If you head over to http://www.authorfreddiejay.com you can download a free copy of The Junkie’s Opinion. It’s my take on replacement therapy and the cookie cutter approach to dealing with addiction. My other book, A Junkie’s Nightmare, Coming Clean will be out later this year I’m still learning how to do all this stuff but ill get it. I believe my books will help someone and I’d love to write books full time but ultimately that’s going to be up to you. Sorry today’s blog is so brief but I just wanted to give you a free book and get to work finishing up the millions of details that go into publishing your own stuff. Have a good short week, enjoy my short book and we will talk again soon.
When i finished junkies nightmare I knew I wanted to continue writing but I had to write about things I know and that kind of left astrophysics out of it so I went to what I know best. I know my way around addiction and unfortunately I know my way around a prison cell, they kind of go hand in hand. The things I learned along the way and the things I witnessed could fill many pages but ill stick to the best and the worst for the purposes of this book.I don’t plan to speak from my soapbox, I don’t have a degree in penology , I’m not a cop, lawyer or affiliated with law enforcement in anyway………wait a minute…… That’s the speech I give to hookers, but nevertheless I’m none of those things. However, I have spent a great deal of time in police stations, court rooms ,jails ,prisons, probation , parole offices during my years of active addiction. I’m not exactly proud of this but it does qualify me as one who has an insiders (pardon the pun) knowledge of our system.
Since my first book isn’t out yet ill give you a little background on who I am: I was born in Baltimore in march of a long time ago, my father was a beer drinking, two fisted kind of man, short on parenting skills and patience he raised me in a house where stolen goods and drunken fights as well as dope deals and domestic violence were the norm. My mother was a willing participant in her own misery even before the cancer grabbed her and put her completely at my fathers mercy. He sold her pain pills but made sure she had cheaper substitutes to keep her stoned and docile. Further evidence of their superior child rearing abilities was the fact that I had two older brothers who were doing long prison sentences and a sister who ran away to get married to the first guy who ask her to marry him. Leaving me at home with a father who was a maniacal tyrant and a mother with stoned indifference .
I started smoking weed and drinking very young, popping pills and cocaine would soon follow and before 2007 when I finally got clean i had tried just about everything but mostly I did heroin and cocaine together called speedballs. My oldest brother played a pivotal role in my addiction, I mean not that I wouldn’t of found it anyway but the condensed version of the story goes like this. My oldest brother was home after getting paroled from a murder beef down south. Him and my father had a history and the tension between them was always thick , so my father watched him close but me not so much. My brother ask me to get him some of the pills my father sold, the pills were Dilaudid , a favorite amongst junkies because they could be crushed, mixed with water and injected. I told my brother I’d get him some pills if he would show me how to shoot up. He agreed, he never really liked me and I guess from his point of view he would be benefitting from something I was bound to do anyway. I loved the opiate high immediately but it wouldn’t really get out of control until that same brother walked in my fathers house and put three bullets in my fathers head.
Both my brother and my mother were charged with murder and conspiracy and all that, to get that story check out my book “A Junkie’s Nightmare, Coming Clean. I mention that life changing event here because its where I went from bad to much worse !! Those choices would lead me to many jails and prisons , many emergency room visits, a few institutions and damm near death. It’s the prison stays I want to focus on a bit, isn’t it funny how those two subjects go hand in hand. I dream of a day when addiction is looked at as a social problem and is treated in the medical field, instead of being prosecuted in the criminal field. A day when prison is reserved for dangerous criminals and not for people who suffer with a disease. I’m going to let you know right now, I march to the beat of my own drum and the words in this book are mine, I don’t have an agendas or political aspirations, just lots of opinions.
Its those opinions I intend to share in the following pages about who goes to jail, why they go to jail, what are the core problems and what can we do about it? I don’t think I have all the answers but some
Please don’t get me wrong I’m not one of these people who thinks the guy who killed his whole family and three people who look like them is just misunderstood , no ,lock his ass up and throw away the key. Prisons were built with those kind of individuals in mind, at least I think they were, but along the way our prisons have turned from a place of punitive reflection for the morally deficient and criminally minded to multi- million dollar businesses that .
