in NY state, the Alzheimer's Association has many thing in place to assist caregivers, including support groups, help finding equipment, transportation to medical appts, and free respite care: someone who will come and stay with the patient so that you can get out and buy groceries, or do something for yourself. Perhaps you could check and see if these things are available to you. If so, take advantage of everything they have to help.

I too am new to this site but I plan to use it for support as the folks here have already helped me so much. Do not lose yourself when you take on your caregiver role. It is a labor of love, but you have to make time to care for yourself as well.

I wish you all the best. ~Rossma


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Hi Boots! I am sorry I didn't get to this any sooner. I must have missed it the past few days but I am glad everyone helped you out and that you found a doctor. I am also glad you are feeling well and are crawling your way out of this hell. Suboxone certainly changed my life and I am very grateful for it. I think it will give you that step up you need to begin dealing with all of these life stressors. It's good to hear you will be going to therapy also. I am sorry about your parents situation but I think it is great that you are willing to step in and take care of your father.

Take care!

Cherie

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