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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Happyg1961 brought up a subject like this in Freestyle. Since it basically turned into the Happy and Amy show I deleted the thread. Happy wanted the thread taken down.

He has a wonderful point, though. This is a safe place to share! Writing out your story can be extremely helpful in your recovery. You have to face your own history to move forward. Even if bupe is not part of your recovery, self examination is extremely important for us to prevent relapse!

So, on behalf of happyg1061 and myself, please share your stories! I promise that I'll post mine by Monday morning. (Even though you've probably heard bits and pieces throughout my membership here.)

Tell us your stories!

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:07 am 
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In time, I will take you up on the offer of sharing my story. I happened upon this site while searching for something entirely off topic. Glad I found it. I work in the field and also a recovering addict.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:51 pm 
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I definitely hope you do! I'm earning a masters in Addiction Studies right now so I hope to be "in the field" soon!

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:08 pm 
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Congrats my friend. Get that degree. I'm rooting for you
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:08 am 
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This is my third attempt to submit this story (fingers crossed) here we go again. To begin, so much of my experience mirrors others and consequently I will try to limit reiterating events that might seem universal or at least widely known. In my case I started taking drugs at an early age due to my suffering from chronic asthma. Since infancy I was given stimulants like theophylline and sedatives such as pyriline maleate. As I grew and the approaches to treatment evolved I was exposed to steroids, benzodiazepines and opiates. In fact I can not recall a time when I wasn't taking a prescription of some type. Of course I wasn't immune to the influence of illicit drugs either and fancied myself a responsible consumer of same ala Hunter Thompson. Now, at age 65, I am using suboxone in an effort to distance myself from opiates. After taking various forms for so long my tolerance has reached the level of toxicity that could impact my respiration negatively. Also I have arrived at the point where opiates seem to exacerbate pain rather than relieve it. My dilemma now is that I am obtaining the medication thru a back channel and as a result am paying enormous amounts for it. I have gone the traditional route but found the cash outlays and the restrictive regimen to be prohibitive. As an example, the practitioner would not tolerate alcohol use of any sort and I do drink wine occasionally. I also drink hemp tea which precludes me from most clinical environments. The point that I am trying to make rather badly is that since each individuals experience is unique In a way that is significant to that individual, then the treatment approach should likewise be individualized but that is not the way of western medicine wherein a one-size-fits-all approach is preferred. My question then becomes, if there are methods such as Ibogaine, Lsd or other ways of treating people and they have the potential to radically change a persons biochemical makeup, then the only explanation for not employing them is a combination of greed, malice and vindictiveness that reveals more about the psychosis of the authorities than it does about the human condition and its relationship to pharmacology.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:38 am 
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Hey Paul,

Thanks for posting. Seems like a bit of wine and some hemp tea are no big deal. I wonder, does some THC make it into the tea and then shows up on a drug test? Not just on the addiction side but on the chronic pain mgmt. side, patients who along w their pain meds, smoke/ingest weed, have a hard time finding a MD practice that allows both. I understood your post until the last sentence...and read the words LSD and Ibogaine. I even can accept the last sentence if I substituted other safe ways of treating ppl, but LSD and Ibogaine, IMHO, do not fit as a safe treatment option. Also, are you on bup AND opiates or bup only? I wasn't quite sure what opiates you currently take.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:23 pm 
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I want to chime in here. I think it's important to understand that at a certain point in America's history, using psychoactive and even psychedelic substances was thought by some professionals to be a legitimate treatment for psychological and physiological problems. Paul mentions that he is 65, but I also would have guessed he is in his 60s because of his reference to Hunter S. Thompson.

Here is a post from Psychology Today that details some of the research that was being done on psychedelic substances in the 60s and a possible explanation of why this research became discredited. There were plenty of psychologists/psychiatrists who thought psychedelics could be very useful in treatment.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/br ... he-sixties

In my opinion another prohibition against current research in this area, other than what Paul mentioned, is that as a society we are so litigious that most researchers would shy away from the liability of study on humans. It is a shame, I think, that we can't do research in this area, especially since we know so much more about the brain now than we did in earlier decades.

