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From Heroin Addiction to Sobriety: What Are Addicts Thinking?

How Clean Do You Want To Be?

This question was asked by a friend of mine who says he’s too old for all that sh*t that goes with the territory of How much Valium is safe.

You see, I had a plan. We always have a plan, do we not? I spend as much time planning to get off heroin as I do going through the motions of getting the stuff.

I’m sure I’m not alone with the idea,“OK. I’ll get this one bag and use half of it at 11 o’ clock in the morning and then if I do that for two days my tolerance will go down (factoring in a previously enthusiastic 3 bag a day habit) and then all I have to do is get hold of some subby’s and then taper down using them IV for four days and then I’ll be through the worst it has to throw at me and then I’ll be clean.”

Sound familiar? I really hope so, or I’m completely on my own with this sort of thought process and that scares me.

What usually happens is that I’m so determined to get down to that half bag a day but after the tiny little hit has worn off (…within, what? 20 seconds? The quality of the gear round my parts is dubious, to say the least) I can’t think about anything else.

And so on ad nauseum…

I Need To Get Clean!

So, I managed to get an 8mg Subutex tablet from the guy who inspired the title of this article and I cracked on.

I took my last dig at 6 pm (I would’ve preferred earlier but I wasn’t in charge of the dealer’s schedule that day) and then waited. Oh my god, how I waited. I’d made the decision to quit heroin, had the medication to nullify the next few day’s withdrawals and a few days’ worth of cans of cheap, strong cider as well.

Everything was taken care of…

How An Addictive Mind REALLY Thinks

What I haven’t mentioned yet is my 2nd motivation for buying the drugs. You can get high when abusing Subutex (I later found out that this is only if you have no existing tolerance).

As much as I tell myself that I want to be clean and normal (usually whilst high) I was attracted to the idea that I would get a bonus high from the medication I was using to get away from the drug that I was using to get high. High is used a lot in that last paragraph, in case you hadn’t noticed.

So, the next day rolls around and the first thing that pops into my mind when I open my eyes is that I have a “subby” and that if I can wait until 6pm (24 hours after my last dig) then I can get high again. But this time on a DIFFERENT substance that doesn’t count because it’ll help me get me clean.

Anyone laughing their tits off at me yet? No? Probably not because you may be initiated into this shitty horrible loop of a life yourself.

Tiptoeing Around Cross-Addiction

The following text message conversation is between me and the guy who sold me the tablet:

Me: “…and you can get a buzz out of it as well? Obviously that’s not my main focus but it would be a bonus.”

Subby guy: “Yes, even gouche out, and that nice throat and head buzz lasts for hours, not seconds.”

Did you spot the bit where I feel the need to clarify my intentions about getting high to the guy who doesn’t give a shit? Not only am I lying to myself, I’m ineffectually trying to drag some other guy who couldn’t care less into the deception.

Anyway, despite worrying about going into precipitated withdrawal I didn’t make it to 6pm. I did manage 17 hours though (yay!).

I’ll gloss over the preparation, but ended up sticking the needle in at about 11:30 AM.


Maybe it takes longer to hit? OK. Wait a bit. Half hour later and it still wasn’t doing anything so I proceeded to go through the whole tablet that I had split up into the next four day’s dosage. This is when I found out about the tolerance issue, so I phoned my mate who told me that he doesn’t use every day and that he didn’t realize that I did.

The Relapse And Getting Help

Eventually, I actually went and bought a bag of heroin, knowing that it wouldn’t do anything for me due to the blocking effect of Subutex. What does that tell you about me? Someone please tell me. I mean I obviously need it spelling out in black and white ‘cos I seem to do things that would be classed as insane.

After a few more weeks of scraping about and feeling like crap with occasional bouts of relief, I did what a sane person would do and got some help from my local Drug and Alcohol service.

I’m now prescribed Subutex and take it as instructed.

Guess what?

It works when you do things properly.

I haven’t taken Heroin for about 5 months and counting.

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