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Few things give another addict more hope than hearing of another person's success!

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Kim


I will start with a little bit about myself now..I am Kim C., 43 year old mother of 3 daughters. They are now 21 (twins) and 22 (my oldest) and all 3 live on their own, are doing well and are all 3 DRUG FREE!!!! I have been married 3 times and am presently in my 3rd of these. I came from a loving home, a bit dysfunctional, but loving all the same.. so none of this can be blamed on my Mom or Dad. They were easy going , laid back hippies who smoked a lot of pot but never really messed around with anything heavy after I was born. I just want to make it clear that drug addicts can come from all walks of life! I live in a beautiful 4 bedroom home in east texas with my husband, 5 cats, one guinea pig and a rat. I do not work due to liver disease from contracting Hep C . I had lots of surgeries and was given blood in the 80's and 90's so I dont know if it was from blood products or the needle. (they didnt test for Hep C prior to 1996) Now with that all said and you have your mental view of me as I am today, I can begin on telling you how I got to this point......

When I was a teenager, I was rebellious and wanted to try anything that was fun or dangerous looking! I wanted to drink the most, smoke the most, laugh the loudest and be the most liked person in our group! That meant a lot of daredevil antics and trying new things that MOST OF THE TIME, were not the best idea! So, when someone asked me to try something new, it was almost always.."sure!!!" I smoked marijuana first, due to the availability in my own home. I WILL NEVER ASSSOCIATE IT AS A GATEWAY DRUG FOR ME!! It is not the way it was at all. Alcohol was more of a lead in to the worse aspects of my addictive behaviour actually. I have seen medical marijuana help too many people as well...but, thats another subject alltogether, isnt it!? I drank heavily during my high school days, almost exclusive untill my senior year of HS. I left from living with family and moved in with my best friend . She & her friends introduced me to speed pills, LSD, , extasy, & powder cocaine. I was in love with the feelings the different drugs gave me.. some with the drive to dance or to laugh, some to just sit and watch the colors move! I loved to go to the clubs after taking the MDMA (real extasy was pure pharmaceutical MDMA then) & Id dance and dance and dance!!! It seemed I was invincible! What was the DOWN side I had heard so much about from everyone???? After moving from living with her, At 19, I went to my grandparents home in the country. It was a very small town but I had spent time in school there prior and had friends. A friend picked me up one night and took me to go to the next town over, which was in Louisiana. (we lived in Texas) After picking me up, we got into a severe car accident and I was in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks. I had broken bones, severe tearing of the muscles in my back and shoulder, open lacerations on my arms and hand, and a big cast on my right leg to top it all off. I was having horrific muscle spasms from my back that would send electric shock thru every part of my body it seemed. The doctors put me on morphine first , while in the hospital, then demerol, then finally sent me home on percocet, followed later by tylenol # 4(with codeine) and flexeril muscle relaxers thru it all. I noticed something about the pills that were so unique from anything Id ever taken before this...it made me feel so GOOD! I had heard that downers were usually a pill to make you want to sleep and be groggy , sort of a zombie all the time. But thats NOT how they were making ME feel!!! I wanted to talk and clean up things. I could have written a novel or illustrated a book after taking them! It was like nothing I had ever KNOWN! Later , after being in recovery ,I have learned addictionologists think that often people with a problem in their brain where it does not make enough dopamine or release enough of it, you tend to NOT feel good, as I often did. I tried many antidepressants but they never worked. Then to discover that the narcotic pain meds did EXACTLY what the anti depressants were supposed to do! I thought I had found the answer to everything! I continued taking the pain meds as long as they were willing to write for them. After this wreck, I also began having severe female problems. I had endometriosis and fibroid tumors, also ovarian cysts. These things were also very painful and required narcotics to be controlled. This was the point at which I think the real heavy addiction began. I had over 6 different surgeries for female issues over the next 2 years.. Each one required long hospital stays, each one needing pain meds prior to and after surgery. I started off on hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab, Hycodan, Norco) then they tried Stadol Nasal spray on me when it first hit the market. They used to tell me it was NOT addictive , boy were they WRONG!!! I was sniffing that stuff like crazy and it was 80.00 a bottle at that time and I was using a bottle up in about 3 days time. I continued until I had a hysterectomy at 24. I thought ok, no more pain, I can just stop taking all this stuff. That just shows how little I knew then! My first good bout of withdrawals hit and I KNEW quickly I had a serious problem to contend with. The shaking and twitching, the muscles jerking uncontrolably, the pain, the stomach pain,.. nausea and vomiting, feeling like my skin was made of fire! I wanted to die. I realised that It was due to not taking any narcotics and knew I had to get some, somehow. I knew in the past I had recieved a shot of Nubain and Phenergan at the local ER in the past for migraine headaches, so I asked my husband to take me. It took no time at all and they were giving me the shot and sending me home to rest. After that, I went to the dr. and got more prescriptions. Id use a twisted ankle, then a backache, then migraine headaches, dry hacking cough always won me a bottle of hydrocodone filled Tussionex syrup...I knew what to say for each disorder..even going so far as to drop a weight on my hand to bruise it in order to get meds! Crazy, right?! Not for me..I wanted to never feel those awful withdrawals again and whatever it took to avoid that, well, thats what I had to do! I went to the little dr there in that small town, mainly because he knew me and my family and would never turn me away. Hes always begrudgingly write for whatever ailment I concocted and tell me to "try and slow down a bit on these". The locals called him Dr Feelgood for a reason! I often wonder how many other addicts went to this same dr in that little town...

