Saturday, 8 June 2013

Nearly Six Months, PAWS And Stopping Smoking!

I've not been too good at writing posts recently, my only excuse is that when I cleaned up, life kinda took over!

It's coming up on six months now since my last Iboga flood. 
Apart from a couple of minor slips, ie: one or two small shots, months ago, I haven't slipped back into a full time opiate habit, nor am I on any maintenance meds anymore! :)

As ever when coming off long term opiates, it takes quite some time for the body to heal and adjust. Often longer than you expect, actually when I got clean back in '06, I tapered myself off a 120mg a day methadone habit. 
It took about 18 months of dropping 1-2mg each 4-5 days. 
It was slow and arduous but it worked, I got three years opiate free after that too!
I'd never heard of Ibogaine at that stage, if I ever had to do a slow meth taper again I'd microdose with rootbark without a doubt. 

Funny too, I'd not heard of the dreaded PAWS back then either, I think if I had I'd have probably talked myself out of the detox, or at a minimum suffered a lot more. 

Looking back now, knowing more, I did struggle with it. From 120mg down to about 12mg was easy in comparison to that last 12mg!

I got so worked up convincing myself that the last drop, from 1mg to 0 I'd go into hellish cold turkey that I nearly talked myself out of it altogether! I started to do the addict thing of coming up with justifications why I should just stay on 12mg forever! Haha

As it happened, I actually swapped over onto subutex for the final bit. It wasn't easy, the transition is difficult and I got pretty sick. I was really pissed that I ended up needing a full 32mg to hold me, I thought I'd be ok at 16mg max! 
It took about a week of pretty shitty withdrawal symptoms to stabilise, I then stayed at the 32 for a couple of weeks then started tapering. 
It was much easier to taper with, I set myself a three month limit for taking subs, much longer and I've noticed people start to struggle getting off. 
I got right down to 0.02mg, shaving the pills with a razor. 
When I finally stopped altogether, I remember sitting at home that day waiting for the ct to hit me, I had subs on hand if it did... It never did!

Yeah, I was amazed.. But it just goes to show, if you have the discipline and willpower to taper it is possible..

Anyway. I'm getting off track..

I wanted to talk about PAWS, or Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms/Syndrome, like I said, I'd never even heard of it, so I didn't really know what to expect in the way of symptoms when I finally stopped. 

Physically I had minor sweats and chills, goosebumps and sneezes that went on for maybe another week or two, my main problems were insomnia and depression. 
For about a year after I stopped I was battling severe depression, I researched medications and antidepressants that were good post opiate addiction and the SNRI Venlaflaxine/Effexor came up. I asked my doctor and was prescribed Effexor. I can't say I felt on top of the world but if lifted me out of the suicidal zone. 

It seems to take about a year to fully recover from long term opiate abuse, after that time I felt pretty much 'normal' and happy and had forgotten all about my past life really. 

Why am I talking about this? 

I guess because its kind of where I'm at again now, feeling sad and suffering a lot of anxiety. 
Iboga rootbark helps me loads, I take about a gram whenever I feel I need it, which is usually about every two weeks. It seems to stop any drug cravings I'm having dead in their tracks and lifts my mood. 

I actually even stopped smoking about six weeks ago too. Which is just crazy for me, I've always loved smoking and never had much intention to stop. 

I bought one of those E-cigs from the pharmacy and never looked back, haven't smoked since! :)

Can't recommend them enough

That's all for now anyhow 



Samuel said...

Maybe you should cut down on the Root Bark? that increases anxiety in my experience.

For some people PAWS can last up to 2 to 3 years, if they have done methadone for more then 5 months, so I was you mate I would prepare for that...My experience told me there is no cure for this, your receptors need healing and that means clean time with no meds or Iboga.

I also do not think you can microdose all the way through a meth detox, perhaps for other opiates such as heroin and codeine, even kratom, but not for the stronger ones like meth, their detox is too long for anything to work, you have to take Root Bark almost constantly for months which most people cannot do as they start to feel even worse when it comes to anxiety and depression.

