I come from a long line of drug users and alcoholics so to say that it’s in my genes is an understatement! I started using at a very young age. I was pulled in by the glamour of drug use. I started smoking pot and popping pills by the time I was 12. I was smoking pot with my dad by 14 and doing cocaine with my mom when I was the ripe old age of 18.
But it wasn’t until I was 19 did I find my true downfall, HEROIN. I, unlike most people, didn’t start with recreational use but dove in headfirst. Being a long-time addict already, there wasn’t a lot stopping me. During the next 3 years, I was in an extremely abusive “drug-based” relationship, I lost a great job, lost some great friends, I filed for bankruptcy and most importantly I lost myself. I hit bottom enough to leave that relationship and check myself into a detox. I thought I was so fed up with the way I was living I could do this on my own. I stayed clean for about 6 months. My relapse had nothing to do with willpower. I am an addict, I have a disease. I started to use pain pills again for recreation, somehow justifying, that because it wasn’t heroin it was OK.
I realized I couldn’t do this on my own again. I checked myself back into a facility. This time with a new attitude and committing to a “real program”. I started Suboxone and reluctantly going to NA meetings. Two days into my new program I could feel myself changing. NA turned out to be a lifesaver. I became the secretary at my home meeting, gaining strength from my elders and providing hope for the newcomer.
This time was different. After I left the treatment center, I didn’t have the urge to use right away. Because of the Buprenorphine I learned there was a life beyond opioid abuse.
I have been on Buprenorphine since October 2004. I started at 16mgs a day for 10 months now I take one 8mg pill in the morning. I am anticipating celebrating 18 months clean and serene. I am now planning my Wedding for September 2006, with someone who doesn’t use but does understand. I got another great job. I was super excited to (honestly) pass a drug test for the 1st time. One of my biggest achievements, I am now able to plan a family of my own!!! Being an addict for literally half my life, I didn’t think it would be possible to live drug free.
Look out world. HERE I COME!
Side note: I am proud to report that due to my sobriety my mother was inspired to start Buprenorphine treatment and will be celebrating 9 months clean. A family that gets clean together stays together. If a hopeless drug addict like me can do it, anyone can.
If possible, find a program with recovering addicts to support you and stick with it. No one knows what you’re going through better than someone else who’s been there themselves.
To suppress the debilitating symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, enabling the patient to engage in therapy, counseling and support, so they can implement positive long-term changes in their lives which develops into the new healthy patterns of behavior necessary to achieve sustained addiction remission. - explain -