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Journal - My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone else

Discussion in 'Other Drug R&A Journals' started by tyrus568, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. tyrus568

    tyrus568 Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 29, 2008
    40 y/o from Rochester, NY
    Hi. I found this notebook at the park yesterday and thought it was filled with some interesting and horrifying things. Maybe you'd like to read it, I entered the text below.


    I'm 32, live with parents, social outcast, no job, no job experience, little worldly experience, not much college, no degree, no money, no car, no license, no health insurance or anything like that. I get free room and board with my parents and help out around the house - you know, one of the worst kinds of losers. I have avoidant personality disorder with a bunch of anxiety and depressive disorders and actually some other problems I won't get into here.

    I was hoping to maybe see what people had to say about what, if anything, I should do, but at least to read my experiences to pass the time or perhaps to sneer at.

    I have no money, my parents have some, but I'm not going to be able to do a lot concerning therapy or help really. I don't particularly want to go to NA or AA. I thought maybe about going to see an addiction specialist, but that could be kind of expensive and I have an idea of what he would offer. I also thought about maybe going to see a doctor about getting a heart exam, but I was concerned about explaining to him why I thought there might be damage.... besides , I'm avoidant, the last thing I want to do is to have to talk to professionals about my problem....

    As it is, I'm taking it day by day. I haven't done DXM since my last heart episode about 5 weeks ago that scared the hell out of me. Opiates, eh, all I've been doing is buying poppy seeds, but they don't do anything for me (can't buy enough at once here to matter).

    I'm committed to not taking DXM again for as long as possible. The opiates, well, I tell myself I'll get more poppy pods in december, if I can possibly wait. Otherwise right now I putter around the house, get some walking exercise, smoke weed and cigarettes, and deal with my post-acute withdrawal stuff.

    A week ago I met someone on the net (*gasp* you say, how unlikely!), but seriously, someone I could relate to (not in a romantic way, as a friend). He is not an addict or actually a drug user at all but he grew up with in a dysfunctional family of abusers and knows what drug abuse is like. We talked a whooole lot in the last week about my problems (and his too), mainly my drugs problems, and so I wrote him an autobiography of my life.

    Part of the autobiography is detailed below, just all of the parts about DXM abuse (I cut all the sex and other boring stuff out :p ). If it sometimes seems to be disjointed or jump around, it's probably because I redacted something out. Or just my confused disorganized mind :p

    If you want the too long; didn't read version: too bad. I tried writing it but it was too long. So you have to read the whole thing.

    And oh ya, I don't condone shoplifting.

    It starts below.

    Websites were beginning to spring up, the world wide web was being born (1994). This was when I began my comprehensive drug education online, reading faqs and forums and exploring what was out there.

    This was when I discovered DXM, through William White's pretty excellent and comprehensive DXM faq that was around back then. We now know that there were some erroneous facts in his guide (particularly about Olney's Lesions), but overall it was an excellent resource.

    I was probably near the end of my 17th year when I discovered DXM. It was to be the biggest change of my entire life.

    Hmm, yeah. :( So, I thought, hey, this sounds like it could be interesting, and I can use this as research into jaunting, or exploring my inner mind and outer worlds. I can be a psychonaut and really understand my own potential and open my mind.

    So I began to experiment with it. Easy enough, you go down to Kroger's and buy one bottle of Robitussin max cough syrup or a pack of Drixorals for xxxx and you take it and see what happens.

    Mainly, this is what would happen on an average dose: take an hour to begin after drinking, then shortly afterwards you would "peak" or what I used to call have a mind orgasm, which was what it felt like, and was extremely intense. Usually you would be nauseous from drinking the syrup, so you would smoke a joint right at the peak. Now, it is well known that unlike most drugs, marijuana and DXM have synergistic properties and greatly enhance the other. When I ever did DXM, I pretty much had to have some weed on me to do it, otherwise it was not nearly as fun.

    Anyways, so you would peak, smoking a joint. The "trip" would last about eight hours, with up to a 24 hour "glow" afterwards. This WAS a trip, do not mistake me, with opiates, well opiates do act on the central nervous system as well, but they don't have the psychedelic or disassociative properties. Opiates don't take you anywhere, they don't give you a "trip" to another world or anything, they just make you feel good. Take opiates, feel good. It wears off, take more, you feel good again, you know? DXM you would take once and it would fuck you up and send you off into space for at least eight hours, but usually all through the following day. I loved it a lot for just this reason, how it lasted so long and felt so great.

    high amount of euphoria, more euphoria than I typically get from opiates (pods). flushing of the skin, your skin all over your body would be hot with heat, with blood flowing close to the surface, all of the pores in your skin all over your body would be dilated as wide as possible, and your skin would be very, very sensitive in a very, very nice way. Extremely pleasurable. Libido would not exist. Some confusion. Your limbs and body would feel so light that you could just jump off the surface of the Earth or something, it was so great. music was unnaturally godlike and awesome. also, disassociation from the world. not understanding things or able to really function.

    The most important part of the DXM trip, in my mind, was it being a "trip". It made everything you did feel like you were doing it for the first time ever, in such a good way, I mean, you know, you do something cool like play a video game a few times and it's not quite as fun since you get experienced with it, right, but even if you had played a previously fun game extensively, on DXM you could play it and you would have the reward feeling like it was the first time you had ever played it, even though you hadn't forgot what it was like or how to play it or anything, it was just that feeling like, wow, this game is soooo fun.

    Movies, also. Watching a movie on DXM tended to make you really think that you were in the movie and it was really happening, in a total good way. I remember watching The Name of the Rose, set in medieval times about monks and mysteries in an old castle, and I'm saying, I felt like I was back in 1359. I can't explain it to you any more than that; how if you woke up in 1359, you were really there and interacting with everyone and everything, that's what it was like to watch this movie. And thats the way any movie was on DXM. It was beyond fabulous, it was divine. literally utopia, a cosmic mystery, an opening to another universe.

    The other thing that was the greatest of all about the trips was this intense feeling of creativity and feelings of insight, very similar to LSD. You felt like you were figuring stuff out, you were finding out answers to the universe and yourself, many of your thoughts felt insightful and even prophetic. You felt like you experienced something from a higher plane, or that God had touched you. Several trips I did feel like I had met God. You felt as if something was revealing the cure to cancer for you, or what the meaning of life was, or how to manipulate reality to create magic, whatever. I mean, though, this was like, you would feel like you were Einstein or something, and then the next day you would look at all the stuff you scribbled down that seemed so important the night before and it would all be gibberish.

    So yeah, you just can't fully understand all of the changes this made to my life unless you have lived through it. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me. Finally I had a way out, I could ignore everything and delve into a world of PC games, Playstation games, and exploring the nether zones of transmogrified, divine, holy, super reality that DXM tinged and soaked my life and mind with.

    Tolerance rises fairly rapidly with frequent DXM use, and during this period (17-19) I was using it once a week, always on fridays. Adam had found other friends and was always gone all friday, saturday, and sunday, and my parents left me alone. It was a time where my bedroom door was always shut, I came out for dinner and ate it back in my room, there was no contact at all and no talking about anything, everyone was off doing their own shit. My mom was doing a bit better after the ECT treatments but was only partially there. Over time I was moving to higher doses to achieve my medium-level effects. Low-level doses only make you feel like your drunk but you're still sober and can talk and everything, so I liked medium level doses for ALL the good effects and a few bad ones, seeing straight could be difficult or recognizing objects. But the majority of everything was so close to my heart, I wanted to do this always, for the rest of my life, I couldn't live without it. It was a fantastic, prolonged dream. These were the good years of my DXM abuse.

    So, this happened in like 1995, right when I turned 18. My parents were letting me take a year off before I started college, so I had tons of free time. I was still gaming with my roleplaying group and everything. no job or anything and no obligations, at all.

    There is a game and a music cd that define my early DXM use and were so enhanced they were basically the holy grail for me, especially you know, when I was all fucked up. That was Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol II, and the Playstation game Final Fantasy Tactics. I had picked it up on a whim when I was wandering around Sears, of all places, seeing hey, it's final fantasy, I adore that stuff anyways but I didn't know anything about FFT when I bought it. I thought it was going to be a role playing game. For me it was the best game ever made for the Playstation, no question. I probably played a thousand hours on that game, playing it through again and again, raising everyone's skills to as many classes as possible, attaining all the secrets, but anyways it wasn't just that it's one of the best games ever made; it was during the best times of my DXM use, when everything was so good and perfect, and it enhanced it to something that is not reproducible again for me. It was a once in a lifetime event. No other drug could do this. I just recently played through the game again on an emulator on my PC and it was fun, but not anywhere near the same, and made me melancholic and wistful for old times. I only played it about halfway through.

    OK, so everything was so glorious. If I could have stopped here, it would have been so great, because everything pretty much goes downhill from here. To let you know, I started using DXM when I was 17 and the last time I used it was last month (at the age of 32).

    So 18-20 or so. Had all this money from the inheritence, always high and fucked up on DXM,
    having a great time.

    All that was over, then my parents decided to start a small business. It was mainly to help my Mom really become herself again. So they started this little store at a flea market that mostly sold kid's toys, junk toys, knock-off stuff. They would leave on saturday mornings and be gone all day, and the same on sunday mornings, so this left me completely alone for the entire weekend with money, weekend after weekend I would wait til they left early in the morning and immediately walk the 2 miles along the freeway down to the Kroger's and buy DXM, then trip on drugs all day while they were gone, then sometimes do it on Sunday, too. My usage of DXM was increasing in both amount and frequency... I was doing it 2-3 times a week, usually every
    three days or so, but always on saturday during the day. I had so much money at the time, with no costs at all, I'd buy all kinds of candy and magazines and books and stuff from kroger's and randall's.

    So by the time I was 21-22, my gaming group had fallen apart. Near the end, Alvin was gone, so it was just me, bob, dave and chad, and sometimes guests. It was an hour's drive to get to dave's house from mine, and bob lived pretty close to me; chad lived about in between. So bob was assigned to drive, he would pick me and chad up for the game, we would game all night, then bob would drive us home, dropping off chad, then me. he also worked on the same day we gamed, so he was very tired, and it was always VERY scary on the last leg of the way home, after we had dropped off chad and it was just me and him. He would constantly fall asleep while driving, and I would be struggling the whole way to keep him alert. Pretty scary stuff, happened every

    So... then there's this incident. My local Kroger's, I had stolen DXM from there a couple of times. One weekend, Bob was taking me home from the AD&D game at 5 in the morning, and I told him to just drop me off
    at the Krogers, and that I would walk home. I went into the Krogers and attempted to shoplift some DXM. I had my backpack with all my gaming books with me, but I stuffed the DXM into my back pocket, two boxes of pills so about xxxx worth which I had the money for but for some reason wanted to steal it to save the money. I bought some other stuff at the register and I was walking out, the store manager grabbed me by the backpack and told me to stay. I squirmed out of my pack and ran out the front doors, terrified, not knowing what to do and scared as hell. I came out into the parking lot and there was already a sheriff's cruiser in the lot, lights flashing. I thought about just running, there was a bayou that ran alongside the store, with
    residences on the other side, so I almost did. I was crying hysterically and panicking. So I stopped in the parking lot and went back into the store.

