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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:50 am 
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Hi, I'm here ;-)

Female, early 30's, college grad who f***ed up a lot as a teenager. The first pills I took were benadryl, I just wanted to put myself to sleep. That should have been the first clue. Got in a car accident when I was 15, and that's when my flirtation with opioids began. But never a physical dependance.

Crystal meth, Ketamine, Ecstasy, PCP, you name it, I did it. EXECPT heroin. I had a LOT of friends die from it. I swore I would never do it. Yet, I still would take "percs" from time to time. But not often. I considered a small script of 5's to be a score. LMFAO!

Fast forward to mid 20's. Moved to Pacific NW. Diagnosed with Endometriosis, which kept me in a lot of legitimate pain, and also found a doctor that WAS NOT a bad doc, but gave me 30 5mg percs a month for 3 years (instructed to only take them during my period. HA.) Then I hurt my back. He upped it to 120 for a few months. Given my absolute LACK of control regarding opioids, I would just gobble them all day and stay high a few days. But it was never enough to last all month (hell probably not even a week), and I never had any sort of withdrawal. Just got to be numb for a little bit.

Shortly before moving back to the Mid-Atlantic, I hurt my back as previously mentioned, put my 19yo cat to sleep and went through severe depression. I started doing whatever I could get my hands on, usually coke (which was never big on my list). When the guy didn't have it, I would get Oxys. He would smoke them, and eventually showed me how. Still, no habit, maybe got my hands on 2 80's a week.

I moved back home after 7 years on the west coast, and no longer had that doctor. Being in the Mid-Atlantic, heroin reigns king. I found that some people I had known were still back and forth with that, and I still despised it for taking so many people I loved. I also found that the same friends I used to go clubbing with as a "kid", had graduated to legal prescriptions. It took a while, but I found lots of connections.

At first, I was fully aware it was addictive, so would not get it every day. Maybe once or twice a week. Then every other day. When I first became physically dependent, the WD symptoms were so subtle and vague that I didn't know it was WD! Insomnia, Restless legs, nausea, diarrhea, ect. I would just think I had a virus coming on.

Then one day I woke up ILL. Called a friend that told me yes, I was in denial, it was WD, and offered me a Suboxone from his personal stash and instructed me how to take it. I should have just stopped then... but I didn't. When I would get my hands on brand Oxys I would smoke 'em up.

Within the next few months I found a doc that Rx'd 90 30's to me. But that still wasn't enough. Went to him for a year, had a friend die from a combo of 80's and Xanax, and decided I was just going to quit going to the doc. Traded my last 30's for 10 subs, did some research on quick tapering, and did that for 2 weeks. Literally 36 hours after my last dose of sub, my boyfriend had just gone to the doc, was nodding on the couch, and I nudged him and told him I needed 4 30's. In a haze, he gave them to me. It was on again.

I spent the next 8 months hating myself, hating my addiction, and living in constant fear of being sick. I had 5 days off in a row and tried cold turkey. What a beast. But, then I had to go back to work and was still ill. So, it didn't stick. It's not the high that I have a issue with, it's the consequences!!! Borrowing money from any family member I could, feeling like a POS, getting utilities cut off, ect...

Finally, one night my friend was supposed to get me pills. I had just gotten off work and was starting to ill. He told me that the guy didn't have as many as previously thought, so could he borrow $20 to take care of himself? I said yeah, thinking he was getting a 30. He got 2 caps of raw dope. I wouldn't let him shoot in my car, made him go into a McDonald's. But then I had to watch him all amped up and sweaty, while I was goosebumpby and my stomach was cramping. During the hour long wild goose chase, I ALMOST asked him for some a million times. What was a bump going to hurt? I refrained, he didn't offer, and eventually I got my pills. Once I was "well", I told him how close I was to asking him for some. He told me he would have offered but he knew I didn't want to go down that route, but if I had asked, he would have given.

