Citation: Xera Iis. "I Did Not Realize How Potent It Was: An Experience with Buprenorphine, Nicotine & Caffeine (exp112290)". Erowid.org. Sep 10, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112290
The Saga of Suboxone Experimentation
Over the course of my college years, I had many injuries and surgeries, so naturally I was prescribed and given many opioids for pain. While in the hospital, I had been given Dilaudid, Fentanyl, Morphine, as well as Vicodin, Tramadol, Norco, and a whole host of other painkillers. Naturally, I liked the feeling of it, and when I had my appendix out, I was given a total of 120 Norco. This lead to experimentation after I no longer needed them for pain management. These were relatively low dose however and I never really sought out other opportunities to get more after I ran out.
With that said, I had begun to experiment more heavily with stronger opioids much more frequently when a gypsy family started living close by. We both had a liking for pills, and would often share different pills (I had lots of Xanax to trade) when the other was low. That said, when I started coming up dry more and more often, one of the guys (R) started fronting me pills as much as he could, until he eventually ran out as well. In comes Suboxone. R said a friend of his had a prescription and could get as much as we wanted. After some brief research, I initially turned his offer down a few times, hoping we could come up on more pills. This never happened, so ultimately I decided that I would give it a shot.
As mentioned previously, I have an affinity for prescription drugs so I am very used to doing as much research as I can before I try a new drug, for obvious reasons. I never recommend to anyone that you just pop something without researching dosages, potential side effects, signs of overdose, and potential interactions. Even prescriptions I have taken under the supervision of a doctor have had adverse effects, leading to hospital visits, so I typically do as much research before I try something new to avoid negative incidents.
With that said, no amount of research could have possibly prepared me for what this string of experiences was actually going to be like. I have documented my first, second, third, and final experience over the course of about a month, as they were all dramatically different. My intention for reporting these experiences is to provide insight into the use of recreational Buprenorphine and hopefully show how slippery this slope can be when it comes to opioids.
11:50 PM (T-0:00) - With the information I had gleaned from the internet, as well as from R, I was apparently in for quite a treat. Now I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a junkie, however I do like to experiment from time to time. R on the other hand was a full on opioid addict, and I trusted his advice when it came to this experiment. I didn’t know what to expect as far as dosage went, but he had given me two 2mg strips and said to start out with only one strip at a time. Without eating much of anything prior, I ripped the first strip in half, and placed it under my tongue, as instructed. I ran down to my room and laid back, waiting for the effects to kick in. I had no substances in my system prior to this. I was slightly dehydrated at the time, due to working overtime at work and not drinking any water all day.
12:45 AM (T+0:55) - To my surprise, there was seemingly quite a long delay, as nearly an hour had passed and I still felt completely normal (normal being a baseline sober). I was used to typical pills, 30-45 minutes and I'm set. Not so much with this. It felt like it was taking forever, so I decided to start using my nicotine vaporizer (16mg/ml) to pass the time while watching Youtube videos. I had considered that it simply might not have any effect on me at all: according to my research, it wasn’t supposed to be a full blown opiate, but a partial opiate antagonist.
1:30 AM (T+1:40) - Nearly at the two hour mark, I thought that maybe the dose was too low, so I decided to take the second half, now ingesting the full 2mg strip. It was right about this time that I started to feel something, just this faint warmth, as if I had put another blanket on myself. It was so faint however that it hardly registered as an effect to me in the moment. So, I continued to puff away on my vaporizer and watch videos online.
2:50 AM (T+3:00) - That faint something from an hour prior began to ramp up into my body enveloping warmth. Mentally, it didn't quite have much of an effect yet, as there was little change besides me enjoying music a little more than I would sober (like I was a few drinks in at the local dance club and the music sounds just a little more fun). It was starting to get late, and since nothing seemed to be happening, I turn off my computer and laid down. I continued to use the vaporizer. I expected to just doze off and began to assume that this stuff wouldn’t have much of an effect on me.
