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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:03 am 
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Hi all. I'm new here, and I'm looking for advice for dealing with my young (22 year old) friend. Let me start by saying that I work with Tom. He has been abusing Oxycodone for 3 years.

I became involved with his addiction last December, when his boss (he worked in a different section) came to me, and asked me to "watch after" Tom, because he had gone to his Supervisor and told him he had a drug problem. His Supervisor and I are friends, and he thought I could try to steer Tom onto a better path. Tom was assigned to work with me daily.

Tom quit the Oxy cold turkey in December, without suboxone. Of course, at that time, I wasn't educated about painkiller abuse, and I didn't know the signs to watch for. In March, he relapsed, and after weeks of talking to him, I was able to persuade him to go to a clinic, where he was prescribed suboxone. The subox helped his symptoms, but he was enrolled in a 6-day/week program, 3 hours a night. After 2 weeks, he quit attending meetings, saying that talking about drug abuse was triggering, to him. In reality, he didn't like talking about his problem, feelings - opening up. Besides, he had gotten a hefty supply of suboxone, which was his motive, anyway. He successfully stopped using the painkillers, and weaned himself down to 1/2 suboxone/day.

Getting to know him, only the last several months, I've come to realize that he is suffering from severe depression and social anxiety. He tells me that he doesn't take painkilers to get high, but to feel "normal", because he's only able to function "normally" when he's on them. He feels like he's "pretending" in life, unless he's on Oxycodone. He talks about suicide at times, and I'm deeply concerned that he's serious.

When he was on the Oxycodone, he would take anywhere from 10-30 mg, two to three times a day. He suffers (and I do mean suffers) from insomnia, sleeping (maybe) 2-3 hours/night. He aches in his back and knees, and (as I said before) seems to have psychological issues, that express themselves when he's not on Oxycodone.

This past week, he ran out of suboxone. I called 20 different doctors in our area, all listed (on a website) as willing to prescribe suboxone - and all of them require the patient to attend meetings. Tom refuses to go to any doctor that requires this, or to see a psychiatrist. He wants to get more suboxone, but will only go to a doctor who dispenses the prescription without requiring the accompanying meetings or therapy. I told him that "cold turkey" or suboxone are the only way, but this past week, he took Option #3 - he bought painkillers. He's taking 15 mg twice per day.

BTW - he lives at home with his (unsupportive and very critical) father, who he is afraid to turn to for help. Staying home for 3+ days, the Cold Turkey route that I recommend, is a difficult pragmatic solution... I very much realize that sometimes people need to hit rock-bottom to climb up, and they need to be ready and willing to quit their addiction - permanently - and, until they are, my ability to help him is limited.

Knowing that, does anyone have any advice? Thank you...


