Citation: Jay0815. "I Ended Up Depressed Over Where I Was At: An Experience with Buprenorphine (exp102577)". Erowid.org. Oct 12, 2016. erowid.org/exp/102577
My Addiction to IV Buprenorphine
I got addicted to opiates at the age 16 from abusing prescription pills, first I was sniffing them but soon I had a friend introduce me to using syringes. I was injected with morphine for my first shot and I loved it, it was such a euphoric feeling so I tried injecting several more pills before being sent to rehab for 3 months, it wasn't for my opiate use necessarily, I had failed several drug tests for opiates, all my tests for marijuana and I'd failed for other drugs once or twice as well, all while on bond. The courts had sent me to a program because of me failing so many drug tests for so many different drugs and I agreed to it, the only other option was jail. I tried to get sober but at that time I just wasn't ready to stop using drugs yet, I was only 17 and part of me planned to get high still the second I got a chance! When I got out I started using drugs again right away but never was punished, eventually I was let off probation. My first night off of probation I had plenty of marijuana saved and a 50mg morphine pill too that I sniffed, I then faded out on to the bathroom floor for the rest of the night.
Soon after getting off of probation I started shooting up pills again, I had found a steady supply of the good old Oxycontin pills, some morphine pills and occasionally dilaudid pills, fentanyl patches and generic oxycodone pills, before the OP's came out. I used pills for a few months, eventually becoming addicted and soon I needed to use something everyday or I'd be dope sick
soon I needed to use something everyday or I'd be dope sick
. I preferred to buy something I could inject but if I couldn't find anything good I'd get either Vicodin's or Tylenol 3's and do a cold water extraction on the pills to remove the acetaminophen and drink the extracted water or I'd buy methadone. Some days I would even buy about a pound of poppy seeds and make poppy seed tea to get well if I had no other options.
Eventually one day I found someone with some heroin for sale and decided to buy a 5th of a gram. I was using about a 10th of a gram or so at a time, 2-4 times a day and it was much cheaper then pills were so I ended up switching to doing dope daily. I noticed that heroin was more addictive then pharmaceuticals were and I needed it more often but the high from it was probably the best opiate high around so I stuck with the heroin instead of getting pain pills. Luckily the dealer I had sold dope all day, every day and on the days he was downstate picking up more dope I had friends who could get dope from another guy so I never went without my daily shots.
Things went on for several more months like this until I eventually got into my 1st serious relationship, a girl I felt like accepted me along with my addiction and I felt she never judged me like I did to myself, the first time she found a syringe of mine she never talked down to me or left me and that about her made her mean the world to me. She really encouraged me to quit shooting dope so, because of my love for her, I started looking into alternatives to using narcotics.
Eventually I discovered then researched suboxone, something I had thought would be a miracle drug for my addiction to opiates but I was very wrong about that. Eventually I found a doctor that specialized in addiction. After having my girlfriend talk me into it I went to the doctor who first prescribed me 3/4ths of an 8mg pill daily then eventually a full 8mg pill a day.
In the months that followed me getting on suboxone I relapsed on pills and heroin several times because me and the girlfriend I'd been with broke up but I always had to take a lot more of the opiate then I normally would have needed to before suboxone so I quickly began to just use my suboxone then what became subutex, only rarely relapsing on a real opiate.
When I first was on the medication I started going back for my final years of high school but I only finished one more year, at the beginning of the next school year I chose to drop out after going for only 5 days. After dropping out, soon I was depressed and wanted to use but I didn't want to go and use a ton of opiates so I started looking into injecting subutex instead.
I discovered online that buprenorphine could in fact be injected so I one night decided to try it, I crushed up a ¼ of a pill, 2mgs, then I split that powder into 1mg piles and put it in a spoon. I then added warm water to the subutex. After letting everything sit in the spoon for several minutes to be sure it completely dissolved I then filtered the pill and injected it. The high was nothing amazing but it had helped me “scratch that itch” that I'd had for opiates so to speak and I felt surprisingly good for having not used an actual full opioid agonist. Compared to heroin this was nothing, just a slight opiate buzz with no rush, just a gradual increase in me feeling the drug enter my brain but it was something that could give me mild euphoria so I did enjoy it.
