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Opiate addiction Support for coping with Opiate addiction and Opiate addiction treatment.

 
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  #1  
Old 25-02-2013, 20:19
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Is there no end to this?

Let me start out by saying I am sorry if this turns into a rant. I don't really have anyone I feel comfortable being completely honest about all of this with and I just feel like I need to get it out.

So, a little background. I am a 26 year old woman. I started snorting heroin at 20 and after a couple months I started shooting. Things got really out of hand really quickly for me. Within the first year of my using I had spent all my (substantial) savings, lost my apartment, and became homeless. My family forced me into treatment. I spent years bouncing from detoxs to rehabs to halfway houses. I would always get high pretty soon after starting treatment and things would get bad and I would try something else to get clean. Before I went to treatment I always had it in my head that if things got too bad I could always go into treatment and they would fix me and everything would be fine. Needless to say, that isn't how it works. All of the treatments that I went to was 12 step and that definitely didn't appeal to me. I felt like I had tried everything and that I would never be able to get clean.

After years of trying (and failing) lots of different kinds of treatments I started at a methadone program. At first it seemed like it would be just like all of the other things I tried. I got high every day on top of my methadone for the first couple months, but as my dose increased I began to stop using. Eventually I completely quit heroin. I went about 9 months or so only using a couple times. Then I started getting really bad cravings again. I spent a couple weeks with terrible cravings before I gave in and got high. I started using everyday on top of my methadone and developed a double habit. I tried smoking crack for the first time and started smoking crack with my heroin on a daily basis as well. The crack binge lasted for about 5 months but the heroin use lasted for almost a year. I increased from dose from 80 to 120 and stopped getting high. I increased my therapy at the clinic; started attending an intensive weekly group and seeing my therapists multiple times a week. I felt like I was finally over it. I had no desire to use for the first time since I got hooked. I started getting more privileges at the clinic (now I only go once a week). I felt like I was ready to start decreasing my dose so I could leave the clinic within a year or so. Over several weeks I decreased my dose from 120 to 110. I stopped getting that warm opiate feeling that I would get for a couple minutes about an hour after taking my dose and some other symptoms that were probably more mental than anything. I started getting cravings again and one day I actually picked up the phone and called my old dope boy. I hung up and called a friend and they talked me out of it, but it scared me and showed me I wasn't ready. The next day I stopped my decrease and requested that my dose be brought up to where it was before.

The past couple months I have been feeling very anxious and depressed. A friend of mine died a couple weeks ago of an overdose. I am in my last semester of college and I am taking all online classes so I spend most of my time alone at home. I have ADD and I have been really struggling to get my work done. I am taking online classes and writing a senior thesis paper so I have to motivate myself to get things done. I'm not doing well and I feel overwhelmed and stressed by it. I am so close but I feel like I am messing it up. Also, I have gained ALOT of weight on the methadone and diet and exercise that has worked in the past for me isn't making any difference. I don't really have any friends to hang out with. I have my boyfriend, but I don't feel like I can really share my feelings honestly with him.

I was on Adderall for years for my ADD and it was the only thing that helped me to be successful in school. So I talked to my counselor at the clinic and asked her if I could take it with methadone. She said that I could but I would need to tell the doctor all about my drug problems and methadone and that they would need to talk to one another. I used to be prescribed 30mg adderall xr in the morning and 20mg xr in the afternoon. My doctor started me out at 30 mg xr last week. They gave me the generic xr. I started taking it a couple days ago and it isn't working like my adderall did in the past. I looked it up and saw that the generic caused side effects in lots of people and doesn't work the same as the name brand. It hasn't helped my concentration or ability to work on my school work and it's been making me feel depressed. I have been experiencing very severe cravings as well. I haven't used, but I have been useless. I'll just sit around and obsess and cry.

I don't know what to do. I just want this to be over. I am so sick of being an addict. I'll feel like I am past it and I am going to be ok and then BAM it hits me full force again. I know people say you'll always be an addict and though it gets easier that you will always have urges. I can't imagine living my whole life with this cycle. I don't know what to do.

