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 Post subject: My Story
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:13 pm 
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Hello, I was searching on Google for a forum for Suboxone users and opiate addicts and just happened to stumble across this website. First of all, let me say that I am very impressed by this website and the comments and posts I've seen on here. Mostly, I am impressed and grateful for all the information and advice given by Dr. Junig. He is a doctor that can not only understand the mindset and struggle of opiate addicts, but also seems to genuinely care and want to help his patients and others with this disease. I am also just very appreciative that opiate treatment has progressed to this point, and that people no longer look at opiate addicts simply as a bunch of junkies and criminals. Opiate addiction is a real disease, and no one, not a single addict, started using wanting and expecting to be put in the dire situation that they are in with the addiction. But anyway, my story....

My name is Spencer, and I'm 22 years old. I graduated from Arlington High School in 2009, and spent a semester in college but dropped out due to drug addiction, lack of motivation and focus, and just plain immaturity. I first experimented with opiates the last couple years of high school, and at first they didn't really grab me and I didn't understand why so many people enjoyed them so much. I started off my drug addiction with weed and a little alcohol, but mainly weed lol...I do acknowledge and understand now why and how I fell into drugs so deep though. Throughout my life (similarly to Dr. Junig), I have struggled with social anxiety and feeling separated and alienated from others. In school, I never believed any of my friends or classmates understood me or how I felt, and always felt that I could never find anyone who knew how I was feeling and what I was going through in life. I was raised in a big family, my mother and father divorced when I was young and my mother remarried my stepfather, who had three children. I also have a younger brother, so that put my household total at 7 people and usually a few pets, in a rather small house given the number of residents. And like Dr. Junig, although I was always surrounded by people, I felt distant most of the time. I'm very close to my younger brother and my mother and one of my step-sisters, but while I was growing up, I often felt awkward and uncomfortable around my other siblings and my stepfather, even my biological father a lot of the time. These feelings of awkwardness were only accentuated in school and through my friends and acquaintances, as I've always had the irrational fear that others were looking down on me or judging me or hateful of me for no reason. I do understand now however, that these were and are the feelings that have partially led me to fall into opiate addiction.