3:10 AM (T+3:20) - Suddenly, I understood what R had told me about. It hit me like a brick wall, a feeling of being fully engulfed in the warm, tingly blanket like I had just taken a handful of Percocet and sniffed a few to top it off. I have had major surgery in the past, and this rush was similar to the moment when the nurse injects the dilaudid or morphine: I couldn’t feel anything, but I could feel EVERYTHING all at once. A pleasant throbbing buzz all over my body, and this hot, calm feeling in my chest. It was far beyond pleasant, it was blissful. My mind was now quite literally anesthetized, I couldn’t focus on anything other than the feeling of this drug in my body. I decided to stay up a little longer and listen to more music, as this is one of my favorite things to do while I am intoxicated with any substance. The music sounded clear at times, then murky at others, like I had the speakers partially submerged in water. Still using the vaporizer consistently, 2-3 puffs per minute and then resting at 2-3 minute on and 10 minute off intervals.
3:50 AM (T+4:00) - I turned off my computer and lay down fully. For the first time since beginning the experience, I had silence. Initially, I kept hearing noises, and at first I thought it was just the heater noise in the house as I sleep near the furnace and water heater, but then it started to develop more into a whispering sound. It started getting louder, and at this point, I realized that it was auditory hallucinations. Nothing distinctive but the kind of white noise that might be heard in a shopping mall or a coffee shop; almost able to make out something before it fades into the next sound. Final things I remember feeling before falling asleep was a sense of intense mental and physical euphoria.
10:50 AM (T+11:00) - I woke up in a state of utter confusion. I knew that, from research, it is supposed to stay in your system for 24 hours, give or take, but what I had not planned for was being as euphoric as the night before from the moment I woke up. I misinterpreted what it meant when the prescription information website stated it can be effective for 24 hours. I thought this meant that I would help ward off heroin cravings as it was intended to do, but not maintain this strong level of euphoria the next day. When I was able to get up, I stumbled around for a few moments, trying to collect myself.I spent a solid minute trying to decide whether it was in my head (just groggy) or I was actually still high. I quickly found it to be the latter and as I became more awake and try to get ready for work, it morphs into a heavy sedation rather than euphoria.
2:20 PM (T+13:30) - The heavily sedated feeling, both mentally and physically, had not subsided. My body felt heavy and uncoordinated, my mind felt slow and mostly hungover. Driving to work was an absolute nightmare, as I had never driven under the influence of any opioid, and I was surprised at how slow my motor skills were. Regardless, I made it to work without incident, but this only presented a new facet: doing my job while pretty fucked up.
5:00 PM (T+16:10) - On my lunch break I ate and drank as much as I possibly could to try to combat the feeling of tranquilized apathy. My co-workers noticed that I wasn’t myself, and I had to play it off as just taking too much cold medicine. The feeling now was much like taking a 200mg of DXM and then trying to function in my daily life. Doable, but not mentally and physically enjoyable. I started to get irritated that it was still affecting me so much.
I started to get irritated that it was still affecting me so much.
I did some more research, and found out that for some people it can last longer than 24 hours, and I was beginning to feel very down, like mentally depressed and physically exhausted. There was nothing but a general sense of overwhelming sedation.
11:50 PM (T+24:00) When I finally got back from work and got into bed, it had all but faded. Not much in the way of effects, but I was glad to finally be home and hopefully try to sleep it off.
This was a very mixed experience. I quite enjoyed the euphoria in the first 6 or so hours, however the following day, the sedated feeling was not as enjoyable. I would say that for a first experience it made quite an impression. Initially, the depressive effects that followed the early enjoyment were simply not worth it. I decided that I would not experiment further with it unless I was unable to obtain other opiates within a reasonable amount of time.
A week or so later, the realization that the pills in my area had dried up for the foreseeable future made me decided to give the second strip a try, to see if maybe the first time was a fluke or something. Potentially I just did something wrong, and it didn’t have the desired effect. Nonetheless, I at least knew what the next day could possibly look like, so I selected a night that I didn't have work the next day.