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Honest, well-written, incredible story, and relatable for each of us on some level
  #2  
Old 25-02-2013, 20:59
semperfi74 semperfi74 is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

Hello,
First of all, let me tell you... your not alone. It takes a great deal of courage to pour out your feelings and open yourself up like you've done. It sounds like you are not new to the addiction game and have tried many ways to quit. You mentioned the 12 steps "didn't appeal to you"... Well, it didn't appeal to me either, but it has helped keep me get and stay clean. It has helped millions, in fact, get and stay clean. I want to encourage you to keep trying. Whether it is with the 12 steps or whatever it takes, it is NOT an easy process. It takes time, discipline, faith, accountability, and transparency. Addiction is a terrible disease that is deadly and progressive...every time without recovery. I found a lot of freedom in understanding the science of the disease process and how it affects the brain and body chemistry. I have never had an alcohol problem and would love to socially drink, but i'm afraid of cross-addiction and i've committed to sobriety, so it's simply not worth it to me. My sobriety is my life, it's life or death. I'm worth it, and so are you. We were created for so much more than the prison of addiction. When I was struggling I would look around and see what was working for others. I didn't like what they had to do to stay clean because I was an addict and my body wanted opiates... Here's what's worked for me: 12 step, accountability, transparency, and my faith. There is nothing to be ashamed of and i'm convinced that it is very difficult to stay clean without FULL transparency and accountability. Shame and guilt kept me in my addiction for way too long and I finally found the courage to surrender it as uncontrollable. My self-will was simply not going to get me or keep me clean. We didn't become addicts over night and it's not a quick fix process to get in recovery, but our lives are worth it!!! Good luck and God Bless

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  #3  
Old 27-02-2013, 17:19
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

Thanks for your reply semper. I have always really resisted the idea that because I was a heroin addict that I can't use any substances, but lately my experiences drinking and with adderall has made me question if that way of thinking really is right. Its confusing too because I am on a fairly high dose of methadone (120 mg). Because technically taking my methadone is like taking a drug. I don't feel high on methadone, but about an hour or so after I take it I do get a 'nice' warm feeling for about 10 minutes. I do look forward to that every day though and get upset when it doesn't happens. I feel like I never would have been able to get clean at all if it wasn't for methadone, but I guess it could be having a negative effect, too. I've tried to get off methadone and I don't think I could get off of it right now without relapsing so I guess it doesn't matter anyhow.

I'm definitely going to keep trying. I don't really see any other option. I have come to far to give up and just accept that I'm going to die a junkie (like I used to think). It is just so depressing to think that I'm going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life. I thought that at a certain point I would just be past it. I've even though that I was past it on a few occasions and that I would never want to get high again. I am a very weak person and the thought of having to fight cravings forever is very overwhelming. I can't imagine being able to successfully do it.
  #4  
Old 01-03-2013, 18:44
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

I was having a conversation with another member about this thread and I realized some things. This might not ever 'end', but it does get easier. It has gotten easier for me. It's easy to get frustrated when you're dealing with cravings and to forget how far you've come. When I first started trying to get clean I literally could not go one day without getting high. Even if I had something to get rid of my sickness I would do ANYTHING just to get high. I would look at normal people and wonder how they got through their days without having drugs. I don't feel that way anymore. It has been about 6 months since I have touched heroin. Throughout the past year I have messed up and used but it never got to the point that it was before where I *needed* it. I have been having really bad cravings for the past couple weeks but I haven't gotten high. I used to be unable to deny my cravings. I couldn't think logically once that desire set in. It's not like that anymore.

So my addiction might not be totally gone, and it might never be totally gone, but it has gotten a lot better and a lot more bearable than it used it be. I felt like I had to say this because my original post was a vent in a moment of weakness but I feel like I was taking a lot of things for granted. I wish my addiction could just be magically gone, but I am seriously grateful that I have gotten this far. I am so much happier than I was at the worst of my addiction. Baby steps I suppose. It might not be perfect but it beats the hell out of how it was before.

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  #5  
Old 01-03-2013, 20:03
Bitts Bitts is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

