Monday, 29 November 2010

Link to online petition for fair treatment of heroin addicts

Go sign!

A couple of people have mentioned that they don't want to sign as don't want to give out they're full name.

You don't need to give a full name, it doesn't track your IP address or anything like that, I think you can even sign anonymously.

All you need is a first/second name and an email address... make a new email if your worried about it!

But please sign it!, Im gonna need thousands of signatures!

Also please feel free to copy and paste the link wherever you want!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

My open letter to the government for a reform of heroin addiction treatment!

This is really rough, im not that great with words, please help me put a better version together! I really think if enough of us send this off, local MP and lets find out the right health minister, could even send it to the PM haha

(Address Etc)

Dear (Insert MP’s name here),
                 I am writing with regards to the current treatment modality of heroin addiction in the UK.
After personally using heroin for 15 years and having utilising the various treatment options currently available believe I have a fair understanding of the issues surrounding opiate addiction and treatment.
In my experience, and invariably of many others, maintenance treatments like methadone and subutex, have their place, but for the majority of addicts just don’t work, one report suggests a success rate of just 4% with methadone!

There are numerous government reports supporting the prescribing of diamorphine for heroin addicts, and the studies and trials that have been done all have much better results regarding health problems and a marked reduction in crimes committed to support habits.

The UK is also in a better position legally than most other countries as doctors here are allowed to prescribe diamorphine for addiction (alebeit with a home office license) this should be exploited as there are hundreds of thousands of heroin addicts in the UK that can see no way out of their situation.

After a recent heroin ‘drought’ in the UK, a lot of addicts are questioning the range of treatments available to us.
Not only is the situation regarding getting into a treatment programme different all over the country, the choices on offer (methadone or subutex maintenance are not suitable for everyone)
For example, some GP’s will prescribe on the same day, but in other areas users will have to join a drug dependency unit and be co-prescribed with a GP, this on average can take six to eight weeks which is just too long, typically when an addict asks for help, they are at ‘rock bottom’ and need it immediately.
In our class culture, if a user can afford it, a lot of private doctors will prescribe morphine, diamorphine or benzodiazepines with no questions asked. How is this fair to the average addict?

I feel (along with many others) we are made to jump through so many hoops it almost isn’t worthwhile. Even if we do what is asked of us we are only going to get a drug which is more addictive than heroin, has more side effects, is a lot harder to detox from and in most cases doesn’t even alleviate 100% withdrawal symptoms and cravings!
I believe it is time the government looks at other options. Methadone and subutex do not work for the majority of addicts. There are plenty of other options out there and we need to stop looking at addiction with a ‘one size fits all’ attitude.
Addiction is obviously a very complex, difficult issue to treat, many of us have deep psychological issues, whether it be from childhood abuse, or pre-existing depression that we discovered was manageable through opiates.
It is proven that opiates alleviate depression. It’s time we were treated with dignity and respect, like any ‘normal’ patient would get.
Currently, your average heroin user is forced to buy on the streets from unscrupulous criminal gangs that will, as standard ‘cut’ heroin with all kinds of adulterants, putting users at risk from poisoning.

Not only would being treated properly with appropriate medication put a stop to health problems associated with injecting/smoking adulterated heroin, there would be a marked drop in drug related crime, prostitution, gang affiliated violence and profiteering.
I believe we need to re-asses the way we currently treat addicts, if users want to use methadone it should be made easier and faster to access, injectable ampoules should be made available to those who want it as needle fixation is a big part of many addicts’ problem.
Injectable diamorphine should be the standards treatment for addicts that inject and for smokers, in tablet form.
A clean supply of these drugs would massively reduce the problems classically associated with heroin addiction.
It would also mean users would be able to lead a relatively ‘normal’ life, get back into employment and attain some level of dignity as the daily routine of getting money, buying drugs would no longer be an issue!
I realise this is a highly controversial issue and will not change overnight but I believe we need to move out of the stone age when it comes to the treatment of addiction

Yours Sincerely

(Name/Or I guess it could be anonymous?)

Friday, 26 November 2010

UK Heroin Drought Drags On!

And the drought continues!

I've never known it this bad in fifteen odd years!

A Europe-wide heroin drought is affecting thousands of junkies everywhere!

I, along with the rest of the UK have struggled to find anything for the past month or so.

Is this a good thing? Well no if you have a habit! I've read stories of people giving opiate negative urine tests!
People are in effect withdrawing and cleaning up without knowing it!

