In late 1998 I was prescribed Oxycontin, already addicted to Norco and Vicodin I knew I was destroying my liver and kidneys with the massive amounts of acetaminophen the drugs possess. I was told that Oxycontin wasn’t addictive which didn’t matter to me as I was already eight years into my opioid dependence.
What I didn’t know is how much my disease would progress, for those new to getting educated on the disease of alcoholism/drug addiction the disease is progressive in nature. Over time, it worsens for all of us, and we require more and more of whatever it is that has officially hijacked our brains.
I had one legitimate doctor who prescribe me 240 of the 80 milligram Oxycontin, a massive amount for anyone to be taking (8 per day). But that wasn’t enough as I found a doctor who could be paid cash to write prescriptions for the drug which added 140 more Oxy’s per month to my addicted system. As if that wasn’t enough, I was introduced to pharmaceutically made Fentanyl. These came in a small package and were like lollipops that tasted like candy and delivered more of the synthetic opioid which already dominated my daily life.
I was ingesting 3 of the 2400 mcg (micrograms) Fentanyl Lollipops daily on top of all the Oxy’s and a dozen or so Norco’s as well. The drugs all stopped “working” for me and I was rendered into a state where I could no longer speak in complete sentences and I was in total fear that I had self-induced a drug related mental retardation, no joking matter.
I went into treatment in February of 2007 and have been clean and sober since, thanks to a 12 Step program that saved my life and continues to do so on a daily basis. My detox period was nothing short of sinister and my post-acute withdrawal symptoms lasted well over a year. That’s what the synthetic opioids do to the human body, they have a half life that lasts quite some time depending on how much you used and how long you used the drugs. For me, I used opioids for almost 17 years which gave me the detox from hell.
I have facilitated hundreds of interventions over the past 13 years, many of the people I have intervened with went down a similar path I did. One of the things I often hear from them is, “You have no idea how hard it is to get off of this crap!” or “The withdrawals make me so sick you have no clue!” I do know how they feel, and it is always heartbreaking for me to see it face to face. Being able to look them in the eye and explain what is necessary to get well; that they too can do it; and that a life free from Fentanyl and Oxycontin is amazing will be the best thing they have ever done is something I never grow tired of.
You see, someone who is owned by the disease of addiction (substance use disorder) will know that you’re telling them the truth. There’s something that all of us addicts possess and that’s the experience of all the hell, sickness and terror we all go through. And this is often used to benefit the intervention and have a successful outcome.
I do a great deal of post-treatment and continuing care/counseling with people who are newly off of Fentanyl and Oxycontin. There’s so much going on from a neurological and systemic perspective that drives people back to using, often referred to as the “obsession to use.” Hands down one of the most important things to impress upon these people is that time and space away from the using those drugs will continue to get better. But it does take time, which is why transitioning someone from treatment for Oxycontin and Fentanyl addiction into a sober and safe setting is so important.
We facilitate interventions worldwide. If someone you love is suffering with addiction to Fentanyl; Oxycontin; Heroin; or other opioids/drugs we are here to help.
Contact me anytime if you would like to discuss getting help for a loved one: