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Julia M Aharonov, DO  
Female, 51
Southfield, MI

Specialties: Addiction, Drug abuse and dependence

Interests: My family

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The death by Heroin Journals

The Death by Heroin

Feb 03, 2014 - 37 comments
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heroine addiction

,

Heroine



Why do young, vibrant people keep dying from heroin overdose?  What is the great pull this drug has on our society? Well, I have been thinking about just that question as we all heard about the death of yet another famous and talented actor. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found in his Manhattan apartment with a syringe still stuck in his arm and fifty heroin bags in his possession.
So I thought back to patient we had very recently, who is also a heroin addict. He called us of his own volition for help. He said he was done and wanted to be free of this drug. He seemed committed to his decision; he convinced his parents that this is the right way to go and got them on board. He flew with his father from East Coast to have our procedure done, which would put him on the road to long term recovery. He signed consents, went through pre-procedural testing, but the morning of the procedure the pull of the heroin was too great. All he wanted to do is back out and get back to using. He told us that he knows all the risks, but he is too smart and nothing will happen to him. His mind created excuses for his use and he told us that he does not use that much and there is nothing wrong with getting occasionally high. He told us that his dealer is different from other and will not sell him bad stuff. He told us that he does not care if he dies; he just wants to be able to get high again.
We drove him back to his father in the hotel. His father was devastated and felt that we should have forced his son to undergo our procedure because, since he was now in withdrawals, he was not himself. The father begged for one of our staff to go to the hotel and talk to his son. One of our senior staff members went to the hotel and talked to both the son and the father. At one point the son got violent and lost control, and that was the moment when the young man realized that he needed to come back to our center and get this done. He realized that heroin took over his life. He was not himself anymore, all the excuses, all the rationalizations came from his addiction, not from who he truly is or should be.
Heroin does that fast, it changes who you are. It gives you false sense of happiness where there is none, false sense of well-being where you have none. Happiness and well-being is something that a human being creates for themselves, from inside. Both are created through the deeds you do and relationships you actively build with people around you. Both of those things – happiness and sense of well-being – require work. However when they are achieved through deeds and work, they are extremely gratifying and lasting.
Heroin can give you both in one single shot. But it will leave you changed forever – empty, emotionally and spiritually; and sometimes dead. Yes it is far easier and faster to get a high from heroin than a high from life, but how many more people have to die to get through to those young ones picking up the syringes for the first time?
So why did Phil Hoffman die? He had the money to spend on the best rehabs, he had people to live for, and he had a fantastic carrier on stage and in film. All that was nothing compared to the high of the false happiness and well-being that that syringe of heroin gave him. Heroin changed him from inside out, it changed his priorities, it made his excuses, and it created reasons.  It was not Phillip Seymour Hoffman dead in that apartment;    it was his addiction to heroin, to the euphoria it temporary gave him. But we cannot forget  that at one point in the past it was Phil himself who opened that door.


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by breezytoo, Feb 04, 2014
  My heart goes out to his wife and kids, it's always the survivors who suffer the most. I hope that Phil's passing will serve as a wake up call to others who are gambling with their lives when they chase that high. I was there myself at one point in my life and even od'ing did not stop me. I had to lose almost everything before I finally asked for help. Maybe this will save someone else from the horror that is addiction. R.I.P. Philip, I hope you are resting with the angels.

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by Prtiiri, Feb 06, 2014
I personally went thru this as an iv addict & I had to make the choice in my addiction to save my life cuz ultimately I was gonna die!! If it was not for MDS & the special team it makes up !! They saved my life & I'm truly a happy person & everything Shawn said about the false sense of happiness & well being & basically heroin leaving you empty or dead is absolutely right! She's not only on point with this as the whole MDS team is but she is a caring nurse who personally cares for every patient!! I love the whole team @ MDS in Michigan but specifically Ann, Dr. George, Dr. Julia & most of all Shawn!! She was great with me & we still keep in touch!! Don't let any opiate ultimately lead you to jails, institutions, or death!!! Pick up the phone & call MDS!!! They treat you like a real person , not like an addict & they r the specialists in this field!! There is nothing better than a long term recovery program through MDS including that awesome fake heroin high!! I did love my heroin; I now love myself & MDS for giving me my life back!!!

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Feb 06, 2014
Thank you so much for your kind words. They bring tears of happiness to my eyes.

Dr. Julia Aharonov

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by waspanicking, Feb 11, 2014
i think part of the secret to preventing these incidents is trying to find out why people try heroin in the first place.ive lost friends to heroin overdose. as a teen i was offered heroin many times but due to the fact i knew the dangers and powers of addiction (its no secret and there has been information and education for many years now) i didnt accept.is it escapism from life which people are after, peer pressure, weakness, even stupidness (no disrespect). we need to get a situation in the western world where we are reducing the spread of addiction.its brilliant you guys are turning the corner and its good to know that there are establishments in place that make a difference. but lets work on cutting the numbers down and try to prevent people reaching the point where they are addicted to this poison.