Lets take a brief look at Methadone, Dolophine,Physeptone,Heptadon and Methadose are just a few names for the same drug that is methadone . It’s a synthetic opioid created in 1937 in Germany,it’s along the lines of morphine and effects the brains opioid receptors in similar fashion as Heroin. It was introduced in the United States in 1947 by Eli Lily but it wasn’t until the 1960s in New York that researchers Dole &Nyswander found methadone as suitable treatment for heroin dependent people. The drug has and is used for chronic pain but most often it’s used to treat opioid dependent individuals with great success.
Studies have found that methadone in adequate doses (20mg-100mg) prevents or reverses withdrawal symptoms and last for twenty-four hours. Further it was discovered that methadone can block the euphoric effects of of illicit drugs (heroin) thereby reducing the disire for the drug. All these things along with the fact that methadone is cheap has made it the option most states make available to the opiate dependent . Distribution varies by country and state.
In the small state of Delaware they have one state clinic that is funded by the state with the patients there paying with Medicaid . There’s two more private clinics where the patients pay out of pocket or copay with insurance carrying the rest. The private sector cost about 90 dollars per week and I think your treated with a bit more courtesy then the state run place. This has been this writers experience and I think many would agree with me. The private sector also gives the patient the choice between Methadone and the latest ‘wonder drug’ suboxone . This book about replacement therapy wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Buprenorphine . It’s the latest weapon to fight the opioid addiction that is sweeping the country. Buprenorphine is most commonly marketed as suboxone and recently a generic version was approved by the FDA called Subutex and is used in the detox to bring people off of heroin , OxyContin ,Percocet and the like without the severe withdrawal . It also has a blocking effect to illicit drugs. It was approved in 2002 and claims to have many advantages over methadone. Success rates vary but it has reported a 40% to 60%effective in certain studies.
In my humble opinion, Suboxone is effective in the short term to abate withdrawal but as a maintenance tool, I can’t see any advantages to it over methadone . I guess it could be a better tool for the person who doesn’t want the stigma of reporting to a clinic and would rather go to the doctor and get a prescription for Suboxone but there’s some things to consider. First off its pretty expensive, especially if you haven’t any insurance. If you don’t mind paying extra not to report to the clinic or so you can see yourself as a better class of junkie I want to think about what got you in this position, if it was prescription drugs you may want to think about trusting yourself to take this as directed. Studies have shown its abuse to be lower then methadone when people are left to their own dosage but I have to be honest if it can be abused , it will . Later in the book we will look at different maintenance programsthat is based on my experience but first lets talk about traditional cold turkey attempts at sobriety.
I have kicked heroin cold turkey in jail on many occasions and it is one of the worst experiences of my life. I’d get locked up for shoplifting or possession and sit in the city jail for 90 or 120 days waiting to go to court. For the first week I’d be in so much pain that no one wanted to be around me. Puking and shitting every ten minutes doesn’t make you popular but the other inmates did like that I wouldn’t eat anything for 5-7 days. I would trade my tray off for fruit because it was the only thing I could keep down. On one occasion I went 17 days without sleep, well that’s not exactly true. The human body can only go so long without sleep so every once in awhile my body would shut down for twenty minutes or so but then it was right back awake. After 17 days of cat naps I finally slept for four hours and I felt wonderful after sleeping for them few hours, insomnia is one of the worst parts of withdrawal because there’s just no escaping your need for the drug. After thirty days I would be sleeping and working out, eatting and healthy, by the time my court date would roll around I’d look like a different person.
