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Recovering heroin addict - AMA

(108 Posts)
GeidiPrimes Thu 26-Nov-20 15:30:51

I think there's still a fair few misconceptions around addiction, I know this because I was an intravaenus addict for most of my adult life. From the age of 21 I was heroin-addicted, interspersed with prescribed methadone. Late 30s I ceased heroin, relying only on my methadone script and it took me ten years to gather the bottle to taper off that. I became completely opiate-free in May this year.

I'm (selfishly) doing this as a sort of marker for me, so I can recognise the steps I've taken, if that makes sense? So curiosity most welcome.

OP’s posts: |
radioband Thu 26-Nov-20 15:33:58

What made you stop?
Do you work?

Brot64 Thu 26-Nov-20 15:34:46

How and why did you get into it?

cosmopolitanplease Thu 26-Nov-20 15:36:23

How did you pay for it?
Did you ever feel squeamish about injecting yourself?

Well done on getting clean OP.

Justmuddlingalong Thu 26-Nov-20 15:37:05

Do GPs monitor your methadone dosage, slowly decreasing it, or do you get a script for a set amount for ever if need be?

HotSince63 Thu 26-Nov-20 15:37:34

How old are you now? Are you in a relationship and do you have children?

workshy44 Thu 26-Nov-20 15:37:58

Well done OP. Did you have any children and if so what became of them?

HotSince63 Thu 26-Nov-20 15:38:06

How much did your addiction cost you and how did you fund it?

Snowsx Thu 26-Nov-20 15:41:34

No questions just want to say well done flowers x

GeidiPrimes Thu 26-Nov-20 15:41:38

I'm still not quite sure what made me stop, I think it was realisation that it wasn't going to be sustainable for much longer - my veins were practically non-existent and I was using my femoral veins. You're kind of risking a limb every time, but the compulsion is so strong. There must have been a trigger to make me stop, but I still haven't worked out what exactly that was.

Re. working, I'm self-employed (I don't claim benefits)

OP’s posts: |
DK123 Thu 26-Nov-20 15:43:24

You've done so well OP! I can't begin to imagine how difficult it's been.

What kind of job were you able to do, with this being the case and do you think people noticed or was it something that you were dealing with and people wouldn't have been able to tell?

SandysMam Thu 26-Nov-20 15:45:30

Well done for getting off, amazing achievement that only YOU could do for yourself, you should be super proud.

What is the worst thing you ever did to get money for a fix?

My close relative was an addict, it destroys families as badly as cancer or any other terminal illness. I wish you all the best.

GeidiPrimes Thu 26-Nov-20 15:55:36

Brot64 I left an abusive home at sixteen, and as a young adult was riddled with social anxiety (except I didn't know what that's what it was, just thought I was "odd") Heroin made that all melt away, and I felt like a "normal" less introverted and anxious person.

I first used with another woman - I'd obsereved her smoking it and the situation didn't fit the addict stereotype (in my eyes)

cosmopolitanplease I'm ashamed to say I drifted into dealing to pay for my drugs, it wasn't a conscious decision. Re. injecting, once over the initial squeamishness, it becomes part of the compulsion too.

OP’s posts: |
Blossomhill4 Thu 26-Nov-20 15:59:11

The circle of friends that you had when using drugs have you had to leave that behind? Or do you still keep in contact with anybody.

GeidiPrimes Thu 26-Nov-20 16:26:57

justmuddlingalong drug/services are usually happy to keep prescribing (huge!) doses of methadone to addicts, on the assumption that that will meet all their drug "needs" so to speak. They do encourage users to aim for detox, but it's not compulsory. I'd been tapering down to a tiny amount over a couple of years, then the Covid shitstorm happened and I decided to just stop and get it out the way.

workshy44 thanks smile that's still hard to hear. I didn't have DCs as I knew no child deserved that. As well as the drugs, my MH was fucked.

HotSince63 I'm late forties and widowed, no Dcs as above^^

Thanks Snowsx, like I said, I find that so hard to hear.

DK123 I wasn't able to hold a proper job down - I was so bloody flaky as an addict.

SandysMam I guess the worst thing was the dealing and that's what sits heavy with me now. Did your relative manage to get into recovery? (I dearly hope so)

OP’s posts: |
CarolVordermansBum Thu 26-Nov-20 16:29:50

What would happen if you didn't have heroin? What did the withdrawals feel like?

oneglassandpuzzled Thu 26-Nov-20 16:30:40

I read that you'd managed to do this during lockdown and was so impressed.

BitOfFun Thu 26-Nov-20 16:31:13

What made you decide to inject for the first time? Have you ever missed a vein, and if you have, what happened? Can you describe the difference between smoking and injecting in terms of how it feels to you?

june2007 Thu 26-Nov-20 16:31:13

Well done for getting clean. Do you use methadone at the moment? (I know of 3 addicts whodied from methodone overdose ad none from the heroine.) Whats keeping you from going back?

GeidiPrimes Thu 26-Nov-20 16:32:22

Blossomhill4 I really had to cut ties with people from that part of my life. You often find that you have very little in common apart from the drug. I do see old associates at NA meetings now and again, which always gives me a massive buzz, knowing they got through it too. I'm a bit of a loner anyway!

OP’s posts: |
HotSince63 Thu 26-Nov-20 16:32:38

I'm late forties and widowed

Sorry to hear that. Was your husband aware of your addiction? Was he a heroin user too?

GeidiPrimes Thu 26-Nov-20 16:43:30

What did the withdrawals feel like?

Ooh! Everything that can go wrong with your body and mind goes wrong. Can't sleep, yet can't relax; constant stress yawning, sneezing and eyes and nose streaming; pain in the muscles like someone's having a rummage with razor blades, vomming, diarrhea; anxiety and depression. Alongside this is the knowledge that you could make it all go away in an instant by using.

I'm just going to walk my dog, but will be back later to answer the Qs I haven't answered yet. Thanks, I haven't thought about a lot of this stuff for a long time.

OP’s posts: |
Talia78 Thu 26-Nov-20 16:50:21

Thank you for posting this and an incredible well done. thanks

My sister has been a heroin addict for nearly 20yrs now. My mum thinks she is getting better/help and I have reached out to her, but I have also heard this so many times before.

I have offered her a room in our new house with weekly drug tests (I have two young sons) so that she can be in a loving home again and get back into society.

There have been so many rock bottoms I always prayer that this will be the turning point but it never is.

What an incredible thing you have achieved. Even though you will have many regrets I truly believe there is no use feeling bad, but to instead just embrace your new found sobriety and embrace your life thanksthanksthanks

Talia78 Thu 26-Nov-20 16:55:23

I actually just panicked about her you may be my sister from your OP - but she doesn't have a dog - and isn't where you are .

TheQueef Thu 26-Nov-20 16:56:07

Did you get a criminal record?

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