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Feb 11, 2014
I could not agree more.

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by theidiotwiththecontroversialopinion, Feb 12, 2014
It's all well and good to say 'false happiness' and 'education' and 'I never would'...I have been mentally and physically  abused by my father my whole life..I looked for father figures elsewhere..I was sexually abused for 5 years by these ''father figures''..my two brothers whom I shared a room with for 15 years were killed in a car crash...my wife died of an undiagnosed heart defect at 25yo..before that my son died in-utero...being born with gifts and talent makes one hyper sensitive..this is why one has the talent..a huge empathy for how others feel, allows one to interpret those feelings musically or through art, stagecraft etc...
We take opiates to kill pain...nothing more, nothing less...
Governments need to decriminalise and regulate the use of drugs..simple as that..
There will always be people who turn to drugs because life is too painful, too harsh and too corrupt for those of us who take it on the chin for other people's failings...
The community as a whole stigmatise and judge people like me because of idiots who take drugs for fun...drugs are not fun..they are necessary ...
Let the madness ensue...

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by timothy141, Feb 12, 2014
I have had a very recent experience with a suicide/overdose involving heroin. On Nov 4th 2013 my GF's 23 year old son took his life with a lethal injection. The hardest part of this for us has been the fact he was not a drug user. In fact he was a brilliant caring compassionate human being. He was a premed student at UNLV.
I have been here on MedHelp for over a year, and have completed 48 weeks of tx with interferon and ribavirin, I only say this part because of Travis's insight as to the side effects of this tx, and had discussed it with his mother. She had found it necessary to call 911 three times over the course of my tx.
Now the horrific side of all this, it was a well planned out, he had actually ordered the drugs on line. Which took a week or house to get to the house where he and his wife lived. Then the next morning rather than go to work he checked into a rather large casino and checked himself out, literally.
I think it is important to understand too that he had been suffering from migraines for years for which he had been prescribed topomax which with he started to have seizures. He had voiced that he felt as if his mind was melting and he could no longer precise himself as of a benefit to this life and decided to remove himself before he became a burden to others.
All of this escalated after only 2 1/2 months of taking topomax. In closing my thoughts go out to others who have a loved one who is suffering and with care make them aware of who they are not only to you but most important to themselves.
There are so many drugs that have been approved and yet so little is known about them, so the manufacture cover there back by using box warnings, and yet they don't talk about self awareness in deep enough detail.                

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by waspanicking, Feb 12, 2014
theidiotwiththecontroversialopinion so for you it was for escapism. i think legalising the use of hard drugs would be a blunder of the highest magnitude.that would be telling people that opiates are a good thing to do.that if you want to escape your issues and problems then pick up the needle. but there is a broad spectrum of drug addiction.should certain prescription drugs eg xanax be legal.a person with anxiety walks into a gp surgery with anxiety so the doctor promises immediate relief , forgetting to mention that the prescription he has just written more often than not will turn the patient into a drug addict and leave them with more problems than what they started with. like i say its a broad spectrum.the biggest drug dealers are pharmaceutical companies.  

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by abetterworld, Feb 12, 2014
I think we all have different views regarding drug addiction and depending on your circumstance in life you will think different.. I known people who have suffered this addiction some manage to escape it's enticing ways some choose it over everything else in life, to escape reality they must be in deep pain of sorts. I agree that the pharmaceutical companies are the biggest drug dealers making it easy for anyone to get that magic pill. The magic pill that left my son with severe muscle movements he can't live a normal life thanks to the educated professionals. I am angry that they caused this to a young man and left him disabled for life. It affects us all the rich, the poor, the educated..
I however don't feel any respect for this actor who choose a quick fix and ended up dead he was intelligent had lots of money and fame, sadly he wasn't happy and to glamorize him like he was a hero please people wake up this was his choice..

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by waspanicking, Feb 13, 2014
as a sufferer of anxiety i sometimes browse anxiety forums. i was on a particular site the other day and people on there were actually boasting and proudly stating the cocktail of poison which they had been prescribed. some were on a cocktail of xanax,valium, and zopiclone. i fear for these people because they are on a slippery slope to rock bottom. from what they were saying it was obviousa that they had made the transition from anxious to addict and it seems that they dont even realise it

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by theidiotwiththecontroversialopinion, Feb 13, 2014
Was panicking, I do not think illegal drugs should be legal, at all..I think they should be decriminalised and regulated by the government..
Of course, I feel very sad for timothy 141, and I understand how your son felt, sir..I also understand a little of how you feel..
My deepest condolences...

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by theidiotwiththecontroversialopinion, Feb 13, 2014
Perhaps I should say - I haven't had an illegal drug in almost 10 years..thankfully I live in a country where our government recognises people like me and we have avenues to explore..for 9 years I've been in a maintenance program..haven't touched anything since..
It's just that I feel for anybody affected by drugs..be it addiction, a loved one or friend of an addict, people who lose people from drugs..etal..and there is no easy answer..but there are better ways than prohibition...

