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The Publisher’s Story

How He Killed Heroin in His Own Life

I never expected it to happen to me. Isn’t that what we’ve all told ourselves? But honestly, I was always the straight edged kid. I was against smoking, drinking and drugs of any kind. Even the thought of smoking cigarettes disgusted me, mostly because I hated the smell but also because it was bad for me. Honestly, that hasn’t changed. But how did I get from being the straight laced goody two shoes to a recovering heroin addict. “Recovering” is the key word now, but only a short time ago, I was an active opiate addict – and I was lost at sea, in an abyss of misery, despair and depravity. Only by God’s grace, hard work and dedication have I been brought back to shore. I may have been shipwrecked, but I survived.

story 1

Heroin didn’t come into my life by chance. It was by my own depraved choice. I had started by occasionally experimenting with drugs, namely oxycodone (the active ingredient in the popular opiate painkiller Percocet). I enjoyed the brief “up” feeling of euphoria it provided. But before I knew it, I required more and more oxycodone to experience the same euphoric feeling. I soon realized that it was costing a small fortune to acquire a feeling that didn’t even satisfy me anymore and before too long, I decided to try heroin. Heroin provided a similar feeling to oxycodone, though it made me more relaxed and tired compared to oxy which made me more hyper.

story 4

The craziest part was that I still thought that I would never become addicted…that is until I realized that without the drug I started to feel “funny” and “different”. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first but I just knew I didn’t feel normal. It finally dawned on me that I was probably going through some kind of withdrawal. This led me to try street Suboxone – I found someone who sold it on the streets and I used it on the days I didn’t “want” to use heroin. At this time, I wasn’t a full blown addict because when I was, I always wanted to use heroin…and sadly, I always did.

By the time I was completely addicted I used heroin every day. I made excuses for myself, I took money out of savings and I took out cash advances. A few times I tried to go cold turkey and even tried Suboxone (buprenorphine) but since I used it too early, it sent me into premature withdrawal which I later learned it could do if you don’t take it after an appropriate amount of waiting time. The physical withdrawal was terrible and lasted for days. And while I conquered it twice, my mental addiction was too strong which led me right back to using. After 2 failed attempts, I recognized I needed help.

This led me to a methadone clinic. I was reluctant at first because the stories I read made me worry that I’d only be replacing one drug with another. Methadone was referred to by some I spoke with as “liquid handcuffs” which I only assumed was because people on it felt enslaved and disempowered. But after doing some research and only a short time at the methadone clinic, I quickly changed my mind. To me, attending the clinic was the best decision I’ve ever made. Months went by and I was free from heroin. I no longer sought after that “high” that active addicts (like I once was) crave.

After only a few months I started to taper down. While this isn’t typical for most, I felt like I had a strong handle on my addiction and recovery and thus, I felt like it was time to come down.

The highest dose I personally took was 70mg which is considered in the average range although everybody is different.  After tons of research, speaking with my doctor and counselor, I decided that a slow and steady taper would be best and most effective.  Thus, I began a 1mg a week taper.  I literally went from 70mg to 1mg tapering down only 1mg a week and then after the last week, stopped, being on 0mg.

A lot of people thought I was going to experience methadone withdrawal after a few days, but I didn’t.  I was told that I’d experience methadone withdrawal anywhere between 2 days and 7 days.  The good news is, I didn’t experience any.  The worst that happened was that I experienced a little bit of restless legs and sweaty armpits.  However, these were pre-existing issues I had experienced long before I started taking drugs.  Frankly, I hadn’t experienced either for many years because opiates took away both.  Thus, when I started experiencing restless knees and sweating again, it was a bit unexpected but then I remembered how much I experienced these before I ever even started taking opioids.  Long story short, the symptoms I experienced were just a part of my body getting used to itself again.  I was “feeling” again, for better or for worse.  After all, Methadone and opioids are painkillers.  Thankfully, my body is in pretty good shape so I didn’t experience a lot of discomfort.

People ask me all the time if I recommend Methadone to others, especially above other treatments.  My answer is always “it depends”.  At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for heroin addiction and thus, each recovering addicts must find what works for them.  Ideally, I feel that those who are qualified candidates are best off doing to a top drug rehab and addiction treatment center, which includes a week of detox.

To read other heroin addiction recovery success stories visit our Heroin Addiction & Recovery Discussion Forum. View “Meet the Admins” to read more recovery stories from those who also assist with running the website and forum community.

Visit our list of prescreened addiction treatment centers and drug rehabs to see who we recommend. Click here to contact us and for addiction help.

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