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|01-11-2009, 12:00 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Western WA
Question from a codie...........
Have a question that I need ES&H from the A's point of view. Hope you don't mind me posting on your forum........
My abf/xabf (unfortunately, the exact status is not as clear as I would like it to be, but that's a whole other story) is an addict, DOC oxycontin. However, he has been using alcohol and pot since age 13 or 14. He is now off the pills (thanks in large part to the wonders of suboxone). He still hasn't dealt with the underlying things that make him want to "numb out", so while he waits for new insurance to kick in (2/1) and can get in with a therapist, he wants to use pot and alcohol to "cope" with the emotions he is now dealing with. He has a relapse prevention specialist who, according to the A, has told him that many people he has treated can use pot and alcohol in a controlled way, but become addicted to the opiates and *only* the opiates are an issue for them. However, he had previously told me that drinking makes him want to smoke and smoking eventually makes him want to take pills.
So, to my question..........does anybody have experience or opinions about if using pot/alcohol does or doesn't lead to relapses on the "harder" drugs/DOC?
I have concerns about the drinking and the pot........both being a concern because he's on anti-depressants and I feel that's not a good mix and the pot especially because he's unemployed and looking for a job, so it doesn't really make any sense to be taking the risk of not getting a job because he pops a test. He's basically relying on being able to use "cheats" to pass a test if he needs to take one. Seems like an awfully big risk to me, and makes no sense in my mind. Then again, I'm not an addict, so much of what he does and says makes no sense to me!!! ;-)
Thanks for any input you may have, and for letting me "invade" your forum!!
|01-11-2009, 12:16 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2008
in my experience, drinking and/or smoking pot will eventually lead u back to ur DOC. how many times i've relapsed thinking "it's just a few drinks" or "it's only pot, at least i'm not taking (insert DOC here)". addicts are addicts and ANY type of drug use is bad. we try to convince ourselves that we can use safely, in moderation but it ain't gonna happen.
~You Alone Must Do It But You Must Not Do It Alone~
|01-11-2009, 02:09 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: A very HOT place, near the beach ;-)
SOrry for what you are going through. I would have to say from experience that typically drinking & smoking pot can and will lead back to the DOC. On the other hand, I also know of people who smoke/drink after quitting their DOC and have not relapsed. I don't know if a relapse prev. spec would actually say that it is OK to smoke pot/drink especially early in recovery. He really needs to get to the core of why he wants to be numb from feelings. I wish you luck. Please do not hurt yourself anymore while in the process of trying to help your ABf/EX abf.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly
|01-11-2009, 08:28 AM||#4 (permalink)|
OMG everything's real
Join Date: Sep 2008
Blog Entries: 3
Wellll, some people can, some people can't. Probably more effective than pot and alcohol would be to go to some NA meetings. Just till the 1st Feb. Then the therapist can take over or be an additional recovery aid to meetings.
Oh, and careful what you believe. My ex started going to AA when we had been split up a while. After two weeks, when we were sort of back together, he told me that the AA members had told him to be careful of going to too many meetings, it could become an addiction in itself. Now I find out it's 90 meetings in 90 days!!
happily addicted to sugar, caffeine and horses
|01-11-2009, 08:35 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
I can't beleive any competent 'relapse prevention specialist' would recommend that an addict use other substances as a recovery tool. Go to the NA website and look at their take on 'substitution'.
Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else.
|01-11-2009, 09:57 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Leaving Sparta
|01-11-2009, 09:59 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Awaiting Email Confirmation
Join Date: Jun 2008
He has a relapse prevention specialist who, according to the A, has told him that many people he has treated can use pot and alcohol in a controlled way...
That sounds exactly like something an alcoholic/addict would say that someone else said was okay.
|01-11-2009, 10:17 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: CA Native
I'm from the school thought that says MOST people CANNOT successfully switch back to their old DOC (i.e. pot and booze) and stay clean from their 'new' DOC (i.e. opioids) for any considerable length of time. There is a reason that people 'graduate' to harder drugs, and that's cause they end up liking them better than the ones they were doing before.
This being said, since the person in question is still on buprenorphine, they're not technically 'clean' anyway. I'd say a given person would stand a much better chance of NOT having pot and booze bring them back to oxys if they're doing them at the same time as they're doing bupe.
To be honest, I still smoked and drank while I was on bupe myself ... but not very much. I think I got buzzed on alcohol maybe 3 times, and stoned maybe 10-15 times in the 7 months I was on bupe. This did not lead me back to, nor even make me crave, oxys.