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by waspanicking, Feb 14, 2014
my opinion is that certain prescription drugs should be banned.i certainly dont think adding smack to the list of prescribed drugs would be any sort of answer.hey maybe they should throw in all drugs,take crystal meth for example.would the government control a drug made from drain cleaner and battery acid.im sorry for anyone that is an addict. but i dont think decriminalising would help cut the numbers down. also in my book a person addicted to methadone isnt clean.a person is only clean when they are off methadone and any other synthetic drug.

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by lylacavanaugh, Feb 19, 2014
People take these drugs anyway.  It is better for a heroin addict to be able to go to a clinic to get his fix to avoid all the other problems.  The fact that someone knows his drug is available and he does not have to steal, rob etc. to get it makes a huge improvement in their lives to the point where they can live practically normal lives.  I just saw some of their interviews on T.V. Many lives are saved this way.  Once the drug addict doesn't have to hassle for his drug and knows it is available to him, he often begins to address the problem himself and can gradually wean off.  This is truest when he also takes up meditation to Christ/God.  Restrictive laws will just make one more determined than ever to find what he thinks he needs. Why do we have to live like animals and force our ways on others? Real people don't want to do what you think it best for them.  They want to discover it for themselves.  Get your will power out of it.

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by DanDaMan007, Feb 19, 2014
Decriminalization is probably the most logical step that could be taken. Look at the amounts of money governments throw at the 'War on Drugs' and Corrections which is and been admitted as a war that never can be won. Drug addiction is being treated as a criminal issue rather then being a medical issue. By decriminalizing illicit substances and making it available to  be purchased, with government control, and used safely will end the losing battle, reduce significantly drug related crime and stop incarcerating our children. Governments can make money through taxes gained by the sales, quality will be controlled and hopefully the resources saved by decriminalization can be used to educate, harm minimization and find out why people are using to begin with. Like with Alcohol and Tobacco, there will always be issues but also people will have choices. I doesn't mean everyone will run out to the local pharmacy and score, it gives people that choice without being locked up or punished. Why feed drug cartels and fuel drug related crimes and violence when it is as simple as decriminalization.

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by Ben727, Feb 19, 2014
We look at Prohibition (of alcohol, in the 30s) as a relic of the past. I predict that in 50 years, we'll look at prohibition of  cannibis the same way. Every country that has decriminalized heroin and cocaine has seen OD's drop significantly, and seen fewer addicts overall, along with lower costs to the taxpayer. To the Puritans who remain steadfast in the War on Drugs: Your policy has failed, it was wrong, it never worked, it was a stupid idea, get over your petty morality and get on the right side of history for once.

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by Tanya2014, Feb 21, 2014
Hello,

I don't mean to interrupt your line of discussion; however, this is the first blog I've come across discussing Heroin addiction that isn't - months - to years - old.  I wanted to cry when I found a live thread. I've been reading for days - weeks - months - oh my gosh, it's been over a year -

I've been attempting to find specific information on Heroin withdrawal.  If any one with "factual" expertise or information would mind conversing with me - I'd be (beyond) grateful!   I've read sooooo much!  What started out as fear, has turned into a terror!  

I've been a Heroin addict for 10 years.  Wow - that was really hard to say.  In fact, I know I've never - out'n out - said that before.

It hasn't been one long stretch; there's been breaks in my addiction.  At the start, it was low doses. That lasted off and on for 2 to 3 years.  I quit cold turkey (7-10 days), twice during that time period; both times in jail.  I know for a fact, I wouldn't have gotten through it any other way.  When I ended up in prison for a year, I swore I would never go back.  Not to the Heroin, not to the lifestyle.  I hated myself!  Hated what I had become.  True shame - is a horrible feeling.  

That was 7 years ago.  I went through an intensive drug treatment program while in prison.  Once released, I did really well for 2 years. I enrolled in college, got married, bought a home - became an active and productive member of society.  (Graduated from college with a double bachelors degree)  All the smarts and no sense.  My husband is also a recovering addict; alcohol, heroin... pretty much what ever he could get his hands on.  He was a major inspiration for me.  To see someone whom had been so consumed by addictions being productive and healthy.

- but that all changed.

I can't even remember how it started.  I mean I do - I just can't believe I convinced myself I could handle recreational use; You can't do the same thing and expect different results.  Anyways, "we've" been using off and on for the past 5 years.  We've kicked over 10 times using Suboxone.   How crazy is that?  Over 10 times!  Who does that to themselves?  We would use - get clean - do the 3 days on, 2 days off "plan" - lapse over the time frame - get clean again - wait a week and start the entire process over again - and again - and again - and a'... well, you get the idea.  A fool's paradise.  Till finely, I said, "enough is enough! I'm not getting clean again, until we've decided to stay clean".  That was January 2013.  It's time.  It's past time.  We're losing everything.  - and we're about to lose our marriage.

