My name is Dawn, 31, from Arkansas. I started using Tylox® when I was 15. My older sister gave them to me for mild cramps, so that made it ok to use. I knew that the first time I used that this was MY drug. It felt like a warm blanket over me. I was a great kid; but over 4 days I had used all of my sister’s pain pills and filled the capsules with powered sugar and put them back in the bottle so that she wouldn't notice they were all gone. I felt so clever and calm.
For about 10 years I used one to two times a week. Then in 1999 my dad died so I increased to using every day. Then in 2003 my boyfriend’s dad died after being on life support for over a month. During that time I started using 30 to 40 hydrocodone a day.
I was a full-blown addict. I'd try to stop using but I'd get so sick, and I felt powerless. I got up to 50 (10 hydrocodone/325 tylenol) pills a day. I wasn't getting that good feeling anymore. My family thought that I slurred my words and threw up and slept all of the time because of my Crohn’s disease. My depression was overwhelming. My doctor kept increasing my anti-depressants. I was hopeless and I couldn't keep this big horrible secret anymore. But I tried. I pawned cherished and stolen things. I stole money from loved ones, I conned people into giving me money. I lost my job of 10 years due to using (but I said that it was because of my Crohn’s disease that I didn't show up to work or when I did show up I would leave after a couple of hours).
I lived to use and used to live. I sat at home using in denial until my mother called on October 30, 2005. She was yelling and telling me to stay away from her because she just got her bank statement from my dad’s trust fund. She asked why I stole that much money, and then she asked if I was doing drugs. Something was different this time, and I cried out, "Yes, mom, I'm on drugs and it's bad. Real bad. And I need help." Into detox I went. It was a state-funded detox so I was scared out of my wits.
After 2 days of being on Suboxone I laughed. I could not believe that I had laughed and meant it. I felt it, I was living again. I began feeling all sorts of feelings. I felt like I was myself again. I didn't have any cravings. For the past 5 years every day, all day, all I thought about was getting money for drugs and doing drugs, counting drugs, ordering more drugs. It was like I wasn't a slave anymore. I was free. I could think clearly, and I noticed that I didn't have pain from my Crohn’s disease. My depression wasn't present.
I've been on this amazing medication, Suboxone, since October, 2005. I attend NA meetings, and I have a sponsor. I like the support of other addicts. It makes me feel normal... Well, I feel like a normal recovering addict. My life is 100% better because I'm living it. I'm learning how to live again without drugs.
I wish everyone well that is still an active user. It's so hard to take that plunge into getting help. It took me 2 years to get help. I'm so thankful that I didn't die before I got sober. I never thought that being sober would be so nice. Good luck.
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 -