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Survey First time ..

Discussion in '~ Articles ~ Info ~ Links ~ Data ~' started by Here4hope, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Here4hope

    Here4hope Well-Known Member

    Working with a substance abuse organization and have few questions.

    How old were you when you first used drugs?

    Were you raised in a sober home?

    Would you consider the first drug you used a gateway drug?

    How many times did you relapse?

    How long did you use?

    How long are you sober?

    What made you realize you had to stop?

    How did you stop....ie....meds, In Patient, Detox, Rehab, Half Way, Cold Turkey?


    Thank you for your honesty.
     
  2. Bonita

    Bonita Well-Known Member

    I was born addicted to something called Delphine (sp) a German type methadone.
    I began smoking pot at about 11 ... opiates at age 17 or so.. cop a habit by the time I was 20.. My gate way drug I think was Quaalude's, then it progress to crossroad, mda.. went up from there.
    Both parents are/were addicts
    I began trying to get clean at about 25 or so... I detox at least 3x yearly and until yr 2000 only able to stay clean for 6-10 mo.. 4 yrs from 2001-2004 but was sitting in the middle of the ocean for most of that time on small boat.
    I realize very early I was in trouble and needed to stop... didn't began really trying till mid 20's
    I never would try detox without clonidine, been to three rehabs. Way too many ct to count.
    I never had real success till now... I use Ibogaine to get me to this point in my life. I was shown thru Ibogaine my failures, why I failed and what I needed to do to remain clean.

    Thanks for asking
     
  3. beancounter

    beancounter Well-Known Member

    I began drinking, smoking pot and cigarettes around 11-12. I've smoked pot ever since only taking a few months off when I was drug tested by probation regularly around 16 for 3 months. I took lsd for the first time around 14 and have taken that about 30-40 times but not in at least 5 years. I took extacy and cocaine for the first time around 16. I went through a 6 month period where I used these regularly. I have done small amounts of coke maybe 4 or 5 times in the last 8 years and haven't taken extacy since I was 17 probably. I tried oxycontin for the first time when I was 15 or 16 but then didn't take it again until I was 18. I also would take pretty much any downer I could get (xanax, valium, etc...) but never had a problem with it. I slowly started taking oxy more and more as it became more available to me as my girlfriend's father and my landlord both sold some of their prescriptions. I detoxed many times during this period but never had the intention of stopping; it was usually because I knew I couldn't get any for a week or two. During this time I never thought about trying dope. When I went away to college for a couple of years my useage subsided greatly. For 2 years it was on the very rare occasion when I came home...maybe every few months I would do it once or twice. This period of limited use continued when I moved back and went to work. Then I had a friend about 2 1/2 years ago that told me his wife prescribed oxy but didn't take them and he didn't really like selling them and wanted to sell them all at once to somebody.(It was my profession from age 14-22; pot mainly but anything to make a quick buck). This was when all hell broke loose. At first I would use for a week; still being able to make some money. Then it turned into just making enough to get what I paid back and using for 2 weeks. Then it turned into keeping the whole thing for myself and going and buying more elsewhere so I could take it everyday as I needed to be a functioning addict at this point. Then a few months ago when the formula for oxy changed and I could no longer sniff it I tried dope for the first time. I sniffed it once then switched to needles. In 3 months I stopped being a functional addict.

    I grew up in a home with both parents and a brother until I was 11. Both parents drank and my brother was a heroin junkie at this time (5 years older then me). After the family split up my mother had a bad drinking problem. I was never serious about stopping until about a month ago. At first I tried rapid detox with methadone for about 10 days but I relapsed quickly after that and went on a 3 week binge. Now I am on day 10 cold turkey.

    The only thing I consider a gateway drug that I've done is oxy to heroin. I never had a problem with anything else and I've always been experimental.
     
