Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Well the Doctor won't help me in the way that I want, so it looks like I have to continue to struggle the hard way and keep my addiction as low as possible for the next little while, until I can get into the Next Step program and take it from there.
Very disappointing, you would think that a GP would want to help someone who has a clear plan of getting off this shit without using opiate based crutches....
Anyway, lots to plan at the moment, have to move house as the owner is selling.  They say things come in three's, cant wait to see what is the next hurdle...

Friday, February 5, 2010

The 'New' Plan

I had my call yesterday from Next Step, they can not help me as they only do In-Patient Detox, but they did suggest I go back to my Doctor with a list of what I want and see if he is prepared to give it to me direct, only thing is Doctor's arn't allowed to prescribe Sub over here - which is probably the reason he referred me to Next Step.

Here is what I will be trying to get to make my withdrawals more tollerable, I know, very lame but I just can't do it un-assisted.  Click the name to link to a Wiki page with very detailed information on the specific drug.

  Gabapentin (Neurontin) - for the restless leg, I get this lots anyway, even before I was addicted.  One of the many reasons for my insomnia, though I did not even know it was an illness till very recently.

It is a GABA analogue, or γ-Aminobutyric acid is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system.  It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.

In humans, GABA is also directly responsible for the regulation of muscle tone.  In insect species GABA acts only on excitatory nerve receptors.

It was originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy, and currently, gabapentin is widely used to relieve pain, especially neuropathic pain.

Gabapentin should not be discontinued abruptly after long term use.  Abrupt or over rapid withdrawal may provoke a withdrawal syndrome similar to alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal.  Gradual reduction over a period of weeks or months helps minimize or prevents the withdrawal syndrome

  Trazadone - for sleep, it is a psychoactive drug of the piperazine and triazolopyridine chemical classes that has antidepressant, anxiolytic, and hypnotic properties.

It inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, but possesses a far lower affinity for the serotonin transporter (SERT) than drugs in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and citalopram (Celexa).

Abruptly stopping the taking trazodone, even in doses as low as 25 mg (common for use as a sleep aid for people with anxiety disorders), may experience adverse mental reactions such as emotional instability, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts.  Although such warnings may be included in printed materials supplied with the drug, physicians prescribing trazodone, particularly those who are not psychiatrists, might not give oral warnings.

  Clonidine - for watery eyes and nose, diarrhea, irritability etc.  It is a direct-acting α2 adrenergic agonist, an adrenergic agent is a drug, or other substance, which has effects similar to, or the same as, epinephrine (adrenaline).  Thus, it is a kind of sympathomimetic agent.

It may cause lightheadedness, dry mouth, dizziness, or constipation.  Clonidine may also cause hypotension.

Clonidine suppresses sympathetic outflow resulting in lower blood pressure, but sudden discontinuation can cause rebound hypertension due to a rebound in sympathetic outflow.  Clonidine therapy should generally be gradually tapered off when discontinuing therapy to avoid rebound effects from occurring

  Alprazolam (Xanax) - for the anxiety, insomnia, agitation, shakes etc.  It is a short-acting drug of the benzodiazepine class.  It is primarily used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders and panic attacks, and is used as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety associated with moderate depression.

It has a fast onset of symptom relief (within the first week); it is unlikely to produce dependency or abuse.  Tolerance to the therapeutic effects of alprazolam is controversial with one view being that alprazolam is ineffective with long term use and the other view being that tolerance to the therapeutic effects does not occur.

It, like other benzodiazepines, binds to specific sites on the GABAA gamma-amino-butyric acid receptor.  When bound to these sites, which are referred to as benzodiazepine receptors, it modulates the effect of GABA A receptors and, thus, GABAnergic neurons.  Long-term use causes adaptive changes in the benzodiazepine receptors, making them less sensitive to stimulation and less powerful in their effects.

It should never be abruptly stopped if taken regularly for any length of time because severe withdrawal symptoms may occur. Severe psychosis and seizures have been reported in the medical literature from abrupt alprazolam discontinuation, and one death occurred from withdrawal-related seizures after gradual dose reduction.

  Immodium - for nausea and diarrhea..

In the air is, Suboxone it is supposed to cover the 'want' part of WD, it is a semi-synthetic opiate with partial agonist actions, and antagonist actions.  I am going to try to avoid this, for two reasons, getting on it means I have to wait ages for any treatment at all and the I am still worried by all the horror stories out there.
I mean looking at what those other drugs do, I reckon I can get through it without Sub, others have done so.  I am thinking it just depends from person to person and the best way is to just give it my best and see what happens, and if necessary make the modifications as needed...

Not sure of doses yet, need to sit down with the 'Quack' and fugure all that out, have an appointment tomorrow with the Dr. in question.  For that matter I am not even sure he will go along with all this, all up in the air at the moment.

Will post up the outcome.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Still Plodding

Well I had my appointment today with the Doctor, after waiting to see him I was told that I had to go to Next Step (name of clinic), would have thought the receptionist could have told me that when I was booking the appointment. I went in and filled in several forms of reasonably arbitrary information, after all that I have to wait a couple of weeks for them to call me back to do a phone interview. The phone interview judges my suitability to be put on a two month waiting list.

You would think they would treat, as a priority, and help people who want off the shit, wrong...  Apparently this is all due to a bunch of Red Tape that the Government has put in place, grrrhhh!

Oh well, just keeping struggling along I suppose.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Wagon has broken wheels

Well, I have basically admitted defeat here, in a sense at least.  I am going in to the doctors on Wednesday to sign up on some sort of program for getting off this shit.
I have been researching my intended strategy and in doing so came across SubSux, they are a really great group of people that have been through what I am going through and I am currently getting some pointers from a couple of them.  
Not sure where all this will lead right now, time will tell.  Will post up the results from my Doctor's Appointment Wednesday some time.
Gosh this is hard.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Still of the Wagon

I made it one more day and then again back to it, I may now only have a couple of choices as it seems that I do not have the strength to kick this unassisted.

