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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:58 pm 
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tinydancer wrote:
Hi Sub off


Hi tiny, I'm glad you've been following my progress - it's nice to know people are rooting for me as I would hope they would if they have any sense about opiate dependence. I feel you on picking out the flaws in the post as it was badly written and I'm finding it difficult to convey myself at the moment - you also clearly took the time to try and be helpful and that really is quite nice of you! :)

However, I do stick by what I've said, although I perhaps need to explain what I meant a little better:

High as in "wasted, out of it, seeking oblivion or particularly looking for the euphoria" ; I was not, in fact I knew the euphoria was far too synthetic to really offer me a "true path"; being a person who's view on life is simply that it should be balanced and natural [initial reason for trying to medicate what I thought were symptoms of an unbalanced mind] - when I say natural, I do mean natural; what got my into opiate analgesics was codeine and morphine - but since your body doesn't notice the difference it wasn't actually that important to me after a while and it didn't bother me that bupe was synthetic.

I found the feeling of the euphoria more of an interesting experience to analyse (as well as feel of course) rather than something to get caught up in and allow myself to autopilot out of compulsion. Some people are thinkers and others are do-ers; I think the people who think and analyse intensely are less likely to end up having the largest problems with substance misuse. I know I'm in control and don't have a disease, which is why I don't believe in the "theory", as that is what it is, simply a "theory" - to accept that it is your fate and that you are not in control is imo not good enough; it may be a helpful idea for people who are driven more by compulsion though?

Anyway, I'm still having disordered thoughts and my mood is up and down and quite frankly I need to learn how to be methodical in the way I argue my case, but I didn't read what you posted with any "eureka! she's sorted it out for me!" rather, it seems like you know your situation very well and thought it might apply more universally? I don't think it's that simple, but we'll have to see.

At the moment things are better - physically still having problems, and sleep is not returning but I have slacked on exercise lately. I think it'll enter a new phase when I go back to work and hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel really will shine.

Thanks for getting me thinking about my situation but really I know the deal with me, I'm just a little poor at translating my understanding of myself and my situation to the people on the internet.

Great to hear your success story too and thank you for the compliments! Sounds like you have put in immense effort along the way! Xx


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Okey dokey..

Most people have "eureka!" moments on their own, not at the words of someone else, so no surprises there. If anything I have said can come back to you later, down the road, it is worth it. You're still very young and I wouldn't have taken anyone at their word either. My replies may not, in fact, apply to you, but don't be fooled into thinking this is just "my story." It's not.

Also, please don't minimize what you've been through just because you were not seeking obliteration. That's the story for a lot of people here. For most users, the goal is to enhance one's life, brain chemicals, and to take the edge off, etc. Most addicts are not seeking to clumsily stumble down the street with their eyes rolling in the back of their heads. It always starts out the way you describe, so I'm just cautioning you. If you're in no way in danger of any of the things I've mentioned, than more power to you and by all means, no need to pay attention to what I'm saying. But, you never know.. You learn new things all the time, right? Below is a quote from your first page where you recently discovered something new about addiction. It's quite possible that you're still learning about addiction and yourself, right? That never really goes away and you seem very self aware, which is amazing. It's really a good quality to have.


Quote:
Thanks for the warm welcome rule62, great to meet you and thanks for the compliment on my approach. I decided to go back on it because I was using alcohol to overcome PAWs anxiety and depression and of course, the alcohol just made everything far worse, so I started using again to allow me to function. The usual vicious circle stuff. This time however I know that I need to stay off everything until I am stable and of course the opiates can never be touched again, as there is no way one can use them responsibly after becomming an addict - I never truely believed this until now!



And lastly:

Quote:
I think the people who think and analyse intensely are less likely to end up having the largest problems with substance misuse.


