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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:27 pm 
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I wrote this in the "Introductions Thread" and simply wanted to put it where it belongs, right here in the "My Story" section that I simply failed to see. I'm not trying to be a "post whore", I promise 8) , just want to put My Story where it belongs, for my own sake as well as for others to read.

JoshuAble wrote:

My Story.......

Alright.. BEST OF LUCK TO ALL OF YOU ATTEMPTING TO READ IT. EACH PARAGRAPH YOU GO THE MORE I APPLAUD YOU! 8)

I grew up in a beautiful town in the great state of Washington, had a great family and parents, a neurotic older brother whom I looked up to, and while we all loved each other we never truly communicated the way a family should. My father worked 60 hours a week so I never really talked to him much, and he never talk to me much, never gave me those "life lessons" one would hope for. I'm just stating how it was, I have no blame or anger towards them these days, but I did go through that whole phase for awhile.

Fast forward... middle school, I'm a gullible kid with a 3.9 GPA taking classes at the local high school as a 7th and 8th grader (Math and Science). Great basketball player and golfer, "popular", a general nice all around guy. Fast forward.... High School, Junior Year, 16/17 years of age and I was already a daily potsmoker (for multiple years) and just a "partier". I liked to drink, pop the occasional pills, go on the occasional mushy trip, having fun the only way I really knew how. While that all seems like it might be "too much for a 16 year old" I would have been fine had it stayed that way.........

I consider myself the DEFINITION of what opiates, specifically Oxycontin and heroin, can do to a young person (one who has access to these drugs and never learned to "cope" or talk to someone about life in general). At the age of 16/17 (Junior year of HS), while I was a daily pot-smoker from ages 14-17/18 I was still a B+/A- student, captain and starting PG of my varsity basketball team (HS of 2,500 kids) being scouted by Division 2 schools (as well as D3/NAIA or whatever division schools). Probably could of been scouted by a smaller D1 college had I not been smoking pot before every game.... anyway...

I had life by the balls, varsity basketball player being scouted, getting great/solid grades, partying (in smaller amounts), already had great SAT scores, was dating a beautiful girl, as a Junior I was only a like 7 credits away from graduating. So I only had 4 out of 6 periods/classes (by choice... rather than go after the AP classes I was a lazy pothead that would rather be able to start school at 10am rather than 7:50am). While I don't blame pot one bit for my opiate addiction, I do know it created an environment for me to gain easy access to them. Gateway drug theory I'm not sold on, it just happened to be more readily available because of who I hung out with as a result and the "dealers" deciding to sell things other than the greens.

Then after my Junior year, a week before my senior year started, my grandma (who I was close with) had passed away, as well as my girlfriend dumping me (I was a dumb kid that had cheated on her the first month we dated; we dated for a year; yes i deserved it, and learned from it and have never cheated on a woman again; she was my "first love" and it crushed me). I had also suffered a hernia while working out for basketball, and had to undergo surgery for it (painful for a man and his beloved balls becoming bruised and purple the week after). With all these things happening, I was starting to spiral into a deep depression. I had no idea what to do or how to cope with any of it. I had nobody to talk to about these things (in my mind). While I had great friends (many that were just good, clean kids, not just my pothead friends), I also had a great family. But I felt ashamed for being depressed, turning all my problems and all things negative in my life inwards, never asking for any type of help; or simply attempting to tell someone what I was going through.....

I was prescribed simple Percocet, 5mg (4x daily) for the month following surgery. I felt a comfort in taking these pills, and was not following the directions, and went through them in less than 2 weeks. I went back to the doctor who did my follow up for the surgery and he wrote me one more script for another 120 Percocets. The lasted another 2 weeks or so. In that 2 weeks I felt like all my problems were gone. The pain I felt from everything vanished each morning as I popped 10-20mg of Percocet/Oxycodone. Little did I realize that this was the ideal recipe for addiction....

As I ran out of that last bottle, I knew my main pot dealer also sold Oxycontin (I had tried it once, snorting a 20mg line as a 16 year old and it made me extremely sick. I never though I'd ever do it again). But of course, that was when I was mentally stable and fine, before all these negative things had happened in my life. So of course, I went to my dealer and asked him about Oxycontin, as well as doing research on it finding out that it was identical to Percocet, just way more potent. So he actually gave me one pill, an 80 mg Oxy, and showed me that I could just lick the "time release coating" right off of it. I was awestruck, that little tiny pill was 16 Percocets crammed into a pill smaller than one 5mg Percocet. So it began.....

