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Therapeutic vs. Recreational Use
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Therapeutic vs. Recreational Use

Is there a difference between using a drug for a medical reason and using a drug to get high.  Do the lines between the two blur together in some cases?  Is is possible to just take a drug as prescribed or is tolerance always going to develop leading to more and more? Do you take the drug because it alleviates your discomfort and is that the same as taking it to get high, (discounting pain)... I mean more like releiving anxiety. So many folks here on pain meds who need them trying to get off.  Why?  Why am I trying to stop since I feel worse now than before?  I realize this is not just one question but a whole series and I may be the only person here interested in the this so feel free to ignore this question and talk about anything you want.  Although, I would appreciate feedback if you have any.
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I've posted many times  about the same thing you are asking about.  With me, it is a fine line between therapeutic and recreational use.  After a few weeks, I get to feeling miserable as my tolerence increases.  My solution has been to take a "drug holiday" for at least two weeks.  I do all of my work out of my home so this is a lot easier than it would for someone who had to show up at the workplace everyday.  Sure it takes a lot of willpower and strength to just quit every so often, but a lot of us do it.  

As a disclaimer, everything I've just said is against all NA/AA philosophy. If a person can stay clean and manage the pain for two weeks, why not just quit altogether?  Some can.  J.B. can't.
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Dear kstuebin, and everyone,

I'm so sorry to bust into this thread as your question is an important one.  My life experiences have told me that at times there is a very fine line between taking a particular drug as prescribed for pain/anxiety or whatever the reason the medication was prescribed in the first place - and it blurring into chasing that proverbial high.  I firmly believe that there are certain conditions that warrant relief via narcotics or benzos.  The problem arrises when we start to experiment with the dosages.  Most of us end up on that treadmill.  If I can please take the time to try to explain my situation maybe you all can help me put things into perspective.

I've been here at this forum for years- vocal on and off but mostly silent as I read and read everything you all have to say.  Some of you might remember me, I hope so.

Here is some background- I'll try to be brief.
I'm a chronic pain patient with RA, Fibromyalgia and RSD.  I've been sick for about 7 years and on some form of narcotic pain relief the entire time.  I'd never abused my meds and most times have taken less than the prescribed dose.  As my condition deteriorated I was put on oxycontin.  30mg or 40mg twice a day.  I did at one time start to experiment with my oxy, chewing them and running out before the end of the month.  I went cold turkey-had some withdrawal and cleaned up my act.  I talked to my doctor and it was decided, mutually , that it was in my best interest to take my oxycontin as prescribed- and I've done just that.  Funny thing - I never got high from them - even when I chewed them.  Here's where the HELL starts...
A year ago I was noticing that although I wasn't abusing I was running out of meds before the end of the month.  My husband suggested that maybe *I* was taking extras.  I am so stupid to have fallen for that.  I turned my pills over to him and guess what?  

He admitted to stealing from me.  We went to therapy.  Lies, more lies and promises all broken.  Last week I got a new script for my oxycontin.  I locked them in the safe in my closet only taking out what I would need for the day.  His behavior was erratic and I knew in my gut he was using.  Friday night I sat on the floor in my closet, counted my pills and came up 30 short.  30!!  He'd eaten 30 10mg oxy's in 5 days.  AND LIED about it.  He lied right to my face that he had no idea why they were missing.  Two days of torture and I finally got him to admit it.  He's been using on and off all along- dipping into my meds - and when I come up short for the month there is always some logical excuse on his part and HUGE denial on mine.

S0 - here I am.  Betrayed, heartbroken, lied to, confused.  Not to mention, our 3 kids suspected he was using and now they have lost all respect for him.  

Am I being stupid in thinking we can work this out?  Can this be fixed?  He is setting up therapy which I will attend with him.  What do you think I should do?  I cry all the time now and I feel so very alone.  I feel like my life has been built on a huge lie.  I love this man but what kind of love does he have for me when he can steal from me and bold face lie about it?

Please help me.

deja
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K,

This is frankly comming from an addict so take it with, uh, a grain of salt.

I think we know individually, what is abuse. For example. I am on prescription Valium 5mgs each morning and 5 mgs at night. I am a 180 pound man. Used without ethanol (which I am ambivalently doing nowadays) this is a small and for me therapeutic amount. Sure it numbs me but also has allowed me to be relatively successful with my personal and professional life.

The key word here is relatively.

If you use a small amount of Xanax to sleep, you may be doing the same responsible thing.

When I take hydrodcodone (also prescribed) 8 times a day when all I need is a dose twice a day, I am usually doing it because I like the high, not because of the pain. We have to assume responsibility to go beyond guilt for meds we need,  but also maintain the balance between what we know is excessive. This is requires an almost Zen like balance ("all in moderation") which most of us don't have. Thus, you either use in moderation, abuse or refrain. I think you know which is which. If you don't, after a few years of regular use you will.

Hang in there.

Frank
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Deja,

Oxy's go beyond love and into the phisilogical realm of craving. He probably started because of some underlying problems. The fact that he is willing, even arranging therapy, is a very good thing. If you find a good therapist this may be a chance for your husband to overcome the mistakes he made. Your feelings seem valid to me and I am sure compassion for him is hard to come by now. However, if you want your life to go on with him, really try therapy, give him a chance and hang in there. Don't stay away so long. Come back here where there is usually some very good and insightful support.