9:00 PM (T-0:00) - I decided to take it earlier in the day so that I would have more time to enjoy the euphoria. As before, I hadn’t eaten much that day, however I did make sure that I was well hydrated before this experience, although I was not sure if this would make a difference at all. No other substances were in my system at the time of this experiment. Unlike the previous experience, I took the whole strip at once, rather than ripping it in half. I placed it under my tongue, and started listening to music to pass the time while I waited.
11:00 PM (T+2:00) - The warm sensation I experienced the first time began to creep up. Similar pacing to the first experience, however I had not used any nicotine up to this point and decided to see if it would change the progression at all. I stayed on the couch listening to music, for the most part, aside from getting a couple glasses of water over the few hours, but little else.
1:00 AM (T+4:00) - I had expected by the four hour mark that I would be experiencing the intense euphoria that I had the first time, however this time, it seemed a little more muted that what I had first experiment. I figured that maybe the nicotine had an effect the prior exploit, so I chose to start using my vaporizer with the same 16mg/ml of nicotine juice. This time however, I used it much more frequently, 8-10 puffs a minute nearly consistently for about 15 minutes.
1:20 AM (T+4:20) - My guess about the nicotine having an effect proved to be right, nearly instantly after I concluded the vaping session, the wholly engulfing euphoria washed over me, with the same body numbing sensation. In contrast to the first experience, it seemed to be far more intense, and gave this kind of melting feeling like I was becoming one with the couch so to speak. I have only experienced this before with Dilaudid while I was in the hospital after a surgery. The mental effects were also notably different. I started to feel like I was dissociating with myself; my mind was going blank into what I cannot describe as anything other than a blissful wasteland of nothingness. I started to close my eyes (or rather started nodding out, it was hard to tell), and started getting mild closed eye hallucinations. Bursts of color and lines and swirls, nothing distinctive, yet very clearly there when I closed my eyes.
2:00 AM (T+5:00) The swirls and bursts of colors began to take shape into actual things - when I say things, I would liken it to twisted amalgamations of mythical creatures and movie dream sequence settings: momentarily there, and then gone before I could actually register what they were. It was just a swirling mass of visual stimulation. While the physical euphoria was pleasant, it took a backseat to the visualizations, I found this to be actually quite entertaining. It was around this time that I fell asleep, as keeping my eyes closed eventually led me to simply doze off.
10:00 AM (T+13:00) - I woke up to a similar state as the first experience, quite sedated and still relatively high. The euphoria was gone and it was just that depressive state I had fallen into the first time. After a relatively large breakfast, I decided to run out and get some energy drinks, and 480mg of caffeine later the negative “down” side of the sedation seemed to subside. This left me with an overall sense of calmness and general relaxation. Much of the rest of the day was characterized by this, and the mental state was actually quite pleasant.
I definitely felt that I liked this drug after the second experience, as it was far more enjoyable once I knew what to expect. Also, the knowledge that nicotine and caffeine had a notable reaction, I sought out the opportunity to get more and experiment further. Despite the euphoria I enjoyed, It was not longer the goal. As pleasurable as it was, I was more intrigued by the visual and auditory hallucinations. Since pills were becoming even harder to find than before and the Suboxone was in higher supply, I decided to continue experimenting with it when give the chance.
By this point, I had been able to procure three more 2mg strips of Suboxone, and a few loose pills here and there. Most notably, I had gotten my hands on 80mg OxyContin: with that experience under my belt, I felt that despite the bliss of Oxy, it didn't compare to the Suboxone and I was still more interested the more nuanced effects of Buprenorphine.
This experience had taken place in my friends house, as I had crashed at his place for the weekend and wanted to use the opportunity to see how Suboxone would mix with actual cigarettes rather than just a nicotine vaporizer. R mentioned that there might be more aggressive effects when real tobacco is used, so I purchased a pack of Marlboro Red 100s for this expedition.
