Ramblings of a Recovering Junky: Subs, they helped me...

By Justin England 07/18/19
Photo - Copyright Ben Frost (Subutex)

Medical Assisted Treatment; If it works for you, **** the Haters & stigma and do what is best for you!

What is ‘Buprenorphine’?

Buprenorphine is a derivative of the opioid alkaloid thebaine that is a more potent (25 - 40 times) and longer lasting analgesic than morphine. It appears to act as a partial agonist at mu and kappa opioid receptors and as an antagonist at delta receptors.

Or;

Buprenorphine is also an opioid that attaches to opioid receptors. It has strong binding ability, replacing and blocking other opioids so that they become ineffective. It is a partial agonist instead of a full agonist, meaning that it causes limited pleasurable effects, just enough to stop withdrawal symptoms.

  • Before I delve into this, I do want to acknowledge that I see both sides to the party. I mean debate. But, be considerate. If Bupe is, to you, ‘evil’ ‘not sober’ cool, but it isn’t your path to recovery. People on Subs are on them for a reason, not because they want to continue ‘getting high’, fuck no. If that was why I wanted them, I’d be out on my ass and still scoring dope. Now, there are people that abuse these things and to them, I have to say “Fuck you, guys… There are people literally dying to get treatment but they’re on a list. A list you are on as you abuse or sell them to get high. So, sort that shit out, yeah? Cool.”

I used Buprenorphine in my sobriety, and it helped me in way that ‘Cold Turkey’ wouldn’t have. Yes, it was my safety net and yes, I needed that Safety Net. Without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. Climbing the ladder career wise, writing these pieces and well, I just wouldn’t be where I am now. There were days where I’d go without to prove a point. Then the next day...? Well I’ll go through the day without the dose quickly from an old Journal then the day after where I’d have my dose, I would stick it out for as long or as much as I could;

The day without:

It’s a busy day today, out and about but I get up have my coffee as usual and get ready. By ‘get ready’ I just throw clothes on because I don’t care for how I look, or if it goes, I still have the mindset that I skate so, it doesn’t matter! But then sometimes, I worry about what I look like! (Wait, I will just stick to the Med) so after the coffee I leave the house knowing I don’t have that safety net but I’m confident, I can do it. If I truly need it? It’s there, just gotta wait. Right? So, stop thinking about it, Justin. Seriously. STOP. I make small talk, but this small talk is background noise coming from my mouth as I think about asking to swing back round… Would they? NO. No, shut up, brain! Stop already! As we get further away from the Girls and the House, I have a ‘Lightbulb Moment’, when and if I feel the sickness, I can take an Antihistamine just to help subside the Yawns, Watery Eyes, Shivering… But I’m fine now.

We get to our destination and I roll a cigarette, my first cigarette without the dose or the coffee, my routine is whacked now, gone out the window which drives me nuts! No turning back. We go grab some food but, dare I eat!? What if something happens. I didn’t have an Imodium, oh you twat. But in all honesty, I feel OK. The worst part is this inner panic I feel. *fast forward through the day to the evening* Starting to feel a little short tempered and a little cold but, nothing I cannot handle. I am tired, really, tired.

The day with:

8am wake up, As, soon as I wake up, I feel it. I feel it in my throat, the fucking ‘Dry Heaves’ deep throated by Satan’s perverted Uncle. The hot & cold sweats are ready, the beads are ready to be unleashed. Tension headache. Fantastic. Fucking, great! Can I manage a coffee? (A sip, yeah) but, not long now. You’re up at 8 they’re open at Half Past, but you’ve got so much to do. So much. Rush, rush, rush! Girls sorted. You can get ready AFTER. But you don’t. You get ready now because you don’t want THEM to think you’re still THAT person but mostly you want to tell yourself you’re not THAT person. You’re not that person. But, not having the meds have you like this so... hmm! You finally get to the chemist. Christine sees your eyes are fucking piercing everything. Passes you the weeks doses. Signals you to call to check in. You hold the dry heave and nod. Jump in the car and slowly drive off. You get the subs under your tongue... The dry heaves are slowly but surely finally, fucking off, as you drive back toward home your legs start to tingle and weaken but haven’t felt so strong and sturdy for... Christ knows how long. Your arms the same. Your mind is sharper, quicker, your chest is filling with optimism, your eyes widen and aren’t so much of a strain and that tension headache is finally going... going... GONE! You wait five minutes, Justin. This is your ritual. That latte is there, it isn’t going anywhere. Once every bit of chalk like taste has gone you can sip that sugar flavored latte to your hearts content. Once the cup is empty, you’re no longer sick but that build up, the tingling, the sharper mind has all but gone. You weren’t getting high. Your body was just shutting down the ‘Sickness’.