    They basically bitched at me, made me pay for the DXM, which I could afford thankfully, told me to never come into the store again, the sheriff took my ID and wrote my name and ID number down. I walked out with the sheriff and he searched my backpack and I had a very small amount of marijuana stashed in there with some zigzag rolling papers. He made me take the papers and weed and throw them into the trashcan. (I had plenty of weed at home so wasn't worried about that; I was totally relieved that not only did I not get arrested for shoplifting but no arrest or fine for the marijuana, either.) I think it was because I looked so young and I was crying and earnestly sorry. So he told me to walk straight home and he didn't want to see me again.

    So. 6 AM, hafta walk two miles home, I have the DXM, take the dxm while walking home, but it hadn't affected me yet. I mean, that's all I cared about, I was so glad they let me buy it. Almost home, think, well, I have no rolling papers at home so I should stop in the 24hr convenience store and buy some. I go in, buy some zigzags, as I'm walking out, who do I see but the same damn sheriff, and he looked pissed. He was like, I thought I told you to go straight home! And I'm like, I live in this neighborhood, I had to come this way, I
    promise, I'm going straight home. Thankfully, he didn't see the rolling papers in my hand that I had just bought. He would have been furious.

    So I went home, got all fucked up, and tried to forget about what happened...

    I avoided that Krogers for a couple years after that, but there was the Randalls right across the street from the Krogers, so it didn't stop my access to DXM. They had these really great DXM sucrets you could buy really cheap, (they don't really put dxm in sucrets cough drops any more (at least around here) for abuse reasons) and I would buy 2-3 bags of sucrets and crunch them all on the walk home. Man, I love DXM. I wish I could
    still do it. I wish I was back there and then again.

    My second phase of DXM abuse had started. I was taking it more often, it was my second year in the community college and I was beginning to skip all my classes, and I was beginning to feel the long-term affects
    of always using DXM, the fatigue and lack of any sobriety, how some of the good effects I used to get were disappearing, and the other great effects were not as intense or "there" as they should be. It was
    tolerance and the heavy experience, I was burning out on it. I began skipping all of my classes in earnest, lying baldly to my mom and dad about how good each class was or what happened that day. I took evening classes, so I had like one class a day, from like 6:30 pm to 9:30 or so, and so I would skip the class that night and walk down away from the college to the HEB store and buy DXM and take it and go to the K-mart and buy music cds and stuff, listening to my walkman.

    This was all I did.

    By the time I was 23 (in 2000), it started being apparent that there was a problem to my family. I kept withdrawing from my classes, I was a wreck, I had left my facial growth to grow out on its own and it had,
    I had not bothered with my hair, so I looked like a wild man. I was playing Nethack and ADoM (like nethack) 24-7 and always fucked up. There were episodes. I had been stealing money from my parents, just a dollar here or there out of the purse or whatnot, and my mom had coffee cans full of change in her closet, and over time these coffee cans began to empty more and more as I pilfered from them. One time I had overdosed on antihistamines, basically I took 800 milligrams of diphenhydramine, aka sominex or benadryl, when the normal dose is 25-50 mgs. I did this because I was totally bored and wanted something interesting to happen. I knew what the possible effects would be by doing research. I did it with DXM at the same time. Anyway, I had a
    psychotic episode, basically, well, it was like I was blacked out (I had never been "blacked out" before or really since), almost like sleepwalking and doing really weird shit like putting toothpaste in the kitchen sink and losing my glasses in the trash and crap, and talking all kinds of crazy stuff that didn't make any sense. My parents were concerned and after everything wore off later that day they decided to have me start seeing somebody. I had already been to see therapists in the past, and had been on antidepressants at various
    points, and the whole thing began again. The therapist had no idea what to do with me and the psychiatrist put me on more drugs. I promised to never overdose on antihistamines again, and I haven't. Believe me, it was no fun at all, there is very little recreational potential in antihistamines (for me). It was more like being poisoned into a sick-flu delirium type deal, like having a fever and being delirious. it sucked.

    anyways, life went on for a bit until July of the year 2000, when my parents really began to discover how ground in I was and how severely this tar baby had gotten stuck to me. I ordered a bag of 100 grams of
    pure DXM (you only need about a half gram for a trip, so that would've been around 200 trips worth). It is not illegal to order pure DXM, even in 2000 though before the company would sell it to me for "research purposes" they made me record a voice recording of me saying I wouldn't use it for any unauthorized purpose, etc. Anyway, they sent it to me. I managed, barely, to intercept the package as it arrived at the house, but everybody knew something was going on and were suspicious. The next day Final Fantasy IX also came in the mail, everybody was gone, I was taking DXM powder without having any idea of how much I was taking, and I basically became an emotional wreck and was all fucked up while playing final fantasy IX in the living room
    when my parents came home, and they were just like, hand over your stash, this is over. And I handed over a nearly 100 gram bag of pure DXM. And they confiscated it and later dumped it. I bitterly regret losing that bag and I still daydream about having it. Man, what a waste! Only to save my life! Why couldn't they have not taken it and let me rot with it forever.

    So, I had a big emotional type breakdown and cried for a few days, trying to recover from my self-induced 5 year coma. There was gum in my hair and my teeth were a mess and damaged. I got my hair cut, my beard shaved off (the only time I've ever had a beard was during those few years), tried to straighten things out. I continued doing DXM on the sly, waiting for everyone to go to sleep then sneaking out the window, walking all the way up to the store, all the way back, sometimes in very bad weather, every time the walk was exhausting and impossible to continue to do but I did it because I had to have my DXM. I flew under the radar. No one really noticed. I wasn't going to college anymore, at 25 I guess, I started working at Kroger's, but it
    wasn't the local one I got busted at, it was a bit further away and was a bigger, Signature store. I worked there a full year at just above minimum wage and I never got the raise they promised me. We were graveyard shift stockers and it was a very difficult, manual labor job. Many times would my shirt be wet through from the sweat and during this year I managed to fuck up my back. I wasn't friends with my co workers, but they accepted me as a fringe outsider. Still, they all went for drinks after work (which would be 8 in the morning, lol) but I was never invited. The manager who controlled us often came in drunk. Everybody was pretty wild but got along.

    While working at that Kroger's I was making real money for the first time basically ever, and that was a lot of freedom as I had been broke a while. Mainly it was MY money. So of course, all the time while I
    worked there I'd buy DXM after work and take it as soon as I got home, working then tripping on dxm than going back to work the next night without any sleep. I was pushing my body to the breaking point.

    So, about DXM again. There were many brands, that changed over the years, although the Robotussin was a constant brand, the others changed a lot. Eventually a brand called Coricidin: Cough (for high
    blood pressure) came out about this time. It is still stocked today. (This was during 2001 & 2002 though.) The problem is that not only did I have very low blood pressure already, but Coricidin has this really
    weird antihistamine in it designed for people with high blood pressure. Of course, they don't expect you to take 40 pills, either, which I did, frequently, every few days, for the DXM, but the antihistamine that was combined with the DXM was very bad for me. People have died from doing what I did, there have been several
    fatalities, so, it could have killed me, considering I was doing it ALL the time.

    So I was mainly taking the Coricidin, and it was changing the nature of my DXM trips in very weird ways. I had already long been taking higher doses of DXM to get the same effects that I used to, except
    instead of the same effects I tended to dose too high, where you wouldn't really get euphoria and instead you just get really confused. So, I spent a lot of days in a state of severe confusion, disorientation, and short term memory loss so bad that I'd cry in frustration looking for that joint I put down 15 seconds ago and now
    couldn't find where it is, search for an hour for it and finally find it, weeping with relief that I could go smoke my joint now. All of this was the way it was when I started taking Coricidin.

    I started having really weird full-blown hallucinations while taking my dangerous Coricidin trips, like that I was floating up in a satellite in orbit with the Earth spread below, and that it was this super-advanced satellite that Earth didn't know about and it was used to control all reality on earth, you could move the controls around to see anywhere on earth at any time, into the past or future, and all the major prophets and stuff were up there controlling and observing the Earth. Really weird. Once I saw the end of the world, where Russia attacked and nuked Israel and a nuclear war started and it was all really detailed and like I was seeing it like it was a movie.
    A lot of this was some weird fucked up delirium from the antihistamines reacting with the DXM.

    Then I had my first heart episode thingy, because of the stupid Coricidin. I was having some hallucination while tripping, it's hard to explain, but it was like I was seeing this giant glowing flower that was opening up, and it was right near me, and I was trying to put my hands or arms around it, and as it was opening it was pulsing in a regular rhythm, and I began to realize the pulsing was growing more intense and that it was my heartbeat, and I tried to draw back from the flower but it was all sticky and it took a great amount of effort to do, anyways, somehow I had gotten into a feedback loop concerning my heart beating and it was pretty intense, I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but I was OK.

    Times had changed. This was in around 2001-2002. I had already gone through the primary phase of my addiction and was thoroughly in the burnout stage. I still used DXM regularly, every three days or so, sometimes back to back days. I had long been scrounging for money and I was just a mess after giving up the 100 gram bag of DXM. I was taking anti-depressants again and I was rotated over time onto different ones, being on each one probably six months. I wound up on a medication called Cymbalta.

    I was on Cymbalta perhaps four years, like 2004-2008, had been on antidepressants for many of the years preceding.
    The problem with this is that during all my years of seeing therapists
    and getting antidepressants I was using high levels of DXM. There is a chance for serotonin syndrome if you combine abuse-level dosages of DXM and regular dosages of SSRIs or MAOIs. I probably did go through some of that; also, the antidepressants tended to inhibit the potency of the DXM. Yet, you can't just stop taking your antidepressants - you have to taper, and even tapering can be horrible. So I continued to
    take them even thought they weren't helping me, either from chance or more likely because I was fucking with my neurotransmitters with DXM at the same time.

    Sometime during this period was when I got "caught" shoplifting again. AGAIN, my second time for trying to steal DXM, my third time being nabbed on ANY shoplifting, and all three times I was nabbed I wasn't charged and was just let go. Thankfully!

    Basically it was the same Kroger's I had been caught shoplifting 4-5 years before, how stupid of me. They had banned me from going in when I was originally caught, but over the years I started going back in just to buy regular stuff again and had no problems, management had changed. I went into the kroger's with a shitload of change, nipped from my parents' changejars, with the intention of buying some dxm, and stealing some more dxm. I poured all the change into the CoinStar machine and it added it all up and gave me a little coupon thing that you turn in at the register for the credit. Then I went and stole some dxm by getting a cart and walking throughout the store picking up stuff in the cart so I wouldn't look suspicious. Anyways someone noticed and while I was in line he told me to hand it over, so I gave him the DXM. He kinda looked like a plains clothes or maybe just store security but he seemed on the professional side, in either case. He told me to leave, and I was like, fuck, I have $10 on the CoinStar coupon that has to be cashed the SAME DAY and it was night already so I basically lost the money on it AND had no DXM! That sucked....

    That was actually probably pre-2001 right there. In 2001 I think it was (I have a hard time with the order and dates of when things have happened) was when I started working at the other Kroger's, the signature store on Normandy Drive. That was hard, it was the only real job I've ever kept. I worked there for a year and they worked me like a dog for $7.50/hr. Some weeks I would work 50-60 hours, and this is
    all manual labor stuff, stocking shelves, crushing boxes and stuff. Pain in the ass, but my obsessive/compulsive side that loved to sort was ALL into it. I already talked about this job some... but I did steal DXM all the time at this store too. Sometimes I bought it, but most of the time since we worked graveyard shift I would wait until about five in the morning and go get a shopping cart and go through all the aisles picking up all the leftover crap and I would head to the pharmacy side and drop some dxm in with the trash and leftover stuff in the cart, then wheel it to the back and steal the dxm. Anyways, I did that a bunch of times, at least ten times, stealing it, I mean.

    I had long since stopped taking the damaging combination of drugs in Coricidin, once I read about them online. I probably took Coricidinfor 4-6 months. Then it was just the Robotussin cough syrup, a somewhat foul thick liquid that tasted pretty nasty/sweet, but I had grown to love the taste over the years and could just chug it 4 oz down in one or two gulps without any chaser or anything. Plus it had lots of alcohol and other additives and stuff in it like thickeners and stuff that just really made your digestive system active. Is that the right word?

    So finally they came out with the Robotussin CoughGels that were just pills of liquid gels of DXM, and you only had to take 20-40 of them to get high..... a lot of pills, but no bad taste, and I got used to swallowing three gel pills at a time, knock all the pills out in ten minutes. Very practiced at my profession, yes I am.

    This was a time when my parents were worried, I was seeing people for help, I was on the antidepressants, my brother had stopped going out all the time and was staying home as much as he could to watch over me like a hawk. Many times would I be patiently waiting for him to go to bed, waiting until I was sure I could leave, sneaking out, getting dxm, then coming home and finding adam or worse my dad waiting for me. I always made sure to take the dxm on the way home after they confiscated it once. I was doing everything I could to keep taking it, no matter how many betrayals or lies it took.... I mean, I wouldn't like steal a credit card, or anything like that, but just small amounts of money that wouldn't go noticed. Over time they began picking up on this, making sure the purse isn't being left out of their bedroom at night, etc.

    Lots of suspicion and paranoia and nobody could figure out how to stop me from doing what I was doing, besides kicking me out or something, and they weren't going to do that. Eventually Adam began honing his instincts towards my intoxication. I was to the point where I was taking very low doses of DXM all the time and it would leave me in a somewhat drunken, slightly-slurring, slightly intoxicated state, and he got to the point where he could ALWAYS tell when I'd been using.

    So, up to this point, circa 2007, I had never done opiates in my life. I think I might have had 1 script of vicodin once, but it didn't make too much of an impression, I mean, I wasn't going to go out looking for pills, you know? I had my DXM.

    So while Adam and I were alone in the old house, I was continuing to struggle with frequent DXM abuse and Adam kept catching me doing it. Things were getting hairy. Adam was very strung-out over all my problems and how I kept betraying him and sneaking around and always doing it.

    My teeth had basically fallen apart, a lot of them, and I got a realllly bad infection in one of them. I had been getting dental infections for quite some time. Sometimes they would go away. Sometimes I had antibiotics and I would kill it off without going to the dentist. This time I tried to hope it would go away, used all the home remedies I knew of, and it kept getting worse. The pain was excruciating, unbearable. The swelling grew up my cheek and began pooling into my eye socket. I knew I had to go see someone.

    I went to some random dentist. (I've gone through many dentists and most were horrible. I've also never had a GP since I was like 10). The dentist checked me out and told me he couldn't do anything for me; he advised me to go to the emergency room. I didn't say it, I should have, but I was like, what the fuck, you know I am in a shitload of pain, a huge amount of pain, and you won't even help with antibiotics or painkillers. ESPECIALLY the painkillers, he knew I must have been in a huge amount of pain, AND he knew I would have to go to the emergency room where I would have to wait at least 6-8 hours for any pain relief. But he didn't do a damn thing, he let me walk out and sent me on my way. Damn him.

    So I had to go to the fucking emergency room. I sat in a lobby for a long time before they even saw me, then they talked to me, and I had to go sit and wait again. I had no insurance. I waited about 8 hours before they FINALLY gave me 2 vicodin, which only helped a bit. Those 8 hours were really horrible. Then I had to wait another 2 hours and they finally gave me a prescription for 20 vicodin and said to come back the next day. No antibiotics.

    So I was OK that night from the painkillers but I had to take quite a few to help. (had never really used vicodin before; had no opiates problem yet, only the DXM). I went back the next day at like 8 in the morning, had to wait like 3-4 more hours. Finally they call me in and say they are extracting. I'm like, uh, I have swelling into my eye, this is going to be painful. Well, it was. It's not family dentist or anyone who actually CARED about my pain. The stupid guy was on a schedule. he gave me one or two shots and didn't even wait for them to really take effect and he tried to pull it. I was basically screaming and he's just like, relax, but damn, that was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced when he pulled that tooth. It was my left canine. The torment was unbelievable and I was on like five vicodin I had taken, it cut through everything and smacked me sober. I was crying when I walked out, crying hard.

    So they gave me another prescription of Vicodin and that was it. That adventure was over.... but never get an infected tooth pulled in the emergency room. Besides, they charged me like 1,500-2000 for everything.. when the dentist could have done it for almost a tenth the cost; but he was too scared because of how bad the infection was.

    So after that happened then we moved here, where my parents had already been getting everything all home-like and everything. I told Adam, I'm going to try to stop the DXM, moving to a new house is a fresh start, I'll try to change. Of course I tried; it didn't work.

    So it wasn't long before I was sneaking out at night and walking to the Randall's (2 miles each way) and buying more cough syrup. I kept getting caught. I remember one of the times I was walking home at 2 am and rain started pouring down. I came home and I was soaked to the bone and freezing and Adam and my Mom were awake. The stupid dog had woke them up and they couldn't find me. They were so mad.

    Another time during this period (May-August 2007) I walked at 2am down to the Randall's but before I could get there Adam pulled up next to me in the car. I was so pissed that I hadn't got the DXM first... -_-

    So Adam's pulling his hair out, he's done everything he could try andI still won't stop.

    We had been working on a system where I could use DXM every 2 weeks or so as long as he supervised me and I promised not to do it elsewhere. This didn't last long; I kept sneaking around. But there was another incident. Another heart incident.

    It was pretty traumatic for me AND Adam. It was an "authorized" dose so I was allowed to do it, I was so excited to be able to do it with his permission; him, he was willing to try anything to get me to slow down, not use so much, etc.

    So I took a fairly large dose and everything was alright but weird until I peaked. Usually you peak on DXM about 2 hours after you take it, and like I said I always smoke a joint around the same time to maximize the peak. Adam was on my computer played Civ 4 I think, and I was on his computer (since his puter didn't have civ 4 he had to play on mine). Anyway, I guess I was peaking and laying down on my stomach on the ground (his monitor was on the floor, he's crazy that way) and I suddenly felt like my heart had stopped beating, or something had happened with my heart. Actually at the time I was convinced that a heart valve had gotten stuck and I was about to die. It sounds weird and I guess it was the drugs; but remember, I had had another heart episode a few years before with the Coricidin, the beating sticky heart-flower thing that somehow I had gotten into an internal feedback loop with my heart, etc.

    So this was the second heart incident, and I got up shouting and hitting my chest with my fist and I came running in to see Adam and I was screaming My heart, My heart, I'm dying, and I was totally flipped out off the wall manic apeshit crazy. And he was hugging me and saying goodbye pretty much and I was in such a manic state I licked up into his ear, gross as it sounds, because I was doing anything to be able to touch my brother while I was dying, I was convinced I was dying. And then it was over, I sank to the ground in his arms, and nothing happened. Life continued.

    This hurt Adam a lot. It was almost torture for him, because he believed as well as I did that I was dying, and afterwards he just got really angry and hurt and upset, and I don't blame him. Anyway the rest of the night was fine but we decided that I wasn't going to do DXM any more.

    Then I see this article on the internet. About this guy who got into poppies. And that gave me an idea.


    I started thinking, well, I can use the poppies instead of the DXM. I mean, you're not supposed to abuse DXM more then every month or two AT MOST and I had been using it for over a decade, every three days or so. I was a wreck, totally burned out, heart problems, teeth destroyed, life destroyed, just everything fubar. All my energy levels were depleted and I was having a hard time (basically the way I am now).

    I talked to Adam about it and he reluctantly agreed. I set up a schedule of when I could take poppies to combat my DXM addiction. Then I began ordering poppy pods.

    It didn't take long before I was doing it all behind Adam's back, and for a few months it was pretty great. Then it started to suck as I had to use it to prevent getting sick. This was all of 2008.

    I would run out of poppies, order more. I was eating it all the time, no longer making tea except every once in a while; instead I was just swallowing the powder by the spoonful. All the time, every day, just to keep from getting sick, occasionally using more than I needed, so I could get high sometimes. I would basically be up for 2 days then crash and sleep 18 hours. This cycle went on for a long time.