I'm only mentioning all of this because I think it's relevant to the question I'm building up to.  I'm not looking for marital advice or drug counseling - my question is about methods of utilizing methadone to stop heroin use.  I need to know how long we can use methadone without becoming strung out.  I am terrified of methadone!  - but I know if used properly (used properly, being the key factor here), it can be an effective tool in withdrawing from heroin,  I've done a lot of research on dosing and half-life information for methadone - but I can't seem to get any straight forward (knowledgeable) information  pertaining to duration of use.  I know each situation is different, depending on the quantity and duration of heroin use - hence the history lesson.  I've read 10 days, 7 days, 5 days, 3 days - I can't imagine 10 days being a safe zone, but I also can't imagine 3 days being effective.  Although, each time I used Suboxone to withdrawal, I only used it for 3 to 4 days.  I was terrified of becoming strung out on Suboxone also.  It always worked just fine.  At the most, I would be a little depressed and tired.  Absolutely NO physical withdrawal symptoms.  but the first 24 hours before being able to dose is HELL!  - and the rumor - the more times you kick the worse it gets - IT's NO'T A RUMOR!  It does become more intense - MORE painful! That's why I'm looking into methadone - no lapse time between switch over.  Again - if someone has some solid information to share with me, I would be extremely grateful.  I'm desperate - I can barely stand to look at myself in the mirror.  I hate what I've become.      

Tanya


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by waspanicking, Feb 22, 2014
so where do you draw the line? just heroin?what about other addictive drugs like meth that are pure chemical,ie drain cleaner,battery acid, the key is to not do heroin in the first place

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by Nonjudgemental, Feb 22, 2014
waspanicking: your comments are judgemental and counterproductive....

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by whatIoncewas, Feb 24, 2014
waspanicking: very counter productive! judge not least ye be judged yourself (metallica or bible.. which ever you believe in lmao)

I have a friend who wanted to share but doesn't have internet access or email so I let her use mine:

I hope some one can answer you tanya2014, I jumped into the pit of hell to save my best friend/husband and have found myself in a similar situation... I also have neck/back/hip/knee/shoulder... **** "I dont know what I havent broken" issues?!? I have always been able to jump in, grab the person I love and drag them out, kicking and screaming... cant seem to get hooked on anything, but now that I have unbearable pain... its alot harder than it looks from the out side, and you hate yourself every day that you give in... you look at the marks and want to scream and you swear never again, but its not that easy... thankfully mine is synthetic/opiate have tried heroin a few times and I have been talked into trying other ****... but its a catch 22... I can kick it easier than my husband but the pain I am in is unbearable... I still put myself through it, then I cant take it and f*** up, longest I have gone with nothing (and I do mean nothing) so far is 5 days, then I have to do something... cant breathe, cant eat, fitful sleep if any, and use wayyy to much toilet paper, lol (sorry had to add humor)... I am headed to a specialist now though, finally got insurance. I do get hydro 7.5's but they are gone in a week cant stand watching my honey withdraw and they don't faze me anymore... I want to get fixed up the best they can do for me so I can have even part of my life back... I hate meds, esp now! but my husband has little control, 4 days worth of wean meds will disappear in a day, hes afraid to get help (seen to may cases of people getting their life's ruined for asking for help) but I am one determined individual, I saved him when he was a teen I can save him now... I hate what I have become too, and no one would be the wiser from the out side looking in... we are separated right now, other sh***y issues at play, and I know we cant watch the other suffer so it is easier this way for now, gawd I wish I could go back to who I was 4 years ago and kick my own *** for thinking if I fell in I could more easily pull him out!!!

I hope you can stay strong and dont beat your self to a bloody pulp as it just makes it harder to get out!

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by truredhead, Feb 24, 2014
I believe methadone is a good program for the ones that has tried every way they can to not relapse and somehow it always happens. I was once walking down the street prostituting myself to just get a shot of heroin in me. It would numb my feelings and make me think everything was allright for just a short time and I fell for that short peace for many years, After twice landing in prison, I knew I had to do something different. I went straight to the methadone clinic with my discharge money and got on the program. Well that was 20 years ago and I am still living a stable productive life. I got my children back early, went to college, and now have my own home and auto. So do not tell me it is just another drug, in no way could I have done the right thing any other way.

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by Kiwish, Feb 24, 2014
Waspanicing. There seems something is amiss in you. You have a right to your own opinions and life choices. Other people have experienced diseases and/or mental or physical injuries causing horrific and chronic pain. You think you have the right to ramrod many and varied human beings into the box of addiction and tell them how to live by your ideals and rules. You do not.