Keeping you in my thoughts,

Frank
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if a person uses mood altering drug long enough, some form of
habituation or metabolic addiction will set into action. i tend
to think of addictive drugs as being the one's ypu gget sick as
hell when you don't have them. this is called abstinence syn-
drome. drugs of this type are opiates, bariturates,tranks, and
lets not forget ethyl alcohol. addiction is a very loosely used
term since the rise and fall of the 30 day, 12 step treatment
programs. these treatment programs would treat a "lsd habit" if
they could get the money from the lsd addict. a person may de-
velope a habit of taking pep pills such as dexadrine, but there
isn't a matabolic addiction in play here. i've never seen a
person get physically ill from lack of dexedrine. the classic
model of addiction requires a demonstratable abstinence syndrome.
the word addict is really overused in our society. recently i
went to a NA meeting and this guy stands up and introduces him-
self as being addicted to pornoggraphy, gambling, and methidrine!
Geeze i was glad he didn't tell us his story! now this guy might
have some strange habits, but he isn't an addict unless he is
taking truly addicting drugs. to a certain degree addiction is
a disease of exsposure. if you never do addicting drug, you can't
be a drug addict. i hear a lot of talk about "addictive person-
alitys." Until they come up with a genetic model, this kind of
talk comes from some one who has been through treatment (and
sold a bill of goods), or they work in one and are trying to
drum up business. hell the rage of popularity of "treatment
center" has even altered and watered down the very organizations
(AA & NA) they modeled themselves after.

I do very much the same thing as JB. i take regular breaks away
from opiates. i do this so when i go back on, they work more
effectively. it give my colan a chance to do some much needed
catchin up. also this allows me to feel something, even if it
is just pain.

Now if there is some one out there that thinks they are addicted
to pornogrraphy, thats fine with me. that doesn't mean i'm go-
ing to endorse their bulshit either.

if you use truly addictive drugslong enough, your use will no
longer be recreatioal. you will be using drugs to cure the
abstinance syndrome of addiction.

keep an angel on your shoulder
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if'n ya don't mind, I'm gonna put on my professional hat for a sec as well as show up as a fellow addict, in response to your question.  Everyone here so far answered extremely eloquently, and I pretty much agree with all that has been said, with one caveat.

The caveat is this...most anxiety disorder can be helped enormously with a combination of medication such as a benzo and cognitive behavioral therapy. The research on Panic Disorder for instance, shows that using medication alone rarely if ever remits the symptoms over the long haul. Therapy alone, with no meds, works to alleviate and in many cases eradicate the episodes. It just tends to take longer without meds. Meds alone only aleviate the symptoms, they don't stop the problem. The protocol where I work, in treating Panic Disorder and Anxiety Disorders, is to start with a benzo plus therapy, and most often they add an SSRI. Then, in about a month, when the therapy skills start to take hold, the benzo is tapered, the ssri is continued for 6 months, and the therapy is the main treatment. I've seen this work for many many people. Certainly not all. There are some cases of intractable anxiety that just requires benzos long term, no matter what. But, the research and my experience does show that therapy, the behavioral-skills training kind in specific, treats anxiety much better than meds. When you go off the meds, the anxiety returns, whereas with therapy, you change your anxiety response. PET scans of the brain have shown that this kind of therapy permanently alters the brain. Fascinating stuff. Works for OCD as well.

Geez you guys..can you tell I'm back at work? LOL

Ksteubin, even a non addict will build a tolerance to a med like a benzo or a narcotic when they take it as prescribed. It is just what the body does. bummer, huh? oi.

For me, the guideline for when I am using as prescribed vs using addictively is how preoccupied I am with it, and how it affects my life. I crossed the line a while ago, and I don't know that for me there is ever any going back to moderation. I'm lucky that my pain, for now, is manageable. I lied to myself for a long time about my use. I lived in hell, and sacraficed my relationships for that stupor. I can't tell you how good it feels to be free. Yes, I get cravings. Sometime very bad ones. I hate that part. Oi!

Kip, I disagree with you, but only on one point. I do think that there is addictive behavior, even if the body is not physically dependant. When I was using hydro every night for a few years, I never got physically dependant, but I was taking a ton of it every night, definately abusing it and definately was deep into my addict nature.  Eventually I started to take it round the clock and got physically addicted as well, thus the hellish withdrawals. ::shudder
Also, I do think that people can become addicted to "processes" such as addictive eating, gambling etc.  When it interferes with your life causing huge negative consequences and you still can't stop...it is an addiction, in my humble opion. Maybe semantically, we can call the non physical dependance stuff "compulsions" and the physically dependant stuff "addiction" to be more acurate.

Deja..there is always hope. The fact your hubby is willing to go to therapy is a good sign. Yes, it can get better. But it is often a slow hard road, and he has to really be willing to face his problem and get honest. Good luck..and please keep us posted.

love you all,
WW

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OK friend:
lets diagree. i never argued "addictive behavior." First and last
addiction is a metabolic disorder. How else would you explain the
detox recipe that Thomas has refined? also the trace mineral combo
of pillpopa. of course their is a psychological component to the
metabolic disease of addiction. For all the respect i have for
behaivoral science, it alon can not explain the British model of
addiction. when you speak of addictive behavior are you speaking
behavior of addicted people or are you using "pop" language which
allows a looser use of a term. i can tell you i'm addicted to
walking my dog, but i won't **** my pants if i miss a day (the
dog would **** on the carpet maybe). when i was using and truly
addicted i had to have the rough equivlent of 3 grains of morphine
sulfate 3 times a day or i was shitting in my pants sick. a be-
haviorist could observe me till hell wouldn't have either one of
us. said behaviorist could not help me with my problems as a whole,
until the metabolic disorder of addiction was addressed. so say
you detox me, then you might be able to dig up the sub-sruface
parts of my personality that are "disordered." or i could say
thanks but no thanks, join the church of scientology, get cleared
and dedicate my life to l ron hubbard. what about a person who
just loves junk? you've had a chance or two to interact with
such people, are they affected in any other way than metabolicly?

i think the two of us could argue well into tonight, and never
agree. a friend at work runs a research project called calatrichid research (hey i can't spell). It's basically primate
behavior research. part of it is addiction studys. this man is
close enough to the top of his field (if you can judge a person
by the amount of grant money they can scratch up). The only con-
clusion his research has come to is addiction is metabolic in
nature and is a disease of exposure. i don't believe there is
a personality type that is typical to all addicts in general.

hey keep an angel on your shoulder
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Very interesting stuff you put out here.  I've been an IV abuser of morphine and at times heroine way in the past.  I went through treatment and have been involved with NA or AA for at least 25 years.  I suppose this qualifies me as an addict.