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:16 am 
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I hate to be the first one to reply to your dilema, you will probably get better and more compassionate advice from some of the other members. Anyway, welcome and I'm sorry for the situation you are in. It sounds like you care for your friend alot and are willing to do anything to help him. The question is will he do anything to help him self. There's a question they ask new people in AA "what are you willing to do to stay sober?" and the correct answer is "what ever it takes". We can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. I'm not saying Tom wants to keep using but he's got to be willing to do some things for himself. I was an opiate addict for a long time (oxy, heroin, you name it) and I used alot of the same excuses for using as Tom and alot of those excuses are real and very serious. Opiates for me were a wonder drug, they got rid of my social anxiety, my depression, and made me feel amazing. Slowly they started to not work as well so more and more was needed and those "excuses" were always waiting for me and most times were stronger. Reading your post about Tom brought back memories of how I used to feel. We all get to a point were we can't imagine life with or without opiates. In one way I agree with Tom regarding being forced to go to meetings and I am a firm believer in 12 step programs. However; I don't think it is the "be all and end all" in recovery. The thing that scares me about your friend is he is not willing to go to meetings or therapy for the Suboxone docs. If sub helped him stay clean for a while, which it sounds like it did, attending a few meetings seems like a small price to pay. If you read some posts on here you will hear stories of people driving hours and rearranging thier lives to have the opportunity to be on suboxone. If anything meetings or group therapy will show him he is not alone and thier are people out there that are going through and feeling the same things he is feeling. For me early on, knowing there were others like me helped alot. Suboxone is an amazing tool for getting and staying off opiates but it's just one piece to the puzzle. He cannot just get on Suboxone and go about his daily life. He needs to sort out his life and deal with his problems with the help of a professional. Getting off opiates was the hardest thing I've ever done and there were many failed attempts, before I found suboxone, but it was alot of work. I did alot of things I didn't want to do and that were outside my comfort zone to get where I'm at today. He's got to be willing to do some work. I honestly hope he gets there and I hope you keep sane through the process. Remember there is a fine line between helping and enabling an addict. I know I'm rambling but your post hit home with me. I read it and thought of a thousand things to say to you. Hope some of this made sense and helped. Please keep us posted. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:57 am 
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Hi jt and welcome to the forum - although I'm sorry for the situation that brought you here. Smoothy offered you some great insight. You said Tom doesn't like meetings because they trigger him. Well, I can tell you that the same thing happened to me. I would go to meetings and leave wanting to use more than when I'd arrived.

As for him using just to feel "normal", well, that's a function of addiction. Once we're addicted, our brain has been re-wired, so to speak, so that taking more opiates does in fact make us feel "normal". It is a shame that he's not willing to follow up on the doctors treatment mandates, because, as Smoothy said, it does sound like Tom did well while he was on suboxone. Unfortunately, I can't offer any way for you to help him see the light about how important those treatment mandates are. Suboxone is an awesome tool to recovery, but it won't cure us and it can't help us all by itself. We addicts are in a place where our only coping skill is to self-medicate. That's why therapy is so important while in recovery - it can help us to learn new coping skills so that when we feel bad we don't automatically reach for a pill. And meetings, also as Smoothy pointed out, helps us to feel not so alone. Do you think you could get Tom to join this forum? This place has been such a huge part of so many people's recovery - I know it is for me. It's a starting place, if nothing else. Maybe by taking part in this forum with others just like him it will motivate him and help him to understand his addiction.

Take care and hang in there. Please keep us posted on how Tom and YOU are doing with all this. We're here for both of you.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:58 am 
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Smoothy and Hatmaker, thank you both for replying, and your insights. Yes, he did well with the suboxone, but it was really a band-aid, to eliminate the symptoms of his addiction, and not the cure itself. I know he must, eventually, endure the pain that comes with permanently quitting, but until HE'S ready, all I can do is encourage and pray. For me, it's a source of frustration, but I also know that I can't change him, arrange the outcome, or fix him. I can only be supportive, and hope that the natural consequences of his using doesn't destroy him.

I told him about this forum, but I'm going to access it at work, and show him how insightful and relevant, to his lifestyle, that it is. Maybe he'll read about people like himself, and learn that he's not the only one with his problem.

Does anyone know if D-Phenylalanine is effective? I know it's an amino acid, and is reputed to be useful for endorphine deficient people. I've heard this is a possible treatment for some...

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:26 pm 
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It sounds like you have the right attitude. Watching someone destroy themselves with drugs or alcohol can be extremely difficult. Being in recovery for over six years now I've seen some very sad endings, some very young, smart, charismatic people not make it. But I've also seen some miraculous outcomes, some people that I've had no hope for do very well in recovery and lead a productive life today. You have to hope for the best but expect the worst.

