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The End of my Addiction
Ne1

April 2017 Checking In

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BarrelChested

@Jetsman32 I had a pre-employment screen. I forgot to mention the Naltrexone. I google'd it and, well, it shows-up as a an opiate on the 10-panel (which I did). FSCK!!!!  I'm now worried that they'll not bother with my explanation (uh, and there's the faint possibility that MJ could show-up; although it didn't on home tests at the 50ng cutoff ISA).  Even if the HR folks just Google "Naltrexone..." will they be scared-off by medication used primarily to treat drug addicts? I've already given notice (from a gig I like)... and... I'm just a mess. I'm incredibly stressed-out, anxious (from the 10-panel and now the Nal complication). I wasn't in the market for a new gig -- just kinda happened.  As an HR person... what would you expect? It looks like I'll definitely test positive for opiates (falsely -- because of the Nal).  Just fsck.

 

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Ne1
21 hours ago, BarrelChested said:

@Jetsman32 I had a pre-employment screen. I forgot to mention the Naltrexone. I google'd it and, well, it shows-up as a an opiate on the 10-panel (which I did). FSCK!!!!  I'm now worried that they'll not bother with my explanation (uh, and there's the faint possibility that MJ could show-up; although it didn't on home tests at the 50ng cutoff ISA).  Even if the HR folks just Google "Naltrexone..." will they be scared-off by medication used primarily to treat drug addicts? I've already given notice (from a gig I like)... and... I'm just a mess. I'm incredibly stressed-out, anxious (from the 10-panel and now the Nal complication). I wasn't in the market for a new gig -- just kinda happened.  As an HR person... what would you expect? It looks like I'll definitely test positive for opiates (falsely -- because of the Nal).  Just fsck.

 

@BarrelChested

Wooooooaaaaah Nellie! 

I'm no chemist but it just didn't make sense to me that naltrexone shows up as an opiate. I'm pretty sure you know this stuff better than I do, but I'm just gonna throw it out there that perhaps you didn't dig deep enough. 'Cause I went googling and the only information I could find that indicated that Nal creates a false positive for opiates was not legit. Far from it. Plus, as I said, that just doesn't make sense. So I dug and dug, and well, I didn't see anything conclusive. There's one article that says that taking codeine and nal can create a false positive for buprenorphine. (or something.) And another that talks about specifically testing for nal to make sure that opiate addicts are being compliant, but nada on the connection between false positives for opiates from taking nal. 

I did find this: 

https://www.ok.gov/odmhsas/documents/OK Interpret DT Results 9-4-15.pdf

p. 29 says, "Medications for Alcohol Dependence  Naltrexone: False Positive with Opiate Assay - NO!" 

There's some science-y stuff leading up to that conclusion that you might find more reassuring than just taking my word for it. And the couple of pages after that show the google results that indicate that it does cause a false positive. 

I'm just writing this because 1. I want you to be able to sleep tonight and 2. I don't want you to freak the f*ck out and shoot off an email or make a phone call. 

I might be wrong. But it just doesn't make sense, my friend. So deep breaths and do some more searching. If I am wrong, well, I'll be back in the morning for you to tell me to shut the hell up. Hang in there. 

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Ne1

hmmmm. 6β-Naltrexol... 

Sorry. I hope that's not the case. And I hope you're doing okay. xx

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BarrelChested
2 hours ago, Ne1 said:

I don't want you to freak the f*ck out and shoot off an email or make a phone call. 

The positive spin on this is that "I'm proactive."  THANK YOU for your efforts!  So, I know gel electrophoresis (we used it to test DNA/etc) and gas chromatography (and a few other techniques). I didn't really understand the mechanism behind the ISA test ("pee strip test"); in this test, a pink line indicates a negative result. I read about the background principle and was able to fill-in the missing pieces. It's a clever, very cool way to design a test.  If you're curious, I'm happy to give a simplified ('cuz I'm simple) explanation of how it works.  But, anyway... I should be safe on the MJ. Should be.  The 50ng cutoff reacts to several metabolites... whereas the GC tests for only a single metabolite (THC-COOH, I think). This must be the dominant metabolite... for they say that a 15ng cutoff for the single metabolite is functionally-equivalent to the 50ng broad test.  The GC produces not a pretty-yet-quantitatively-useless band but an "actual numeric value."  Annnnyway...