As a pain patient of late, I find that things are a whole lot different than they were.  I still like the feeling of narcotics and that is about all I do crave.  When I abstain, I get none of the physical withdrawals.  It usually takes a full week before my mental cravings set in and they can get pretty intense at times.  It's a battle of mind over matter for me.  

I could have picked up my month's supply of vicodin today but have chosen not to.  But the day isn't over, yet.  I'm praying for strength and thinking I'm better off waiting until at least tomorrow.

Tell me,  am I losing my mind?  I just want be in control over the drugs rather than them over me.  It's my preoccupation right now.  J.B.  

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JB:
just one quick question. is it drugs or is it pain that is your
master. Lately i've noticed when i skip my oxy for a couple of
days i don't get the typical withdrawal. I do have intense pain
of 7.5 or above. the pain doc i see claims that intense pain
can shortcircuit with drawal. the last pain doc i had claimed i
wasn't telling the "truth"

the way i see it for me right now, is physical pain is my master.
no matter how much dope i take it is always lurking, waiting for
the drugs to wear off. sort of like the chicken or the egg thing.
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Thank you so much you guys, for responding so fast.  I am not a stranger to addiction so I am wrestling with many things here.  I feel like I've walked this road before as my first husband was a physically abusive alcoholic.  I'm no angel.  I've been abusing my drugs on and off for years.  My last time posting actively here I was detoxing myself off oxy (I too take those narc-breaks now and then for various reasons) and Wizard was helping me (as were all of you).  

The thing I am wrestling with the most is the LIES and deception.  How do I send the message that I can't live in a relationship built on lies?  Do I leave?  Do we separate until he can prove he's clean and willing to stay clean?  Do I have to live this nightmare for the rest of my life?  Sorry to be dramatic but I don't know if I can battle my own demons and at the same time be sympathetic to his, especially since he stole the drugs from me.  I've cut myself off emotionally from everyone and everything right now and as stupid as this sounds- I'm tempted to chew a handful of my oxy's and vegetate for the rest of the night.  I know that won't solve a thing- I know that.  

Love to All,
deja
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Is it addiction or preoccupation? is it that we don't have anything else going on in our lives, or that we can't deal with what's going on in our life? is it that your were born with a morhpine deficiency and me with a valium void?

"My best friend my doctor won't even tell me what it is I got."

We make choices, that's about it as far as I can tell. Choices may lead to having a cup of mocha or shitting you pants w/o your junk, but it starts and ends with choices.

Turn your back to the sun and walk in to the cool darkness. Whatever, time's a wasting.

Begging everyone's indulgence for my tangential take here,

Frankster

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Hi Kip,
Yep, we can agree to disagree my friend.  :-)
At least somewhat.
I do agree that addiction is a metabolic disorder, and that it is a physiological experience.  I think I just accept a broader definition of when the behaviors of compulsion cross over the line to addiction.

What I do know, is that whateverthehellitis, Love helps me manage it, and your love Kip, and that of everyone here, has given me my life back, at least for today...and for that I am eternally gratefull.

By the way...thanks for the angel on my shoulder. He hangs out there a lot since you've described him to me, and I've named him Harry.  :-)

lots of love,
WW
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Now you are sounding like my own doctor.  He believes it's the discomfort level I'm experiencing.

As I've described it some time ago, the chronic illness I have makes me feel like I'm in withdrawals 24/7, anyway.  After a few years of feeling this way, you get used to it and go on about life.  What's wrong with wanting to feel good for a change?  But like everything in life, every upside has a downside.  J.B.
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Lies...god, they sure can be a deal breaker, can't they?
My husband has lied to me in the past, around issues of infidelity, and it hurt beyond words. My ability to trust him ever again was damaged, but not beyond repair. We worked it out.

I've also lied to him, a lot, about my hydrocodone addiction. The vicodin was MY affair (as Frank Lee refers to valium as his other spouse..it is not joke..I totally understand) He hung in there with me, and for that I am grateful.  We were in marriage counseling for 2 years, the whole time I pretended to be working on our marriage issues, I was abusing hydro every night, making myself totally unavailable emotionally to him. And I'm a bloody shrink who's supposed to know better.

It is a personally choice, to figure out what the deal breaker is for you, and what your "hanging in there" limits are. Different for each of us, I'd wager.  I'm sorry you are in this situation. Any support I can offer, is yours. I don't have hard and fast answers, but I think I can conjure up a good question or two.

Has he been overall a good partner to you? Do you have it in you to forgive the lies and build trust back up over the next year or so? Does he seem sincerely ready to get help?

please..do keep us posted.

lots of love,
WW
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To anyone writing me at

***@****

Please put something in the subject field that mentions the forum. I've gotten on this porno mailing list from hell and get piles of e-mails disguised to look like normal messages. If I've failed to answer someone, it's probably because of this.

Thomas
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ww:
an angel named Harry??!!
one of the closet shooting buddys i ever had was named Harry!! i'll
be honest i got the keep an angel onyour shoulder from a song by
Tom Russell called "box of visions." the best version of this song
is on a Tom Russell album call "the long way around." he does this song in duet with Iris Dement. never heard of these oeople? well
check it out, i don't even have to be stoned to listen to them.

"wait awhile and you'll grow stronger
never mind what the sad folks say
just keep an angel on your shoulder
never throw your dreams away
for they may save your life one day"

my wife and i saw tom russell and andrew hardin last april. they
were kicking off Tom's latest album "Borderland." it was a very
small concert (60 people) at a bed and breakfast in Sioux City, Ia.
this concert was the last thing we did before my surgery in May. i even had to argue with the cutter doc, see i just wanted to do this before whatever happened with surgery.

so.. keep an angel on your shoulder (hey i'm a thief--drugs words
whatever
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You're a professional? Well.

