Those aren’t score marks. That’s a sword, and if there is a story that is the most double-edged of all, it is this mother fucking miracle pill. Ok, I may have shown my bias with the title, which in fact is true. After heroin was found to be way more addictive, our German friends developed methadone in 1939, because, it was not addictive, or there was “little risk for addiction.” Don’t want to misquote the morons.
Patterns. History, doomed to repeat if we don’t learn from the past. Apparently pharmaceutical companies love to pitfalls of the past, because they are not pitfalls for them, just those who take the medications. Ok, back to the sword.
My first introduction to buprenorphine was actually prior to my vacation at Eglin Air Force Base. Back then, it was an intramuscular shot, because junkies are good at giving themselves shots. I had no desire to get clean, but found that a shot in the shoulder did wonders on those days when I didn’t have the cash or drive to acquire the cash to get high. Maybe in hindsight, this was planting a seed for how at times I would use Suboxone in the future.
My first time I went on Suboxone was in 2005. -ish. I was on Federal probation at the time, and had already went to rehab the previous year. Surgery afforded me the luxury of a convenient truth, feed the addict some opiates, and I’ll just shoot more heroin/ Really, what’s a percocet going to do? So here I was, at this crossroads, end up serving out the last year or go through a “Painless detox.” That was the pitch, and while I didn’t believe it, it certainly sounded better than more jail time.
I went in sick, got two 2 mg tablets, and roamed around Pittsburgh for a little bit. Gradually, my legs remembered their strength, my stomach quiit churning and I was cold, because it was February in Pittsburgh, and not suffering from chills and hot flashes. I went back in 2 hours, and got two more tablets. I felt – normal. I will always remember the doctor looking at my history of drug use, and him telling me this- “If you were a diabetic, you’d be on insulin for life. You’re an addict, this is your medicine.”
Life progressed, my job was easier without the chase of heroin throughout the day. I fell for a girl I worked with, we got an apartment together, and I wanted to get off Suboxone. I looked so status quo and then one day, I stopped taking my Subs. I had run through them, and was taking only have the prescribed dose, so I had a stockpile and stopped seeing the doctor. I remember asking him how to get off them. “You just stop taking them.”
Fate, timing, whatever, has always played a crazy part in my life. What seems random or chaotic, is anything but. No sooner had I started sneezing, when my friend Junior called me. He had been up at IUP, and come back with a connection for MS Contin. Yes please.
What followed was a wrecked relationship, job loss, blood loss, eviction, and a fire sale. Pretty sure the addicts know why- I was back on heroin full force. I would go on Suboxone again after this unraveling of normal.
In South Florida, 2007, back on Subs, for 2 years or so. This time I really tackled the American Dream. I got it all back. I married a beautiful woman, we traveled, we bought a home, we communicated. Something was off about me though. Nothing excited me. I was in the grind of life, make money, pay bills, give it all away for what? I’ve read on many Suboxone boards that after a while, it makes the user “flat.” Then a drunk 21-year-old hit me in the passanger door, and I discovered the world of blues.
The double-edged sword- I got it all back, but I was still hooked on an opiate. An opiate I would learn is 80 times stronger than morphine. Yeah. 80. The only reason it doesn’t get you high is that it is a partial agonist, meaning it fits into certain opiate receptors, but not the one a junkie wants- the mu. Only fentanyl can knock it off completely, since its 100 times stronger than morphine. Adding to bupe’s strength, enslavement, it’s half-life is 36 hours, well, look up a Suboxone concentration curve. Oh look—
One thing I always remember my wife saying, in the good times, was how I would wait for my Suboxone to come in the mail-
“You’re like a fiending junkie Michael.”
“I need it or I’ll be sick.”
A simple conversation, but fuck if it doesn’t say it all- because I remember begging my mom to drive me to a friends house, to grab a bag. I was squirming in the car, moaning in agony, punching things, — “I need it.”
Suboxone isn’t clean time. It’s a mirage. It’s a bandaid on a gunshot wound. I was still bleeding out, just a lot slower than normal, a lot safer as well.
Next time, I have talked to people who reached the same level of frustration of being a slave to the miracle, that have successfully come off Suboxone. Since doctors are greedy fucktards who don’t know how to taper, or that it’s even necessary, I want to share how they did it. In the end, I chose this way to detox of Subs- the plan I hatched: if I just do blues and some heroin for like 30-45 days, all the subs will be out of my system, then I’ll just go through 3 days of misery instead of 21 or more.
That ended very poorly. I think I had the conversation with my dark side back in fall of 2009. I went with the plan. 30 days Mike. Maybe 45 if you need to.
My run ended on June 18th, 2014. Penniless, homeless, hopeless. Desperate to die. Desperate for a hug, a shower, a meal, a cigarette, for some tiny sign of life.
Please feel free to comment.
Peace & Love,