Opioids and Alcohol a 4 year struggle.

By uneasyshadows · Jan 13, 2019 · ·
  1. The first time I had an opiate I was 17 years old and had meningitis. They prescribed me 60 Vicodin 7.5’s. I needed it for sure it was to date the worst pain I have ever been in. But as I came down to the last 3 pills I realized something important. I loved these things. I love the emotional pain they took away as well as the physical. Lucky for me it was not overwhelming and I did not chase the high. I was just sad after the last one wore off. Now I know about PAWS and how hard it can be on people with chronic depression.

    I didn’t have another opiate for 2 years when my wisdom teeth were pulled and man did that hurt. The dentist gave me 4 opioids, I am not even sure what they were and that was that. This did not trigger anything and I went on living life, with long bouts of depression dominating my life.

    The next time I used an opiate was 6 years later when I found some codeine in my mom's medicine cabinet and started taking it nightly, until I realized it was for my sister who needed it. To cover up my stealing I put water in it which was just stupid. It changes the color of it to black and is an easy way to find out if someone has been taking your meds. Anyway my mom and sister found out and freaked out on me and I stopped. But it was after that time that I knew I had a problem.

    Over the next several years I was prescribed opioids legitimately and I devoured them for the most part. Not like I do now. Now is way worse, but I would have a day or two of just getting high on the stuff by taking 3 or so and then finishing out the prescription as advised by my Doc.

    I have never gone to the streets never conned a Doctor never done anything like that. I have stolen them twice from family members. Once I told you about, the second time my second sister had just died of cancer and I was a mess. I found a bottle of my ex step dads xanax and oxy and I took it in stages for some reason. Thinking if I took just a little no one would notice. And since the step dad was gone no one did. My worst experience ever was that night when I took 15mg oxy and one xanax and ended up experimenting with trying to hang myself. And getting angry as hell with my kids and wife for no fucking reason. I hated myself after that day so much that I have never taken another Benzo in my life.

    Opioids on the other hand are a dream to me. They make all the bad go away. They are also hell to come off. I was diagnosed with 4 autoimmune diseases over the course of a few years and they hurt so I got pain meds. Tons of them. More than I thought was possible. So for 2 and a half months I took them. It started out that I took them as prescribed then it turned into more and more and more. I was using up to 160mg a day, and then they put me on a new drug that helped and I was cut off cold turkey and it was and is to this day one of the top 5 most awful things I have ever had to go through in life. I would never in a million years recommend cold turkey. Tapper always.

    After that hell I got on Prozac and swore off opioids for good. And I was clean for over a year. Even when offered them for legitimate pain I said no and went a different route. Then one day my anxiety and depression hit so hard that I needed something. I went for the first time in my life at the age of 38 and bought alcohol for the first time. It was probably the stupidest decision of my life. My grandpa and dad are both addicts. One is dead and the other is clean and has been for years.

    Alcohol tasted like and still does taste like crap, it is horrid. But the way it makes all the pain go away (both physical and mental) was almost pure bliss. Then I experienced hangovers and drank too much being a first time drinker and got alcohol poisoning. I drank 750ml of rum in 3 hours. I woke up on the ground screaming in pain with my wife holding my hand. The diseases I have only exacerbated the problem.

    This did not stop me from drinking. It only taught me how to do it right, by eating a lot with it and taking zofran. After a while though it just turns into a nightmare and I quit it for 7 months then started again, then stopped for 3, then back on for 4 and so on.

    The main reason for starting and stopping was I would go through procedures for my diseases and I would get opioids. I would start out taking them as prescribed then once again abuse them. I always did and still do all this alone. I do not want my kids or wife to see me this way. So late at night and into the wee hours of the morning I would use and party alone. And I loved it and still do at times.

    Then the war on opioids happened and even my free wheeling understanding doctor would not prescribe them to me anymore. She told me she was scared of what the government was doing. And I had no problem with it other than the fact that I was in pain. So I just drank more.

    Then things loosened up a bit over this last 4 months and she gave them to me again. I did not ask her, she suggested it for the legitimate pain. So I stupidly took it. Or maybe its not stupid. Why the hell should I be in pain all the time? It sucks. But once again after starting out taking them as prescribed I started to party all by myself with them. And loved it. I learned how to taper properly over the years and at the worst have gone through maybe a day of physical withdrawals and 3 or 4 days of mental bullshit. But that was rare, I usually got off them scott free, but not this last time. I got greedy last week and did not leave enough for a full taper. Now I am here again going through withdrawals again. Doing the same stupid shit again.

    Oh and I broke my neck in between all this. A nice chip on the C5. I was told I could take off my brace after 4 weeks and I would heal over the next 4 months. Well I am only 1 ½ months in and it hurts and sucks and getting the Neurologist to get me opioids was impossible. She just flat out told me no. Isn’t the war on opiates going a bit too far when a broken neck won’t get you a script anymore? Luckily my main doc gave my my regular script and I managed off that somewhat well until I used too many again.

    I have done this for 4 years now. It is a pattern it is life. It is not helping my depression in the slightest. I finally scheduled an appointment with a psychologist who specializes in working with people with chronic diseases. I am scared to go. A 42 year old man who is scared to go face his fears. I feel like such a worthless failure. But I am doing it and I will let you know how it goes.
    Delia and Mingo123 like this.


