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SORRY FOR THE LONG POST!!

Hello everyone. First off I would like to thank all of you. For the past couple of months that I have been reading this board I have found great information and comfort in reading all of your posts. It is so nice to know that Iím not alone in this recovery and there are people out there experiencing what I am experiencing. Itís also great to know that so many of you are here to help, support, and encourage others going through this hard time.
For along time I have had I very close relationship with drugs. Iím 26 now and Iíd say Iíve been using drugs since I was about 15 or so. Like many I started off with Marijuana which then led to LSD, mushrooms, Ecstasy, Ketamine and so on and so on. The only time that I found I was getting out of control with drugs (until my recent problem) was when I was 19 and I started using Cocaine. Cocaine had me for about 4 months of everyday, all day use. After a while I was getting very depressed from this habit, I felt like garbage all the time and my friends were very concerned about what I was doing. So the day came where I said to myself, this is it, no more. And I stopped. For me at the time it really wasnít that hard to quit, mentally I was craving it but I kept busy with friendsÖand other drugs. Another reason stopping use wasnít that hard was the fact I absolutely hated coke. I really did, I never liked the feeling (too much paranoia), but for some strange reason I got hooked on a feeling I did not like.
Now fast forward a few years, my mother has to go to the hospital to get an operation on her ankle. You know what her doctor prescribed her for pain right? You got it, Vicodin. Since my mom was never into drugs and didnít like the feeling the Vicodinís gave her, her bottle of 90 sat in her room for about a year until I discovered them. So one day my girlfriend at the time and I started taking them every Friday night. At the time we would take 5mg at a time drink a little wine and were the happiest people around. Now this drug I loved. When I took Vicís in the beginning I would get such an amazing euphoric feeling on them. My ex and I would sit and talk for hours, nod out for a little while, have incredible sex for hours at a time, it was pure bliss. It was the best; I had never felt so good and had such a good time with a drug. Well of course since this experience was so much fun for us every Friday night turned into every Saturday night too and then of course every Sunday as well. This continued for along time but in my mind it was under control because I didnít do them every day so I wasnít physically addicted although of course my tolerance had started to grow and grow. That bottle of 90 didnít last to long so now for our weekend fun I had to start getting Vicís on the street. This habit continued for a couple of years. We would take breaks from our weekend binges, but the pills were always on my mind. In October of 2003 my ex and I broke up after a 6 year relationship. This was absolutely devastating to me. My only comforts during this hard time were the pills. I still wasnít taking them everyday but on the days I was an emotional wreck Iíd pop a few and feel a little better. A couple of monthís later I met a great girl (who Iím still with). When I first started dating her drugs werenít even a concern to me. She was beautiful, funny, and smart and an all around fun person to be with, so getting high wasnít my priority. Well one boring weekend a couple of months after we had started going out I asked her if she wanted to try a couple of Vicodinís. She said yes, so now the cycle started all over again, now she and I would do them every weekend. During this time I had met a couple dealers who had endless supplies of Hydrocodone, Oxycontin and DilaudidÖthis was the beginning of a very bad opioid addiction. My drug use had then increased to taking pills every night and by February 2004 I was taking pills from the minute I woke up until the minute I went to sleep. This addiction came to a head last December. I had lost my job, I had absolutely no money saved because of my problem and I was in very bad shape. By this time my girlfriend had stopped taking pills with me because she saw what it was doing to me and it scared her. For a while before this she was trying to get me to stop but she soon realized no one will stop taking drugs until they are ready to. Well I was now ready. I knew at this point that if I did not stop I would either start committing crimes or start stealing from my family to fuel my pill addictionÖneither of which is an option for me. I still live at home with my family so I figured the best thing to do would be to ask them for help because I didnít feel I could do it on my own mentally or financially. I had tried going cold turkey before I asked them for help but that did not work for me. I was back on the pills within 24 hours. After doing some research and talking to some friends I decided I wanted to come off the pills using buprenorphine.
A friend of mine knew a doctor who prescribes it so he took me to him. With my father paying for my doctor visit and the medications I came home with 150 amps of Buprenex .3mg/ml, 90 Soma, and 90 2mg Xanax. The doctor had given me a schedule on how to take the Burenex shots; I found the dose was too high so I adjusted it accordingly. I wound up using my Bupe for only 5 weeks. All in all I was getting sick of shooting myself in the legs all the time and I just wanted to be clean. In retrospect I would have been fine with 50 amps of Bupe. Just so you know when I went to the doctor I was up to 15-20 Vicodinís a day with usually some Oxycontinís thrown in. So today is February 1, 2005 and I have been completely clean for two weeks!!!!! The withdrawal from Bupe is not fun by any stretch but for me I think it was the best choice. The past couple of weeks have been rough. It started with the muscle aches and diarrhea and the fatigued days and sleepless nights. Those in my opinion were the easy parts. To me the mental aspect was the worst. I havenít at all had the cravings for pills (Thank God), by mental I mean I have been a total head case for a couple of weeks. The first five days or so I would sporadically cry hysterically for no reason. I would just start cryingÖit was very unlike me. For about the first ten days or so I just had this feeling of want, I felt like my body wanted something but the want hurt me a lot. Obviously I know what my body wanted but like I said I never had the urge to take any opioids to make the feeling go away. I found that the Xanax helps tremendously; Iíve been taking .25 mg only as needed. I am still taking Imodium when needed because my stomach still isnít right. The Somas also helped a lot in the beginning of the withdrawal for the muscle aches. In addition to these Iíve also been taking tons of vitamins, especially B complex with additional B12. The symptoms Iím still experiencing aside from the stomach aches are an overwhelming feeling of anxiety which occasionally turn into panic attacks (which Iíve never had before). My question to all of you is, is this normal? I still take the Xanax as needed never taking more than .75 mg a day and there are days I take none. I find when I donít take it Iím getting very anxious and stressed. Is this still part of the withdrawal? Can it be Iím becoming dependent on the Xanax at this low does and infrequency of taking them (yes I know Xanax are very addictive)? When I do take the Xanax I only take the littlest amount to take the edge off, I never try to get Fíd up on them. If anyone can let me know if theyíve had similar anxiety a couple of weeks after stopping Bupe please let me know how you combated it and how long it takes to go away. I do not want to start a new habit with Xanax because of this. Thanks.
Aside from this Iím doing great. Iím much happier all around. I feel Iíve developed a better relationship with my family since this has all started. I feel healthier and have a better all around sense of well being and The BEST part is I AM NO LONGER A SLAVE TO PILLS AND MY DEALERS!!!!!! Now the $800 dollars a week I was spending on that crap stays in my pocket :bouncing: !!! For all of you out there who are building up the courage to stop, I PROMISE you, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!! Two monthís ago I was reading peopleís success stories on here and I thought at the time that I would never have the will power to do itÖbut I did. The only words of encouragement I can give are when you are TRULY ready to stop, you WILL be able to, and again I promise!!!
I know Buprenex is not often prescribed for detox, I know most docs prescribe Suboxone. I really donít know anything about Suboxone so I canít comment on it but I can say that I do recommend Buprenex highly if you are able to get it. Also from the research Iíve done on the net thereís not THAT much info on Buprenex for detox, so if you have any questions feel free to ask!! Iím sorry this post is so long I have a lot of free time today and this was a kind of a therapy for me :) . To all of you that read the whole thing, thank you and please stay strong!!!!!
Hello everyone and thank you for the warm welcome and kind words.

