I've seen a lot of people lately taking drugs to get off drugs. It runs the gambit from simple muscle relaxers and anti-seizure medications such as Neurontin, to much more troubling medications such as Z-drugs (Ambien and Lunesta), benzos, and even marijuana or alcohol. It's a very understandable thought process that makes us seek anything that will help us get through the perceived horrors of withdrawal. I say "perceived" because if they were truly the hell that we think they were, would we do them over and over? The true problem with taking addictive substances to get off of addictive substances lie with the addictive brain and the way our minds work. It's this way of thinking that makes us addicts...and, must be addressed before we'll ever leave that addictive thinking behind. The mind of an addict is a very resourceful thing. We can make even the worst withdrawals seem like nothing at all if it allows us to talk ourselves into using again. It's denial and rationalization at it's best. It's the hard work on our thought processes that allow us to get long term clean time.
It is important to try to say far away from all addictive drugs especially when you are in in the middle of wd .Yes wd is hard but there is something to be said for not taking anything durning wd it seems to keep memory of wd for a longer time .Barbiturates is other one to stay away from. Using one opiate to get off another just keeps you in an addictive cycle .tramadol is very bad news. Sleep aids are very addictive You can do it its hard but its doable .You can go a long time with out sleep and when your body needs it you will sleep .Benzos are even MORE addictive the opiates. I have a different opinion muscle relaxers if its for cronic pain and you are coming off an opiate then it could help you from relapsing but even Muscle relaxers for some people can be addictive.Remember you are an addict you cant control what you will end up being addicted to .So tread VERY carefully.
I respectfully disagree. WD is hell. It is not perceived hell it is HELL. When you are Jonesing you would give anything for one more pill. You will search every inch of your house and if you found a half a pill in the crud under your stove you would take it, You walk the floor, shake, cry and toss all night. You would drink Nyquil, until you puke for any second of peace. You sweat, your heart races...then you search every coat pocket, your purse, your medication bottles all over again. You try over the counter sleeping pills but nothing helps. You think this can't be you - you are a respectable, hard working normal person - not a junkie. But it is you and it started from a legit injury and a legit RX.
So you go to your doctor and you tell him what the problem is and the two of you work together for a week - him giving you something to ease the pain and slowly taking you off comfortably so you can function. In a few days you are off the pain pills and the RX he gave you and all is well and you have a better understanding of what you can and can't do to your body. There is no shame in letting a doctor help you and he can do so safely. No one should go through the hell of withdrawal if they are truly wanting to be clean. Been there and done that - no way I would do it cold turkey.
I would say that there is definately a balance between perceived wd's and actual. And I use the term perceived lightly.
We as addicts have a tendency to research our addictions to no end. Looking up detox stories to know what we are in for, search high and low for remedies to avoid the pain and agony. Its ironic that before I became an active addict, I never once reserached the pains of addiction before jumping into it. I really believe that in this case, ignorance is bliss!
For me with my sub detox it wasnt so much the fear of cross addiction, but more so the thought process behind it. I admit I did try to take an ambien to sleep, and 2 xanax to relax during my wd, until I realized that A) They werent helping, and B) That I was starting a new path... I can no longer take a pill every time an ailment arises.
It is this trap that promotes justification for medicating ones self, and can be a slippery slope back to active addiction.
I chose to go thru my he!! med free. Was nasty, miserable and down right brutal but it was nothing compared to what would of been had i kept using. I had made up my mind that whatever happened i would get thru it. For some people this isnt something they can do. If you have a good doctor who will help taper you down and monitor you then you will stand a better chance at getting off all the meds safely and successfully. It is so easy to switch addictions during this time. sara
I think this is a great post and I think that if you are trying to get clean and sober and stop using your drug of choice you should get honest with yourself.If you are using sub methadone,sleep aids benzos ,or any other controled substance wether it was supscribed by a doctor or street bought . It is still using and any of us addicts have know bussiness using any of this crap because it will get us right back to were we left off.If you have reservations and are concerned about going through a bit of disscomfort you are right on ,there is no softer easy way to recovery.We are sick people and changing meds does not help the proplem,the key to the solution is getting honest with ourselves and stop the insanity of our lives which requirers stop using all drugs
Great post! It made me think of something funny. We think that WDs are the most horrible thing we have ever been through when we are going through them or getting ready to go through them. Then, when we want to use again, they didn't seem too bad. We think they would be ok to go through again!!!
I think this post has hit home for me more than any other. When I finally decided to stop the cycle of my pain pill use and abuse, I went to an outpatient detox. My insurance, I was told, would not cover outpatient, but only inpatient. I left the ER after 6 hours with 1 clonipin. I took it and then bit the bullet. It was my time to detox. I knew in my heart that I needed to suffer or I would do it again and again. If my detox was too easy, I would "Spin Dry" and then just go out and start all over.....knowing in the back of my mind that there is an easier way out. I think that anyone who is trying to stop taking opiates is in for the fight of their life, but I do not understand why anyone would take methadone or suboxine or any type of benzo........and then 3 months or 3 years later, have to withdrawal from that. There are endless posts of people saying "I am withdrawaling from methadone or suboxine"....why replace one drug with another?
I am sure that I am not saying this the most politically correct way, but I know myself and I absolutely HAD to suffer to realize that withdrawal was something I do not want to repeat. I am on day 94 and I still don't sleep. I just look at the long sleepless nights as plenty of time to think about what I don't want to do to myself again.
Thanks for starting this post, I have always wondered about this myself. When I began my detox on April 1....I couldn't find a doctor, hospital, or ambulatory detox facility that would give me suboxine or methadone...........now I am so glad that they wouldn't.
Its not about suffering or not suffering for me. I chose not to use any replacement or substitute because I didn't want to be a slave to drugs anymore. I was sick of drugs dictating my life, and taking a sub would have fit right in with my normal pattern of "I don't like the way this feels, take a pill". Granted, it took me a long time to get to the point where I was ready to be clean of all mind altering substances.
I know some people on here think the way that I did when I first tried to get off opiates. I thought that I could just get off the opiates and that was it. I had no idea about all the science that shows that addicts shouldn't drink or use any mind altering substance if we want to protect our sobriety. I thought I could still smoke weed and drink occasionally if I could just quit the damn oxy. It suffices to say, that method crashed and burned.
GA, your like me. I have seen the benefits of working a 12 step program and staying clean of EVERYTHING in my life. I always say, I couldn't even explain how much better it is. It's just hard for the people just starting out to understand that even if we WANT to get clean by using another drug such as subs, benzo's, or what I call the marijuana maitenance program, we are addicts, and this almost never goes as planned.
All I can tell you is what worked for me. I went to treatment for a 400mg/day oxy use, quit cold turkey, used clonidine to manage my blood pressure for the first week I was there, got into the AA/NA programs, worked the steps, and now have been clean for 14 months, no relapses. I am living proof that it can be done without substitutes or "comfort" drugs.
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