Maybe it was just the needle that I'd got addicted to or maybe it was the buprenorphine but after that night I began using IV subutex multiple times daily. For the next year or so I increased my dose, began getting more and more pills prescribed to me and I started to inject more at a time too, now I was injecting 2mg shots 4 times a day or more. I slowly noticed that this had became my new daily habit
I slowly noticed that this had became my new daily habit
and I had no urge to go back to taking my pills under my tongue, I only wanted to IV them now. At about this time I also started to use a lot of psychedelics, mainly LSD and magic mushrooms but eventually quit about 3 months later after taking some sort of DOx chemical. I knew from having taken DOM orally and once sniffed it in the past. After reading into it, the high I'd got from it and the fact it was on blotter paper strongly suggested that it was something in the DOx family. After about a year I started to feel very bad about myself, I was upset because I was still using, it wasn't any better then just being on heroin daily and I'd gotten subutex to be free of that addiction.
I tried to quit but it was still too easy to abuse the pills by injecting them and not taking them under my tongue. At this point I began feeling sick faster then I would of if I'd taken the pill under my tongue and also I was becoming less productive, it had been months and I still was not in school or working. A trick I tried was to write a note to myself while I was thinking clearly and put it either by my pills or by my needles but it never helped, I still chose to do my daily shots knowing that part of me inside really wanted to stop. I went on like this for around a year and rarely stopped, the only time I didn't inject was at some music festivals, I occasionally still did it there too but I tried not to due to the fact that it's frowned upon at those kinds of events.
I had accepted that I wasn't going to quit and continued on shooting up daily, wishing I could stop. I spend my days alone, depressed, abusing my subutex, smoking marijuana and taking benzos. I just didn't care, my self esteem depended on a girlfriend and that was something I'd been missing for awhile now. It had been about 2 years now and I was shooting up 2mgs, 4 times a day, my only worry was getting caught by my doctor, besides that I knew I could continue injecting subutex until I died or was caught, whichever came first. One day a good friend of mine came across and read one of the old notes I'd wrote to myself about wanting to quit injecting subutex.
He had seen the same doctor in the past and knew him so after reading my note he called my doctor and ratted me out for shooting up my subutex. I didn't find out he snitched on me until I had an appointment and my doctor decided to check my arms, I then broke out into tears and admitted I had been injecting my pills for over a year. I wasn't kicked off buprenorphine but instead put back on suboxone so that the naloxone inside would prevent me from being able to IV the pill (or so doctors seem to think). I went back to taking buprenorphine under my tongue and started to progressively get better and I still was managing not using heroin and other opiates/opioids either. At this time I was taking my suboxone, benzos and marijuana, the benzos I had a prescription for and I truly needed them for my anxiety/social anxiety and I don't have a problem with using pot, all in all, I was doing good.
Soon, because of having problems with codependency, I got into another relationship. I met a girl who was a bit of a party girl and a whore so I figured it would be an easy lay as I hadn't been laid in around a year or so, maybe longer. Sure enough, we had sex right away and I quickly made a move towards starting a relationship and she went with it, I was so happy. I had got my daily dose down at this point to 2mgs a day and I was loving life! Once we got serious, she quickly moved into my place, the first real time I lived with a girlfriend and I loved it, being codependent, I really relied on it for my self confidence to exist. Early on in our relationship I saw signs that she wasn't the girl for me but I foolishly ignored it so I wouldn't have to be alone, something I began to have a fear of. We mainly would just have sex, smoke pot, watch TV and go party, besides that she worked and I sold drugs to make an income. We didn't always get along well but if all else failed we'd just get high and have angry sex then let it go, obviously not the best tool in solving real problems in a partnership, we just ignored everything, I certainly did anyway.
After a few months together we began to get sick of one another and I couldn't trust her anymore, she was always being fairly mean to me and I suspected she was cheating on me on top of everything. Soon, I found out that she was in fact cheating and we soon broke up. I was crushed, it hurt so fucking bad having the only good thing I could see in my life leave me and I couldn't take it! When things got so bad between us that I knew it was eventually going to be over I began shooting subutex again and just did more and more once it did end, I just wanted to forget everything, I wanted to die. I started using daily again, one day, after a friend convinced me that suboxone pills could be injected without sending me into withdrawal I tried injecting that and sure enough, I didn't get dope sick. I was skeptical at first because a few months prior I tried injecting suboxone film, it made me violently ill in seconds and stayed sick for 6+ hours so I had figured that pills would cause the same thing, I definitely didn't want to go through getting that sick again!
I preferred subutex but I injected suboxone if it was all I had and I went up to around 16mgs a day, a huge jump from the 2mgs that I had been doing for the months before. I just didn't care, I wanted to die for months and I used as much buprenorphine as I could to not be able to think or feel. I began using crack at this time to help even more with my pain and I became addicted to that too. I spent weeks using buprenorphine and crack along with taking benzos and smoking pot, on top of that I decided to try methamphetamine, a drug that all in all I didn't care for and didn't start using regularly thankfully. After going on a binge, I quit smoking crack but I continued shooting subutex and I went back down to about 8mg a day.