I’d tell myself I was going to stay clean this time but as soon as I would be released I’d return to using . I did this over and over and over, and that my friends ,is the insanity of addiction, doing the same thing and expecting different results! A person who kicks without a detox, rehab and after-care program set up is lying to themselves. Drugs are the symptoms of a much bigger problem and if I don’t work a 12 step program or address that bigger problem then I’m destined for failure over and over! This has been my experience and if you’re reading this then you have too or someone very close has experienced the same. I finally found that the bigger problem was me and my thinking , my character defects were staring me in the face but until I was prepared to deal with them I would continue on a pattern of self destructive behavior that plagued me for most of my life. The day I hit my knees and cried out to a God I claimed didn’t exist and ask Him to kill me or cure me was the turning point in my life. Once I became willing to admit that I didn’t have all the answers and that I needed something bigger then myself to battle the demons that raged within me, then changes could come but surrender was necessary .
The following is chapter one of a short book on methadone maintenance your feedback ,pro and con, would be appreciated.This booklet is my opinion about replacement therapy, I called it The Junkie’s Opinion because I wanted to give people just that, a long term,chronic abuser and habitual relapsers view of methadone maintenance as a viable option. I will give you my research notes and quite a bit of facts and figures, however I want to make it perfectly clear that the thoughts and opinions expressed in this booklet are my own, I take no “donations” from drug companies and speak for no one other then Freddie Jay.
I will qualify myself further in the following pages but I want the reader to know that this writer has lived it. I have tried to quit cold turkey, I have done assisted withdrawal where they brought me down with Clonidine , that’s actually a blood pressure drug that they found helps with the symptoms of withdrawal , it don’t help much! I’ve kicked with the help of Suboxone and when given in the proper dosage is the best way to come off of opiates but Suboxone is an an opiate and you can become dependent on it. There’s many factors that go into treating the addicted and there really is no cookie cutter approach when dealing with any individual. Type of opiate , length of time using it, amount used and wether it was injected, snorted or smoked are just some of the factors that go into determining which approach is most conducive to successful detox and maintained abstinence .
The unfortunate truth is that 90 percent of heroin addicts will relapse in their first year after a stay at the local rehab. You have to tailor the recovery process to the person but another unfortunate truth is that some of these programs simply don’t understand the opiate addicted brain . If they do their indifference is tantamount of malpractice but what do I know they have the PHD I’ve only lived it. Now I don’t know the technical terms so I’m just going to explain the opiate brain in my own terms.
All people have naturally occurring opiates in their brain, the brain releases these opiates in response to working out , love, orgasm or in response to pain. When these naturally occurring endorphins are released in our brain we have over all good feelings , a state of well being. These endorphins are essential to a healthy functioning brain. When a person takes heroin or any opiate it floods the pleasure centers of the brain this outside stimuli is many times stronger then what your body produces. I’ve been asked by people who have never tried heroin what it feels like and it’s very hard to describe but I’ve used the following answer to give a normal person an idea of the sense of bliss heroin gives you. Imagine you were naked in the middle of a a huge ocean just moments before freezing to death and dropping to the bottom of the ocean. Suddenly you are scooped up and a warm fluffy blanket that smells as sweet as lilacs is wrapped around you as someone holds you an strokes your hair. If you take that visual and multiply it by ten, that’s how I felt seconds after taking the syringe out of my arm. Now I’m not trying to sound like I’m pro heroin but let’s be honest there’s not millions of addicts because it doesn’t feel good.
When you continually put this outside stimuli over days months and years into your brain , your brain stops making the naturally occurring endorphins and if you stop taking opiates your brain is completely without its essential chemicals and withdrawal begins. You’re looking at a week of pure hell followed by thereto six weeks of insomnia , it gets ugly! Ill tell you about withdrawal in more detail later on but for now let’s focus on the brain. Now that its completely without opiates it goes haywire and depending on factors mentioned above takes weeks or months to repair itself. Think of it like a computer trying to reboot to standard operating after a major system crash. Some brains are simply unable to recover or get back to anything like normal after extended periods of opiate abuse.