Um, yeah. I'm not so sure about this. Welcome to analyzer central. AKA.. home of many many addicts! Pull up a chair. It gets interesting around these parts. :D

(I'm teasing you here because it's talked about a lot that addicts in general are very analytical and will analyse anything and everything almost to death. Hence why I replied again. Ok, I'll leave you alone and continue rooting from the side lines!)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:55 pm 
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One more thing. I hope you don't mind the challenge but I'm wondering if you can explain the reasoning between these two trains of thought.. In one of your posts you admit that one loses the ability/ control to use opiates once an addict.

Sub Off! wrote:
and of course the opiates can never be touched again, as there is no way one can use them responsibly after becomming an addict - I never truely believed this until now!


In this post you say you don't believe in not having control, and in so many words, that it's a cop out for some people who need a reason for their addictions.

Sub Off! wrote:
I know I'm in control and don't have a disease, which is why I don't believe in the "theory", as that is what it is, simply a "theory" - to accept that it is your fate and that you are not in control is imo not good enough; it may be a helpful idea for people who are driven more by compulsion though?


So I ask you, if you don't believe in not having control, why is it that addicts can never use opiates again?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:56 pm 
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Andrew, instead of trying to wow us with how smart you are and how you have this all figured out, you should be trying to show us how smart you are by listening to those who have gone before you, who have walked in your foot steps and who can see the big pile of steaming shit that you're words and thoughts are walking you into.

Tiny did a masterful job of explaining things to you, she pointed out the discrepancies in your thinking (aka---your cluttered and contrary addictive thinking) and she's truly trying to help you.

I was once right were you are. I had people on this forum trying to illustrate my addictive tendencies to me, but I was too "smart" for them. Like you, I'm a thinker, I'm pensive.....I'm too smart to be an addict or I'm an addict "lite". I'm not an addict, I'm just this, that or the other. Most everything these people said to me went right over my head and I wish I would have "got" what they were saying back when they said it instead of having to go out and use again and again before I finally figured it out and accepted it.....I'm an addict. Being an addict doesn't mean I'm any less than the guy next to me, it simply means I have a brain (thinking) disorder that I have to learn about, respect and learn to live with.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:51 am 
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tinydancer wrote:
Okey dokey..


Sure, there are many addicts who have done their time in the trenches and I respect what you have been through and tackled, but I have spent less than 3 years actually on opiates, and have tried to get help before - the reason I failed is because of poor understanding about sub; it was misprescribed for me and essentially made my whole situation worse. I was using low doses of codeine to begin with, and eventually that evolved into using hospital grade morphine - the dependence ramped up and my GP referred me to a clinic, I got on subutex knowing it was potent but that it would be a treatment to get me through the morphine habit - long story short I was mislead and misprescribed the subutex, and now it has really escalated my physical dependence. Mentally as I've said I was always aware that the euphoria of the opiates were far too synthetic to be of any effective use to me - it was enjoyable but it was the physical changes which caused me to keep up the usage - the relief of withdrawal symptoms. Believe that or not, insult my character as naive and ignorant if you want, but that's the truth.

I'll never touch Heroin because I think if I did, I'd know that nothing in life would ever feel as good. Same with crack and other extremely intense euphorics. Sure opioids are opioids, but there exists a gradient regarding strength, and the effects aren't all the same. The euphoria of Morphine and Codeine are not up there with diamorph, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone - even dihydrocodeine is more euphoric (I've used it less than 5 times, in the form of DF118s). Morphine is a great analgesic, as with codeine (at first), which as I've said was the prime impetus of use - not to be obliterated into "apathetic euphoric bliss" - I don't want that now, and never did. My body yearned for the painkilling effects though, and my mind did have some of its imperfections ironed out, so that is mainly why I am here today - not because I have a disease and need to spend the rest of my life understanding that there is no cure for it, only management of symptoms - Rubbish, proove it? I should have tapered off morphine and been done with opioids a year and a half ago, but what would life be if there were no mistakes to be made? Not something of any value at all, most likely.