But right now, 19 months totally sober, without the underlying bupe sorta 'covering me', I'd imagine the outcome of drinking/smoking would be different. I'd feel like I blew my sobriety, and I'd start getting the 'f*ck its' after not too long, I just know it. So, although I used pot and booze pretty reasonably and safely for most of my life before I got hooked on opioids, I still consider them very dangerous for myself, and believe them to be thusly for the vast majority of recovering addicts, no matter what their original DOC.
In the overall scheme of things, also, for the record, I consider the booze to be a much, much greater danger than the pot. ALthough your point about drug tests is a good one, alcohol is the much stronger drug of the two, and also works on the brain in a way that's MUCH more similar to opioids vs. how pot works. And nothing cures a booze hangover the way opioids do, I can tell ya that from LOTS of experience.
Another thing, for the record, when I got onto subs, I was not suddenly flooded with a big slew of negative 'feelings' ... at least not once I stabilized after the first few days. I found bupe kept my mood incredibly stable, I really can't recall ever having gotten really 'down' whilst I was on those things. If dude is finding he's bumming out while on them, I'd suggest that he talk with his sub doc about it. It's also possible he's continuing to use, and thus, is never really stabilizing on the bupe, and going through major ups and downs because of that. I know this can happen, cause I've done it.
Bottom-line, I'm saying I think its probably more important that dude stays away from everything once he's entirely off of opioids than it is right now ... but there's no way that drinking and smoking is likely to be entirely 'positive' for him right now either ... especially not if he's overdoing it with the booze ... *that* would be seriously inviting trouble, IMHO.
BTW, you codies are ALWAYS WELCOME here on SA
|01-11-2009, 12:39 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Western WA
Thaks so much *everyone* for your responses. I have no drug experience myself (never even smoked pot), so I sometimes wonder if my opinions on the subject are naive or uneducated. I'm a nurse, but I know enough to know the *book* knowledge doesn't equal *personal* knowledge. It's good to hear that my thoughts aren't as *out there* as he would like me to believe.
BV - not that it makes a huge difference, but he is currently off the subs. He was only on them 5 or 6 weeks and weaned off, with the support and direction of his md. That's my biggest concern about all this......that he didn't get his mind in the right place while being *covered* by subs and now that he's off them, all h*ll wants to break loose. But he just can't seem to see it that way.
Y'all are great...........thanks for the sharing your thoughts and experiences with me!
|01-11-2009, 08:34 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2008
I have mixed feelings about this. There are different types of people. I know people who have used their DOC and just quit and only smoked pot or drank. It's certainly "possible", to say the least about it.
But then there's people like me. I decided to do OC and H because pot wasn't enough anymore - that why I got to where I am. To me, I don't even enjoy smoking pot because it's like taking a tylenol when you really want an 80 OC. If I were to smoke pot I would only be closer to the mindset where I wanted to do my DOC.
Pot can work both ways. It can relax you and make you feel good enough to continue on without your DOC, or it can lower your inhibitions and make you feel like it's OK to use.
As for drinking... This is definitely a HUGE gateway to my DOC. When I'm drinking the "I don't give a f*ck's" come out and quickly. It's definitely not a way to cope without your DOC. I've yet to see any of my friends be ok with just drinking when what they really want is the drug. I have seen it lead to doing dumb things to get money for the drugs though. In my opinion, it's definitely not a coping mechanism - at all.
If I had to choose, I would say pot would be the safer route. For some people, that's the only way the can get through it, is if they at least have some weed. But then again, I can't give you a figure on how many of those people don't go back to using sooner or later (it's probably high).
To be blunt about it, to me it sounds like an excuse from someone who wants a mechanism to get ****** up that won't be looked down upon as badly as using their DOC. It's a dangerous path to go down, and could ultimately lead back to their DOC in the ways I explained above - esp if you are not there to watch them all the time.
Just my 2 cents,
|01-11-2009, 11:18 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: CA Native
Actually IAT, in my book, it does make a pretty big difference that the dude is no longer on subs. It makes me (at least) a LOT more concerned about the situation for this person, cause I know what mindset *I* (and at least 95% of everyone I've ever talked to about it) needed to have in order to stay off of opioids. It was NOT a mindset that said it was okay to continue using booze and pot to cope with life's challenges. Not only that, but being on subs makes it so you really cannot get high off of other opioids, so that was a potential safeguard for this person that is no longer there.
So, no, this fact makes a big, big difference in the way I see the situation. Now, knowing this, I'd have to weigh on the side of 'The dude is flirting with disaster'.
Not saying disaster WILL strike ... but I'd see it as something that's pretty close to inevitable, at some point. Especially if he's getting good and drunk on any kind of regular basis ...
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