I would like to "buy" some advice.

About a month ago, I had some very intense situational traffic involving my employment. I was wound up so tight with anxiety about it, I could hardly breathe. Lucky for me I had already made a prior appointment with a psychiatrist to deal with other, unrelated matters. So, naturally, when I got into his office I dealt with the current traffic first.

Result? He's got me on 75 mg Effexor XR in the morning, .5 mg Klonopin twice a day, and 150 mg Serzone (which I was already on, given to me by my pain management guy). Actually, he prescribed 1 mg klonopin twice a day, but I never took that much. And now I take .5 mg at night just before going to bed, and only .25 mg in the morning before going off to work.

That's the situation as it stands right now. He says he can have me off the klonopin in six days. Does that sound right to you? He went on about half-lives and such, but I'm in no rush. The situational traffic I mentioned has subsided, and I'd like to get off the klonopin altogether. Effexor too. What's the best way to do this? Will Thomas' recipe work for Klonopin withdrawal too?

Anyway, I'd really appreciate your advice in this matter. I can see how a person could abuse benzos if they were of a mind to do so. I'm not. I'd just like to be off 'em. It's only been a month and in my mind, the sooner I start getting off, the better. What to do?

Many Thanks,
Francois
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Kip

Went to Morpheus and downloaded tom Russell - wow, you
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Right now I feel as if "I" could use a tranquilizer. I live outside of Memphis. On the news there was a postal worker rushed to a minor emergency due to fumes from a box..Then they quantined the clinic. Of course haven't heard anything more definite. Then the grey hound incident-the guy getting his throat slashed-he's okay. Are you guys getting stuff like this in your area? I've started boiling water for drinking, just in case. Although I've had issues with my water before. Any professional or just plain everyday words to keep me from FREAKING OUT!!  I love my little book of quotes but that's not helping. Thanks guys, Shotsy
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Thanks for the feedback.  Guess there's no definitive answer is there? I'm tapered down to 5 mg and it's nightmare city when I sleep now. Last night I dreamt I had about 10 cats in my bedroom, all different kinds, calicos, tabbies, grey, etc. It was wonderful because I love kitties.  Then I realized they weren't real; I was hallucinating them. So I thought "Oh, I'm just dreaming."  Then "No, I'm really awake and I tapered down too fast."  Tried to dial 911 and none of the phones would work. Ain't this fun? Soon, I will be drug free but it will not be forever. Don't care what AA or NA says about that first drink or drug. I now know to never, never take them every day.  But if I want a break, a high, call it what you want, I'm going for it.  I'd get drunk but the hangovers are hell. Anyway, this is much nicer than being drunk.  One last totally irrelevant question to the pain med users.  I have never gotten a good high from pain meds.  They put me in this kinda dreamy state but I don't sleep,just lay there and zone out and feel nauseous and kinda wierd.  Unless, I use this formula, 2 percs and 4 beers.  That works for some reason. Thanks again, everyone.
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k

hang in there, at 5 mgs you are on a very low dose ( Valium, right?). I am not doctor, but have experience. I would suggest go to 3mgs for a week, 2mgs for a week and 1 mg for a week. Believe me, you can find a way to break the blue or yellow devils up to this size.

For the nth time, at the level you are taking unless you want to be drug free, very few people would call that abuse, even with a couple of drinks a day.

Re: the percs - I would think anyone would get high off 2 percs and two beers - is the etho /opiate dance which has been my partner for many a date ( we currently put a hiatus on our relationship). Be careful though, any combination of drugs and ethanol can be lethal for you or, others if you get behind machinery.

Are you taking the HTP at night for sleep?

Peace.

Frankie Lee
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Yep, tried the HTP and it seems to work or is it the valium although the dose is so low at this point I doubt it.  I'm going to take 5 mg for two more days and quit. I can't drag this out anymore. At this point, I would think there's no risk of seizures which was my main concern.  But as I said, I don't preclude taking them in the future. I don't know your history and don't want to offend but when I was younger, I drank and drugged abusively and joined AA and it was not a good experience for me. It was very cult like.  They used alot of scare tactics and isolating techniques. So I tend to ignore a lot of what they say, like one drink will send you back into alcoholic drinking. I'm proof that's not true and I'm talking 20 years here. They also had a saying "Take what you can use and leave the rest."  So that's what I did with their program. Everything is 12 step now. I never got past the third step after 2 years.  I prefer  my one step program: "Deal with it" :-) Incidentally we have the same middle name:  I'm Karen Lee.
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Hi everyone.  Has been a while since I posted.  I got my vics filled and took them all in less than 9 days. 90.  I am also on Paxil now, for anxiety.  I think the Paxil is helping.  I took my last vic today.  will I go through withdrawal after just 9 days.  I am so not looking forward to that.  Also, I bought Thomas's withdrawal formula.  Will vics make the Paxil not work?  I have had anxiety all my life , but, am just now admitting to it and seeking treatment.  I was always embarrassed before.  I am alone, so I need your support.  My kids are grown and I would never want them to know about all of this. Thanks to all of you.  I read the forum everyday!
Butterbean
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Hi Francois,
I'm a therapist with a Masters degree, not a MD, so take any medication advice I have with the proverbial grain of salt. What your Doc is doing sounds like the right thing to me. Klonipin (klonopin) has a pretty long half life, so I think you'll be fine.  The Effexor he has you on is a pretty low dose, and it is unusual to see Effexor combined with Serzone, since they both do pretty much the same thing.
I'm sorry to hear that things got so rough for you..I hope they've resolved and that your anxiety has gone away.