The part of Toms story that really hit home with me was the depression. Before I ever took an opiate I suffered from an almost life ending depression. Before pills and heroin and eventually suboxone there was another little pill that helped save me, Paxil. I will probably be on an anti-depressant, along with suboxone, for my entire life. As a young man I was explained to me, in very basic terms, that in big bunch of wires that is my brain there were a few that were not connected correctly and that the anti-depressant would help fix that. I know it's much more complicated than that but I was 19 or 20 at the time. That is why I mentioned Tom needs professional help, not only for the suboxone, but to give him a complete mental evaluation. As bad as my depression was when I was younger it was nothing compared to the depression that comes with quitting opiates cold turkey. I would take drugs to get rid of depression then when I would quit or run out the depression was still there only stronger. It's a deadly cycle that has to be stopped. It sounds like Tom is going though the same things I went through when trying to quit on my own. Before suboxone I don't think I ever put more than 10 days or maybe 2 weeks together off opiates. I could not even give it enough time for my anti-depressants to start working again. That is why suboxone was so vital to me quitting, it gave me time and cleared my head from the obsession to use to work on the other issues I was facing. I'm rambling again, please keep us posted (good or bad) on yours and Toms progress. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Thanks, Smoothy. The hardest part is convincing him to go see a doctor. I've told him I'll find the doctor and go with him, if he's willing... But he won't. I'm certain he needs professional help, with both his addiction and his depression. He is just unwilling to open up to a stranger - he is very private and close-mouthed about himself, and only really opens up to me. He utterly refuses to consider seeing a doctor, even though he knows that one could help. As I said before, I certainly wouldn't discourage a doctor visit for him to get suboxone, but it's like pulling teeth...

That's why I mentioned D-Phenylalanine earlier. According to some websites, it can be useful for treating Endorphine Deficiency Syndrome, and it's over-the-counter. It is an amino acid, reportedly effective in raising a person's endorphine level, can treat chronic pain, and can provide the "endorphine high" that EDS opiate users seek, by abusing painkillers. EDS's symptoms have been described, by those with it, as tending toward opiate abuse, in an effort to "feel normal." Sounds like my friend Tom. BTW, it's different from a serotonin deficiency, which is the commonly diagnosed chemical source of depression.

I'll just keep trying to convince him that all three choices - opiate abuse, talking to a doctor to get suboxone, or cold turkey - will cause pain - but only two are viable choices...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:43 pm 
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I've never heard of anything OTC being that effective for issues like ours. That does not mean they don't exist, maybe someone else on this forum has some experience with that. Again, like suboxone, there is no magic pill that will solve Toms problems, but I know you know that and it sounds like Tom knows too. Some time in the last three years I'm willing to bet he used to get high not just feel normal. My point is his problem is not unique. I really do hope he gets there, at some point the pain will be great enough for him to seek help. I'll say it again, hope for the best and expect the worst. Make sure you take care of your sanity through the process. I will pray for him. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:15 pm 
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A little update...

My friend still will not go to a doctor for suboxone. He has used subox before, and it was effective, but he ran out before he had weaned himself completely from his addiction. He was down to 2 mgs, but he won't go to a doctor...

So, the last 3 days, he bought Oxycodone, and has been taking 30 mg/day. He says he wants to quit, but he can't get subox without a doctor, can't go cold turkey, and doesn't want to feel the pain of W/D.

The worst part is... he told me his "source" had thirty 8 mg suboxones for him, and he was excited. Turns out, they are methadone... So far, I've convinced him NOT to take them, but I'm still working on him, to go to the doc for suboxone.