 

I'm a mellow kinda guy. Ish. I'm very passionate/intense about work (and music, exercise, learning, etc)... but generally chilled-out. Um, but not now. I'm in that state where matter under extreme pressure becomes energy. It's not a good place... but, well, there's nothing to be done.  The HR person didn't acknowledge my e-mail... and, well... there's zilch that I can do about it.  I'm leaving a company that's very selective (although to be fair I did bomb the Google interview). It would just suck to go from that to the bench... with an indelible mark on my career prospects.
 

My mom died when she was my age (by the bottle). I just don't want to go out that way. I hate that I've had to disclose the Nal to... well, anyone except a select few (I'm pretty good at keeping secrets). It's not something I brag about. I'm an addict. I can't control myself with booze. While I don't give a sh1t about my appearance (er, about looking wealthy/successful/bling-y), I'm deeply embarrassed about my alcoholism. I'm a STRONG person in so many ways... but not this one. It's a shame that undermines my self-worth. I have a high standard of living (which I absolutely, unequivocally earned without help)... but this fatal flaw makes me feel both guilt and deep empathy for those that still struggle, still work like slaves just to get by. I digress. I went down a rabbit hole. This entire experience... well, it's not been my favorite part of the ride.
 

My pessimism tells me that I won't hear from the HR folks on Friday... and that I'll have to be miserable throughout the weekend. But I do sincerely thank you for your kindness. <sigh>

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Ne1

Morning! I haven't even finished my first cup of coffee yet, but I woke up thinking about this. And realized that my own insecurity often overrides my rationality and well, there's no way that nal pops a positive for opiates. That's based on my practical experience. I just got out of a rehab, remember? The program I was in was specifically for licensed professionals (docs and nurses) and government officials with significant security clearance. It's one of the few in the country approved specifically for the groups of people who will be on long-term monitoring or have careers that are dependent on clean urinalyses. The rehab didn't prescribe anything that was in the least bit controversial, or might indicate use when there wasn't any. Benadryl. Venlafaxine. The list is long. We sat in many lectures specifically about which meds and supplements, OTC and RX, should be avoided. Anyway, the patients there liberally prescribed naltrexone. We were tested frequently. We were also uniformly given librium for detox. Each of us talked about when we were 'clean'. So, there it is. At least for me. We can agree to disagree, but perhaps it'll bring you some solace. Even if not, that's not the real issue I have with your last post. It's this:

5 hours ago, BarrelChested said:

...I'm deeply embarrassed about my alcoholism. I'm a STRONG person in so many ways... but not this one. It's a shame that undermines my self-worth. ... but this fatal flaw makes me feel both guilt and deep empathy for those that still struggle, still work like slaves just to get by. I digress.

It makes me really sad that you feel that way. If there's one thing that freed me from feeling like I was a horrible, terrible, no-good person, it was taking a simple medication that alleviated my fears that I was fundamentally flawed. I mean, I am. My brain doesn't work right. But that doesn't mean that I'm responsible for continuing to drink when I didn't want to. I didn't understand, then, that I was self-medicating. I didn't internalize, before, that treating wonky brain chemistry is VERY different than trying to treat some shameful character defect or personality flaw. (I have many of both, of course, just like any other human.) I used to say that the only thing that ever kicked my ass and won was booze. That's not exactly true. My own fears kick my ass pretty regularly. Still, the point is valid. But we've had this discussion, or started it anyway, when you first got here. I know I won't convince you otherwise. I just thought I would share my thoughts. 

Ironically, I'm going to pick up a 90-day-chip in my regular meeting today. Thinking about this, and writing about it, makes me wonder what the hell I'm doing going back to the rooms. The philosophy is contraindicative to what we know (or should know) about progressive treatment for addiction based on actual science. You are proof that no amount of will power or discipline (or exercise or meditation, alone) can keep me sober. Jets is proof that a profound belief in a Higher Power isn't going to keep me sober. I am proof that being a good person isn't going to keep me sober, and being a bad person doesn't keep me drunk. I have dozens and dozens of other examples, too. Of many people who are profoundly good, deeply religious or spiritual, and still can't put the bottle down. Also of assholes who aren't addicts. 

But I love a room full of drunks. And perhaps being able to hold two opposing thoughts and still function indicates that I'm smart. Or that I'm exhausted by my tendency to overthink everything.  

Finishing coffee now with some quiet time before the sun comes up. Hope you guys have a good day. 