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by GoodbyeToHigh, Mar 09, 2014
Heroin causes many deaths. In the past 4 months, 6 of my friends have died as a direct use of heroin. 3 OD's and 3 accidents. Most recently, one OD'ed 3 days ago. He was a great guy fighting hard for his recovery over the last several years. Then he slipped and it cost him his life. The wake is tomorrow night. Everyone who knew he used are now kicking themselves for not paying him enough attention or getting him the professional help he needed. Maybe one phone call or visit could have saved him? Now we will never know.

I have never used heroin because I feel I'd be that one use and die person. I am in recovery for 20 years of drug and alcohol abuse. I know the toll that addiction has taken on my body and my spirit. But when I am truly honest about it, my addiction was a direct result of my brain and my thinking. When encountered by stress I was afraid to feel or give up so I used drugs to escape my problems.

Today, society is full of stressors in our lives. Home, work, school and finance struggles have hit many people hard. Young teens are not immune to stress. So many try drugs to escape the reality of life. Addiction shortly follows. More action is necessary in teaching both the young and old how to cope with stressful situations without using legal/illegal substances. Also, those with any form of brain malady, like a depressed, mental, or declining spirit, need to get professional help. There are people who can help. Lack of education or apathy to admit addiction/illness is the core problem of the addiction outbreak in the US. By getting help for these problems, which are intensified by stress, perhaps we could help prevent the first-time user from ever trying drugs. This could potentially save lives. What price do you think saving a life costs? Whatever it is, I know 6 families that would pay anything now to get their loved ones back.

There is a great need to erase the stigma of mental illness which causes many troubled people to avoid seeking help . We need funding, more attention, and recognition to get early addicts some early help. Perhaps a national network so that people can get better access to mental help (without health insurance too) can be an answer. Without it, too many families and friends will go through this never-ending cycle of death by heroin and other drugs.

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by almostnever, Mar 17, 2014
Im so sorry to hear so many deaths. Its hard. I've been on/off for a couple years I have lost more than I gained. But its hard when you do it its hard to stop. Because stopping means you have to deal with the damage sober. The lies, the truth, the hurt it makes you so depressed thinking about it all you want to do is numb it. Then when you start cleaning up, you want to reward yourself and the only thing that you think of is the thing that brought you down in the first place. Its hard. You can go your whole life not knowing what it feels like and maybe that is best. Because once you know how good you can feel you really have to wonder why would I ever want to feel any other way. Its a tough battle. Retraining your brain. When i went into the methadone clinic i just wanted to shoot as high as I could and I didnt even think of getting off, because now, I can get 135mg a day for 12- methadone is expensive but to a junkie its cheap, Its only later when you've been paying and start watching all your money leave, ask permission to go on vacation, you start to feel as trapped by this as by heroin. Im at 16mg now, dropping 2 a week. Debating quitting early. But honesly every friend I lost had sobered up and "rewarded" themselves and dont realize they cant do the same dose they did. Each batch is different.Its not a reward.

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Mar 17, 2014
So well said! Thank you.