Please pray for both of us. Thanks...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:43 pm 
JT, You have gotten some really wonderful insight and words of wisdom here already. I just read your thread today and was touched by your concern for your friend. There are so many of us "closet" addicts (it kind of sounds like Tom was/is this way) who so desperately need someone to step in as you have with care and concern and try to guide us into getting proper help. There is so much shame associated with addiction. As addicts, most of us are so stubborn, or in denial, or whatever you want to call it about how sick we are. So many of us started out like Tom....using opiates to treat some underlying depression or anxiety, or even physical pain, and found such relief with prescription pain meds. They work so well for us.....for a while. Then they turn on us.....we are in so deep we can see no way out. Very insidious, this disease. The thought of trying to live without the drugs is just unfathomable. We have become too reliant upon them. And of course, the acute withdrawals are nothing we care to endure either! Even if we make it through those horrors, we are left to try to find a way to deal with the lingering aftereffects of opiate addiction. I am convinced that after abusing opiates for any period of time (more than a few months or so) we are almost certainly going to be left with such a depressed and just all-around low mood for many months after the actual detox, that the likliehood of going back to opiates cannot be much less than 98-100%. Now, take someone like your friend who has already suffered with anxiety and depression and has never been treated professionally for it, and you're looking at a tough situation for sure!
I can see why you are so concerned for him. He just has got to be persuaded to seek more help. I agree with Hatmaker (and Tom) about 12-step meetings. I can't say I gained nothing from them....but I did quite often leave those meetings wanting to use drugs more than what I did when I went in! Group meetings just aren't the 'ticket' for everyone. I'd say Tom needs private counseling more than anything right now. In a perfect world, he'd go to an addiction specialist/psychiatrist and get Suboxone and counseling and probably an antidepressant/antianxiolytic and plan on being in treatment in this regard for a long while. I know, for me, having been on Suboxone for a little over a year.....I have needed every day on this medication along with other treatment modalities to get to the a place where I can even think about coming off the medication sometime in the next few months or so.
There just is no quick fix. Your friend is very sick. If he could only view it that way. He is not a 'bad' nor a 'weak' person. He is sick and needs help. And you are trying to help him....just the same as if he had any other type of medical problem. I wish I had some magical idea that could help you to get him to see the light. This situation will NOT get better by itself. It will only get worse. He needs Suboxone to keep him stable, no doubt (in my mind anyway) Without it, he will either continue on with the oxy and eventually face all that goes along with that....a slippery slope straight into Hell, or he'll have to face cold-turkey w/d and then what? Almost certain relapse OR get back into treatment.
I guess after all that, all I can really say is that I applaud you for caring for this individual. You never know how much it means to an addict to have someone who is willing to be nonjudgemental and reach out a helping and supportive hand. You must be a really good person. Don't give up in trying to help. But at the same time, be careful to protect yourself from being hurt. There is only so much you can do and most of that depends directly on what Tom is willing to do for himself. If things worsen, I hope there is a family member who could maybe step in and help you. If you are ever truly in fear for his life, don't be afraid to take him to the nearest mental health facility or hospital Emergency Department for evaluation. I certainly wish you the best in your efforts. Keep in mind, too, that a lot of the time, Tom's opiate addiction is doing the talking. It's hard to surrender and get the help we really need.....so, so hard, especially when we haven't hit that notorious 'bottom' yet! But tell Tom...."This could be your bottom. This is as low as it needs to get. You don't have to lose everything before getting better." He's lucky to have you for a friend. Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:17 pm 
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SetMeFree, thank you so much, for your kind words, advice and encouragement. I'm sorry I've taken so long to respond, but Tom has really relapsed, and I've been so disheartened, that I didn't feel like talking about it.

Without going into a play-by play rendition, Tom is back, full-blown, on oxycodone. He called me from a bar last night, after having taken 100+ mgs of the stuff. He had been on methadone, as a substitute for finding oxycodone, last week - but it made him sick, thank God. Later last week, he found another source of painkillers.

I talked to him this weekend, and he told me that if he didn't find any "street" suboxone by this Wednesday, he would go with me to a doctor, to get suboxone. I don't know if I'll he'll stick to his guns, or if he'll insist we find a doctor that just prescribes suboxone without any required meetings. I know that he, if he's really serious about changing his life, needs to change the way he thinks about recovery - that he must pay the price. If attending meetings, talking about uncomfortable topics and suffering some W/D pain is necessary... well, that is worth the price.

Thanks for all the encouragement, people. Please keep praying for him, and I'll let you know how things go.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Well, things have radically changed, and I need advice more than ever, now.

My friend Tom, after a Friday/Saturday binge, decided that he'd had enough. Enough of his addiction, enough of the cycle he can't control. Enough of the pain, endlessness, embarrassment, craving, sleeplessness - enough of the searching for more painkillers.

