I decided to start this Opiates Anonymous Blog, for people, just like me who are finding trouble "fitting in" at NA or AA meetings. People who just feel like they have to Google, and search all over the internet for the information they need regarding their Percocet, Vicodin, Pain Pill, Heroine, or any other type of Opiate addiction they may suffer from.
I am going to share my story, from start to finish, keeping it anonymous.
My addiction began a year ago, Spring of 2008. I loved the way pain pills made me feel, and began taking them for fun, and mostly for emotional pain. I took them to feel good, to have fun, and to relax. Well, that turned into a weekly habit, and soon, I was taking them daily. I tried to stop, and got "food poisoning"....or so, that's what I thought. I was totally clueless, and 100% in the dark about what withdrawals were, etc. I had NO idea you could get addicted to something sold in a Pharmacy....I had no idea that with addiction, comes physical withdrawals. I was in for a rude awakening.
I ended up in the ER several times, pretty much every time I tried to quick, I would end up there with a migraine, or severe nausea. I never was able to kick my habit. At my worst, I was up to 150mg of Oxy, Percocet, or Vicodin a day, whatever I could get my hands on! Money was no issue, so that was never something I could use, "I have to stop, I have no money"....nope, I kept using because I had a great job, and this drug, just helped me work harder. I truly convinced myself of that.
Nobody knew about my addiction....in October of 2008, I decided it was seriously time to wean down, and quit. After getting pregnant, I decided to cut out the drugs 100%, but after reading that physical withdrawals can and will harm your baby, I started taking small doses of Methadone, about 5mg-10mg a day, just to get by, and live. After 6 weeks of what was originally thought to be an answer to my Opiate withdrawal, and addiction, I found that I was now, addicted to Methadone, and pregnant! I decided it was time to tell my husband....I told him everything and he couldn't have been more compassionate, understanding and loving to me. He totally picked up the slack at home, and we both agreed, that we needed to put my addiction into the hands of professionals. I searched around for a local rehab or detox program, and was able to find one, in fact, they even specialized in pregnancy! This was perfect! I called, and got in the next day.
I was so nervous, and so ashamed. Here I am, a hard working woman with a GREAT life, and I am on my way to detox from drugs, while pregnant. How did I let this happen? How did I get here?
Being at detox for the next 7 days, gave me a lot of time to think. I was able to forgive myself for my addiction, and educate myself on how Opiates take over your brain. I was detoxed for three days, then slowly (by slowly I mean .3mg) introduced to Buprenorphine, also known as Subutex (Suboxone without the Naloxone, which is not safe for pregnant women). I started taking Subutex, and was stabilized at 8mg/day after 3 days. My doctor wanted me to be on this Subutex Taper for about 6 weeks. Well, after doing my own research online for HOURS on end at the hospital, I decided I would only take Subutex for 21 days MAX, and only use it for detox.
Going home from the hospital with a prescription for Subutex, which included 80/2mg pills was very overwhelming to say the least. I mean, I had just ended my year long battle with pain pills, and Opiates, and here I was, carrying around a prescription for them constantly being reminded of my disease. I decided after 5 days being out of the hospital, it was time to tell my best friend. I confided in her, and gave her my prescription. She was amazing! We sat down, went over my past use, she researched the drug Subutex/Suboxone, and we started the taper! I went from 8mg to 6mg, to 4mg very quickly. I then went down from 4mg to 2mg, and now, on day 16 of my detox, I am down to 1mg for the past 2 days, and plan to take 1mg today as well. After today, I will drop down to .5mg/day for the next 3 days, and then completely drop Subutex Friday of this week.
The taper has been hard, but once I turned this over to my friend, it became SO much easier. If I were in charge, I would take WAY more than needed, because I am an addict, and feel like I need pills....Thanks to her, and having that support system I am able to wean and taper safely. Also I have to drive to her house, to get a dose, and she cuts them down, and does it all for me. I NEVER see a prescription bottle, EVER. It makes me last a lot longer, before taking a dose, etc. So far, Saturday and yesterday were the only days I truly felt physical withdrawals. And, by that, it was totally manageable! I was able to work, and nap through it. I had a runny nose, goosebumps, hot/cold sweats, and just felt a bit anxious, and like my skin was crawling, but NOTHING major! I am doing this for my baby, and am so grateful that I haven't had a hard time. Anyone can do this! This medication can work, short term for sure!
I plan to keep everyone posted on my status as I finish off the final days of my taper. I encourage feedback, comments, and questions. You are welcome to email me for advice or support anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do attend weekly counseling, with an addiction therapist, and have cut out anyone who may have helped me get where I am today. AA and NA were both NOT for me. I cannot relate to alcoholism at all, and the crowd at NA just didn't make me feel like I fit in. Everyone has something that works for them, for me, it was confiding, and confessing in a very good friend, and attending one on one sessions with a therapist specializing in addiction, for others, these meetings might work. Either way, you cannot do this on your own. You need to have support!