HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


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I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

No, no, no!

THIS is from the Inspectors' Report of behaviour in the dining room at my old boarding school. Just before it got closed down:

Frequently the pupils [those are students to you Americans!]
simply thrust their hands into their plate, fall upon the
common dish, hurriedly stuff their mouths as full as possible
and swallow their food down almost without chewing, or
the spoon is grasped quite lightly with their finger-tips, often
at the extreme end and the handle is used for eating; their
food is invariably stirred about with their forks two or three
times before each mouthful, the vegetables are divided into a
row of equal little heaps, their hands are first wrapped up in
their coats, their nose is stuck into the soup, or there must be
a mouthful drunk between each two mouthfuls of food till
twelve are counted and so on. Others lap the soup like a
dog or pour it with profuse spilling into their mouth without
more ado, press the vegetable dish flat on to their face and
steadily lick it clean. One of the pupils took hold of the
spoon quite correctly with the right hand, but brought it
round her head by the left side to her mouth ; another crept
under the bed cover at meals.

TRAUMATIZED by these horrific schooltime memories, I've been reluctant to go back to instututional life, which is why Rehab has been out of the question.

Nah. Real reason was I couldn't hack the detox. I was out that door quicker than you could say "Giro day!" That's right. Every time I knew more money I was in the bank, there I was in tears of euphoric disappointment, fleeing to the railway station and straight to my dealer, who happened to serve up right behind my local tube station. The celebratory hit was tiny: I divided half a gram in three. I only took 2/3 of my hit and even that knocked the living crap out of me. I remember my friends shaking me awake to say they were leaving me with the TV and purring black cats as they had to do something (probably buy some crack). Y'see contrary to the rumours and lies I tried to disseminate to myself I had actually made a big effort to cut down my using to 12x 30mg DF118s (dihydrocodeine) (4 pills every 4 hours) and one £10 bag of heroin (0.2g) daily. The gear I used that week wasn't the best, but it was my firm intention to cut down, so I saw weak gear as a blessing in disguise. Paid-for willpower, if you will... The morning I left to go to rehab, a friend wanted to see my dealer and gave me either £10 or £20 worth... I can't remember, but it was my Proper Dealer, who served up behind the tube station and his gear blew me away. I was so high on that train journey down to the South Coast, I almost got my head knocked off leaning out the window as we whooshed into various tunnels. I had an entire oldfashioned compartment to myself to smoke cigarettes in. It was a breezy summer's day (very breezy with the window wide open!) I felt wonderful.

I slept like a baby the first night through. I was still high the next day. The doctor said "sometimes the angels are with you" and I thought: wow!

Then, on the evening of my first full day, withdrawal kicked in. I slept barely at all. Or the next. I watched everybody else sprawled unconscious, mouths wide open as if to catch flies (everybody else, who claimed not to sleep a wink. Everybody else who did the best impression of snoring decrepitude I've ever seen!)

The night staff were in no state to talk to me, having worked all day. So I was left alone and tormented by constant suicidal urges in a kitchen full of knives and icepicks (we got through a lot of cold drinks in our tiny smoking area-cum-back yard) and temptingly breakable glasswear and crockery. I had the recurrent urge to gash my throat, cut my wrists, hang myself. And no sleep. Despite everything no, no sleep. It was awful.

Mornings with breakfast TV and then all the crap on BBC1 that reminded me being round my friend's house (where I used to show up like clockwork Monday to Friday waiting for the man)... Midmorning television without the faintest chance of a hit! Intolerable! It was like waiting for a dealer who never came. When eventually I got it, far too late for my ragged system, the meds (dihydrocodeine) did hold me. But by then my resolve was shattered. My mind was firmly tuned to the Using Channel. Would I have to live the entire rest of my life like this? Never feeling any better? Never plunging beautiful gear through a shiny new needle into my glorious veins ever ever again? I just couldn't live like that.