So, on Sunday, Tom went absolute cold turkey. He was going to try to find some suboxone from his "sources", but that fell through, and - not wanting to go a doctor, under any condition - he decided to take the hard road, to quit everything, all at once. Very, very hard, but he hasn't turned to the other option, painkillers, thank the Lord. As of now, he hasn't had anything in 72 hours, and he's in great pain, suffering from aching joints, restless leg syndrome, craving, depression, deep regret and sleeplessness.

He told me he has to walk this road alone. He wants to "tough it out" on his own, without talking about it, without sympathy, without telling anyone else. Tom is busy beating himself up, berating himself for being an addict. He hates what his life has become.

So, I need advice on how to handle the situation from here...

On one hand, I know all about co-dependency, about enabling. I know that he truly must deal with this himself, to the extent that I can't quit for him. His body has to suffer the pain of quitting, has to heal - a miserable process - and he has to learn, internally - that the consequences of his addiction are real. If it was easy or pleasant to stop abusing, he wouldn't hesitate, the next time he's tempted to use, the next party night with his friends, the next time to the beach. The pain is a bitter, but useful lesson. Also, I think he gets tired of talking about it with me.

On the other hand, having someone to lend a hand, to simply listen, is invaluable. As I mentioned, Tom is very depressed and down on himself, and - especially now, when he's going Cold Turkey - he needs encouragement. It would be so easy for him to buy more and alleviate the pain and craving. It would be so easy to spiral down into a real depressive episode... I've been there. The only thing that saved me was the support of a close friend. Tom is internalizing his pain, both the emotional and physical, trying to "tough" it out by continuing to work hard at the job and by not talking about it.

So how do I strike a helpful balance? I can't alleviate his physical pain or symptoms... and it kills me to watch him suffer - it's like watching, in slow motion, one of my own children be tortured. I want to help him, but he wants to face this alone. Yet, I don't want him to fail.

Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:56 pm 
Hi jt....Thanks for the update on your friend. Geesh.....opiate addiction sucks!! Back and forth, up and down, on and off, and on and on it goes, over and over again!! It really is a vicous cycle....with absolutely no easy escape. If I had a nickel for every time I swore I'd never use drugs again and went right back and did it again anyway, I'd have quite a few nickels! And my active addiction by many standards was fairly short (~5 years) The thing is, the whole quitting cold-turkey theory is seriously flawed. I could manage a couple of days, even 3 sometimes from my former drugs of choice (just about any flavor of opiate except heroin or methadone) only to cave when I had access to them again. Of course, telling myself that it would be just this once to ease the pain just for a bit, then I'd get back on track. Except 'getting back on track' never happened. I'd just get right back on the slippery slope to increasing the frequency of use, the dosage, etc, trying to get around the problem of tolerance to opiates that is inescapable.
Even when I 'really' quit cold-turkey, got through all the acute withdrawals, no comfort meds, no nothing for several weeks/months, it was not over. Ignorantly, I thought that I'd be okay if I could make it that long. Ohhhhh.....nooooo! Not by a long shot. Problem being that there is this thing called PAWS that your friend needs to be warned about. Long after the leg pain, the hot/cold chills, the diarrhea, nausea, panic, insomnia, the restless legs go away, we are left with lingering symptoms of malaise, low motivation, depression and sometimes anxiety that are pretty relentless. Then what? That's the part that kicked my butt. I hated the way I felt emotionally. I could not stand it. Every day I felt like I was swimming in quick sand. It took everything in me to just get up and get dressed and get out the door. My joy for life was gone. There was no zest, even for generally exciting and fun things......I was just not me and so very unhappy.....clinging to my sobriety.....and ultimately letting it go. Just to feel better for a little while, one more time. It's never one more time! Until I got on Suboxone. No, it's not the complete answer or cure for addiction, but it can help. Suffering through acute w/d, in my opinion, doesn't really accomplish much. You'd think it would be such a deterrent to future drug use. But it doesn't seem to be. We almost always go back. It's just the way the disease works. Suboxone allows us time to feel 'normal' long enough to break those old habits, address underlying problems and eventually taper off (if we choose to) and try life without it.
I don't think your friend could possibly be ready to try life completely drug free just yet. I understand him wanting to do what he's doing. He's tired of the whole mess and this seems like the answer. And it can be....it's just not going to address what happens later, when he begins to feel a little bit better after w/d, but still feels pretty crappy, just in a different way (PAWS)!
So what do you do as a friend. If Tom is determined to continue on cold-turkey, about all you can do is call and check in on him a few times a day and make sure he's okay. It really is something that is a solo deal. I know I didn't want company during my detox.....I was just too miserable. All that really helps is hot bathtub soaks, or really hot showers, trying to move around as much as possible, especially to help with the leg pain...stretching, yoga, stuff like that. The other thing you can do if it gets too bad, is take him to an urgent care or ER and have him request comfort meds for his detox. I've heard those can help.....something to sleep, help with the anxiety and RLS, things like that. It's just a miserable time coming off full agonists, no way around it! I feel for him in a big way!
Again, you are so kind to want to try to help him. He's lucky. Just keep offering support and keep encouraging more treatment for this addiction. I'm just afraid his current solution is nothing more than a bandaid on a gaping wound.
Keep posting and let me know if I can help!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:06 am 
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Hi JT - I so wish I could offer you some pearls of wisdom or even advice from my own experience, but I can't. I never made it as far as Tom has. I never had the courage to even try to quit cold turkey. I withdrew every month until I got my next script and my cycle continued until I practically lost my mind, ended up in a psych ward, and was put on suboxone. So in a way, I have great respect for Tom for the courage and determination he is showing.

