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Unread 06-24-2016, 11:34 AM   #1
sim
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Default tired and confused, but happy to be here

Hi, everyone.

I just found this forum online...sure wish I'd found it a long time ago. What fantastic info; and it seems like a great community.

I'll try to say a few words about why I joined this group.

Im a 43 year-old guy. I've had a great, professional job for around 15 years. I also have a loving, absolutely wonderful wife (she's not a drug user, though she had a slightly wild pass, so isn't too scandalized by such things). In other words: I've got tons to lose.

I never had a drug problem until around 2012. In fact, I almost never drank; maybe smoked pot a couple times in college. But otherwise, nothing. Then, for reasons I'll never understand, in 2012, I hooked up with a couple bad people and started using heroin. I started "trying to quit" around 1.5 yrs ago, and it's been a horrible sequence of failures.

One strange thing about my habit: I did have a clear enough head, that I kept my habit sort of "under control." For most of my ~3years, I used only once or twice a week, and avoiding injecting. But then, of course, things got worse, quickly. During ~December-March of 2015-2016, I started using daily, and I started injecting too. The only good thing: I was able to keep my dosage low: about 30mg of street dope per day.

During all that time, I try various ways to walk away. I thought it wouldn't be too bad since my dosage was so small and until the end, I used relatively rarely. That's why I never tried suboxone.

But I could tell that at that rate, I was going to lose everything if I didn't stop. So I finally started seeing a suboxone doctor. I've been going to him for about 3.5 months now (since March). I will say: the suboxone has definitely helped. The cravings are still there; and they're bad enough that I have (three times), withheld my subs for a day and then used heroin. But using 3 times in ~4 months is a LOT better than I was doing before. And I think I'm getting even those breakthough cravings under control.

Now that the dust is settling a bit, I have so many questions. I won't write them here. Except for one issue: I have a lingering unsureness about my "fit" as a suboxone patient. I decided to jump on subs because I needed to buy some time, to break the cycle of using, so I could work out the underlying issues. And subs definitely bought me that.

*But* while I certainly had an addiction to heroin, I'm actually not sure I ever developed much of a physical dependence. e.g. I never got dopesick. But it was definitely setting up to ruin my life.

But because of this, I still feel kind of strange about seeking out a physical dependence on subs. I have nagging doubts that my habit wasn't "bad enough" to merit suboxone therapy. This makes me think constantly about quitting the subs. But I know they are helping me. So for now I'm sticking with them.

Anyhow, sorry for the long tale of woe. I look forward to "meeting" some of you soon.

Cheers,
Sim
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Unread 06-25-2016, 07:55 AM   #2
NancyB
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Hi Sim, welcome! I think you kind of answered your own question about your unsureness of becoming a bupe patient when you said you stopped your meds and used heroin. One quick point - if you were taking the correct dose of bupe, you should not have had cravings that bad to stop it to do heroin. The right dose is the lowest that stops cravings and withdrawals.

That said, you're really dealing with addiction which is 'uncontrollable, compulsive behavior despite negative consequences'. Are you in therapy at all? Maybe a good CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) Therapist to help you get those cravings under control if you don't want to increase your bupe or if you want to stop it completely. There's also a free CBT site that has helped a lot of people here, it might be worth taking a peek at:
https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/

Those are just some quick thoughts. I hope they're helpful. Let us know.

Nancy
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Unread 06-25-2016, 08:55 PM   #3
sim
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Nancy,

Thanks for the kind message. When you said that I answered my own question, did you mean that since the heroin cravings are strong enough to pull me away from my suboxone treatment that, yes, my addiction "real"?

That's how I read it. But I wasn't 100% sure.

And for what it's worth, if that IS what you meant, I agree!

Best,
Sim
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Unread 06-26-2016, 07:03 AM   #4
NancyB
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Hi Sim, yes, that's what I meant. I probably should have been more clear.

Do you think you could break the addiction cycle with either the CBT site or therapy?

Nancy
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 06-26-2016, 10:05 AM   #5
sim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyB View Post
Hi Sim, yes, that's what I meant. I probably should have been more clear.

Do you think you could break the addiction cycle with either the CBT site or therapy?

Nancy
I'm a bit out of my depth here, but I *know* that one-on-one therapy has been crucial for the small steps I have made. For about 6 months I've been doing intensive work (twice or three times weekly) with a psychiatrist whom I trust.

My doctor, however, works in a very different way than CBT--he's a more old-fashioned psychodynamic shrink. Personally, I find this type of treatment very helpful. But it's also true that progress with old-fashioned modes of talk therapy comes slowly. And I would be open to supplementing my time with him for something more behaviorally inclined.

I've been interested in CBT for a long time. The difficulty for me, has been this: I've tried working with several (three to be precise) therapists who identify as practicing CBT, but in reality, their approaches have very little to do with CBT, instead offering a well-meaning but ultimately bland and, I'm afraid to say, not very helpful, catalog of practical but woefully under-matched slogans.

I don't mean to nix the idea of CBT, though. In fact, quite the contrary...

Could you please re-direct me to the CBT site you mentioned? I'll definitely look at it carefully.

Again, thanks for your help. I really, really appreciate it!
-Sim
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Unread 06-27-2016, 06:52 AM   #6
NancyB
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Hi Sim, that's great that you're working closely with a good psychiatrist and it's helping! That's too bad that those other CBT therapists weren't really CBT trained or practicing. Maybe the site https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome in conjunction will be work in conjunction with your in-depth therapy. Plus you can do it when you have time in your home. It might just be the perfect match!

You're very welcome! Please keep me posted on how you're doing.

Nancy
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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