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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Been reading here for a few days, read a few hundred posts so far, learned a lot. Thanks to everybody for keeping this place active and friendly, it has definitely been helpful. Gives me a warm feeling of comaraderie.

I'm a 46 year old white male professional. I started dabbling in opiates about 4 years ago. I had a long period of chipping and only really crossed the line a few months ago when I stopped taking breaks and upped my usage to about a bundle a day of H, when I could get it, and 10-20 Vicodins a day when I couldn't.

I wasn't really depressed and wasn't in any kind of pain, I was simply doing it for fun. But then over the last year I ended up having some serious personal (relationship) problems and that lead to some bad bouts of depression and for the first time I started using as an escape rather than as an aside. That was my downfall. Before long the drug owned me and I felt like I couldn't live without it. It was my best friend, it made everything all right, when it wasn't. I just loved to dose up and just lay there and let my mind go. Beautiful. But as my tolerance rose and I took more and more, I started to come up against the physical side-effects, constipation, indigestion, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, hiccups, itching, sleeping too much, stopped exercising. And I started spending a lot of money, like $100/day. I stopped going to work, watering the plants, paying bills on time, etc.

I knew I either had to jump ship now or face being a real crash-and-burn junkie. I tried several times to quit cold turkey and the physical symptoms were really not that terrible, bit of restlessness, diarrhea, lethargy. But I could not overcome the depression, emptiness, hopelessness. And because of that, after a few days I'd be back on it.

They wanted me to go to rehab, my wife arranged for me to go to Caron for a month, but in the end I simply refused to go. I can't easily vanish that long from work, and the whole higher power 12 step thing really turns me off, I know I wouldn't fit in there. Plus, for $31,000, you'd think you'd at least get a private room.

So instead I decided to try this Suboxone route. I saw a doctor who was real nice and he set me up with a box of 15 8mg strips and told me to aim for 8mg/day by taking two doses of 4mg each. I went about 24 hours clean, still wasn't really having bad physical symptoms except for the depression, but decided to start then anyway. That was last Saturday night at 11pm. I thought 24 hours was enough. But it wasn't and my first dose of 4mg sent me into precipitated withdrawal. That was without a doubt the worst 2-3 hours of my life before it finally subsided. I felt like every cell in my body was exploding. A few more hours of that and I may have thrown myself off the balcony. Fortunately, it subsided and when it did I felt tremendous relief.

Since then I've been taking three 4mg doses per day about 8 hours apart, not because I'm getting physical withdrawal but because of the depression, empty feeling, which is much harder to deal with than any physical symptom. It seemed to help for a couple hours after dosing and I started to crave it and count the hours between doses. The first three days were hell, they dragged on like weeks, with such a feeling of emptiness and loss from no longer having H there to comfort me. To me the thing that makes Suboxone work (so far) is not that it makes me physically comfortable, but that I know I simply cannot take any opiates for at least three or four days because they'd have no effect. My cravings are intense, but they're cravings for *now* and not for four days from now. If I can't have it now, I can't even think about four days from now, that sounds like an eternity. So I persist, hour by hour.

I'm coming up on five full days on Suboxone now. I've had no side-effects and have been surprised reading all the side-effects people have been posting testimonials about. I have had some hot flashes/sweating, but I'd get that from stopping H anyway, with or without Suboxone, so it's not really a side-effect so much as a symptom of WD that Suboxone doesn't cure. Everything otherwise is normal for me, except my mood. Dark, deep feelings of emptiness and lack of enthusiasm for life. But yesterday for the first time I did actually start to feel improved spirits. My doctor said it takes a week to build up in your system and the mood stuff should improve then. Does that sound right? I went to work yesterday and worked a full day. I came home and had a relatively normal evening. Today again I feel somewhat acceptable.

I still am having trouble coping with the concept of an opiate free life and I am honest enough to admit that I may relapse. I'd like to think if I get over the depression and get back to being a normal person that maybe I can also get back to occasional recreational use. But that's probably not realistic. We will see.

Yesterday I wrote this ode to heroin.

Life is difficult, somebody said.
Some times harder than others.
Some times too hard to bear.
But when I cannot function anymore,
I could turn to my dear friend.
Heroin is her name.
I can't call her evil and downplay what she did for me.
She was my best friend, the only one who could understand.
And I thank her for that. Every day.
She helped me through so many times.
I really don't know what I would have done otherwise.
And I'll never forget you.
But like that best friend who moves away.
Sadness overtakes the mind for some time.
But it must be that way, I cannot be married to her.
She cannot stay.
Because power must be shared.
I have no power any more.
She showed her greedy side.
Even with me, as everybody said it would be.
She took over the task of running my life.
I look into the future with her and only see black.
A terrible outcome down that path.
Could I go just one more day, one more week, one more year?
Will I never spend time again with her?
I don't know. Maybe. Probably.
Is my life easier now that I say goodbye?
No. No it's not.
But I must not think about that today.
It feels so cruel that now I must find another way to deal.
When will I know? Maybe tomorrow, not today.
Meanwhile it just weighs on my mind.
The temptation to throw it all away.
A fight every minute, to get through the hour, to get through the day.
But maybe this morning I felt the Spring air.
If only for a minute.
And saw hope in a flicker.
Hope that one day will maybe take over again.
For now I can only wait, lost in this limbo state.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, that's my story, for what it's worth, at least the time I just spent writing it served as a good distraction. Yes, distraction is key.