So, there’s the day after the day without. You think you’re about to buzz because you went without but, no. You don’t buzz at all. The sickness was the downside which is why you don’t do what I did. You taper and gradually wean. I’ve got a few journals as I’ve mentioned here and there ‘The Taper Diaries’ which sometimes would read like a lunatic had written them but often? It was more of a ‘Dear diary...’ so again... I’m not trying to preach ‘it’s the best. It’s the best!’ It’s not. But it DID save me and helped me immensely in my early recovery. I am not ashamed to admit that. Not in the slightest. I was really sick and there seemed to be no helping me but then Buprenorphine come into the picture and it did, it really helped assist me to where I am today. As it has with other people I know, but I also know people that are on them and they are STUCK. So, there’s always an upside and a downside. My personal downside is that feeling where you’re about to get that sweet Opiate release, you know the one, where you’ve finally got to the man and you’re shaking and it hits you and your brain just climaxes all over sending your body into pure Fu****g euphoria! But you don’t because that isn’t what you’re taking them for which is great, but… I’d rather not have such a buildup (as mentioned in the day after I hadn’t taken them). So, I do truly get why a lot of people dislike the things but the hate? The hate I don’t get. It’s not your sobriety, it is not your recovery and if Cold Turkey, just one day ‘STOP’ worked for you? That is great and you are insanely strong, you’re amazing. But people like myself that had to have the Safety Net, the slow release back into ‘Reality’ then you too are legends because you are doing it. I had my hand held along the way and now I feel so much better. In August I have Three Years!

So, this is my take on the stuff. If you disagree, fine. Like I said some like it some don’t. Fair enough. But again, I didn’t have time to take god knows how much time off of work & away from family to completely clean myself. I had to get back to it and I am so proud of what I did because who knows where I’d be now?! Certainly not earning what I do now, and would I even still be alive!? Again, to the guys who had the time to clean their cells and crush it all out of their system, kudos! If you’ve got the patience to sit through my bullshit rambling pieces (THANK YOU SO MUCH!), this piece may cause some comments of “It’s evil! You’re not clean if you’re on subs!” but… Yes. You are clean. Granted, you do get sick without them, but that is because you’ve still got the ‘Junk Cells’ what Buprenorphine is doing is slowly ridding you of those cells, so of course you’ll get sick without your dose because while it is holding off the full WD and killing cells slowly but surely through your wean, it’s also slowly getting you out of the habit of thinking you need something, running around town trying to hustle up some cash! But, again, it’s what works best for you as an individual on your path to recovery & sobriety. If you aren’t out and about hunting for your next fix? It’s doing its job! Right!? Now I am no expert on this Medicine but, I am familiar with how it is used to help with cravings and fighting off the withdrawal etc. so don’t think I am trying to tell you why you should use this as opposed to coming off everything Cold Turkey and completely abstinent. Those people are brave. Incredibly brave. But again, I’ll always say this, others don’t have that fight in them or they simply need that extra hand in getting back to their lives and that’s OK!

(Apologies, I went on and on in this last paragraph because it is a tough one to argue but I genuinely believe that it is a god send to certain people, I just hate when I see people really digging into others for being on them as they’re deemed ‘not clean!’)

How do you sign out from something like this? To those with strong opinions just remember there are people going through really, really, tough times right now just like you did once yourself and when they see something that could push them back? Just remember that it may not be for you, it may well be for someone else and save lives so… spread love, not hate. PEACE!!

Stay Strong and Toodles!

 

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