That's when I realized that if I didn't quit, not only would I lose my job, but I would end up on heroin and/or on the street. I live in a pretty decent neighborhood, but all you have to do is go a few blocks and there are corner boys who would be very willing to provide me with "Hur-on." I knew that once I tried dope I wouldn't go back to pills. It's so cheap and accessible.

That's when I told my BF, too bad, I can't pay the cable, I've got to go to the doc. Because of my lack of $$$, I had to make the appointment for a month out on payday. It was the longest month of my life. He is a Family Doctor who has been treating with Suboxone for a few years. It's not a clinic, he treats me for everything, and actually listens to me and gives me positive feedback and doesn't treat me like I'm an idiot. From day 1 I felt like I was finally getting my life back. Now I'm at the stage where I am picking up the pieces. I've come clean to my parents, they are very supportive, and I am thankful they knew nothing about methadone, because I'm afraid they would have come to the conclusion some of my friends did... that Sub is the same as methadone. Don't get me wrong, I know Meth works for some people, but I know plenty of folks who just take xanax with it and walk through life in a nod, and brag about being off pills. Neither of my folks have the frame of reference, they just can see I'm doing better, and am very supportive. I'm very lucky to have a lot of good people in my life.

So, that's it so far. 130 days today. Down from 8mgs 2ce a day to 1-2mgs once a day (breaking the 8's isn't always the easiest, I try to break in quarters and then break another piece off.)

Thanks for reading this long-winded post. Always helpful to know I'm not alone.

MK


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Thanks for sharing your story with us. No matter how different we are, we seem to be the same when it comes to addiction and it's ramifications.
So how long do you plan on staying on suboxone? Are you already tapering off or is the 1-2 mg your maintenance dose? Do you have cravings at that low a dose? I'm just curious because that's widely considered to be below the ceiling.

I hope you continue to do well. Welcome and again, thanks for sharing.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:48 pm 
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I plan on being on it for at least a year. Longer if necessary. It keeps me from getting ill, and it keeps me from making any stupid decisions when I'm having a bad day. I don't want to go lower until I'm ready to get off of it. To be fair, it's usually 2mgs, sometimes I take a bit less. I don't have cravings, not physical. When I have a bad day, I do just want to be numb sometimes... but that feeling goes away before I can screw up. I do sometimes take valium, my doc Rx's me 20 5's a month, but I reserve them for bad days. Somehow, I can take benzo's as needed, without just losing ALL self control and gobbling them up.

I do ALWAYS take it when I first wake up, so I'm sleeping by the time the bulk of it is wearing off, and then wake up and take it (sometimes even go back to bed with it under my tongue). I'm aware that I probably could take a LARGE dose of pills and have them work, but I don't have the desire OR that kind of money... nor do I want to spend my money on that. I feel pretty done with that life. I barely even got high the last year of the pills. Maybe every now and then. Just maintained. 30mgs would keep me okay for 8-12 hours, and 200-300mgs would get me high. Where I live, that's a 120-200 bucks just for one high.

Of course, I could still F*** up , I'm not special! (am I allowed to cuss here???) But I think this is a good dose for me. If I'm aware I'm going to be in a trigger situation (seeing certain people, ect), I just take a 2nd dose. I ALWAYS have it on me.

I haven't bought clothes, shoes, ect... (even no oil change for 8 mo! scary!) in so long, that I'm just trying to get my life on. Eating only whole foods, getting regular acupuncture (including Auricular Detox, which might be why the dose works that well), no sugar, preservatives. I'm swimming, walking, and eliminating negative people from my life. I feel good, normal! I have my bad days, but that's just me learning to cope without it. And having a doctor makes "the fear" a moot point.