  4. willow3

    willow3 Well-Known Member

    Let's see first time every had to be when I was 17 years old and it was pot. Yes I was raised in a sober home. My parents drank but only on the holidays so only a few times a year. They even both quit smoking butts when we were all born. Well in a way I guess I would have to say yes because if I did not enjoy the high from the weed then I would not have been corious about anything else. So yes I would say. I have relapsed at least 4 times now. Sad to say but yeah. I have been using some form of drug since I was 17 and am now 32. SO a good 15 years I guess. :( Been sober now for 3 months come the 15th!!! I knew I had to stop because I was just doing it to feel normal now and wasn't getting high at all anymore, I hated myself and the life I ruined, Ihated everything and this is not me! I am not a hateful person but drugs have meade me this way and I want and need to change for me and my kids sake. I stoped by going to a drug worker, getting help within my community, going to meetings and finding support wherever I can.
     
  5. Here4hope

    Here4hope Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your honesty. Bonita glad you finally found success! Beancounter hang in there you're life is worth so much more then looking for your next fix. Willow I'm so proud of you.
     
  6. shar586

    shar586 Well-Known Member

    How old were you when you first used drugs?
    Tobacco at 9, pot at 11, speed/amphetamines, lsd, e's, cocaine 12 - 13, tried heroin at 13, got addicted on a daily basis one year later roughly.

    Were you raised in a sober home?
    Yes, against drugs 100%, except for social drinking at x-mas or friends b.day's etc. Good childhood (confusingly!).

    Would you consider first drug you used a gateway drug?
    Not sure, I suppose it was cos it gave me contacts and it grew from there. But I always wanted to take drugs even when I wasnt on them oddly! I was brought up listening to Nirvana, doors etc and looked up to them (fancied Kurt Cobain like mad!).

    How many times did you relapse?
    Never, this is my first attempt. I always wanted to stop, but knew I wasnt ready, or strong enough till now.

    How long did you use?
    Heroin - 17 years.

    How long are you sober?
    2.5 months off heroin. Other addictions such as crack 6 months ago.

    What made you realize you had to stop?
    A incident that left me traumatized and changed the way I saw life and therefore my heroin use. If I hadnt have been a addict, it wouldnt have happened to me.

    How did you stop?
    Home detox un-officially.
     
  7. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    How old were you when you first used drugs?
    14 (i think)

    Were you raised in a sober home?
    don't know how you define 'sober home'. no one else in my family is an addict or alcoholic. just wasn't an issue growing up. my parents drank very occasionally.

    Would you consider the first drug you used a gateway drug?
    yep. drugs fixed me...made me feel whole.

    How many times did you relapse?
    too many to count

    How long did you use?
    30 years or so...with periods of sobriety in between...8 years, 3 years.

    How long are you sober?
    nearly 3 years


    What made you realize you had to stop?
    getting/doing drugs became paramount in my life. everything else was a distant second (including my son)
    .

    How did you stop....ie....meds, In Patient, Detox, Rehab, Half Way, Cold Turkey?
    all of them. i've done all of them. inpatient 5 times. detox alone 2x. halfway house 1x. cold turkey 1x. meds (suboxone) 2x.
     
  8. Living Free

    Living Free Well-Known Member

    How old were you when you first used drugs? 14

    Were you raised in a sober home? no - raised in grandparents home along with mother - both grandparents alcoholics, mom addicted spending money, food, drama :)

    Would you consider the first drug you used a gateway drug? no. Tried almost every kind of drug in my teens on an experimental basis, including alcohol, with the exclusion of Herion (also crack & crystal meth-wasnt around in my teens). I did have a propensity for quaaludes in my teens, only used occasionally till I graduated HS, then drank socially and rarely during 20's and early 30's.

    How many times did you relapse? 3 before I finally asked for help/support, got serious about making it stick

    How long did you use? started around 2000, for 7 years

    How long are you sober? Depends on one's definition of "sober" - no obsession to use drugs/alcohol as an escape/solution for almost 3 years

    What made you realize you had to stop? it was controlling my every thought and action in my life. My life revolved around pills, and I lost contact with who I was, what I liked. I had no outwardly tangible consequences, all inward in a hell of its own, all around emotional/spiritual void.