That said, it takes some addicts months to recover, if they can and its during that faze that you enter PAWS , no it’s not an animal shelter, it’s Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome . This can last for months and has such symptoms as depression, insomnia , chronic fatigue and at times can make you feel like the first few days of withdrawal hell. PAWS can stick with the chronic user for years, the length and severity are directly related to length and amount of opiates used. To think that a person with twenty years of opiate addiction can go to detox for five days and then be all better is ludicrous ! I’m not saying that there aren’t people that have kicked on their first try but believe me they are few and far between. Methadone and Suboxone have been used with great success to introduce a long term user to sobriety , tapering them off in 18 to 24 months and ill gladly show you the data I’ve researched . We will also look at the stigma of methadone or Suboxone maintenance as well as the long term chronic abuser of opiate and the possibility he may need replacement therapy for life. The only question is where do I begin?
I hate this disease!! I hate what it does to the people afflicted by it and I hate what it does to those who love those people that are afflicted by it! Addiction comes in like a hurricane or tornado destroying everything in its path and those that survive find they have a lot of cleaning up to do. This morning I woke up really early and couldn’t fall back to sleep so I started watching a documentary about Richard Pryor called Omit The Logic. I was deeply moved by the story of his genius and of his battle with addiction. Alcohol and drugs can affect anyone, it has no respect of persons . You can be black, white, rich , poor or anything in between, it’s an insidious disease that effects people from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe. I can picture you shaking your head saying ok freddie, tell us something we don’t know. Well how about this, if your not addicted and you don’t know anyone who is, thats rare but possible, you’re still effected by drugs! I’m not talking about getting your purse snatched by an addict or even having direct contact. If your an employer, I guarantee one of your employees has missed time due to drugs or alcohol use or abuse. If you have bought something in a store the price has been marked up to make up for items stolen by addicts trying to fund their drug of choice. My point is everyone has a stake in this thing so please get involved on some level. If you believe as I do that drugs on a users level should be decriminalized and it should be treated as a health issue, then write your lawmakers and tell them just that. If you believe , as I do , that’s it’s the big bankers that launder millions of dollars a month are the problem and not the kid on the corner selling nicks of weed then tell them that. You have a voice , this is your battle , please join me in the fight against this disease
Today marks a milestone for me, this is my one hundredth post! Looking back over the things I’ve wrote I guess my central theme has been love! Sometimes I came across wrong, at times my writing was poor and atleast one post is a jumbled mess but overall if I were only known for what I’ve put on here, I’d be ok with that. My intent has always been to spread love, to accentuate the positive and to improve myself. When I told you what you should do, I was talking to me first! This has been and will continue to be a learning experience for me, I’ve found a passion I didnt know existed in the written word. It has made me want to better myself and communicate on a new level, I’ve made new friends and learned many things. I must admit that I like who I am today and that wasnt always the case, in fact in my active addiction I smashed every mirror in my little apartment because I couldn’t stand my own reflection, at one time I prayed for death but God chose to keep me here through several suicide attempts. Life is good and life is beautiful and I’m very happy with my life. It’s not perfect and at times it’s really difficult but I’m glad I have all of you to take this crazy ride with me. Thank you for all the support and please look for my books in the near future! Lets hope the next 100 post are even better then the first!! Peace and love my friends
Hello my friends I’m very sorry I haven’t wrote much this week but with my son on spring break its hard to get anything done. I’ve wrote about fatherhood a few times because its one of my greatest joys, truly described as the toughest job you’ll ever love. I learned from my counselor in rehab that I need ” balance” he was very big on balance and drove the point home with hand gestures I sometimes mimic. I love being a father, I love helping others, I love writing, I love family and all these loves must be balanced in my day to day life but there’s also the things I don’t like, such as working or household chores or any number of mundane task. I can’t just go to A.A. Meetings and let it be my new addiction I must find my balance. Sorry to keep repeating the word but I’ve really come to understand just how important it is not to have to much of one thing on my plate. After all I love pasta but if I only ate pasta seven days a week I’d soon grow to hate it I’m sure! So where is your balance, well only you can answer that but it’s important that you look for it. It’s different for all of us and changes from day to day but no matter what’s going on make sure you take time for your spirit with prayer and seeking Gods will. Start your day with Him and I bet it gets easier to find your own personal balance!