We moved away to a larger city about 2 hours away in order for my husband to find work. Evven thru all this I had hidden my addiction for the most part from family. They knew I was sick alot and Im sure they had their ideas but never once confronted me or asked any questions pertaining to it. So when I moved, I had to find a new dr. This wasnt as easy as it sounds. The media was catching on to the epidemic that had started getting larger. More and more , dr.s offices were asking that you sign a contract with them stating youd only get meds from them, and if you broke the rule they cut you off. So, I made sure each dr I went to was far enough away from each other and I kept a notebook showing which dr. went with which pharmacy so they would never catch on and call in on me when I picked up prescriptions. I had to write it because I had so many that I often forgot! I would also go to the hospitals in a 100 mile radius and get pain shots and small prescriptions of vicodin or darvocet in emergencies. By the time I was 30 I was taking 15 hydrocodone (my drug of choice) 10/650's or Norco 10/325's EVERY ^ HOURS...yes I said 15 pills every 6 hours... it would have overdosed just about anyone. I never took xanax or soma. I only wanted that opiate high. We moved to another state and I worked at a hotel as assistant manager, I was taking care of my girls and a husband. No ONE KNEW unless I told them! I didnt nod off in front of people, I didnt slur or stutter or miss work..I was normal upon appearance to the naked eye. I dont understand it to this day how I did so well. It was an illusion. I believe that my normalcy is what kept the facade going for so long. Finally, the dr 's I was going to began being looked at by the DEA.."pill mills" they called their offices and I began to panic! I stole a prescription pad from a dr's office one day , bought a nursing handbook that taught how to read the dr writing, bought a PDR to see what was what, and I began writing for myself. I didnt have to worry about the DEA number because the pad had his numbers pre printed on them AND there was no raised eyebrows because he already had been writing narcotics for me. I began slowly, boy was I NERVOUS that first time. It went too easily tho and the pharmacist didnt even bat an eyelash!!! I wrote myself 120 Lortab 10/650's once every 2 weeks at one pharmacy and 120 Norco 10/325's at another. I organized it where I could get 120 a week but even that wasnt holding my voracious habit at bay anymore. I got greedy and began writing my husband scrips for the same drugs, the same amount and weekly schedule as well. It was unbelievable that I never got caught any sooner than I did..yes, thats right, I got caught! Amazingly it took almost 8 years though, can you believe that!? I went to go to the dr to steal another pad and the DEA was in the back and got me in the exam room. I was taken to jail, booked, kept overnight where I was very very very dopesick. I even passed out and had a seizure but was ignored. I was given 4 years probation and continued to use, hiding my use with urine cleaning kits. In the end I was in terrible shape. ..I went to a neighbors house one day desperate for anything I could find. I had been sick for 2 days and he said he had some dilaudid, I started to eat the pill and he exclaimed "what are you DOING???" I said I was taking it and he snatched it away telling me I was WASTING his medicine...He rinsed the coating off of the 8 K Dilaudid, dropped it in a spoon, crushed it, watered it down, I knew what was fixing to happen but things were moving in a strange, almost cartoonish motion. As he put down the cotton and drew up my first shot, I was shaking, almost sick at my stomach with fear and excitement...he asked me to sit down, actually told me I should...it was all happening so fast! I was there yet not, like watching myself from another point in the room..I put my arm out, & let him put an old leather belt around my arm. I was concentrating on the buckle,a huge silver eagle, trying not to really look at what was going on. Then I felt the tiniest prick, a sting, and he said' youll be better in a second honey.." and I felt it begin. It was like the warmth of hot chocolate in your chest on a cold day..It went from my chest, to my head and then the rush, the calm easy smoothness that only an IV drug user knows...and from that moment on, I was a slave to the needle. I very rarely took another pill unless I couldnt find my dilaudis or oxycontins to break down and shoot. I wish I could reverse time...go back to that day, thgat moment and not go see my neighbor. But thats not reality, and thats not how life was for me at that point in time. I hid that fact from everyone I knew. Only a select few knew of my new found habit. I kept my arms hidden and never let myself be caught in short sleeves. After my 2nd husband and I divorced it only got more intense. I worked and provided for my daughters nev er letting on how horrible things truly were.

I eventually moved back to my home state to be closer to my immediate family and to get my daughters closer to them as well. Within 2 months of being here, not knowing anyone to buy from, and asking myself" what are you doing?????" I began to ask God for help. I remember saying that I either wanted the strength to stop or to please take me to heaven, because I couldnt possibly continue at the pace I was going. The next day I was watching television and a commercial came on for a methadone clinic. I had heard about methadone in my past but never taken it. I immediately went to the library and read everything about it I could get my hands on. Just reading peoples testimonies got me so excited. There were folks JUST LIKE ME that had been given a new lease on life. No more needles, no more pills, no more hiding and embarrasment...no more druggie lifestyle!! I thought I can actually have a way out. Then my old self said 'you know it wont work'..but thank goodness God was whispering in the other ear and told me it WOULD..I listened to God and called that very day. I was brought in on the 19th of February , 2004 at 8:30 in the morning and given 30 mg. of hope. Within an hour, I felt a bit more human, and by the following week, at 100 mg, I knew there was a brighter day in my future! I had energy, I had the drive Id been lacking, I was surprisingly PROUD!! I wanted to shout from the rooftops at how I had been given another chance! I wanted to find every person I knew on opiates and drag them to the clinic! It was CRAZY!!! But I was so excited to have been given this blessed chance to LIVE, I just wanted to share that feeling with others.

Now, Im on 120mg a day. I have advanced liver disease from contracting Hep C BUT Im not giving up!! I do think I am a rapid metabolizer because my dose isnt holding like it used to. I cannot go higher than 120 mg at our clinic even tho I have heard thats called dose capping and its wrong. I am currently looking for a new clinic, one thjat will work with my dose. I still have nothing but positive things to say about this medication. I dont think its a crutch, I dont thin k I traded one drug for another, and I dont think Im still using...no matter what the masses try to convince me of. I know everything I possibly can about this medicine. If theres been an article written on itt, I probably read it!! I dont believe the awful things that uninformed people try to say about this drug. It did not get named for adolph hitler ( its name is dolophine which translated means " no more pain"...) It doesnt rot your teeth or get in your bones..its medicine and Im dependent on it not addicted to it. I am in methadone maintenance therapy..a counsellor trained in addiction talks to me every month and I can see a dr any time I need to with any questions. This is a GOOD THING!!! Im ashamed of my drug addiction and the things I did then but I am DAMN PROUD of my recovery and the woman I have become. I am a better woman, wife, mother, friend, sister and human being. I owe it to the love of my family, my faith in God and my methadone treatment..I will never go back to that life again and you know what? Thanks to this medication, I never have to. Thank you for reading my story. If it helps even one person, then Its done what it should!

Kim C. "Cynna"
cynamyngrlx68@aol.com


Daryl


I'm currently in a methadone research program @ the University of Texas Health and Science Research Institute. It's a 6 month (free) research program w/free counseling and medication for heroin and cocaine abuse. It is a Godsend for me ! Not only do I get free counseling and med's. but they also pay me to attend ...$30.00 a week plus bus fare !!! In the begining I was there mostly for the free methadone and the 30 dollars a week for their research. But as I attended the counceling sessions I started to realize that I really did want to stop using heroin! and cocaine! For many reasons.

#1 Street drugs are dangerous (I've lost many freinds to overdosage-including myself almost)

#2 They are illegal and you could lose you're freedom-go to jail ! rhymes with hell!

#3 It kept me broke - too expensive!

#4 I'm tired of the madness of chasing the drug and some of the things that go with the pursuit of obtaining it -  such as shoplifting and other madness that I would not otherwise do !

#5 The trashy people involved with illegal activities.

#6 I could go on all night but those are the `main 5 reasons.

Anyway I Loved the way methadone changed all that! I don't have to worry about getting busted anymore 'cause methadone is legal. It also is much safer due to you always know what you're getting. I can afford it so I don't have to steal and such crap that I used to do to support my illegal habit (I hated doing those things}!!!

I now feel like a different person!!! I like myself again! I don't feel trashy anymore! I don't hang out with those trashy people anymore! I don't steal any more! (I never did like shoplifting - it scared the hell out me!!! But sometimes I did it to get well. Know what I mean?)

Thanks to my methadone program I am a honest functioning member of society again! If it was not for my methadone program I would still and probably forever be involved in illegal activitiy that I hated but could not get around from.

I tried to quit doing all drugs , it's what I really wanted , I tried hard but I always went back to opiates and pain killers. I now realize that there is something wrong with me, that will never allow that to be. I just don't feel good naturally! I don't understand why? But I know it will ALWAYS be my cross to bear -so to speak.

So I thank GOD that I found a way to live a normal functional life in society without involving myself in crime and undesireable company! I will be able to accomplish this by what is called methadone maintenace. I thank GOD and the federal goverment for allowing me to live a life without crime and to be a functional person in society! Thanks for allowing me to get treatment for my uniqe and real crisis!