    How did you stop....ie....meds, In Patient, Detox, Rehab, Half Way, Cold Turkey? tapered opiates, cold turkey benzos, IOP, help from spouse/couple of trusted friends for support, learned about addiction, counselling, went back to my spiritual roots.
     
  9. Here4hope

    Here4hope Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for your honesty....I see a trend of first use being around early teens....I know the coalition I'm working with emphasizes education and obviously that is needed. When you start High school the only education usually comes in a form of a health class....much less in high school then in middle school and elementary school. I know with my son....he was totally off drugs during those year yet he was around them.....until he went to college. So I'm guessing that his education and our lifestyle did influence him longer then if he didn't have it.
    Also. common is the fact that drugs becoming a priority in ones life made them realize they needed to stop. I wonder if realizing this makes one more successful then one who reaches rock bottom...with overdose or legal troubles? Just wondering.

    I'm doing this survey so I know the best direction to suggest to our coalition. With limited funds we need to take a direction that has the best results. I truly think that education is worth the effort, but that we desperately need sober living places and rehabs for those who need help the minute the ask for help. I feel that if someone calls for help that within 24 hours they should get it....these waiting list of weeks and months are dangerous and discourage those from following thru.
     
  10. Living Free

    Living Free Well-Known Member

    Just a guess, but Im willing to say that those who answered 14 may have been from a different generation and are in their 30's 40's and up (Im in my mid 40's). Today, there is a lot more focus on drug counseling, intervention and addiction in the HS's with this age group. Also, parents are more educated about the subject and less naive about the availability and subject of drugs in general than in the past. Around the suburbs here in NY, we're finding the real risky behaviors and exploring of drug use/abuse/addiction are in the college years when they are of legal age.

    The type of eductation on this subject in the past (even back in the Nancy Reagan "Just say NO" days), hasnt stopped drug abuse. Even though education should always be part of the solution, the emphasis has to start during their "tween" (9-12) years when they are old enough to grasp an understanding of drugs/abuse/peer pressure and before puberty kicks in. Believe it or not, there is a Dr. Amen who studies the brain/addiction and he has said that a 10 year old can grasp consequences better than a 15-16 year old. At a younger age, the brain is growing at a very rapid rate and when a child hits puberty the body grows much faster than the brain. So, when hormones kick in, it inhibits logic and reason.

    Bottom line tho, if we go back to why it is we seek out drugs in the first place, we will find where we need to keep the primary focus......We have to give kids more solutions for their feelings of inadequacies/not good enough, etc so that they dont seek out drugs as a viable solution. Grounding them by giving them healthy outlets, getting them involved in community, being a part of, helps foster a healthier individual. Yes, there is some validity that some people have a higher propensity to be addicts b/c they have addicts/alcoholics in their families, however, that doesnt have to be anyones "fate".

    Lastly, doctors need to be more vigilant and accountable when prescribing opiates( lets face it, the drug is synthetic heroin, and its design is highly addictive) or other addictive medications.
     
  11. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    While it is true that being from a family where addiction is present is an indicator for addiction, I'd have to add that abuse is perhaps a greater one; a huge percentage of addicts I know come from abusive backgrounds. So while looking for solutions to the problems that engender drug use among young people, I'd rank this pretty high. Those feelings of inadequacy and the unhappiness that often lead to hard drug use in teens come from somewhere; sadly, too often they are driven in by brutality at home.

    BTW, I had a very good and very early (started around the age of 6) education on drug use and consequences, and it did not one iota of good. If I had not been being brutalized, though, I doubt very much if I'd have been all that interested in drugs, certainly not in anything serious.

    How old were you when you first used drugs?

    Around 10 (Valium; I picked the lock and swiped a bottle from my parent's medicine chest); weed at 11; heroin and methamphetamine at 19

    Were you raised in a sober home?

    No, though neither of my parents are addicts; they drink a little, and I was raised having the occasional small glass of wine from the time I remember.

    Would you consider the first drug you used a gateway drug?

    No

    How many times did you relapse?

    Lost count

    How long did you use?

    about 30 years, on and off (mostly on)

    How long are you sober?