As time went on I had learned that snorting it was much more effective than swallowing it, and as my tolerance grew (oh so quickly), by Christmas of my senior year (only 3 months after taking that first 80mg Oxy over a few days), I was already needing one 40 mg a day to feel normal, and 80mg a day to get that "high" that made me feel numb and like I was invincible, putting all my problems away. I had also made some "friends", especially one "best friend", as in he loved doing Oxy as much as me, so it was perfect for us both. This only pushed my addiction quicker, as we'd spend so much time using it and coming up with money to get it.

Then one day he shows me a special "trick". Taking of the coating of the OC 80mg, pulling out some foil and a hollowed out pen, he showed me how to smoke the Oxy, aka "Freebasing" it off of foil. It was amazing, while I had to snort 80mg a day to feel high, I could free-base 20mg (1/4 a pill) and feel even "better and completely numb". Of course it only lasted for a couple hours, while snorting lasted for nearly the whole day or half the day. By March, only 3 months after being hooked on 40-80mg of Oxy a day, after learning to smoke it in January, I really started changing.....

I was fixated on it. I was a senior in high school, had quit the basketball team 3 games into the season because our team stunk, mostly because I was the PG, the guy who runs the offense and team, and could care less about the game I was so in love with all my life. The game that was getting me scouted as a Sophomore and Junior, but by my senior year season I had gone from 165 pounds (5'11'') to 150 pounds. Quitting seemed like it was the right thing, as it gave me more time to do what I loved most (Oxycontin). So it's March of 2004, I'm a Senior in high school with 2 classes (only needed 2 credits to graduate), and was smoking/free-basing anywhere from 160mg-240mg a day (2-3 pills), which were extremely costly in the location I lived (something like 40+ bucks a piece).

From being a scouted D2 College basketball player to a full blown opiate addict. I started stealing from my parents, lying to my friends, caring about nothing except of course the opiates. At the time I still didn't know I was even "addicted". Not until I went on a trip with my Visual Communications class for school. We visited Southern California, to see the Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, and to check out colleges like Chapman College (all things related to the film industry, my other passion). The trip lasted only 3 days, but oh did those 3 days seem like forever. As a 18 year old I was oblivious and uneducated to the fact that I was physically addicted to opiates. By day 2 of the trip, I was pale, sweating, experiencing anxiety like never before, unable to sleep (and all the other acute opiate withdrawal symptoms). At the time I literally didn't know what was going on... I even thought while I was there I had come down with the flu, and of course that's what I told everyone.

So we get back from the trip on a Sunday evening, and I head straight out to get that Oxy. I take a couple hits of it and like clockwork I feel normal/good again. This was the moment I realized that I was completely addicted to Oxycontin/opiates, and instead of asking for help it seemed to only grow from there. My Graduation day was quite interesting, as I graduated with honors, but barely made it to the stadium our ceremony was held. I had gone a full day without it, and so I spent that morning and afternoon coming up with money to get the Oxy I needed to be able to walk down and get my diploma. I needed to take 160+mg of Oxy a day (snorting+smoking together) to feel NORMAL, as in not fill sick. 3 months prior I was doing 2-3 pills a day (160-240mg) and it was getting me quite high and numb. But now I needed that same amount to simply function and not be sick. To get "high" I had to do more.....

The Summer after I graduated, rather than party with all my friends (as in drinking a little, maybe smoking a little, but more importantly being with your friends and having fun, long late nights), I was always either by myself coming up with money (stealing from my parents, my friends, from retailers, going to pawn shops), and it started to consume my entire life... every minute of every day was about getting high or getting the money to get it. I started selling it, getting fronted 50 pills at a time at $25 a pop, so selling half of them would give me 25 pills to myself. By the end of the summer, August, only 10 months into this addiction, I had gone from future college athlete to Drug Dealer and Drug Addict. I was doing approximately 4-5 Oxy's a day (320mg-400mg). That lasted for awhile, as I chose not to go to college (probably a good choice since I would of flunked out), and spent all my time just doing Oxy with myself or my 'friends' that did it with me.

After I hit 19, my parents obviously had known for awhile something was wrong, and while their denial was strong, I also had no care or inkling to change. I kept getting high, dealing, stealing, running (from cops and retailers), (things I could of been doing on the basketball court in college). My guy that fronted me eventually quit the business, leaving me as a lowly drug seeker again, resorting to having to steal and scheme to get my pills. Eventually, I got caught stealing from a store, and as a result I was given the chance to go to rehab and complete it, which would clear my record. I did so, spent 3 months in Southern California at a great rehab center, feeling great about myself. I felt like a million bucks, fully healthy and "normal" without having to use an opiate. I thought I was "cured".

It only took 3 days of being back in my hometown after rehab; I just hadn't come to terms with quitting. So I started right back up after a nice 3 month break. My parents were moving, and I decided I had to go with them (thinking that getting away from the area and all the people I knew would be the cure). It was a temporary cure, as I still wanted to use. I was working full-time, making solid money, and through an outpatient therapy program I started about 3 months after moving down to California, I ended up becoming friends with a guy in there who was an EMT, one who became addicted to morphine, oxy, and heroin. He was licensed to inject people with all types of medicines as he was a certified EMT.