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by FLSparkles, Mar 20, 2014
At 47 I will be forever grateful that I made it out of my speedball days with the help of a friend 5 1/2 years ago and have never looked back! I went cold turkey by removing myself from the situation I was living in, making a geographical move to live with my friend (God bless him) who had heard about my situation and that I had suffered an extreme neck and back injury on the way home from my father's deathbed. He offered me a job working on his collections and EBay when I could.
I had also been an IV drug user when I was 21 for about a year, when I realized it was standing in the way of my progress and growth, and again was able to quit cold turkey. I did attend NA meeting about 6 months later for 2 years and counseling to deal with the emotions regarding sexual assaults, I was trying to escape.
My realization was that for me my days of IV drug use were a serious attempt to hide from some very real and painful, nevermind complicated problems, on top of being Bi-Polar since about 9 years old.
From 41, I really started feeling shame and guilt for what I was doing to myself, I couldn't show my arms; ONLY to realize that this was really the worry and sadness I knew it would cause my unconditionally loving family. I even went as far to fill out "My Last Wishes" form just in case I accidently overdosed, which I had twice without their knowledge.
These were the most difficult years of my life, always feeling shame and guilt, dirty, bad and always knowing that it was due to some difficult emotion or emotional trauma I had suffered from. I needed to put on my big girl pants, find a good counselor, get a good box of tissues LOL, and deal with each one as they came back to me, for the Great Spirit knew I could not handle all my memories at once it kept many in boxes, to be opened when I was ready. Now, I believe that therapy (for me) is not a life-long meeting, but sessions to take care of the current problem(s) and then take a break until new issues need fixing, looking at, dealing with. I would say that since I learned that I had Bi-Polar and took my first Life-Skills class at 12 over the next 35 years I have probably spent a total of 5-6 years in therapy spread out into "sessions." I also read and listen to books and CD's by Louis Haynes " You Can Heal Your Life," Dr. Andrew Weil "Instant Happiness," The Four Agreements (I highly recommend) "The Secret" and many more! The Power of Attraction= What you say and do is what you create and bring into your life!
Now to my current state of standing with opiates. I mentioned a very bad car accident which has ended my very loved career of teaching elementary school due to my neck surgery not fixing all the neck problems and perhaps causing my weakened spine to collapse even further onto itself, and my now Bi-Polar I being uncontrolled by medicine (but we're working on it.) Before surgery which I would not even consider until 1) I had tried everything else we could think of and 2) I had been approved for Medicare so that I had insurance to cover it, which took 3.5 years to get from the time after my accident.
I started on 7.5/350 almost immediately on a full time basis upon the first MRI results, three badly herniated/crushed discs, bone riding on bone. Of course this kept going up as the pain increased as well as my tolerance.For the 8 months prior to surgery I was on 80 mg of oxycontin 3 times a day (have early withdrawal syndrome) and 20mg oxycodone PRN 3 times per day for breakthrough which of course had me nodding at times etc. Not a great feeling for your family to see you fall asleep into your plate at a restaurant, but I was in such desperate agonizing pain, so I stayed home more, but missed being with my family. My mother, whom I live with and accompanied me into all my doctor appointments at this time prior to surgery and while I was "doped" up so that we would be able to have the same info.after an appt., would have days of complete understanding, then days of doubt especially when the Bi-Polar I was also at one extreme or the other.
My surgery seemed to go extremely well until week 3 when I managed to dislodge the two lower screws in a plate with 6 screws. I have been in Physical Therapy since Jan. 2013 and in March I dropped to 60 mg Oxycontin 3x per day keeping the same breakthrough. To keep a long story a little shorter... I am now down to 20 mg Oxycontin 3x per day and 15 mg oxycodone/roxicodone 4x a day PRN. I have also been diagnosed with cervical dystonia which I gave into treating with botox. The first treatment was a very low dose which was used to help stop my extreme headaches which are no longer as extreme, and next month April 20th I will get a larger dose which will actually be used to treat the dystonia. I am truly hoping that this terrible muscle pulling and tightening will allow my neck to get stronger and stop pinching nerves, allowing me to actually feel how much the bones are rubbing and what to do next, because I look forward to being clean again and not having to watch a clock to keep from feeling sick. I am no stranger to detoxing but i am concerned this time after such a long time of being on this medication, even though I know some of it''s side effects coincide with my other ailments making them worse i.e. swollen joints, early menopause (sweats), IBS, etc. This is also the longest I have ever been on any drug whether IV heroin or prescription. UGH!!! Withdrawal will not be easy this round, but I am truly looking forward to being clean again!!!!  :o)

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by Amican, Mar 22, 2014
I have never done heroin, but I think Opana is her twin.  Currently I'm trying to decide whether I should ask my doctor to put me through a rapid detox to get off Opana.  I have tried to taper off myself, by taking one Opana 30 mg a day instead of two, and I actually go through miserable withdrawal.  And that is why I want off of Opana.  As far as pain relief, Opana is the best I've ever had, plus it doesn't cause me the histamine reaction, constipation, and other symptoms of morphine.  What I love about Opana are the moments I actually forget about my pain and disability, and it's like I never broke my neck or had the cervical spine surgeries.  I am more functional on Opana than other pain meds.  On the other hand, I cannot stand having to consider my pain med dose above all else in order to avoid getting sick.  Before Opana, the concern was not to let myself skip a pain med and go into pain flare up, now I risk pain flare up on top of withdrawal.   I know part of the problem is my tolerance level is building up, but I am not anxious to go to the Opana ER 40, because that is the maximum.  Maybe I should ask to dose three times a day, instead of two.  But I really want to go down a drug level to Oxy.  I just want to avoid the withdrawals.  I feel like I'm rambling.  Muscle relaxers do that to me.

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by Failing, Mar 26, 2014
It has been over 40 years and I have no longing for it. However I have never come to grips with who or what I am and why. I have been in therapy in one form or another for the same amount of time. Sometimes I wish I could get my hands on a whole bunch to get off first and finally to take a lethal dose. Depression runs rampant thru my family and I overcame or so I thought all of it when in fact I overcame none of it. All the underlying issues and feelings that lead me there are still present in my life. I should mention I had a very successful career and life but was always unhappy. It is not always the drug as you stated but sometimes the underlying pathology that brings you back.

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by collywobbles77, Mar 27, 2014
Yes funny how we get clean off the street drug and think life will be just fine n its really not like that at all.I was addicted to heroin for 17 yrs and iv been clean 3 yr now I started on 60mg methadone n I'm now on 1mg n It's been a huge help in my life. I'm just really struggling getting off the last 1mg for some reason . Well done to all of you who even attempt to get clean this really is no walk in the park ! I'm happy to help Or anwser any questions..

