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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Hello I'm a guy age 29 who has had an addiction to mainly huge doses (sometimes over 1000 mg) of codeine. I have also taken oxycontin, and morphine when I have got my hands on such, I even started growing my own poppies in the summer to make opium tea. This addiction was one that I had created on my own from buying codeine online since 2005. I am not the type of person who knows how to get in contact with drug dealers in real life, thus my odd choice of drug to abuse. My addiction doctor said in his 30 years of doing that job he had never encountered another patient who had codeine as their main drug. Some might say codeine is a "mild" opiate so it's not a big deal, but it's not a "mild" opiate when you take the doses I have been taking, actually I preferred it over oxycontin which I occationally took.

I'm a very nerdy person who people would very unlikely think is a drug user, I also have a neuropsychiatric diagnosis since 1998 (at age 15), which is Asperger Syndrome. I don't think that the diagnosis necessarily correctly describes my issues, but yes there's always been something off about me, I had huge problems functioning at school (socially, not with schoolwork). This led to me being clueless about how life works and how to make friends so after high school ended I was pretty much alone, only had my family. Even though I had always been very very much against drugs growing up and in my teenage years, and since in Sweden, there is low legal tolerance, but more importantly very low social tolerance for drug use, many people here would rat out their own grandmother if they thought she used any illegal drug, and I had that mainstream view that addicts basically are scum who don't really deserve to be alive almost up until I started using codeine.

I got my codeine through various online sources (not open websites, but through underground chatrooms and forums where illegal stuff of all natures are allowed to be discussed, and contacts and deals can be made, after you are shown to be trustworthy or "green" as they say in those forums and chatrooms). Basically they are very careful to not sell to people who have trouble with the law, behave outwardly strange, or to youngsters or other people who might talk too much or attract attention, and generally they run a very clean business, they even warn you if some of the stuff they sell have gotten complaints for being of poor quality, which is more than you can say for many "serious" businesses.

Anyway after 7 years of using codeine, 5 of those as really addicted, causing me to get severe trouble with my pituitary gland and adrenal glands in 2009, and costing me lots of money, I decided now in january this year (2012) to contact the addiction clinic at my local hospital.

I had also at this point gotten into an addiction to zolpidem the sleeping pill branded as Ambien in North America and as Stilnoct/Stilnox in most of Western Europe. I was no longer using it for sleep, but as an anxiety pill which I took several times a day.
I have previously tried using benzoes, which are very tightly restricted and not prescribed much in Sweden, and benzoes only made me go nuts and flip out and start crying and throw furniture around and bang my head in the wall, very scary. Zolpidem doesn't do any of that, it has the anxiety killing and disenhibiting effect that is even stronger than in benzoes, but it doesn't make me behave outwardly bad.
Also Zolpidem had one thing in common with Codeine, which benzoes never helped me with: both work great for my restless legs (I think it is restless legs, it feels like it fits the description) which I have had since I was a child. I have tried various meds that were supposed to cure RLS but they made no difference. Codeine and zolpidem are the only ones that do the job.

It was easier and they were friendlier than I had expected at the addiction clinic. I was told to use up what ever pills I still had at home in a tapering manner. To help me taper I got the help of my parents who locked up all my pills in a safe into which I wasn't even allowed to look, much less know the code for, then they gave me a daily dose for a few weeks until we ran out, and when I ran out I was supposed to go to the hospital for further consultation with the addiction doctor.
He decided that he thought that because I had been trying to quit on my own so many times and because of the time I had been abusing drugs, and also because of my Asperger Syndrome diagnosis, that I would not likely benefit from any abstinence based treatment, he suggested I let myself be held at their ward in the hospital starting the very same day, until I was clean of any opiates in the urine, and that I was then to be given suboxone. The local regulations for administering suboxone requires you to leave two clean urine tests before you're allowed to start suboxone treatment, and since with codeine it takes 4-5 days until you get clean urine, you have to go through the full withdrawal, not only get into part of it.
I had gone through withdrawal so many times before anyway so this was not a big thing for me. I knew very well that the big trial starts after the withdrawals are over, trying to stay clean for any longer periods.
After being in the ward for 7 days (they don't start suboxone treatment on weekends since doctors are not working) I got my first dose 2mg suboxone. It took away most of the withdrawal symptoms, but I still had some of that pain/crawly-feeling inside my legs, specially later at night when it started wearing off. So next day they tried me on 4 mg and designated a nurse who would be my talk-therapist. She is also the addiction clinic's specialist in ADHD/Asperger Syndrome and similar neuropsychiatrical disorders. They did not want me to quit my zolpidem addiction quite yet, they say it's better to quit one thing at a time, but at the same time they did help me to balance my zolpidem intake, I now get 4x10 mg daily (yes, it's a lot, but it's not much compared to what I was taking before). Now I have been home for two days.

