FROM THE METHADONE PRETTY ARCHIVES: MY FIRST ENTRY FROM MY OLD SITE WRITTEN 2005 07 12
I started methadone August of 1999. By then I was a solid year and a half into a pretty heavy opiate addiction. It had started with dilaudid but as soon as we were able we had moved on to heroin. We live in a funny city. While it is reasonably large with close to half a million, it is near impossible to find heroin here. Except for a time in the 1970''s - so I have been told - it is one drug that does not seem welcome. Very white collar town so there is lots of pot and cocaine. Crack has had some effect as has speed but not like those other two. Because this is also very much a university and college town, there is also lots of ecstacy and its ilk. By the time I had even given a dilaudid a try, I was about two years deep into a large coke and speed habit. Funny can''t even remember what that was like but I know that we were using every day and had been for a long time. Then along came a little yellow pill and it was as if nothing else existed. It was wonderous and it didn''t take long to develop a tolerance for it. Thank heavens we knew someone that could get us heroin. He was out of town three out of the seven days and he happened to be working in a place that was literaly drowning in it so every Thursday night right after getting off his bus, he would drop by our place with our weekly package. Sunday night we would wave him goodbye as his bus left town, our money in his pocket. This went on for over a year.
It started to get quite expensive as all habits tend to but this one also felt different. Where before, I may have been a bit of a bitch if I couldn''t get blow or speed, I could get by at least but not this time. When I was without I hurt, I felt sick, I was in servere pain. I couldn''t or wouldn''t want to go to work and I had always prided myself on never letting any of my vices interfere with work and to be honest, life in general. Suddenly I had become single minded, nothing else mattered but not feeling sick anymore. I had to have a hit no matter what. Came close to bankrupting us. Sad but at least we had a house to sell to get us out of debt. And selling this one, our favourite, meant that we still had two others left although they were nowhere near as nice and they were in a much rougher part of town but that didn''t seem to concern us so much anymore. We moved. We had to. We had someone else very important in our life now that very much needed to be accomodated. I had never lied before but suddenly I found myself doing just that. When my family doctor confronted me I couldn''t admit it at first. I was every which way of denial until I couldn''t take it anymore. This drug eventually wears you down, strips you of every vestige of dignity and self respect. I fessed up and when he started talking about getting us into a methadone program, I pretty much said yes just to humour him plus he said that as soon as we were on the list, he would be able to help us out and get us from having to buy our dope on the street at ridiculous prices.
I had never actually intended to follow thru with the methadone. The moment we were accepted our doctor wrote us each a prescription for 30 dilaudid a week. It was as if we had hit the jackpot. Between us we had 60 pills that would normally have cost us almost $20 each - quite a savings. He said that he could keep us supplied until we reached a high enough methadone dose that could sustain us on its own. I figured that we would ride this out as long as we could. Looked like it would be at least eight weeks that we could get our prescription and I figured that was long enough for us to get our finances back in order. We would in theory save a lot by not having to buy opiods for a two month period. As it was we were spending about $700/week and that was barely keeping us from getting sick so I knew that we were living on borrowed time if we continued spending at that rate. We were long overdue for a financial break.
But a funny thing happened while we going to methadone. It started working. I stopped grieving for any of the others. I went a day without a hit, then two and then a week. A week turned into a month and then two and three and we were still going. Suddenly two years had passed and I no longer did anything except for my methadone. I didn''t even drink anymore. I forgot about heroin and dilaudid and morphine - oxys had yet to make their appearance but that was only a matter of time. The methadone made me so very tired though even if it did seem to work a small miracle. I would start to nod off at the worst possible time something I rarely did while addicted to the others. I needed to stay awake. So before we knew it we were back doing speed but this time we vowed that we would keep our spending under control and we did for a long time. Speed wasn''t the same anyway now that we were on meth. Yes, you could kind of feel it but you never felt as if you were way out there. Oh well, it was still better than nothing. And we were spending about half of what we used to spend on the other.
Suddenly twenty seven months had passed. We were starting to get tired of the daily grind of having to grab our methadone. Yes, for the most part normalcy had returned to our lives. We fell into our own little routine. Gone were the hours upon hours dedicated to finding that one hit that would take away the pain. I could go back to work full time, we both could. Methadone gave our life structure once again. My credit card debts were now paid off. We had sold the other two houses and purchased a three story apartment building. Our self confidence and esteem had returned. We didn''t want or need methadone any more. It was time to say goodbye. I had two weeks vacation at Christmas 2001 but a week before my vacation started I got a terrible flu. I was down to about 20mg of methadone a day. I felt so sick that I just didn''t feel like grabbing my methadone one day and the next and the day after that. I just stopped going and when my flu ended, any withdrawal that I may have been going thru had also ended. It was hard to tell one from the other so I kept telling myself that there was no withdrawal just crappy flu symptoms.
Fast forward three and a half years. I am once again severly dependent on that little yellow pill. Well now it is the little white pill. No more #4s for us, we now need #8s. We are back spending ridiculous amounts of money and are consumed by abject fear whenever we find that we have run out or that none of our dealers is holding. It is no longer pleasant. But what of the intervening three years you ask? Well that is obviously a story for another day...TO BE CONTINUED