Butterbean! Good to see you post again. I wondered how you were doing.  Yes, the vics will make the paxil less effective. The paxil helps build seratonin levels, thus decreasing anxiety and depression. The vics deplete the serotonin levels, thus cancelling out the effects of the paxil if you take the vics regularly. The paxil will help you in the withdrawals though.
And...my guess is that you will indeed have to go through withdrawals after using round the clock 9 days. My Doc told me it takes from 5 to 7 days having a steady supply of the narcotic in your sytem for physical dependance to develop. My guess is that it won't be as intense a withdrawal as it would be if you had been doing it for months, or years, as I had been. Please let us know though, and tell us how you are doing.

lots of love,

WW

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Hi K.

You said <<I'm going to take 5 mg for two more days and quit. I can't drag this out anymore.>>

5 mg. is relatively low, you should be able to manage it. However, and you won't have seizures at that level IMHO. I recommend tapering but whatever you feel like is fine.

And you said  <<when I was younger, I drank and drugged abusively and joined AA and it was not a good experience for me.>>

Me too, on both counts. I LOATHE AA, for me they are a fascist organization. Now, I must admit that is a generalization. I must also admit they have the best track record, hands down in treating ethanol junkies. I also admire the subgroups that are available around the clock for people who relapse. But, they can keep their hyperreliguous claws from this addict.

Many of us on this board are living proof ( 90 proof) that we can use/ abuse and balance, albeit with problems and with hard choices and with remorse. The one drink and your dead theory, like many of AA's, is overkill, again, in my humble opinion.

And you said <<Incidentally we have the same middle name:  I'm Karen Lee.>>

Frankie Lee is my "board name". I am a paranoid when it comes to confessing my addictions. This board and my two docs are the only ones in the world who know. The name comes from a Bob Dylan Song "Frankie Lee and Judas Priest". But I love the middle name.


Hang in there - a willing ear is always just one post away.

Frankie Lee
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[image]http://www.millan.net/anims/giffar/formula.gif[/image]

The last post ommitted your quotes, I am experimenting here.

Anyway, excuse me all.If this works it could be very lively in terms of posting, trying to see what the board's html capacity is.

FL
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Thanks, witchy. I appreciate knowing I'm on the right track. I'm wondering about getting OFF the klonopin and effexor. Can you comment?

I'm on a maintenance dose of oxy, and I don't think the level of pain I have is ever going to let me contemplate getting off that. And I understand that getting of that stuff is worse than the pain that it was taken for - in terms of physical withdrawal symptoms, not to mention the horrible depression that lasts for months and months. Can't deal with that. Absent Thomas' recipe, I don't know of a thing that's legal in this country that would help with that.

Thanks very much.

Frank
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Getting off klonopin should be similar to getting off valium, though if you've only been taking it a month I don't think you'd have to worry about seizures. I don't know enough about it to really give you an informed opinion though.
Getting off Effexor I think is pretty safe, especially at the dose you are on. I don't think it creates a withdrawal effect, but again, I'm not a Doc so don't know for sure.

hope this helps!

love,
WW
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Thanks WW, I hope you are right about the withdrawal.  I won't be able to get vics again for 4weeks, so I am going to do my best to stay clean this time.  I also have a MSW by the way!  I don't work in a mental health place though.  Thanks again.
Butterbean
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We must be soul mates.  I've been a Dylan fan since I was 12.  Recently hooked up my turntable and started listening to some of his oldies altho the LPs didn't survive the 60's very well :-) A Hard Rains A Gonna Fall seems appropriate right about now. I can remember singing Masters of War around my father to **** him off.  He was a veteran and worked on an army base. Ironically, enough, I ended up working there too and altho it never changed my reservations about the real reasons we were in Viet Nam, I lost too many friends and cried with too many survivors to ever be really antiwar. Well, this has absolutely nothing to do with addiction.  What I did want to tell you is the gif didn't show up on the post but I went to the URL and I'm still LMAO.
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Hi K!
Glad you got the URL and it's great we are bobarians. I have an extensive collection and you are welcome to take a look. Listening to Bob actually helps with my addictions ( don't ask me, whatever works eh?). You're welcome to take a look at my site - http://www.geocities.com/glimmertwins70/
Pick one and I'll mail it to you - perhaps it will help you taper, :-\ !
You Pal,
Frankie Lee
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Validation-consolation-desolation.
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frank lee:
watch out when judas pulls out a roll of tens. run off the
clouded plain as fast as you can (with his roll of tens)!!
oh yeah, don't go mistaking paradice for the house on down the
road. John Wesley Harding was awfully good, but Highway 61 is still the best he ever did!!
keep an angel on your shoulder
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Shotsy, your post intrigued me.
What's up?
Say more...

love,
WW
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It's all dylan code, other than that not too intriguing. Lyrics from a bob song that sprung my board name. Don't really think there is more than that.

B.
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It's all dylan code, other than that not too intriguing. Lyrics from a bob song that sprung my board name. Don't really think there is more than that.

B.
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Sorry-sort of-for that. Just feel like no body is interacting with me. And woke up this morn to look for response-there was none.I erased most of the morn post except for that small portion. I understand this is a forum for addication,yes I take a small amount of pain med. But I started to feel like I needed to say I downed 100 vics for me to have any importance.I just wanted validation for my post- about this stuff going on- I've been anixous. I wanted to be consoled. Then when no response came I felt desolate.Maybe I need to start seeing my counselor again. Isn't it so sad that I have to pay someone to converse with. I have no real friends. Just customers.I'm sorry,maybe this is a hormone thing. I usually am pretty postive. I try to post comments to make others feel better. I just got myself really worked up when no body had words for me.. But thanks for reaching out. I guess that's why I didn't erase the whole post this morn. Wanted to see if anyone would notice and you did .THANK YOU. Sometimes I just feel really alone.Before I start crying again, thanks for reaching out, maybe I do matter.  Shotsy
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Thanks for letting us know what you've been feeling Shotsy.
It is so hard to communicate online...hard to tell from typed words what is really going on in a person's heart and mind. I am glad you said what you need. Sometimes all you have to do is come right out and ask, 'cause I know I for one don't always "get it"...am not always tuned in enough, but it is not for lack of caring, please know that.