I struggled, injecting mainly suboxone, smoking pot and taking benzos I ended up depressed over where I was at with my addiction and I'd also been depressed for months still over the break up, I eventually started using girls who also had drug problems to suit my need for companionship. These weren’t girls that I loved by any means, I just needed them so I used them so I could briefly feel like I mattered to somebody, anybody really. I stopped seeing crazy drug addicts after a few more months because they drove me crazy, I put up with a ton of bullshit from them and it was stressful, too stressful to be worth any of the effort I put into it.
After a while I started trying to lower my dose of suboxone and i wanted to eventually quit taking it all together because my doctor was quitting and I had been on buprenorphine daily for close to 4 years now. I was advised by my doctor to get another doctor who prescribes buprenorphine and start seeing him but I chose to try hard to stop taking suboxone and subutex because I'd gotten tired of depending on it every day
I'd gotten tired of depending on it every day
. I felt like I had just used buprenorphine to replaced heroin and other opiates/opioids because it kept me from being dope sick for longer and it wasn't as expensive. I slowly worked my way down and before my last prescription ran out, I eventually lowered my dose back down to 2mgs a day. When everything I'd had ran out, I started relying on people to sell me suboxone or subutex to get by. I'd bought subutex from people before and I knew some friends who could find me some form of buprenorphine fairly regularly so I started scoring my pills when they did and we'd usually buy 10+ pills along with multiple other people to get the total price cut down from $12.50-$15.00 a pill to anywhere from $7.50-$10.00 a pill.
After a month or so of doing this, eventually I had trouble finding buprenorphine every day that I needed it and I had to start taking lower doses of the buprenorphine that I'd saved up to ensure I'd have something available for a few more days to get me by until I could get more. My whole summer was awful, I started to get dope sick when I wasn't taking enough medicine after a few days in a row of 1mg doses, the major withdrawals didn't start right away, it was 1-2 days after I'd lower my dose to 1mg that it would start. First as just cold sweats then body aches and insomnia came on and it was getting tough, it wasn't as bad as what I remember heroin withdrawals were but with the amount of time it took to detox, I knew I'd withdrawal for up to 30 days, maybe more and that really scared me. The time frame made up for the withdrawals not being as bad as the heroin was, that made it feel just as hard to quit.
Over the next couple of weeks I would get buprenorphine, inject some, usually 1-2mgs, feel normal for 1-2 days while on the stuff, run out, soon get dope sick for anywhere from 1-3 days then I'd buy more. Sometimes I would get the suboxone film and I just take that under my tongue, I noticed that I needed more if I did that so tried to mainly get suboxone or subutex pills. I took benzos and drank alcohol to help with the withdrawals but I still never would feel well. I started to experience overwhelming amounts of depression to where I was breaking out into tears in public for no reason when I didn't have enough medicine for a few days so I was always trying to get outside and enjoy the beautiful summer days, they helped with the depression and with cold sweats. I would spend my whole day outside and my friends who lived by me were over every night after work, supporting me through everything, they both knew that I'd gotten so depressed I was very seriously considering just killing myself to end my addiction and I was always sad unless I was able to get high, that in turn would make me sad that I shot up again. I had never felt like as much of a junkie while on buprenorphine as I did at this time of trying to totally quit once and for good.
After a while, needing others to get my drug really started to become a pain in the ass! I couldn't rely on anyone and I knew that I could lose my connections at any time if they went to jail or left town. One day I was so tired of feeling sick that I did ¼ gram of heroin but I took it too soon after my last dose of sub so instead of getting better, I felt OK for about 10 minutes then for about 6 hours I was even more sick, the worst part was that now I couldn't take any buprenorphine that day and I just had to ride it out for 24 hours to be sure that using buprenorphine wouldn't just cause more withdrawals for me. Just as I'd thought, after a while it became harder and harder for me to find any buprenorphine and soon all I could find was suboxone films through a very unreliable guy who would disappear for days or even weeks every so often. I ended up buying around 5, 8mg films to stock up on, I was only taking 1mg and I figured they'd last me a good amount of time until I could get several more films from him. My supply of suboxone films eventually got lower and lower until I got nervous, I already wasn't taking enough medicine to feel 100% and now I was at risk of being forced to go cold turkey... or even back on dope.