    3 days

    What made you realize you had to stop?

    I got really sick of being a slave to dope; the constant dopesickness and the inability to get high without damn near killing myself in the process, the absolute bleakness of that existence quit being OK with me. This pretty much happened every time that I voluntarily quit - just a realization that there has to be something better in life than being chained to a drug.

    How did you stop....ie....meds, In Patient, Detox, Rehab, Half Way, Cold Turkey?

    One time or another, I've done meds, CT, IP. This time it was first meds (Suboxone) then CT off the crap I took later.
     
  12. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    i've been involved with this sort of speculation all year, so i can certainly relate. i've wasted so much time just automatically buying into certain things i thought were true about myself. you have no way of knowing whether drugs were part of your... forget it. i'll put it this way, because this is how i'm approaching it. have you actively attempted to at least speculate about the possibility of this not being true? FOR ME, that meant actively discouraging myself from rationalizing, or even connecting my use of drugs with emotional pain from the past. easier said than done, and it was infinitely hard for me to even begin. really, i started to do it by just forcing myself to speculate about what it would mean if my personal beliefs weren't true. soon enough, i was able to see the pattern... how i would quit for a little while, then beat myself up and absorb all the anger and friction i was experiencing in the program. this negativity would multiply very quickly, and a destructive line of thinking would be rewarded with shots of heroin. the whole process disgusts me now. once you realize that self destructive behavior is rewarded, on some reptile level your brain is finding ways to keep you repeating that behavior. it kept me 'playing victim' about my own incident of abuse for about a year longer than i should have been.

    and i have not mastered the process i've outlined at all, i've just begun. it really comes down to having patience and compassion for myself-- and forceful contrary action. the benefits from this line of thinking have been steadily growing. the voice in my head that is urging me to get better is at least equal to the voice in my head that justifies self destruction. lol, it almost scares me to admit that the good actually might be outweighing the bad.

    please don't hate me, Rain. i cannot be baited into confrontation, anyway. i say all this with compassion and appreciation for this opportunity to write out my process, thus understanding it better. if i really wanted to fight with you, i could twist your comment around and think that you have a low opinion of the large number of addicts that came from perfect homes. do you think we are just weaker people than yourself? and this is probably too far, but i identify with a most of what you write up here, minus the abuse. many people do. at least consider that there are lots of factors that contributed to your addiction.

    sorry i am opting out of this survey, i just don't have any clean time right now. this thread was an interesting read and i was occasionally surprised by the answers. i agree with most of what has been said, ESPECIALLY the fact that no amount of prevention could have helped in my case. it is so easy to spend the funds on the cute little children, but like liny said, Nancy Reagan tried that route. i believe that the bulk of the effort and money should be spent helping addicts recover with compassion and without the stigma that addiction now carries.

    i also FIRMLY disagree with the gateway drug concept.
     
  13. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    How old were you when you first used drugs?
    18 is when i had my first alcohol. Weed at 20 (late starter).

    Were you raised in a sober home?
    Nah, alcoholic dad.

    Would you consider the first drug you used a gateway drug?
    Yeah. Insomuch as the first time I got high, part of my mind became obsessed with getting high. I knew right away that I was going to get high in as many ways as possible.

    How many times did you relapse?
    Too many.

    How long did you use?
    20 years on/off. But never completely clean at any point. So 20 years continuously.

    How long are you sober?
    7 months.

    What made you realize you had to stop?
    Obvious negative consequences made me realize I had to stop long before I was able to.

    How did you stop....ie....meds, In Patient, Detox, Rehab, Half Way, Cold Turkey?
    Arrest and jail led me to halfway house/treatment, and an introduction to the 12 step program. At some point I gave up the ghost of trying on my own and said OK I'll do it this way.
     
  14. Rulebrkr

    Rulebrkr Well-Known Member

    I know for me the more people told me NOT to do things the more enticed I was by the prospect of doing it. Thus my screen name!!! For me a lot of my early (teen) use was doing it to break a rule - and getting away with it. That was more fun sometimes than the high itself. Along similar lines I was scared to death to get married knowing that once a set of "rules" are put on me I'm the first to break them. Never get/got caught, always kept up the front, but that was a large part of the thrill. Needless to say my marriage isn't that great.
     