Although it's shit, this may actually be the kick up the ass some people need to clean up!
Obviously having the choice taken away isn't nice, but it means addicts up and down the country are finding themselves without tolerance/habits!

The drug services and GP surgeries must be over-run with people trying to get scripted..
Unfortunately there's no standard way of doing things here (in the UK), last time I got a methadone script from a DDU, I had to jump through so many bloody hoops I almost gave up!....

See this counsellor, see your GP with the counsellors letter, your only allowed 30mls and will titrate over a few weeks if your sick (which obviously you are)

I mean im not complaining, if we think we have it hard, try being a junkie in America! Not only do you have to provide clean samples and see counsellors you have to pay for it, AND everything's recorded, so once youv'e recieved any kind of narcotic your forever marked as an addict!

Back in the 80s here all addicts were 'home office registered', and although they now say your personal details aren't used for anything here they obviously are!

On another note, in my experience,  addicts are some of the most sensitive, screwed up, self deprecating individuals you would ever meet, I know I internalise all my shit, and always have, I was sexually abused at a young age and never really dealt with it.. I ended up falling into drugs and by seventeen was determined to get myself a habit.. I mean, wow.. what an amazing feeling heroin gives you, I wasn't depressed for the first time in my life!

How could I not use this drug to hide from the crap in my head!?

Why can the government not give me the dignity of a regular supply of clean, safe, opiates?

I've seen it from both sides, when I cleaned up the first time properly, at 26, I took a degree in counselling and psychotherapy, I had to give it up though as I relapsed and couldn't justify working as a drug counsellor while using! (although many in serious denial do)

Anyway, signing off for the night, some useful/interesting links below

Another relapse

Hmm... so yeah, I relapsed (again)

I got through the first four days after my Ibogaine and the PAWS kicked in.. big time.. I think my methadone use caught up with me and kicked in after the Ibo wore of..

Now this shouldn't have been a problem had I had enough Ibo, but I just didn't, I thought I'd be ok with out the boosters.. wrong!

I couldn't afford it, but really wish I'd saved up and got more now...

Bad timing to relapse too, there's a Europe-wide heroin drought on at the moment, couldn't have timed relapsing worse if i'd tried!

Im surviving on point one of gear a day.. if I can find that.. I sold the last of my green after the detox as I wanted it out the house, and believed i'd detoxed ok.. bad idea. as much as I hat it I bloody wish I had some now!

Anyway, more Ibo is in the post  (14-18 day arrival though) so until that arrives I have no choice but using!

Not good

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Why Rehabs dont work for everyone

In my 30 years on this planet, Iv'e been to rehab nine times...

Ive done just about every possible detox from opiates over the years, NA twelve step programmes, cold turkey, drug assisted detox (methadone/subutex reduction, benzodiazepine,clonodine)

To complete a detox programme you need to be 'ready', it's the most horrendous experience you will ever go through, and to get through it you need to be so determined to succed it will override the physical and psychological torment of opiate withdrawls..

The problem with acute opiate withdrawl is that not only it's physically uncomfortable (to the extent you want to kill yourself) but it throws up a lot of physological stuff from your past.

The first time I went into a residential rehab I had no clue really what I was doing, I was on 100mls of methadone daily, a large dose by anyones standards, I was also taking prozac and valium,
I was reduced from the methadone over five days and the prozac was stopped along with valium.

It hit me like a ton of bricks!

Not only was I in the most physical pain I've ever experienced, I was suddenly having to deal with issues from my past which I had succesfully blocked out with drugs since I was seventeen..

I started having mini seizures and had to be givven rectal diazepam on a few occasions

I think, looking back now, I had a mini nervous breakdown, I was self harming quite badly, cutting and stubbing cigarettes out on myself.
I became suicidal, and just couldn't deal with it.
I ended up discharging myself and coming straight back to London and scoring some Heroin.

This understandably put me off rehabs for years, when I eventually cleaned up I was 26, and was by this point at my rock bottom, it's cliche but true, it takes getting to a point where you are so low, so sick of the lifestyle to have the determination to get clean.
I actually threw the last bit of heroin I had down the toilet and decided to go for it.
I did it on my own, It took me three years to taper down my 80mls methadone daily down, at around 1ml a week to 6mls, at this point I switched onto 8mg of Subutex (Temgesic/Buprenorphine) - A partial opiate agonist/antagonist with a much shorter half-life than methadone, I reduced my Subutex dose down to 0.2mg and then stopped.... I waited for the withdrawls but they didn't come!  was actually clean, opiate free for the first time in ten years!

