Ramblings of a Recovering Junky - Part 2: Tales in Maintenance and its Pros and Cons

By Justin England 12/04/18
Drug Maintenance in Recovery

'RAMBLINGS OF A RECOVERING JUNKY'

Tales in Maintenance & 'that time I thought I was magically cured'


I go to the clinic and talk with Debbie the counselor who I had known from before when I wanted off the pills but I was into coke so all I did was waste time. But not this time!. We go through daily intake of Heroin and it is a lot including the Oxy and Fentanyl (Fent is a Christmas thing, not all the time but if it is there, I'll consume it. Or would consume, sorry...) I am then told I’d be put on Methadone. NO WAY. “You’ll be put on Methadone Maintenance and we will then keep track of you…” “Sorry to interrupt you but I will not have that shit in my system. I could still get high, my face will give me the significant ‘junky’ look, I would much prefer the Subutex. Can I grab that? I’m feeling sick, real fucking sick. So…” “Well, Justin, we will have to get you logged in, appointment next week, you’ll have to be clean of opiates for….” Debbie carried on but the second I heard “…wait a week.” I zoned out. I can not wait that fucking long! They know that. I kick the floor, toes first, hard, breaking my Havaiana flip-flop. We (My dad and I) walk out of the clinic. “So, a week and you’ll be on this Bupo thing, that’s good. It’s just a week, right.” “I can not wait a fucking week. That is insane, Dad. I can’t!” We walk to a shop that’ll have flip flops, people are looking at me, I know they are, I would too. I have one sandal on sweating, look grey and well, I’m kicking, and that shit is identifiable! We get some sandals and head back to the car; my stomach is cramping, and I start dazing.(You've already read this, haven't you...?)

*Below is also a few lines from my previous 'Ramblings' post but it will change within... I have changed a few bits to keep you intrigued because it goes from the first day to me going back to physical labour.

Fast forward to that night my dad spoke to the guy who works for him, Steve, he had me explain what I had done, I get the “You are fucking stupid! Heroin!? Cunt!” Yeah, yeah. I get it, I can’t shout back, I can’t argue, he is right. I fucked up. The good thing is, he sorts out some slow release morphine pills and weed. I am back at my parents’ house and will be for a while this time. Later, dad comes into the room with a pill and the weed. Also, a box of cigarettes, I take the pill and lift myself up from the fetal position to look at the weed. God it is savage and stinks, haven’t smoked weed since I was 18, fucking weird high, too heady. But it’ll knock me out. I hope. The morphine doesn’t touch the sides, the weed does help a little in that it gets me stoned and distracts me. I can still feel the headband effect that weed had on me, so weird...

A couple of days later, somehow, my mother of all people, comes in with four fucking bottles of Methadone, Jesus I don’t even wanna know where she got these, all I know is she was gone for a few hours. See, my mothers side of the family are very much ‘my’ type of people. Anyhow, I dose myself, I know, I know, I said I wanted nothing to do with it but Christ almighty the pain! Anyway, I dose myself, with Mum or Dad watching, on this horrible liquid shit for the week up until I get my Buprenorphine Prescription. The first Methadone dose gives me the nod, just after being ever so slightly Manic and happy because my body has its missing cells back, a nod I am fucking happy to have back with welcoming arms. I stumble back into the bedroom and… ZONK! I am out! Turns out, I had taken around 120mg of the stuff, it was two or three days with no dope so 120mg is a lot, but being junk sick and then getting that? Jesus, that was fucking awesome. I don’t miss that feeling now. I don’t. But then? I embraced it like I said, open arms... 

The day comes! I go to the clinic, I am with mum, dad and L and they go through the basics which are;

  1. "He will be supervised by the chemist..."
  2. "He will start on a low dose and work up..."
  3. "He will be able to function, work, drive…"

Mum and L ask more questions about this ‘wonder drug’ why it is different to Methadone and the likes. But they're sold. I just want to get to the chemist and throw the fucking thing under my tongue, the last dose of Methadone was nearly two days ago so, I am feeling it, creeping around my skin, that layer of frost, depression and so on. We get to the chemist and I am supervised, which is weird, but I come to welcome it because the staff are really fucking cool, helpful, welcoming people, they don’t treat you for what you are, you are just another person who took a wrong turn, I really expected that ‘euch, junky prick’ but I got “Hey, Justin! How are you?” this made me feel great, it’s those little things that give you a boost. Also, they had a coffee machine in their which was free and after my dose I’d have my sugar flavored latte and that would start a routine. The first dose of Bupe was phenomenal I was buzzing! Excited and Manic, so strange to think of now as it soon just faded, and it just fucked any cravings I had out the window and helped keep me off dope. I got back into the office, working hard, managing sites and being the person, I was supposed to be. I got up to 16mg a day and that would mean of course, tapering. Which I thought nothing of until it started…