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

From once again normal and functonal ...  Daryl



Jennifer...aka "Breeze"


I grew up in fear of my father and his physical/mental abuse. For some reason, he didn't beat my two sisters...just me. So, I grew up feeling like a "bad" person. My only escape from my dad was sleeping. So, at a young age I used sleep as a coping skill. I fell in love with sleeping. Which, unfortunately backfired, and I developed extreme insomnia. As a child, my pediatrician prescribed me placydil, and the addict was born. When I think about it now, I have no clue what that pediatrician was thinking when he gave a child placydil to take everynight for years. Then I did the "normal" experiementing in middle school and high school...cigarettes, alcohol, pot, lsd, mushrooms, peodi (or peyote...or ugh cannot remember how to spell it), diet pills, white crosses (speed like things), and I think that was about it. In college I was introduced to meth and hated it...so never had a problem with that. My new doctor in my college town would not prescribe the placydil...only trazadone...so I went thru some major major withdrawals. Still have not had a good nights sleep without it...except when I got introduced to heroin at about 20 years old.

I fell in love with a boy...a boy that I still think had an angels smile. He had been on a 7 year run with heroin. He had no time or room in his life for a girl like me, and he said I would "never understand him" so of course I got defiant and I said "MAKE ME UNDERSTAND YOU...give me some of that!!!" and thus another heroin addict was born. This boy felt the guilt. The guilt I have also felt. The guilt you feel when you shoot someone up for their first time and then end up a junkie. That guilt. So, one day he said to me, trying to get me to quit heroin, he said I looked really skinny and my arms and legs were all bruised and abcessed, I didn't care...then he mentioned all the money I had spent...I didn't care... Then he said these magical, life saving words, "What if I told you that you could have your smile back?" and I said, "I'm listening...." He took down a big ol' box from the closet. It was full of pamphlets and papers from NA and various treatment centers he had been in. He taught me, that night, about recovery. Quitting drugs had never ever crossed my mind. I didn't even have a single clue that quitting was an option. He got so excited tell me about this, and even more excited that I was excited. I wanted my smile back so damn badly!!!

The next day I checked into a detox center. Now, for the two years I used heroin, I never had to go a day without it...so I had never really experiened withdrawals. Two days into the detox center, I felt just fine...I thought it was over...so I checked out AMA...of course they tried to stop me...telling me I only felt well cuz of the meds they had me on...but I thought I was cured. Well, three hours after checking out I began full blown withdrawals. So, this boy that I loved...the angel...well, he gave me his last $80 for gas money and my first months rent money for a halfway house in Prescott. (I was in Tempe at the time) The very thought that he gave me all the money he had, instead of getting dope for him to be okay, I knew I HAD to go. So, I accepted. On my 60th day clean, he had died. I felt that it was my fault, cuz I had left. He had diabetes and couldn't keep himself healthy. That was my job. I checked his levels, I made him eat and drink liquids...and as soon as I left, he deteriorated.

I stayed clean for him. As long as I could. 18 months. Then, my brother in law passed away, and I actually felt so much pain for my little sister that I needed my old coping skill...sleep. Which, cuz of the placydil and then the heroin...I just couldn't get to that darn sleep mode, and I went back out....let's see...I was 24 then....I stayed out until I met my husband...which was 1997. When I told him I was a junkie, he said he wouldn't date me if I did it again. And, I didn't do it again...for a year or so...then I found pain medication helped a bit...did heroin again...he found out, and threatened to leave...so I checked into a rehab for the very first time in my life... this was uhh...let's see...I was about 29. They offered me methadone, and I took it. I've been clean ever since. When I checked into the rehab and then came home, my husband saw such a change in me that we decided to get married like two days after getting out of rehab. He saw that much change, and he really felt in his heart it was going to stick.... so one month out of rehab and on a methadone maintance program, we got married. I'll be on the program, clean & sober, and married three years this april and june.

Jennifer..."Breeze"

pauljencableonenet@gmail.com


Zenith


I started using opiates not too long after fulfilling my dream of becoming an RN, back in 1988. I was in my early 20's. I had suffered from depression all my life, and my life til then had been just basically unreleived misery. I saw others all around me seem so happy and fairly content with their day to day lives, getting pleaseure out of small things, and I never seemed to feel this way, though I tried to pretend I did. By this age, I had already been married and divorced TWICE, had a small son,and was married (a THIRD marriage) to an older man that I saw as a father figure--someone who could take care of me and my son. Love was irrelevant. He was a good man, seemed responsible, and that was all that mattered, since I didn't feel much in the way of emotions anyhow, except depression.

As an ortho nurse, I gave out lots of pain medications. On a particularly bad day, a patient said to me that he could really see why people got addicted to that stuff (demerol) because it sure made him feel good. I remember standing in the hall outside his room thinking "really?". It was a pivotal moment for me--and I "pivoted" the wrong way, lol! I drew up a syringe of demerol, stuck it into my thigh muscle, and waited. About 30 minutes later, an incredible sense of calm, peace and happiness floated over me. I felt energized, tolerant, patient. I was able to listen to my elderly patients complaints without getting irritated. I could get things DONE! I could focus! It was fantastic!

It surprised me, because I was expecting only to feel sleepy and maybe a bit nauseated, like most of my patients when they were medicated with this drug--but it affected me in the opposite manner. I now know that this was likely due to my lack of natural endorphins, probably from birth. Instead of sedating me, the drug merely brought my levels up to normal.

However, of course, this could not continue--and it didn't. In short order (2 weeks) I was caught signing out drugs for someone who was not even on the floor at the time. I was fired and shipped off to treatment. My use had been so brief I did not even suffer withdrawals. I went to a traditional 28 day 12 step based rehab. It basically involved lots of coloring and hitting chairs with nerf bats and psychological evaluation forms.

Well, to shorten a REALLY LOOOOOOONG story, I spent the next decade careening in and out of rehabs, getting arrested for prescription fraud, attending 12 step meetings by the hundreds, and trying my damndest to get a grip on my addiction as I progressively lost everything I had. I was in 13 different rehabs, several of which were jail or even prison based. I spent thousands, my insurance co. spent thousands, and the state of texas spent thousands trying to get me well, to no avail. Every time I was abstinent, my depression came back full force--worse than ever, because I had permanently destroyed whatever small amount of functioning endorphins I DID have by my years of opiate abuse. I tried every antidepressant on the market,almost, with no success. My marriage broke up (I had 2 boys by this time) and I got together with a man I met in rehab (naturally). He was (and is) a wonderful man--my soulmate--but he was a recovering heroin addict, and soon enough we relapsed and he introduced me to heroin, not too long after the birth of my third son. I loved the rush,and we did IV heroin together for about 6 months. It culminated in me going to jail to await a bed in a 10 month prison based therapeutic community (an utter nightmare). I was on MMT at the time--had only been on it for a few months and at a very low dose, and I had never stopped using. In the jail I found out I was pregnant. The jail refused to treat me for my withdrawals from the methadone and I lost my baby there. It broke my heart in two.

My husband tapered off methadone and was drug free when I was finally released 17 months later. He has been clean ever since. However, after about a year I relapsed yet again. I was so ashamed and so afraid that I went back to a methadone clinic, determined to do it right this time. And from that first day in October of 2004, I have been free of all illicit drugs. I got on a blocking dose so I would not be tempted to use opiates. I have never cared for other drugs, so they were not a temptation. I threw myself into learning as much as I could about MMT. I read, studie, went online, went to conferences, and met others who explained to me how MMT normalizes the endorphin systems of many long term opiate addicts. I finally felt normal. I could work, care for my family, and FINALLY feel something besides depression. Life was worth living for the first time. My family was delighted.