Can't live with gear; can't live without it. Except I could live with it. And for another seven years, I did. I had almost no semblance of a life to speak of, but I did have my glorious, wondrous heroin every single day of every week of every year, year after year. My attempts to stick to methadone during this period were halfhearted to say the least. If they could at least have prescribed it in an injectable form (which private doctors still do in the United Kingdom) it might have soothed the itch to inject at least. As it was, drinking 50 or 60mg (which is all my script was back then) of sticky gloop just didn't cut the mustard when the streets of London were flooded with the cheapest, best quality gear they'd ever seen. At that time a "sixteenth" (of an ounce, which actually weighed a gram and a half) could be had for as little as £45 (in fact, my hazy memory tells me it might have been as low as £40 from one particular bastard I gave thousands to...). That's $60 or so. And a gram was £30 ~ just over $45...

O how vivily I recall the soft aroma of Afghan fields, the golden glow of poppies washing over and through me, making me feel purified and clean. (Heroin doesn't feel rough or jagged or dirty at all, it feels like the softest and most benign of all drugs... until you try to sever relations. Only then does it truly show its ugly side!) The first kiss of the needle ~ and life itself came rushing into my veins. O, how I adored heroin! How could I ever stop it?

Well now I'm old and faded and wearied and grey. I'm looking for a new existence. I'm beginning to think the only way there might be via rehab... Trust me, this is far from a knee-jerk reaction. I have a plethora of issues surrounding rehabs. From the uncomfortable fact that most of them appear to be run to suit the convenience of staff more than "peers" (as they're called in there). To the long night hours of torment as the drugs drain inexorably out of you. No hope of anything exciting to take the pain away. Not now, not ever. I was as galvanized, and resolved; my mind was made up as firmly as it was possible to be when I went before, not once but TWICE. Yet at the first opportunity I ran away and thoroughly enjoyed "relapsing". Drug addiction is the only illness I know of where a relapse is undiluted fun. It certainly was for me. NA's mantra that "one meeting and you'll never be able to use the same way again" (their implication being that you'll be riddled with discomfort and guilt) never washed with me. I understood Recovery and the 12-step process as well as any using addict whose never been able to clean up long enough to actually put the philosophy into practice ever could. And yet I used with gusto. Heroin didn't just feel like life itself, it WAS my life. I've never loved anything or anyone the way I loved heroin. I absolutely adored it. As long as I had it, it never let me down. The problems were invariably caused by dealers, who charged too much, watered it down, didn't come when they said they would... etc etc etc. That's the way I saw it.

Somehow, heroin and I are falling out of love. To be honest, I'm bored of it. When you consider that in actuality the drug is giving you a pleasantly and very slightly comfortably exaggerated version of normality... you might as well learn to live without it and get your normality free of charge from life. Then at least you know your wellbeing is not being held in the hands of ruthless criminals who could snatch it away any time they please (as they did do, last Autumn, when they effectively droughted the entire UK heroin market. There was no good heroin on sale anywhere at all. Only people who had imported their own supply or were personal friends of people who had done, still had gear. The rest of us went without. I didn't even bother touching it for... I can't remember how many weeks. It felt more like a year. I learned to live without heroin. Even though I had the crutch of methadone, I never felt it did very much for me. I'm fed up of methadone more than I'm sick to death of heroin. I don't want either one. I want whatever comes next...

Which might have to be rehab.

I can't stomach a "normal" rehab, it would have to be a place geared to taking on dual diagnosis clients ~ that is, people with "mental health" "issues" alongside their addictions. Every single time I've attempted to come off opiates I've felt like the rug has been pulled from under me. Every single time I had some manner of "breakdown". Every time. No way could I handle losing my marbles in front of a bunch of hatchet-faced crack-addicted housebreakers and prostitutes. Not again. This time, they have to be my kind of addicts: yes, nutter junkies!

I emailed one place yesterday morning and got a reply back saying they could reduce me to 30mg methadone and switch me over from that to Subutex, so I detox from Subutex to nothing. Which is a far brighter move than methadone to nothing. Subutex is very easy to reduce. It's an agonist-antagonist to the brain's opiate receptors, meaning the body is already ready for being clean. Methadone is particularly "sticky", hanging around for far longer than heroin, meaning the withdrawals last considerably longer. In other words, it's harder to come off. Methadone is only prescribed because it's cheap and can be dosed orally once a day. Most opiates require at least twice-daily dosing. A one-a-day hydromorphone (Dilaudid) pill is available for heroin addiction, but it's not given in Britain ~probably on grounds of cost.