The only real symptoms I suffered were insomnia (for around six months) and I fell into quite a bad depression, I was actually suicidal for around 12 months after.
I researched appropriate anti-depressants that work for people that have had a long term opiate addiction (opiates really mess with dopamine and seratonin re-uptake, and it can take around six months for the brain to repair itself to a point where the seratonin and dopamine are absorbed normally again.

I started taking Venlaflaxine, it helped slightly, it took the edge of the depression anyway, I wasn't suicidal at least.

Anyway, my opinions of rehabs,...

 they tend to use a 'one size fits all' treatment modality.

You are generally thrown in with a bunch of people you wouldn't normally associate with, at clouds house for example, we had people ranging from a fifty-six year old woman who had become addicted to tramadol after a hysterectomy to a twenty something man who had been sent to rehab on a court order, he would be sent to prison if he did not complete, he didn't want to be there and he made sure he made the process as difficult for everyone else he possibly could, (sabotaging your own and others' detox is a common behaviour observed at residential rehabs).

My main issue with most of the rehabs i've been in however is my sexuality, as a gay man I suffered homophobic abuse at nearly every one I went to.

When people are detoxing they tend to be very defensive and can revert back to adolescent behaviours from childhood.

It's almost like a school!

Being continually bullied is obviously not conducive to recovery when you are feeling low and struggling anyway and it was one of the reasons I didn't ever complete my treatment.

I really think to aid an individuals recovery a holistic view needs to be taken.
It's not just about physically detoxing someone.
I believe treatment needs to be individually tailored for each persons needs, post-detox treatments are as if not more important than the actual detox itself.

Even with ibogaine, probably the most powerful 'addiction interruptor' we have, post-detox therapy has been shown to be useful if not essential and the majority of people that have maintained abstinence have used therapies such as counselling, physical therapies like acupuncture, exercise, yoga, or thai chi.

I honestly believe that if a treatment is going to be succesful, it doesn't matter where the person is, if one is determined to clean up they will do it whether they are at a £30,000 private holisitc rehab or on their friends sofa doing a DIY Ibogaine treatment.

I think in the future we will see patients having more input to their detoxification process and a focus on aftercare.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Some Ibogaine links..... - A great source of information about Ibogaine - An important manual on how to safely take Ibogaine - A reputable supplier (Where I ordered mine from)

Ibogaine 'Nearly' saved my life!

So, I finally went for it!

As any junkie will tell you, the older you get and the longer youve taken opiates the harder it is to get off, I didnt really fancy another rehab, especially as I had never even completed one, so I looked into Ibogaine.

Ibogaine comes from the Iboga plant, a powerful psychadelic, shamanistic healing and sacred in the Bwiti culture of Africa
It's been used for thousands of years by the Bwiti people for healing illness, coming of age rituals for pubescent boys and girls and the whole Bwiti religion has evolved around the plants mystical properties.

In the sixties, a heroin addict called Howard Lotsof took ibogaine recreationally, it wasnt until he realised a few days later that he wasnt in opiate withdrawl and wasnt craving what had happened!

He went on to spread the word and to try and get the drug into a proper medical research programme..

Unfortunately, Ibogaine has been dismissed by the majority of the medical world to have no therapeutic value..... This isnt the case, this is such a powerful drug, the only reason it can not get past various government procedures in my opinion is that its a hallucinigenic

My experience with it..

I took 1.4 grams around 24 hours after my last heroin dose, I went to lay down and started to feel the drug coming on.. Not unpleasant at all

I was shown some images, all in dark purple swirly patterns, the first part of the trip last around 4 hours and just suddenly stops, it then felt like I had cotton wool in my head for the rest of the night..

Im now on day 14, and have unfortunately relapsed.. see latest post!

I can-not recommend this drug enough to any addicts out there that are looking for a way out of addiction..

Another amazing thing about Ibogaine is thats its been used succesfully to treat alcoholism, cocaine addiction, ketamine, speed, and nicotine...

I can honestly say I havent smoked since I took it (after smoking forty a day since I was 14)

This drug has to get more momentum behind it, it could help so many people!
And I will personally do everything I can to spread the word!...

Any questions please just ask....

Im happy to be someones sitter if they want to go through the treatment and have passed the screening process