Regarding the "can't ever touch opioids again" comment - well, they are addictive, and I have had exposure to opiate addiction, therefore it would be silly to re-engage the addiction. I don't have a disease just because opiates are addictive. I am still in control of my behaviour, it just becomes very difficult to overcome the use of opioids once you have given your body and mind a taste of their addictive effects - just because a situation is very difficult for me to overcome does not mean that ultimately it is not me who is in control of my own behaviour. I now know life is worth living and enduring in full sensory awareness - being on painkillers is not the way to experience life as it was intended, I know that now, so I won't ever touch them to cope with life again - they are risky and just all around poor coping mechanisms. I know the difficulty I am having at the moment is an extended withdrawal from a very long lasting opioid - it's not a reflection of a diseased mind/body, just a body/mind trying to reach its equilibrium again, it's a stabilisation period, not a period where I need to be quarantined because I have a disease.

I know you're teasing and I'm sure many addicts do suffer from their own demons, but from my experience: those who turned up at the clinic (around 80%) were always there high, in "good spirits" and were usually talking about scoring, trading, meeting others on the street. I was always there to speak to a doctor and to talk about getting my sub dose lower; there were maybe 3 people I made friends with who were there for the same reason - not to party, but to be treated. I would call myself a genuine analyser - I'm not that smartest around, FAR from it - I have my moments, but I have flaws manifest themselves just as soon as those moments have passed - but I never go through life living totally in the moment, impulsively getting things done; I sit around, I think, I sometimes come up with interesting ideas but I'm not trying to "wow" you; if you felt like that reading my posts then great, but it doesn't make a difference to me how people on the internet my digital self.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:32 am 
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Two weeks and 2 hours off Subutex (UPDATE):

Physically: after the first week I noticed a marked decrease in intensity, however it has come back stronger and almost as intense as the first week every so often throughout the day; there are waves of "relief" but stilll enough persistence in the symptoms for me to wish to remain indoors and in bed. Insomnia is still a problem, I keep getting jolted awake whenever I manage to drift off (usually I am so tired mentally, but physically I always feel like I have energy pulsating through my body; RLS is consistent throughout the day, but at night it becomes my main focus, closely followed by the feeling that my skin is being scratched, and that is closely followed by difficulty in maintaining body temp - sometimes a thick winter duvet is not enough to keep me warm, and then without warning I'll need to be lying without any cover on and I'll still feel like I'm overheating. Sweat is a lot less than first week but still much more than normal - I think exercise really helps quicken the healing of this symptom. I have aches and pains at about half the intensity of the first week though, but it still feels more painful than any flu/food poisoning I've ever had. The runs aren't much of an issue as I'll take an immodium retunely; unfortunately I've been having trouble with constipation, but I'd take constipation over the runs any day of the week. I'm going for a poo twice a week, so it does add to the discomfort. Discomfort is a word that I would strongly associate with sub withdrawal; I just can't ever get comfortable - that's frustrating!

Mentally: It's a lonely and unhappy time, on the whole, with some points of the day feeling ultimately drained and fully depressed. I know this is purely a symptom of withdrawal though and it is going to feel miserable for at least another couple of weeks. I am the most accepting of this part of the process as I know my recovery hinges on being able to cope with low moments - when I develop the coping skills and have had enough experience of the depression, life will become a lot easier. I expect by next spring to be feeling a lot better because of a) seasonal changes and b) length of time passed to allow my brain to heal.

Having said all that, I feel myself now, and completely "present"; there are times when surges of positive emotions come through, and they feel absolutely amazing - far better than the fake euphoria that I got so "used to" while on opiates.

I was only on sub for 5 months, and never higher than 4mg. I did jump from 2mg, and the first week of acute withdrawal was almost intolerable, but I know if I had continued tapering I'd still be on subutex and now I am perhaps a third of the way through this healing process - that makes me very happy with my decision.