The guy with the film had disappeared again, I knew it would eventually happen but I had hoped it wouldn't so soon because now I didn't really know anyone who sold buprenorphine, only other junkies who wanted to keep it for themselves during dry periods. I struggled with the decision but eventually I chose to call another doctor that prescribed suboxone/subutex, I gave up, all summer I had tried to get off buprenorphine but I couldn't do it, it was just too hard and I couldn't fight it anymore, I wasn't strong enough. It took me a few days of calling buprenorphine doctors before finding someone who was still taking on new patients and luckily he had an appointment date available before I would run out of buprenorphine. After being on buprenorphine before, getting back on was so simple. I was sick while I was at his office and right away he could see how dope sick I was so I was given prescriptions for 16mgs of subutex a day along with .5mg of Klonopin a day without many questions, it was clearly visible that I was an opiate addict for a doctor who is an addiction specialist.
I was so relieved, after 3 months of continuously being sick I was now able to feel good everyday, I immediately went home and shot a full pill over the next few hours, took .5mg of klonopin and at that time, I felt better then I had all summer! I went back to doing daily shots of subutex and just kept using more and more of the drugs I had. Soon, I was using at the least 3, 8mg subutex pills a day plus my benzos, alcohol and pot, needless to say I was overwhelmed with having such a large supply of buprenorphine again, it was more then I'd ever been prescribed before. I soon was injecting 4mgs, 6 times a day and getting in my shots was the most important thing in my day. I had gone so long without being able to continuously shoot up as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted that it became the only thing that I did along with using the other drugs, by this time I just wanted to get high and stay high all day, I was still depressed and it was my cure.
After about a month or 2 back on buprenorphine, I started to look into my life seriously and realized that since I'd started injecting morphine, Oxycontin and other opiates at 16, my life had never been the same. It had been 6 years since I began using IV opiates, 5 years where I'd been using daily and I still was just as dependent on opiates/opioids as I was when I was on heroin, maybe I was even worse. As far as how much I was taking, this was my record, I had withdrawals on 2mgs a day, god only knows how hard and painful a 24mg a day habit would be to quit and it scares me. I try to inject in parts of my arm that my doctor won't notice, not to mention that after all the years injecting, my veins aren’t always as easy to find as I'd wish, several veins I used before now have too much scar tissue surrounding them and are very hard to find or they collapsed. I'm beginning to get back to myself and I'm realizing that I need to cut back my use of both buprenorphine and alcohol as I also have been drinking too much for about a year now. Just all together I need to start fixing my life up because I know nobody else will do it for me so I plan to start working on myself again so that maybe somehow, some way I can finally one day be free from that need for drugs and alcohol that I can't seem to ever control.
I've been attending N.A./A.A. meetings fairly often since I got back on buprenorphine and I plan on continuing going. I went to meetings as a teen but maybe this time they could really help me. I know that I do need to work the program instead of doing things my own way and that's something I've never fully done in the past, I've had trouble especially with getting a sponsor. I plan on getting a job and my G.E.D. soon, as I've only illegally made money since dropping out of high school. I still am not doing great but I'm ready to start at least trying to change my life again to better myself. I'm slightly bipolar and I don't like any of the medications for it so that's a struggle on top of trying to control my use of drugs and alcohol and I need to work on that too. I believe as long as I can be happy with the way my life is going, being bipolar won't be as hard. I certainly am more energetic and fun loving when I'm happy with the way my life is going and my depression is nowhere near as severe as it is when I know that I'm not even trying to live up to the potential that I have to live a successful, happy, drug- and alcohol-free life.
Each day I work to control my compulsions to overuse my benzos, the subutex or alcohol and I try to control my depression too as I really don't want to kill myself in the long run, just some days it seems easier then continuing the fight to repair the life that I feel I ruined. If I have anything say it's to use caution if you're going to abuse a medication like buprenorphine because it can prove to be just as habit forming as heroin and other opiates/opioids for some addicts, especially if you have a needle fixation on top of an opiate/opioid addiction. Also, consider your options carefully before you start using an IV in the 1st place. Only 1 person I've known has ever managed to “just try shooting up once”, the countless others I've seen including me all started with the attitude that they'd just try a shot once but they always ended up falling in love with the high the injection gave them and they would try injecting more and more drugs, they eventually then would get addicted to something and they became daily IV drug users. In my opinion, it's a deadly game we addicts play to get high and if I don't die we could just maybe become that addict who lives a long, horrible life, something I think would probably be even worse then dying young!
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