So, I don't know. You may have a point. But it is working for me, it's been prob 2 months since I got to this dose, and haven't had any problems past the initial weaning. That wasn't the best. I went down fast. I just got laid off and am losing insurance, so am glad that I only need 7 a month!!! That is manageable out of pocket!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:59 pm 
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MissKitten:

Thank you for sharing your story. I find it simultaneously humorous and interesting that people who will smoke oxy, eat percs like candy, doctor shop, etc, feel like they might be "crossing some kind of line" if they do heroin :lol:

Please don't misunderstand me here, I mean no disrespect, nor am I making light of your addiction. It's just that, well, ultimately, the active ingredients in heroin tend to be identical to the active ingredients in most of the opiate pain meds that you have been getting from your doctors all these years. The only line you'd really be crossing is you'd be getting your dope already crushed up into powder. An opiate addict is an opiate addict, doesn't really matter WHAT opiates you're abusing or where you are getting them or how you are using them, the fact is, an opiate is an opiate......I know a lot of people who snort and or smoke heroin because it tends to be a LOT cheaper than pills are on the street....the main difference, in my experience, is heroin can be more dangerous because you never know what's really in it. When you get oxy's off the street, at least when you look at the tabs, you can tell they are, in fact, oxy's and you know what you're getting. That's not always the case with heroin, and I've overdosed on heroin more times than I can count because every now and then it's really, really strong.....and you can't really tell that just by looking at it, whereas you can tell the dose of pills you're taking, just by looking at them.

So, the bottom line is, we're all addicts, we're all sick people with an illness that is fatal if left untreated, doesn't matter WHICH opiates you're taking, what matters is, if you are spending your life trying to control your opiate use, then the fact is, your opiate use is controlling you. :wink:

I'm glad you were able to pull yourself out of that hole you were digging yourself into and, despite what I wrote above, I'm also glad you never had to resort to spiking smack, because you could have ended up like me, sick as a dog with Hepatitis C (for which there is no cure) AND a drug addict. And take my word for it, HepC isn't fun.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you are on the right track and we're always glad to have another person to shoot the shit with about staying clean, so welcome!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:00 pm 
Hey MissKitten,

I wanted you to know I really liked reading your story. It seems like even though we addicts all have different details, the story is the same.

I was alot like you. Using different drugs and alcohol off and on my whole life. (The only thing I never would have touched was LSD.) (Ha! but who knows now what I would have "let" myself do) Anyway, when I finally got to opiates and figured out I was in WD, it was the worst day ever. From that point on I had to use every day...you know. As a nurse, I know what Junkie781 said is the truth. That basically, heroin is the same as oxy. So I had NO problem going to the needle and using dilaudid and morphine.

I congratulate you for knowing where your addiction was taking you and for getting help before you went to heroin. I wish I would have had the courage to do that.

I also have a very supportive family. They know I am on suboxone, but really have no idea what it is. (despite me trying to tell them) They are just thankful they have "me" back. I also admire the fact that you are active and eating well. I am trying my best to do those things too. My goal is to get the kids back to school and find a swimming or yoga class. First I have to find a job though.

So MissKitten, thanks again for sharing. Hope to see you around this place. I bet you would be an awesome support to people on here. I have learned so much here. Keep up the good fight, Kire


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Thanks for sharing. It does sound familiar :-) I remember sitting in my house thinking...."I wonder if I could find heroin? That would be so much easier and less expensive". That was when I decided enough was enough and I was just going down hill fast. 2mg is pretty low and quite impressive. Good for you. I am glad you found this site and felt comfortable posting. It is always great to have new people.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:23 pm 
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Hello Kitten,

Thank you for sharing your story, we are all so alike, but I get so much out of each story I read. I too remember thinking and convincing myself I wasn't that "bad" because I hadn't done heroin. I agree with the others that they are alike in so many ways. I think its our addictive minds making excusses to continue using. In the end I did end up sniffing H but I really didn't like it all that much, believe it or not. I kept nodding out, itchy as fuck, and don't remember much of it, but woke up the next morning puking my ass off. I was always aware of my surroundings and myself with pills, and I had a 300mg oxy habit a day. I still worked a full time job and many people didn't and still don't know anything about my habit.