The funny thing in my case is that after Iboga I felt like you, but when I detoxed meth without Iboga I felt I recovered more quickly. I did not have depression for more then a month, 2 at the most, after that I was fine.

My guess is you may have chemical inbalance or depression which is not associated with post opiate withdrawal. I have not heard too many people suffer depression for over a year after meth, or even subutex. Maybe you had underlining depression that was masked with opiates?

Do you work? got a stable relationship? good terms with your family? money in the bank? I did this all by myself after a methadone detox, and this kept me busy. I am 5 months off methadone and I am happy. I work out a lot, perhaps because I did not do hard opiates for that long and did not do opiates until I was 23 gave me a leg up in recovery. I am 27 now so am still young.

When I did Iboga first time it took away most of the first stage withdrawals except 1 symptom BONE ACHE! after that I felt shit, yes it was PAWS. I had ordered total alkploid Iboga and that did not do anything, so I took a break from Iboga, and felt better...Next time around I detoxed without Iboga I recovered much faster. I think Iboga even though helps withdrawals it may also add to some misery down the line in PAWS, thats my guess judging from my experience and other reports.

I would take a break from Root Bark if I was you mate, we do not know anything about it in the long run, there have been no concrete studies or any long term affects knowledge about it, so I was stay away from it for now, especially if you aren't on any opiates..

I tried ffexor and it gave me suicidle depression, I tried it 3 months after I quit methadone, my GP said I do not have chemical inbalance and it does not work for PAWS, thats why effexor did not work for me.

It also comes to down our own personality, our character and self esteem. We just need to man up and get on with life, get a nice job, settle down and do what other educated people do, go on holidays, keep good company, do some sporting activities and basically be good nice civil people. Mt GP said having these traits help in the long run in recovery.

Good look mate.

martha said...

I see what ya mean about PAWS. I still have them after 16 mmonths of coming off methadone. I have taken HCL Ibogaine and root bark 3g here and then but they stopped doing anything. I was ok after my big shot of flood HCL, but then couple of months down the line I started to have PAWS, I still do.

I think Ibogaine is still open to debate and we have to be objective about it. There is nore cure for our receptor sites to ge rid of PAWS. Only space between drugs and clean time is the only healer.

Sid said...

Hi Samuel,

You make some good points. And yes, very true, we still really have no idea how Iboga even works!
Much of the 'evidence' is second hand/subjective/opinion which can make it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

I can only go on my own personal experiences with it.
I've used Iboga in various forms/strengths and for detoxing from different opiates.
It's all back in the blog somewhere.

I flooded straight off 60mg methadone, then a month after stopping and only using morphine and again after three months of only morphine/heroin and there really was a marked difference in the intensity and length of withdrawal.

It is possible to microdose off a methadone habit but I'd suggest using Iboga as an addition to an existing taper plan. It will reduce the severity of the symptoms in as low a dose as 600mg daily. This is not just my opinion but about half a dozen others I have guided through the same thing.

I agree we need to bite the bullet eventually and put up with the symptoms, I also agree its unwise to see Iboga as a crutch or easy way out. It isn't, no detox ever will be and I've never said anything else here.
There will come a point if one is using bark regularly, daily or bi-daily for example, that it will have a ceiling affect and will not make much of a difference taking more.

It's a personal thing, I've found some people feel nauseous and dizzy from as little as 50mg whereas I can easily handle 1200mg with no undesired affects.

Microdosing is a relatively new area and deserves exploring I feel. To simply say 'well that won't work' seems counterproductive.
In low doses of under 1500mg (RB) daily there is very little risk of interactions with other medications or ataxia and nausea preventing day to day tasks being done.

Again, it's an individual thing and one size will not fit all. Age, sex, length of use, type of opiate used etc etc all play a part.