When I read your three word post, I worried that something was up for you.

I hope everyone here knows that if we don't respond with what you need, just say "hey guys, I need you! please talk to me".

How are things going for you overall Shotsy? I really do want to know!

Overall, I'm doing really well these days. It's wierd. But it feels really good to feel good. To have a life again. I had gotten used to desperation as a normal state of being,I forgot what feeling good was like.  

I've said it before and I'll say it again..what got me to where I am now was the love and support of this forum, and taking better care of my body by stopping my drug use and taking antidepressant supplements, in particular 5 HTP. Therapy helps tons too, as does my spirituality and the support of my hubbie.
I'm SURE that I'll still have my ups and downs, but it has been nice to get off the wheel of the self created downs for a little while.

Thanks Shotsy...I hope you tell us more about what's going on.

love,
WW
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I am about a month clean with no pain meds.I do take them for serious health reasons ,but do tend to chase and take too many if the pains is bad!Anyway I am really crious about the 5-htp sounds like I could really benifit from it!Could you clue me in on the doses i may start on,my deppression is real bad ,I know alot of that is from the high pain levels but if the 5-htp works I'll give t a try!I was also perscribed fastin(Phenermen)for weight loss(after lot's of steriod use over the last 2 years gained ALOT of weight) anywy they have amphetamines in them so until they ran out I was still feeling real bad but they gave me a little pick up!(Also lost about 40 pounds)!!!!!Anyway any info you could gve on the 5-htp would really help!Sounds like most everyone has had good results with it.Thanks lot hope everyone is doing well lot's of love and hugs to you too! thanks ww in advance!Jenifer
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Thank you! I've have been keeping tabs on you also. Reading the posts. Anticipating your return from your vacation. And I'm so glad you are doing well.From what I've read most people in this forum have a more desperate situation than mine.Sometimes I encourage where I feel I can contribute. Other times I leave it up to the 'pros' like you and Thomas,etc. I came to this forum because I use vicodin. 1/2 in morn, 1/2 in afternoon, sometimes 1/2 early evening. I thought I had an addication problem, but from what I've read here I don't think so. But still feel like I can relate. I'm actually self medicating because the med isn't prescribed by my dr. Has been at times though. And I feel sure if I asked him he would probaly prescribe some. I had told him another dr. gave me Robaxin for fibramyalgia(sp)-which was true- and that I took it at bedtime (1/2 first, then if I still can't get comfortable the other 1/2). Well,he wrote me a script for 2 every four hrs.! That would probaly lay me out. I still take it the way I need. So needless to say the script has lasted alot longer than he prescribed. Maybe it was a test? Do dr.s do that? The vicodin comes from my husband, he had back surgery and his dad gives it to him. But he doesn't usually take any. Sometimes I just don't feel well. I don't know if the med. can build up in your system and cause that feeling. But sometimes when I take it I feel better other times I don't. I get feeling bad about once every month. Sometimes it last longer than other times. I'll take my temp. sometimes it'll be normal or 99.4. Can pain pills do that to you? Or could it be a  type of withdrawal? When you feel like your mentally just weirded out. I have a hard time explaining it.I was on buspar but I stopped taking that cause of eye twitching. But quitting it hasn't helped that.I didn't even get to a theraupuetic dose before I quit. I'm just too paronoid I guess.Sometimes I feel like I should take something like Zanax but from what I've read here better to stay away from stuff like that.Reading this I'm starting to wonder if maybe I shouldn't start seeing my counselor again.Or maybe I should also quit taking the vicodin. I sometimes think I feel more normal on it than off. What does that mean? Is that an addiction? I just don't like to hurt. Geez, I really sound like a basket case. Although in my day to day living I do ok -I think. I just have all the thoughts rolling around my head.Well, I know this is alot to unload on you, I apologize.But I know from your posts you'll probaly have some words of wisdom.Thanks for listening, Shotsy
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Hi Jenifer, yes 5 HTP has been a godsend to me, and many others.
It is an over the counter amino acid. It comes from a plant. It is the precusor to serotonin, meaning the body makes it naturally, and creates serotonin from it. Serotonin is a neurotransmiter responsible for mood regulation. Narcotics deplete serotonin and this leads to severe depression.

With 5 HTP, you may get sleepy. It doesn't have that effect on me, but on most folks it does.

Start by taking 50mgs.  If you tolerate that ok, then you can try taking 50mgs twice, or three times a day.  I take 100mgs once in the morning, and that works GREAT for me. You can safely take 100mgs 3 times a day if the lower dose doesn't help the depression.

I encourage you to do your own research and learn about it as well. Enter 5 HTP into a search engine. Some good sites I have found are

http://www.biosynergy.com/5htp.htm
http://www.mineralconnection.com/5htp.htm

Shotsy, if you feel preocuppied and dependant on the vics, then even though your dosage is low, it sounds like you may have a problem with them.  I wish I had stopped taking them when I was only taking 2 or 3 a day. I did that for a while, and then slowly it crept up.  In my humble opinion it is better to stop now, than to let this progressive disease get its vice grip around your soul like it did to me.  You do have chronic pain though, so I'd suggest you discuss your situation openly with your doctor, and follow the medical advice. Only you really know, in your gut, whether you are an addict or not though..it is not for me to say.
Taking it every day, several times a day does lead to physical addiction no matter what your reasons for taking it are. If you need it to feel normal due to pain, that is one thing, but if you need it to feel normal due to avoiding withdrawals, that is another. For me, it was both.

My pain is better this week though. I am starting to think maybe the 5 HTP and the deprenyl is also helping me with the pain.

