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TO JEAN AND BC, BOTH, RE. YOUR "AGREEING TO DISAGREE"! :-)

(and to Dallas Alice, of course)

I like the way you both represent opposite ends of the spectrum for choosing a recovery route. Kinda like watching one of the those "dueling divas" political talk shows, where both sides come out swinging! LOL! ( A sort of "Meet the Press"...or rather, "Meet the Drugs.") As long as you guys are still friends, afterwards! :-)

Your posts are just PERFECT for Dallas Alice to mull over! And, although I'm not yet quite ready to make such a decision, myself...you've both given D.A. such clear reasons for each alternate approach. (Ultimately...we all have to do what feels "right" for us. But hearing each side first-hand is so helpful )

Back in the "if it feels good, do it" Woodstock environment of the late 60's and 70's (my era...creak, groan! LOL), I had a friend, whose two pals were put on Methadone. At that time, I have to say, you DID see what I'd call "seedy-looking, unsavory" types hanging around the places that dispensed the drug.

But, NOW, in 2004, I wouldn't recognize a Methodone clinic if I LIVED in one! LOL!
They have become so discreet they are invisible...in the same unfortunate way that OPIATE addiction has now become such a silent plague...SO invisible and invasive, that the wholesome, young mother standing in front of you, in the pharmacy check-out line, could easily be waiting for her Lortab.. or Vicodin..or Percocet refill. (Hey! THAT'S why she looks so happy...merrily chatting away with the customer behind her! LOLOL! And, I should KNOW...having stood right behind her...on that very same line...feeling the "merriment" of anticipation!!) Sigh!

At any rate, my point (it IS here, somewhere!), is that there is now a newer and larger...but less visible... clientele for drugs like Methadone, and the newer--less understood--Suboxone and Subutex. And, thanks to posts like yours, Jen, and Banker's..and many more...I've had the chance to hear stories on all three medications. There really are choices now!

Now...BC....you are on the opposite fence from Jen. And, reading in detail your educated and experienced approach to the problem, I can understand why you advocate not using ANY of these choices. But--here's my question: After learning of Jen's almost miraculous turnaround with Methadone--how completely her life has become such a happier one....I'm now wondering if there are any circumstances under which you might suggest to a long-time drug user that they try Methodone or Sub. What if they have been unable to stay off drugs, constantly relapsing (even after detox, meetings, etc)...or if they HAVE come off drugs--but cannot (even with their previously successful antidepressants) break through that incapacitating, long-term depression, often experienced in the months a person detoxes. (It's been shown that people who have successfully battled clinical depression with antidepressants during their lives, may have a much tougher time getting "chemically okay" again, after stopping all the addictive drugs. For some reason the brain's receptors can be blocked longer. Or more permanently. Drat! Can't remember the source of this...but I've read it in several books.)

How do you feel, BC...is it possible in cases like that--when depression is no longer relieved--that Methadone or Sub can be viewed and used as a "life-time" maintenance drug? I know that the medical profession is still "out" on this question, because not enough time has passed to do long-term testing of these drugs. But, do you believe that no matter what the particular case, we must "inevitably" stop taking these opiate substitutes?

I'm really curious as to both your opinions, as my own clinical depression--even though very successfully kept at bay, after years of trial and error with antidepressant combinations)--comes raging back whenever I've tried backing off the 4-6 Vics a day (or, in some months, two 40 mg oxys a day, instead) that I take. So--at some point--like Dallas Alice--I might consider one of these "opiate substitutes" as a long-time maintenance choice--rather than live with a depressed brain chemistry that has been disturbed to the point that it will never again return to "normal", even with my former antidepressants.

Okay! I guess that I'm not totally convinced that being 100 percent "clean", wins out over living life with a bleak, anxious depression that never quits!! (In fact--I KNOW it doesn't!! :-)

Incidentally. for me "being clean" would mean: not needing to plan my life around where, when, how...and how many (!) pills I need just to stay free from withdrawal symptoms. Not thinking, "whoa....I can't go down to W. Virginia to visit my friend the end of the month....I have no idea if my pills will be available so early." Or..."If I take this pill right before the concert, I can relax and enjoy the music so much more...or should I save it for afterwards, when I'm expected to invite my friends back for coffee....???" Last example...and my own personal 'favorite'...'cause it happened on last year's winter ski trip out West, ruining what is my most favorite activity in the world: skiing! Mid-trip, I suddenly realized just HOW low my "supply" actually was...and started planning my days with these thoughts like..."I've only got a scrap of the oxy left for the day....but if I don't take it now, I won't even be able to get my ski boots on, I'm so lethagic and depressed. Oh, forget it, I can't even make it to the CHAIRLIFT. I'm gong back to bed." Fun vacation, eh?!?! :-) What a ludicrous way to live my life!!! Aaarrrggghhhhh!!!

Well, this post has gone on much longer than planned...this is what happens when I talk to myself!! LOLOL! Any, input, tho'??

Thanks for wading through all this. And, now I need to get busy and to take my mind off worrying so much about my little Lhasa's leg operation tomorrow morning--hmm..."Little Lhasa Legs"---I like the alliteration!!) LOL!! :-) Anyway...I'm going to sit down at my table right now, with all my colored pens...and deep busy by making a card for my friend's birthday, tomorrow. (I do enjoy this sort of fun hobby...but then I get so disgusted at myself that almost my first thought was: "ahhh... I have just enough pills to take half of one to make this card-making "extra" fun!!) Can you believe it--how utterly pathetic, eh?!?! And all it's really doing is warding off withdrawal. :-(

Really sorry for the rambling. I don't blame any of you if you don't understand a word of what I've said..or what the heck my question is!!! LOL!! :-)

have a good day, all, :-) lynn





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