Pain, ibogaine, drugs, recovery and little old me.

Brett Calabrese bcalabrese at
Tue Jun 10 16:42:04 EDT 2003

For informational purposes.

I have started opioid treatment for pain, starting on
with Morphine, 90mg sustained release once a day. In
the interest of ibogaine I share this experience,
otherwise I would rather not. Normally I am a pretty
tough nut (ok, you knew the nut part... ha ha) with
pain and medication but this has broken me, literally.
I have not, do not intend to, have no desire (...) to
"use" though in the middle of a severe attack various
ways of turning it off do cross my mind. My Internist
has been fired, he was trying to treat a depressed
addict, not a pain patient - this can prove dangerous
to the pain patient/ex-addict. I have not abused pain
meds in 17 years and in the last 3 have been using
hydrocodone, codeine, oxycodone in very small amounts
(30, 60 and just a few a year, respectively).
Basically I would take a pill when I can't stand it,
after a few days of meds, no matter what I would stop
for a few days. I do know all the tricks about "how to
live with it", have had numerous alternative (to
opiates) treatments, none of which really work, many
of which have horrible side effects (I get side
effects to everything). Which brings me here.

I started  4 days ago on 90 Avinza (morphine) because
the VA might pick up the medication, they will not do
an oxycodone based product. These new time released
opiates are very expensive so I will ask the Doc about
methadone (dirt cheap, 20 bucks for 100 10mg pills vs
2-300 a month of a time-release opioid). What a turn,
all those years playing with drugs and never got
addicted to heroin or methadone and now I might get
that experience. Now to convince the doc that I
actually enjoy a good opiate withdrawal now and then
without raising any eyebrows.

Trying to get help is a bitch out there. Try to ask a
pharmacist about meds and mention schedule II drugs
and it is like their faces go blank. They KNOW BIG
BROTHER IS WATCHING and no they cannot discuss
anything with me till I come back with a prescription
when I was trying to get drug/price information to go
discuss different treatment options WITH MY DOCTOR.
The pharmacists didn't want to hear it and what info I
got was untrue (ie methadone is not used for pain). I
even went to some AA meetings, thought, you know, it
would be a good idea, I am starting narcotics... bad
move. That is all I need, those idiots trying to sew
doubt of the need or outcome of this.  

So this should be an interesting ibogaine experiment.
I don't think I would have any "problems" with the
opiates, pain is pain, pain meds are just that (to
me). Even looking back on the last 3 years it amazes
even me how good I have been with pain meds, and of
course no drinking, quit smoking a year ago and no
drugs either (save herbal home remedies). There will
be no problem (famous drug addict last words) but it
is nice to have ibo - and how do you explain that?.
Also note that twice I was habituated to prescription
narcotics and de-habituated quite easily without ibo. 

Will keep you informed of any experiments. My thoughts
are I will do a full dose ibogaine to detox from an
opiate except for methadone. I also would like to go
off meds and clean out for the winter when I am in
less pain and don't usually do any "meds".

Note on how the morphine "feels"

It sucks - I don't like morphine for one thing and
won't relax into the drug, kind of grit my teeth the
first day. I itch at night, my mouth is dry, I can't
sleep, it does NOT block all the pain (screams still
come through), I am real cranky (wanna fight mother
fucker!) and nasty. IN fact I saw my old sponsor at an
AA meeting, told him to "KISS MY ASS" when he tried to
play 12 steps and 20 questions he didn't want the
answers to. The first 90mg was a bit too much side
effects so I cut it in 1/2 the next (they are beads
inside a capsule, it is OK) day which was 45mg, day
after 60, today 75 (tad more I was a bit off) and
tomorrow the full 90. There is nothing to "like", it
feels about the same as morphine always felt to me,
maybe a little worse. Right this second I would like a
lot more of something else but won't.

Today was the first day I felt the pull of the drug
settling into my body. I love my FREEDOM and hate
having to do this... I will be OK, no doubt, it just


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