Post ibogaine tx report of pain med use+habituation

Brett Calabrese bcalabrese at
Wed Dec 10 15:30:08 EST 2003

Hi all, I just stopped oxycontin after about 6 months. As many know I was previously treated with ibogaine for addiction, though not for opiate addiction,  I am also a chronic pain patient. There were no "slips", no drug thoughts, no cravings, in the end I had become immune (?) to even withdrawal. When the pain eased up I had no choice but to stop, better than some other choices I have made.
A quick rundown of what happened.
Started on 90mg morphine a day - that sucked.
Went to oxycontin 20mg twice a day, it was to much and too little med - it didn't last 12 hours as it should
Switched to 10mg three times a day (my choice, the most conservative choice given to me), a little minor withdrawal but then had problems every 6-8 hours, the medication did not last and I was in minor withdrawal 3 times a day for 2 hours each. Normally not a problem except I would get irriationally irritable at times There were other problems like sleeping on oxycontin,  tried ristoril, tried valium, neither was any help to sleep and no problems.  I also take valium 1/4th a 5mg at a time during cluster attacks along with pain meds.
Contacted the doctors office to switch to 10mg 4 times a day and ran into a communication problem, so I discontinued the oxy for 2 weeks - withdrawal was not too bad once I landed on my feet, that transition from medicated to non-medicated really 
Started oxy again to 10mg 4 times a day, often 1 or 2 1/2 perc along with it (2.5mg oxycodone). FYI, I only take 1/2 perc at a time, even during or after detoxing though my tolerence is obviously a bit lower right after/during detoxing, but in the end not by much.
As is my style I use very little immediate release (perc) except for periodic attacks, then I ramp up the dose. I was well over 100mg a day oxycodone/oxycontin once for an extended period, the day the pain broke I was down to a normal dose, and withdrawal about 2.5-3 hours a day 4 times a day - the 10mg wouldn't hold. I did not buffer the dosage, just dropped, zero cravings. It was after this that it got easier to skip a dose, I had become somewhat desensitized to skipping.
Several times I forgot to dose, usually an evening pill. Initially I would wake up covered in sweat/weak as a baby...After a while I could just skip a dose (or 2) without even minor withdrawal symptoms, just barely noticable. So in the end, any mood swings or irritability near my mediction time just didn't happen, neither did any withdrawal. It wasn't even a thought, all I had to do was not remember to take the next pill, no ibo in over a year. Instead of having a few days of minor withdrawal and about a week of post-acute (like I had off 30mg and dropping from over 100mg to 40mg) withdrawal, I got this glow - like a mild ibogaine glow. This is the 3rd time in my life that happened w/o ibogaine, each after long periods without doing ibo and with some elevation involved. It was ikely the 2nd most liberating experience of my life, after quitting smoking. I may as well be "cured" for all practical purposes as long as I don't repeat the thoughts and behavior any medication is safe. I
 just can't get high, think about getting high, think about not getting high, planning not to get high, how to keep myself safe from getting high or planning to get high - to me it is all the same, thinking about getting high.Once in a while grit my teeth against the pain meds if the pain drops off and I have a load of meds on-board, not sit back and enjoy a free buzz (yuck actually, nasty dry pasty mouth from the oxy).
Advice for anyone needing to use pain meds, yes you can do it but be real with yourself. Every pill I take goes after the thought "will it help", sometimes I have to tell myself to take something, or that another won't make it better. Easy does it,  break the pills in 1/2 and take them twice as often if need be, or even 20 minutes after the first 1/2. Keep away from spiking blood levels of your favorite drug, I mean pain medication, take 1/2 pill and let it work, DO NOT RUSH IT.. I take a lot of pain, all I try to do with the pain meds is make it livable rather than squash the pain and all feelings with it. Oxycontin (or whatever dope) is a mood/mind altering drug, for sure. I had to seperate the drug from me, understand there will be side effects. For instance when first habituated I misplaced my pain meds (OH NO!!!!!), and had to accept the fact that once one is "habituated" it is unnerving to misplace meds - a very natural thingie, it is not "DRUG SEEKING BEHAVIOR" as in
 addiction, it was "OK", or mood swings - the dosing was NOT smooth, feeling LOW  on meds also tended to follow pain levels - more pain, the more felt need for dope in a drug sort of way vs a pain sort of way (yes, there was pain too). I ignored everything except pain and didn't do things like try to operate a motor vehicle while in withdrawal (bad idea, on oxy or morhpine was fine, but not drug sick, talk about road rage!). In the end I had my mind made up, there will be no playing around (and wasn't), and if there was a problem, there is always my get out of addiction free card, ibogaine. It wasn't like I had a choice, I needed the meds and now I don't - still taking some perc but very at-ease with it these days, mostly on "automatic".Pretty much everything I do is exactly what a drug addict wouldn't do, and it feels that way. It feels wonderful to be off the oxy, really amazingly wonderful. I am glad I didn't listen to a lot of well meaning advice, followed what I knew I had to
 do. The last thing people in 12 step meetings wanted to hear was "I have it figured out, I can safely take XXXX", taking it as a license ot "use", it was not even with the meds in my body. There was more than once early on I grit my teeth against the medication (ie if the pain dropped off), I wouldn't allow myself to enjoy it. That happened on the first 20mg oxycontin, for about 5 minutes - we will have none of that (nodding/yumming...), then the pain hit anyway. If you are going to take meds, stuff like this is going to happen, try to stay under the pain and not stomp it out with more meds (dope), a little goes a long way and a lot doesn't take away much more pain. 
So, NO BIG DEAL - in the end I wasn't even habituated when I was "habituated", there was no demoralization of the spirit, the drug did not and never will have me, never again. Having to do this it does not resemble addiction in any way though it was little unnerving at times, in the beginning. Also DO NOT LISTEN to people who fail at doing this, all they will tell you is that they failed and so will you (cuz u r an addict), not what I needed to hear, doom and gloom... great! and they never got past this wasn't a choice, I had to be fooling myself cause I was an addict like them - obviously I am not. Odds are that sometime in your life you will have a broken bone, need some sort of heavy dental work, injury or surgery. I find most abstinance folks to have their head in the sand, and promptly relapse when reality hits the fan, one receptor load away from a relapse I guess.

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