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 Post subject: Here it is...my story.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:30 am 
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Hello everyone. I've been reading a lot of this forum lately, and thought I should make my first post be my addiction story.

A tiny bit on my background life first. I was born in 1991 (currently 20). I was born from two parents who loved me deeply, I was never abused. I will always be grateful for having such wonderful parents, I just wish I had always treated them as well as they treated me. Anyway, I'm told that when I was young, I was very socially outgoing. I would run over to play with other kids I had never met before, and make friends. Somewhere along the line I started losing touch of my emotions when I was about 10. I don't really know how to describe it, but just know that it's hard for me since then to show my true emotions to people, especially my family for some reason (even though they loved me the most). I chalk it up to teenage angst/my DNA. My wonderful father passed away when I was 13 because of liver issues. He was an alcoholic and heroin addict for quite a bit of his life.

My first altered state experience with any drug, before a cigarette or even alcohol, was with sweet Mary Jane. I was 15, in my sophomore year of high school. I'd like to be clear, I don't think marijuana led me to my opiate use. I don't subscribe to the "Marijuana is a Gateway Drug" theory. I simply think it's in a whole different world, and we shouldn't even be bothered comparing opiates with marijuana. Anyway, it was pretty cool! I liked getting high a lot. Started to get high every day after a while, which wasn't the best idea. I ended up dropping out my senior year (stupid, I know. Just one more year, but I knew I wasn't going to go to college with my grades anyway).

My first drug PROBLEM was with cocaine. Started to spend way too much of my money on that shit, but it was so fun snorting that shit and having fun with friends all night. I basically just forced myself to quit that shit after maybe 3 or 4 months of use, and I guess it kinda sucked at the time, but looking back was really not much at all compared to opiates. Cocaine withdrawal is REALLY not all that bad.

Not long after the cocaine, however, I took my first oxy pill. I believe the first opiate dose I ever took was 3 5/325mg Percocets. Felt amazing, blah blah blah, started to use. Thing is, my tolerance rose much faster than most people. Within two months I was doing 200mg a day, within six months I was doing like 400/500mg a day. Never used a needle, I would snort the roxy 30's sometimes when I got them but most of my oxy consumption was oral. This was because most the time, I got those OP Oxycontins. I'd chew them up, and had to take a bunch of them at once because of my high tolerance.

I hid my opiate use from every single person I knew in real life (except my few dealers, obviously). None of my friends are users, except for one. He was a heroin addict who would IV everyday, but he's been on suboxone for like three months. Anyway, no one knew for six months. It was the sixth month of opiate addiction that I got clean. I couldn't get any pills, and started to go into w/d which, as with many of you, cannot stand. I caved in and called my loving mother and told her everything. I could tell she was devestated because of the things she's been through involving my father's use....but she was ready to help me. She actually lived overseas, but is a doctor and was able to call in a prescription of Suboxone. Man, the shame in that first phone call...I remember calling her but hanging up like twice, very scared to tell her. I'm very glad I did though.

Anyway, my mom called my sister and she came and picked me right up, picked up the suboxone script and luckily got one in my mouth after not too much withdrawal. It didn't take long for it to work, and pretty soon I felt all better (well, physically. Still felt very shitty about the ordeal I am putting myself through, as well as my family.)

Basically, the plan was to do a fast taper from 8mg for two days, then 4 for a day or two, 2, 1, then jumped off, all within about a week and a half. I know a lot of you may shout at this and say "NOO!" but before you do, this was actually very smart (at least for me. I respect the other views people have for suboxone long-term). During the first five days of suboxone use, I took care of all the things I had to take care of in my home town, and booked a flight down to Ireland to stay with my mom (and away from all the pills) for over a month. When the suboxone ran out, I was in Ireland with my mother. it had been about 8-9 days since my last oxy use. I couldn't sleep the first one or two days without suboxone, but that was the only physical withdrawal symptom I still had. My sleep came back pretty soon. Within two and a half weeks after my last oxy, I was doing fine. Started walking around Ireland (beautiful country by the way). I was so grateful for the easy way out, and actually kind of enjoyed the rest of my 'vacation' there. I am so blessed to have been able to get away from my hometown for a while. I know not everyone can afford to do it, but if you can find any way, staying far away for a month really helps.