I wish you all luck. Please do the same for me.

Thanks for listening,
Dog


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Hey Dog, 8)

GREAT job man!!!!!
that H, its a whole OTHER monster, isnt it????

Glad you made it to the "other side"

Now, the hard part is staying there!!! I was alot like you in the begining, I'd watch the clock, and be like "if I can just make it thru the next HOUR" I'll be okay, I think.
Sometimes, it was only fifteen minutes I was trying to get thru!!!!

Anyways, here it is 14 MONTHS later, to the day

So hang in there dude, you can do this!!!
It'll totally be worth it too

I wish ya the best

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anyone can give up,
its the easiest thing in the world to do, but to
hold it together, when everyone would understand if you fell apart
That's TRUE STRENGTH
http://almostoneyearclean.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: I can relate
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Dog I can relate. I am your age and also a white collar worker. I also started opiates to dull the pain of a bad marriage, sucky job, etc. I can totally relate to the escapism, and the feeling that after I started sub I was not ready to quit oxy, as the sub made me feel normal and I didn't want to feel normal.

Even knowing the blocking effect of sub did not stop me from trying to reach that good feeling several times. That's one of the things I hated about sub. It jacked my tolerance way up, to where I could eat three or four 80's (the good old ones) and barely feel it.

I agree it with you, if it were not for the depression, lethargy, anxiety, and general apathy of withdrawal it would be easier to quit. I don't know what the answer is. I tried getting treated for depression but all that did was give me a very negative view of the entire psychotherapy industry.

I came to the conclusion that the only way to possibly quit would be to get divorced, leave my family, quit my job, and move far far away. But I love my kids too much, so I soldier on. The best part of each day is when I am asleep. When I wake up I am OK for a second or two until I remember the reality of my existence.

Probably not what you are wanting to hear, but sometimes knowing you are not alone is enough to keep you going. Best wishes.
J


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 Post subject: Re: I can relate
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:08 am 
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Jimmy wrote:
... sub made me feel normal and I didn't want to feel normal.

...When I wake up I am OK for a second or two until I remember the reality of my existence.

...I came to the conclusion that the only way to possibly quit would be to get divorced, leave my family, quit my job, and move far far away.

Thanks for posting this, it helps to hear from someone with a similar situation and feelings. These three comments ring particularly true. I feel almost normal and I don't want to feel normal, it's boring and confusing and I don't remember how to do it anymore. I too have that rush of reality every morning when I wake up. How will I get through another day? Despair come quick, which I only know how to fight right now by jumping on my next dose of Suboxone. Doesn't really help much but at least it's something. Like you I keep thinking about getting divorced, quitting my job and moving to Thailand, getting 50 grams of pure H for cheap and holing up in a beach bungalow for a year. Or something. The scary thing is there's nothing really stopping me from doing that. I have the money to do it and I don't have kids, I have no real responsibility to anybody, except my wife - and that relationship is tenuous now anyway ... after 24 years, so sad. I know a major stabilizing factor for people is the responsibility to their children. That's something I don't and will never have, so I just have to find something else to care about. Well this moment I'm 6 1/2 days off H, I got this far so I'm not ready to give up yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:14 am 
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amber4.14.11 wrote:
Anyways, here it is 14 MONTHS later, to the day

Wow 14 months, that is inspiring, I simply cannot imagine being clean that long, it sounds like a life sentence to go even a month. But I'm trying to stay strong by reading all of your success stories. I'm trying not to fall under the spell of those who bash Suboxone, because I know without it I'd be doing H right now and marching down that road to oblivion. I am afraid to be even more addicted to Suboxone, but it has no side-effects for me and it's making me feel normal - even if that's a hard feeling to cope with right now - the road I was on before was not tenable. So whatever will be will be. And when it comes time to get off Suboxone, it's good to know the support I can get here exists. Thanks for your encouragement.


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 Post subject: bad statistics
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:36 am 
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My doc wants me on Subs for 8 weeks and then taper. But I read this article somebody posted a link to recently:

I wanted to post the link but it won't let me, says I might be a spammer. But search on "A multi-site, two-phase, Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study (POATS): rationale, design, and methodology" and the full text is freely available, even by pdf, if you follow the right links.

For people with a 12 week treatment and 4 week taper, they had an 8% success rate after eight weeks clean. And it was even lower for the subjects who had ever tried H, even though all participants were currently abusing pills. There were over 600 subjects in the trial, and it seems to be well done. This is discouraging for sure, a blow to short-term treatment. Right at the end of Subs treatment at the time of their last full dose nearly 50% were still clean. Half had either quit Subs and went back to using or took opiates together with their Subs. But half success is also pretty good. I mean how hard is it to be in the right half? But once they got off it, most went right back to opiates, 92% of them anyway. Just 8% odds are not too good, I don't feel that lucky. Particularly because the only thing stopping me from "one more binge" is being on this stuff. But I don't relish the idea of taking it for years. Discouraging to be sure.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:50 am 
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I think one reason it is easier to stay off of drugs after being on sub long-term is because you have a longer period of time to get the addictive thinking and behavior out of your system. Getting out of the habit is one of the hardest parts of kicking drugs, IMO.

