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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:38 pm 
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Haha, but seriously, I am. I'm new to this forum, this is my first post. I'm glad I found this site, great information here and I can see that there are a lot of helpful people.

Well, I'm 21 years old, and from California. I started using Vicodin regularly right after I turned 19. It quickly escalated, and before I knew it, I was addicted. I don't know how it happened, I don't know at what point.

My job is phone sales, and I am not the best salesman. When I started taking Vicodin/Norco, it was only at work. It made me a much better salesman. I felt smarter, sharper, stronger...hell, I felt better in every way when I used. I felt invincible. I didn't even think about using outside of work for quite a while. At some point though, all that changed. I started using pretty much all the time. I couldn't tie my shoes without at least a couple of Norcos and a shot of Taquila.

I went to an outpatient Chemical Dependency Program back in August of 2009, and it didn't work out too well. I stayed off of the Opiates for about 3 weeks, and then started right back again. And even during those 3 weeks, I was using Suboxone most of the time. The doctors at the outpatient program would only put us users on Suboxone for a few weeks, and then we were told to rely on group meetings and a Shrink. The way it worked was this: they would only give enough Suboxone for 1 or 2 days, and then you had to come back into the office for a visit. They test your vitals, ask how you're feeling, etc. Then they give you more Suboxone to last another day or two. Finally, after a few weeks, they say "you're done, you don't need anymore meds. Just make sure you go to group meetings and make sure you see your shrink. Good Job. "

Shortly after that, I did relapse. I swore to myself that I had it under control this time. I tricked myself into thinking that I knew my limits, and I was under control, not the drugs. I was, of course, dead wrong. Now fast forward to April 2010. I've been using ever since I ended that program, and more than ever. I've been taking anywhere between 15-25 Norcos per day, and sometimes 80mg OxyContins or Percocets. It's getting so expensive, and the "invincible" feeling is no longer there, in fact it disappeared long ago. It's no longer helping me at work, or in social situations. Plus, I just feel like a liar. The only 2 people that I talked to about my addiction, I continued to lie to, because I knew they would be disappointed in me if they knew I was still using. So I lied, and told them I was clean. And to everyone else in my life, even though I may not be lying directly to their faces, I feel like I've just been leading a double life.

So, I decided to seriously try and get clean, and try Suboxone again. I saw a different Doctor, and he recommended that I stay on Suboxone for at least 6 months. I'm not happy about that, but I'm starting to believe that is exactly what I need to do.

At first I was so happy with my decision to get clean. I felt great. The cravings were subdued, (not gone entirely, but not THAT strong) and I began to feel like a new person. The past 2 days however, are another story. I have had a strong urge to use, I WANT that high. Today I gave in, and I took 5 Norco's. I felt it a little bit, however not nearly what I would have liked. I knew before hand that I would regret it, and I knew that I wouldn't feel the high that I craved so much. But I HAD to take them, and I'm glad I did. I hope from here on out that I've learned my lesson.

That's my story, in a nutshell. This is the most I've mentioned about my addiction, and I know its nothing compared to some of the things other people have gone through. But it does feel good to share, I guess.


Thanks for reading,
Joe


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:21 pm 
Hi Joe and welcome to the forum. I'm glad you found us and decided to share a bit of your story. Sometimes it helps just to be able to get it out. As I was reading, I found myself thinking about how all of us share so many of the same feelings regarding our addiction....the way we felt when we first started using opiates, the way we felt towards the end, the ways we've tried to quit using and then failed, and so on. The opiates sure turn on us, don't they?! Once we've crossed that invisible line into addiction, it's over....just over. There is no controlling it. There is no amount of wanting to quit that will get it done. The shame we feel about the whole thing almost drives us to use more instead of less. Trials at abstinence fail time and again. It is such a vicious cycle. You are certainly not alone.
I hate that you're still struggling so much even with being on Suboxone. I must say I'm a little surprised by that. I know for me, as well as a lot of people on this forum, Suboxone was truly like a miracle. Especially during the first several weeks or months. It should take care of almost all the cravings if you're on an adequate dose. That dose can be a little different from one person to the next. How much are you on at this time? If you're on less 8mg or so per day, you may need to talk to your doctor about a dose adjustment if the cravings are bad enough that you still want to use. On the other hand, maybe you're just the type of person that had to prove to yourself that you can't 'break through' the Suboxone. Honestly if you're on an adequate dose and taking it every day, it would take something stronger than 5 Norco to feel anything. Most people will tell you you're just wasting your money (and the pills) to even try to get high. Hopefully, it will be a lesson learned for you.
The other thing I wonder is if there is something you could think about in terms of why you still want to get high. Is there maybe a 'trigger' that you could identify and therefore start to work on. You've been to outpatient treatment before so I'm sure you know that there is so much involved in recovery beyond simply taking Suboxone. Sometimes we have to dig really deep to get at the root of it and deal with what's going on in our lives and start making changes for the better. You may need more treatment, recovery groups, or individual therapy as you go along. Are there people in your life that are making it hard to stay clean....people that really aren't good for you? Is anything you can do to just make it a little more difficult to get ahold of opiates? The longer you can stick with just your Suboxone, the easier it tends to get. Just a few things to think about.
Mostly, just hang in there and don't give up. You messed up by taking the Norco, but hopefully you can learn something from it and keep moving forward. We're all here in the same boat with you....trying to get better. I'm not a doctor or an expert, just someone willing to help in any way I can. Please come back and tell us more. We have a really good group here!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:35 pm 
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Joe,

