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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anthrax Tainted Heroin?

Just herd that we now have a lethal batch of Heroin floating around the streets, that has been tainted with Anthrax.  What is next?

It does make you wonder though, is this really a part of the terror campaign as the powers that be would like us to think or is it rather an accident at the point of manufacture?

Lets face it most of our smack comes from Afghanistan or neighboring areas, we are told all the time that terror funding comes from the sale of illegal drugs to westerners, is it such a giant leap to think that this is just an accident, that the same lab was used to make Anthrax as was used to make Heroin without proper procedures, these are after-all back yard drugs people.  I find it hard to believe that any dealer, supplier or manufacturer wants their clientel to die.

But there we have it, they are, 8 so far.  Counting...

Australia Day

Terra Australis, Terra Australis Ignota, Terra Australis Incognita, Magallanica or Magellanica, La Australia del Espíritu Santo, and La grande isle de Java, or Australia to the masses.

404 years since conception (first sighting of Terra Australis), 222 years since birth (first settlement of Terra Australis), 186 years since British Admiralty accepted the name Australia into the vernacular (thank you Matthew Flinders), 109 years since we moved out from home (signing of the constitution for Terra Australis), you would think at this age we could have a drink!

On 26 January 1808, Manning Clark notes that the '20th anniversary of the foundation of the colony' was observed in the traditional manner with 'drinking and merriment'. So why can't I have a bevvy on the foreshore???

At any rate I digress, we had an excellent day, what more could I want. Kids, family, merriment, good food, great company....

Really wanted to have a hit today, after dropping the kids back to their Mother, seems like the horrible Physical Withdrawal has for the most part vanished but her insidious brother Psychological Withdrawal is here to stay.

To make it just that little bit harder my knees are really hurting from the other night out, one quick shot and I wont feel a thing. The other side of this knee thing is I can't work, so I have been bored and depressed, not so much today, but will be again tomorrow. My gag reflex is kicking in just thinking about it, after prolonged Heroin use some people get what is Medically Diagnosed as a 'Hypersensitive Gag Reflex', this can be triggered by almost anything ranging from things that normally make someone feel a bit ill to the most mundane act or stimuli to, most usually for me, thinking about Heroin.

Got to stay strong...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Better to have a bottle in front of me,

than a frontal lobotomy...

On day nine now, I think, I have stayed very drunk the last few days which has helped a fair bit but has the consequence of blurring time a little.  Must be day nine ;)

Got to sober up now, got the kids tomorrow, time to man up and actually face this thing cold turkey.

Feeling confident, the problem with 'hope at the end of the tunnel' is that I always see the flip side of it, an epic fail!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oh What A Night

I am doing well, had a massive Friday night on socially acceptable medications (alcohol).  Feeling utterly dreadful today, last night was a bit of a release of some pent up steam, drank way too much, stuffed my knees up some how and wont be able to work for a few days, which is bad as we have Australia Day coming up and I do work that would have yielded a very large pay packet for the day.  To top it all off I made an absolute prise prick of myself at the place I work, not a good idea to 'shit in your own back yard' as they say.

Not missing the smack so much today, feeling as crap as I am at the moment I can hardly smoke cigarettes, let alone anything harder...

Going to have an early night and see what tomorrow brings...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day Two - revisited! Arse to it.

Here's a shock, coming down again, I suppose they had to do it, but shux.  Bit peeved I feel like I did on day two, not looking forward to tomorrow I can tell you all that.  At any rate this is just a quick one, got to go back in time and fill in some history.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day Three - Oh My God... (continued...)

So I ended up going to Hospital, seems that lung infections like Pneumonia and Bronchitis are quite common when withdrawing from Smack.  Apparently they are also common during the use of it, who knew...  At any rate I dragged my arse into the hospital this morning because of all the pain I was having in my left lung, turned out to be mild Pneumonia, a bacteria that like to reproduce rapidly in your lungs when your immuno-suppressant system is not working correctly.  Problem is that Heroin gives the Immune System a somewhat misrepresented bolstering, for instance you can be in the middle of one of the worst flu's you have ever had, and just a little smack will knock it on the head.  In actual fact Heroin was used from the early 1800's til about the 1920's for the treatment of coughs and other flu like diagnosis.

Pneumonia is caused by the inhalation of infected microorganisms (tiny, single-celled living organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa) spread through contact with an infected person.  The microorganisms enter the body through the mouth, nose and eyes.  If the body's resistance is down (thank you Heroin), the natural process of fighting off diseases is weakened and the microorganisms are free to spread into the lungs and the lungs' air sacs.  The air sacs become filled with fluid and pus from the infectious agent, making it more difficult for the body to get the oxygen it needs.

There are three main types of pneumonia, Mycoplasmal, Bacterial and Viral. 

Fortunately, it may seem, for me I have the Bacterial variety, the Viral variety is not so readily treatable with Antibiotics.  Pneumonia-causing bacteria is present in many throats, but when the body's defenses are weakened (for example, by illness, old age, malnutrition, impaired immunity or excessive drug use) the bacteria can multiply, working its way into the lungs, inflaming the air sacs and filling the lungs with liquid and pus. The bacteria that cause bacterial pneumonia are streptococcus pneumonia (resulting in lobar pneumonia), hemophilus influenza (resulting in bronchopneumonia), legionella pneumophilia (resulting in Legionnaires' disease) and staphylococcus aureus.

The Viral variety is caused by viruses (funny that), such as influenza (flu), adenovirus, coxsackievirus, chickenpox, measles, cytomegalovirus and respiratory syncytial virus. These viruses also invade the lungs and multiply.