    This was about the time I kicked Cymbalta. I knew a lot about it through research and decided I was fucking done with antidepressants, possibly forever. There's so many bad things about them. I know they do a lot of good things for my Mom (who is also on Cymbalta, among other things like Abilify) but they have fucked me up. So I was like, OK, I know how bad it's going to be, but I'm going cold-turkey off Cymbalta without seeing my psychiatrist.

    Man, this sucked... really bad. It's funny how the drug manufacturers fight so hard to be able to legally say, ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE NOT ADDICTIVE, but by all major medical definitions of the word 'addiction', they are. They cause withdrawals when you stop taking them. They don't call this withdrawal, even though it is. they call it "sudden discontinuation syndrome".

    You get LOTS of bad things happen to you when you stop taking Cymbalta: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and possible seizures. These symptoms are generally self-limiting but have been known to be severe.

    The worst was the electric shock sensations through your limbs ALL the time, it was really shitty. Also, brain zaps: they suck so bad, especially when you move your head or turn your head even just a little bit then you'd get electric zaps through your brain and down your body, it was really bad.

    So I went through this for a couple of weeks of increasingly severe symptoms to the point where I was in agony, couldn't function, and desperate. I finally went and saw my psychiatrist, and he put me on wellbutrin right away. I begged for some anxiolitics, something like xanax or something just for a few days during the transition, but he refused, So i had to suffer for a few more days until the wellbutrin brought all my levels back up again. Heartless bastard, not knowing what it was like, fuck him!!

    So I was on wellbutrin for another 6-8 months and then I quit it cold turkey. It was not nearly as bad, but it still sucked. And I haven't seen my psychiatrist or any other therapist since, and haven't been on antidepressants again. This was late 2007.

    In the fall of 2008, about a year ago, I began getting these heart issues. I'm not sure exactly what it is, I'd have to look it up again, but it's not fluttering, or murmurs. You know how, sometimes, like once in a blue moon, you'll feel your heart stop for a second, you'll hold your breath, and then it'll continue pumping with an extra-hard beat? That's normal. It happens to everyone every once in a while. But I started getting these attacks of them. Some evenings I would get the "missing beat" feeling like every 3-5 minutes for a couple of hours or longer. It would bother me before going to sleep.

    I think part of this heart thing was wear from the DXM, but the codeine/morphine was antagonizing it from the lower blood pressure and general depressed respiration.

    I got these heart episodes mainly through the fall of 2008, then it stopped and hasn't noticeably happened in 2009. This is a relief to me, but I'm still very concerned about my heart and the drug abuse.

    I guess we may as well get into the last heart incident.

    So, I've had all these heart issues. I had NOT USED DXM for almost 2 years except for just 3 or 4 small slips. HUGE DIFFERENCE compared to the every 2-3 days regimen I'd been keeping for over a decade. So I was basically OFF THE DXM but now I was totally addicted to opiates - in their natural form (which means codeine and morphine, but lots of weird other substances in the poppies, like thebaine). I had been spending more and eating more poppies and it was getting ridiculous as my tolerance increased.

    And of course Adam and I tried more schedules with the poppies and it didn't work, I kept getting around it and getting my fix instead of following the 'rules'.

    Finally Adam persuades me to kick in June of 2009. It was really bad, I've already gone over it with you before. It was horrible, really really bad. I basically didn't sleep for over a week and I'd hate to have to go through ALL the bad SYMPTOMS and HORRIBLE WITHDRAWALS like I did those 2 weeks. NOTHING would comfort.

    FINALLY kicked the opiates for 13 days. Started using again. Told myself it would be once a week, twice at most, knowing I was going to fail. Then Alvin and Dale come over, and they INSIST I go with them to their place for 2-3 days. I bring all my opiates of course, and pig out on them, and then when I got back home later, I was back in the daily habit again. Of course, it wasn't their fault, it was my fault, but it was a trigger to set me off. Anything would have done it, it wasn't realistic for me to expect that an addict could chip once a week and hope not to get addicted (with poppies, 1 time a week is pretty much guaranteed not to give you dependence; the thing is, sticking to once a week, lol.).

    OK so I was struggling with the opiates again, eating them all the time.

    As you know, I walk down to Kroger's almost every day for cigarettes. One of these days I walked past the cough/cold aisle, just looking, yeah right, and they were DISCONTINUING the Robotussin COUGHGELS from Kroger's and they were on sale for half price. Well of course, I started buying them, and bought a bunch. Then I saw they had the ZICAM MAX COUGH MIST SPRAY they normally you would use to spray a little DXM in your mouth to treat your cough, but what abusers do is take the lid off the spray bottle and just drink the contents: it's extremely concentrated DXM. It was also being discontinued and was half price.

    So my temptations gave way, I began fantasizing about DXM. I bought and tried some and it was just OK.

    One of the reasons why I had quit the DXM 2 years previous was also because of the tolerance. Over my decade of use most of the effects now were non-existent; I could drink a 4oz bottle of syrup (for a naive person would be a strong moderate dose of fucked up tripiness) and I would basically get like a marijuana type high with nothing else, it really sucked. It's called "losing the magic" and happens especially with DXM, opiates, and ecstasy. Actually with ecstasy and DXM abusers refer to the idea as the '50 trip limit', as in once you take that many doses then that's it, the magic is gone and you won't get it back. In actuality, it's the '50 trip limit' because anyone doing it that much doesn't wait long enough between doses (should wait at least 2-4 weeks between trips), and their tolerance slowly rises.

    So anyways, the whole point is, my "magic" (remember my Golden Years, how I raved about how good they were?) had long been gone with DXM and I was just kind of using it to not feel shitty, which of course the DXM use itself is what fucked up my brain to feel shitty to begin with (besides my natural depression and other problems).

    When all this DXM went on sale at Kroger's, I tried it once and it was just OK. Then I tried a higher dose and it brought me to a higher plateau (there are four plateaus when taking DXM; each one has very different effects). The magic had come back because I was hitting the upper second plateau again. I got all the old effects, almost to their old potency. The intense euphoria and all the other effects (insight, feeling of genius, other world, movies being real, etc) were there. I was playing Diablo 2 and I have played hundreds of hours on that game and last month when I took DXM Diablo 2 was, seriously, like a whole other game. It's hard to explain, but it was awesome.

    So I was having a great time with the magic having come back, and I was doing it like twice a week or so. The thing is, NOBODY COULD NOTICE that I was doing it because I was taking second-plateau sized doses, and Adam's HAIR TRIGGER where he could always tell I was fucked up, it wasn't working, because he was trying to sense me on first plateau doses. For example, slurring. I would not slur on these higher doses so it did not give me away. NO ONE HAD ANY IDEA I was doing it again, ON TOP of the opiates, too.

    So I played around with this stuff for like two months until about four weeks ago (around August 20th 2009). Then the next heart incident happened.

    This part, like a lot of my autobiography, is difficult for me to write about. First, it's impossible for me to convey to you how traumatic this experience was for me. In many ways it resembled some sort of heart attack. This was NOT psychological in any way; it was very physical. I did NOT overreact, or anything like that. It was very REAL and scared the living shit out of me and I thought I was going to die, for real. I just can't explain how devastating it was. Secondly, this just happened about five weeks ago and it's very fresh on my mind and I'm still really traumatized by it. Still, however I describe it, you can't know what it was like without experiencing it yourself.

    I had taken a fairly large dose of DXM, probably my 12th or so time since I had relapsed the month before. I took 680 mg, a rather extreme dose in a DXM-naive individual but a moderate dose for me, enough to get upper 2nd plateau effects. Again, it happened when I was peaking, about 2 hours after ingestion. I had just smoked a joint and come into the house and I was curling up on my chair and beginning to continue my Diablo 2 game.

    I began getting a weird sensation, actually it was hearing-based and I was like, what was that sound? Then I started having these weird internal reactions in my head, almost like a buzzing electric shock that was extended, amplified, whatever. This happened for a few minutes and after it ended I was like, wow, I think I just had a seizure, which I think is what it was. I had had minor ones with DXM use in the past that I maybe had not recognized as small seizures. Anyway, this seemed like a real seizure.

    Shortly after this happened, my heart got all fucked up. I don't know how to explain it. It almost felt like a burst, or like something held in place let go. It was almost like a bubble had formed outside the heart and blood was pulsing into the bubble. My heart was _sloshing_ in long, loud rhythms that were deafening in my ears, and I had a lot of pain in my upper chest. My left arm felt swollen and was extended out a bit from my body. I can't explain it more than that. I was freaked out, gonzo, this had never happened before and it was unmistakable that something had gone seriously wrong. I was walking all fucked up and I knew I was having some sort of episode.

    So I managed to get downstairs and I went and had a cigarette and that only helped a slight bit but I was a wreck. It wasn't that my heart was beating really fast, or anything like that, it was sloshing in an extended beat that was unlike anything else ever. It felt like my heart was coming out of my chest with every beat and it was painful and more than alarming, I was up in arms, I was totally freaking out.

    So I thought about it a while and debated and wanted to call 911 and wondered if I was going to die. This went on for about 20 minutes. I wanted to wake my parents up and see what to do. I kept going to their bedroom but hesitating at the door. Finally I opened it, but then I shut it again. After deliberating I went in and woke them up. The way they woke up and everything that transpired at that time caused me much shame and embarrassment, how they woke up and had no idea what was going on and how I had to explain everything about the DXM use I'd gotten back into and what was going on.

    My dad being a nurse, he checked me out, basically said, you haven't fallen over dead yet and it would have happened already if it was going to. He totally believed me and agreed that it wasn't just some psychological panic attack, it was very real and very similar to a heart attack. My mom went back to bed after we decided I would wait it out.

    I was afraid to sit down for two more hours because of the condition I was in. Near the end (the whole episode lasted about 3 hours), I was getting a very strange feeling, vast electric shocks going through the nervous system from my brain down into my right leg, down to the toes. It was horrible, it felt like dying. My heart also changed what it was doing and began to... vibrate. It was very scary for me.

    Then all that stuff stopped, and I was back to just tripping on DXM. So my Dad stayed with me the whole time and we talked very frankly for like six hours straight (helped that I was all at ease with no inhibitions since I was high on DXM). We worked out a lot of things, I was very honest with him and it opened up a lot of social barriers that had been interfering with our relationship.

    At that point I had to face my reality that I could not and should not ever do DXM again. I know I probably will, but I'm determined not to for as long as possible, hopefully for a number of years. This makes me very sad and angry. I know I had long since had all that I deserved from this drug but I want to be able to go back to the DXM universe (the 'dextroverse') more in the future, and that door has been shut against me because of my actions. So, yeah, it sucks.

