After a few months of bouncing in and out of the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and drinking/ using here and there, a longtime friend recommended I start taking Suboxone. I had procured a few Suboxone tablets and really enjoyed the minimalist buzz, the general feeling of well-being I got from the buprenorphine, as long as I allowed a few days between doses. I saw a highly recommended addictionologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and entered their ridiculously expensive Suboxone program which required regular visits, drug testing, and weekly group sessions. These were the last days of my Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical insurance; out of necessity, I soon began seeing another, more reasonably priced psychiatrist for my Suboxone. Soon, Adderall was added to the regimen… this time, via a legitimate prescription. This went on for almost six years. I viewed Suboxone as my savior — a real miracle drug — for the better part of those years. (My long, drawn-out experience with buprenorphine will be detailed in an upcoming post.)
During the last phase of my active alcoholism and drug addiction (from 2009 to early 2013), I began to yearn for more substantial opioid escapes from reality — and frequently, from life itself. Had I not been penniless and socially isolated, I would probably opium poppy plants growing in fieldwould’ve given heroin a shot. I wanted to try snorting or smoking heroin at first, and if it did for me what I believed it would, I have no doubt I’d have gone the intravenous route. But I did not know anyone from whom I could procure what I suspected would prove to be my panacea: the final cure-all for the unbearable “issues” by which I felt hopelessly trapped.
As it happened, I had become such a hermit — a slothful misanthrope who fancied himself an ascetic — that I never did undertake any such criminal activity as breaking into cars and homes for money or drugs. Even if I had, I may not have gone looking for heroin; perhaps I’d have contented myself with whatever benzos and painkillers I could steal along with more & better vodka from Bud’s Liquors in Green Hills. But none of that mattered; I was powerless over drugs and alcohol and ended up in drug rehab yet again.
Today, I’m seven months clean & sober and working at Discovery Place: the spiritual retreat for men suffering from addiction/ alcoholism. I can say without any hesitation or reservation that this life is better.
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