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 Post subject: My Addiction Story
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:01 pm 
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I am a 51 y/o male. When I entered my 40's I developed an auto-immune disease. Though all the lab and symptoms pointed in that direction, I was diagnosed with depression, as auto-immune diseases like mine are more likely in women. I was given multiple anti depressants and anti psychotics and became much worse. I was finally diagnosed with RSD and had to apply for disability. Initially I was bed bound with no income or insurance. Then the unexpected happened and a had a sever pain crises from chemical cellulitis that effected my right chest wall and my entire right arm. I went to the VA, and was told methadone was the best medication to treat my pain. They said they'd mail it to me, but it never came. They didn't believe it and refused to order any for me. I went to the ER and was given Lortab for the pain with no relief. Then I took my first step in to Hell. I walked into a methadone clinic, by the time I realized it was not helping I was hooked. When my Medicare kicked in I found a Dr that had previously worked in a clinic and he agreed to taper me off. I started researching suboxone when I was on 20mg of methadone and in constant withdrawal. I was only on 40mg when I started my taper, started with mild withdrawal on 30mg and severe withdrawal on 20mg. I kept believing my body would get used to it, but it was an endless cycle that lasted the 2 years he was treating me. The day I walked in to ask for Suboxone, the Dr brought it up before I could. He wrote me a prescription and told me to get it filled and come back to his office for the first dose of 8mg/2. I asked if he could write for subutex and he said no, even though I had taken 20mg of methadone that morning. This is the part, where I must say everyone is different in their response. He said Sir you are already in severe withdrawal, take it. So I did, and 30 minutes later the withdrawal stopped. It was truly miraculous. The suggestion is 20 to 30mg of methadone, wait 24 hours before taking it, be in mild to severe withdrawal, which I agree with, but he tested my urine and I was negative for methadone. I've been called a liar for that part of the story, but as I said everyone is different. Then I made a big Boo Boo, I got scared of becoming addicted to the Suboxone and weaned myself off in 10 days. I had not been sleeping, and as the days turned in to a week I started seizing (I believe from the methadone) and hallucinating from lack of sleep. The hallucinations lasted several days. My wife did another no no that I don't recommend, she gave me 2 1mg xanax and I finally fell asleep for 24 hours with a couple of trips to the bathroom. If I had to do it over, I would have followed my Dr's instructions of weaning over 4 months. I still had to go through the withdrawals, which were barely nothing for me since I was used to that state. But I found a Detox program that I got approved by my Dr. that is mostly amino acids and vitamins, lots of fluids, no sugar and finally made it through to a new life. I still have the pain, but it is nothing compared to the pain I went through on methadone. I don't know if I would have had the courage to quit, had it not been for the Suboxone. So for that alone I will always be grateful for my first step in to true sobriety. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:54 am 
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I always feel worse for the people like yourself that become addicted to opiates after having been prescribed them for legitimate medical reasons, as opposed to people like myself who started using them recreationally.

It's hard to live in constant pain, and it's wonderful that we as a species have these medications that can take away our pain so effectively, but why is it that they have to burn our asses so hard after we're done needing them?

Anyway man I'm glad you're finished with all of those horrible withdrawals. I can't say that I envy what you went through. I just hope you can stay clean. Best of luck to you.


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

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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