The choices are, for me, as I don't want to do the Naltrexone implant or Suboxone (Buprenorphine) due to experiences some of my mates have had recently, are Methadone or Slow Release Oral Morphine. As I am currently weighing the pros and cons of which route to attempt first, I will try to record and convey as best I can a comparison of the choices open to me and the reasons I will have to choose whichever of them I end upon.

This is truly one of the hardest things I have ever attempted, I can not believe how I could have possibly thought I was in control of this thing for so long, what a fool.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wheel filters - lets be as safe as possible.

Wheel filters are the best way to filter any solution, this guide is designed primarily for people who want to inject pills, but safe is best when it comes to putting anything in your body, I highly recommend using these if you have to use at all.  Learn from my experience.

Almost all needle exchange programs have them handy, in varying specifications of course. Wheel filters look like flying saucers and contain gauze which is capable of removing vary fine particles. They come in a variety of sizes, designed to filter specific particles such as chalk or wax. Although it is always better to filter a solution than not, cotton wool and tampons only filter down to about 50 microns, which can still allow particles to enter the bloodstream.

Green wheels contain 0.8 supor membrane gauze and are best used with hot M.S. Contin mixes. Blue wheels contain 0.2 supor membrane gauze and are best used to filter liquid methadone, or mixes of speed/coke/heroin from bacteria. Some users report they also work well with subutex. Blue wheels are capable of filtering bacteria, which means they are great for people with a lowered immune system (or indeed anyone who wants a super pure taste), however they don’t filter viruses (such as hep c or HIV). Red wheels contain 0.45 supor membrane gauze and are best used with chalky pills such as anamorph or physeptone.

Wheel filters are a bit tricky to master at first, but once you have the hang of them, they’re easy to use and your veins will thank you!!

When you’re using a wheel filter, you need to be patient and keep a steady hand. I always use a clean plate underneath my mix whilst I’m preparing it to minimize the risk of an unhappy accident. Wheel filters work best with 5ml or 10ml barrels. If you use a smaller barrel, such as a 3ml, the equipment has a greater tendency to ‘explode’ when you apply pressure. You should use firm pressure, but not try to force the solution through the filter. If the solution is not going through the filter, you may need to change filters or add more water to the mix.

Remember that wheel filters can only be used to filter solution in one direction. This means that you can either draw the liquid up through the filter or push it through the filter.

To use a wheel filter most efficiently you need firstly to wet the filter. Wetting a wheel filter removes the air bubbles and to decreases the chances of the filter blocking up.

Attach a clean barrel containing 2 or 3 ml of sterile water to the wheel filter. (You will notice that on either side of the wheel filter are two places to attach a tip and barrel. The tip ‘screws’ in, whilst the barrel is simply inserted and should fit snugly.)

sourced from "Network Against Prohibition" Filtering and Injecting.


Off the Wagon - Why?

Well I have caved in to the temptation, there are a lot of reasons I can use, the main one is the pain in my legs at the moment, but none are valid. I chose again to have some, will power is a funny thing. I am not trying to defend my actions, merely hoping the process of understanding my actions will help me to resolve them in some way shape or form.

There are many studies that show that Heroin, and many other Opioids actually damage the area of the brain related to 'will power'. There is some research floating about at the moment, which focuses mainly on 'will power' and intimates that if a person tries to make too many life changes at a given time they can easily overburden their prefrontal cortex, (the part of the brain responsible for will power, short term memory and problem solving). Not a very good combination of areas or facets to loose full control over when one is trying to quit an addiction.

Over at Stanford, Associated Professor of Marketing Baba Shiv has been conducting practical experimentation into why we make the choices we do.

A group of students, divided into two sets were tasked as follows: "One group was given a two-digit number to remember, while the second group was given a seven-digit number. Then they were told to walk down the hall, where they were presented with two different snack options: a slice of chocolate cake or a bowl of fruit salad."

The statistics seem to show that the students with seven numbers to remember were nearly twice as likely to choose the cake as students given two digits. One possible reason, according to Prof. Shiv, is that the process of remembering the numbers took up space in prefrontal cortex, increasing 'cognitive load' and by extension making it difficult to make choices that went against 'desire'.

This highlights just how pathetically weak the brain can be in matters of 'will power' and 'temptation', and also shows that people who struggle with 'will power' issues may not be just plain bad people, but may indeed just have a lot on their minds.

When you couple this theory with the amount of information parsed by the brain during the process of trying to relieve oneself of an addiction it surely seems to transcend into a 'catch 22' type position.

I think 'distraction' is going to have to be my mode for the next while at least, other studies have shown that people who are good at distracting themselves from 'temptation' have a better chance of avoiding bad choices.

A good example is the study recently undertaken by Prof. Paul Mischel, University of California, has shown that four-year-old children who are better at resisting the allure of eating a marshmallow, are the ones who sing songs, play with their shoelaces or pretend the marshmallow is a cloud. In other words, they're able to temporarily clear the temptation out of consciousness. "Because they know that willpower is weak, they excel at controlling the spotlight of attention: When faced with candy, they stare at the carrots."

So where to for me now? Have I indeed fallen into the realm of the true Junky, as a result of breaking my promise, I truly hope not. One thing is for sure, I am not giving up, going to look into 12-step programs and the like, continue researching into the methodology of abstaining from substance abuse, and hope for the best.

I will not be beaten by this.