Subutex is a different story. You do the nasty suffering when you go ON Subutex. I felt desperately ill. But very rapidly it swooshes into the body, working its own peculiar magic. Best thing about Subutex is, it gave me a euphoric high that I now know was almost certainly a mild bipolar mood swing. It had all the same characteristics: 4 hours sleep a night. Mood most intense in the mid-morning. Constant excited feeling. Music sounding amazing. It only lasted a few days, but it got me through the awkward transition phase, when body and brain acclimatize to a radically different medication, with ease. Tapering off Subutex to nothing, so I'm told, is far easier than methadone discontinuation, so I wouldn't be worried about that.

My email warned me that methadone might be acting as a mood stabilizer, and I can grudgingly accept that it probably does. Heroin stabilizes my mood far more effectively, but methadone probably does do something. So my medication(s) might have to be reassessed prior to and during detox.

Here (really for my information, but I put the list up in case anyone else is looking) are some of the best rehabs I looked up. Castle Craig Hospital in Scotland even do Trotterdonkey Therapy (better known as Equine Therapy)..!

I would quite like to do beekeeping and hamster-keeping. Imagine window set into the wall, viewing right into the buzzing bee colony?! Imagine a big tank of robos pinging around on their wheels atop the rehab telly..? Well here's hoping...

And BTW I go back to Narcotics Anonymous on Monday. I'm still feeling VERY reticent about what I might and might not share. I really found the reaction to my Manic Self rather offputting. But ho-hum. You live and learn...

UK rehab directory

Castle Craig Hospital, Scotland

Promis, Kent


St James Priory (Walsingham House) dual unit, Bristol

Loudon House dual unit, Ayrshire, Scotland

List of rehabs in Scotland

Park View, Salford, Manchester resiential home (is this ia rehab?)

classic ibiza trance tune:~

first here's the original tune "3 in 1 version"

moi, j'adore cette version; c'est la vraie signification de l'euphorie....


this is the meaning of U4EA


Spindrift said...

Grange Hill, now that was a show. It reminds me of other things like Pink Floyd's 'Brick in The Wall' video when the kids are walking along in it wearing a jacket that I used to own where it had like a fur bit on it and you could zip it up like a snorkel head so the wind didn't get in. It also reminds me of school dinners and liver, I never really got used to that, but drinking milk was O.K. P.S. A friend of mine has been on subutex / suboxone for the best part of a decade and he doesn't want to use ever again. He still takes a small dose just for peace of mind more than anything. P.P.S. Well done for looking into your options, it takes courage. Safe journey. Paul

Gledwood said...

Oooo bangers and mash!

I know someone who came off Suboxone or Subutex (he says they are identical, the added ingredient in Suboxone is only to stop you injecting (which is a big "who cares?!" ~ waste of time. I injected Subutex once more in anger than anything else and I'd never bother doing it again).... anyway he came off it and ended up back on it within a very short time because he just couldn't face life on nothing at all. He does have a habit nearing 40 years now but it is sad to see someone unable to adapt like that. You can get micro doses of buprenorphine in Temgesic pilss. I think they're 250 micrograms. So maybe he could cut down to them.

I'd FAR rather detox on Subutex than methadone, any day of the decade!!

Spindrift said...

I'll keep it in mind about the micro doses of buprenorphine, thanks, but as far as I'm aware my friend is quite happy with the low dose of suboxone that he's on. As far as I'm aware, it helps maintain him, and yes, maybe his life is better for that. Safe journey, Paul

Gledwood said...

I'd rather be on nothing.

Remind me I said that when I'm on 1mg Subutex and don't want to come off it either!

bugerlugs63 said...

beautiful "story telling" today,
"tears of euphoric disappointment"
Have shed many of those never knew what they were called, brill :-)

Sunday pm . . .Hampshire "box changing" time,
As you said,they not over keen on full clean out,defo disturbs them, filthy blighters... I do it in stages, every other sunday, boxes & bedding, the other sunday, sawdust change. keep it simple and slightly smelling of hamster at all times. I actually find the smell warm & friendly, but I also like sucking their ears, so Im no example ;-)
I will be back (hopefully not with news of 5 squirming, quote; "baked beans with paws" having fallen out with the bedding).
take good care,
pleased u still sounding ***** u know!
tatty bye

Gledwood said...