Thank you for sharing your story, Paul. I understand your frustrations with the current state of suboxone availability. I have one question about the use of opiates for asthma. You mentioned a cycle of stimulants and depressants. What good would depressants like opiates or benzos for an asthma patient?

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:30 pm 
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I realized that I have never included my story in this section as I had promised! Let's remedy that right now. I wrote this down for my fellow classmates in grad school. Many of them are ignorant as to how buprenorphine works, so some of my explanations are fairly simplistic. Here it is:

In high school I was a nerdy prude. A brain. I never got into trouble for drinking and I never tried anything more than a couple of puffs of MJ. I grew up in a loving, intact family. My dad is a retired United Methodist minister and has never been in trouble with the law. Nor have I, aside from a couple of speeding tickets. Yet after my mother died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism, and my dad decided to go bride shopping in the Ukraine and Asia, I allowed myself to become addicted to opiate medications to numb my grief. I had a choice toward the beginning, but once I was hooked I felt helpless to stop. I was getting medication from a pain doctor because I exaggerated symptoms that I do have.

I came to a crossroads because I was constantly running short of medication before the next month's prescription. One day in 2011 I was in withdrawal, I was crushingly depressed (a symptom of withdrawal), and scared to death. I had asked God and my mama to give me a sign to stop the madness. But at that point I had contacted someone that I thought could get me medication off the streets. The person hadn't come through with the meds yet, for which I thank God. I was laying in bed in withdrawal thinking about my husband and my son, and what I was taking away from them in being an addict. In my desperation and despair I made the split second decision to pick up my phone and call a friend. I didn't let myself think about it; I just called. My friend dropped everything including work and came to me. I called my doctor's office and ratted myself out. I told everyone. I wanted people to be accountable to. I called a treatment center to find out what to do and the woman said, "First thing you need to do is find an addiction doctor to prescribe you suboxone." I'm so grateful for that contact.

I want you to know what suboxone or buprenorphine does for someone who is ready to be in recovery. I was required to withdraw from the opiates I had been taking for 24 to 48 hours. I had picked up my prescription for suboxone and went to my doctor's office in withdrawal on a Monday morning, October 17, 2011. Over the next couple of hours I took 12 mg of suboxone. I could not believe how differently I felt after taking the medication! Not only were my withdrawal symptoms gone, but I felt like a normal human being! I was driven to my appointment, but I felt like I could have easily driven myself home. I didn't feel anything like a high, just normalcy. Within 24 hours I noticed the other big difference. Before I was inducted on suboxone I thought about my pills and getting high 24/7. If I was awake, I was thinking about when to take my next pill or pills, or I was counting my pills, or I was looking forward to my next high. Addiction is obsession. Within 24 hours of being on suboxone I realized that my mind was no longer held captive by opiates! It was a revelation! Suboxone took away the obsession and cravings to get high.

The last 4 plus years have not been easy, but with buprenorphine they have been managable. I used the opportunity to apologize to anyone I had hurt by stealing meds out of their medicine cabinets. I saw an addiction therapist until she told me to call and make an appointment if I felt like I needed her. I am not cured. I will never be cured. But I am living a full life because this medication takes away the harmful part of my addiction. I wish alcoholics and meth addicts had a medication that could help them in the same way.

I'm not some awesome person because I was able to reach out for help before I was in financial, legal, or relationship trouble. I had the benefit of a stable, loving family and a life, for the most part, without trauma. I'm an educated woman as well. And my addiction started when I was in my 30s, not as a teenager when my brain was still developing. In other words, I am much more fortunate than many addicts. I am in graduate school now in addiction studies. I want to help as many addicts as I can.