    Since then (five weeks ago) I also kicked the opiates again, although it was very "mild" (ha!) this time, and now I've been dealing with all the post-acute withdrawals stuff, and determined not to buy more DXM. It's right there, at the store, right now, and I want to buy it right now. Five bucks, I can go get kind of fucked up. But it could KILL ME and I don't want to go through ANY MORE HEART EPISODES it scared the living shit out of me.

    I know you will say, well, maybe it taught me a lesson. But addiction tends not to teach lessons, it just grabs your heart with its inky black fist and squeezes until you die!!!

    tyrus568 added 58 Minutes and 7 Seconds later...

    Oh, yeah... this was my friend's reply:

    "Obviously, you know you have a problem... a critically serious problem, which will kill you if you continue to engage in it. It scared you enough to get you to stop, but you know you'll get urges again. In fact, you're still feeding your addictions with the poppy seeds [you bought 10 oz you've been eating] even though you know you shouldn't be doing it. You need to encapsulate your feelings that you have about dying right now... Get it all written down. On a piece of paper that will fit in your wallet or anything else that you carry on you all the time, write down the words "If I use again, I am going to die." When you get the urge, remind yourself of that.

    Your family knows you have a problem and they're deeply concerned about you. None of them want to lose you. They go out of their way to try to support you, because they know if left unchecked to your urges, you ARE
    going to die. Maybe even on your next flirtation with DXM. They're all making sacrifices, trying to give you strength. Lean on them, they'd rather have you ruin their day or week than have you die. Tell them that they need to go to the store with you, or you will be tempted and you will relapse.

    Get yourself into a NA support group. Yes, it goes against your avoidant grain. Everyone there is fucked up, just like you. Nobody is going to look down on you for being timid or an addict. Get your chip and start counting your sobriety. It is paramount to your continued existence that you remain sober. They don't give a damn about the [redacted] thing and it doesn't need to be brought up. You use because it is an escape from the anxiety and fear you carry as an avoidant.

    You're getting arrhythmia, it's only a matter of time before your heart gives out if you continue to use. Chances are, the nerves are already damaged. You may need a pacemaker before you hit 40 to make sure your heart stays in rhythm.

    You need to get better... again, you NEED to get better. This isn't something you can put off. You can be avoidant your whole life and still get by. Your body simply can't continue with the way you've already abused it if you continue to abuse it in the future. See about filing for medicaid, you should qualify given that you have no income. Unlike unemployment, they aren't going to try to force you to get a job, they'll just verify that you can't support yourself currently. You'll need to contact your county department of social services for that. Once you get that, get yourself a physician. Tell him about your abuse, leave out the opiates if you want, so you can continue to get pain killers in the future since you're worried about that. You need a physical and a cardiac exam pronto. The doctor isn't going to turn you into the cops for your drug abuse, he's going to try to assess the damage done to your body and get you the help you need to correct and/or live with it."

    And my reply to him....

    First, it's humid as hell out here and I was sweating a lot walking to the store because it's 80 degrees (at 11:30 at night) with 95% humidity.. :( the walk is only like a half mile each way though. there was hardly anybody outside, which is pretty unusual. Didn't buy any cans of poppy seeds or anything like that; you'll know if I fuck up... I'm not going to lie by omission... but fuck up I'm sure I will. -_-


    It's not like I haven't been involved already in trying to understand my addiction and whether I should quit. I don't wanna quit. That's the problem, I'm very unhappy obviously, but I can't face the fact of quitting. My dad says that he thinks about me a lot everyday and has dreamed that maybe someday I'll just be struck like paul on the way to damascus and have some kind of spiritual conversion. He just doesn't want me to be unhappy and distressed.

    I'm having a hard time living from day to day. I can only try to focus on the day I'm in yet I'm having a hard time. I can't look to the future at all because then I'm looking at that commitment to quit. I'm pretty committed to stopping using DXM for as long as possible, but I doubt it will be the rest of my life. Quitting DXM isn't so bad as long as I have something else, i.e. opiates, sure. But quitting opiates too I have a hard time dealing with, even though I know they aren't the best thing for me. So I can only tell myself that I'm taking a break for a couple months, and that I'm going to get some poppies in december maybe. So if I can stop taking the poppy seeds and not have anything until december then, shit, that's good progress.

    Yep. even though the poppy seeds don't do shit for me but make me slightly less uncomfortable. and then slightly more uncomfortable a few days later. I shouldn't be doing them at all.. I am not going to do them anymore as far as I can help it.

    The main thing I want for me is not doing DXM. The opiates, well, I don't know, all 3 heart episodes were when I was peaking on large doses of DXM. Then I had all the heart arrhythmia episodes during the fall of last year, which all those episodes I was not using any DXM and I was on the opiates, so it seems like the opiates are, at the minimum, not helping with my health and could be contributing danger to my heart. Don't know for sure. The DXM I am very committed to not using for as long as I can.

    Another thing I wanted to say was that I'm considering posting on the drugs-forum.com part of the epic Saga, just the parts relating to the drug abuse, and see what various people have to say. with a tl;dr version. :p

    I don't think I can do this [referring to keeping a card in my wallet saying I will die if I do DXM]. I hate myself, why would I believe anything I wrote to myself. I can't depend on myself to do anything. Thank you for the advice, but to tell the truth it just seems cheesy to me, it's the same thing with AA and NA, I have a hard time tolerating it. I've been to AA for my problem, I know what goes on there. It doesn't seem to help me. I don't want to do the 12 steps. I have to work it out by trying to find support down different avenues.

    I relapse all the time. Once you realize the fact of relapse, then every time you use anything you also receive a complimentary large does of guilt. Because you know now that you can never, ever, just have it for fun anymore, with innocence; instead you are just deepening the dependence, digging a little deeper into your shallow grave. Recovery is rife with relapse.

    My family does do a lot of things for me. We've gone through all kinds of my shit because of my addiction, for a long time, and for a long time I lost a lot of trust they had in me, but things have gotten better. I know they love me. My parents love me unconditionally as far as I can tell. My brother loves me but he's also gotten jaded and resentful towards me in the last few years... understandably, but he has thawed a bit lately, still, he's been hurt a lot from my actions, so I can't blame him.

    I don't know how to lean on them beyond a certain extent. I've tried various ways, but I can't betray myself, I can't be like yesterday, going to kroger's, adam wants me to go in and get book of stamps and gives me a debit card, I can't tell him to come in with me. He would be so mad, but mainly it's: I made the decision I wanted to get them [poppy seeds], I can't then betray myself. Sometimes I have in the past, sabotaged myself so I can't get drugs, but rarely. (my heart literally skipped a beat here, wtf... hopefully an anomaly)

    I doubt I would go to NA, as they can be breeding grounds for drug contacts. I have been to AA, but admittedly only one time..

    My equivalent right now is the drugs-forum.com. There's a lot of good support there, just no face-to-face contact...

    I don't need the chip. I know it's a physical symbol, but I can count my own sobriety, if I was crazy enough to be dedicated to hard-line sobriety. I don't plan to stay sober. If worst came to worst I would drink alcohol to relieve myself, but weed is a better alternative. I couldn't take life sober. Fuck, I would probably do something drastic. But even if I didn't then my life would be full of boredom and misery, you know, kinda like yours. Which I know isn't fair for me to say....

    Sure, I'm miserable now, but if I was sober I'd be more aware of how miserable I am, and life would be a little emptier. People have to have a release valve, you say I should never take any drugs recreationally again, yet you know I am a troubled emotionally arrested [redacted] confined to his house 95% of the time with all these avoidance and anxiety issues. What else am I supposed to do? I've looked at a lot of options. I'm too comfortable where I'm at. I need to make small changes to really influence my life.

    [Referring to heart failure] Sure, it's always possible, but you're no doctor. At least it's not the heart fluttering; people who have that heart problem, when the heart flutters, that's how it creates clots that eventually years later release and cause embolisms in the brain. But I don't get the heart fluttering; my heart was just skipping a beat more frequently then it should be, which I guess is arrhythmia.

    [Referring to getting help NOW] Of course I could put it off. Then I would probably get another heart incident, and if it was anything like the last one it would be really terrifying and nasty. It could or couldn't kill me, it could just damage me to where I would really regret it.

    I'm committed to not using DXM for as long as I can. I'm interested in possibly getting more support and help for my opiates problem, but I'm not sure what to do about that yet.

    [Referring to getting Medicaid] See, but I can't force myself to do it. It's too hard and confusing, and awkward and everything else. I'm not sure if I qualify for medicaid, living with my family and being above poverty level. My dad still files me as a dependent on his taxes.

    I feel so bad. I feel like such a dick. See, I go through and tell you all this stuff, all my problems, and then I ask you for advice, and then when you tell me what to do, I whine, "but that actually involved work!" and just want to run back into my room and close the door.
    "need to contact your county department of social services for that"
    and that, I just don't know if I can do that... how to do that, if it's by phone that sounds like it could be hard phone conversation to have.... I don't know...

    About the doctor, I just don't have any money. My parents do, but just letting me see the dentist is pretty expensive when it's all cash no insurance.... I think it was 250 last week and we were lucky since they didn't charge us for the nitrous (75) or the x-ray they took (prob 25 or so).

    My dad has mentioned something about a Gold Card for east texas. WhichI have no idea what it is, I don't think it's medicaid, but I need to look into that too as that could help me find a doctor we could afford. I don't know, I need a cardiac exam. I don't know about doing this part, though, because even mentioning the DXM abuse, I'm reluctant to do that.... I don't know.....

    Well like I said I may make a long post on the drugs-forum and just kind of see what people say; some of them are really good at what they do, and I'll weigh it all together.

    Getting help is the problem, deciding what help is the best for me.... I have to want to quit. That's what it comes down to..

    [friend has not replied to this message yet.]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2014
  2. missparkles

    missparkles If you like crazy you've come to the right place. Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jun 2, 2009
    from U.K.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Sparkles doesn't know what to say, she was blown away by yous honesty and insight. Thank you for sharing that.
    Seems like he knows what he's gotta do, so there's not much she can say. Don't forget, you're family are there to support you, so use them.
    Sparkles is a good listener, if he needs to talk, feel free to PM her.
    Well done for getting that off your chest.
  3. anonuser30500

    anonuser30500 Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    May 9, 2009
    48 y/o from U.K.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Thanks for the informative history of your Swiys addictions.

    I did not know what DXM was, but he does now.

    Your family sound like real nice folks, and it can make the difference when people go through addictions, just to have people who care.
  4. EyesOfTheWorld

    EyesOfTheWorld Silver Member R.I.P.