Hi Headfull, first of all well done for getting this far and onto a methadone programme, recovery is very much one step forwards 2 steps back, its a relapse condition and i have found a learning approach the best. I myself have recently detoxed after a short period of using after being clean for 12 years.
In the past i have been stuck on 100ml plus of methadone with no light at the end of the tunnel, i realised methadone wasnt enough and used on top for years.
The change came when i changed it, there is an old saying, if you do the same things you will get the same results.
It sounds like you are very isolated which is never a good thing, we spend our dependancy in isolation so trying to stop in isolation rarley works in my experience.
You say that you are in therapy which is also a massive positive, therapy will give you the tools to use but recovery and movement is what you can choose to happen when you walk out of the clinic door, have you thought about mutual aid groups such as NA or SMART recovery, recovery is contagious just like dependancy, try to get yourself around others in recovery who can give you some guidance and support.
Not many people get clean on will power, you will need an open mind, a willingness to learn how to cope with your triggers, using thoughts and cravings. All these things can be overcome and cravings dont last forever.
Ok so you are on a high dose of methadone, chip away slowly at it if 5ml drops are to much, go for smaller drops, the lower the percentage you drop the less you will feel it.
We have a tendancy to blow withdrawal up to something which is unmanagable and unacheivable, the reality is that it is if its what you really want.
What are you boundaries like? are you spending time with other users, do you still have dealers numbers, have you voiced your intentions to others, these are all doors open for you to walk back into using.
In my opinion methadone is a helpfull drug in the short term, it can help you get some stability back and give you space to think about your next step, in the long term it will keep you locked into dependancy with your emotions dulled.
Recovery wont fall into your lap, you will get out of it what you put in, just like your drug use is a way of life, look at recovery in the same way, you will climb mountains for gear, sail the seven seas if you had to.
The question i have for you is do you want recovery, if the answer is yes, are you prepared to do anything to get it. If the answer is still yes then make a start.
You are 26 years old with your whole life ahead of you, across this big wide world people are getting clean and moving on every day.
Good luck and try to get things into the realm of positive choice and get some more support.

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  #6  
Old 03-03-2013, 00:49
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

Bitts, thank you for your response. It really got me thinking about my situation and changes that I need to make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitts View Post
It sounds like you are very isolated which is never a good thing, we spend our dependancy in isolation so trying to stop in isolation rarley works in my experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitts View Post
What are you boundaries like? are you spending time with other users, do you still have dealers numbers, have you voiced your intentions to others, these are all doors open for you to walk back into using.
I am very isolated. I am not spending time with other people who use, I am not spending time with anyone really. I have a friend who lives out of town that I talk on the phone with about weekly. He used to use but he is clean now. I have one other friend that I hang out with about once every 3 months or so. He drinks heavily and we always go to the bar when we hang out. My boyfriend is the only other person in my life. He used to do heroin, too. He never took it to the extreme that I did though and I donít feel like I can talk to him about my addiction. I feel like he judges me. He thinks that I am a bad person because of things that I did when I was using. I used to strip for money when I was using and he said that I had no morals because of that. He just recently found out that I used to smoke crack and he freaked out about it. So I try to stay silent about my issues with him.

I feel lonely and depressed about my life, but I donít do anything to make it better. I do the same thing every day. I sit at home alone and mess around on the internet and watch tv and take like 3 naps a day because I donít want to be awake. Most of the time when I am with my boyfriend we arenít Ďreallyí together. He will be playing games or something and Iíll be reading. We donít talk too much and hardly ever go out. I used to have hobbies that I enjoyed but I canít bring myself to do much of anything anymore. Itís terrible but I can hardly even get myself to shower. I feel like this sounds really whiney and Ďpoor meí. I donít mean it like that. If anything I just feel apathetic and uninterested. I know its my fault and that I should force myself to get out and do things.

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Originally Posted by Bitts View Post
The question i have for you is do you want recovery, if the answer is yes, are you prepared to do anything to get it. If the answer is still yes then make a start.
If you would have asked me this question a couple weeks ago I would have answered without any doubt that I do want recovery and that I would do anything for it. Now, I am not so sure. I do want recovery, but sometimes I just want to say fuck it and get high and feel good for just a little while.
  #7  
Old 03-03-2013, 08:39
Bitts Bitts is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

I hear you, its so easy to lock into the negatives and go backwards, the truth is you do have a choice here.
If you are sitting at home all day being driftwood then the opiate devil on your shoulder is gonna be shouting in your ear, if thats all you have to listen to then the outcome will always be the same.
Im not meaning to sound harsh but its your responsibility to change if thats what you want.it wont just fall into your lap.
You have a dependancy, it wont go away on its own.
For where you are at now i can guarentee you 1 thing, if you carry on using your life will spiral out of control because you have already crossed the line, from here on it doesnt get any better, yes you can use and get some short lived respite from everything you choose not to do, but all the shit is still there when the gear runs out.
I wish you luck and realy hope you make the right choices for yourself, have you ever written out a basic pros and cons list around your using, this may start to put things in perspective, just take the rose tinted specs off and see your using for what it really is.
Take care and remember any movement is movement for the positive
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Old 06-03-2013, 21:53
headfull0fstars headfull0fstars is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitts View Post
I hear you, its so easy to lock into the negatives and go backwards, the truth is you do have a choice here.
If you are sitting at home all day being driftwood then the opiate devil on your shoulder is gonna be shouting in your ear, if thats all you have to listen to then the outcome will always be the same.
Im not meaning to sound harsh but its your responsibility to change if thats what you want.it wont just fall into your lap....