Buprenorphine is only a tool, not a cure. When used correctly it can have miraculous results. It is not the right tool for every opiate addict. It will not create a miracle where there is no desire to change. Many opiate addicts use it to stay "well" in between heroin binges. That is why there is a street market for this medication. It is a safe medication. Unlike other opiates, buprenorphine is a partial agonist (as opposed to a full agonist) on the opiate receptors. It only depresses respiration to a point, unlike full agonists (oxy, methadone, hydrocodone, morphine, diladid, etc.). I could take 20 pills or films of buprenorphine and it wouldn't kill me unless I also took another CNS depressant like xanax or alcohol. Overdose on buprenorphine only happens in conjunction with another CNS depressant or if the person is opiate naive. In other words, only a person whose body is not accustomed to opiates could overdose and die from buprenorphine. Its record of safety is one of the reasons that it can be prescribed once a month by a doctor instead of given out daily at a clinic like methadone.

95% of opiate addicts will relapse at least once. It's not because we are bad people or weak people. It is because the pleasure/reward circuitry in our brains has been permanently changed to make us want opiates for the rest of our lives. The rational part of our brains, the inhibitory part that says, "STOP!" is no longer working like it should. Having a medication like buprenorphine puts the opiate addict back in charge. It gives us the stability to be able to work on what triggers us and the reason we may have been susceptible to addiction in the first place (besides genetics). We are able to rebuild our lives while buprenorphine puts our addiction in remission. Some day I will most likely taper off buprenorphine. As it is, I have tapered to 2 mg/day. It is my safety net for now.

Buprenorphine treatment is evidence-based. It is proven to work for about 2/3 of opiate addicts who try it. Considering that 12 step programs can only claim a success rate of 5 to 10%, and considering that we are losing people to overdose every day, it is necessary to make this medication more available to opiate addicts. There are thousands and thousands of opiate addicts on waiting lists to see a doctor who prescribes buprenorphine! I moderate an online buprenorphine recovery forum. I see stories everyday about the difficulty people have obtaining this medication. I read about opiate addicts having to buy it on the streets because there are not enough doctors prescribing it in their area. Some doctors prescribe 24 to 32 mg of buprenorphine a day. Very few people actually need this amount and therefore have medication left over. Some buprenorphine doctors only accept hundreds of dollars in cash per appointment, putting treatment out of reach for many opiate addicts trying to put their lives back together, unless they sell part of their prescription. This is why there is suboxone available on the streets.

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:45 pm 
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Hey Pelican and Paul!

I just saw this news story on my local station. It's about using MDMA (ecstasy) to treat PTSD.

I'm glad that some researchers are willing to think outside the box!

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:19 pm 
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Thanks for sharing that story Amy, I've only read bits and pieces of ur story! Ur absolutely right about addiction is obsession. Was just reading through the forum not planning to answer or post anything because I had a glorious dental appointment today and had a bk tooth pulled lol so I'm in a bit of pain and going to bed, but wanted to tell ya I'm glad I got to read ur whole story :)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:41 am 
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Thanks for responding, and I hope you feel much better by morning!

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:54 pm 
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Hi Amy, it's Queenie,

I'm so glad I read your story. I don't think I ever read the entire story.

Amy, the best thing I could have done, in my life, is to tell my story here and let it all out. I know I have said this so many times but I must say it one more time for those coming here for the first time.

I found this forum one night. It was pouring rain & I was crying hysterically. I had one sub left and my appointment was 4 days later. I also had 2 percocets. The reason I only had one Sub is because I had my first month's supply and I thought I would go into withdrawal if I didn't take a lot. (Maybe, secretly, I thought I could feel high). I think I wrote something like "Help!!!" I didn't know where to post, I was so confused! Someone wrote "go to the chat room". There happened to be a meeting that night. I think it was Monday nights at 9:00. Lucky me! Everyone helped me & talked to me. I remember one member saying "Flush the percs, break the sub in half & then a quarter & take 1/4 until your appt."

I don't want to go on & on but I never left this safe haven & I never will. I love everyone here as though I have known them all my life and they are family.

Good luck to all of you just starting your journey. You are going to make it! You will be o.k.

I love you Amy.

Queenie


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:32 pm 
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Love you too, Lady! I'm always glad to read your opinions because they teach me so much in the process!

Amy

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