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by Katie55555555555555555, Apr 02, 2014
My son overdosed on heroine. We were called to the Critical Care unit and told that he was unresponsive. He had suffered massive brain damage. The hospital advised us to take him off life support and after they took him off life support, he kept living. He woke up a couple days later brain damaged, unable to speak, unable to control his bowls, his legs and only partly control his arms.He was so happy to see us, but had difficulty communicating at all, He had an anoxic brain injury. The first year they thought he might partially recover, but as time went on it became clear that he would not. He lived in nursing homes for three years before suffering a stoke and dying. While in the nursing home, he would look at us imploring us to help him, but there was nothing we could do except try our best to bring some happiness into his life. I get upset when I hear people talk about legalization. Before his overdose he had moved to Japan to get away from the availability of drugs in the US. Can you imagine the Pharmacy theft if it were legal or decriminalized. He has been dead for a year now and we miss him. My husband has been tortured by his death. He was his only child. They were very close. To those of you who are still a slave to this drug. please get help.

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Apr 02, 2014
Dear Katie, I am so sorry about your son. Our work at the MDS clinic is dedicated to preventing tragedies like these from occurring.  I spend hours answering questions for free here on MedHelp just to get people to quit using. But they keep doing it and they keep dying. But every time we see a patient come back to visit us at MDS or call us to tell us how well they are doing now that they are opiate free, it gives us all strength and encouragement to carry on. Thank you for sharing your pain with us. I hope time heals some of it. Sending you much love to you and prayers.

Dr. Julia

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by ChroicDoctor, Apr 04, 2014
Cannabis can be a great thing for someone with an addictive personality to keep them from the needles. Don't give up keep fighting everyone!!! where all in this togther

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by Julianne3434, Apr 08, 2014
Tanya...I need to pray for you. You are so brave in facing your situation directly, albeit in words. I know about struggling with demons. I know nothing about substance abuse, but I know about the struggles of re-approaching an abusive relationship.
Actions, thoughts are such a struggle. sometimes you know you rather pick A, but reach out for B instead. Sometimes it feels like your actions are beyond your choosing, a if someone, or something else is dictating your actions instead.
If that be the case, I pray for you, Tanya. I pray release over you.

I pray that you are released enough, to make your own decisions.
And what would you choose. Health. Wellness, of course. a partnership, a togetherness with your husband.
These I pray for you, that we are released from whatever constricts, to be able to choose your own directions, and then... that you would choose the right choice, even if they are small, small tiny steps. we eventually get there, we do.

I pray release for you, I pray for your choices, I pray you have strength. Healing is no small feat, requires so much even on the sunniest days - I pray you have a smooth path, the fair chance to display your resolve, without any hindrances, tampering on the sides. I pray these for you, Tanya  

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by Julianne3434, Apr 08, 2014
I love what almostnever wrote about 'rewarding yourself'....it's so true, the one reward you know is the one thing that brought about the original demise. It's like trying to lose weight and rewarding yourself with a big meal after a 1.5hr workout... very counterproductive, like a 'cycle', and a terrible way to live life.... two steps front and 2.5steps back... sounds like (mathematically speaking) it makes more sense not to move forward, but the revenue of '2 step front' are too big to ignore sometimes that I spend huge energies pursuing it... what then?
1) determine not to have the 2 steps front be followed up by a 2.5 steps back 'reward'. find other reward. try to fill (life) up with other rewards.
but...debilitating. it's not hard to imagine what we struggle with (addictions, etc) might cause our income to be very little. it's not hard to imagine then, debilitating lifestyles limits income in the first place, and hence limit accessibilities to rewards that involves $$ ...so, we cant travel, cant clean up the house, cant throw away the sofa with holes, or repaint that damaged wall...
2) resolve to find cheaper rewards then. find pleasure in simpler things. appreciate, adopt what we might have otherwise deemed as 'lessor' things. find no shame in liking simple, non expensive things.

thats how im trying to avoid slippery slopes.

hope you find your way too.