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StuckinLA
9 hours ago, Ne1 said:

Ironically, I'm going to pick up a 90-day-chip in my regular meeting today. Thinking about this, and writing about it, makes me wonder what the hell I'm doing going back to the rooms. The philosophy is contraindicative to what we know (or should know) about progressive treatment for addiction based on actual science. You are proof that no amount of will power or discipline (or exercise or meditation, alone) can keep me sober. Jets is proof that a profound belief in a Higher Power isn't going to keep me sober. I am proof that being a good person isn't going to keep me sober, and being a bad person doesn't keep me drunk. I have dozens and dozens of other examples, too. Of many people who are profoundly good, deeply religious or spiritual, and still can't put the bottle down. Also of assholes who aren't addicts. 

That chip feels pretty damned good in your hand tho doesn't it :)

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BarrelChested

@Ne1 Thank you. I've been thinking about my post throughout the day. I do appreciate your reply. In my defense, let me say that VERY few people are even "mostly rational..." so, why should I be any different? I had a few drinks, last night. This is when I tend to post my pity parties. However, I had... five drinks?  I had a few shots of Jager (because I want to feel like a teenager, again?) and one whisky. I'm feeling a lot of stress about the test. And, of course, I've heard nothing about it.  Since the results should have been received before today... and you've chimed-in with your anecdote... well, I'll try to assume that no news is good news. Frankly, I consider you to be a better source [of information] than BongWizard69 or testCh33terLolz (the screen_names are ridiculous). Unless you're also BongWizard69. <SIGH>.

Thanks.  Part of me wants to drink, again... but I had the thought of, "yeah... but do I really want to trash half of my weekend by being hungover?" The hangovers are pretty awful (and I'm one of those rare people that never really got hangovers -- perhaps a handful in my drinking career -- uh, before Nal). Taking my shower, this morning, I thought of how I usually "push through" the Nal. I do. I'm stubborn. Although the buzz/etc isn't as much fun, you CAN push past it until you're so drunk that it doesn't matter (you'd be at the same place without the Nal -- except that it would take a lot more booze to get there).  I didn't, last night... or many of the previous times I've consumed on Nal.  I'm tough (not as in, "I can destroy a biker bar" but in "I'll do xyz or die trying")... and that's both a great asset and a liability. I was thinking about it, this morning -- about learning to remember that I don't HAVE to get blitzed... although that's really the only kind of drinking that I know.  You know, I CAN just let my interest wane as I drink (this happens pretty quickly with Nal unless you "power through the weakness"). And I need to accept that it's okay to lose interest. Doing so is more in-line with my long-term goals...

When I drink, it's because I'm either exhausted and bored or I'm stressed-out. I rarely drink when I'm profoundly unhappy (this seems like a bad combination). I do hope that MJ is some day accepted/etc... for although I don't like it nearly as much, it's much better for me. Annnnnyway... I want/need to let go of my expectation to BLOW THE MUTHAFSCKING LID OFF OF THIS B#### -- to de-stress by explosive decompression. So much of this (for me) is, I think, a learned "pattern."  I'm willing to guess that @Jetsman32 might be familiar with this form of asshatery -- either in himself or in some of his former colleagues.

Thanks for the support. And for tolerating some of the ridiculous sh1t I say. In my defense, I haven't been able to exercise... since March. I'm reasonably-well addicted to that. I'm on the mend, there... and hope to be back at it (which helps loads with stress management), soon.  Oh, how I hope I pass this test (the new job would allow me to pedal to work -- mind you, I used to commute almost 50mi/day on a bicycle (not every day)). If I do, I'll go back to flying straight and... well, I'll try to be better.

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Otter
On 4/26/2017 at 5:42 PM, Ne1 said:

@Cassander So nice to *see* you. Thanks for your kind words. Wish my experience wasn’t such a bummer. I always feel like I’ve let people down, and then try to internalize the truth, which is that relapse is the rule rather than the exception. And, well, I’m doing my best… Things are greatly improved over the last months and looking good. And tho I’m not earning a paycheck, there are several things I’m working on that keep me busy and engaged. And even hopeful and excited. So there’s that!

@Mom2JTx3 Funny that it worked so well it made you sick. I mean, not funny, but funny. 

@StuckinLA You’re such a luddite I’m surprised you still open your computer. ;)  I like BC’s very practical advice. Glad you’re still sober. If I think too much about it, and honestly, reading and posting on the forums makes me think too much about it, I could easily see myself drinking. Like now. But whatever. I’m not going to, so I just move on to the next thing that grabs my attention. One of the benefits of being easily distractable, I suppose.