Got back to where I live, and guess what? I was doing pretty good. Lost some weight, hung out with my friends clean all the time. I got cocky, however, and took some oxy when offered it at a gas station 5 months after I got home(great luck, huh?). My addiction came right back, and my tolerance shot RIGHT back up within like a week or two. Fucking sucked. Well, I let this go on from about the beginning of December, til two days ago from right now. I called my mom and broke down about my first actual relapse. We're about to do the same thing as last time for the most part, except I will be staying there longer (don't know how long yet). I will be attending NA meetings and all that jazz, anything to keep this shit out of my life. Right now it's been 53 hours since my last oxycontin use. I'm on suboxone and I feel so shitty about letting this happen again. I was VERY confident about staying clean the first time. Now though, I know....one pill, just once, will take you all the way back down.

I do not feel completely hopeless. This is only my first relapse, and it's only been a little over a year since I took that very first oxy. This could be it, the last time I relapse, but I know I'm going to take more measures to stay clean when I get home. Meetings, phone calls when I crave, whatever it takes. I hate being an addict, it's terrible, but I'm still young with this shit. I feel like I can do this.

My story might not be that crazy or outlandish to you guys, but I could really use some words of encouragement right now. Thanks for reading my words, I hope to use this forum as a tool to keep myself from future relapse.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:19 am 
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Hi Gittings!

I could identify with your story a lot. The slip into addiction resembled my own in many ways, as well as your choices in getting clean.

I've also been through the relatively cruisy withdrawal/detox allowed by a rapid bupe taper. I do now believe that having it 'too easy' when we get off opioids can actually be a bad thing in the long term. It can make it all too easy to forget the pain that choice to use can give.

I'm 28 years old now, and have had a few experiences with relapse, moving away to stay clean, Suboxone and NA. If there's any advice I could give knowing what I know now, it would be to BE PATIENT. Don't rush it.

It takes a long time to grow out of the potent addiction to opioids. Longer than I could have have ever imagined when I was 20. The circuits addiction create in our brains are very strong, and it takes a lot of hard work and time to grow out of them. And when you move back and are confronted with those old cues and triggers, it's very easy for that switch to flick back into the old way of thinking. So you have to be very sure of your footing. If I had the opportunity you have now, I wouldn't even make plans to move back. I'd make a new life where you are now with the support of your mother, and the time will come when you're ready.

When you said "my tolerance went right back up within a week or two". Unfortunately, that's how it is for us now. If there's one lasting legacy our addiction leaves us with, it's that we can't use them anymore like we did in the beginning. It doesn't matter if there's 10, 20 or 40 years without them, the moment we pick up, we're right back up using how we were in no time.

NA can be a useful tool in helping people stay clean. It's helped A LOT of people. They by no means have a monopoly on recovery though. Many find it doesn't work for them, and get clean through other means. If it works for you and you stay clean, then stick it out. If you feel it's hindering your progress or pulling you backwards, then try something else.

You're on a really good footing right now. Follow your gut, not your mind. You've chosen life, and you've gotten clean. It's only a matter of time before you get to where you want to go.

And don't feel shitty about being back on Sub, or let anyone else make you feel that way. Even if you get pushed back, keep pointing your feet in the right direction and moving forward. It'll just be a matter of time.

take care.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Hey Gittings, I am just one year younger than you and have had very similar experiences. I remember telling my parents for the first time about my addiction and it was so hard. By the time I had informed my parents I had been using nowhere near as much as you but it was still bad. Because my parents had no knowledge about addiction to pain killers I was pretty much grounded, no phone, and they were my only transportation. A month later I relapsed and picked up right where I left off. I felt awful lying to them and the guilt that went along with it. Fast forward a year I had about two more relapses. After the final time I wanted to try suboxone and my parents supported me. I also went to a six week outpatient drug program that was 3 hours nightly.

I know exactly how you feel right now. It is so important to basically erase every form of contact with users and dealers. You obviously didn't intend on running into the person you did which triggered a relapse, but you need to prepare yourself for future scenarios to avoid any kind of relapse in the future. Congratulations on getting to the point where you currently are. I know it was hard, but it is worth it and your life depends on it. I am also new to this site, but I can tell you it is a big help and I want you to know the people on here are extremely informed on addiction so feel free to ask whatever you need.


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