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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:37 am 
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This is my story. A bit long perhaps, and nothing really unusual, but if it helps someone then I'm glad to tell it.

I'm honestly not even really sure when or where my first opiate use took place, though I can say it was definitely sometime in my late teens. I can remember a time or two taking a small dose of hydrocodone, though it was really never anything special to me, just another thing I tried during the heavier drug usage period in my life. I'm not even sure I ever got a good enough dose to truly get high.

The first period of time I remember ever using opiates with any frequency would have been several years later, when in my early to mid twenties. Somewhere along the line I had gotten a good and proper high off of something or another, perhaps oxycodone, and from there my love affair started. I still wasn't a very serious user, only dosing when the opportunity presented itself, someone was offering at a party, or I knew someone was sitting on an unused or unfilled script or something along those lines.

I experimented here or there when I could for the next few years, again nothing serious. I even went a period of about a year without any pills at all. Everything was pretty low key between me and mother opium until something happened in the fall of 2005. A then co-worker offered me a few hydrocodone. 10mg. Nothing big, but I had the time of my life. I felt so damn good that I couldn't believe it. It was love all over again.

From there on I tried to score much more often. At first it wasn't always easy. Often times I went a few weeks between doses, but then I wasn't paying a very heavy price since my usage still wasn't all that consistant. But after enough time, having told enough people that I was always interested in any spare pills they came across, I soon had a very steady supply of a wondrous variety of opiates. Soon one of my contacts told me they had a friend that had chronic back pain and sold 50 of their 10mg hydrocodone pills every month, which of course I purchased eagerly and without delay.

Time went on, I noticed over time that my reason for using began to change. At first I dosed for fun, for recreation. Soon enough I started dosing to take the edge off and relieve myself of stress from work and single parenting. Next thing I knew I was dosing because if I didn't I would feel like crap. I started taking higher and higher doses of hydrocodone, topping out at around 55mg per single dose. When I could I would get my hands on oxycodone, either via percocet or oxycontin. When I couldn't find anything and I was desperate my friend would give me a handful of his father's morphine sulphate 15mg.

My need began to eclipse my original self-imposed dosing schedule as welll. I had originally resolved to only dose in the evenings, when my daughter was asleep, but after a time I started to get the urge to dose earlier and earlier. I would often sit at my computer, researching different opiates and their potencies, uses, and so-on, just counting the minutes until she would go to sleep, often becoming extremely impatient with her, as all I could think about was taking my dose. I paced back and forth, biting my nails, and finally resolved to just take the damn things usually.

By the time I met my now fiance' I was spending somewhere between four and six hundred dollars a month on pills. I was quickly running short of surplus cash, and I was beginning to do less than intelligent things with my dosing (such as taking a full dose, and then taking another full dose a while later when I thought I wasn't feeling anything). I specifically remember one three day period having spent five hundred dollars, and another 3 day period in which I felt I had been very close to overdose indeed. Neither one a good scenario.

Luckily enough, as I began to ponder how the hell I was going to climb out of the hole I had just dug myself into, I found help. I was online, researching the possibility of making tea from opiate poppy pods, I saw an add for a suboxone treatment facility a measly 30 minutes from my house. After discussing the situation in it's entirety with my then newfound girlfriend, and after a lot of soul-searching, I decided to go in and get treated.

Suboxone is pretty amazing stuff, and though I have a few negative things I could say about it, I'll save that for another time and place. The bottom line is that it gave me a chance that I otherwise may have never had. And with the help of my incredibly supportive and understanding girlfriend, and my also very supportive and understanding doctor, I think I avoided a potentially very grim fate indeed.

So, that's pretty much it I guess. If you've read this all I'd almost have to say that I'm sorry. I rambled quite a bit and for all the reading that you just did the return probably wasn't all that great. Not exactly an epic tale if I may say so myself. Still, maybe this helps someone, somehow. And though I've recounted all this and more for others in the past, it still always kinda feels good to talk about it. And..... that's that.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:17 pm 
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Hi All,

Thank you to those who have taken the time to tell your story. I noticed that Paradox alludes to the negative aspects of suboxone, and would like to just say something about that.

I encourage people to discuss the side effects that they are having in that part of the forum-- suboxone is far from perfect, although I think that over time new analogs of the molecule will be designed that have fewer side effects, just as the early treatments for hypertension (like propranolol) were replaced by better-tolerated medications (like metoprolol, for example).

What I would like to avoid, though, are the sometimes-emotional charges that being on suboxone is 'the same as being on oxy', or that a person on suboxone is 'less recovered' than a person staying clean by a different method. There are several reasons why I don't want those posts here; first of all, there are already other forums where those charges can be made. Second, this site is for people who have made a decision to use suboxone, or want to hear about the medication from people who are taking it. Finally, much of what I have read in the posts of those who like to bash suboxone just does not fit with the experiences that I have had/seen/heard in prescribing suboxone to many, many patients. I have seen and helped people get off suboxone, and so I know that it is simply not true that 'it is harder to kick than heroin' (or oxy or methadone). As a partial agonist, the drug just cannot produce the levels of tolerance that occur with pure agonists.

If you take issue with this policy I invite you to start another forum-- maybe the 'suboxone haters forum' or something like that. I want this place to be a site for people to talk about their addiction and about the use of suboxone for their addiction. We addicts have a serious disease-- a disease that can destroy our families, ruin our careers, and take our lives. We don't have time to quibble about who's treatment is better. We have found a way to avoid the destruction that our disease can cause, and as we share that in common, we can share our experiences in the hope that they will be helpful for another person.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:07 pm 
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Thanks for the reply doc.

It's unclear to me as to whether you were simply using this space as an opportunity to state your position on such attitudes towards suboxone treatment, or if my post had somehow alluded to you that I myself saw suboxone as a negative, or had a bad experience or something or other. I apologize if the latter is the case, as that is not at all what I had intended.

I would like to clarify however, that my position on suboxone and it's use to treat opiate addiction is, as a whole, a positive one. What I said about having some negative things I could say about suboxone was entirely side-effect related, and I stated that I would not go into detail at this time and place for the simple fact that I did notice that you created a seperate thread specifically for that very purpose. I am planning on posting there soon to lay out the things that I noticed during my treatment. Even then, I wouldn't say that my time on the drug was bad. I can't remember ever seeing a single drug in my life that didn't have at least a few negative side effects. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect drug. And I actually noticed several very beneficial side effects to the medication as well. Again, I'll go into my experience in better detail later on in the proper thread.

The bottom line is that suboxone most likely saved my life. I think that there is probably not a better option out there at this time for opiate addicts who are looking to get themselves straightened out, and I would never bash the drug for that reason if nothing else. The truth is that if I were to make a list of all the negative and positive things that have transpired in my life since starting suboxone treatment, the good would far outstrip the bad. It's not even a question in my mind: suboxone is a very good thing indeed.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:46 am 
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Once again, I have to thank you for staying on topic. That's what its all about. I for one, appreciate your honesty, and the knowledge you back it up with. Keep doing what your doing, because I think you can help a lot of people out there :wink:

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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
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