It sounds like your doing great on 2mgs, thats awsome! I am on 8mgs daily and have been trying to get down to 6mgs w/out much success, but I will continue to try. I am really interested in hearing more about this acupuncture{spelling is not my strong suit}, its sounds like its helping a lot. Keep up the good work, and keep us posted. Thanks again for sharing your story with us.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:20 am 
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I'm not better off than anyone that did dope. I know it's the same effect on the body. The difference for me, is I always got my pills from acquaintances (making my risk of arrest much lower) and I know the purity I'm getting. I see on the news all the time about heroin cut with poison... it would have been crossing a line. And I've lost AT LEAST 13 friends to it... not to mention 2 friends with HepC and one with HIV. I've gone through hell. I can't imagine being worse. I know it's a matter of luck and privilege that has allowed me to not be on the street.

Now, I have a few friends that go back and forth, and I showed one how to smoke oxy. He told me the WD was just as bad if not worse. I have no illusions... I just don't want a record. I'm trained to work with at-risk youth. And, some people smoke Raw here, but not many. In the NW, there was black tar. If I still had lived there, I woulda been smoking it!!! Also, I don't do needles. I'm phobic and have crappy veins. I didn't want to get there. I have lost enough!

Same reason I never copped Sub on the street. Thought about it, it's cheaper, but never came down to that. I didn't want to open the gateway to Heroin because it would be WAYYYY too easy for me to get. This is Baltimore. It's EVERYWHERE. I can't drive home without seeing corner boys. THE WIRE is not a joke. It's real. Heroin is MUCH cheaper. But it's a whole other lifestyle. I always got my drugs at clubs/raves/from friends. I've never been picked up by police for buying drugs on the street. Not to mention I liked knowing it was pharmaceutical, not some dude that decided to cut his too much and get burnt with bunk or contaminated stuff. Or robbed. Killed. Doesn't happen like that in a network of pill heads.

I know myself. If I discovered some dependable corner boys, I would be on that all the time. It was a floodgate I knew if I opened it would be a much longer journey for me, and much harder to come back. I still have my apartment. I guarantee you I would not if I had tried dope just once. Cause then... I'd get ill later... and go back for more. Then that would be my life.

Thanks,
MK


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:24 am 
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Thanks Kire,

If I was a nurse, I'd be in the same situation!!! The first time I got IV dilauded in the ER i was in LOVE. And I went back, exaggerating real pain. I got it every time.

I've just seen SOOOOO much agony with opioids that I felt DUMB as hell for allowing it to happen to me. I'm 33. I've been watching friends destroy their lives for 18 years. I did try heroin once, actually, in rehab of all places. I was 16, and it was scrambled, and didn't do much for me.

Take care,
thanks,
MK


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:27 am 
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You spelled acupuncture right! Google NADA acupuncture and you will find info. It's been used for a long time.

I certainly relate to my job not knowing a thing. I usually didn't get high at work (except the few days after going to the doc). ANd I know they could tell things weren't "right" with me, but they really had NO IDEA.

Thanks for the welcome, take care,
MK


hancal106 wrote:
Hello Kitten,

Thank you for sharing your story, we are all so alike, but I get so much out of each story I read. I too remember thinking and convincing myself I wasn't that "bad" because I hadn't done heroin. I agree with the others that they are alike in so many ways. I think its our addictive minds making excusses to continue using. In the end I did end up sniffing H but I really didn't like it all that much, believe it or not. I kept nodding out, itchy as fuck, and don't remember much of it, but woke up the next morning puking my ass off. I was always aware of my surroundings and myself with pills, and I had a 300mg oxy habit a day. I still worked a full time job and many people didn't and still don't know anything about my habit.