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 6, 2008
    from U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    OK. I will be honest that he didn't read the whole thing. He's dope sick and looking at the screen too long is physically painful, but he read the intro and snippets of the rest of it, and has a bit of advice to offer you.
    First of all, don't beat youself up about not having money and living at home at 32. It sounds worse than it is. Especially in an economy like this one, many people are finding themselves in the same or similar situation, and many of them don't have the "excuse" of drugs.

    Full disclosure: I have money and ways to get more money, but he too is currently living at home at 32, due to his last roommate and him clashing over SWIM's heroin use and the roommates habit of stealing cocaine from SWIM (said cocaine was intended for sale, to pay my rent. I am still going to fuck up his ex roommate). In my area its common for landlords to want first, last and security, job references and a good credit report. SWIM can get the money but the other things are far more problematic for him.

    He and his parents have an agreement. He spends as little time as possible at home, they leave him alone about his recreational activities and in return he does work around the house and leaves them alone about THEIR recreational activities, which primarily center around heavy drinking and tramadol and percocet abuse. Not too different than SWIM tbh.

    OK, so yous situation sucks, but it's not forever, and many other people, SWIM included, are dealing with situations that are similar or the same.

    On to DXM. SWIM definitely had a peiod of heavy DXM abuse. This came about partly due to not being able to source other drugs, part due to cost, and part due to the fact that at the time, his girlfriend and many close friends were fairly strongly anti-opiate and anti-cocaine, so I had to find a different "hobby". He took DXM at least 3-4 times a week for about 2 years. He never got to the point of stealing it, or feeling that he was physically "addicted", but had he reached either point, he doubts it would have made him stop. However, when he did decide to stop, he did so abruptly with minimal if any discomfort other than cravings. This indicates that DXM is not all that addictive, at least physically. Mentally may be another story. It's not fully known if DXM is physically addictive. It may bind to opiate receptors and cause an issue in that way. A good way to test if this has happened to You is to take a smallish dose of a reliable opiate, enough to get a non-tolerant person high, but wouldn't really effect an addict. Poppy seeds are far too variable for this, I would use about 20 milligrams of oxycodone, orally, or 25 milligrams of hydrocodone, also orally. Before anyone jumps on SWIM for this advice, he is not encouraging the OP to develop a new habit, merely suggesting that opiates are a valuable tool in determining whether DXM has any physical hold on a person, and they are.

    OK, if it is determined, as SWIM predicts, that there is not a physical addiction in play, it's time to stop the DXM. Just quit. If withdrawals do happen, it's not as though the stores will stop selling DXM. Find other things to do. Get active, go out with friends, find work, get laid, play music, just keep busy, busy. If You doesn't want to quit all drugs, just DXM, fill the time that used to be occupied with DXM, with nonaddictive drugs (yes, I am aware some of these may have mental compusions, he is talking about "addictive" in the strictest definition, no drug is without risks.), such as marijuana, psychedelics (after a period of letting ones brain get back to normal), MDMA etc. Definitely not a good idea to pick up opiates, other dissociatives, cocaine or alcohol.

    Report back to youus.
  5. tyrus568

    tyrus568 Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 29, 2008
    40 y/o from Rochester, NY
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Thanks all of you guys. Miss Sparkles, I've read quite a lot of your replies and you've always seemed a good-hearted person. You seem to care about people. Just, sometimes what you say isn't necessarily what I like to hear, if you know what I mean, but you don't pull punches as to what you think. You seem to think I understand most of the options available to me, which I guess I do. I'm just not sure what I should do.

    Eyes of the World, I just read your reply. I'm pretty sure it's not physical addiction, although in the past it may have been. Yes, my main thing is the cravings and the nothing to do. My problem is I've been self-medicating all my life for my avoidance disorder and the social anxiety. I've worked with cognitive behavior therapy and "exposure" therapy, but my avoidant side is difficult to overcome... it makes it very hard to do anything. Thanks for all the advice, though. Sorry to hear about your problems, they sound a lot worse than mine.

    The below is more out of the notebook I found...


    I'm committed to not using DXM for as long as I can (I have to make the choice to use it, it's not going to just happen by accident obviously), but I have a hard time giving up everything (i.e. opiates, but "just" poppy pods, which really suck as the withdrawals tend to be worse).
    Should I see an addiction specialist? I have an idea of what he's going to say and he'll probably just want me to go to a support group and put me on something horrible like naltrexone or something. METHADONE? Don't really want to do it, that's pretty scary. I don't really have the money to go see somebody like that probably, so I guess the answer is no.


    My friend wrote back about my last response. It's below. I'm being quoted.

    You can't quit until you decide that you want to quit. It's that simple.

    The odds are pretty slim that you'll just wake up one day and stop. It does happen though, that's how EQ [EverQuest] ended for me (ok, so it was one night instead of when I first woke up).

    yes, it is... BUT that's not an excuse to let yourself relapse... "oh, well, we relapse all the time, so I know I'm going to relapse. I'm just waiting for the right time." You're setting yourself up for failure.

    and if you continue to abuse his trust, he's going to get jaded again. At some point, he will give up and distance himself, figuring you're going to do what you want to do. You're going to feel abandoned and your use will become rampant again, likely killing yourself with it.

    He's not going to get mad if you go "Adam, do you mind coming in with me? I know it's inconvenient, but I'm really craving right now and I need you to help give me strength to keep from relapsing." He'll understand. You're doing the avoidant rejection thing here, "oh, he's going to reject me if..."

    that's really what matters...

    I got your follow up on this [I apologized for saying his sober life sucks], and I have to state that I wasn't hurt in the least. I know this is your addiction and fear talking. That said...

    My life DOES suck, hard. But, I am actually experiencing life, in all its glory and hell. I may not be living my own life since I'm living the life other people want me to rather than what I want for myself, but I am living. Drugs are an escape from life, not a life of their own. The euphoria, hallucinations, etc aren't real, though they may seem to be to your brain. They make your problems fade for a while, but the problems never really go away and, as an added bonus, the drugs compound those problems with new problems (your health, the worry your friends and family go through and how it changes their relationship with you, etc).

    Find less harmful outlet... get a hobby or twelve. There's a reason why I keep myself busy all the time. When I get bored, agitated, etc I start needing an escape. I want to take a vicodin and get a buzz, I want to drink alcohol and get fucked up even though I know depressed me + alcohol is bad, I start thinking about various ways of killing myself, etc. Or I can fire up QuakeLive (forgot that in my list of games I'm playing) and go frag some people for a couple hours.

    When you tell them about your DXM use, just tell them that it is in your past and you stopped using a while ago. You still get occasional heart pain and arrhythmia and are concerned about it.

    If you aren't going to quit, all the help in the world won't save you.


    That letter above was a friend's reply to me. Not sure how to take his advice. I've always felt you shouldn't ever tell a medical professional that you abused drugs, in any form, over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs. I think he is being naive; he is not an addict, he does not take any drugs even though he has a healthy supply of them in his possession for his dad's chronic pain and he has been tempted in the past to take some but has not (I believe him due to other details, you'll have to take my word on this one).

    He's thinking NA, get the chip, go for complete sobriety and I'm like, wait, hold on a minute here, no weed or nothing? But my main thing is the poppy pods, if I have the poppies I can get by without DXM, but I can't use the poppies, so I'm kinda fucked. I can't get by without nothing. I can't see facing life sober all the time, it's too hard. I am not a grown-up! I didn't sign up for this shit :(

    EDIT: I just wanted to make it clear that I don't really have a dependence any more. Well, I'm dealing with the post-acute withdrawals from a chronic poppy pod habit, and it's sucking bad, but I'm not taking anything right now besides a few slips with poppy seeds.....
    Anyway just wanted to say I'm kind of in the addiction spot and not the dependence spot. Thoroughly addicted, sure, but not in danger of withdrawals any more or anything like that. It's just not wanting to use DXM, and the poppies are a crutch to avoid using DXM.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2014
  6. guntroll

    guntroll Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 18, 2009
    from U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Well Swiy's been off of it for 5 weeks. That's a good start.

    Swim's been in out-patient. It sucked, he took the info with more salt then healthy. Few there took it serious, but he did learn two helpful things.

    Playing the tape: It's not as working in my case except for alcohol. For Swiy, it's gold. He's already had heart problems for it, he needs to tell himself that if he does it, that he knows this can happen again.

    Relapse is more likely the less one does: If someone has nothing but time to kill, it's very likely they will use again. If they don't have the time to do drugs then the problem is basically solved.
  7. Smokey420

    Smokey420 Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 29, 2007
    37 y/o from New York, U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    I also have a problem with DXM, using on and off for the past 2 years, magic lost and re-gained, last using it...yesterday at a dose of 360mg. SWIM combines DXM with xanax all the time, and can walk straight on 400mgs+ unless combined w/ weed. I use xanax when sober to combat long-term dissociation,social anxiety, and loss of his normal "up-beat" personality. I had stopped using for a whole 6 weeks, dreamed of relapses, and said to himself he'd stop for atleast 6 months to get rid of all long-term side effects. SWIM once stopped for 4 months straight after a 4 month all-out binge doing it over 60-70 times in that period,quitting because the last trip of that binge may have been the last time SWIM walked on earth,a daangerous combo of DXM and antihistamines sent SWIM heart rate to 180 for an hour with intense panic and anxiety.

    All I can say is keep a positive attitude, you WILL get through it, and thats awesome you could stop for 2 years straight! Don't go back to it, your exactly twice my age and I'm burnt out as fuck too.

    If you want to get high, use illicit drugs, weed,mushrooms, maybe LSD once in a while, but DXM is not an option. i'vve never tried mushrooms or LSD, I would if I had access... opiates can be very addictive in place of DXM ive tried this and it can turn to everyday fast...avoid stimulants like cocaine,adderall,meth,shit like that since your heart is bad,that'd be worse than DXM itself.

    It's hard, very hard for me to believe I did 6 weeks off it only to do it again, relapsing.....life will be much better once your off it and the long-term effects are completely gone.
  8. guntroll

    guntroll Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 18, 2009
    from U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Nothing compares to DXM when it comes to the heart rate. I was arrested on Dex and alcohol and they were convinced that I did a big dose of meth (they didn't know about the dex). He forget what it was, but it was fucking ridiculously high.

    Still wouldn't be recomended unless for someone with heart issues although 15 mg of ritalin wouldn't be bad.

