First off, I'm a 37 yo male in good health that exercises fairly regularly. Height and weigh are right where they need to be (6'3" and 195 lbs). Here is my story:

When I was in college, I played hockey and I had a pretty traumatic injury to my back. It came and went for the next 10 years and I never treated it other than with rest and OTC drugs. After I finished graduate school, I began to play golf about 3 times a week. This lasted for about 10 years(I own my own business so time is not an issue) until I started getting severe pain in my lower back. The initial diagnosis was degenerative disk disease in my lumbar disks as well as fecet arthritis caused by the compression of my disks. Prior to that, I had only taken opiates for an ankle surgery and I don't ever recall having the desire to take more. In college I experimented with a variety of drugs but when I started to feel depressed, I pretty much quite because I knew the drug use was exacerbating my depression. I take Klonopin and Lamictal for depression and anxiety(it runs in my family.............my sister committed suicide in 2006 at the age of 36). In 2007 my business became very financially succesful and I had even more free time to play golf or do whatever I wanted(take trips, etc). I began to play golf more frequently and at this point, I was as happy as I had ever been. I remember being excited to wake up and goto work and in general, really enjoyed life. I drank a few times a week but usually in moderation while playing golf. Golf became one of the focal points of life and I would be extremely excited to play on our groups' "golf days". As a result of the increase in recreational golf, my back began to deteriorate at an accelerated rate. I began to see a pain management specialist but I did not take any medicine. Instead, I got facet injections every few months which kept me going. In mid 2010, I began to get shooting disk pain in my L4/L5 region and it got to the point where I could no longer play golf. My father is an orthopedic surgeon so he sent me to a friend of his who is a neurosurgeon and he suggested I get a disk replacement. I had my disk replaced and due to the anterior approach and the pain, I needed alot of hydrocodone to get throught the first month or so. I tried to return to golfing too quickly and I ended up bursting my internal stitches so I had to get more medication. At first, I didn't really realize that I enjoyed the feeling I was getting from taking the Norco but just looked at it as a pleasant side effect and pschologically, I didn't feel guilty about staying at home, taking Norco, and watching TV because I needed it. I finally ran out of my scrip and since my surgeon was now my friend, I asked him if he could put me on Norco as a maintenance drug(full well knowing I was going to abuse it). He agreed and would give me 60 at a time which were supposed to last me a month. I would go through my pills in about a week and then just anxiously wait for my next scrip. During the 3 weeks I had no pills, I would go back to playing golf and my regular routine. I noticed on days I wasn't playing golf, I would get extremely bored at the office and had a hard time finding things to do to pass the time. As time went on, my addiction got worse and worse(in regards to how many pills I had to take to get a buzz). I injured my thumb a few months after my back surgery and got more scrips for Norco which just made the addiction worse because I couldn't play golf so I would try and get high everyday(as opposed to only doing it on "non golf days"). I eventually went back to my pain mgt guy and he gave me a scrip for Norco that refilled every 30 days(he is under the assumptionI take it as prescribed). One day, while trying to find a way to get more Norco(internet searches etc) I stumbled across a legal substance called Kratom which is similar to Opiates(for me, it basically relaxes me but I don't really get the euphoric effect). Anyway, its a good enough substitution for when I run out of my scrip. I have pretty much completely quit playing golf in favor of taking Kratom and sitting around the office(doing work, surfing the web, playing video games, etc). To be honest, if I had not found Kratom, none of this would be an issue because I was perfectly happy doing Norco recreationally every now and then. Because its legal and money is not an issue, I have a constant supply of Kratom and/or Norco and I have gotten to the point where I am so tired of this lifestyle. Honestly, the only reason I haven'y approached my pshychiatrist about using Suboxone to get off the opiates is because I am afraid that I will never get Norco again and I will have nothing to do when I get bored. My wife and I recently had our first child and I really want to stop this behavior so I can go back to enjoying my life like I used to. I'm not worried about the physical withdrawals because I have learned how to mitigate them via tapering but as I said, I just don't feel I can handle the boredom and subsequent self medication to "cure" the boredom. As any user knows, things are just that much more enjoyable when under the effects and again, the compounding factor is that I can get Kratom anytime I want it. Anyway, this is my first post and I'm sorry it was so long........................does anyone have any advice or a similar story with subsequent success? I really want to try and do this on my own but I can't seem to handle it. I even take "business trips" where I will go away for a few days with only enough medicine to keep the withdrawals at bay but that doesn't work either. I have given serious thought to doing outpatient rehab or rapid detox. Point is, I'm really sick of this and thus trying to reach out. Thoughts, stories, suggestions?

P.S. - Sorry for any grammatical...............I'm typing with a cast on my hand.
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replied May 18th, 2012
First off, sorry to hear the story. It sounds like you've gone through some serious pain with your back.

Weening yourself from prescription opiates can be very difficult. And though your attempt to do it alone is admirable, there really isn't any reason to do so.

You'd be much better off having someone help you. Not only with the addiction but with the mental side of things as well. I'd highly recommend finding an in-house treatment facility that can help with both the detox and addiction counseling.
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