Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by Dreamless, Dec 7, 2011.
Does anyone want to talk about opiates?
I would, but I don't have much experience to add. Did H once or twice, all other exposure was pills, specifically pain meds.
If there's anything not substance-specific where we have common ground, I'd like to.
There's always common ground when it comes to opiates. The physical effects/withdrawals vary with the amount/type of drug used--it can vary quite a bit. But the addiction/the physical dependence should be understood by anyone with a history. Especially the psychological effects. (If what you mean by "exposure" is addiction/dependence, and not just casual use.)
Sure, I'll talk. I've been using opiates since this past April and my husband for 10 years or so now. We're both on Suboxone treatment currently.
im an ex junkie , in recovery now , drug of choice was heroin and speed it was hell comming off them but am here if u want to chat about it , also i have started a support group for substance abuse which is linked at the bottom of this post if u would like to join .
Just thought this would be a good place to be open without any consequences. That's a big deal for me-the stigma. I used--basically self medicated because the high ended long ago--for years without anyone knowing, other than those I dealt with on a street level, etc. It can be a very lonely place.
I was addicted to opiates for three months. I stopped going to my job to get clean. My supplier was at my job. Worst three months in my life.
Noticed you're in New Zealand. What's the dope scene like there? I guess what I'm asking is--while every city is similar when it comes to drugs--there are particularities that can make a big difference, such as laws and police response/approach. One major difference between cities in the states is the amount of open street dealing vs. more uptown/lucrative drug scenes involving a lot of money. Another major difference is the amount of government resources used in treatment or drug-court treatment, as alternatives to jail or standard probation. Unfortunately, in almost every case in the states, you have to get arrested to benefit from any state-sponsored treatment. Another difference is the availability of syringes. Lack of exchange programs almost immediately brings the street level junky into an even worse situation, spreading more disease and more lasting damage, especially when combined with strict requirements for pharmacy purchases. I'm just curious about some of these issues overseas.
---------- Post added at 07:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:13 PM ----------
How's the Suboxone Tx coming along? Unfortunately, I was never able to utilize Suboxone because I am sensitive to it, resulting in extreme reactions regardless of when I take the first dose. More importantly, I did most of my detox before the drug was available. I was very upset when this new "miracle drug" turned out to be a nightmare for me. I am told that Subutex could be easier because the reaction may be more to the naloxone component, but I'm not sure of this. There are a lot of people with this same condition, these reactions. Either way, it seems that someone with a long-term, extreme addiction could get very sick before the 24+ hours, even if he/she was not allergic/sensitive to the drug. (Still, there are a great many positive stories about Suboxone. What do you think?)
---------- Post added at 07:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:31 PM ----------
I guess you can't reply to specific posts.
Well, for me the Suboxone treatment is working well because I'm truthfully only physically addicted after doing it so many times, but my husband is severely mentally addicted to it as well (I guess what you would define as an actual addict) and it's not going so hot for him right now. He started Suboxone when he hit his first "rock bottom" where he had no choice but to get better, and since then he's relapsed and hasn't been able to stop with the binges. And as opposed to before, he now has Suboxone to use as a crutch. Something to take the sickness away instead of facing the consequences of withdrawal after he does heroin. So, basically, he has no reason whatsoever to want to stop. It's horrible, really. The most evil drug on the planet. I would say I know how it is from both sides of the equation - both an addict's perspective, and a family member's perspective. I used to do all sorts of things before I tried heroin and they used to feel great. Since the heroin, I haven't found any other drug to be good enough anymore. Not alcohol, not weed, not DXM, not benzos, etc. That sense of well-being that opiates bring where you feel content enough to stare at your own shoelace for hours at a time is so addicting, and yet every time you do it you get twice as sick, everything becomes twice as bad as it was before you did it, and you feel like you have to keep doing it to just subside those feelings because nothing else helps. My main disorder that I struggle with is Borderline Personality Disorder, and heroin for me was just another impulse to subside my emotions. I don't have quite as addictive of a personality that an addict has, so I was able to stop after a couple of months of use, although I admit it was pretty tough and the first few days I wanted to give up and keep doing it (I can only imagine, if it was that hard for me, how hard it is for an addict). My husband however, still is having loads of trouble. He's stayed clean for as long as over a week at times, but always ends up going back to it. He's on a very high dose of Suboxone - 32mg. I'm only on 16, and usually don't take the full dose. The whole 24 hour thing really depends though. I've taken it the same day that I've taken heroin before and it didn't make me feel sick at all, but some people react differently.