    The thing is with acid, is that it's more euphoric then dex. It takes control of you in a way that dex can't. It doesn't have nearly the psychological dependance though. Which would normally be good, but afterward the trip is done you still crave DXM just as much as you did before. SWim did a low dose of acid recently and still wants DXM, though he has no intention of doing it.
  9. The Dreamer

    The Dreamer Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jun 11, 2008
    32 y/o from U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Wow. My friend has struggled with DXM. Not doing it makes him feel like there is just nothing in the world that matters and no chance for real happiness. But using it makes him go crazy and feels like he will have a heart attack. Life is scary and he will soon be a father; a gig he is not willing to mess up. He has been clean for quite some time now. I sincerely hope my friend can stay clean. Good luck.
  10. tyrus568

    tyrus568 Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 29, 2008
    40 y/o from Rochester, NY
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Thanks for all the support and everything. I hope things get a lot better for all of you, too, and everybody keeps fighting the good fight.

    This might've been coincidence but I found this somewhere... from the journal of a friend that i found.


    this is the most recent reply from my online friend I've grown close (friends) to. I'm the one being quoted...

    [I relapsed today. 350mg dxm. It hardly affected me at all, very little response, and I only took it after a lot of self-hating and internal ambivalence and struggling... I had a dental infection all this last week that was really bad and I'd been taking vicodin this whole last week under prescription... but had run out yesterday]

    Naturally, it's what I go through. I felt really bad before, during,
    and afterwards... there's only brief respites where I don't feel like
    shit/guilty.... and that was for about an hour right in the middle
    (11am?). The rest of it is pointless and deprives me of even more
    energy and will, it really sucks!!

    It's not something I want to go through. I can't handle this much
    longer. It's crazy how you keep expecting there to be a limit and
    there isn't. I mean, like the feeling where you're so fatigued you
    keep expecting to just fall over, but you don't, it just continues to
    suck but you manage to survive. And that's the way it feels, shit, it
    feels like I'm a mule in the tracers and the drivers keep expecting me
    to die any day now but I haven't yet, just implacably going on, and
    on.. it's fucking torture and it sucks.

    I'm about ready to do something, I can't handle this. Maybe things
    will calm down but I'm having my doubts..... the cravings are
    terrible, all the fucking time. I want to order some poppy pods but
    don't have any money. If I had some then I wouldn't be tempted to do
    the fucking dxm. But... just, having nothing at all, is pretty
    intolerable... I don't know what to do....
    and the more you feed it, even with just the poppy seeds, the longer it will drag out. The more you give in, the more you will want more. Even now, you're hoarding money - for what purpose? To buy some more DXM or poppy pods once you get enough? Or failing that, to sneak some more seeds so nobody knows? I doubt you're going to "waste" it on ice cream or soup when you know your family will gladly buy it for you.

    Things aren't going to calm down until you stop listening to and enabling your addiction. Even then, the addiction has a strong grip on you and it's going to take a long time before it isn't the first thing you want to turn to when the going gets tough. You HAVE to turn to your family and friends first... You have to find a way to put the addiction in the background instead of letting it take control.
    of course you are the only one who knows I did DXM this
    morning........... I just don't have much reserve (energy) left. I
    can't keep fighting it when I don't have anything to fight with or
    I'm there all the time too... I just don't have the fight left in me anymore... it's what I've been doing my entire life, fighting everything in an attempt to just be normal. So, that's why I've withdrawn. It's easier for me to rot in my home office than it is to face the world. I'm not winning any more than you are, we're both hiding in our own way. That said, your activities are going to end up killing you.

    I half-heartedly want to quit because I cannot live being sober. I
    know what it's like. I feel like I'd have a hard time choosing between
    being sober eternally and death. I mean, it should be an easy
    answer... right... and I guess if I had to choose between death and
    sobriety I would like to think I would choose to live.....

    I can't separate the addiction from myself. When it's telling me to
    feed it, if I don't feed it, I'm the one who suffers. So I can suffer
    for a while, I can endure all of it for so long, but eventually I
    can't suffer anymore, I have to do something. I get desperate. I can't
    ignore it.

    I'm just whining, even if I'm saying, kill me now or hook me to a
    morphine drip, please...
    You can beat the addiction, it's just trying to convince you that you can't. You're like the battered spouse, sick of being hurt by the one you love all the time but afraid of living on your own because the world is a scary place and "better the devil you know than the one you don't." If you don't quit, you WILL die, likely in the near future and whether nor not you care to be alive, the people around you do care. You might feel like shit and you might feel like nobody wants you and that you're just a drag on society, but to the people that care about you, you're part of what makes the sun shine for them. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for them. Ultimately, that's why I didn't kill myself during my suicidal phase. Not because I had nieces, they weren't born yet, but because I knew that my mom and dad's entire lives depended upon me.


    So that was his advice to me - and he's given me lots more advice in the past couple of weeks. I CANNOT KEEP DOING DXM. I did 350mg today and I could barely tell I had done anything at all - and there were no heart incidents - but it is just soooo stupid to do it after I've had problems with it.... but living without that OR any kind of opiates is tearing me apart..

    As I said, this is from the journal of a friend that i found and related here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2009
  11. guntroll

    guntroll Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 18, 2009
    from U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    I'm not surprised he's doesn't feel 350mgs. DXM tolerance more so ups the threshold then anything. Last time Dickwizzle did 450mgs he didn't feel anything and got 300mg more so he could feel it, crappy trip. I wonder if he'd feel it now since he has been doing it much less.
  12. tyrus568

    tyrus568 Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 29, 2008
    40 y/o from Rochester, NY
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    This is also from the journal of a friend that i found. I'm feeling depressed and anxious and thought it might help to post this.


    See, you were doing ok... then you got the vicodin last week and it's all
    been downhill since then. 65 vicodin later, minus Adam's cut, and you're
    What do I want? I want to escape this shitty existence.
    There are two ways to escape it... one way leads to certain death, the other leads to something better but doesn't come with any guarantees other than the guarantee that you're going to have to do a lot of work to succeed at it. Nobody can make that choice but you. If you continue to flirt with the drugs, you ARE choosing the first route, not opting not to choose at all.
    There's nothing I can say to you. This is an addict's great circle of
    life. I have to have something, I keep telling you that, but you keep
    insisting that I don't have to have it. If I didn't have to have it I
    wouldn't fucking steal from the greatest person in the whole world, my
    Because you don't HAVE to have it, your addiction has just convinced you that you do. Billions of people function every day without narcotics. Tens of millions of former users, even users that used a whole lot harder than you, are walking around without continuing to abuse. But, you will have to continue using until you decide that you want to live your life rather than wait for the addiction to kill you. Again, only you can make that choice.
    Am I feeling depressed right now? Cravings? Am I wanting to kill
    myself over it?

    If this were just a dream then you could come get me and show me how
    to do it, how to quit. I need someone to do it for me. I'm not going
    the inpatient route, I don't have any money anyways. I feel like
    nothing helps but I want some mothering, some babying, I need a
    guardian to stand at the door for me... I can't do it myself, I can't
    hurt myself to get out of this thing.
    Most places do have low/no cost inpatient rehab. will it be a 5 star resort? No, but you're not there for creature comforts, you're there to kick your habit. I firmly believe you're capable of doing it, I think you can even do it without going the inpatient route, but it's not me that has to believe in you, it is you that has to believe in you.

    And they aren't going to baby you in rehab, they're going to be strong and in your face, tough love type stuff. They aren't there to baby you, they're there to help you get the monkey off your back. They won't enable you.
    Yeah, I'm in trouble. The DXM doesn't even get me high.... I would
    have to do double what I have to be satisfied, right at the dose I've
    had the heart incidents on. I'm scared of my heart condition. I can't
    live life, I have to turn my back on it. I want to keep burrowing
    deeper underground even if it is poisoning me.
    Apparently, you aren't scared enough or you wouldn't even be flirting with the DXM...
    I want to get close to you because then you'll take care of me. I
    don't want you to be mad at me.
    I'll be frank, I can't take care of anyone, I've got my hands full already between having to take care of my dad, two nieces, mom and sister (note, I didn't say anything about myself since I don't take care of myself either. It's part of my self-hate relationship with the AvPD and [redacted] stuff.)

    That said, I'm here to listen when you need someone to, provide guidance for you, to try to be a friend, to hopefully give you some type of strength and to be blunt and honest because I think you need that more than anything. For as much as you keep screwing up, for as often as you ignore what I say, I know some of it is sinking in... once it does, hopefully, you'll have the internal drive to help yourself.
    I want to be a good person. I don't want to hurt anybody or be hurt.
    I'm willing to let the world spin on by itself without me, I'm just
    too scared to take any action to hurt myself. I'm not isolated or
    batshit enough to kill myself. I do want to be around, I just hate
    hate hate going through all this shit.
    Whether you kill yourself with a syringe full of bleach, a 12 gauge to the mouth or a bottle of DXM, you're still killing yourself... and the DXM is probably the hardest and most painful way of doing it.

    And regardless, your death will hurt the people who care about you... Your mom, dad, brother, local friends and even me...


    That was him above talking to me. I've had a horrible infection in my canine that has netted me lots and lots of pain but also lots of vicodin this past week. This has just made things harder for me.

    Relapsed again (like three days after last time or something). Acquired another 350 mg DXM. It won't even make me feel anything... until later, when I'll be all depressed and wanting to shut this machine down again...

    He talks about rehab, but really, I'm not dependent on anything. I'm just in paws and have all the cravings and can't get myself out of this rut of doing nothing and being too demotivated to care. I'm feeling really crummy. Is that a kid's word? Since I'm in a state of emotionally arrested development, I tend to think, want, act like a kid. I just want to be taken care of and for someone to come fix my stupid head.

    As I said, this is from the journal of a friend that i found and related here for advice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2009
  13. Ilsa

    Ilsa Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 18, 2008
    from Tennessee, U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    please note that this is an educational harm reduction and recovery oriented site, not a mental health network. we lack the background and qualifications to help someone who is suicidal or thinking of self-harm.

    This thread explains further and lists other places that offer such help.


    best of wishes, and nto to be mean or harsh, but to direct you to a resource that is more appropriate.
  14. MrG

    MrG Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 22, 2006
    from earth
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    I would like to add that the OP may be better off examining his environmental stress and origin of his psychological malaise. Heavy DXM use is simply drug abuse, plain and simple, and if he only focuses on problematic drug use as his sole issue it will not address the causal connection between a dysfunctional environment and failure to stop abusing his drug of choice.