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by NatalieJam, Apr 09, 2014
I know from personal experience how these drugs work.  I always had an underlying depression problem but yet I was involved in school and all manner of extracurricular activities.  I married a physician when I was 21 years old and I had a bad ear infection.  My husband gave me anti biotic ear drops and 2 Tylenol 3.  Tylenol 3 is not a strong drug but I had never taken medications and the medication made me feel sick at first but then I felt wonderful. I felt "normal" for the first time that I could remember. Within a week, I needed something stronger but my husband would not write anymore because he didn't like narcotics unless they were needed and I didn't need them. I called the wife of one of his friends because I knew that her husband, a pain management physician, would have some drugs. To make a 30 year story much shorter, I went by the office to visit her and had free reign in the back. I saw hydrocodone and took loads of samples. I knew they would not be missed and felt on top of the world. I gave dinner parties after teaching school all day because I had so much energy after taking my pills. It finally caught up with me but I was on percocet and demerol.  I thought that I was not an addict because I did not use neddles. I told pharmacists that I worked for my husband and needed to write for pain meds because my husband liked to send people home with pain meds after a procedure.  One day a pharmacists called my husband and asked him to come sign for all the medication that I picked up using his prescription pads and DEA no.  I will never forget going home and my husband telling me that I needed help because I was addicted to drugs. I was so mad at being told that I was addicted and I also felt a horrible feeling of pure shame. I thought that everyone knew about me. He told me that I would have to go to treatment but I did not want to because deep down I loved the drugs more than anything. I was functional on the drugs but never got off of them. I was sick of constantly having to get the drugs or being so shaky if I couldn't get them. Finally, a good friend got me into a methadone clinic.  I felt great on it but I didn't like to feel sluggish so I asked them to drop the dose a little and it was perfect. Most of all, it actually lasted for 3 days without any withdrawls.  I started getting take outs because and noticed that a  7 day supply would last me 21 days.  This meant that I only had to drive the 75 mile trip once a month to get my meds. This did not sit right with the administrators and owner of the clinic. They said that I must not need it if I could by on such a little bit so I was forced to up the dose and come every 3 days to pick up enough for 3 days and come back again. They knew that I was taking it because it always showed up in urine tests but they did not want me to come off of it. This was in 2000 and I paid $330 for 30 days of methadone.  Thank god that my insurance reimbursed each month. Finally, I had to miss a day because for in service days where I was teaching. They told me that after a staff meeting that I could either double my dose or I could go off of their program.  They were forcing me to double my dose and drive to my job or they were going to kick me out of the program because  anyone only needing 30 mg per day did not have a drug problem.  I was scared so I told them OK but my family physician had taken a class so he could prescribe Suboxone or Subutex for drug addiction. I reported the methadone clinic to an agency that governed them. My Subutex physician started me out on 1 mg twice a day and then I dropped to 1 mg once a day. I have been on this day for 7 years. I am afraid not to take it. I went out of the country for 2 years and thought that I would come off of it but I am psychologically addicted to taking the medicine. I did not wait to see how I felt when I ran out and while out of the country.  Since I could buy hydrocodone over the counter, I loaded up on it and took it for 6 mos. and soon as I got back to the US I started back on my 1/4 mg.of Subutex. I feel that I will be on this medication the rest of my life.  I am in the habit of taking the medicine to maintain the feeling of "normal."  Do what keeps you clean and functioning.

In some countries many opiates are legal to buy over the counter and the drugs are not abused.  Their governments realize that people cannot go to the Dr. every time they have a headache or their nervous.  You walk in the pharmacy and ask for codone or diazapam and they sell it to you. I think this is a great idea. Do you know the number of people in prison for buying a couple of xanax from someone and it is on their record for life?  It's ridiculous and causes a vicious cycle of crime because the state eats them up with fees and they are put in jail if they do not have the money to pay each time they are called in for a urine screen.  Let's not forget that they cannot get a job or keep one bacause they have a record or they have to leave work whenever they are called for a drug screen.  This is why we have so many people in and out of the jails. The US has more prisons than China! They are owned by private corporations and they exists to stay full.  They employ many congress, police officers, lobbyists, and judges that are given large sums of money to prosecute as many as possible as they can keep these jails full.  The War on Drugs helps nobody except the politicians that are making money by prosecuting as many as possible.  Anyone that believes the FDA is here to protect you is nuts and if you do a little bit of research you will find out how many drugs that we have on the market that are far more dangerous than a few pain pills.  Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances that exists but it is socially acceptable. I feel much safer around someone that smokes a joint than someone that is drunk.

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by Traci97042, Apr 15, 2014
I wish someone would talk about the effects that smoking heroine has on a person. It may not hit you all at once and kill you but it seams to me that it does this slowly. I have 2 sisters addicted to it and they seam to think that just because they are not shooting it that it does not do any damage and they can't OD on it. I have been watching them for years nodding in thier plates of food and whereever else they are at and have to sit for more than 5 minutes. It's very sad and it's killing my mother. She seams to blame herself for it because of moving to a big city where there is plenty of it. My sister has tried to stop many times, she is terrified of the withdrawals. Even tho she has the Suboxone she still continues to use. I would think that using the tin foil all these years to smoke it would also cause damage. They keep saying, "At least were smoking it so you can't OD on it and it burns out the impurities and bad cut that people put in it." I don't believe this and want some back up (proof to show them) on it but can't find anything.

I have been searching and searching on the internet and can't seam to come up with anything on the effects of smoking it. Everytime I type anything to do with the dangers of heroine it always has to do with shooting it. Can anyone guide me in the right direction on this matter?

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by saladeater, Apr 16, 2014
I see there are active abusers using this post, so I wanted to share a largely unknown fact I just learned in my psych class.  We were studying classical conditioning, and it turns out that many deaths called drug overdoses are really from the same, or normal dose.  What actually caused death in these circumstances is a change of place or pre-using ritual.  The brain apparently prepares for using in a protective way through familiar circumstances, a conditioned response that keeps one from dying of the drugs.
I hope and pray a day will come that we don't have to lose any more people to drugs.  

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