Tell Your Opioid Story Now
(Click on the Comments Field below to begin typing your story so that you can VENT and possibly help others who struggle. Give encouragement or tips for someone in withdrawal, or as a victim of relapse (you can be anonymous).
If you are stuck in the corner like this and tired of your heroin/opiate addiction getting the best of you, then PLEASE tell us. Expressing yourself in writing is often times self-therapy. Tell us how you feel. We can point you in the right direction if you need help. We hope that the information provided on this site will help you or someone who has a loved one addicted to opioids. We are with you. We have gone through exactly what you are going through.
I will be the first to tell my story. Then, I would like to hear yours. The point of this is to heal, or begin to heal.
I woke up one morning and I was out of my Fentanyl prescription two weeks early. My doctor was not going to re-fill this early. Fentanyl is 80 times stronger than morphine and significantly stronger than heroin. It is a synthetic heroin designed to help people dealing with chronic pain. I was definitely in the ‘chronic pain’ category. I had experienced a bad fall and injury to my neck and shoulder many years ago. It healed wrong and before I knew it, I was in considerable physical pain every day. I sought treatment, but didn’t do my homework on hiring the right surgeon. He botched my first surgery and it failed within 4 days. I was even worse off now. We then sought a shoulder specialist who would end up performing 3 more open reconstructive surgeries. He used a cadaver-graph to stabilize my joints during one surgery, but my body rejected it. Then, he took my left wrist tendon out of my arm and used it to stabilize my shoulder joints. This seemed to have worked better, but I was not out of the woods. I still had severe chronic pain. This all happened over the course of about 8 years. In the meantime, I have been on opioid pain medicines this entire time. Before the surgeries, during the surgeries and post-operative I was consuming huge amounts of opioid pain drugs.
As far as opioids go (heroin or pain pills-same thing) our body builds a tolerance. Therefore, you have to keep dosing upward in order to achieve the same pain relief benefits. This is NOT a good thing. All this did was jack me up on terribly high amounts of opioids, which would eventually make it near-impossible for me to get off of them. One pain management doctor, who was prescribing 200mcg of Fentanyl told me the idea was that I would remain on Fentanyl my entire life. That did not sound good to my wife and I. But, after 4 open surgeries (not just scope surgeries) I was still in a massive amount of physical pain. It only seemed to get worse after all these surgeries. We later learned that the actual surgery itself, causes a lot of trauma and damage to my tissues and nerves. 3 years passed and I was still in excruciating pain every day. I could not function without the pain meds. I was on super high doses and I was keeping a secret. Who knows how long ago my dependency on opioids turned into an addiction. I was finishing my prescription after the first week of receiving it. This left me without my Fentanyl pain drugs for weeks before the doctor would refill it again. I was embarrassed and had to hide this from everyone. Something addiction does to a person is take over full control. I was doing things that I would have never ever considered doing like: Lying, doctor shopping, thinking about street heroin, although I never gave in to that temptation. But, many people do. Many people get hooked on heroin after starting out on prescription pain meds. Then it escalates into full time addiction and when they run out of their doctor prescribed meds, they turn to street heroin. As far as I am concerned, we are all the same victim of addiction.
Anyway, I was trapped in a vicious cycle where I would run out of my pain meds (fentanyl) and go into withdrawal for weeks until I could get the medicine re-filled. This lasted for many years and the addiction completely controlled my life. It got so bad, that on many occasions I wrote suicide notes and nearly ended my life. I was tired of the chronic physical pain with no hope that it would ever go away. On top of the chronic pain issue, I had added another layer of ‘problem‘ which was the opiate addiction. A double whammy. Between the two, I had had enough. I wasn’t clinically depressed and I had always been optimistic and in control of my life. I could not believe this was happening to me. I wanted it all to end,…especially the withdrawals. I hit rock-bottom numerous times, but then would be ‘lifted-up’ when I was given a new pain medicine prescription. Only to have the same thing happen again…I consumed too much in order to get pain relief and ran out way early. Back into hardcore withdrawal. The only thing that stopped me from ending my life was God and my wife. I didn’t want to hurt her. What I told myself was that no matter what, I would NEVER GIVE UP. All I could do at that point was not give up. So, I suffered through it and prayed out to God to help me. I did receive help.
After another episode of withdrawal and running out of Fentanyl early, my wife had ‘wised-up’ at this point. We researched and decided it would be best for me to check in to rehabilitation. I was scared out of my mind that they would lock me in a room tied to a bed and lose contact with the outside world. We checked into CenterPointe Hospital which is located in Saint Louis, Missouri. This was the best thing that had happened to me, although I wish I would have gone into rehab many years before. It was always a chronic physical pain issue that I didn’t check into rehab prior. I was afraid I would be left without the pain medications and not be able to function from day to day. Or, was part of this the addiction?
We had a major breakthrough while I was in rehab. I contribute this to many people joining together and praying on my behalf. Prayer is real and prayer is powerful. Its even more powerful when “two or more” people join together to pray for the same cause. I went to see a neurologist whom I was suppose to go see many years before. I had lost hope years before and did not think any doctor could help me. I was wrong. This neurologist was medically advanced. He had live x-ray machines and techniques that could repair nerves when prior to this they could not be repaired because they would re-grow. This doctor discovered that I had neuromas in and around my shoulder and neck. These were tumors growing on my nerves. It is suspected that during one of my prior surgeries, my nerves were severed and damaged. This was the culprit of all my years of pain. The doctor operated using these advanced techniques and was able to remove these problem-nerves and prevent them from resurfacing and causing more pain in the future.
You might be asking yourself: “What?, this guy went to rehab for weeks, survived withdrawal again and detoxed…only to have to be put back on opioid drugs once again because of another open surgery?” YEP. This is true. I was back on opiates again AFTER detoxing in rehab. I basically relapsed with the doctors approval. I wasn’t happy about this whatsoever. I was ready to be OFF opiates and have no more withdrawal. Now, I would have to go through it again and I wasn’t sure if I had the energy to make it. This was the hardest part.
The difference this time was that we had hope. Hope that this doctor would reduce my pain by cutting out the damaged nerves. The surgery was successful, although he was not able to remove 100% of the damaged nerves. I would need an additional surgery in the future. However, this surgery reduced my pain by about 40%. In my mind, and in my body which had dealt with so much physical pain…this was indeed a relief.
After I healed and went through PT (physical therapy) it was time for me to wean off the pain meds again. This time would be different because I had the help of an addiction doctor. This doctor began to prescribe me Suboxone after I took my last pain pill (oxycontine). It helped to reduce the withdrawal although I still didn’t feel well. It was mostly difficult this time mentally because I had to get off the opiates one more time. I have not had any opioids since this day and it has been about 6 years. I do other things to cope with the existing physical pain that I still have. I pray a lot and ask God for healing. He is a healing God,..all you have to do is ask. If you only remember one thing after reading this, please remember that what saved me was Prayers to God and simply Never Giving Up. Faith.
—–Matt B. (founder since 2005)
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