Best of luck to you all soon-to-be jumpers, I'd jump now if I were in your shoes, because the length of this sub withdrawal will really knock you for six when you realise a) how skewed your perception of time is while detoxing [minutes do seem like half an hour some times] and b) how FRIGGING long it actually is. Be prepared for months of unpleasentness, especially if you were on it for more than a year and at a high dose. Tapering helps with the acutes though I'm sure, but PAWs will be horrific for you.

Don't be polite to the sub, call it out for what it is and tell yourself in the mirror that you are stronger than it and you can beat it - when it gets really painful, look at yourself and say "this is the best it can do, well I am just going to try even harder now!"


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:00 pm 
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I thought I'd chime in here to offer a little bit of another perspective.

I do believe that addiction occurs on a continuum. There are people who can exercise some self-control while abusing drugs. There is a difference between a person who abuses codeine for a couple of years, recognizes it for what it is and stops on their own, and a homeless street junkie who can't stop unless they are incarcerated or in a body bag.

One of the differences between those two examples is progression of the disease. At the point of being dependent on some codeine with no change in life circumstances, you're not very far into addiction. At the point of being nigh-on dead, you're at the end stages of addiction where it will kill you fairly easily.

But that's the thing about addiction being a progressive disease. At its earliest stages it doesn't seem like a disease. Just like cancer perhaps. At the beginning you don't even know you have cancer. You might discover that you have a tumor somewhere, but it's small and localized. It hasn't metastasized and it's fairly easy to take care of. And maybe the cancer never comes back, but it might, and it's worth being on guard against.

That small, easy-to-deal-with cancer (addiction) was your experience with it. But for others maybe their cancers are very aggressive and come back over and over again. And knowing how bad their cancers are, they want to warn you to be on guard and do the things that may keep cancer from coming back.

I'm not saying that addiction and cancer are the perfect comparison. I just wanted to show you that you can have a disease that, in its early stages, does not feel like a disease. You are fortunate that you have a fairly mild case where self-control may still be part of the equation. The people here want you to know that you need to be wary for the rest of your life and guard against addiction coming back.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:34 pm 
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Thanks for joining the discussion Amy. I am glad you agree with me that addiction can vary in its severity. I think the analogy of cancer was an extremely poor one, which doesn't have much impact on whether drug addiction is a disease. Cancer is actually a disease, but addiction is addiction. I'll take responsibility for my actions; yes I'm in a ridiculous situation - yes it was me who got me there, yes it is me who will correct it. As I said, just because substances are addictive does not mean that I have a life long disease. That's a stupid theory which is designed for people who have a difficult time accepting reality.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Well, aren't you the arrogant one. I suppose you know far more than the scientists who have been studying addiction and both the differences in the brains of addicts and normal people, and the ways that addiction changes the brain as it progresses. I suppose those scientists who have given us our most up-to-date definition of addiction are just making it up to please the powerful Addicts Lobby made up of homeless junkies. Here is the current definition of addiction according to the National Institute on Drug Addiction:

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors.

But why listen to these scientists when you have your own proof that addiction is "just addiction". You are basing your definition of addiction on something other than your own smug feeling of superiority over those of us who don't have your stellar self-control, right? I mean, far be it from me to say that these scientists have your, obviously overwhelming, gifts of discernment when you have so much proof of your own.

Well, I will now be spending my time trying to come to terms with my difficulty accepting the reality that I am a loser addict with no ability to control my actions. I'll make sure to start writing the authors of these scientific studies and telling them that all their work is a stupid theory. I'll refer them to Andrew in the UK who, based on his extensive 3 year history with opiates, knows more than not only scientists, but addiction professionals and addicts who have dealt with their addictions longer than he's been alive.

Either that, or I'll be managing my progressive disease with the tools that I have available, backed up by all of the scientific evidence available. Because, just because I have a disease, doesn't mean that I have no power to combat it, aided by science and the experience of veterans of addiction.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:06 pm 
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BOOM....awesome post Amy!!! :D

Love ya girl..
Karen xoxo


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:15 pm 
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Image


(Sorry, last one. Couldn't help myself. I have no self control.)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Cheerio Lass. (That is how the brits would say it, ain't it?) :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:06 am 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
Well, aren't you the arrogant one. I suppose you know far more than the scientists who have been studying addiction and both the differences in the brains of addicts and normal people, and the ways that addiction changes the brain as it progresses. I suppose those scientists who have given us our most up-to-date definition of addiction are just making it up to please the powerful Addicts Lobby made up of homeless junkies.
You're the arrogant one if you think that a definition from the National Institute on Drug Addiction is conclusive proof. I wonder if you realise the politics behind calling drug addiction a disease? Do you also realise that there is much contention, and much controversy among leading scientists as to what addiction actually is? Scientists come in different shapes and sizes - with different politics, different beliefs and most importantly - their funding comes from different sources with their own vested interests. The addiction recovery sphere has a lot relying on theories to support their addiction is a disease lark, because it clearly proves helpful for people who can't contemplate their own mistakes and fate with any real responsibility. Perhaps you should search a little more broadly and accept that many people out there disagree with you - that doesn't make them arrogant, especially not when they are not prepared to accept a theory which makes no sense in reality - if it helps a net gain of sobriety then we are getting down to the real issue, but what is true is true, and theories aren't universal truthes - even evolution, while a biological fact, isn't actually established as a universal truth - YET. The big bang theory is widely accepted as the best description of the origins of the universe - doesn't make it actually TRUE, does it; it just fits with lots of other models which branch off it - let's see, addiction is a disease > 12 step > surrender responsibility? Calling addiction a disease has clearly worked for many people in their fight for sobriety - it doesn't mean it is true (I feel I need to keep repeating this). For example, the church has offered millions of people a more meaningful outlook for life - doesn't mean christians aren't all deluded when it comes to accepting reality. The Christians have a "definition" for life, you could say, and that is widely different from an athiest viewpoint.

amy wrote:
But why listen to these scientists when you have your own proof that addiction is "just addiction". You are basing your definition of addiction on something other than your own smug feeling of superiority over those of us who don't have your stellar self-control, right? I mean, far be it from me to say that these scientists have your, obviously overwhelming, gifts of discernment when you have so much proof of your own.
I am simplifying the issue and calling addiction what I think it is in its most basic sense: a need to use drugs in order to function normally. When such substances are unobtainable, the body/mind suffers from withdrawal. I would be the first person to listen to a scientist with conclusive proof.

amy wrote:
Well, I will now be spending my time trying to come to terms with my difficulty accepting the reality that I am a loser addict with no ability to control my actions. I'll make sure to start writing the authors of these scientific studies and telling them that all their work is a stupid theory. I'll refer them to Andrew in the UK who, based on his extensive 3 year history with opiates, knows more than not only scientists, but addiction professionals and addicts who have dealt with their addictions longer than he's been alive.
You are being melodramatic. You are not a loser addict with no ability to control your actions - I did not imply you were! The problem with this forum is that people make assumptions and fly off the handle leading to a dilution of the actual argument and an inflammation of prime emotions.

amy wrote:
Either that, or I'll be managing my progressive disease with the tools that I have available, backed up by all of the scientific evidence available. Because, just because I have a disease, doesn't mean that I have no power to combat it, aided by science and the experience of veterans of addiction.
Sorry, and it's definitely me who is arrogant? Just checking.


P.S. I tried to post all this last night but the site was having problems... Convenient timing, but it's a good thing I copy and pasted this.

Enjoy your day, and remember, don't take what scientists say as true just beacuse they're "scientists".


Last edited by Sub Off! on Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:07 am 
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Romeo wrote:
Cheerio Lass. (That is how the brits would say it, ain't it?) :wink:


Lad would be more appropriate in this case. Unless you were referring to Amy, which I somehow doubt.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:15 am 
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Almost 29 days off subutex!