@BarrelChested I’ve been meaning to get back to your thread for eons. Sorry about the gout. That sounds incredibly miserable. Glad the drinking didn’t work out as planned. I have definitely had that experience, and while it’s disappointing in the moment, it’s a relief in the big picture. Especially given that if it had worked out, you’d just extend this gout attack and be that much more miserable.  Yes, this is a cool environment here. I like it a lot, too. I lurk, too.

@Felina SO RIDICULOUS. And also, just lies. I just got a bill for the urinalysises (urinalyses?)  I had done while in rehab. $680 each, x3, not covered by insurance because it wasn’t done at a participating provider. They think I’m going to pay $2000, in addition to what rehab cost us, (also thousands, even with insurance coverage) for a test that I could get done for, what, $30? Never going to happen. I’ll file bankruptcy before I pay them a goddamn dime. I realize that’s not rational. Whatever.

@Rusty thanks for stopping by! :hug: 

@Otter I think you’ve gotten sound advice. I know you’ll do what you think is best, but I hope you take a long-term view of things. My grandmother lived near death for a looong time. I was and am very grateful that she was in a retirement community and was able to transition there all the way through hospice, and finally, death.

Without question, the tramadol could be having a negative effect. Google it. Opiates, sedatives, benzos... Gosh, just about everything (especially mind-meds) can have a deleterious effect on the elderly. No question. 

I rolled my eyes when I first read that you found that patent application. I mean, is there any limit to what can be found online? Then I googled the info and Holy Wow. There’s a whole lot of information about those three ingredients and it’s incredibly compelling. Nice find! And thanks for sharing. I ordered MCT oil. Btw, there IS a difference between MCT oil and coconut oil. I spent hours following rabbit trails and reading info and research about MCT oil. Too much to go into here, but suffice it to say that I decided it was worth it to get actual MCT oil made from coconuts (not palm) rather than stick with plain coconut oil. BUT it may not be appropriate for an elderly person. Causes GI distress and has to be… titrated up. FWIW, here’s an Amazon link to what I ordered: https://www.amazon.com/Viva-Naturals-Non-GMO-Pure-Coconut/dp/B00MGW5UVY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493216132&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=mct+oil&psc=1

Yeah, far out, eh?  But then, people have been saying that loads of mental problems have been misdiagnosed because they only recently have been able to use brain scans and see what the problem really is.  In the past a doctor would note a number of symtoms and then name the condition after himself, eg., Alzhemer's, Parkinsons, Lewy body.  But it's the same neurological deficit which just produces different effects in different people, depending on what part of the brain is most affected.  Doesn't mean that the problem can't be treated in the same way.  

MIL is now not moving and just babbling incoherent nonsense.  It's 50-50.  Must bring her home either way.  I wouldn't want her to spend her last days on her own and my wife won't have it so Tuesday, she comes here.  

 

PS.  Oddly, I looked for MTG myself.  My wife was wolfing down chocolate and has put on a ton of weight.  I settled for some coconut bars and gave her a couple after dinner when she usually goes through a huge bar of chocolate.  She didn't touch the chocolate, or the next day, or next.  Weird.   No chocolate craving on bac, campral and...coconut?!  I'll keep looking for the MCT oil. Lots of olive oil here but not much else. lol

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Ne1
On 4/28/2017 at 2:53 PM, StuckinLA said:

That chip feels pretty damned good in your hand tho doesn't it :)

Yes and no. Y'all know I don't really count days. I was particularly excited about 90 days, though, because I tried several times last year and never made it. Never got close. 

But I'm feeling a little self-conscious about the chip for all the reasons I wrote here. But Billy, the old guy, it makes him VERY happy. The only thing that makes him happier is when new people show up. Those days, he glows. And you know what? He's got it going on. 

On 4/28/2017 at 7:03 PM, BarrelChested said:

@Ne1Frankly, I consider you to be a better source [of information] than BongWizard69 or testCh33terLolz (the screen_names are ridiculous). Unless you're also BongWizard69. <SIGH>.
 

Oh, ffs. I spent several hours poring over information, trying to figure out what it was that you thought you found that I was missing. If I had known you were getting your info from Spicoli, I would've been much more definitive the night before. (And no, it was not that I needed a description or an understanding of the mechanics of the test.) The reason I couldn't find anything definitive that said, "Nal does not cause false positive for opiates" (well, except the one that I did, that specifically pointed out that the top return on the google search was actually wrong) is because there isn't any mechanism of action for that to happen. I'm not talking about the urinalysis. I'm talking about the way the brain works. And it just didn't make sense. Anyway. 