It was after high school that I truly started experimenting with drugs. My school friends grew more distant, and my circle of friends shifted from time to time. Those who do drugs tend to be around others that do drugs, and those who don't are around those who don't. I still believe that these drug addicted friends were not really bad people though, they simply were struggling with addiciton and the negative aspects of that condition as was I. It started with weed and a little alcohol, as stated earlier, and over time progressed to more and more experimentation. Before I knew it, I was mixing drugs. Weed was no longer a real high or a drug, it was just a day to day "medicine." Without it, I didn't feel right and couldn't function. Weed became a necessity, and I was experimenting with alcohol, benzos, coke, amphetamines, pain pills, hallucinogens, and various other drugs. There are only a handful of mind-altering drugs, excluding analog drugs, that I've even heard of that I have not used. However, none of those drugs truly grabbed me, I could use them once or for a few days or so and then quit and not use them again for weeks or months, no problem. However, after a failed 10 month relationship that ended very badly, I was depressed and my anxious feelings along with irritation simply grew. Also, I was working 6 to 7 days a week, which would've been a good thing, save for the fact that I was spiraling deeper into drugs. My depression and anger and anxiety, along with the my main job being a sales job, led me to start heavily using opiates. All I knew was that when I used opiates, starting with lowertabs and percocets and such, I was not depressed or anxious, I wasn't nervous talking to customers or pitching sales, and I felt more stable and happier and more energetic. It seemed to be my cure-all, as long as I was high and had them in stock that is....But after each week or so, using several times a day every day, my dosages increased and the high stayed the same or decreased. I noticed my irritability increasing, and soon I was having to take a handful of pills just to get a buzz...I always told myself that I was better off with it, I sold better on opiates, and that I could simply make the money they cost me back in extra sales. That obviously wasn't the case. It progressed to the point where I was taking $30-$40 worth of pills AT ONCE, usually a few times a day at least, and I didn't have money for anything. I started stealing money, lying to family and friends, whatever I had to do to get my "medicine." Before I knew or understood what I was doing, it wasn't just getting high anymore, it was a full blown addiction and a necessity to function daily. I would be running out of gas driving around to get drugs, and couldn't put gas in the car because I needed the money for pills. My new girlfriend, who I met at my sales job and am still with, god bless her for staying with me and helping me through my addiction, suffered because of it. When her birthday or valentine's day or christmas came around, I couldn't get her presents, I needed pills. Well, I quit my sales job, partially because of lack of sales due to the owner raising and raising prices, and just me being scared that having extra money would only put myself deeper into addiction. However, I found suboxone and started buying it off the street, and the money from my remaining part time job got me enough to buy that and cigs and weed for the week. The suboxone worked fantastically helping me stay off opiates and leveling me off, however I couldn't get it all the time. When I didn't have it and had to withdraw, well it was back to the pills. But this time, because of my tolerance after using for a few years, and the suboxone, they just didn't cut it. The tolerance and my mistake of associating with a cousin of mine, who is probably the worst drug addict I've ever known, ended with me digging myself deeper than ever into opiate addiction. Because of my relationship problems, us arguing due to my addiction and me being defensive about it, my depression from all this and life in general and not having money, and my frustration at spending a good chunk of money and not getting high, I started using heroin and needles. I'd shoot up dilaudids and heroin, sniff heroin sometimes, mix heroin and cocaine, realized how much I loved speed balling, and all the while became more and more depressed. It hit me eventually that I fell so far down that I was sticking needles in my arm, and spending money I borrowed or stole just to get high for a few hours, that I hit my rock bottom. One night, I almost killed myself injecting coke into my arm when there was a big air bubble in the syringe and had my friend not stopped me, I probably would've gone into cardiac arrest. So, understanding the seriousness of this situation and my problem, I stocked up on suboxone and went with my girlfriend to Las Vegas on a family vacation. While there, I started quitting weed and all other drugs, save suboxone. This was difficult, but not too incredibly hard, and I'm proud of myself for starting to change things, when there have literally been hundreds of times where I promised myself or was angry and hateful at myself and said "I WILL stop, or I MUST stop" and didn't....When we got back in town, I talked to family, my girlfriend and I took a little break, and I continued quitting everything but suboxone, and thanks to my family I got on the program. I've now been on it for about 3 and a half months, and I'm very pleased with the results. It's more expensive than I was hoping, but I'm still saving so much money over buying drugs off the street.

However, something bad always has to happen to screw up a good thing. Murphy's Law right? That has always seemed to be my luck anyway...My car breaks down, not when I have money, when I'm broke. Things like that....I was more sober than I had been in 5 years, no weed, hardly any alcohol, no benzos or speed, just suboxone and cigs. By the way, although weed and opiates were my day to day drugs, I'd mix drugs frequently. There have been numerous times when I've been on 4-5 drugs at once, such as opiates, weed, xanax, coke, alcohol, and somas....But anyway, things were going great, I was gaining the trust of my loved ones back, everyone and myself were proud of my progress, and things seemed to be genuinely brightening up. However, there have been times when I've been missing the old highs, and been wanting to try real opiates again...Really, I'd just greatly appreciate someone giving me a little advice or good support. I want to quit opiates completely within a few months, and I was wondering if anyone knows of any good medicines (non-narcotic), or supplements or anything that could ease the withdrawal symptoms. I've heard of withdrawal ease, but I was wondering if anyone on here has taken it and knows how well it does help. If anyone has the patience to read my rambling on here, then thank you and I'd really appreciate any advice and help. Good luck to everyone, sobriety is possible, just take things one step at a time and one day at a time.