From 16mg I dropped to 14mg the first few days were rough, the 2mg, yeah a measly 2mg makes a difference, I felt uncomfortable, irritated by EVERYTHING! But I am jumping ahead, manic writing again, a few months in (may have been 5-6 months?). I felt better. Didn’t want dope at all, wasn't even a thought anymore, I was happy working, I was busy writing my journals and being with my family and whatever else so… I didn’t need the Buprenorphine anymore, right? *BUZZ* WRONG!!!! Genius that I am took myself off, at 16mg by the second day I was absolutely FUCKED! I, one morning, chased the cat around the house and up the stairs. The cat wasn’t there. Nor did I get up. I was just... shot away. I went to the doctors, I clearly made a fucking mistake, had no idea, called the clinic who “We don’t have any appointments until…” “I am going to go score then becau---” Before I could finish my manipulation tactic, they told me to get there right away. In the room that I was in with my family a few months back, it was 6 months, the doctor was shocked at what I did and talked me through what Buprenorphine was and what it did. He said I was nearly over the worst part. He could give me some sleepers; I would soon be out of EVERY opiate *Round of applause?*. I would be 100% ‘clean’. “No, I need the Subs, I want to feel comfortable now, please?” “2mgtoday, 4mg tomorrow and then up to 14mg. You know the drill.” “Thank you. I am sorry, I thought that because I felt like… me again that I was, I don’t know, better?” “Justin, you are better. The mere thought that you were ready, shows you are not that person anymore. OK? This isn’t a defeat, it is a milestone. 6 months clean, Justin. 6 Months!” “But I am on Subutex (Brand of Buprenorphine), that means I am not clean because I’m on 'MAT'?” “Are you scheming, manipulating? Lying? Cheating?” “No.” The doctor smiles, hands me the script and I walk out. Jump into my sister’s car, she had given me a lift and took me to the chemist because, well, I was in no fit state to drive. Back to the supervision. I grab it, take the 2mg and head on home and get some sleep but that doesn’t work, got that buzz back so I write;

Took myself off my Buprenorphine for a few days and I felt OK at first then I felt rough, then psychotic. Fucking pills are just endless! When will I be rid of all this bullshit?! It was such a stupid thing to do, it wasn’t clever in any way shape or form, I look in the mirror and just see a vacant Justin… You are a fucking idiot. But I got 2mg today, just a moment ago, I feel a bit of a buzz which is a high I am allowed, it won’t happen again but at least whilst I feel it, I can hone it. Use it to write this fucking nonsense. What bugs me is the fact that people claim I’m not ‘clean’ if I am on a Medical Assisted Treatment, but I am clean. I am not doing dope, coke or anything, just coffee and cigarettes. That’s what my vices are these days. Nicotine & Caffeine after my dose that’s a habitual routine or rather, my OCD. What do I have for me? I have the girls which fill me with happiness and work, which pay the bills. Maybe I should write more, do something with it? This morning was insane, chasing the cat that wasn’t there and not actually chasing just going all 'One Flew over The Cuckoos Nest'. Oh well...

So, Buprenorphine is a great substitute in that it stops cravings and helps you get on with life, but it is also insanely tough to get off of, takes a while for the WDs to kick in and when they do, yeah... So, my mission was to start tapering down 2mg by 2mg slowly but surely, making sure I was comfortable but still coming off the stuff because while it was helping me I was still on an opiate, regardless of how much it helped, it truly was helping and it saved me from my addiction, I just needed to be off it. That is where the ‘Taper Diaries’ will come in… So until then.

Merci!

Oh, here is a recent photo of me on holiday back in the summer, greasy oil hair, and then the mug shot when from when I got arrested for 'Drunk & Disorderly' (Age 17) during my 'Lush' stage... Recent photo I am 28, no I was 27 at the time. Why did I not just delete and put the right age? Because I am enjoying the manic typing!

What a difference ten years makes, huh?!

@JustinEngland8

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