I agree that as a friend you can be there to support and check on him. If it were me I would encourage him to talk about it. Get those emotions out! Both of you should stay positive and focus on the fact that this WILL be over. Talk about how "in a week I'll be feeling so much better" - focus on that. Often when we keep reminding ourselves that this is not a permanent situation it helps us to get through it.

When Tom starts talking about how he's a bad person for having gotten addicted (or whatever it is he's been telling himself), remind him that this disease is NOT a matter of weak character or lack of will power. IT IS A DISEASE. Would he be berating himself if he had diabetes? It is a disease that re-wires the brain. He's NOT A BAD PERSON.

I would encourage you to keep telling him some of these things and get him to repeat them, too. As bad as he's feeling physically, try to get him into a positive mental state, as much as is possible.

I personally wouldn't look at PAWS as a given. Yes, the chances are he will have problems with it. But it doesn't affect everyone all the time and when it does it's not in the same way. Often our negative expectations about an event makes it worse than if we had zero expectations. At least that's how I see it.

During this acute phase I wouldn't worry too much about co-dependency. I would worry more about that when someone is in the throes of active addiction. Do what you can for Tom to help him get through this. At least that's the way I see it.

Hang in there and please keep us posted on how BOTH of you are doing. And please, tell Tom he's not alone. So many of us have been there. And tell him that we're here for him if he chooses to come to the forum himself.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:22 pm 
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I too do not have much experience with long term cold turkey detox. I made it 10 days once off a huge, almost suicidal heroin habit. I only made it that long because my wife locked me in our master bedroom. I remember waiting for times to pass (3 or 4 days) hoping it will get better but it never did for me. I was iv'ing at the time and also using alot of coke and valuim so maybe that specific cold turkey was doomed from the start. With that being said it can be done. All the ex heroin users in AA I know with long term sobriety did it. My first sponsor was a 15 year iv user and had to drink mouth wash when he couldn't get to the liquer store. I try to think of his struggles when I whine about going from 4 to 3 mg of suboxone. My point is it has been done before, it's just harder than it has to be today. I would never bet against a determined addict, we are very stubborn by nature. Best of luck to Tom and my best advise would be to treat the symptoms and stay possitive. Remind yourself of those who have made it not us who havn't.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:12 pm 
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One more thing you should remind Tom, and I think most members would agree, is the point of all this is to be sober and happy. Sobriety to me is not just abstaining from drugs but living a clean and happy life. I got to the point where I was miserable using and miserable not using. In the Big Book (AA text) they call that the jumping off place, we can't imagine life with or without our drug of choice. Anyone lay in bed all day drug free and miserable but it takes real work to fix our problems and live a happy life without drugs. That's the secret. I know lots of unhappy people with decades sober and I always think what's the point. I would have never made it these past 6 in a half years if I wasn't happy and content. Just food for thought. Again best of luck and please pm me any time.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:41 pm 
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Well, another update... and this time it's better news.