I think that's great that you've put an end to something that addictive. As far as your husband, well, a week isn't necessarily even clean yet. But it's a great start. It's definitely an accomplishment. Sometimes though, people just aren't ready to stop. They may want to, recognizing it as a bad thing. But they may be medicating something that is actually worse, to them. My situation is very different. I've been on and off opiates--mostly heroin--for many years. For someone who has used large amounts of strong heroin/opiates for over a year or several years, that first 24 hours is a big deal. You begin to choke to death on your vomit and phlegm. Sorry, but we both know it ain't pretty. No use glossing over it. Also, with that amount of the drug in your system, Suboxone severely reacts, regardless of whether or not a person is sensitive/allergic to the Naloxone. All I can say is that you should do all you can to stop now, before things get really bad. Because weeks turn into months and into years. If your husband cannot stop, then he can at least try, as in maintain his intake and not allow his habit to grow. You mention all these other drugs that are not enough anymore. There's a reason for that, and goes well beyond drugs. Opiates actually reduce your ability to enjoy things. Your endorphins no longer operate as naturally intended. Soon, it's not just the other drugs that no longer cut it, but other activities as well. Only heroin, which replaces the endorphins will give you pleasure. This goes away in time as your endorphins begin firing again after withdrawal, but the more opiates you do, the longer it takes to recover. That's why I say a week isn't necessarily clean yet. After a week it may feel as if the major withdrawals have passed, but the post-acute withdrawal is still in effect. If you continue to use and use more, the withdrawal process becomes very very bad. You think it's bad now after a few months. Imagine a few years, when the body truly goes into shock. I'm not trying to scare you. I'm just stating my experiences, what I know. Sounds to me like your efforts are great. And even your husband's efforts are more than substantial. He's giving it effort. I hope you both continue to try and not give up the fight.
I know that a week isn't much, trust me. But I'm taking what I can get at this point. It could be so much worse. I've already made the choice to stop, but I can't make his for him. He's trying. And I'm prepared to make him go to rehab if it doesn't work in the end. As for my endorphins, well I've been miserable for quite a while now, that being the reason I turned to drugs in the first place. So, they haven't been operating normally since I can remember. At first I just was glad that I could feel something other than misery. Now that I've done those drugs a few more times though, they're also not as appealing as they first were. For me, it's been a lot more than a week clean though. So, a lot of mine have already been replaced as they were before.
Rehab could be good. Once he gets there, they will not just try to get him off drugs, but also try to open him up and figure out why he needs drugs, why he needs to escape or medicate in order to get through the days. Then they will offer alternatives and send him off with some new skills in dealing with those problems. I've been through it, and I benefited from it even when I wasn't all that into it. I wish I would have done it at a later age.
I do them a few times a year. The majority of people I've told that to tell me I have to stop immediately and completely or I will become addicted. 3 years of occasional recreational use and proving them wrong so far. I think opiates are wonderful. It's a wonderful feeling that feels good at the time, and leaves me in a good mood for quite a while after using as well. For me it is like having a one night stand with a beautiful girl. Even though you might not see her again for a while, you can think back to that good night and have those same good feelings resurface without any sense of commitment or attachment.
that's not all that uncommon. In the addict community, they call it chipping. People can sometimes chip for years, even addicts, before crossing the line into daily use. There are also a great number of people out there who have dabbled with opiates and simply let it go. Not everyone is an addict, or becomes an addict. Something tells me that you are not an addict now, but have the potential to become one. You sound like a fairly content person who's in control of at least this part of your life. But you must some demons or you wouldn't be on this site. Congrats anyway for being able to stop.
Show - Not everyone is an addict or has an addictive personality by nature, so it doesn't shock me that you're able to stop. But it's also possible that whatever is going on with you (whatever problems you have that made you turn to drugs) could get worse, and you might turn to those drugs more often. I was able to stop after doing them every few weeks for about 6 months. It was somewhat difficult the first week but then it got easier.
I'm not even going to lie though, I do still WANT them. I wouldn't actually go through the trouble of getting them myself, but I do want them. And it's extremely hard not to say "Give me some" if/when I know my husband has them. I've managed not to say that for about 2 months now though. The only way I think I'll falter is if something really horrible, like out of the ordinary has happened and he happens to have something at that very moment. Otherwise, I'm safe.
Unfortunately, wanting them will stay for a very long time. That's why they call it addictive. You do it, and you want to do it again and again. For opiates, though, there's the added damage of severe withdrawal after daily use. (All drugs become physically addictive in time, but opiates are especially harsh in that regard--quickly and severely addictive, resulting in a level of physical dependence that most people, after substantial daily use, are unable to withstand.) I've known a lot of addicts and the success stories I know of (those able to recover for long periods of time or with permanence) involve a replacement of some kind. People have to fill the empty space of lost drug use with something else. For some it is meetings (NA/AA). For others it is church, or exercise, or art, or music, or a new romantic interest. Whatever. Only you know what may work for you. Or maybe you don't. But new routines seem to help. Otherwise you're left with just the space in your life, like a lost love you have to grieve. The only problem is, you can revisit that lost love with a simple phone call.
I replace it with many other things. Not just one particular thing. I'm impulsive and can't stay using one thing all the time. And despite wanting it, I know I won't actually get it, so...that's why I don't think I'm an addict.
Replacing it with many other things sounds great. A good strategy. But it sounds like you've got it beat anyway. It's your husband who may need more time and effort to beat it. And as bad as things can get in this life, at least you have a marriage. You have each other.
Yeah, it may be chaotic me being a borderline and him being an addict, but there's worse out there. We've managed not to let our issues get in the way of our relationship as of yet at least.
There are a great many people out there who don't have that, or anything like it.