I hope I don't sound too preachy..that is not my intention.
I still struggle with my addict self, even though I'm not physically addicted anymore, I definately struggle with cravings and preocupation, and still need help to stay on the path toward the light.

lots of love,
WW
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SHOTSY - Hi there I think I have read yoiur posts before I try to read all but it gets so hard.  I also felt at times that i was not being listened to on this forum.  There were times when I thought I would never come here again and that made me feel all alone.  The one thing I have found is that youi really do need to reach out and ask for help and you will be surrounded by compassion.  I think back to when I could take only 2-3 a day and wish I was back to that.  I think that if you are thinking about the vics a lot you are starting a porblem.  You said they make you feel normal that also means trouble.  If you can start decreasing your doses which should not be too hard since they are so small.  I honestly would hat to see you develop a problem like so many of us here have had.  I will always be her for you if you need me.  There is nothing I like more than to help someone.  Anytime just write boy I am starting to sound like a 60's folk song.  Your friend Julie
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Thanks, I've really become dependant on you all. I find myself constantly checking here. I guess the other morn I was just feeling really low and was having my own pity party with tears and all. But I'm really not trying to be the center of attention. It's just I need some people to talk to. And I like you all. Your words are so powerful and encouraging. I understand about the vics. I've been doing this routine for 8 years now. I can't take more cause just as well as they seem to make me feel better. If I take more they make me feel bad. Catch 22 so to speak. If I take it too late in the even I can't sleep well. Although on a few occasions, I have taken 1/2 in the middle of the night. But I  have sometimes taken small breaks like 2 days to 2wks. but then I feel like I need it again. My routine with it has been very regular. That's why when I've read what some people are dealing with, I tell myself I need to muck up. Look at their situation. I wished I could help. My heart hurts for them. I think I have to admit that I'm probaly habitualized to it. But I feel at times it's the lessor of two evils.Or is this really what we call justification. Wished I knew the answers not only for myself but others. Most situations are pretty common sense but this thing is a puzzler for me.But again thanks for being there. All this war stuff has been an under current running thru me and I guess it's starting to spew forth. Deal with what we can, right? Your friend, Shotsy
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Hi--I'm at work, unable to post much, but I wanted to send a quick note re: discontinuing Effexor. Do NOT do this abruptly. Or rather, based on anecdotal experience, I do not recommend discontinuing Effexor abruptly. I take 150mg of Effexor XR everyday. I ran out of a script and couldn't get in touch with my doctor. Since it was a Thursday night, I decided to get off the meds by using the weekend to battle any withdrawal symptoms. I had been taking Effexor for six months and thought it had done its job. Although my doctor warned me to NEVER discontinue without tapering under her supervision, I ignored her advice. I figured I might feel some fatigue, perhaps a bit depressed. But I could handle it. Or so I thought...

By Friday afternoon, I had what I would call 'severe' withdrawal symptoms. And let me preface this by saying that I have gone cold turkey from hydrocodone more times than I wish to remember--and I've survived each time thinking the physical symptoms weren't so awful. So I am no stranger to the discomfort of withdrawal. Anyway, with the Effexor withdrawal, I was extremely lightheaded. Very nauseous. And I even experienced vertigo, from a sitting position. I don't normally feel vertigo--sitting, standing, climbing--whatever. It was really disturbing. I also heard a rushing sound in my head, similar to the clogged feeling of a sinus headache. I decided to leave work and sleep it off. On my drive home, I started getting a numbness in my fingertips and lips. So I stopped at my pharmacy and asked for a quick consult with the pharmacist (at this point, it was 4pm and my doctor's office was closed for the day). The pharmacist perused the PDR and together we discovered that I was experiencing neurological symptoms of withdrawal. Again, I thought "oh, well, I'll go home and sleep for the night." But the pharmacist showed me the Effexor text and apparently, I was showing the warning signs of a possible seizure, which can and does occur with a percentage of Effexor withdrawal cases. Hence, my doctor's warnings to NEVER discontinue without her supervision and a tapering plan. So the pharmacist contacted an on-call physician and I got an emergency refill. Within a few hours, all symptoms dissipated.

Okay, much longer post than I intended, as I need to get back to work. But I wanted to send this warning because I think Effexor is very powerful and should not be treated lightly. Prior to the Effexor, I had tried Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, all of which I stopped taking because I didn't think they worked. No symptoms of withdrawal with any of the above, no problems whatsoever. But the Effexor was awful. I truly felt like my entire brain had been reduced to a tiny pellet, almost like a pinball--with my skull as the pinball machine. Very strange experience, and not one that I'd want to see anyone else endure. Especially if it could become life-threatening with the risk of a seizure.

So please, ask an MD about a tapering schedule, suited to your dosage and duration of use. Just to be on the safe side....

And good luck. I'll be thinking of ya.
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hey everone:
i've been somewhat "absent" from the forum as of late. had a number
of things going on.
first of all: i didn't flush the oxy this time. i'm in day 2 of
self imposed detox. the oxy sits right where it alway has, unused
and unflushed. hopefully if i do resume use of oxy, i can  have
enough clean time to resume it's use at a drasticly reduced dose
as i fear my dose is unreasionably high...
so last night (night one) i was extreamly restless, but did sleep. today, well into day 2. all i really notice is a jittery feeling, like some thing is about to happen.

one thing about detox is gives a person a lot of time to think a-
bout things-- i've been thinking about the "model of drug addict-
ino,"current events in the gulf and points east, overall history
of the 20th century. all of this does connect(maybe) so please
hear me out...

i've had 30 years of on and off addiction, mostly, and most re-
cently to opiates. the opiates are the accepted model of modern
understanding of addiction. maybe this has damaged my brain?

I've stated to look at addiction as it fits the accepted model,
and see it as a microcosm of the modern world. If one looks at
our current consumption of hydro carbons (and our preoccuption
with it), the effort we put into getting it (finding ways and
means to get more), and the current consequence of our actions,
then one can see the "model" as fit to describe processes other
than it's original "model."

but then perhaps i have too much time to think

keep an angel on your shoulder
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Hi,

you certainly are more knowledgable than I when it comes to many issues of addiction so i can't offer advice. But I can offer you encouragement and tell you i think it takes a great deal of self-disipline to have the meds and chose to not use them. even for a day. that is great. It sounds like things aren't too rough(withdrawls) at this time of your posting. i will keep you in my prayers that they stay this way. good Luck skipper. i know people on this forum respect you and admire many things about you.