Maybe your healthy lifestyle and short habit were in your favour, I'm almost certain they would. When were discussing a user aged 50 plus with a 30 year methadone habit under their belt its a whole other kettle of fish

Well done on getting clean anyway! Good to see a positive outcome, sadly I've noticed that some of the loudest, vocal opponents of maintenance therapy and things like Iboga, tend to be ex addicts with a 'well I did it so you should be able to too' attitude.

I think, and can back it up with experience, that once were over a habit and have moved on with a year or two clean, we forget very quickly how hard and painful addiction and detox can be!
I guess I'd have never relapsed if I'd remembered huh...


Sid said...


16 months is a very long time to still be struggling.
What symptoms are you having?

I have heard of rare cases of multiple decade methadone users taking up to three years to fully recover

You can do lots to help the process along, health diet and lifestyle, omega supplements.

If you think you have a pre-existing depression then maybe seek medical advice.

A TA booster or a week of daily rootbark should help things along too. Good luck!

Sid said...

The jury is still out with regards to whether Ibogaine has a clearing and resetting effect on opiate tolerance and habit or if it simply masks the symptoms until it wears off.

My opinion is a little of both. There is no evidence it resets receptors but it certainly blocks withdrawal symptoms for at least 24 hours. More if you can handle boosters.

I honestly believe after years of trying to detox every which way, ibo is the easiest and most painless method. Which is why I'll continue to write and advocate about it.

I have no financial interest in pushing it. I'm just a junkie that discovered the most effective treatment for my illness :)

Robbie_Keane said...

Hi guys, I got a question. Would using root bark to microdose of a methadone habit really be any beneficial? methadone detox is stretched out so I cannot see myself buying rb on a persistent basis for 3 or 6 months to cover the meth symptoms. I have tried rb in 600 and max 900mg, not really too sure if it helped my taper, I did not feel that I had to take less of my meth dose, if anything I was craving for more.

I think ibogaine can help withdrawals but the aftermath is something we have to do on our own. I can personally handle a week or 2 of withdrawals but the time it takes to heal always bothers me, this is why I use to go back on opiates.

I also think when we easily get dependent on something we also become naive and rely on something to get us through the day.

As for now I am not sure microdosing is the answer to lower my intake of meth, The longest I tried it was 1 month, and though I did notice 1 or 2 affects I felt it did not lower my tolerance. I did not want to exceed 900mg because I was feeling the affects already at 900mg i.e b buzzing in the ears, bit of ataxia, heart beat etc..I also think it did not potentiate any methadone or other opiates. Maybe because methadone is potent thats why ha?

I may try microdosing at the end of my meth taper and when I stop, to see if it will help when am not taking any meth.

By the way when is the best time to use an antidepressant? I never had depression issues in the past and never tried any ADs, so do any of you think I will still need them?

Gloria said...

I do not like the way ibogaine makes me feel. I use to take root bark on occassions to cut down morphine, but I just disliked the way it made me feel. It felt like I was smoking skunt and weed hehehe, it got me anxious and paranoid. It did not do much for my withdrawals or helped me to taper morphine. I would be withdrawal free for 3 hours then they would creep again, so I gave up microdsing. I do not believe it works for everyone or else it would be more popular by now.

This PAWS bitch is what we all have to go through, I agree there is no cure for that. Brain takes time to heal, our receptors cannot be covered albeit iboga or pharmaceutical meds and heal at the same time. It is not going to happen period. Only way to get through it is time, commitment, determination, courage and persistency. Relying on meds and iboga is a step back. They may help the acute withdrawals but noway for PAWS.

I used naltrexone to get off morphine, I also used it to get off methadone, it worked.

Fisher said...

I did ibogaine back in January for morphine and heroin but still had PAWS. I joined mindvox and eboka during that time too but all they kept saying was wait wait wait and PAWS has to be there to get clean, so I waited and in May I said enough is enough, I went back on morphine, this time I am just going to slowly wean off it. Ibogaine did give my some mental insights but it did not do anything for the PAWS in my case. What a bummer!!!