I’m not feeling so good today I’m fighting a head cold and my head feels like its full of lead but its time to practice what I preach. If you recall I said a positive attitude is not based on feelings. My attitude is based on God who delivered me from the horrors of active addiction ,who has seen me through every trial and is working right now to make my life better. Ill admit it wasnt an easy transition from my former way of thinking, it took lots of work and lots of introspection . At some point I had to admit that yes drugs and alcohol were destroying my life the truth was I had a thinking problem as well. So how do you change your thinking when you’ve been this way all your life? Well I have bad news and good news, you can’t change your thinking and if you think your in control of your thoughts try this, at this moment I don’t want you to think about purple elephants in your refrigerator, put the thought of purple elephants in the refrigerator right out of your mind, got it? Ok what are you thinking about? I’m sure it’s those elephants but here’s the good news God can change your thinking. He’s not afraid to get in there and switch some things around but He’s not a forceful God you must invite him in. Are you willing to look deep inside of yourself to become the new creation in Christ? Or would you rather think about purple elephants in your refrigerator ?
I’d like to start by apologizing for not writing anything on Thursday and Friday . The simple truth is I couldn’t get the words on paper and I think more of my readers then to force something down just to produce. I write from the heart and I believe every word I put down. With that said ,ill never force anything it either flows or I take the day off . On to today’s topic, what does an addict look like, is it the scruffy guy with the hoodie that sleeps in the park near your job? How about the guy in front of your favorite coffee shop who ask for your spare change? The truth is that addiction has probably touched thier lives, but what if I told you the upstanding doctor your going to see is an addict, or that lawyer you hired for your custody case keeps a bottle in his briefcase . My point is there are many addicts that hold these positions as well as other high paying jobs. Addiction comes in many forms, we always think drugs and alcohol but thers sex, food ,porn,video games,Internet and a host of other addictions. We must be very careful at our judgement of the scruffy guy because we are only one compulsion from becoming that guy. Addiction doesn’t care about race, color, creed, social standing, education or any other factor it can take over anyone’s life. Take inventory of yourself, is your spending out of control, are you thinking about sex 24 hours a day. There’s a self help group for you and asking for help is not a weakness but if you leave thes addictions unchecked it will teach you what weakness is. Jesus said we look at a speck in others eyes but don’t see the plank in our own eye. Be careful at what you say could never happen to you and one other thing, buy that guy a cup of coffee, a smile and an 89 cent cup of coffee may save that scruffy guys life. Have a blessed week!
My father wasnt Ward Clever , he was a whiskey drinking, fist fighting, woman and child beating type of man. He couldn’t read or write, he never cared for hard work although he expected it from others. I could write more of his bad points but what’s already listed is enough to make today’s point. I’m sure that growing up in his house was meant for bad and believe me it was bad but God has found a way to turn that around. I learned from my father exactly what not to be, I must admit I fell into the trap of being a lot like him atleast is some of his ways but today I use it for an example of what not to be. When dealing with my son I think of how my father would react and I do the exact opposite ! My three year old jumps on me to wake me up, he pulls my ears and headbutts me, these are things I would never have dreamed of doing with my father. If I had I would have ended up with a backhand that would have knocked me across the room. When my son is tired , scared or anything else he runs past mommy, his grandmother and everyone to get to his daddy and that’s something I never did with my father either. I’ve forgiven my father, in many ways he was a victim of his upbringing and I’m grateful that God has used me to break the cycle of abuse that started so long ago. My father had a terrible childhood and mine wasnt so great either but it ends there. The cycle of abuse stops and my son will have a loving father. Today I may not always know what to do but I certainly know what NOT to do, that’s what my father taught me, thanks dad and rest in peace the bonds are broken!