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 Post subject: First post ~ My story
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:21 pm
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This is my first post here although I have been reading for a few days. Here's my story:
I don't remember my first exposure to opiates but I think it was around my mid 20s. I was a very casual user for the next 15 years or so. I had a friend who was prescribed vicodin and Fentanyl patches for chronic pain. He was aware of the euphoria and enjoyed it so he was willing to share a little bit with me. For a long time he would give me a few vics once a week as a "treat". The most he ever shared was 4 or 5 5/500s. Also occasionally a used patch that I would squeeze the gel out of after he removed it. Over the years I never became addicted or dependent due to infrequent use. I never tried to get an illegal script or lied about or exaggerated pain to get a script either. I thought I was being smart about it and that I was too smart to ever have a problem with it. I know that getting them from him is just as illegal as a fake script and I'm not trying to say that I am any better than anyone else, I'm just telling my story.
I almost never got high off of such a small dose of vicodin or even the leftover gel from the patch. But what I did feel was a certain sort of calming effect. Almost like it fixed something wrong in my brain. I have always struggled with depression, for as long as I can remember. I tried almost every kind of antidepressant available and the only one that worked for me was Wellbutrin. But it made me feel like a zombie. I wasn't depressed but I wasn't anything else either. I only took it twice for short periods following the death of my mother and another very stressful time in my life. It helped me get out of the depression but I never really felt "normal". The only time I ever felt "normal" was when I took an opiate. I was happy, functional, I engaged with my child, I expressed my feelings in a normal way instead of being silent and brooding. My use of opiates over the years was more chasing the "normal" than chasing a "high". At the time I just attributed it to the euphoria and of course I was happy, everyone is happy when they feel euphoria! But again, I very seldom took enough to get really high. I rationalized my abuse of the opiates by thinking that it made me feel normal and I wasn't trying to get high.
About a year ago my friend found out that by smoking the gel from the Fentanyl patch you could get "really high". We tried it together and boy oh boy was he right! I only did it a couple of times because getting that high kind of scared me. But what it did do was sort of push me over the edge and I immediately started having stomach and intestinal issues. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with IBS and given medication for that. For the next couple of months I suffered a lot feeling terrible every day. I realized that the only thing that made me feel better was some sort of CNS depressant. I started asking my friend for vicodin more often and eventually over the course of a couple of weeks it became daily begging. It dawned on me that I was physically dependent. After years of casual use, combined with the couple of times fooling around with the patches it finally snowballed and pushed me over the edge. It took about two weeks to find a suboxone doctor who didn't have a months long waiting list and who could see me immediately. BTW, another friend who had a history of heroin addiction told me about the subs and suggested I try it after I called him desperate and feeling terrible.
So, I have been on suboxone for about a year and I just now found this forum. I tried to wean myself off the subs when I had to have carpal tunnel surgery in December, but I never actually jumped off. I got down to about .50 and took my last piece the day before the surgery (Which was not a good thing because the pain meds they gave me immediately after surgery had no effect on my pain at all and I really suffered). Post op I was given percocet and I did pretty good taking them as prescribed. I tapered down at the end of my script and soon after I was miserable and feeling withdrawals like nothing I had ever experienced before. I was so depressed I thought I wanted to die. I called my sub doc and he called in another script and I was back on. I immediately felt normal again. It was then that I started thinking that maybe I had some sort of chemical imbalance related to dopamine and that's why I was always chasing that "normal" I got from the opiates. I asked my doctor if that was possible and he said he didn't really know. He runs a pain clinic and is not an addiction specialist.
So I decided to Google "Suboxone & Depression" one day and I found the doctors blog. Reading his story was life changing for me. I realized that I was not imagining things and that suboxone really did fix whatever was wrong with my brain. And that possibly, that was the reason I always chased that "normal" I got from opiates. What a relief to read that I was not insane or imagining this!
What I also realized is that I really do need to see someone for therapy. It is not required in my state for the sub Rx and I haven't had any type of counseling during the year I have been on the suboxone. After reading so many stories on this site I know that in addition to the depression issues I also have addictive traits and I need to address them. I have had some problems with alcohol over the years and thankfully the suboxone has almost completely taken away those cravings. I am VERY grateful for that. My sub doc is one that believes that suboxone should be used temporarily as a tool to get off of opiates. After reading about how it works for some people for depression, I am considering talking to him about long term use. I don't know how he will feel about that, but I am absolutely terrified of going back to the way I was before the suboxone. My depression was crippling and I do not want it to effect my child. I am feeling normal and happy for the first time in my life and I do not want to give that up. After reading what Dr. J had to say about sub and depression, I feel like I need to address this with my doc. I may have to change doctors eventually since he is not an addiction specialist and not a psychiatrist.
I apologize for the Tolstoy, I just wanted to tell my story and introduce myself and above all else, thank you guys for this forum. I wish I had found it a year ago when I first started.

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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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