Dec 08, 2012
EmilyPost's medhelp user journal saved me from Tramadol addiction, twice.
I am 1 year clean from Tramadol, today.
More importantly, I am 4 days clean of dextromethorphan aka DXM aka Robitussin aka a self-imposed prison.
Like Emily has done for thousands lost in the fight against Tramadol, I would like to provide a space for those who are losing their lives to DXM. There's still time to fight, and we need to support one another.
This is NOT A SPACE to debate the 'merits' of DXM use. Everyone is entitled to their 'psychonautic' opinion, but this is solely a place for those that disagree and want their lives, brains, bodies, and control returned to them. Any comments supporting use of DXM will be removed. Those who have fallen prey to this addiction are no longer eligible for your 'harm reduction' suggestions, at least not under my watch.
Everyone else: Welcome. We have a lot of work to do.
A little bit about me: I am almost 30, I'm getting my PhD from a fantastic university, I'm a gal, I am single, I have a wonderful family, and I know way too much psychopharmacology and neuroscience. Lastly, I requested to enter outpatient treatment for DXM abuse about a month and a half ago. It's an amazing program, and I want to share what I'm learning with those that desire it.
I started DXM in September when I had a terrible upper respiratory infection and took Robitussin, thinking nothing of it. Because I am on fluoxetine (Prozac) for fibromyalgia management, I began TRIPPING BALLS.
I had heard of robotripping in college, but I considered it an old wives' tale.
I thought tripping was fantastic, and enjoyed the rest of my Robitussin until my infection had cleared up. I would wake up in the mornings still tripping, and would have a blast exercising and going to school and work. I finished the bottle and moved on with life.
But I couldn't.
Every few days, I would buy another bottle, drink half, trip, do it again the next night, then swear I would never do it, again.
Except, I would always find an excuse. And when you THINK you're having a blast going to school and work still tripping, you are actually taking a sledgehammer to your life, creating cracks in the foundation and chipping away, until you realize that it has crumbled and there's very little left. Negative interactions with colleagues, friends, guys, and my family all became excuses to use. I would chug a bottle in less than 3 minutes.
After using DXM for 5 nights straight, I trudged my way to my pdoc appointment and told what I had been doing. She further explained DXM's interaction with fluoxetine, made sure I understood that I was repeatedly inducing mild serotonin syndrome, and accepted my pleas to attend outpatient rehab. Finally. After being addicted to one thing or the other for, almost, all of my 20s.
I'm in a wonderful program that doesn't throw you out if you screw up. If you screw up, you have to work EXTRA hard to figure out WHY, that time, and how it could've been prevented. Yes, at first I was made fun of by the alcoholics, heroin addicts, cocaine addicts, crystal meth addicts, prescription pill addicts. At first, there was embarrassment and shame. Quickly, they realized I was in as deep as them.
Except I wasn't.
They realized I was in even deeper.
I should have 38 days sober. But I have about 77% of that. I've relapsed ~4 times, always only for a day or two, but that's way more than anyone in my group.
Do you know why?
Of course you do. That's why you're here. Not the specifics, maybe (like my discovering Robitussin gel caps), but you know. You know that it's a cheap *** drug that you can find in ANY grocery store or pharmacy on so, so many streets and corners. There are no dealers. There are no online pharmacies (there are, but those are easier to avoid). There are commercials...during children's shows! DURING EPISODES OF A&E INTERVENTION (my favorite show, when I couldn't get real help). You don't even deal with any stigma from buying alcohol. YOU VERY WELL COULD HAVE A COUGH, WHO REALLY KNOWS, AND ALMOST NO ONE CARES.
I care. You care. All of the teenagers who shared their stories on medhelp of their permanent brain damage - they care. They are adults, now. On psychiatric meds that they maybe wouldn't have needed. Feeling less smart, less funny, less able to use their sight and language as they once could. They definitely care, and we owe it to them to a) save ourselves, b) get better, so c) we can fight to spread support and awareness to help others out and, one day, raise enough awareness to do something about this.
Because, as you know, something is VERY, VERY WRONG, here. There ARE long-term effects. There IS permanent damage from HEAVY, CHRONIC abuse. There HAVE been suicides. Just because DXM isn't used to make meth doesn't mean it SHOULDN'T be behind the counter, away from those with histories of addiction and from CHILDREN who heard they could trip 'like on acid'. FOR FIVE DOLLARS. It shouldn't be advertised during prime time, PARTICULARLY DURING SHOWS ABOUT ENDING ADDICTION.
Talk about a world of triggers!
So, if you need a listening eye, if you have questions, if you feel you can't handle this anymore, or if you feel like joining this fight, leave it in the comments. I will be documenting my crawl out of this hole, in the hopes that, one day, someone stumbles upon it and does the same.