I always wanted to bite my hamsters on the ears. They would have gone nuts!

I used to clean mine that way too. The bed one week, the newspaper the next week. In the end I used newspaper instead of woodshavings as the shavings seemed to itch their fur. More with Russian hamsters than roborovskis. Russian hamsters take dust baths though the people who wrote the book obviously didn't know this. I had to use catlitter for Russian hamsters as wood dust caused havoc with their fur... it got so much higher quality as soon as I stopped it.

Yeah I loved feeling euphorically tearful whatever the fuck I called it. Yeah euphoric disappointment. Long as there was a lovely fat dripping brown shot of rich dark Afghan heroin at the end of it any amount of personal disappointment seemed worthwhile %-/



Heroin Shortage: News

If you are looking for the British Heroin Drought post, click here; the latest word is in the comments.

Christiane F

"Wir, Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo" by "Christiane F", memoir of a teenage heroin addict and prostitute, was a massive bestseller in Europe and is now a set text in German schools. Bahnhoff Zoo was, until recently, Berlin's central railway station. A kind of equivalent (in more ways than one) to London's King's Cross... Of course my local library doesn't have it. So I'm going to have to order it through a bookshop and plough through the text in German. I asked my druggieworker Maple Syrup, who is Italiana how she learned English and she said reading books is the best way. CHRISTIANE F: TRAILER You can watch the entire 120-min movie in 12 parts at my Random blog. Every section EXCEPT part one is subtitled in English (sorry: but if you skip past you still get the gist) ~ to watch it all click HERE.

To See Gledwood's Entire Blog...

DID you find my blog via a Google or other search? Are you stuck on a post dated some time ago? Do you want to read Gledwood Volume 2 right from "the top" ~ ie from today?
If so click here and you'll get to the most recent post immediately!

Drugs Videos

Most of these come from my Random blog, which is an electronic scrapbook of stuff I thought I might like to view at some time or other. For those who want to view stuff on drugs I've collected the very best links here. Unless otherwise stated these are full-length features, usually an hour or more.

If you have a slow connexion and are unused to viewing multiscreen films on Youtube here's what to do: click the first one and play on mute, stopping and starting as it does. Then, when it's done, click on Repeat Play and you get the full entertainment without interruption. While you watch screen one, do the same to screens 2, 3 and so on. So as each bit finishes, the next part's ready and waiting.

Mexican Black Tar Heroin: "Dark End"

Khun Sa, whose name meant Prince Prosperous, had been, before his death in the mid 2000s, the world's biggest dealer in China White Heroin: "Lord of the Golden Triangle"

In-depth portrait of the Afghan heroin trade at its very height. Includes heroin-lab bust. "Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest"

Classic miniseries whose title became a catchphrase for the misery of life in East Asian prison. Nicole Kidman plays a privileged middle-class girl set up to mule heroin through Thai customs with the inevitable consequences. This is so long it had to be posted in two parts. "Bangkok Hilton 1" (first 2 hours or so); "Bangkok Hilton 2" (last couple of hours).

Short film: from tapwater-clear H4 in the USA to murky black Afghan brown in Norway: "Heroin Addicts Speak"

Before his untimely death this guy kept a video diary. Here's the hour-long highlights as broadcast on BBC TV: "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". Thanks to Noah for the original link.

Some of the most entertaining scenes from Britain's top soap (as much for the poor research as anything else). Not even Phil Mitchell would go from nought to multi-hundred pound binges this fast: "Phil Mitchell on Crack" (just over 5 minutes).

Scientist lady shows us how to cook up gear: "How Much Citric?" Lucky cow: her brown is 70% purity! Oddly we never see her actually do her hit... maybe she got camera shy...

And lastly:

German documentary following a life from teenage addiction to untimely death before the age of 30. The decline in this girl's appearance is truly shocking. "Süchtig: Protokoll einer Hilflosigkeit". Sorry no subtitles; this is here for anyone learning German who's after practice material a little more gripping than Lindenstraße!

Nosey Quiz! Have you ever heard voices when you weren't high on drugs?

Manic Magic

Manic Magic

Gledwood Volume 2: A Heroin Addict's Blog

Copyright 2011 by Gledwood