I woke up in the middle of the night seriously angry about the fact that it's THE TOP return in a google search. That is so unfair to all of the people who might really benefit from naltrexone. I'm going to contact the people over at the TSM forums and see if we can work together to get that crap removed. How does one do that? Anyone know? More LIES. Drives me crazy. It's a Spicer world out there. 

Glad you decided not to spend any more time in the bottle, BC. And I am really sorry to hear how difficult this is. My fingers are crossed (and thoughts sent up and out to whatever) that you'll hear positive news, quickly. 

5 hours ago, Otter said:

...I'll keep looking for the MCT oil. Lots of olive oil here but not much else. lol

What I wouldn't give for some of your olive oil! yum! 

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Missykc

I'm hit or miss on here but I try. I'm still sober without baclofen for a couple of years. Sometimes I want to step off and just drink to excess but it doesn't fit in with my running schedule. Lost in LA, I'm thrilled you're sober. Ne, I'm stoked for your 90 days. 

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DunDrinkn

Hello all. I am currently AF for a few weeks. Hit one of those places where it was fairly easy to pull up out of the tail spin. I went back up on Baclofen to 50 mg, I think. Not much, but enough to make a difference with some stuff. I am certainly not "indifferent" -- at least to alcohol. 

I would probably keep drinking if it didn't make me fat. I'm vain. And I may be single at some point in the not so different future, so I need to deal with it. But I was drinking way, way, way too much. Lotta vodka. 

Just a quick check in. Hope everyone is doing well. 

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Alice22

I haven't checked in in a while but I've been reading most all the posts and happy to see some people doing so well.  I've been up and down with the depression but have had a few periods where I've felt pretty good, not 100% , but things  seems to be on an upswing.  Trying not to add any more medication.  I did titrate down very slowly (2.5 mgs a week) on baclofen to see if the depression resolved at all.  So I'm at 90mgs right now and would like to go even lower but after reading some of the threads here, I think I'll stay where I am.  AF for over 6 months. 

I had something very upsetting happen to my older son about three weeks ago, it is something that has required me to step up as a mother. And the funny thing is because I was so consumed with wanting to make him feel better, I kind  of "forgot" about my depression.  I feel so guilty though, for being so self-centered, for neglecting to see things, for not being present.  This is a whole other story, though. 

I try to keep busy everyday, which isn't hard, since everywhere I look is some mess to be straightened out.  Everything takes twice as long as it used to, but I'm managing to get a few things accomplished.  I've taken my son on several college visits, I'm showing up for kid's activities, last weekend I drove 3 hours each way to attend my cousin's wedding shower.  I know these are not extraordinary things, but a  year ago I wasn't able to do any of it.  I would have good intentions but I would be drunk or wanting to get drunk or hungover.  Now, I like showing up and following through and generally acting like a grown -up.  Baclofen, despite the side effects, has made this possible for me.  

I want to write more and respond to some of the posts I've been reading but I have to get going.  

Again, so glad to see so many people doing so well.

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Alice22

I haven't checked in in a while but I've been reading most all the posts and happy to see some people doing so well.  I've been up and down with the depression but have had a few periods where I've felt pretty good, not 100% , but things  seems to be on an upswing.  Trying not to add any more medication.  I did titrate down very slowly (2.5 mgs a week) on baclofen to see if the depression resolved at all.  So I'm at 90mgs right now and would like to go even lower but after reading some of the threads here, I think I'll stay where I am.  AF for over 6 months. 

I had something very upsetting happen to my older son about three weeks ago, it is something that has required me to step up as a mother. And the funny thing is because I was so consumed with wanting to make him feel better, I kind  of "forgot" about my depression.  I feel so guilty though, for being so self-centered, for neglecting to see things, for not being present.  This is a whole other story, though. 

I try to keep busy everyday, which isn't hard, since everywhere I look is some mess to be straightened out.  Everything takes twice as long as it used to, but I'm managing to get a few things accomplished.  I've taken my son on several college visits, I'm showing up for kid's activities, last weekend I drove 3 hours each way to attend my cousin's wedding shower.  I know these are not extraordinary things, but a  year ago I wasn't able to do any of it.  I would have good intentions but I would be drunk or wanting to get drunk or hungover.  Now, I like showing up and following through and generally acting like a grown -up.  Baclofen, despite the side effects, has made this possible for me.  

I want to write more and respond to some of the posts I've been reading but I have to get going.  

Again, so glad to see so many people doing so well.

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