I Thought I Knew About Withdrawal

In 2003 I was working as a manager for Dell in Las Vegas. Every year there is this huge, consumer electronics convention and that year, Dell had a prime spot. As a market leader, I was selected to work the convention, along with several of my staff. I remember thinking what an honor it was to be selected to represent Dell at such a huge event.

The first morning of the event I was driving my 95 BMW to the convention center when, out of nowhere, I was rear ended by another car. I was knocked unconscious and my car was totaled. Apparently, EMTs took me to the hospital where I was later picked up by my mother.

This began a long series of doctor visits where I was prescribed every opiate painkiller my insurance could pay for. The problem was that I had damage to my elbow, back and neck so I was put on hydrocodone, oxycodone, and a host of benzodiazepines. Soon, I developed crushing migraines so the Doc put me on 1800 microgram fentanyl suckers as well.

I lived like this for two years. I was constantly high unless I ran out of meds. This led to me seeking drugs from street dealers and became a major strain on my finances. My drug use also put immense strain on my relationships as I drifted in and out of euphoric clouds and withdrawing torment.

Finally, my family had enough. My mother was the one who took me around town trying to find an outpatient rehab facility. We found a doctor who convinced me to go cold turkey and so off I went to my apartment to detox, by myself.

To quote Sam Neil for Event Horizon: “Hell is just a word. The reality is much worse.” I came to understand that quote as my withdrawal consumed me. I was in a twitching, convulsing, vomiting place way beyond misery. What’s worse is it seemed to go on and on without end. I was collapsed in a shivering pile on my couch, begging for my roommate to shoot me, for a solid month.

Opiate withdrawal was the most awful Hell I had ever gone through. I never even imagined that a human body could produce that much agony or that much vomit. Describing withdrawal any further is almost kind of pointless. You pretty much have to experience it to truly understand. At any rate, it took me two, full months to recover enough to have a life again.

Fast forward to 2013, I was in Las Vegas working on a serious, double barrel meth and heroin addiction that I had for the last ten years. When I finally reached the bottom of that one, my Mother came to my rescue once again. This time she wasn’t going to let me do things on my own. That had obviously not even come close to working so she did some research and found Narconon Colorado. I guess that it was a combination of being older, seeing things for what they were and not wanting to die that made me decide to give Narconon a try.

Keep in mind that I had been on meth, heroin and Xanax up until the day I boarded the plane to med detox. When I got there I was tapered off the Xanax and kept busy until my flight to Colorado. That’s where I learned about drug free withdrawal. I was mentally geared up for another agonizing bout of extreme sickness and not looking forward to the future.

I didn’t really sleep the first night. That day, the withdrawal specialists kept me busy getting oriented into my present time environment. We did lots of exercises and took plenty of walks. I was given tons of fluids and vitamins along with some great meals. We worked so much during the day that I hardly even noticed when it got dark outside. Still, no soul shattering misery to speak of.

I did finally sleep that night despite some crazy drug dreams about myself in the third person perspective. The next day, more exercises, walks, food and comfort from the caring staff. After four days, I was let out of withdrawal to begin the rest of the Narconon Colorado program.

There was no vomiting, no convulsions, no headaches and no gut wrenching twitches. Best of all, there was no killer depression that always seemed to accompany withdrawal. The staff was really great at getting me out of my head and making me laugh. I swear I hadn’t laughed like that in fifteen years. I guess that I had such a haze running through me from all of the drugs that I couldn’t really experience life. After four days I was learning what it was like to be sober around real people who actually gave a damn about me. Wow, who knew…

I had always had this idea of withdrawal being torture so I never really tried to go without drugs. When I got out of drug free withdrawal I kept asking people when the Hell was going to kick in. They just smiled and said “You’re doing great.”

When I look back I know that it wasn’t just me. All of the others I was in withdrawal with had similar experiences. Many of the people I was in the program with were heroin or other opiate addicts and they seemed to have very mild, at most, withdrawal symptoms. Any sleeping issues were remedied by the sauna detox program.

So, if you are on the opiate roller coaster and are afraid to stop because of the withdrawal I have this to say. It doesn’t have to be Hell. You don’t have to suffer for days and weeks on end. The people at Narconon Colorado know what they are doing when it comes to getting people off drugs without pain. I know what I’m talking about here because I have been up and down on drugs for twenty years. I have tried everything else and I can honestly say that Narconon Colorado actually helped me get free of those demons without pain.