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You asked so here's my story, warts and all.

I'm a 40-year old trial attorney in Louis*****, Ky. I've been married to hopefortoday for 15 years this October 29. We dated for 5 years before we were married. We have a 5-year old daughter and 6-year old son (and another one on the way due in May '04). They are really good (and fun) kids.

I grew up very poor on a tobacco farm in the western part of Ky (Henderson, just across the Ohio river from Evans*****, IN). I played football at a junior college in Illinois out of high school until a drunken episode got me booted. I then went to Bellarmine College in Louis***** and played baseball for awhile before transferring to the University of Louis***** where I graduated in 1986. After undergrad, I goofed off for a few years -- lots of drugs and alcohol -- before starting law school in 1989. I didn't do hardly any partying while in law school -- I felt that I wouldn't be able to get thru if I didn't study all the time so that's what I did.

After graduating law school in 1992, I began practicing at a firm I worked for while in law school for 2 1/2 years. Hopefortoday and I had a blast right out of law school -- we took a couple of trips every year to the Carribean scuba diving (and doing mega amounts of Cocaine) and basically had a lot of fun. That's why we didn't have kids until we had been married nearly 10 years.

I think (actually know) I was an alcoholic from the very first time I drank a beer at the age of 15 because it took away all the insecurities, etc. I felt. However, I was smart enough (no second opinions please) to know that if I did anything more than binge drinking on the weekends that I would never be able to practice law.

Then, sometime around 1995 or so, a "friend" introduced me to vicodin. I thought I had found nirvana. Here was something that I would take and I would feel great but no one would know because I would, much like yourself, work like a madman for 10-16 hours a day without missing a beat. Of course, I developed a healthy tolerance to the ever increasing strength of meds I was taking (vicodin to percocet to morphine to oxycontin).

I got to the point I was doing 200-300 mgs a day of the Oxys (at $1 per mg) but was not getting anything out of them other than the ability to get out of bed. That's when the pills turned on me and went from my supposed best friend to the worst enemy I've ever had. I was like a zombie with no cares other than obtaining the Oxys. I neglected everything in my life until it got to the point I finally reached out for help a little over 5 years ago when I went into an outpatient program -- I actually used while I was participating in the program and only stayed clean a very short period of time.

Then, on 1/22/01, it got so bad that I thought my wife and kids would be much better off without me in their lives so I swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills and washed them down with a pint of gin. Fortunately, I threw some of the pills up. I don't remember it but, I've been told, that is what saved my life.

That little episode got me locked down on the psych ward at one of our local hospitals for a week. Afterwhich I entered another outpatient program. Stayed clean a couple of months or so, then relapsed for a couple of months before going to an inpatient treatment center in Mississippi for 72 days in the summer of 2001.

Stayed clean for over 14 months before relapsing last October after losing my dad and a really big trial in a very short time span (those aren't excuses because I was already on my way to a relapse when they happened but they gave me a good enough justification to go back out there and try it again).

Used off and on (mostly on) from October 2002 until the first of July '03 when I came clean with my sponsor and my wife. At tht point, I was put on the suboxone. It's hard to explain how the suboxone makes me feel other than to say I feel what I perceive to be "normal". I did have some very minor side-effects that lasted less than 48 hours when I first started the suboxone but have none now.

I don't get any kind of high from the drug but, and this is the good part, I don't have any desire, craving or mental obsession to get high. In summary, I have never felt better but have this weird feeling that I'm going to wake up some day and it's all going to be a dream and there really isn't such a drug as suboxone and I'm going to be out there fighting the cravings on a daily basis again.

Sorry for the length of the post but, as you can see from reading this board, there are addicts and then there are ADDICTS... I fall into the latter category because I absolutely loved doing drugs. The great thing is that it sounds so disgusting for me to even admit that now but I've been told I need to know that I'm a junkie and will be one for the rest of my life.

I attend AA/NA (mostly AA) meetings on an almost daily basis and have worked the steps a couple of times and just started another step group 3 weeks ago (I try to work the steps with a step group at least once a year). I am truly grateful to be living in this day and time because, before 1935 (when AA was started), there was no place for someone like me to turn, much less a drug like suboxone or even methadone, and I would have been left to my own devices which would have been absolutely disastrous.

I actually feel very fortunate to be who I am because I think I'm truly a better person as a result of working the steps and being humbled by something that is much stronger than I will ever hope to be.

Take care and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you might have.

I truly am,

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