And that is my story, I plan to be a "lifer" and I don't feel that this is sad in any way. I am thrilled to have it available to me, and I treat this medication with the respect it deserves.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it, as they say!

Zenith


Louise


When I took my first opiate I thought WOW...this is the drug that can cure depression. I felt on top of the world, little did I know the end result. Hell I was just doing "legalized drugs" how bad could prescription drugs be. Little did I know just a few years later I would be doing the drug that some people call the "hardest drug there is." I think to myself now I am a real junkie. Now, heroin is my drug of choice, liking it too, another drug that I think is the best thing since white bread. I think everyone knows the drill...stealing, OD'ing, losing all friends that don't do drugs, family gives up on you, husband/wife/boyfriend is disgusted etc., detox, rehab jail,.....fill in the next word.

Then I hear about methadone. Can it really be a wonder drug, a way to get my life back. Yes, for me it was. Now the road was not easy for me. I do good the first year or so then I start mixing xanax with the methadone, you know to get that heroin feeling. The years came and go, I thought to myself I was only going to be on this for a year or so. Ten years go by. Child grows up, parent die, lost jobs, etc....

One day my brother who was also a heroin addict stops, and goes to NA. Wow, I think if he can do it can I? I went to the clinic that day and told my counselor I want to detox. I was then up to 235mg a day. Of course, I didn't start on that dose, but due to continuing to use I had to "dose up." I tell him I want to come down 2 mg a day. I did that till I got down to 50 mg. and, stopped for a month. I continued my detox till I was off.

My point is this, this was a journey for me. This is my story. I know in my heart if it was not for methadone I would not be alive today. Today, I am sixteen months clean from all drugs.

As I think can anyone do this, sure does everyone have to, hell no. As I said you do not have to be a lifer, but if you are, save your life any way you know how.

Some people look down on people on methadone, I think we all know this. With that said, go on your own journey, save your life and, if your fortunate enough you will also detox.

Louise

Italiangirl2211@aol.com



Billie From Maine


I'm a 32 year old female that was addicted to drugs for 10 years.   I started out taking my parents Soma's when I was 15. Then when I was 19 I started going out with a guy that smoked pot and was just starting to snort Percocet's.   I watched him do his thing for a few months and then I decided I was going to smoke a joint with him. I gradually went from that to the Percocet's,  Hydrocodone and then to Dilaudid's.   When we couldn't get high from the Dilaudid's by snorting them,  someone told us to try "shooting them up".   It was the worst mistake either one of us could make.   We were so addicted.   Where we live... Canada is right next door.   Over there drugs were so cheap.   Where we lived a whole 8 milligram Dilaudid cost $50.   In Canada a whole one cost only $25! I still can't believe to this day that we never got caught bringing dope into the states!We did this for about 6 years then it got to risky to go to Canada anymore. Dilaudid's in the states became too hard to get,  but then Oxycontin came around in 1997 or so.   We kept right on shooting them up.

My boyfriend ended up going to prison for a couple of years, and we eventually split up. I still kept shooting dope. My parents also were addict's. My mother shot up and my father only snorted.   No I didn't get my mother hooked,  someone else did.

Eventually a Methadone clinic came to our town.   My mother was the first to go.   I was scared to go.   I had been an addict for 10 years and it's all I knew!!!   But after I saw how well my mom was I finally made the call.    I started treatment on July 12, 2005 and have been clean ever since!   My father finally decided enough was enough and made the call himself.

We are all still on methadone!  I KNOW methadone saved all of our lives!

Billie from Maine



UK  "Rosielee"


I used to live in Brighton with some friends and my boyfriend. Occaisionally we used to chase heroin but we would never do it for more than two or three days in a row. Even though I would occaisionally go and score, I didnt want to be an addict and made a good choice not to get to involved with it. My friend moved out of the flat, my boyfriend and I split up and I was left in a flat on my own with no job and no support. I was only 21 and I was losing my mind with lonliness. One day my Mum came over to visit me from Dorset, she could see what state I was in and offered that I should go and live with her and get a job with Condor ferries working out of Weymouth. I appreciated the gesture to help me out especially since it was mostly her fault that I was on this path in life after she had been a chronic alcoholic for years and chucked me out of my home when I was seventeen for no reason (other than she was hysterical, nasty and out of control) I got the job at the Condor ferries and settled down to ife but felt increasingly isolated from the people around me at work, it wasnt that I couldnt fit in and make friends, I could and was just the same as everyone else it was just that everyone else seemed to have lives in the weekends and I just didnt seem capable of getting a boyfriend and getting out in life and doing things, in short, I know this sounds dramatic, I felt damaged. I realized that compared to these happy confident people around me I was damaged from my past and I didn't seem to have any of the life skills they had. I was incapable of having a relationship because I felt like I was a freek and no one could like me etc. (due to the emotional abuse when I was younger) so it's not a surprise really that I gradually warmed to some old associates who I knew were on heroin and who sold it. I knew what I was doing right from the start, it's just that everyone else I met through the heroin scene seemed much more like me, I had so much more in common with them and in a soppy way they felt like family. At last I was hearing stories similar to my own, we had all come through to the same path because some way or another we had been damaged in the past. At last I didnt feel isolated being around happy, confident people, I was around people who had had similar life stories. I would find myself sitting in a room full of long term addicts injecting themselves or each other and sometimes they would get quite desperate and I would look out of the window as it would make me feel sick, I would think "why am I doing this?" but I knew the alternative was isolation in a bedsit and I really wanted to have friends, even though being around junkies was sick, being on your own was also sick and at least doing this I was meeting people.

There was one bloke there who seemed equally on his own and had a rough time of it, he told us how he had lost his girlfriend and his child through heroin and now he didn't have anything. In my naive state I thought poor thing, he needs another chance, I could be his new family he just needs love. Although what really should have happened was that alarm bells should have wrung over what he said and I should have stayed clear of him but it is common that children grow up and find sick partners if they have had sick parents because its what they feel comfortable with, it feels right. I also had low self esteem and felt that I couldnt get any better, as we were on drugs the drug taking seemed to take the pressure off the relationship, we could just take our drugs together instead of properly date, we became drug partners really. Having sex was easy, I was on drugs, I didnt love him, I hadnt been in love before so didn't have anything to compare it with but he had and he knew we werent in love. But I didnt mind because its easier to go out with someone whom you don't really fancy because then you don't have the dread of rejection etc etc. its so much easier. On the first night I slept with him (which was a short, torrid and loveless experience) I became pregnant although this wasnt confirmed until six weeks later... but I knew I had conceived somehow. I went into the bathroom the next morning and as I went to go to the toilet sperm dripped out of me and I knew as it had been in there alll night that there was no dount that I was pregnant. I had never used protection before anyway but this time I just knew it, even when I was doing the loveless act with him I was praying to get pregnant, "please God give me something to live for, give me a reason to build up a home otherwise I wont want to carry on living". When I found out I was pregnant I told him and he didnt like it and told me not to keep it. I think he knew he wasnt any good as a father but I told him I'd do it with him or without him, eventually he came to live in my bedsit (which was a room I was renting off my mum as she did bedists) but thats only because he hadn't payed the rent on his last place and had nowhere to go. I told him he could stay with me for a couple of nights until he found somewhere else to go, I told my mum I had him staying as he had nowhere to go to and hoped that she would say no and tell him he had to go because I couldn't say that to him and I knew he would do nothing but sponge off me. I knew by now that he was a hopeless sponger, he was completely and utterly lost to heroin and didn't even have any wish to get his life together... in fact he seemed to love being a junky while I was beginning to hate what I was becoming. Unfortunately Mum said he could stay as she thought she was being kind to me and our communication wasn't that good with each other -- otherwise I would have asked her to kick him out for me. So I was stuck with this sponger and little did I know what havoc and devastation he would cause to my life and to that of my mum's. So I had become pregnant, got a bad boyfriend and developed a heroin addiction all at the same time. It didnt take long for my mum to get a dislike foy my boyfriend as he thought everyone should take care of him and he didnt contribute. In fact he borrowed, and took every penny I had. Whenever I had some money he would always seem to get what he wanted and when he had money he never shared it. Even though he injected I vowed I would never ever start to inject. I had made a big enough mess as it is and there was no way I was going further into the no return zone.