First day what I noticed most clearly was the energy I had gotten back. My home looked like a place where some squatters had lived, it was dirty and messy and even filthy at some places like a glass of what used to be orange juice which was just covered with mold. I had been so low on energy while abusing codeine and had really let both myself and my home go. This was the most noticable thing. I spent most of the first day at home cleaning up, and felt neutral doing it, I didn't feel horrible and close to exhaustion like I would normally do. I've cleaned up more these two days since I've been on suboxone than the previous 3 months put together. Same with my personal hygiene, when I was on codeine, I only took care of myself when I had just taken a significant dose of codeine, but most of the time when I just took smaller doses enough to make me just-not-bad, I didn't even shower for a week at times. The lack of hygiene gave me a very poor self confidence too, which in turn made me feel even less likely to take care of myself.

Now my apartment is cleaner than it has been for a year, and i am still at it cleaning up and fixing up some broken things, and this is just day 2.

So this is my story so far and that's why I came here.

There are some things I have wondered about though with suboxone, since I started it the last few days.

1. The dose I'm on now (4 mg) seems both too high and too low.
What I mean by that is that at noon (2-3 hours after taking it), I get a slight actual opiate effect, I would guess that's not the how it's supposed to be, seems that it is a too high dose.
At the same dose, in the evening, and even more so at night if I wake early (which I tend to do), I still feel some of the annoying restless-legs-type ache crawly feeling in my arms and legs that comes with opiate withdrawal.
The obvious solution might be take 2mg in the morning and 2mg in the evening, but I am not allowed to take it at two times per day, all suboxone treatment in Sweden requires that you take it under surveillance (they even look under your tongue to make sure it's really dissolved before you're allowed to leave, take-home doses just are not used here, unless you have been taking it for over a year or so, and even then it's rare) and getting there two times a day is just not practical, I live a good distance from the hospital.
The other option would be take a slightly higher dose, to get rid of the last traces of withdrawal effects, but then I would get a significant opiate feeling, and increase my addiction, really don't want that. Is there a chance that this evens out with time or will I just have to take this?

2. I am getting some strange effects of the suboxone, specially one is annoying, tinnitus, very loud tinnitus. I also have headache and pain over my body (completely different from withdrawal pain), this pain feels more like if someone has been beating you all over your body with a blunt object. I've had this sort of pain before when I've had some very bad cold with fever, or maybe it was even the flu. The pain is bearable but still it's a bit unpleasant of course, it just feel like i am bruised all over, not the unbearable from-inside-pain of withdrawal.
I also have a general icky feeling of tension and wound-up-ness, stimulation that feels like when you take amphetamine or concerta or the first days of an SSRI treatment. Even some physical effects that are similar to a small dose of amphetamine or first days of SSRI meds like the sweat feels more oily/fatty than usual, and the penis seems to shrink and "crawl up into the body". I have been put on many stimulants in my days and I always hate how it makes me feel, and these feelings are very similar to stimulant effects.



Ok so there is my extremely long ranting first post. I hope in the future to write some more easy to read posts with clear questions or answers or ideas.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:48 am 
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I just saw this introduction post and was posting to welcome you, but after reading it, it seemed familiar. You have your questions posted in another thread somewhere, am I right? I believe I responded to you on that other thread. Let's try to keep all the responses in that one place. So I'll just say welcome and go back over to that other thread. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:17 am 
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hatmaker510 wrote:
I just saw this introduction post and was posting to welcome you, but after reading it, it seemed familiar. You have your questions posted in another thread somewhere, am I right? I believe I responded to you on that other thread. Let's try to keep all the responses in that one place. So I'll just say welcome and go back over to that other thread. :)

Yes I made a seperate post for the questions, I realized that it's unlikely that many people would read all that babble so I made a post that was more to the point and only about the questions.

The problems in my questions are sort of solved now anyway, I got to take 2 mg in the morning and actually he let me bring home 2mg to take in the afternoon even though the local regulations say you have to have been taking it for at least 2 months to be allowed to bring any dose home, and over one year to go get the whole thing at a pharmacy. Hopefully I can be clean from even suboxone by that time. At least it's my intention to only use this as a stepping stone.


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