As with the previous experiments, I had eaten very little beforehand (a common trend before my drug use, I typically try to reduce the potential for outside factors affecting the experience), but I had hydrated well. I also purchased 3 energy drinks (240mg caffeine per can) to help pass the time during the waiting period between when I take the strip and when it kicks in. I was curious to see if that would have any effect, consuming the caffeine in the early stages after taking the Suboxone, rather than 12 hours or so after I had taken it. With all that said, I had no other substances in my body prior to this experiment.
1:30 AM (T-0:00) - I took one whole strip and plugged in some music, trying to find something kind of trippy that might enhance the experience. I found a good few albums of modern psychedelic rock and metal, as well as a handful of other hip-hop songs that I felt might be appropriate. I pop in the strip dissolve and let the waiting commence. I completed my first can of energy drink (240mg caffeine) within 20 minutes, and smoked a few cigarettes just to get things kicked off (I really don't like how long it takes to actually get to the ‘fun part’, so I tried to speed up the process). I am used to pills which are usually active in under an hour, sometimes instantaneously if I snort them, so I wanted to see if there was a way to have the effects start faster.
2:30 AM (T+1:00) - The warming sensation started to kick in and and the body numbness had already begun, but there was a notable lack of any mental effects yet. This didn't surprise me much, as it had typically taken longer for the mental aspects to catch up to the physical in past experiences. I stepped outside to smoke another cigarette, and once back inside, I had a glass of water and also a little snack. This consisted of doritos and a strawberry poptart; likely due to the now cocktail of chemicals in my body, the food tasted better than I had never eaten in my life.
3:45 AM (T+1:15) - The bodily effects were now in full play, chest warm, legs and arms heavy. As it turned out, my friend was right; tobacco definitely was an extremely pleasant addition to the mix. The first cigarette I had after the initiation of the “wall” of physical sensation was like an ascension to pure ecstasy. It was instantaneous. After a few puffs, I suddenly felt like I couldn't even stand up. I had to lean against my car to finish the cigarette. I could feel my eyes drooping and my arms were nearly useless. My head was cloudy and sedated. Naturally, once I felt I could move again, I had a couple more cigarettes. One after the other, each cigarette increasing the numbness, and causing my to lean against my car just to stay upright. By the last cigarette (I think it was the fourth or fifth), I was laying on my back on the hood of my car, as I simply could not stand.
3:?? AM (T+1:??) - After an unknown amount of time passed, the immobilization began to recede and I realize that I’d been out in the cold for long enough so I staggered back into the house. Everything was warm and numb, and I could hardly think straight. I cracked open another can of energy drink (240mg caffeine) and began to drink that quickly. My head was fully soaring, engulfed in everything and nothing. Thoughts passed from one side of my brain to the other, with little registering, just the overwhelming sensation of the drug in my body. My only thought was to see how high I could get. Time seemed to have ceased, and with the cocktail of chemicals in my body I just enjoyed the ride.
4:30 AM (T+2:00) - After another quick trip outside for a few cigarettes, I peeled myself off the hood of my car again and stumbled inside to the couch. I sat down for a bit and tried to process everything that I was feeling. The euphoria hadn’t even plateaued yet, the numbness continued to ramp up more and more with each passing minute. I really wanted to eat more so I had some cheese puffs and then quickly downed my last energy drink (240mg caffeine). My body was now thoroughly desensitized and my mind was nearly just as dulled. I was pleasantly sedated in a state of absolute drug induced tranquility. In all of my endeavours with recreational drug use, pills, marijuana, mild hallucinogens, etc. I had never encountered something so all encompassing in terms of the sensation of my body and mind, or rather lack thereof.
4:50 AM (T+2:20) - I started fading in and out of consciousness, nodding out if you will, my head felt heavy and my eyes would just droop closed for a few seconds or so then I’d open my eyes again, and realize that time had passed in the blink of an eye. I couldn’t keep track of time at all now, a moment felt like an hour, and hour passed in a minute. My mental state was so twisted up in the concoction I had consumed even making decisions was hard, but I knew that the sensation was still ramping up. I could hardly stand, but I was able to make outside for another cigarette. All I wanted to do was get higher; I couldn’t think about anything else.