I had become addicted so I needed the heroin even on days when there wasn't any money. He showed me how he raised money, either by selling stuff (all my beloved posessions went) or by stealing, we didnt actually do any of this but one time I did drive a car whilst two guys jumped out, picked up this big charity plastic dog, drove it out into the fields and cracked it open. It only had fifteen pounds in it. Other times he would go into an open building and walk out with a video. One time I was left with some inheritance of two grand, he said he could go up to Bristol buy some heroin and come back and sell it and we could triple the money in a very short space of time. I didnt know much about all this being very new to the scene. I said I didn't want lots of people coming to the house and he said he would go out and sell it. So he went up to bristol with my money and three days later he came back with a big bag of heroin. It's amazing he didnt rip me off, he came back with a big bag of heroin but instead of tripling my money as was the whole plan suggested to me... he layed back on his back for weeks until the whole bag was gone. I did it too, we didn't go anywhere or do anything, but during the end I couldnt wait for the heroin to go so I could go out and get some fresh air again and get some health back. By that time I thought I should cut right down and I cut down to just three lines up and down the foil a day. Its amazing how little can keep you hooked.

I got to about three months in my pregnancy and I was put on twenty mgs of methadone, they didnt want to take me off the heroin until my middle trimester but I would have been fine, I picked up the methadone and got dropped down by two mgs every few days. Before long I was down to nothing, but instead of going right to the end I jumped off at five mgs as I was sick of it by then. I shouldn't have done that because even though I was fine by the fifth week I was fed up with not sleeping properly and still feeling a little bit ill. I should have worshiped being clean and still being able to function but I just didnt know what was to lie ahead for me, maybe I wanted to go back on it so I went back on to my three lines a day right up until the last five weeks of birth ...when I sat down one morning and said, today this is it, dont do any gear in front of me, stay on the methadone to support me I am going to do it. So I did with very very mild withdrawals because I had kept myself on the minimum amount, I didn't get sick or even have the runs. but I did feel a little bit sweaty and didn't sleep very well until the seventh night, by that time I was clean, glowing with health and could look at myself in the mirror knowing I was going to give birth to a baby that wasnt going to be addicted. I gave birth to a boy -- was 7 and 13 just under eight pounds. I had done well, people think I was a bad mother, but I was very careful not to smoke or drink and I eat well, I was only on a tiny bit of opiates I believe cigarettes has got to be worse.

My son has always been healthy and hasn't ever had asthma or anything. when I brought my baby home I was aghast to find all the furniture in the house gone, he has sold it all for heroin even though he had had methadone to suvive on, all the pine furniture was gone and it looked like a squat. What was worse was that it wasnt my furniture it was my mum's so things got really strained between my mum and I. She thought it was me that had done it. Eventually, my clean life wasnt to last, the task of looking after a screaming, crying baby, having no sleep with no help what so ever.....and he was no good, he didnt lift a finger to help, so I eventually took to buying little bits to give me a lift. It doesn't take long to get straight back into full blown addiction. We took in two twins who were homeless and my boyfriend ran off with one of them. Even though I was upset, I was offered a house by the council and I knew that this was my big chance to get my life soughted for the sake of my son. I knew he wasnt coming with me to my new house anyway as he was just wrecking everything in my life and eveything in my families life, I knew I wouldnt be able to clean up with him around me using at any chance he got. He didn't even wash in the end he smelt and I couldn't stick his selfish ways. I wanted someone to look after the baby whilst I did another detox but this wasnt provided and no one could provide me with a rehab place so I had no choice but to go on the methadone and that wasten years ago.

I have been off heroin for ten years now but havent been able to come off the methadone. I do feel as though I wasnt properly informed or even given any choices, anyone that is put on methadone should be fully warned of its addictive properties and they should be told they could be on it for ever. Now a days there is subutex but it wasnt around then. I have since done a degree in Fine Art and have come on leaps and bounds in my recovery. I still havent had a relationship since Him but its not because I dont feel able to have one, my son has been my priority really. I have put everything I have had to being a good mum to my son so looking at it this way I dont mind I am still on methadone, whats more important is my quality of life and my sons, we live in a nice house we have three cats and things are stable and happy. I recommend it to anyone, if its a choice bewteen using heroin and going on the methadone there is no question. I work and I keep a car on the raod and I now have letters after my name.... BA Fine Art Hons!!!!!!

"Rosielee"
kate.jake@btinternet.com



Laura


Ok, here is my story! I was married at 15 and I'm still married to the same man. We have two awesome girls and my husband is a pastor of a church just down the mountain from where we live. We bought our first house last August and its on a lake. I love it... it's so peaceful to go out in the mornings, drink my coffee and feed the ducks. I love our new home !!!!!!!! My girls are getting older.... one is now 12 and the baby is 10..... so they're growing up real fast. They are both very athletic are in softball right now, then cheering and basketball... so they stay pretty busy and so do I. My husband coaches so he helps me with the taxi service for them, lol . We have been married 13 years and its been hard, but we really work at our marriage . I never thought I would ever become an addict but I am.

You know I was a preacher's wife, soccer Mom and never done any drugs before! I started having really bad back pain, so I go to the Dr, they do an MRI and tell me that I have a bulging disc and am going to be in pain or can do surgery. Well, I have no insurance so that was out. For 8 years they treated me with Lortab 10mg as needed for pain, plus Soma.... so i lived like that for 8 long years. Finally my husband and I began to talk and I was just going to stop taking all this. Well little did I know..... you cant! I was the most sick person... ohhhhh, why didn't someone tell me?! Ok, so then I knew and just started back. Then it began to bother me... I was an addict, and it slapped me in the face! We went to a rehab and they tell us with $8,000.00 we can put her in for a 90 day detox. The $8,000 was up front and then make payments. Well, I do not have that kind of money so we walked out and i remembered a friend of mine was going to the methadone clinic. I looked the number up, made an appointment and started!

It was the best thing I've done in my life, and I'm such a diffrent person now than I was a year ago. I didn't notice the mood swings and all that comes with opiates, but my husband and kids did and they love being around me now!!!!!! My life is good now, but this time last year it was awful! I remember getting a phone call at about 5 in the morning..... it was my husband's dad. Jamie, my husband, got up and threw some clothes on, and said he'd call in a few and to stay by the phone. His brother that was 25 had OD'ed on Crystal Meth and died. His dad was at the ER when he called Jamie, and I remember thinking to myself that I had to go get my Lortabs before any thing....and i did. I dropped the kids off and went straight to CVS to get my meds. But now when i think of that, it makes me sick! My husband needed me and I was more worried about getting my Lortabs..... that's sick!