Sid said...

Hey Fisher,

That's a shame, sorry to hear that. Yes, I hear this again and again sadly. Ibogaine just seems to not want to be quantified! It's really not anything like traditional western medicine, the 'take x00mg twice a day for a week' approach just doesn't work.
The desired and undesired effects can be so hit and miss sometimes.
Sadly I've noticed more and more unethical businesses opening up offering the ibo 'cure'...
To a desperate addict giving something one last shot this is an attractive offer.
You and I know though the outcome is so variable it's not really something that can be offered this way.
Maybe we should leave it to the Bwiti huh.?!

So how long were you using before you flooded? And which opiates? Just morphine? Slow release?
Also how old are you, and your sex?
How did you access Ibogaine, through a provider/clinic or DIY? How much did you take and what type of extract?

I can try and offer some answers if you like.

Generally PAWS will always be a problem after prolonged abuse of opiates, of any type.
It's the brain adjusting. Receptors and endorphins kicking in. It can take a long time to completely recover although usually the worst will be over within a few months.

There is no evidence ibo resets or repairs opiate receptors and endorphins.
It can mask the worst of the symptoms though, it's not true that it just prolongs it, if you can physically cope with using ibo for as long as the paws are there they will eventually stop.
You probably would have benefited from daily rootbark, I know I did, I would of struggled without it.

Sounds like you have a plan now though, long slow taper is a good plan. You can always compliment it with rootbark and things like omega oils if you like.

Let me know how you get along anyway

Fisher said...

Hey buddy I was on morphine before my big shot of ibogaine and on occasions did heroin too, I looked into ibogaine almost everyday, so I decided to go ahead with it. To be honest with ya it did not do much for me mentally, which actually was always my problem, I assumed it would help mentally but it did not, I know they were PAWS, I could always get through the pshycal part, I always use to take few valiums and that blood pressure med clonidine, but the aftermath dealing with opiates leaving your receptors got me. I got a mix of TA ibogaine and HCL, I did it in the UK with someone named Paul, I cant give surname as it would be introducing on privacy, I did sign a form which said if things go south you cannot hold the provider responsible, he did warn me there is no guarantee a big shot of ibogaine will work the way you want it to. I remember not being able to sleep properly for 3 months, fatigure was a problem, low energy and depression, this went on for several months, I did buy some capsules of ibogaine from a vendor online but that only made me a bit loopy, it did not help the mental problems of getting off opiates. I did not get sick when I did my flood, I did get some ataxia, body temperature changed and pshycally it was ok, but I was really hoping it would help with PAWS, but it did not, now I understand why so many simply relapse after doing their ibogaine or feel it did not work. Its very subjective too, I am not going to pay couple of Ks/grands to get over the pshycal hump, I can do that at home/DIY, it is the aftermath we have to overcome.

So for now am planning to taper down or look into DETOX 5, I heard that helps the receptors recover quickly, at least we know how that works, I think they give you naltrexone? so I read here.

I am also 25 so I do not think age is the issue, I do not think people can keep using age as an excuse, if your generally in good shape and healthy then whether you do ibogaine or DETOX 5 the outcome is still the same pshycally, hell I know someone from Glasgow who was my age suffer when taking a big shot of ibogaine, he had to be rushed to the hospital.

One thing I will say is that it was not thst scary as I thought it would be, it reminded me of my childhood, but I never had a bad childhood, so that worked in my favor..It is just that I could not deal with low energy, depression and feeling shit in the mind for 4 or 5 months..

Kornikova said...

I do not like the way ibogayne makes me feel in low doses. I feel like I am on weed lolz it gets me paranoid and it did not stop my heroin withdrawals.

marviv said...

Please let me know how did You use the naltrexone to cut your addiction.
I've been trying it in mcg doses, but it seems to work only for a few days, then it just blocked out all my receptors.
Please let me know how You did it.