Take care and remember any movement is movement for the positive
Thank you SO much for taking the time to write what you did. The questions you asked really got me thinking and it made me realize that I have to change my life.

Lately, the cravings I had confused me so much. I kept thinking that my life is going so well, after all I am about to graduate from college and I just got a week of take home doses at the clinic, so why am I still having cravings. I do have good things going on, but I am not doing the things that I need to do for myself to have a fulfilling personal life. I am going to make changes. I am working with my therapist to figure out exactly what steps I need to take.
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Old 06-03-2013, 22:13
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Re: Is there no end to this?

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Originally Posted by headfull0fstars View Post
Let me start out by saying I am sorry if this turns into a rant. I don't really have anyone I feel comfortable being completely honest about all of this with and I just feel like I need to get it out.

So, a little background. I am a 26 year old woman. I started snorting heroin at 20 and after a couple months I started shooting. Things got really out of hand really quickly for me. Within the first year of my using I had spent all my (substantial) savings, lost my apartment, and became homeless. My family forced me into treatment. I spent years bouncing from detoxs to rehabs to halfway houses. I would always get high pretty soon after starting treatment and things would get bad and I would try something else to get clean. Before I went to treatment I always had it in my head that if things got too bad I could always go into treatment and they would fix me and everything would be fine. Needless to say, that isn't how it works. All of the treatments that I went to was 12 step and that definitely didn't appeal to me. I felt like I had tried everything and that I would never be able to get clean.

After years of trying (and failing) lots of different kinds of treatments I started at a methadone program. At first it seemed like it would be just like all of the other things I tried. I got high every day on top of my methadone for the first couple months, but as my dose increased I began to stop using. Eventually I completely quit heroin. I went about 9 months or so only using a couple times. Then I started getting really bad cravings again. I spent a couple weeks with terrible cravings before I gave in and got high. I started using everyday on top of my methadone and developed a double habit. I tried smoking crack for the first time and started smoking crack with my heroin on a daily basis as well. The crack binge lasted for about 5 months but the heroin use lasted for almost a year. I increased from dose from 80 to 120 and stopped getting high. I increased my therapy at the clinic; started attending an intensive weekly group and seeing my therapists multiple times a week. I felt like I was finally over it. I had no desire to use for the first time since I got hooked. I started getting more privileges at the clinic (now I only go once a week). I felt like I was ready to start decreasing my dose so I could leave the clinic within a year or so. Over several weeks I decreased my dose from 120 to 110. I stopped getting that warm opiate feeling that I would get for a couple minutes about an hour after taking my dose and some other symptoms that were probably more mental than anything. I started getting cravings again and one day I actually picked up the phone and called my old dope boy. I hung up and called a friend and they talked me out of it, but it scared me and showed me I wasn't ready. The next day I stopped my decrease and requested that my dose be brought up to where it was before.

The past couple months I have been feeling very anxious and depressed. A friend of mine died a couple weeks ago of an overdose. I am in my last semester of college and I am taking all online classes so I spend most of my time alone at home. I have ADD and I have been really struggling to get my work done. I am taking online classes and writing a senior thesis paper so I have to motivate myself to get things done. I'm not doing well and I feel overwhelmed and stressed by it. I am so close but I feel like I am messing it up. Also, I have gained ALOT of weight on the methadone and diet and exercise that has worked in the past for me isn't making any difference. I don't really have any friends to hang out with. I have my boyfriend, but I don't feel like I can really share my feelings honestly with him.

I was on Adderall for years for my ADD and it was the only thing that helped me to be successful in school. So I talked to my counselor at the clinic and asked her if I could take it with methadone. She said that I could but I would need to tell the doctor all about my drug problems and methadone and that they would need to talk to one another. I used to be prescribed 30mg adderall xr in the morning and 20mg xr in the afternoon. My doctor started me out at 30 mg xr last week. They gave me the generic xr. I started taking it a couple days ago and it isn't working like my adderall did in the past. I looked it up and saw that the generic caused side effects in lots of people and doesn't work the same as the name brand. It hasn't helped my concentration or ability to work on my school work and it's been making me feel depressed. I have been experiencing very severe cravings as well. I haven't used, but I have been useless. I'll just sit around and obsess and cry.

