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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:31 pm 
One Month or More
One Month or More

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:10 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Miami, Florida
Hi Everyone,
Thanks to all the people that commented on my plea for help when I went through Precipitated Withdrawal a couple of days ago.
I don't know where to start.
My family life as a kid was a combination of total love by my extended family in rural France, to a living hell as an only child in a violent family. So, each time we went back to Miami it was a frightening experience, and full of anxiety. I was raised in Miami, and the summers or every two were in France. By the time around '71 or so, we had stopped going to France, and the fights between my parents had become horrible. There was one final incident, really bad. Just terrifying. After that there was a snap. A snap that I did not know occurred until later. So, my parents, or that part of the family, were no longer my family. I disconnected from them. I used alcohol around age 12 13, and pot after that, then used a lot of different things: Hallucinogens (never abuse) ludes, etc. One day I happened on something called Percodan. This was something that I had never ever felt before. First was the warmth, and comfort, almost like being held by an angelic mother, then a burst of energy, all the voices in my head that said I was worthless disappeared, all by just taking 2 percodans. But, opiates at that time and where I was, were not easy to obtain, and I just occasionally came upon them by going in med cabinets, or friends breaking their leg, and it making them feel sick and sleepy ("oh, really, here, try just tylenol, and I will take your pills") this worked every time! Then after finishing my B.S. at U.F. I went to France to visit my family, and somehow by total chance, met a professor that wanted another person in his graduate group. I just kind of thought "great, that will give me an excuse to stay here". But after getting accepted, and having a very low opinion of myself, to the point of thinking I might be retarded (seriously) one day I got scared. I mean a panic set in: "What am I doing here? This professor made a big mistake, I am not qualified. You really screwed up what are you going to do etc.". I mean things were racing through my head. I was crying, frightened and in a strange city, not near my family. Then I remembered that over the counter cough medicine was available in a pill form in France. It was basically pure codethylene, and codeine sulfate. I mean from one moment total desperation to another moment of - gotta try and get this and see what happens-. And sure enough, I could get as much as I wanted. I calculated the dose that was equal to about 5 T-3s and swallowed them, and went and had a couple of beers in a Cafe/Bar. In 20-30 min everything changed. I mean everything.
There was no problem anymore. The voices of doubt had disappeared. I even went back to the lab, and volunteered to help that same day. I did the research and even finished 2nd in the group and got my degree. But I did not realize I had crossed a line biochemically in my brain. Once back in the US, I went through w/d and got through it ok, after all it was just codeine. But after that, just one beer, and I would be off looking for any type of opiate. Miami was a cocaine city at that time (thank god) and H was not easy to get. So I would hit doctors.
I would go on oxys or hydros for a couple of weeks, then off for months, and so forth. I was married and had two children when I discovered H. I fortunately stayed on it only for about 4 months. But I went fast. From less than a bag, to over 10 and 80mg of Methadone/day. I went into detox, and had the worse w/d imaginable. After that, I stayed away from opiates for the most part. But I still got scripts now and then. Then I had a long period of sobriety. From about 1998- 2006. In 2001 I went through my divorce, and had moved to Maine. I loved Maine, and for some reason during this dreadful divorce I did not use. I stayed clean, and went to AA meetings and used nothing until the end of 2005. So 98-2006 about. I had to move back to Miami in Dec. 2006 because of my mom's failing health, and for my girls it was better for school. It took about 2 days with my mom stocked up on painkillers, and...not using them...and I did not even think twice. But once I took that first percocette that started everything very rapidly. Percocette, hydros, fentanyl, dilaudid etc.
In August of 2006 I went on Suboxone.
The first few days were a honeymoon. Then I began using it improperly. Using like an addict. The ceiling effect was totally counterintuitive to this addict. Less is better??? I blamed suboxone on all my problems in life. Yes there are some bad side effects, but there was so much going on in my life at that time that to sift through that- having suddenly to care for my mother who had an embolism and became invalid- to having my two girls (a gift from above) teenagers (didn't feel like a gift at the time) a new relationship that involved getting immigration docs. Taking responsibility for her family. Total hell. Just like Sam Kinison talks about in his stand up acts about getting married. AHHH. Plus I was working full time +. But all this time I blamed suboxone, tried to stop etc.
Im covering a lot of ground. That brings me to now.
After the nightmare of the last 3.5 years, and having a heart attack in 2007/8 (new years eve)- I had come to a point of stress and anxiety that if I did not do something I would die or have a stroke. This last July I decided I had to do something. My wife had left for the last time back to her home country(relief), and my girls had both graduated, and I secured a reverse mortgage for my mom. I decided to come back to Maine. I had the intention to come here, and stop suboxone once and for all, and start a new life of recovery. But things did not work out that way. I tapered rapidly from undisciplined use of 4-6-8 to 6 to 4 - all over the place. So from this down to zero in about 8 days. I began the withdrawals about 2-3 days and could not take facing the PAWS associated with any long term opiate use (ie not just suboxone). I went back on 2mgs of Suboxone and stabilized. I accepted the fact, reluctantly, that I may have to stay on it. So I was stable and starting to put together a program of recovery, and was doing well. Last week, I went on a whale watch tour with a friend. When I got home, for some reason, I felt horribly sad. I dont know why. I missed my girls maybe?, I felt lonely. I bought a couple of beers, and that was all it took. I went to the nearby town known for OCs and sure enough, found someone that would run for me. I went from about 40mg to 160 in that one week. I freaked out, and stopped taking my last bit on Sat. night around 9pm. I woke up the next day (last sunday) and took the suboxone prematurely. Anyone out there- do not do that. You cannot just go in and out of suboxone pain free. I went through hell on Sunday. Yesterday was better, and today a bit better.
Having said all this- I feel totally discouraged, and feel that this whole plan I had set out is a complete failure. I left a very good job. I left Miami, thinking also that this was a source of stress and not a healthy place.
Maine, which I loved so much, seems foreign to me now. Even threatening since I did those OCs.
I do not want to use right now. I would rather die. I do not have the runners number. He has mine, and my phone is shut off. I told him I was going into treatment and not to call. But my phone is off just in case.
The moral I guess: The only thing I can grasp onto right now, is that I prayed, and picked myself up, and went to my therapist appointment yesterday, and went to the trouble of reaching out on this site. And people have been great. But I did pick myself up, and chose not to continue to use. Suboxone is a saving grace for me after all. I have no idea how long I will be on it, but anything is better than entering the drug world. Methadone- definitely not. Copping, getting runners, getting ripped off, thinking you made it and have your sht totally together only to have your soul crushed the next day by a total feeling of desperation and demoralization. Addiction is horrible. It really is a disease, and it sucks. But don't give up. I wanted to give up on Sunday. I did not.
Im still here and feeling better.

Think before

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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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