A little update: physically I am mostly out of the strong currents and more than 50% of my time feels like I am completely normal, although I do have a heightened pain response and feel the temperature a little more than I would before opiates. Restless leg is mild in comparrison but still get some episodes while trying to sleep, but not like the "jumpy" intensity it was when going through the acute phase. I get hot/cold flashes every so often, but they are not too uncomfortable and they are easily dealt with by some quick exercise and taking a hot bath at night usually gets me ready for a nights sleep. I am still having problems sleeping, but I am used to it now and find things to do that are constructive during the night. Have started going out and socialising with friends again and that really helps the days go by quicker, as well as being back at work (I'm at work now). I have managed to get myself a small supply of valium (2mg) which I take only when I feel a surge of anxiety and withdrawal restlessness from PAWS. I have so far taken 4mg in the past 5 days, and will start splitting the tablets in half and taking less and less frequently over the next few weeks. I estimate that by this time next month I will be 90-95% back to normal, although you never know.

Mentally - getting better, I'm distracted and have got lots of things to focus on now aside from the withdrawal, so there is no boredom and time is passing by at a "normal" rate which is for me, such a relief. The first few weeks went by so slowly it was actually enough to make me completely insane (and I did go a bit insane for sure). I am less anxious, but still get very restless at times and having the valium there to take is very reassuring, but have only had to use it twice in the past 5 days and it has helped perfectly for the anxiety. Depression is still there but I also laugh a lot more again and am starting to get a more "glass is half full" view back which is how I remember myself before opiates. It's getting there, but have been having thoughts about using SAOs again, but the torture of the sub withdrawal is more than enough for me to think about and the cravings go away after thinking how I can never go back to that dark place. I also know firmly that opiates are going to make my life worse, never better, so I think I'm pretty good in that regard now. Still don't think I have a disease. :)

I may update in a few more weeks, but things are really a world away from how they were during the first 3 weeks. Cheers.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:15 pm 
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Sounds like your mind is getting clearer, congrats on your progress so far! It gets easier and easier to look back and reflect on what you've been through the more time that passes.

Oh, and you don't ever have to believe, admit, or acknowledge you have a disease, here. That's totally fine, no one is going to care. It's all good :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Definitely getting a clearer head! The first few weeks I would safely say I was nuts... I mean it is hell what we have had (and some still have) to go through, so it's no wonder really... Thanks for continuing to follow TD. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:46 pm 
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I'd like to come back into this thread to only speak about the subject of addiction being classified as a disease.

From my recollection of years past hearing doctors speak in AA meetings, to professors speak in my pharmacology class in college, this is how they explained how the term came to be.

It all started with alcoholism many years ago. There really wasn't much in the treatment department except going to an asylum to dry out. Only to repeat the behavior again and again resulting in the same outcome.

Doctors championed the medical board to classify alcoholism as a disease so they could get funding for treatment. Giving it a diagnosis number made it possible to treat alcoholics in hospital settings and to also bill insurance companies for reimbursement of treatment. It allowed grants and funding to be made and also took the labeling off the drinker that they just didn't have willpower to stop on their own.

Here we are today realizing that addiction to any substance is almost the same thing. Ergo; the addict being said to have a disease. The opposite of ease.

My explanation is by no means exact. It all comes from memory of life and school. But I do think it is close as it gets to an explanation.

When your doctor prescribes Suboxone, a code is put in for the diagnosis. That code in plain english states: "Treatment of Opiate addiction; in remission." Sorry, you've been labeled. But don't fret, HIPPA laws prevent your medical information to be disclosed w/o your written permission.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:27 pm 
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Ultimately anecdotal but interesting nonetheless, I appreciate the input sir.

Why are you sorry that I've been labelled? I wouldn't want you to be.


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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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