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[QUOTE=sFunk]Hey everyone,

My name is MJ, I'm 22 and I'm in the middle of kicking a hydrocodone habit. I've been using (abusing) painkillers since last Thanksgiving. I started taking Oxycontin of which I had about 15 20's. I'm pretty sure I almost died using those one time, after taking 3 of them within an hour or an hour and a half, I wasn't able to breathe. Luckily I was able to force myself to breathe eventually. I thank God for not taking my life then! :angel:

Most normal people would probably have stopped doing drugs at that point, and luckily I ran out of Oxy's with no way of getting any more. Unfortunately, I also found an unlimited supply of 10/500 Hydrocodones, and have been taking them ever since. For the most part, I don't take more than 6 a day, although yesterday I took 8 and today I took 7...It probably wouldn't be so bad, but I always pop them all at once instead of spreading them throughout the day. This worries me about what possible damage I've done to my body and how much of it is irreparable! I've always made sure not to go over the 4000mg of Acitaminophen in a single day, and compared to some of your guys' stories, this 6-8 pills per day seems like child's play..

Every day I've used in the past month or two has been the "last day" that I ever use, but it never seems to work out that way. I seem to like to go cold turkey for a few days just so i can experience the worst of the withdrawls and then start using again for a while so I can start over the next time I decide to quit (or am forced to stop when I can't find anything! :eek: ). I have to go cold turkey because if I ever had enough pills where I could taper off, I'd just take them the same as I have been. I'd rather go CT than try sub or anything like that, I think that I deserve some withdrawls to balance out all the "fun" I've had in the past year. :o

Anyways, I was wondering how you guys who are so successful at moving on with your lives are able to live without using any drugs? I've also been trying to stop smoking pot for probably 2 years now. I know that if I am successful in never taking painkillers again, then I will just be up to my ears in greens! My pot use is almost worse than my painkiller use because at least when I'm on hydros I can get up and go to school and exercise and do stuff, but when I have pot I'll skip my classes without fail and just stay home and smoke instead. I definately am glad that I've never really had access to coke or crack or anything else and I thank god that I'm not a boozehound because I definately have a REALLY addictive personality and it seems that if its not one thing its another.

Sorry for rambling on so much, my brain function isn't what it used to be, so hopefully I make some semblance of sense :) Its therapeutic to get this stuff off my chest as there's not a single soul in the world who knows what I've been doing with my life. And to try to answer my own question, the only thing that I've been able to hold onto as my reason for life beyond drugs is my own personal health. I've been seeing myself slowly transform into a raging health nut. I just hope I don't overdo it just to compensate for my use!

-MJ :bouncing:[/QUOTE]

It sounds like your challenge is battling the psychological demons associated with habitual drug use, especially opiates. I remember being in rehab, just 3 weeks ago, and I was absolutely unable to conceive of living my life clean, without taking pills to help me get motivated to get on with my day. It sounds to me that you can handle the physical withdrawals of getting off the drug, which is a big plus. What I have been doing, to re-adjust to everyday life living clean, is to totally engage myself in my hobbies and passions. I've been getting out of the house a lot, going to libraries, renting books, cds, etc. I've stepped up my study of the paranormal, which is my true passion, and Iím just about at the point where I actually feel like physically working out again, as I used to be a bodybuilder, but that was put on a 4 year hiatus once I got addicted to the Ultram. I really think the key is keeping yourself busy, ways to trigger your natural endorphins to kick in. Remember, your own natural endorphins are 100x as more powerful than morphine, the difference being that your natural endorphins only latch onto your opiate receptors for a short period of time, and are quickly recycled. Opiates, on the other hand, such as Vics, oxys, codeine..etc, latch onto those receptors and stay there for hours, this is not in synch with your natural brain chemistry, so in its attempt to maintain homeostasis, the brain adapts by increasing the amount of opiate receptors in order to handle the excess amount of opiate you are putting in your body. The opiates you ingest also have the effect of suppressing norepinephrine production in the locus coreleus part of your brain. The brain then trys to adapt to this by producing even more of this brain chemical. As you may know, norepinephrine is stimulatory in nature, but you don't feel this as the opiates you're inducing into your brain is continuing to bind to these extra receptors that the excess norepinephrine would normally bind to. So, what happens when you abruptly withdrawal from the opiates, is that your brain is still overproducing the norepinephrine, and with the opioid receptors now free from the opiates, all that nasty excess norepinephrine is now able to bind to all those empty receptors, this is what produces most of the nasty physical withdrawal symptoms of going cold turkey off opiates, that is, until your brain function regulates itself once more. Sometimes this process takes weeks, sometimes even months, depending on: 1) What you were taking; 2) How long and what dosage you were taking the drug(s) on a daily basis; and 3) Your eating habits and nutritional status, never underestimate the powerful effect a good, healthy diet can have on your recovery. Take care.

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