With bacterial pneumonia, you experience:

    * shaking

    * chills

    * chattering teeth

    * severe chest pain

    * cough that produces rust-colored or greenish mucus

    * very high fever

    * sweating

    * rapid breathing

    * rapid pulse rate

With viral pneumonia, the you experience:

    * fever

    * dry cough

    * headache

    * muscle pain and weakness

So given the above, the diagnosis was made rather hard for the Doctor's considering all of those symptoms accept severe chest pain can be put down to the Physical Withdrawal process of Heroin.

The remedy is a course of Antibiotics and bed rest, the real shitty thing of it is that they had to give me some pretty cool painkillers, I did not find out what they were but I am hoping against hope they were not Opioid based or I will be set back 2 days in this process.  Grrrrhhhh!!!!  There are litterally hundreds of story's when you google Heroin Relapse that reference an accident or some incident in the persons life, that required a Medical Practioner to give pain releif, causing relapse...  Not me...

Day Three - Oh My God...

Last night was very hard indeed, most of the usual suspects reared their ugly heads for me.  Can't wait to see what the rest of the day holds for me...
Piloerection (goose bumps), Runny Nose, Yawning - but combined with Insomnia (damn it all), Nausea, Vomiting, The Shakes, Cramps, Panic, Restless Leg Syndrome, Jitters, Chills and Sweats etc...  I am so very irritable today, I feel like my lungs are going to cave in, like a real bad flu after coughing for for days.

I can feel my teeth again, this sucks, one of the major problems of Heroin use is that for some reason it seems to rot the teeth. Heroin dries out the saliva that is present to naturally combat oral bacteria, as do Meth and Cocaine and most likely a few other substances as well. In addition they deplete your body of nutrients that are vital to the growth of skin, hair, and nails as well as teeth and tooth enamel.  Some people would suggest that when stoned all the time, people just don't care about much, other than the drug. Statements like "hygiene, sleep and food become things of the past", this for the most part in my experience is not the case - I take good care of my teeth and hygiene.

Fuck this is hard, so much pain in my lungs today, particularly the left one.  Not sure why, I have not felt like this the last couple of times.  Maybe it is a result of my addiction being so much greater than it had been prior to the last attempts.  Might see a Doctor, God I hate Doctors, impartial mutherfuckers - sure, sitting there judging and and laughing inside. Should be called the 'hypocritical oath', given the figures on health care professionals and their substance abuse statistics.

So hard...  I brought it on my self, now I must fix it my self...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day Two - bracing for tomorrow!

Well I am on day two now, bracing my self for tomorrow, those that know what I mean, know what I mean.  Day three is the hardest day of the physical withdrawal process - day four and five will taper back and there will be no physical symptoms by day six.  I have made it to the tenth day once and to the sixth day once, I know what is coming and I fear it.

The psychological symptoms however, will never go away completely, this is the reason for the two failures I have had post days ten and six.  I had in both instances removed myself by way of hundreds of kilometers from my suppliers, then as soon as I got back to within a few km's of my home I was ready to 'get on' again, craving madly.  I have no real knowledge of long term recovery as yet, but am led to believe that it will taper down of the years, but will never disappear.

I spent today with friends, trying to avoid thinking of any things that might cause me to crave.  There are so much goings on in my life, pertaining to family and there inerrant disappointment with me that I found it hard to concentrate on anything else, after a few hours I became jittery and had to leave before it became abundantly clear that something was up with me.

It is worth noting that this is a cold turkey attempt, no patches, no implants, no pharmaceuticals.  This is purely based on a promise made to the most important person in my life at the moment, second to my kids, and a recognised dangerous impact this is having on my life and the people I care about.  I have lied to all of them before, I have never given my word until now however, this is the test, does my word still mean anything or have a truly descended into the realm of the Junky?  Time...

A lie uncovered:  I have lost too many friends to think about, I have lost my best friend to this scourge, I died the day he did but was revived he was not.  I shot up that day on the way home from the hospital, I shot up before his funeral, I shot up every day I could from then till two days ago. 

Well tomorrow is another day, taking the clichéd 'one day at a time' for now...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

An introduction into this blog

Well, I am currently on day one of my first real attempt (in my humble opinion) at ridding my self of this awful bane to my existence, there have been over the course of the last year or so two 'not so serious' attempts, I will get to those.

The plan I am following is called Straight Edge, Straight Edge (sXe, xXx, or "Edge") refers to a lifestyle, a personal commitment, a philosophy.  Straight edgers abstain from recreational drugs, including tobacco and alcohol.  Some followers of the straight-edge philosophy also abstain from promiscuous sex (skipping this bit), the regular use of painkillers, and the intake of caffeine.  Some also practice vegetarianism or veganism (No Chance).

It is my intention to provide an historical account of my fall into the grasp of this drug, I sincerely hope it might help someone out there avoid my path.  Once I have done this I will attempt to provide some reasoning as to why I have made the choice I am currently undertaking, the stress of the choice itself is such that any thing I write now will no doubt be malicious and misguided.

For the reasons outlined, I will be editing the "time posted" so that is correlates with the actual events as they took place, to the best of my capacity of recollection at least.

Enjoy the ride, and hopefully two birds will have been killed with one stone by the end of this; 1) I will be clean, and 2) I might stop just one person from taking my path.

Perhaps one day my family can forgive me, perhaps one day my three children will read this and know that no-one not even their perceived super-dad is infallible.

Wish me luck!