    Growing up in a strongly religious family is rarely a story of appropriate balance, nurture and support for the young mind. More likely it is one of inappropriate behaviour from trusted adults leading to betrayal of the child and toxic stress. Child abuse isn't always about violence or sexual abuse (although you'd be amazed at how many people are now talking about sexual abuse suffered during childhood that they are only now recovering memories of). The acceptable face of insanity (religion), instils in children from a very young age the false constructs of God, Satan, Angels, Heaven and Hell etc. In strongly religious families this is likely to be a point that is repeatedly used as a tool to instil fear of damnation in order to control a child. This heightened state of fear alone, in that the child can never escape it, is just as likely to cause a degree of toxic stress as actual physical or sexual abuse.

    Sustained exposure to toxic stress is now known to actually physically impair the developing brain. Cortisol is a corticosteroid hormone or glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal cortex, that is part of the adrenal gland. It is usually referred to as the "stress hormone" as it is involved in response to stress and anxiety, controlled by CRH. It increases blood pressure and blood sugar, and reduces immune responses.In normal release, cortisol has widespread actions which help restore homeostasis after stress. But in a situation of repeated or constant stress, this cortisol strongly, and negatively, affects numerous aspects of brain and body physiology.

    Wikipedia has an excellent article on it, I suggest you read through.

    Moving from physiological to psychological factors, you may benefit also from reading up on a condition known as C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It encompasses a wide range of personality disorders and is now recognised as being the result of a child being raised in a dysfunctional environment, particularly due to the sustained stress and inability to escape the situation.

    So, while I agree that this is not a mental health forum and we are not in a position to offer any professional advice, I would at least feel that it is worth highlighting certain aspects of stress related physiology and psychology. After all, I bet my left nut that the reason many people are even on this forum is related to drug use as a result of causative factors from childhood, even though most of them may not know it yet.
  15. Electrolingus

    Electrolingus Platinum Member & Advisor

    Reputation Points:
    Mar 5, 2009
    from ukraine
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    This is in response to this thread as well as yous post in the What to expect when starting methadone MT thread...

    In a nut shell, You is caught in a never ending search to fill a hole with what ever is available. Methadone will not solve this problem. It may fill the void (the symptom) for a short period of time, but it won't fix the problem (the cause). Most Methadone clinics will only accept those who test positive for opiates or opioids and have a history of chronic relapse. Until the underlying cause is addressed, the search will continue. Sorry to be so blunt.

    Due to yous prolonged use of Coricidin, it is possible that the Chlorpheniramine has caused a cardiac abnormality, and in turn, is causing the fainting spells. It is important to medically address any symptoms of this nature open and honestly. Many hospitals will write of treatment expenses for both physical and mental health issues for those who can not afford it.
  16. tyrus568

    tyrus568 Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 29, 2008
    40 y/o from Rochester, NY
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Well, SWIM's DXM abuse problems continue.

    I have continued using to relieve the feelings of drowning and starvation, typically every 2-3 days. Many times I do not get relief from his 350mg usual dose, like, any relief. I have been hesitant to do much more than that because of a few weird heart episodes that almost seemed like heart attacks.

    SWIM finally got some financial aid from his county and saw a doctor, who administered an EKG and found nothing abnormal, then set him an appointment for a deep heart echo scan for early next year.

    SWIM's new doctor also set SWIM up for an appointment with a (non-addiction) psychiatrist and a (non-addiction) behavioral therapist, both for January... so I have all of December to look forward to.

    SWIM's new doctor also set him up for an appointment with a social worker, whom SWIM met. The social worker was nice and recommended calling a certain addiction therapist. SWIM called this therapist only to be told she was not taking new patients at the moment and who recommended a detox center that is about an hour's drive away.

    I am hesitant about the detox thing, as he knows a 5-day detox will do nothing for him; he has managed to suffer through eight days on his own earlier this month, and was still suffering from the same effects (feeling like he is dying). So he is not sure what they would do with him; also, the detox center is the only state-financial-assisted center in the region and is in a dangerous area of town.

    I am now three days without DXM and has been suffering a lot (by the minute). He doesn't know what to do. He has agreed with his parents (who he lives with) that he isnt allowed to leave the house on his own anymore. I am climbing the walls and has no way to relieve himself of his agony. His coping skills aren't working (the only ones he knows - stay busy, tell himself the cravings will pass - but they don't pass, they are ever-present).

    I have been going to NA (narcotics anonymous) for the last two weeks and has been five times so far. He has hated it, but it has temporarily (~hour) helped him, even though it stresses him out a lot to be around so many people.

    SWIM wishes he knew how long this was going to last; at his best guess he is thinking 12-20 days for the worst effects, but he doesn't know.

    So he thanks everybody for their advice. Environmental effects are a concern; he doesn't have a lot to fill his time with, and he is well aware that the worst thing an addict can have is too much time, but his apathy and fatigue and inability to force himself to do anything has constricted his opportunities greatly. He is unable to distract himself.

    So, ya, I have been having a really hard time and can't believe that he is only psychologically dependent on dextromethorphan, but must believe it, because he is well aware of the two weeks he spent kicking his 2 year opiate habit in July of this year, and the suffering was pretty enormous. Yet, he says this feels like that, but only the 'jumping out of your skin' and 'wanting to break windows and smash chairs' feeling of turning into a wild animal. When the cravings become so critical that he can feel it as a physical thing in his head, can analyze the texture of the pain/suffering, and feels like he is starving and will drop dead any moment.

    Oh, well. He's sure others here will scoff and tell him to do it by willpower alone. It's what everyone around him (all non-addicts) tell him to do. But NA and pure willpower don't seem to be really helping...
  17. Kamuix

    Kamuix Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Sep 9, 2008
    28 y/o from Canada
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    I also have grown up with AVP. he was a very socially awkward person especially through school and still is however he's gotten much better. taking a close look at the problems with someone with AVP allowed him to kind of.. figure out what he really needs to do and fix.

    All through high school I was considering himself inferior to everyone.. I could never understand how people could socialize so well. I would watch every move to make sure no one judges me and was affriad to say almost anything in fear of being judged. but because I was so nervous when he tried to talk he would freeze up and end up sounding like a retard, assumed to have gotten the worst possible judgement and over and over imidiately lost all self esteem.. This was my life all through highschool. I had little amount of friends and was only confortable talking to people VERY close to me. Like my house family and childhood friends.. that's it! everyone else.. I would get nervous around and try to act a cirtain way, and fuck it up. So i was never really myself because i was trying to act a cirtain way.

    Is this simular to how you felt? I'm still half like this.. When in public i always look to see who's around.. I fear judgement from anyone from ages.. like 13 - 25(i'm 21) Uhg and when i look at a young person and theyre looking back at me.. Aug i hate that. This whole nervous thing was one of swims best excuses to use DXM in public.

    But this is about you not me. i just thought i'd share a short AVP story since i rarely talk to other AVPs. Swim wishes you the best!
  18. tyrus568

    tyrus568 Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 29, 2008
    40 y/o from Rochester, NY
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    This is slightly off-topic, I know, but I tried to send you a PM, Kamuix, and it said you weren't accepting private messages, or weren't allowed them. So I guess I will post the reply here.

    (the below was narrated to me by my pet frog.)

    Hey. I saw your post.

    It's pretty similar for me, I suppose. Growing up I always felt socially outcast and avoided anything I didn't absolutely have to do.

    Talking with people, they usually cannot tell that I'm avoidant and anxious. I tend to have a good outside persona, but inside it is very stressful for me and I avoid talking to people at all costs... so I guess it is different for me and you.

    Even if my friend, who I've known for almost 20 years now, comes over, I get anxious and need something to self-medicate to relieve myself.

    I suffer from some other problems like social anxiety, depression, and I'm obsessive/compulsive. I'm sure I probably missed something :p

    The DXM thing... well... I have to say I felt like it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It was a great escape from myself. But where I'm at now.... damn. I suffer all the time from the cravings, and boy are they more than just 'cravings.' I don't know how to get out of the mess I'm in right now, but I've been making big steps.

    If you read my tale, you probably know that I'm basically a loser :p A lot of it is the avoidance and the social anxiety. I don't make friends, I don't go out, I don't have any money, I live with my parents. I'm on the computer all the time.

    Still, I'm making some big steps... going to see a doctor, trying to make my addiction known. Because for me, it's definitely an addiction... and I want to use forever, for the rest of my life, and I can't.

    I also feel like my development has been arrested and I stopped growing in a lot of ways since I was a teenager. Being avoidant and always using DXM and being by myself has meant that I haven't been exposed to lots of new experiences... sure, some, but I've definitely missed out on a lot of stuff.

    Where I'm at right now, I know I have to stop using for a while (every 2-3 days for 15 years has kicked my ass), but I can't see myself just stopping 'forever.' I can just tell myself, you know, I'll take a break for a bit. But living without drugs? man, that seems like the ultimate hell.

  19. kailey_elise

    kailey_elise Gold Member

    Reputation Points:
    Nov 3, 2004
    from Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    A detox center could be good; it can be easier to deal with cravings when there is absolutely no way to get one's Drug Of Choice (DOC on the forum, not Department of Corrections! *snicker*).

    Detox facilities usually have groups to keep the patient busy, and these groups talk about how to handle the difficulties in ones head when trying to stay away from substances - cravings, how to occupy your time, how to help get out of your head, saying no when you wanna say yes, things like that.

    Don't write off an in-patient detox just because you were able to white-knuckle it (force yourself to stay sober at any cost) on your own in the past. The counseling and intensive groups (not that the groups are necessarily intense, but having 3-7 of them a day is intense) can be helpful for many people.

    If one is not working at the moment, it's often an easy transition from an in-patient program to an out-patient program, which would be groups for X hours a day to help ease the transition as well as give one more coping skills & strategies. Most programs I've heard of are 4 hours if a day program & 3 hours if an evening program (which many can attend even if working), and vary in size from a very cozy 2 clients & 1 clinician to an obnoxious 15 clients & 1 clinician - one can ask around to see what the programs are like in their area.

    You can also get a referral to an out-patient program from a therapist.

    It also sounds like the person who wrote that notebook might benefit more from a dual-diagnosis unit if possible, rather than a straight detox. They should ask the social worker about this.

    Good luck

  20. Kamuix

    Kamuix Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Sep 9, 2008
    28 y/o from Canada
    Re: My tale of fifteen years of DXM abuse... ...and looking for advice like everyone

    Whoops *turns pms back on*

    Yea DXM does feel really good for those with anxiety. How long has You been without dxm now? is DXm the only drug he uses?

    I use dxm still now and then. but quitting IS hard. especially when he's.... floating way!