I don't know what to do. I just want this to be over. I am so sick of being an addict. I'll feel like I am past it and I am going to be ok and then BAM it hits me full force again. I know people say you'll always be an addict and though it gets easier that you will always have urges. I can't imagine living my whole life with this cycle. I don't know what to do.
Hello headfull0fstars,

First off, thank you for being completely honest with the people on this site who, I hope, are all here to help in any way possible. Although your story is riddled with heartbreaking details, I see hope in many places. It is obvious you do not want to be an addict. Although I am not an expert at treating addiction (I am a student of psychopharmacology--how drugs affect the brain), I am not a huge fan of the 12 step method and in fact, national addiction treatment agencies are now acknowledging that rather than the 12-step approach, an individualized approach should be taken.

Thus, I see your desire not to be an addict as the first step. Please understand, taking controlled substances does not make you an addict. There are many a people who are *physically dependent* on controlled substances (my adorable dog to name one), but it doesn't mean they are addicts. An addict lives for drugs---drug-seeking behavior is their main job in life. It sounds like for a while, while you were on Heroin, that is where you were at. But not now.

The Adderall may not be working to your satisfaction, or perhaps your ventral tegmental region and nucleus accumbens (two main reward centers of your brain) have had their motivation and pleasure-producing dopamine (D2) cells burned out by a long history of use of euphoric drugs, not to mention your 5 month use of the stimulant.
My heart truly goes out to you, as both addiction and even dependency are horrible phenomena, but my advice would be to focus on the positive (you are searching for a way out) and try, try your best to make every day a bit better than the last in terms of being absolutely DEPENDENT on the "feeling of being on something".

Your case sounds far too complex to give a lot more specific advice on, but I pray this advice helps move you forward.

Sincerely,

OB30

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Last edited by Phenoxide; 28-04-2013 at 00:33.
  #10  
Old 06-03-2013, 22:16
NeuroChi NeuroChi is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

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Originally Posted by headfull0fstars View Post
All of the treatments that I went to was 12 step and that definitely didn't appeal to me. I felt like I had tried everything and that I would never be able to get clean.
Did you, actually, try? Did you go to meetings, get a copy of the big book, get a sponsor, and start the steps? This would be trying it IMO. And I haven't seen anyone actually try and not get some results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headfull0fstars View Post
Lately, the cravings I had confused me so much. I kept thinking that my life is going so well, after all I am about to graduate from college and I just got a week of take home doses at the clinic, so why am I still having cravings.
Your life is going well by the sounds of it, because you had cravings and you didn't act on them. One can't measure progress based on the number and intensity of cravings they have, but what they do with them.
Quote:
I do have good things going on, but I am not doing the things that I need to do for myself to have a fulfilling personal life. I am going to make changes.
Best time to make changes, is right Now.

Best of luck! Be well.
  #11  
Old 09-03-2013, 06:49
Bitts Bitts is offline
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Re: Is there no end to this?

Hi headfull
Its good you are working with your therapist, try do do some specifics on the cravings.
Cravings dont last forever and there are ways of riding them, the truth is people use off the back of a craving even if they dont want to use, its a horrible place to be.
You may find yourself thinking, i shouldnt use, i cant use, these are negative self pressuring thoughts which your brain will process in a negative way.
Try to get it back into the realm of choice, as an example, turn the thought around by saying to yourself i choose not to use, i wont use.
When you wake up, stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself, i choose not to use today.
This may sound like madness but its nothing compared to the insanity of using.
Focus on the negatives of using when craving, stamp on those rose tinted glasses because euphoric recall will trick your head.
Get some breathing tecniques down, your therapist may be able to teach you or may be able to signpost you to someone who can.
Try to raise your awareness of what triggers the cravings, self awareness is a powerfull tool to have in the box, take yourself out of the situation your in, do something different to take your mind off of the thoughts.
This is how it goes, something triggers you, this leads to using thoughts, cravings are just using thoughts with a feeling attached to them, try to deal with the feeling.
If you work on your awareness around the procces, you will become adept at dealing with it, if you address it at the trigger stage, you can stop the proccess that leads to craving.
Keep focused on the good thing in your life, stay focused, good luck
  #12  
Old 09-03-2013, 17:50
dopesick616 dopesick616 is offline
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Join Date: 22-02-2013
24 y/o Male from United States
Posts: 27
dopesick616 is learning how to become a psychonaut.
Re: Is there no end to this?

hey,
i started a thread similar to yours
i feel the same as you, it is the reason i am here
my addiction hasnt been as long as yours but its been long enough for me
i am trying to come up with a plan to get off i have post several ideas on mine that i am waiting for people to ocmment on, maybe you could take a look at them and see if anything appeals to you,
im really interested in kratom at the moment and trying to find some vendor that will give me a sample before i risk money on it since my funds are super limited. have you tried kratom? if so how did that go?
i hope we can find a way through this sis

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