5:30 AM (T+4:00) - By the 4 hour mark, I was supremely messed up in the fullest extent of the term. My mental state was scary almost; the only thing I could think about was how to intensify the sensations I was experiencing. Between the caffeine and nicotine, my heart was racing and my head was racing. My body was in such a state of confusion between the stimulants and the opioid; I felt as if I were zombie-like, kind of just existing but not truly there. Not so much like the dissociative properties of DXM, but surely edging to mental dissociation. The sensation is difficult to describe. As the effects of the Suboxone didn't seem to be plateauing, my mind kept pushing me to get higher. I was afraid to try to take any other opiates with it, and did not know whether it was safe to take another strip so I simply went outside and finished the pack of cigarettes. Now I am a casual smoker and have never smoked more than half a pack in one day before (at a day long festival), but with each puff I felt more and more sedated, numb, purely devoid of feeling and thought. The last thing I remember is going inside and laying down, the numbness in my body turning into this radiating tingling feeling across my skin and into my bones. Despite my best efforts, while listening to Heritage by Opeth, I passed out, even with the obscene amount of caffeine in my body.
10:00 AM (T+8:00) - Waking up was a little rough, but getting my day started was a little better than previous experiences, as I had figured out the caffeine trick. I quickly ran to a gas station and picked up more energy drinks. Despite the sedated feeling and surprisingly a mild euphoria that was present in the morning, it was definitely not as difficult as the earlier experiments. I will note however that having class in the morning was quite an adventure. I typically make it a goal to be of clear mind when I go to classes, and my head was a mess sitting in those classrooms. I kept thinking about that feeling, and I wanted to get that high again.
This experience, upon reflection, was actually kind of scary.
This experience, upon reflection, was actually kind of scary.
Never before have I felt the desire to feel nothing again. It was a hunger...I was starting to get worried about it, and I decided to do a little more research about other peoples experiences with it. The more I learned about Suboxone, and the issue of people misusing it, the more I was hesitant to try it again. The draw behind Buprenorphine, as I had found, is that is essentially a step sideways from heroin, kind of like Methadone. I had learned prior to the first experience that it was used to treat opiate addicts, but I did not realize how potent it was. I thought that it would simply act as an analogue and help avoid withdrawal, but obviously this is not the case. Despite this, I liked that feeling. A LOT. This concerned me as I did not want to get wrapped into harder drugs, but put simply I really enjoy this one.
Going into this, I realized that I was starting to have a problem. The pills that I was able to get my hands on no longer did it for me. It had been about 3-ish weeks since my first strip, and my mindset had completely morphed into that of an addict. I’d take two, sometime three times as many pills as I had previously, and it never got me close to the feeling that the Buprenorphine did. I was starting to crave Suboxone. My gypsy friend had given me two more strips in the week since the last experience, and when a friend of mine (C) got injured, I gave him two strips, to help deal with the pain, as again the pills in my area had dried up. This left me with two 2mg strips of Suboxone. As a side note, C also ended up in a similar position as me after trying Suboxone. He too was beginning to crave it like me.
For this event, I planned the “perfect experience” if you will. Truly addict behavior. My housemates were out of town, I had the place to myself. I found myself obsessing over it, making sure that I ate only a little food, drank water until I was properly hydrated, and spent three days prior not consuming other substances besides some caffeine and nicotine. Finally it was time.
1:00 AM (T-0:00) - In the pursuit of the perfect experience, and against my better judgement, I decided to take both of my remaining strips at once. I figured if I was going to do it, why not go all the way. I laid back in my bed and turned on my laptop, and continued with my usual music regimen in the waiting period for it to start to kick in.