Kim (Wannabeclean), congratulations on taking the first step by getting off the pills and onto the Suboxone, you are more than half way there!! Iím very happy you found inspiration in my story. Like I said in my original post, I found great comfort and inspiration by reading everyone elseís triumphant stories. The reason I wrote such a long post and told of my history and relationship with drugs (aside from it being therapeutic for me) was I wanted people who read it to be able to maybe relate to it in some way. I wanted to portray that I am just like everyone else here, all of our stories may vary but in the big picture they are all quite similar. We all started taking our drug of choice either for medical reasons or recreational reasons, we all became dependent on them and now we are all looking for the courage and strength to stop the evil cycle of abusing these drugs.

I absolutely hate to say this to you but when the time comes that you stop taking the Suboxone it, unfortunately is going to hurt mentally and physically. The physical part is not that bad. Itís very uncomfortable but I would imagine that sometime in your life youíve either had a bad fever or flu or some other type of physical pain that was worse than what youíll go through detoxing from this, I promise you that. The mental part for me like I said was/is not the fact that I wanted pills to make myself feel better again but I was an emotional rollercoaster. I would feel alright for a while then I would start crying for no real reason. For the first few days of my Bupe detox I locked myself in my room took small amounts of Xanax, made myself as comfortable as possible and listened to soothing music, this made the detox a little more bearable. To try to make you maybe understand the way I felt a little bit better; my girlfriend described my behavior as a woman going through PMS. Of course she said this to me in a joking way to try to make me laugh but it made sense. Now of course I have absolutely no idea what PMS is like but I have witnessed the stereotypical behavior associated with PMS from the women in my life. One minute I was irritable and snapping at everyone around me, the next minute I was crying watching a commercial for bleach. Obviously I can only speak of my own experience; you may get the same type of symptoms as me you may not, but either way you WILL get through it!!!