Tom took the time to read this thread, about himself and his condition and circumstances, from others' perspective. He read the responses, of people who had been there, and their sound advice.

Unfortunately, he had to suffer intense pain and 36+ hours of no sleep, but this morning he asked me to contact a doctor, and we went and got suboxone. He had wanted to "tough it out", but he listened to the posters' advice, and his common sense took over.

Of course, his journey to wellness is just beginning. Tom understands that, and has told me he's determined to see it through. Hard work and discipline, and finding a substitute for the habit/addiction.

But he's on his way - and my sincere and heartfelt thanks to those who shared their own journey and advice, who helped him see that he's not alone. May God bless you.

Please continue praying for him, as he moves forward...

JT314


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:16 pm 
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That is great news! I always support people when getting sober regardless of the way they are going about it but deep down I lose a little hope when I hear cold turkey. I think he will do very well on suboxone and the longer he is stable on it hopefully he will be inclined to ask for help with other issues. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:28 pm 
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Ah, well...

Tom wants to quit, wants to quit badly. He's doing well, hasn't relapsed, hates the fact that he's an addict, remains resolute that he doesn't want to use again, ever.

Sounds great, huh? He got a prescription of suboxone, which was very effective last time, in stopping his usage. He overcame his revulsion of talking to doctors and got what he desperately needed.

However... Tom is very conflicted. He believes that if he just uses suboxone to wean himself, eventually he'll weaken, sucumb to his desires... He experienced very bad W/D symptoms, and he believes that experiencing that hell is the only way he'll remember - really remember - how bad addiction is, and the cost it inflicts on his body.

So, Tom is taking a 2 or 4 mg suboxone every third day, just when the W/D symptoms start getting really bad. He would rather shake, experience RLS, lose sleep and feel the pain in his joints... then take a suboxone... then start the process over... than to simply wean himself with 2 or 4 mg, once or twice a day.

It will work, eventually - but it will be an extended period of pain, pain, pain. I've told him that he has to defeat the physical dependency first, then defeat the addiction. He has to get unaddicted, then replace the desire to use/get high with new desires. I've advised him to stay on suboxone, wean down - down - down, then consider cold turkey...

Anyone have any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:32 pm 
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ism
I.incredible
S.short
M.memory

We never, never remember how bad it was. I used to think that would always work for me but never did. They call it playing the tape all the way forward. When I think of using I can't just think of the high, I have to think of the next day and the consequences. I have to play the whole tape in my mind. I could never do that before, it was always one more time and that's it. He won't stay sober from the memories of a bad detox. He'll get there. I'll keep praying for him.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:18 am 
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It does sound like Tom is very conflicted. Who knows, maybe he'll be one of the few that succeeds. Personally, I think he'll have to find out for himself what it is he needs, maybe through his own mistakes. I agree with Smoothy, we tend to forget those w/d pains quite quickly. Call it selective memory.

I don't know that we can "defeat" the addiction. We will always be addicts, even if we're in remission or recovery. Accepting that and recognizing our limits and our weaknesses gives us the power and strength we need to move forward and grow as individuals.

_________________
-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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

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