2:00 AM (T+1:00) - I start to feel something coming, like that warm blanket I felt the very first time. Conversely though, It felt like a much heavier blanket this time. Besides using my nicotine vaporizer (16mg/ml nicotine) a couple times, I did little besides listen to music and relax. I was waiting for the wall to hit me; numb to the world; blank out my mind.
2:30 AM (T+1:30) - The wall hits me, with intensity like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It wasn’t just my body that felt numb it was my bones. I felt like my hair was numb. It was just a warm, tingling, melting sensation like I was made of nothing. No mental effects had occured yet, but I knew they would soon come in some form. I used the vaporizer a few more times until I was so pleasantly sedated that I didn't want to move. I laid down flat on my back, arms at my side, hands clasped on my chest like a mummy almost.
C. 2:40 (T+1:40) I nod out...or at least that's what my friend who does heroin tells me its called when you pass out in this manner and hallucinate. I was so overwhelmed by all the sensation, everything suddenly went black and I started having visions. It was like dreaming but I was awake, just physically numbed beyond description and mentally engulfed in a flood of opiates. I couldn’t move, just lay in that mummy position as these dream/visions played in my eyes and ears. It was like I was somewhere and suddenly I’d come back up for a second and see the ceiling and then close my eyes and fall back into the next dream/vision. I was so completely disconnected from reality, just floating in this haze of drug induced euphoria. Time had fully ceased to be a factor in my existence.
Between about 3:00 AM and 8:00 AM this continued. I would fade in and out of dream/visions and consciousness at random intervals. I almost felt as if my body wasn’t even there, I was just a mind, a consciousness roaming in a series of bizarre vignettes. This is the first time I would say it truly shared traits with a third plateau DXM or ketamine trip, however it was much more physically intense, and a little less mentally dissociative. I can't stress enough how time seemed to not exist...when I finally came out of the dream/vision cycle and returned to normal consciousness, I began to feel my body again. Perhaps ‘feel’ is not the best term, it was more like I became aware that I had a body once more. It seems I had not moved in the entire time I was nodding out.
C. 8:00 AM (T+7:00) - As I have heavy drapes in my room, it was still dark, and I hadn't realized how much time had passed. I thought it might be 2 or 3 AM, but when I checked the clock, I was shocked by how much time had passed. I was still quite euphoric and sedated, but able to function more effectively than the first few times, despite the fact that I didn't try my caffeine trick.
10:00 AM (T+9:00) - Either the effects had worn off, or I had gotten used to the feeling after the initial wave of euphoria in the first 4-6 hours. I felt very little besides a sluggishness and physical apathy accompanied by a mental dull sensation. My mind felt clouded and just a little slower than usual, nothing unlike a hangover, without the headache and such. This continued for the rest of the day, with nothing more of note to report.
Experience analysis & Final thoughts:
With the fourth experience, I fully understand how people get into hard drugs, particularly heroin. In just one month, I had escalated from taking 2 or 3 low dose Tramadol and Vicodin occasionally, to having a hunger for a drug like I had never felt for anything before. Even as I write this a couple months later, though I have not used Buprenorphine since that final experience, I have been trying desperately to obtain some just so I can get that feeling again. I ask R for some, contact friends with drug connections, badger dealers to try to get me some. In all honesty, this behaviour scares me. I never thought that I would become addicted to a drug, but to this day I feel this hunger to take it again just to feel nothing.
To put it in some perspective, when I recently came across 80mg OxyContin, I snagged two of them and took one to see if it felt good. I hardly felt anything. I took the second. Nothing. I took a bar and a half of Xanax. Nothing more than a mild warm sensation and a little sedation. I have decided in light of all of these experiences that I am going to try to stay away from any opiates for the near future. I know that if I dabble any further it will eventually lead to heroin or worse.
While it felt good, I was essentially setting myself up for heroin addiction. Once I get on that slippery slope, harder drugs are only an arms length away. I was fortunate enough to have the willpower to simply walk away from it when I did, but I know how close I am to getting into harder stuff after all this experimentation. Final words on the matter are I wish I had been more careful when playing with drugs I had no business taking.
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