Jamie and I have been through alot together and will probably go through alot more. But the thing is we have made it for 13 years together. Jamie has never been addicted to anything so he does not have a clue about addiction, except it killed his brother. I think he was so afraid that i was going to OD because he would wake me up in the middle of the night to make sure i was breathing. For now our life is good..... he misses his brother and on May 23rd it will be one year, so I'm dreading that day for us.

Well, this weekend i get my first "Take Home"!! We only get them after 90 days of clean tests. We get a 2 day take home. so I'm going to take mine on the weekend so i can sleep late on Saturdays again.... oh i miss that soooooooo much!! I'm sure you are all wondering how old I am? I'll be 29 on July17th. My birthday is kinda crazy....it's 7/17/77 . I've had to grow up in a hurry so i feel like I'm 58 sometimes... or i feel alot older than what I am. My husband has just turned 30 so we are young in numbers but not in life, if that makes sense? We have both lived in ALABAMA our whole lives and probably always will. I love our little home town, it's called, Attalla Alabama. It's just a small little town out side of Birmingham... I'm sure some of you have heard of that .

Well, that pretty much is me, and right now I love being me ! I haven't in so long and it feels good . I would really like to get to know some of y'all! I don't have any long distance on my phone, but if any of y'all do, I would love to talk! I'd love that because like I said I'm a stay at home mom so I'm always home ! I'm so glad i found y'all ....there are so many sweet people on here and I just love it! So, that's me and my life! I hope to hear from some of you soon. By the way, my email is messed up so i can't email anyone, but I'm working on getting it fixed!

Lots of love..... Laura



A Hepatitis C Recovery Story
by "Oldtimer"

This is something a bit different than substance abuse "recovery"....but recovery just the same!...Carol
I am a 72 year male who was diagnosed with HCV, genotype 1b approximately two years ago, when I came down with symptoms of yellow jaundice. At first my case was diagnosed as severe/acute, but after a few weeks with no treatment but rest my jaundice symptoms disappeared and my disease was then diagnosed as chronic with the only symptoms being upper right quadrant abdominal pain, chronic fatigue and some general weakness. In the past six years I have had two major surgeries for unrelated problems as well as some minor corrective surgery. Apart from the aforementioned problems, I continued to be reasonably healthy in that I ate normally, exercised every day, was completely mobile and was able to function and lead a reasonably normal life, including work and social activities.

I sought treatment for the disease from a gastroenterologist with appropriate knowledge and experience and also as a second opinion from the head of hepatology at a reputable local teaching hospital who is a nationally known expert in the field. Because of my age and prior medical history there was much hesitation on the part of my medical advisors about putting me on the full 48 weeks of combined Peginterferon/Ribavirin medication because of the fear that the side effects might be dangerously harmful to me. However, after extensive testing and consultation with a Cardiologist (for Cardiovascular function), an Endocrinologist (for Thyroid function), and a Psychiatrist (for possible Depressive side-effects), I was deemed suitable to go on the full 48-week combo medication regime, which I began in late September 2004. Throughout the treatment I was to be closely monitored by my gastroenterologist, endocrinologist and cardiologist, and also by my other medical advisors if and when needed.

In my particular case, I tolerated the medication well and did not develop any intolerable, debilitating or dangerous side effects. Specifically, I did not suffer from depression, severe fatigue, marked decrease in white blood cell or red blood cell counts, or anemia - all of which are potentially dangerous side effects. I did suffer from mild skin rashes and itchiness, thinning of head hair (reversible), mild to moderate irritability, some difficulty in sleeping at night, hypothyroidism ( low function of hormones produced by the thyroid, easily treated by medication), and fairly severe chronic dyspepsia so that for periods all I could eat were very small meals of mush ground up in a blender, and I lost over 30 pounds - all of which side effects were relatively mild, (except the stomach upset), non life-threatening, and did not prevent me from continuing my normal life routine including regular exercise, except for not being able to eat normal meals. Thus, I was able to complete the 48 weeks of medication without any interruption. I need to stress now quite strongly that this was only my experience and that it does not necessarily apply to anyone else under treatment. As we know full well, everyone is different and there is no way to predict in advance how side effects will affect any particular individual - some have had even milder side effects than I, and some have had more severe, some even so severe that they had to discontinue treatment/therapy. All it means is that one particular 72-year old male individual with some prior medical problems/conditions was able to tolerate the medication for 48 weeks without any prohibitively serious side effects. It does not prove that any other individual will react in the same way, but on the positive side it does suggest that if it is possible for one person it might be possible for another, even at my advanced age.

Since coming off the medication in late August of 2005 I have tested negative for the disease and I have been feeling progressively better as time passes. The final criterion for a cure, is that if one still tests negative for the disease a full six months after completing the medication course then one has a very high chance (many experts say 98-99%) for a long term cure and relapses are rare. In my case the six-month test was at the end of February 2006, and came up negative for HCV. Again the foregoing is only my personal experience and does not necessarily apply to anyone else.

Based on my own experience and the anecdotal reports I have received from others, there is one facet of medication therapy that I would like to stress and that is COMPLIANCE. Compliance means that to get the maximum possible benefit from the medication it is necessary to take it regularly without fail exactly as prescribed. Missing doses, even for relatively short periods, runs the risk of relapse and relapse may mean having to start all over again or give up, with any preceding side effects having been suffered for nothing. Note, some people may have to discontinue because of dangerous or unbearable side effects and that may be unavoidable. But simple NON-COMPLIANCE is avoidable and it would be a shame to give up just for that reason.

Best wishes and good luck...."Oldtimer"



Mark

I just found the site and would like to share my story. I am a married man (23 years) with 4 kids. A little over 10 years ago, I was a division commander with a Nevada Sheriff's Dept. While out at the lake we were playing on a trampoline and a 165 pound female friend bounced way up in the air and was coming down from 30 feet off to the ground. My wife yelled, "Mark catch her!" I did and in the process caused 5 bulging discs in my neck. I went to the DR and got X-rays, MRI's CT Scans and...... Dilaudid, Vicodin, Percocet etc. After several weeks of refills I was sent to a pain management clinic where I got 40 mgs of Methadone a day. That Dr never saw me for over a year. I simply picked up the RX every month.

Fast forward to 7 years later and the Dr quit the clinic, gave my normal MD a letter and he started prescribing the Methadone... but I had to see him every month. I cut myself down to 30 mg a day where I stayed until about 60 days ago. Someone (I think a brother) stole 20 of my Methadone pills out of my house and I had to cut back to 20mgs a day. I then learned what withdrawals were all about. A few weeks of this and I got my next months supply but needed a few extra to get going after the shortage. So...end of the month, another 7 days of only 20 mg a day. Withdrawals again! I said to my wife, "I have got to get off this crap."

I started searching the net and found out about Suboxone. I found 1 shrink in the Reno area that could prescribe it and made an appointment. I had 2 or 3 minor bad days and then it became a miracle cure. I then learned that my wife had planned to leave me if I hadn't stopped the Methadone. I couldn't believe what I had become!