I know I keep saying how I havenít had the urge to start taking pills again, let me explain why I say this. For a few months before I quit I was taking upwards of 8 10mg Vicís at a time all day long. At this level all the pills that I was using were basically keeping me from getting sick and making me very irritable. I stopped getting that warm fuzzy and euphoric feeling we all know and love a long time ago. Another thing that that helped me to not want that high was the Buprenex. Buprenex or any form of Buprenorphine for that matter does not get you high!! It made me feelÖIíll use the word ďalteredĒ at first but not high and certainly not euphoric. This is one reason why I would recommend people to use Bupe if you canít wean or go cold turkey. While youíre on Bupe it gives you a chance to remember what it feels like to live and not get high. So as I sit here and think about it in a realistic way, why would I want to take pills again? Itís been so long since they gave me the feeling that I loved so much that I almost canít remember what that feeling feels like. Iím at the point now where I have a hatred for those pills for putting me through this (oh wait, I put myself through this!!). Again, this is how I feel. I know a lot of people havenít gotten to the point YET where the pills arenít getting them high; theyíre trying to stop now before they get out of control. Thatís GREAT and very commendable but I know my point does not apply to those people. If I was still getting the feeling I wanted from those opioids Iíd probably still be on them but I had to hit ROCK BOTTOM for me to want to stop. My only fear now is that someday (maybe months, maybe years from now) I forget the pain I went through to get to this point and I go back to them. This is an issue ALL of us as addicts have to think about.

Denster, thank you and congratulations to you for making steps in the right direction!! To answer your question yes there is pain relief with Buprenex (my prescribing doctor actually said to me if anyone asks you why you use this tell them you use it for chronic back painÖIíll elaborate on this doctor a little more in a minute). From what Iíve read (The information may be wrong) Buprenex was originally used as an antidepressant and later as a medication for chronic pain sufferers. In MY opinion if youíve had the will power to taper down (something I could not have done, so I applaud you) donít use any other medications to come off. Wait until youíre done with your taper and are mentally prepared and just stop. Like I said above you are unfortunately going to go through withdrawal no matter what you to do come off. Weather you go cold turkey, taper, use Bupe or use Methadone you WILL go through withdrawal. For you to start Bupe now would just lengthen the time until your inevitable withdrawal. To answer your question concerning withdrawal from Bupe vs. full antagonistísÖWhen I stopped taking Buprenex a couple of weeks ago one of my good friends went cold turkey from a 6 pill a day habit (heís been taking pills for years) on the same day as me. At the time I was unaware he was going to stop also. I talked to him a few days after he had stopped and he was in pretty bad shape. To compare his cold turkey detox to my Buprenex detox I would say his detox was more painful both physically and mentally (from how he described it) but shorter in duration than mine. He told me he had taken the week off from work, locked the doors, turned off all the phones and just went for it. Itís really a toss up, acute withdrawal symptoms can either be intense with a shorter duration =ct,taper 3-5 days or more subtle with a longer duration=Bupe 7-12 days (again Iím talking acute symptoms) I still donít feel perfect and from a lot of what Iíve read that takes months. My friend was definitely feeling better way before meÖIf there are any other questions you have Iíd be happy to try to answer them for you.

Marich101, Thank you for the welcome and well wishes!! From what Iíve read Buprenorphine is the active drug in Buprenex, Suboxone and Subutex. The differences are: Buprenex is injectible Buprenorphine, Subutex is Buprenorphine in pill form and Suboxone is Buprenorphine with Naloxone in pill form. In response to what you said about being shocked that the doctor would prescribe me injectiblesÖI am too. When my friend had first had told me about this doctor I was skeptical but I was assured he was legitimate. I came to find out that the doctor was a board certified psychiatrist but he was more concerned about the $300 I gave him for the visit than my well being. The visit went like this; I walked in and sat down. He asked me what I was taking and how much. The whole time scribbling on his pad, then he got up gave me a dose schedule, a script for Buprenex, Soma, and Xanax and said have a nice day. I havenít heard from him since. The only other question he asked was if I knew how to inject myself, I told him I had done steroids when I was younger so I was comfortable with it and he accepted that answer. I went to see this doctor in New York City, Iím sure anyone would be able to find doctors like this in all the big cities if they searched hard enough.

Mike and Lisa, Iíd like to thank both of you for your kind words and congratulations to both of you for getting clean, GREAT JOB!!!! Mike, I know what you mean about the Xanax and sleeping. I donít take the Xanax everyday but the days that Iím up until 5 a.m. because I canít sleep or the days where I have panic attacks I feel I have no choice but to take it. Sometimes instead of Xanax Iíll take either Kava Kava or Valerian. For anyone who doesnít know they are both herbs that are non-addictive and they help pretty good with stress and anxiety. Lisa, I feel for you! The anxiety I have is starting to scare me a little. I have never been like this before, Iím hoping like you are that time will wash this all away, good luck to you!!

Thanks again everyone, sorry for another long winded post, I must admit though the more I write and think about this the more it helps!! Stay strong everyone!! -Bobby :wave:





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