We hung out once, and the 2nd time we hung out was relapse time. Of course this time was different. We picked up a couple grams of heroin (I had smoked it a couple times before in my hometown, but for some reason just stayed with my Oxy), and went from there. Of course, after we picked it up, he saw me smoking it and started getting angry, telling me I was "wasting it all". I had always feared needles, always been the one to say I'd never use them. But having this professional EMT who did it for a living sitting next to me (he was twice my size in great shape), but he had a really bad anger problem. He was so mad I was wasting the heroin by "chasing the dragon" on the foil, telling me to just let him give me a "tiny shot" of it to try it out. of course the addict in me was thinking "fine", but I still held off for awhile, but after about 30 minutes of bickering and my smoking becoming worse (as he starred at me angrily) I decided "what the hell".

He didn't give me a "tiny shot", but rather a half-gram or so shot (black tar stuff; not that white stuff). Once he did it, I instantly was awestruck at the "power" it had. I don't think I ever smoked Oxy or Heroin again.... not once. From that point on I spent the next 2 years doing heroin, maintaining a job for the sole purpose of buying heroin, and went from a half a gram habit daily to at least 2grams a day minimum, usually 3-5 grams though that last year. The only thing I was good at was being "as safe as one can be" when it comes to injecting it. Thank god I never shared needles with multiple people.

So at the age of 22, rather than playing my final basketball season for a D2 college and getting a degree, instead I was a full blown "junkie", living everyday to wake up and shoot-up, go to work, shoot-up on breaks, come home, shoot-up that big time shot that made me go to sleep. That was my life from ages 20-22, as a newcomer to Southern California, rather than hitting up the beaches and all the great things to do around here I simply shot-up dope and sat in my room (living at my parents).

One night I shot up a little too much... this resulted in myself waking up in the hospital. Luckily I hadn't overdosed (to the point where you're heart stops), but I guess I feel asleep immediately following the shot, because the needle was still in my arm (as I was told), and I fell asleep sitting up in the chair in my room, not the bed. That night my dad had trouble sleeping, woke up around 2 A.M. and came into my room. He had known I was using (vaguely), but now he saw it first hand, with a needle sticking out of my arm. He supposedly had been yelling my name quite loud and even slapping me, but to no avail, I kept "sleeping", or whatever state of mind I was in...

So I woke up in the hospital around 6 A.M. that morning, after the EMT's picked me up from the house (after my dad called 911), unaware of what had transpired they told me. Finally, something sunk into my brain. "I NEEDED HELP!" When I got home I started crying, apologizing to my parents for being such a mess. From that point on our communication became great, and I have a great family to this day (my older brother is pretty messed up, schizo/manic depressive, etc, so my parents have enough to deal with all things considered). While I knew I finally hit what was "my rock bottom", I would go 3-4 days clean, relapse, go another week clean relapse, and no matter how much I truly, sincerely wanted off of it I couldn't handle the long-term physical and mental withdrawals, let alone the psychological and spiritual problems we encounter once we get clean.

I realized I was being selfish finally. I realized I was causing problems in my parents relationship. I didn't want to be addicted, but rehab didn't seem to work and quitting cold turkey always failed me. So one day I had a long talk with my dad, and after some research I discovered SUBOXONE! My dad found a doctor nearby (I hadn't used any heroin that day, was already in minor withdrawals), and the doctor had me come right away that day (God bless his soul). Now I'm not saying he's a perfect doctor, but he was that day.

The induction onto the suboxone was a smooth transition for me. It had that "OMG, I can be normal again!" effect. I haven't relapsed since that day I went on suboxone when I had just turned 22. So while I only did opiates for a total of 5 or so years, with breaks in there, it had a huge effect on my life (considering that is basically 1/4 of my life). So I was inducted onto 24 MG's of suboxone (yeah it seems a bit high), but whatever worked.

4 years later I am 25 and still on suboxone. I've been on suboxone about as long as I did Oxycontin & Heroin. I have had many ups and downs on suboxone, mostly all psychological and self created. Many people at AA and NA would belittle me and call me a fraud (no joke) when I would get my chips. I remember getting my 90 day chip and after the meeting this old man (ex-alcoholic at an NA meeting) told me I should be ashamed for acting like I'm clean and sober. Now this affected me, because I felt like maybe he was right (this was when I was 22-23).

I know now he was an idiot, and while I think AA and NA are great places (and they did me well for the first year+ I was on suboxone and off of opiates, changing my life), I've sought more comfort in family and friends support these days, as well as seeing my suboxone doctor who is also a psychiatrist.