  15. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    How old were you when you first used drugs? I mean I consider alcohol to be a drug, so 17. Probably 27 or 28 for opiates.

    Were you raised in a sober home? No.

    Would you consider the first drug you used a gateway drug? It was just a drug, and I liked it.

    How many times did you relapse? A lot of times over the years of trying to quit, before the last time last year.

    How long did you use? I was what the big book might call a "problem user" from age 30 on. After about age 35, I became an addict. So about 8 or 9 years of addiction.

    How long are you sober? a year.

    What made you realize you had to stop? Both my parents had died of the consequences of their addiction. Plus other family members. Plus, I couldn't sustain the insanity anymore. I couldn't carry on using the way I was using and keep telling myself it would all be OK someday, while my family continued to suffer.

    How did you stop....ie....meds, In Patient, Detox, Rehab, Half Way, Cold Turkey? Tried CT but it never worked. Could never taper. Was ready to do IP but decided to give OP Suboxone a shot, and I made it work because I did not want to put my family through the additional inconvenience and financial stress of my being away for a month to detox/rehab.

    Also. common is the fact that drugs becoming a priority in ones life made them realize they needed to stop. I wonder if realizing this makes one more successful then one who reaches rock bottom...with overdose or legal troubles? Just wondering. IMO anyone who gets free of drugs for any reason is successful. People who detox while in jail/prison or in hospital after OD are successful. It sucks a lot more than doing it in your bed, but in the end you're still free of drugs. A financial debt or a debt to society can be paid off, but if you lose your life to addiction you can't get it back. ... If by "successful" you mean do we somehow stay clean longer if we realize drugs were becoming a priority in our lives (v. simply ODing or being arrested), I dunno. I believe the more willingness a person has--the more the choice is our own--the longer the sobriety lasts. But I don't have any data, it's just my experience. I've also known people who have been court-ordered to come to meetings who have stayed clean for years and years and who thank the judge for saving their lives.
     
  16. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    Well I have certainly seen many, many people court ordered that I would say were just not ready to give it up yet. I sign their papers often. For my self, I was at the end before I went to jail. I was hurtling toward a horrible crash that I knew could not be avoided. I did not detox in jail. I made a last ditch effort to get off heroin before my arrest, and I did. But I was still headed for a crash I could not avoid, the result of lies upon lies. It probably would have killed me, or seriously maimed me. I would not have been able to live with myself after the truth came out, and she left my life, despising me. I had no idea how I was going to live with my self alone, and I was blotting that awareness out desperately with other drugs. My arrest and enforced treatment did not open my eyes to my problem in any way. What it did do was demolish the last of my almost superhuman pride in my self, that I could handle my problem alone, that I could work it out. In jail is when I surrendered, before I had any idea what they were going to do with me. As soon as I got out I told her the truth, and as I was talking she began to cry, and then she did despise me, and she did leave my life. At that point I held on to the structure they imposed on me, to the bars. I wouldn't have had anything to hold on to otherwise. Those bars saved my life, but not because they taught me anything, just because they were there to hold on to.
     
  17. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    How old were you when you first used drugs?
    Eleven, I think. From weed to hallucinogens (mushrooms, acid) to opium to cocaine and then onwards to heroin.

    Were you raised in a sober home?
    Nope: marijuana and alcohol were not uncommon.

    Would you consider the first drug you used a gateway drug?
    Not the drug itself, but rather the people I hung out with.

    How many times did you relapse?
    Only once.

    How long did you use?
    About a year (heroin); cocaine (two years) and the rest of the aforementioned cocktail (about fifteen years).

    How long are you sober?
    Six days (from my DOC).

    What made you realize you had to stop?
    My girlfriend walked out and my life became unmanageable – from finances to working, I was up **** Creek without a paddle.

    How did you stop?
    Cold turkey paired with a trip back home to clean up.
     

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