By the way, I was hesitant to say this, but one of the main reasons I've been struggling lately is because something terrible happened to my girlfriend. We've been together for 2 years, and I've known her for 7, she is very sensitive and has anxiety disorders, and I'm very protective of her. Well, a few months ago she was raped, she was drugged and raped, so it wasn't violent and she doesn't remember it and didn't experience it, but still it's the fact of what it is....On top of that, she wasn't on birth control at the time, so she became pregnant....We've had the abortion taken care of, but it's just the idea that some guy did that to her, and that she became pregnant by him from that, and this whole situation...The fact that she struggles also with anger and now it's worse, and that her anxiety is worse now, it's very difficult to deal with sometimes...So....if anyone has any advice on how to get ready for quitting opiates and how to deal with the aftermath and supporting a rape victim, please post it to me whenever would be convenient. Sorry for such a long post, I always get carried away when I write. But thank you to anyone who does, and anyone who reads this ridiculously long post, and to whoever can give me some advice on these things. Thank you Dr. Junig for this site, and I hope you all can recover as well and quickly as possible, and live fulfilling meaningful healthy long lives of sobriety, I hope I'll get there too...Good luck everyone


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Just wanted to give a quick welcome to the forum! Sounds like you've already been through a lot at 22. Doing any kind of drugs especially heroin, is no joke, but when you take into account speed balling, it's like a whole different ball game. When I met my husband, I was only into opiates. I had done my share of playing with uppers but it just wasn't my thing. I had never been around anyone who had mixed H&C.. He didn't even tell me at first that's what he was doing.. I had to put 2 + 2 together. I took one look at him, trying to peel bugs off my white, clean walls, while simultaneously nodding out, I could believe my eyes. I had never seen anything like it, and I had seen a lot! That push and pull between down & up is SO dangerous and bad for you, never mind all the needle risk. After only a few months I gave him an ultimatum, I drew the line at coke. lol. I said I couldn't be with him if he was doing speed balls. He eventually gave it up and that alone made such a big difference in his personality. We were still dysfunctional and using, but at least I knew who I was dealing with. He was a totally different person on the mix. Anyway, I just wanted to share that, and say that I'm proud of you for getting yourself off, not only heroin and other drugs, but especially speed balls. I've seen first hand how hard it is to break THAT particular habit.

I'm sorry if I missed it, but can you let us know how long you've been on suboxone and not mixed other opiates for? I'm a little apprehensive about cheering you on to quit suboxone at this time. Mostly because of your age, history and this:

Quote:
However, there have been times when I've been missing the old highs, and been wanting to try real opiates again...Really, I'd just greatly appreciate someone giving me a little advice or good support.


If you are having these feelings on suboxone, it will only be worse off suboxone. My honest opinion is that it's a very scary world out there, you've already picked up some DEADLY habits, and those cravings won't vanish once you're not dependent on suboxone. You need to focus on yourself and get some real time under your belt, away from the habits and people who use. I wouldn't rush anything at all.

I'm sorry to hear about your girlfriend. You're a great guy to stick by and want to support her through this difficult time.


(And thank you for posting your OTC tips in the other thread!)


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:58 am 
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Hello there. Yeah it is a long post but I've read it all. Congrats on quitting but I'm sorry for what happened to your girlfriend. Hope everything is fine with you now.

_________________
Here is the solution to the American drug problem suggested a couple years back by the wife of our President: Just say no.―Kurt Vonnegut
No! Ex addict, been to a Rehabilitation Center in Detroit. 12 years clean now :)


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:16 am 
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Hi and welcome to the forum,

I just finished reading your heartbreaking story. I have to say you have definately been thru a lot.

I think you have made a good choice to turn to Suboxone for help. I would def. stay on Suboxone for a while and not think about trying to get off of it.

If there is anyway to get in a Suboxone maintenance program with a doctor, i would highly recommend it. The program I am in is a once a month Doctor's visit and you get free counseling with it.

Counseling might not be such a bad thing in order to work on yourself and how to support your girlfriend as well.

So if you have insurance or even if you don't the Suboxone Maintenance program would really benefit you.

I truly wish you all the best.


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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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