Opiates to Kratom to Suboxone Withdraws
After searching for some guidance, and support, I stumbled upon this site. I read a few threads, and decided to sign up. I have zero experience with forums of any kind, and have never posted a thread in my life. So, please bear with me as I may make some mistakes. I’m still unfamiliar with how most of this works. I decided to post my own thread instead of saying all of this on someone elses, so I wouldn’t steal any attention away from their problem. I guess I did the right thing…I dunno. I’m positive that cold turkey >> tapering, and maybe even antidepressants have been discussed to death in this forum. If it is easier to direct me to another thread for answers, then please feel free…but i’m mostly just looking for a support network, and someone to talk to, who has experience quitting subs and knows something about the effects of anti-depressants. Anyway, here is a brief backstory illustrating how I ended up where I am at this very moment…with a couple of questions towards the end.
I am a 33 yr old Army veteran with a ninja complex. I am an aspiring writer, and…Wait. That sounds like my resume’. That info has no relevancy here. lol. Ok, here it is… It goes without saying that pain meds were the seed that grew this vine around my throat. Specifically, percs and tabs. They seemed to give me the energy to do the things I needed to do. Did I actually need them? No. I thought that I was a better person with them, however. I thought that they leveled me out, and corrected some kind of chemical imbalance I might have had in my brain, by making me happier, more social, and more energetic. I mean, that’s how I was supposed to be, right? That’s how all my friends seemed to be, WITHOUT drugs. I considered anti-depressants, but I had grown to really enjoy that opiate buzz, and figured that I could never feel as energetic, or as happy from anti-d’s as I did from perc-10’s. It wasn’t until I moved, and had zero access to pain meds that I realized how addicted I was. We all know what opiate withdrawals are like. After I unwillingly suffered through it all, I turned to alcohol. It was the only thing that helped me get any sleep. I didn’t drink a lot, to the point of getting “drunk”, but I drank everyday. Eventually, I moved back to my home town, and gradually started back on the pain meds. Before I knew it, most of every check was going towards pills, and I was sick once a month whenever my source went dry. I wanted off. I wanted out…but I couldn’t afford to go through wd’s and miss any work. Not to mention, I think I was literally AFRAID of the withdrawals…as if they were demons sent to vacuum my soul from it’s body, and take their sweet, terrifying time doing it. Then a buddy of mine stumbled across something on the internet called Kratom.
After doing a lot of research on this stuff, I decided to try it. According to what I had read, it was kind of like an herbal opiate, and completely legal…in the U.S. anyway. So…I ordered some, tried it, and loved it. Not only had I found something that would get me off the pills, but it made me feel great, was way cheaper, legal, and easy to get. I made Kratom “tea” (it’s more like mud water, and tastes like dirt) about 3 times a day for a COUPLE of YEARS. What I didn’t realize (until the first time I ran out after months of having it) was that this too had it’s own set of wd’s. While it wasn’t QUITE as bad as opiate wd’s, it was pretty bad after being on it for so long…bad enough that I started to fear running out. It wasn’t until my buddy (who was on it too) started experiencing some strange side effects from it, that I actually considered quitting. He got to the point to where he couldn’t take it without getting dizzy, and experiencing numbness in his face…unpleasant, scary numbness. A few months later, I started getting dizzy when I would take it as well. I also started having blurred vision, cold sweats, and couldn’t keep my eyes still. Quitting time. I quit cold turkey…and it was HARD. I couldn’t sleep for anything. I had cold sweats, diarrhea, and hot flashes that went back to cold sweats, body aches, fever, depression, etc, etc. After a week and a half of this, a buddy of mines dad came over and gave me half of a suboxone. I had no idea what it was at the time.
I took half of it. An hour later, I felt completely fine! No WD’s! I was amazed at how well it worked. I took the other half, and something even more amazing happened…not only were the wd’s gone, but I actually felt GOOD! Suboxone…my savior! Yeah. For the past year and a half, Suboxone has been my…”savior”. When the subs wore off, the kratom wd’s came back. So, I went and got more subs. My friends dad had a prescription, but he got way more than he needed. So, he would sell his leftovers to me. I started buying from him every two weeks, without fail. When I first started taking it, it made me feel great. I didn’t get that opiate buzz…I just felt…good. You guys know what i’m talking about. I felt normal again. Even my usual aches were gone. I stopped drinking…stopped everything. Suboxone straightened me out. It changed my life…for the better…for awhile. Eventually I realized that I had once again traded a vice for a vice, and that this new found freedom from fear, and dependency was just an illusion. I was simply in a shinier, and more lightweight set of shackles now. I realized this the first time my source went out of town, and I had no way to restock. I was out, completely, for 2 weeks. How did that go? It was AGONY. I’ll say it again…AGONY. It was enough to motivate me to get a better job, lol, JUST so I would never run out again. Well, things happen. Heck, i’ve even tried not taking it on purpose a few times for a couple weeks, just to see if I could kick it if I really wanted to…AGONY. Like I said, when I first started taking it, it made me feel the good kind of normal again, and it made my life better…for awhile. Soon I realized that my tolerance was increasing, and I was spending more money on it than I could afford. Not only that, but it didn’t seem to have the same effect as it used to. I didn’t really feel good anymore. I was just taking it to keep from being sick, which is the intended purpose of the medication, I know…to keep you from being sick, and not necessarily to make you feel good…but I started wondering why I was even taking it. I only felt decent when I had it in my system, and if I didn’t, I felt like I was dying. It just…stopped making sense. It was about 6 months ago that I decided I needed to kick suboxone. After a year and a half of taking it, and a collective 3 years of opiate addiction, i’m sick of these chains. I’m sick of the ups and downs. I’m sick of it digging it’s claws deeper and deeper into my chemistry as each day passes. I’m sick of being dependent on it…on anything. I’m sick of the money it costs. I’m sick of how content it has made me with how lame my life is, and how it seems to have somehow fogged my brain over time. I want to kick it, but I have no support network, and I know how difficult it is…which is why i’m here.
So, to sum it up…the kratom got me off of the pills, and the suboxone got me off of the kratom. Now, i’m stuck on the suboxone. Don’t get me wrong, suboxone can work wonders for you…IF you are on a time sensitive program. The longer you’re on it however, the harder it is to kick. I’ve gotten myself down to 4mg a day, but…now I only have 2 pills left. I recently lost my job due to an arm injury. I know it’ll be pointless for me to start a new job if i’m about to go through wd’s. So, I filed for unemployment 3 weeks ago, and it should be kicking in soon. I figured if ever there was a time to kick suboxone, it’s now. I won’t even have access to more subs for another 2 weeks. So, even if I took a quarter a day, the two I have still wouldn’t last me. So, i’m doing it. I’m kicking it now. It just makes sense.