I also remember thinking, "Why would I WANT to get sober?? Sober is so boring and there will be absolutely nothing at all to look forward to!" The thought of being sober scared me because I couldn't imagine living life without drugs after being on something or other for every day for the last 20 years. But once I got on sub, my thoughts completely changed.

For the first time in life, I wasn't depressed, and I even looked forward to each day...something I've never done. I have always cared less whether I live or die because I have no kids, and life just never seemed worth living without doing drugs. I've always hoped that I would not live to be in my eighties, because that seemed like such a long time to be miserable.

But now I look forward to each day and I am excited for what is in store for me in my life, and I don't want to die. In fact, I even started thinking that I hope I live a long life because now I have a completely different perspective. I couldn't believe that subs did all of this for me because I was only getting on them to detox, and then taper rapidly. Now I have no plans of coming off of them anytime soon, and I hope that they continue to work so well for me. Any side effects so far have been worth dealing with to be able to experience the benefits that subs have offered me.

Hopefully in time, once you get out of the habit of doing drugs, your thinking will change too, and you will be able to look forward to life without drugs. I know I never would have had this perspective if I'd stayed on my doc. Try to give it a little bit more time, and once day you might find yourself thinking differently and realize that you have been changing without even noticing it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:34 am 
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Taurus wrote:
I think one reason it is easier to stay off of drugs after being on sub long-term is because you have a longer period of time to get the addictive thinking and behavior out of your system. Getting out of the habit is one of the hardest parts of kicking drugs, IMO.

I also remember thinking, "Why would I WANT to get sober?? Sober is so boring and there will be absolutely nothing at all to look forward to!" The thought of being sober scared me because I couldn't imagine living life without drugs after being on something or other for every day for the last 20 years. But once I got on sub, my thoughts completely changed.

For the first time in life, I wasn't depressed, and I even looked forward to each day...something I've never done. I have always cared less whether I live or die because I have no kids, and life just never seemed worth living without doing drugs. I've always hoped that I would not live to be in my eighties, because that seemed like such a long time to be miserable.

But now I look forward to each day and I am excited for what is in store for me in my life, and I don't want to die. In fact, I even started thinking that I hope I live a long life because now I have a completely different perspective. I couldn't believe that subs did all of this for me because I was only getting on them to detox, and then taper rapidly. Now I have no plans of coming off of them anytime soon, and I hope that they continue to work so well for me. Any side effects so far have been worth dealing with to be able to experience the benefits that subs have offered me.

Hopefully in time, once you get out of the habit of doing drugs, your thinking will change too, and you will be able to look forward to life without drugs. I know I never would have had this perspective if I'd stayed on my doc. Try to give it a little bit more time, and once day you might find yourself thinking differently and realize that you have been changing without even noticing it.


Thank you. I definitely see where you're coming from. It's obviously not true that if you're on Subs you're not clean. I am not high, which is a profound difference to how I was when I was doing H. So that's the most important thing about being clean, how you feel and getting used to that feeling. And this is what it feels like. Boring, like you say. But I am actually starting to feel a bit better about life in general over the last couple days. Maybe the subs just needed to build up in my system. I'm at 5 1/2 days. I'll keep you posted.


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 Post subject: A REPLY FROM SLIPPER....
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:44 pm 
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I am sorry the subs are not working for you as quickly as they did for me. After a 29 year addiction to everything I could get my hands on, my life had become a living hell on earth... I had tried the AANA route and didn't work for me..treatment centers, psychiatrists...all of it,...and then I read about this sub treatment and made an appt.
The Dr. started me on16mg. but in about half a year reduced me to 8mg. .....from the minute I took it i felt so much better.....like a normal feeling used to have as a child...happy and free from the awful part of having to get up everyday sick and try to find some more opiates..

The sub has taken all my cravings for drugs away...i do ot even think about getting high anymore...
I also do more things...get out more...get dressed up more and put on makeup. I am finally learning how to live.

I have been on subs for two years now and have no plans of getting off anytime soon..because I know me...I would be
right back out there...
Maybe you should give the subs more tme...the longer you take it it will fill up your receptors...and try not to think of that one more high...remember one is too many and a thousand is not enough.

Good luck to you what ever you do..i wish you all the best...and let us hear from you as to how you are doing.

Slipper



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:27 pm 
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slipper wrote:
...and try not to think of that one more high...remember one is too many and a thousand is not enough.


That's so true slipper, and a good thing to remember. Even if you do miss the feeling of being on drugs and allow yourself to get high one last time, it won't be enough, and that one time will probably lead to one more time, and one more time. It will never be enough. That's how it was for me anyway.


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