So fast forward to the present: I started on the 24 mg suboxone tablets, about a year ago I switched to the suboxone film, I started tapering about 3-4 months ago, and just switched to the 2mg strips (because I have been taking 2mg a day for the last 3+ weeks). I plan on slowly tapering off of it. When I was taking 8mg-16mg a day of sub, especially the last few months before I finally started a real taper, I was constantly feeling foggy, unmotivated, fatigued, etc. I'm not saying it's suboxone, but rather just a side effect I personally felt from it. Having gone from the 8mg-16mg a day I was taking the majority of the time (I started at 24mg but after a couple months went to 16, 8mg 2x daily) to the current 2mg dose I am stabilized on currently feels great. I can tell doing the taper slowly, and continuing to do so will only help in the long run with PAWS and other things.

The key is to not be ashamed that you're taking suboxone. For some reason, as an impressional young man at AA/NA I felt ashamed when people called me a fraud, making me feel like it was no different than doing heroin or oxy. Of course I realized: "Wait a sec... I don't steal, I don't lie, I have healthy relationships, etc", and put all that to rest. The next step was what I've been doing the last 3-4 months, which is not just tapering (and it's not only for if your tapering, you should do it if your just on maintenance): EXERCISE, EAT HEALTHY, TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN AT THE LEAST, EITHER GO TO AA/NA OR BUILD SOME TYPE OF SUPPORT GROUP WHERE YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO TALK TO WHEN YOU ARE FEELING DOWN, EDUCATE YOURSELF NOT JUST ABOUT SUBOXONE AND ADDICTION BUT ABOUT WHAT YOU ENJOY IN LIFE, AND SO MANY OTHER PRODUCTIVE THINGS NEED TO BE DONE TO KEEP YOU SANE AND SOBER!h




(I applaud you if you read that entire post, haha, I told you I've been wanting to write this story for awhile now, my doctor asked me why I haven't done it my last meeting, so there we have it; bland, boring, but entirely true, haha. :D )

[hr]

I hope everyone the best, and I should be around the forums to ask questions as well as answer them. I feel like I know what I'm doing with my life now, and while I'm still on suboxone it's not holding me back or bringing me down one bit. Quite the contrary, each day feels better, not just because the taper but because I'm doing things to better myself, both physically and mentally.

I gotta go though, like I said I just joined a gym recently, today is my first session with a personal trainer (i'm only doing a few so I can learn to lift free weights again), because I want to get ripped baby, haha. In the past my exercise was all just simply pushups, tons of jogging, and tons of basketball (all great things I would recommend to any of you). For me this is just another step in the right direction. I'm glad I found the perfect forum to write my extensively long story (for a young man that only used opiates for 5 years; I know many of you have used for 30 years and still don't write that much).

:lol:

_________________
I have hit a block; long taper, got to 1mg daily and depression/anxiety kicked in. Back to 2-3mg a day, I feel like I relapsed... wtf!

One Love...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Unfortunately your story isn't all that unique my niece has the same problem and at 23 years
old has been in and out of jail and rehab more times than I care to count. I'm happy to see
that this works for you because it didn't for her.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:58 am 
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jeff1960 wrote:
Unfortunately your story isn't all that unique my niece has the same problem and at 23 years
old has been in and out of jail and rehab more times than I care to count. I'm happy to see
that this works for you because it didn't for her.


Yea, I have my ups and downs with it. At times I wish I never went on it, but overall it has saved my life... getting off of it completely seems to be a different story in itself though...

I'm sorry this didn't work for your niece. Also, I never stated my story was unique, rather a pretty common story for people my age (and hers), but it's my story and I felt I wanted to post it. Not sure why you are trying to insult my personal story in your subtle way....

I doubt the suboxone is the reason she was in and out of jail, but rather her seeking opiates (or drug of choice) and doing illegal things to obtain them. I can understand why you're so negative at the start and end of the post... but you're niece has to truly want to get off opiates and tackle her addiction herself, otherwise suboxone can just be a replacement for the short-term and be used (as many do) to take breaks from their daily opiate and save up some money without feeling to bad.

I can tell she's put a drain on the family, as have I on mine. Suboxone is no miracle drug, I still have my doubts as I struggle to get off of it completely... it's hard to function for me and I'm back at 2mg a day.... I have my good and bad days now, and I'm starting to get sick of it all... but I'm simply not doing enough for myself; whether it's exercise, support, or a plethora of other things I'm not doing, but to blame suboxone as something that "failed someone" isn't being very objective.

_________________
I have hit a block; long taper, got to 1mg daily and depression/anxiety kicked in. Back to 2-3mg a day, I feel like I relapsed... wtf!

One Love...


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