It sounds like your doing great on 2mgs, thats awsome! I am on 8mgs daily and have been trying to get down to 6mgs w/out much success, but I will continue to try. I am really interested in hearing more about this acupuncture{spelling is not my strong suit}, its sounds like its helping a lot. Keep up the good work, and keep us posted. Thanks again for sharing your story with us.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Hello, Kitten,

I stumbled upon this site about a week ago or so, and I cannot tell you how much support I have gotten here. Thanks for sharing your story. It reminds me of everything we have all been through. I too am a nurse and in the 90s was diverting drugs from the hospital where I worked - Demerol mostly, Dilaudid was not widely used in those days. I got into a lot of trouble as you can imagine, when I was finally caught. I was sent off to rehab.

I thought that I was above everything. I graduated as class valedictorian from nursing school, got a perfect score on my state boards, (which was in the paper as supposedly no one had ever done this before) had several advanced certifications, and won several awards for excellence in nursing practice. For this reason I was not suspect for many months and by the time I did get caught I was circling the drain and probably would have OD'd. My husband and the people I worked with just could not believe that I had done such a thing. It took many years of therapy for me to be able to let go of the guilt and shame.

I knew nothing about addiction, rehab, detox, or anything. At rehab I was sent to what the residents called "Heroin Group". I remember being absolutely horrified to think that I was being put in with "those people"! It was an ah-ha moment for me, because as the people in the group began to speak, I quickly realized that I was JUST like them, and they were just like me! It only took about 5 minutes. I agree that an opiate addiction is an opiate addiction, and we all have these things in common. The only difference is that I was fortunate enough to have had access to clean drugs and syringes. I quickly came down off of my high horse and began to listen and learn. I love being with other opiate addicts, because they are the only ones who truly understand it all, in my opinion.

I have issues with chronic pain so I have relapsed with the opiates a few times in the past few years. Suboxone is a wonderful thing for me. I can honestly say that I have not felt this normal for 20 years. I suppose you folks will get sick of hearing from me, but I have been handicapped and haven't been to a meeting in about 8 months, and this message board has been a great thing for me. Blessings to you all.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:43 pm 
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Hi Rossma,
Thanks for sharing your story. I can't imagine how tough it would be to get caught as a nurse. Right after graduating college (at 28 yrs old) I moved back home thinking I was going to be doing Health Ed/Outreach. Once I copped a habit I realized I was too screwed up to help anyone else, so I didn't find work in my field. Getting arrested for drugs would make it very hard for me to find work with teens... so, I'm glad it didn't come to that (and pray it never will)

I've done A LOT of crazy things, dropped out of HS @ 16 so I could go to as many clubs/raves/parties as possible. I used everything BUT heroin. Things a lot of "normal" people haven't even heard of. (Especially massive, MASSIVE amounts of Ketamine! A bottle would get me in a hole once or twice).

I have a lot of undiagnosed chronic pain myself. As I type this, I can only turn my head in one direction because of muscle spasms in my neck. It sucks. BUT, the reality is, while I sometimes used the pain as an excuse to get high, it never really took my pain away, just made me not care. I've got nerve-impairment issues, loose connective tissue (my ankles sprain easily and swell if I don't wear sneakers), Endometriosis, chronic ovarian cysts, sciatica, ect... I feel like I don't EVER want to take Opioids again... because then I will just want them again! I admit, I'm very nervous about having to have surgery or dental work. If I absolutely had to take pills, I feel like I would need someone to lock them up and administer them to me as prescribed. I have NO self control with them!

I'm guessing I'm not the only one who would need $ for rent, and know spending it would be irresponsible...and then a voice in my head saying "IGNORE THESE THOUGHTS AND JUST DO IT! DON'T THINK ABOUT IT." Then I would convince myself, "I'll figure it out, I will make it work, it will be fine!" (I don't literally hear voices, just was my way of ignoring and pushing away responsible thoughts)

I'm glad I found this group too. A lot of my friends don't quite get it since they have never gone through it. The addiction to other drugs is one thing, but when you HAVE to have it to just function... well, it's a whole 'nother animal, isn't it!

Thanks for sharing, take care, good luck to you!
MK


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