Shea
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I never really thought about our society's preoccupation with hydro carbons as an addiction.  We truly are addicted to gasoline in America!  Thanks for giving me a subject for my meeting tonight.  As with drugs, is it an addiction or a dependancy/necessity?  If you think about it, people do some insane things while on gasoline, heh, heh! We wouldn't have to worry about road rage if there were no more gasoline for instance.  J.B.
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JB:
do you know what the #1 chemical of abuse at the local indian
reservation?.... It's huffing gasoline...no ****, i couldn't think
this up!
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i in no way ment to insult native americans with the the last post.
sometimes reality turns out to be stranger and more intense than
anyting else!!
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Kip, we are on the same wave length. Just this weekend I was discussing this with my husband, and I said to him "the world is addicted to fossil fuel and gasoline. We have a limited amount, that we know is going to run out within a hundred years or so, yet we continue to consume huge amounts of it. It causes negative consequences to the environment.  And if we ran out of it suddenly, imagine what would happen? Our entire economy and infrastructure, on a global level, is dependant on it. The withdrawals if we suddenly ran out of it would be crippling the economy, and keeping resources from people that need them..because of course we've left local agriculture for global agriculture. I ranted on and on to hubbie, I'll spare you the rest of my ramblings..but just wanted to know we had the same thought bounce through our brains.

love,
WW
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Witchy Woman:
the fact that you have had a simalar thought as me may be best not
advertised!! detoxxing a person such as i may well not be in any-
one's best intrest!! ANYHOW THANKYOU!!!
keep that angel on your shoulder!!!
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P.S. raise the per barrel of crude, and listen to the western world
squeel (like stuck pigs, that we may well be)!! is this really the
best that modern Western Civalization has too show to the rest of
the world?

at least think about it
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On September 11, gasoline went up to $4.00 per gallon here in my small town(pop. 2,000 and one gas station).  People were going crazy trying to buy gas!  The line was at least four blocks long with people parking up on the sidewalk, in alleys and even the mortuary parking lot.  The sheriff and fire department had to be called out to disperse the yelling, honking crowd.  It was unbelievable to see this happening.  You'ld have thought that my friends and neigbors were a mob of drug crazed fiends!  Thank God the governor stepped in and put a stop to the madness.  J.B.
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an old chineese proverb you saved for your worst enemy," may you
live in intresting times." Everything happening today was forcast
by a visionary junky author WS Burroughs. 2 of his books stand out
in praticular, "the book of breathing," where he examines Hassani
Babba and "the wild boys," where he examines truly modern terrorist
warfare. i don't know what will happen next, but i doubt it will
suprise me. somewhere along the line western civilization has be-
come so out of touch to the indicators that warn us of what will be
next....

hey what can i say...i still drive a gas guzzleing ford f150 that
can not pass a single gas station.
i also know all too well what an "oil burnner of a junk habit" is.
let me see if i can remember one last thing--oh yeah what is the
functional definiation of insanity?...oh yeah it's a person who
does the same stupid thing over and over, expecting the outcome
to be different.

keep an angel on your shoulder
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That was so funny about insanity... That has just made me laugh and laugh. And it sounds so true. Thanks for that. Do some more I LOVE that kind of thing. Shotsy
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I'm pleased i entertained you.
just remember:
all of my words are lonely
all of my heart aches were free....

i speak of the lonelyness known only to a drug addict.

keep an angel on your shoulder
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Hey, I drive an F150 myself with dual fuel tanks(32 gals.) Mine is only 13 years old and still going strong.  Sure I could buy a new one but it's like we are married or something.  Too many good memories!  All she asks me for are gas and tires and one time a brake job.  I'll gladly put up with the 15 miles per gallon problem in lieu of $360.00 a month payments for a younger gal!  J.B.
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JB:
mines a 98. i'm not complaining cause my daily commute is 5 miles
round trip! hell, i could go real crazy and drive a hemi-cuda or
427 mach 1 (1968) but ah those are good old days left alone!!
would talk more, but it seem my oxy-detox has been complicated by
food poisioning!!

all that angel ****
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My last real car was a 340 Duster that I bought with my muster-out pay from the military(circa 1973).  Since then, I've preferred PU trucks and let my wife have a Honda Accord every few years.  I'm six foot three and 235 lbs., hence the truck preference.

We are flying down to Cancun on Friday for ten days.  I've never been there before but I'll be sure not to drink the water.  I hear they have some good stuff for Montezuma's Revenge down there just in case. Ever been to Mexico?

I hope your food poisoning isn't too serious and get well soon!  J.B.
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Hey mexico huh:
yeah you can buy almost anthing at the drugstores but be carefull,
the police can and will bust you. this isn't any big deal if you
have a "poke" of bills to buy your way out of trouble.Mexican
MD's are usually have pretty easy writing arms and that makes it
legit-just don't try to take anything back home.

i just got back from ER at st. joe hospital (the knife and gun
club-more stop and drops than all the other hospitals put togather)
couldn't really enjoy the show as i was so awfully sick.

they gave me what they said was a "big shot of dummy oil er i mean
demoral." so whats a big shot? it didn't do anything for pain, but
seems to have dryed me up....

keep the angel on your shoulder
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Hate to hear your feeling so bad.Hope you get better soon.          I saw this pendant in my kids fundraiser brochure and I thought of you. It says" Don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly" Take care-Shotsy
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It is highly recommended to consult doctor or physician before taking any kind of medicine whether it be 5 htp or something else. After your doctor has prescribed than there are some good sites on internet like http://www.herbmark.com/5-htp.html, http://www.getnutri.com where you can purchase 5 htp from.
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