Anyway, it's been over a month or so and I am back. The real me, before the drugs. I Lost my job in cop work shortly after starting the Methadone because of the personality changes it made, or maybe it was just me. My brother gets Vicodin from numerous Internet pharmacies, takes them 5-6 pills at a time and has changed so much... just as I did. I told him about Suboxone and my Dr., but he seems disinterested. My Dr. says I was in constant withdrawal from refusing to up my dosage over the 10 year period and says I am real lucky I wasn't on a whole lot more than 30 mgs. Lucky? I think I got the short end of the stick and lost 10 years of my life because Dr's didn't tell me what could and would happen in the long run.

I wonder how long ago my neck stopped hurting? I lost the years from 38 to 48... maybe the best years of my life...and for what? I have a 17 year old son who doesn't know the real me, just the methadone me he has had since age 7. I guess I didn't really know how pissed I was until now but I would sure like to meet my former Dr's in a dark alley! Well that's my story!

thanks for listening (Reading?)......Mark

equinewelder@aol.com


"AA"

Step 1:  We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

I loved controlling my emotions with dope and I loved to party. Forget staying up all night- I wanted to stay up all week. My drugs of choice were opiates and benzos and crank. Today I have a healthy fear of drugs because I fearthe misery that follows the fun. I have to fear all drugs and alcohol that can “temporarily” make me feel better because I know how to use them to change the way I feel.

At first my addictive personality helped me excel. I am addicted to reading so I did well in school. I was involved in cheerleading, chess, horse showing, gymnastics, school plays, etc… I was able to keep this momentum up and entered college at 14. I was on the Deans List, I lifeguarded and taught lifeguarding, I taught gymnastics, I tutored foster children, I was on the swim team-all at the same time. When I turned 17 the “loml” dumped me and I started smoking, I tried drinking and liked it. I replaced all of my activities with self-destruction. Partying, breaking rules, hating authority-avoiding my parents, lieing to them, etc… When I was a senior I lived with 3 seniors who were 21-23 years old. I looked like them and could do their homework for beer or car privileges. It was there that I met the “freak of my life”. He was hot. He was a drummer. He couldn’t work. He taught me how to use pot. He was “over” all of the other drugs already but his younger brother taught me how to drive on acid, coke, crystal meth and stoned. I was with him from 18-21. About 2 solid years of daily crises-police scares, totaled first car, weekly trips to NYC, many living arrangements because of evictions over his violence, etc... I worked and bought “our” pot. I learned how to sell dope. If he didn’t have it I was in for a huge ordeal. I made sure he kept it. I lost myself living for him. I was verbally, mentally and emotionally abused. I was brainwashed. I got fed up with it and he told me I could quit and he would take over our financial support. That was a joke and I was home and miserable without him-for a very short time.

I started working and then started grad school and got some friends and got myself back to some degree. I was off the pot and the future was bright. My grades and friends were excellent. We partied on the weekends only. Alcohol was the standard and I had to one up that with the new “loml”, Xanaxes. I was amazed at how easy they were- less evidence, no bongs or bad smell, no deseeding or destemming. I became involved with a guy who supplied me with alcohol and Xanaxes. I supplied him with a ride as he was a habitual offender. I had my first one night stand with a guy that I thought was ugly when I first got there but got more attractive after drinking all day. He didn’t call me back. The next week I had another one night stand and he did call me back.

That was the beginning of a 6+ year relationship. We moved in together and partied on weekends. I had my Masters degree and got an excellent job. He had a trade and his salary soon matched mine. We bought anything we wanted and went on trips all the time. I preferred Xanaxes and he preferred pain pills. Eventually I tried them and got so much energy from them. I didn’t think I would get addicted to them. My boyfriend was an alcoholic. I thought it was ok because he didn’t drink daily. Once in a blue moon, over 6 years, he would go out with the guys and stay out late without calling home. This tore me to pieces. I was at my wits end when he went to Hooters. I pretty much broke down when he went to a strip club and didn’t get home until 5a.m. He continued to go to strip clubs. I used pills to show myself self-love because I didn’t have any self-confidence left. I based my self worth on how every one else felt about me-especially my parents and boyfriends. I was filled with so much self hate that I would claw at myself to express the inner pain and rage.

After months of daily pain pill use to repress my emotional pain, he invited me to his office picnic and I did not go. I packed my shit and went home. The next morning his Mom called and said he was at CRMH after a car wreck with spine and head injuries. I flew there. I had this feeling of serenity because I realized it wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t for me to control him and that God had taken care of it for me. I knew that for 3 months he couldn’t pull any late nights because he was in a back brace and couldn’t drive. His pain medicine only helped put a small dent in our drug costs. I remember one of our “friends” coming to visit, not to check on Ray but to get his meds. We had so much money and I was moving to an even better salary at a different company. I was doing pills, coke, or crack before work and after work.

I had my first panic attack 12/08/01. I was terrified of panic attacks but thrilled to have scrip for Xanaxes! I was diagnosed with panic disorder and depression. Now I had an excuse for my use…I developed agoraphobia and didn’t leave the apartment except to go score. I got fired for missing so many days. I got a job where I could work from home and lie about hours worked. I could use all day. I went through my checking account, savings account and my retirement account…plus my income. I would always run out of benzos early and substitute pain pills. I can’t remember not having one or the other and usually I had both.

The money ran out and we moved home in 2002. The relationship was pretty much over by then. I got double pneumonia a month after returning home. I was near dead when I got to the ER because my parents were so used to me hiding in my bedroom stoned off downers that they didn’t realize I was barely breathing. I was in the hospital for 8 days. I was on life support 4 of those days going through some crazy withdrawal dreams and hallucinations. My boyfriend snuck me pain pills in the hospital. A psychiatrist and a counselor spoke to me about my addiction. The day after I got out of the hospital I was doing coke. My parents were on our case about the addiction and we agreed to go to the methadone clinic. I got my dose in the morning and it was so high that it made me tired so I did meth to “balance” myself to “normal”. I was driving an hour to the clinic and 2 more hours to work. I eventually quit going to the clinic and work. I never was clean. I didn’t go to any groups and I didn’t change people, places and things. I continued to party.

My parents and boyfriend were so fed up with me not working. I was so depressed and lost that I looked to drug connections for friendship. I eventually met someone with a prescription and without a girlfriend. I moved in with him about a month afterwards. My parents disowned me-I thought I was doing them a favor by moving out. I did go to a counselor a few times until she said she couldn’t help me until I got off the dope. We met with my parents and I agreed to go to rehab.

I lasted 10 days in rehab. It was literally hell on earth. I was taken off everything cold turkey. I wish I had gone to Life Center of Galax instead of Mt. Regis because they use methadone at LCG. I would have been victorious at rehab had I had methadone along with some good recovery education.

I entered methadone treatment in November 2004 because I was losing my mind-and terrified. I thank God every day for the medicine and the counselors. I am changing people, places, things and thoughts. The hardest part for me is learning how to think positive and not beat myself up. Gaining self- confidence and learning what to do with bad feelings is not something I could have learned, going through withdrawal at rehab for 30 days .It takes longer than that for me to heal. I am in Methadone Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, in the presence of others with similar backgrounds, talking about how to get better.

I am taking a class through Teen Challenge about how God wants me to recovery… how He is the one who forgives and RESTORES. I am learning a lot! I have a new bible called The Life Recovery Bible that is for people in 12 step programs. It is in street language and has footnotes throughout it relating the verses to recovery from destructive addictions.

I choose to recover today. I don’t know about tomorrow but today I choose to make the most of my blessings. I must fill my thoughts with positive things so that I will keep a positive attitude. If I get negative I will use. I do have problems like everyone else-relationships, cravings, weight gain, unemployment, other people!!, etc… but I can handle all of that today with the help of God and by staying clean.