  1. Mingo123
    Your post is very well written and I appreciate you sharing your story. I have a similar on/off again story with opiates - street drugs, prescription and an added bonus of also enjoying Benzos. Please post regarding your experience with the psychologist. Maybe the doc will have an insight that helps! I was forced to go to a Pain Clinic and I have found them useless - but those doc's do keep writing Oxy prescriptions!
      ICEMAN1216, Delia and uneasyshadows like this.
  2. RaoulDuke32
    It sounds like you have a grip on what your problems are, now the next step is what to do about it.

    Hows your health? Auto-immune diseases are terrible and extremely rampant these days. From my own research it has a lot to do with diet. You should ask yourself what it would take to get clean (i.e if you could live pain free and healthy, happy) and what would make those things happen.

    The shitty thing about drugs is that they do work. They just dont solve anything long term. Long term it just gets worse.

    I think you would do well in AA or NA. Your story is classic addiction. Also there are so many people with horrendous chronic pain issues who have learned that opiates only exacerbated their pain. Seriously If you have chronic pain opiates will make it so much worse. They can be a godsend when nothing else works though.

    Keep up the fight, thats all that matters.
      ICEMAN1216, Delia and uneasyshadows like this.
  3. Delia
    Brave and detailed journal on coming forward and discuss something as personal as substance abuse. This step is hard when you have been plagued with guilt and the internal struggle to manage both physical and emotional pain. Doing your homework on PAWs and that you are suffering from depression are good things - knowledge is powerful and incredibly helpful.

    When we hurt, be in emotional or physical it’s natural to reach out for relief. There are many manners a person might seek to self medicate and you will not be the first or the last to try to find the solution to your conflict by following this path.

    Reaching out to a professional for guidance on how to manage depression, finding coping strategies and developing techniques to handle your depression is a wise move. They will be able to offer the personalised guidance relative to your life to be able to find the happiness you deserve.

    Self medication, or finding the drug of choice (DOC) that aids and helps can offer relief but equally it can be a rude shock when we cross our own personal lines on acceptable behaviour. While guilt and shame are natural, you need to be equally proud on acknowledging you have an issue and that the manner you are seeking relief isn’t helpful for your long term health.

    While suicide and discussions of self harm are outside the scope of what members on the forum can offer or provide assistance with it is important that you express this with a health care professional so if in future you do require medication to assist you with your depression and potentially any anxiety that a benzodiazepine is not a drug that is appropriate for your well-being.

    Being clean from opiates for a year after abuse and withdrawal of high doses after 2 months of abuse is a great achievement.

    As a former drinker and also having past family members with substance abuse problems with alcohol, I can relate, to see refuge from pain and falling back to what is familiar (even if it wasn’t your initial DOC) is common. Genetics play a role, as does environmental factors, especially if a childhood was experienced with seeing a parental and grandparent abuse a substance. We learn from our social situations when we are children, while this isn’t an excuse and we are liable for our choices in life - seeing and learning while young can leave a lasting impression.

    Substance abuse, can alter and change per our needs or by external factors. It is not uncommon for abuse of one substance to lead or manifest into other substances. Potentially, an addiction can result polysubstance abuse is when more then on substance is used in conjunction or alternatively can be using alternating substances at different times to offset the use of another or to substitute the lack of the individuals DOC. There is many different studies and reading material you can look up regarding this behaviour which could be beneficial.

    Depending on the type of autoimmune disease you have, seeking options on management of treatment is imperative. If you have the available resources, seeking out a second opinion for management of your ailments. Research and contacting professionals to seeing if there are drugs that have low abuse potential might be an avenue to find out if it can be managed and give you the quality and pain free life style you are seeking.

    Is there a chance you could discuss with your wife or someone you are close with to help you manage your opiate intake and assist you on ensuring you don’t abuse your prescriptions? Someone you trust and can ensure that they will both be firm but helpful on exercising constraint so you don’t continue to repeat the cycle of abuse and withdrawal.

    Again, you have reached out and this is impressive. You should not be afraid but proud that you have acknowledged and accepted that situation and that you are taking all the steps to rectify the abuse cycle.

    Being afraid is allowing yourself to cross bridges and stray into future possibilities without any known idea of what will happen. Don’t let fear take hold of you because people who are afraid won’t and take take the tremendously strong and step of reaching out and seeking assistance.

    Be proud, and remind yourself that you can do this.
      ICEMAN1216 and uneasyshadows like this.
  4. uneasyshadows
    Thanks for the support people.

    Mingo123 I will be sure to keep you up to date. I went to therapy in my 20's when drugs and disease were not a problem but depression was. The therapist was fantastic, but retired before I got to where I needed to be. Hope this new one is as good and is not going any where for a while.

    RaoulDuke32 Thanks for all the suggestions and support. I had my diet weened down to a half can a day of basically really expensive baby food for 4 months and 2 of the diseases still persisted. I am as of last week on a new drug that could help put one of the diseases into remission. The one that troubles me the most. I hope to god it puts the disease into remission. The other option is prednisone and that stuff is horrid for you although I feel great on it and obviously you can not get high off of it, at least that I know of. My Doc won't put me on it more than three times a year though. It's a complicated situation that I have only made worse by adding alcohol which is in my opinion the worst drug on Earth and Opiates which end up really screwing with your brain long term.

    But I am ready to fight this and I will keep up the fight. Thanks man.

    Delia Thanks for all the info and support. The part about poly-substance abuse is something I have never heard of or thought about. Very good info. Thank you so much.
      RaoulDuke32 likes this.
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