Welcome to the forum. Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds ohhh to familiar. It took me quite some time to realize I was powerless over my addiction and that I have no control what so ever. The more I thought I was in control the less I actually was. For me I don’t think there is anything wrong with being on Suboxone for longer term. I plan on being on being on Suboxone for a life time and I have no shame of it. My family and friends are also happy I’m on Suboxone for long term too. If I’m not on Suboxone, I know I’m going to turn back to my old behaviors. Did you talk to your doctor about your increase in cravings? Maybe your doctor can adjust your dose for a little bit until you stabilize. Well, I’m happy you actually got all of this off your chest – I can relate. Once again, welcome to the forum and I look forward to talking to you some more. SuperBuper


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:06 am 
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Hi Joe! Thanks for introducing yourself. I did the same thing as you when I first started suboxone and I am glad I tried it too because I just realized it wasn't going to work and I haven't really thought about it since. I have to learn everything the hard way :-) When I started sub the doc told me I should stay on it 6 months as well. (At least 6 months). It has been 3 years. I stopped for about 3 months not that long ago and have been back on it for a little over a month. If you ever decide to go off it, I hope you will use the forum for support. I also hope you will stick around.

Take care!

Cherie


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:31 am 
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Welcome to the forum!

Hey, your story is no worse or no better than anyone else - we are all different -- BUT in most ways WE are all the SAME.. LOL..

I totally understanding testing the waters... trying your 5 norco's. There are many of us here who (may admit it or not ;) ) - have done something similar. I think for some of us it is part of our healing process. It's kinda strange to me, but I tried something too... nada effect... except to go ' UGH.. I know I shouldn't have'.. and then realize I need to focus more on recovery.

We are glad you are here. Joe, I hope you will hang around, visit with folks, learn about suboxone, etc. As a team, we all help each other, and I appreciate your story.

LD


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:36 am 
I agree with LatheDude....'testing the waters' may be just another part of the process. I'd be interested to know how many of us have done a little 'test' at some point while on Suboxone. While I'm sure there are plenty who got on Sub and never looked back, I'd venture to say that most of us have tried a full agonist at some point. I did it myself, can't remember exactly when, but I want to say somewhere around having been on Sub for 2-3 months. I was off the 'pink cloud' and for whatever reason felt I was in need of a mental vacation. So I took 4 or 5 10mg hydrocodone and got absolutely nothing from it except a guilty conscience and more shame. Maybe all us addicts are hard-headed and just have to learn things the hard way! I don't know. The experience did teach me something though. It taught me that I was going to need to be on Sub way more than the 6 or so months that I originally thought would be sufficient. It taught me that I was going to have to continue digging into my triggers and learning how to deal with them. It taught me how important it is that my loved ones know about my addiction so they can keep their meds locked up. And once again, it taught me how powerless I am in my addiction. And once again, I was given another healthy dose of humility.
Although I shared about this 'slip' to another forum member in PM, I never talked about it on the forum or to anyone else. I have been hesitant to share in part because of the shame thing and in part because I don't want to discourage others into thinking that Suboxone doesn't work. Because it does work......it just isn't the total answer to addiction. The fact that so many of us still try to use full agonists is proof of that. This is a complex disease and we have to tackle it from every angle. In my opinion, buprenorphine allows us a fighting chance. Had I had that 'lapse' and not been Suboxone, my addiction would have immediately spun back out of control....there is no doubt in my mind. With the Sub on board, I received no positive reinforcement to use again, therefore I haven't been tempted to do so. Well....I've been tempted but dismissed the idea pretty quickly.
I wish I hadn't messed up, but I did and I know I'm not alone. We all have to navigate our way through our recovery and sometimes that includes a slip-up or even a full-blown relapse. Unfortunately sometimes that relapse costs someone their life, so if there's a way to avoid it......obviously that's best. For the rest of us.....we can't give up on recovery. We have to learn something from our experiences and keep going. I know one thing for sure....Without buprenorphine, I don't think I'd have much of a chance. I'm afraid I would just have continued to ruin my life because of my addiction. I'm real thankful for this medication. I really am!


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