"I don’t have a drug and alcohol problem, they work just fine, I have an Ashley problem.” In recovery I am learning about my character defects that led to my use, e.g. codependency, jealousy, negative attitude, people pleasing, approval addiction, etc… In active addiction I had panic disorder, agoraphobia, depression, suicide attempts, borderline personality disorder, raging self-hate, etc… On methadone and with the help of NA and God, I have none of these mental problems – I have the “peace that surpasses human understanding”. I am relaxed because I have surrendered.

"AA"



Donna

Hi everyone and anyone!! I have a story to share with you and I will try and tell it as well as possible with all my interruptions I expect, but here I go!

All my life I was an athelete very good too, I competed on the uneven parralle bars and took California state champion in 1969 and promptly moved to Australia and never competed again. (all my parent's idea, they never followed my life.) My father molested me from a young age, what relevance that has will come later. Anyway, I got married at a young age of 18, had a baby, got divorced 3 yrs later always working. 7 yrs later married again and was working as a dental technician. I had my own business, had $14,000 saved and had 3 children. My baby was just 1 month at the most when my 2nd husband emptied the checking acct. and rent was due the next day.

I was in a world of shit with 3 kids, one a month old. I took on 3 jobs and one of them was working in a biker bar on a real bad side of town. I was a very attractive woman, if i do say so myself, little... 1 hundred lbs with long brown hair to my rear. Anyway, never touching a drug I needed help staying awake for these 3 jobs. I knew this guy that came to the bar I tended and he said, "girl! you need something to keep you awake!".... and I said, "I sure do." Little did i know what was coming. He went to the back of the bar, went into the women's bathroom (early day time no other customers), put some cocaine on the back of the toilet, left a dollar bill rolled up. He came back and told me to go back to the bathroom....that he left something for me (know i never did this crap). I went back there, sat on the toilet, pondered the thought of doing it and then did it for my first time.

Then my other job (dental tech), the boss was a big drug addict. He worked as a dentist in Ventura, Calif. and he started giving me some too. So now i was staying awake and dropped one of the jobs. Anyway, my boss at the dental lab got arrested because he was an escaped fugitive out of one of the big prisons (i want to say Lexington or Levinworth) and had murdered and robbed banks. This is the man that got me addicted to cocaine. So i lost that job and now it was down to the job as a bartender.

By now I was using reguarly and knew alot about the biker's (gangs) and their business. Pretty soon I was mediator between two rival gangs. I would do the business that was asked of me and dealt on the side. Not for them, but for myself. I got to know too much of their business and it took me 3 yrs to get their confidence enough to let me move away since it was now 8 yrs later and I'm totally engrossed in the biker world. I loved the people, they were not what people portray them as. If they were I wouldn't write it here.

I moved away and came to Wisconsin where i was clean and remain clean from cocaine since '89. However, 5 yrs ago i started getting into pain killers because of back surgery and back pain. I got addicted for 2 or 3 yrs, probably longer. So i told my Dr. and he black balled me so I couldn't get the pills any longer. Then I, of course, got them on the street. I went to different detox places... great one's, but that didn't work for me.

I found out about the METHADONE CLINIC....the best thing that ever happened to me and I've been clean for more then 2 yrs! I'm going to school to get my AODA and am going to be a counselor. So, wish me luck... but guess what? I don't need it as I already have a job lined up and am totally in there! My life, for the first time, is fantastic! Thanks for reading! Take Care and to all... Believe in yourself !!

Donna



Ira Newman


My name is Ira Newman and I want to express my gratitude to M.A. for helping to give me a new life. I have been using drugs for 30 years. I started burglarizing drug stores and doctors offices and had an enormous opiate habit in addition to cocaine, benzos, barbiturates, etc. I first got on methadone about 26 years ago. However, I was still nowhere near ready to stop using and only got on the clinic to make things a little easier. I continued to drink methadone for another 24 years, still using almost daily. If you don't get on the methadone with the intention to stop using AND change your behavior, the treatment will be a failure.

About 2 years ago, I finally got to the point where my continued drug use, depression, and Hepatitis C were killing me. I decided to commit suicide and swallowed 65 Xanax and a dozen Clonodine tabs. Needless to say, it didn't work. My resistance was so high that all this did was knock me out for 6 hours. My wife had me commited to a psych unit and I finally realized that if I didn't do something different this time I would just get out in a few days and try again. I asked to go into a rehab, where they got me off the benzos and put me on an antidepressant and increased my methadone.

I decided to start using the methadone the way you are supposed to and also started making meetings. I got out of rehab in 2 months and went back to my clinic. I now started giving clean urines and soon had take homes for the first time in all those years. After a while, I was only coming in twice a week. I still went to meetings almost every day and when I had enough clean time, I was supposed to speak at a meeting. Just before the meeting, Someone asked me if I was still on methadone. Not wanting to lie, I said yes. I was told that I could not speak at any NA meeting because I wasn't really clean! I was going to leave the fellowship but my recovery is too important to be ruined by some ignorant people who know nothing about Methadone and don't want to. Soon, however, I started to go to Methadone Anonymous meetings. At MA, I didn't have to lie about being on methadone and could share about my issues without being judged by anyone because of the type of treatment I am on. It is sad to say, but in the area of Philadelphia where I live, NA actually put into effect a policy that states if you are on a "DRUG REPLACEMENT program", as they call it, you cannot speak, chair a meeting or be a trusted servant! Thank God for MA!

I have now been clean over 2 years and am in college. I have a new chance at life and MA is a big part of the reason for that. I would like to see more MA meetings in the Philadelphia area because we have so many people who want to go to meetings, but are not willing to be judged and discriminated against at other"fellowships". I look forward to reading your website in the future, and will pass it on to others. You are doing a great service to all of us.

Sincerely,

Ira M. Newman

mrnewms@yahoo.com


Suzanna (Suzi)

As a child I suffered from Depression, Panic and fear from abuse (bio father) I started drinking alcohol young to mask my panic. I was married at the age of 20, and had my 2 sons by age 23. After alot of mental abuse from my husband we divorced in 1990. I raised my boys on my own, My addiction became stronger and I thought I would just start taking vicodin/lortab and quit drinkin. Yea Right! After 10 yrs of alcohol and vicodin/lortab, in and out of hospitals/mental floors. I thought I would have died this way. I started getting education on the methadone but was to scared to go there. June 20, 2003 I walked into the clinic very scared and deathly sick. I made the choice of starting with 20mg. after I went home, I felt so high and floating it really scared me. I stayed on that dose for awhile and slowly went up to 35mg. after feeling very tired on that dose I slowly went down to 28mg. and I feel great 2 years later. If it was up to the Dr. I would have been on the highest dose they give 175mg. My recovery includes my dose, see counselor 2x a week, attend 2 support groups a month, working on the 12 steps, and my heavenly father up above.

I am a changed person, I have a life now. I am free of alcohol/drugs depression, panic and fear. I have kept my job as a nanny for over a year now. I couldn't even leave my house for a year. I am currently continuing my education (college) in Addiction! I have tons of energy, workout in bodybuilding often. I look the best I have ever looked. June 20, 2003 I was full of poison, bloated, eyes were pussing. It was horrendous. Today, I can look in the mirror and be proud of whom I've become. This has been a miracle for me!

God Bless,

Suzanna (Suzi)



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