Pain Killers: Getting off is hard to do...

Heroin Use On the Rise from Pill Crackdown

In Lancaster, Ohio, Holly Yates started using painkillers in the ninth grade, at parties and hanging out with friends. The pills were everywhere, easy to get and cheap. By the time she was 18, she was abusing oxycodone, Percocet and other pills every day. 

Then they stopped being enough. 

“My cousin was into heroin and I started hanging out with her,” said Yates, a hazel-eyed 20-year-old. “She told me about it, and I was like, ‘I want to try it.’ The first time that I shot it up, it was like, ‘Where has this been all my life?’”

Experts say Yates and others in this town of about 38,000 southeast of Columbus are on the leading edge of a frightening new drug abuse trend – one that is ironically being fueled by a national crackdown on prescription painkillers. While new regulations and law enforcement efforts have significantly reduced the supply of these drugs, they say, those efforts have inadvertently driven many users to another type of opiate that is cheap, powerful and perhaps even more destructive – heroin.

“It’s an epidemic,” said Dr. Joe Gay, director of the regional addiction and mental health clinic Health Recovery Services, who has studied patterns of drug use in the state.

A flood of cheap heroin from Mexico, which is now one of the leading sources of the drug to the United States, is one reason for the return of the scourge. According to the Justice Department, the drug is showing up in new areas, including upscale suburban towns where heroin was once rare. 

In Illinois, for example, researchers at Roosevelt University have found a spike in young suburban heroin abusers. Long Island, New York, has in recent years seen a rash of addiction among the young. A spike in heroin use and related crime has Dane County, Wis., reeling. Even states like Washington, where heroin has a longtime presence, have seen a sharp increase among young users. In King County, home to Seattle, nearly a third of those entering treatment for heroin abuse in 2009 were between ages 18 and 29 — a sharp increase from a decade before.

With increased availability has come a spike in the number of visits to emergency room visits for issues related to heroin use, including a 13 percent increase from 2005 through 2009, according to the national Drug Abuse Warning Network. The highest rates of admission were for young adults, 21 to 24 years old.

“Twenty years ago, half of the heroin addicts in treatment lived in two states — New York and California,” said Gay. “(Now, in Ohio) we’re seeing it spread out of the cities, into the suburbs and into the rural areas.”

The demographics of heroin addiction are also shifting, he said.

‘It’s not going away’
Until a few years ago, addicts were overwhelmingly men who lived in urban areas, many of them from racial minorities. An alarming number of those entering treatment programs in Ohio — a good measure of addiction — are young, he said. Most are white. They are from poor rural counties and wealthy suburbs. Many are girls and women.

In Ohio, the new face of heroin addiction could be the girl or boy next door.

“Everybody does it,” Yates said. “It’s just here, and it’s not going away.” 

Sarah Mayer, 27, was an early traveler on the path from dabbling in prescription pills to putting a needle in her arm.

Born and raised in Hilliard, a tree-lined suburb of Columbus, she grew up in what is, by all accounts, a loving home. Her father works at the local bank. Her mother is a nurse.

Derailed plans
In high school, Mayer went to parties and drank occasionally, but she kept her grades up. During her last year in high school, in 2002, she took college classes. After graduation, she started a fully-paid-for nursing program. But her plans were derailed by addiction to oxycodone, an opiate-based painkiller found in many medicine cabinets across the country.

“I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Mayer said. By 2005, she and her boyfriend were taking the pills regularly to get high. But over time, the effects diminished.

One day in early 2006, Sarah and her boyfriend found themselves nearly broke and without the pills they needed. Desperate and sick with withdrawals from the opiates, her boyfriend left the house to try to find pills.

He came back with a bag of powder heroin.

“He knew how I felt about heroin,” Mayer said. “That was the one thing I said I would never do.”

Despite her conviction, within 24 hours, she had snorted it. She would spend another three years chasing that first high. “It was almost like all of the wind was knocked out of my chest, I could barely hold my head anymore,” said Mayer. “It was like my whole body just exhaled.” 

Soon, she began injecting it. It would take her years, and at least six trips to recovery programs, before she successfully got clean in October 2009. She’s now working toward a degree in nursing, and recently made the dean’s list.

The addiction was something the Mayer family never saw coming. 

“There was never a thought that ever entered my mind that I would ever lose a child through addiction,” said Randy Mayer, Sarah’s father. “Watching this thing grab her and not let go, I mean, it was a horrible time.” 

But in Hilliard, where he also grew up, Randy Mayer said he is seeing this happen to others. 

“I’ve met some other families, locally here — they’re dealing with the same kind of situation,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, these towns like this are fertile for this to spread.”

Paul Coleman, director at the Maryhaven clinic near Columbus, where Mayer sought treatment, said about a quarter of the nearly 130 adolescents currently getting treatment there have used opiates —  something he’s never seen in his 22 years at the center.

“A few years ago if you would have asked me how many young patients I would have using opiates I wouldn’t have said 25 percent,” Coleman said. “I would have said none.”

The White House has called prescription drug abuse the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has officially dubbed it an epidemic.

In Ohio and elsewhere, however, the beast has two heads. Opiate abuse, which includes both prescription painkillers and heroin, has become a “crisis of unparalleled proportions,” according to Ohio’s Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. In 2001, just eight of Ohio’s 88 counties reported a significant number of patients were entering substance abuse treatment for opiate addiction. By the same measure, 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties reported an opiate problem in 2009.

The state has taken action. In 2006, it implemented a system to track prescriptions to help prevent so called “doctor shopping,” where addicts move from one physician to the next looking for prescriptions. Last year, it also passed a law to help fight “pill mills,” unscrupulous storefront clinics known for readily dispensing prescriptions.

Similar measures have been taken across the nation. Combined with new pill formulations that make the medication harder to crush up to snort or shoot, the efforts have curbed supply and abuse. Experts agree this is a positive step. But in Ohio, the crackdown has had unexpected consequences.

The pills have become expensive, and often hard to obtain. Prescription opiates now sell for anywhere from $30 to $80 dollars a pill. A $10 bag of heroin offers a similar or better high.  Unable to find pills, or afford them, addicts go looking for something else to feed the craving. Heroin is cheap, plentiful and potent.

It is also deadly. In fact, the state saw a record number of heroin-related deaths in 2010, which now account for one in every five overdose deaths in the state. Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, recorded 106 heroin-related deaths in 2011 — an increase of nearly 180 percent since 2003, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. In early May, Loraine County, Ohio, saw five fatal overdoses in 10 days due to a batch of highly potent, or badly cut, heroin. Experts worry other counties may soon follow suit, and that those dying might be among what the Ohio Department of Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services reports show is the fastest growing demographic of heroin users — young people between ages 20 and 35.

It’s an addiction that surprises even those who find themselves in its grip.

“If you were to tell me that I was going to use heroin … the same week in which I used it, I probably would have laughed in your face,” said Tej Yaich, a 20-year-old from Pickerington, Ohio. “That’s something that I would never have done.”

For Yaich, who has been sober for more than a year, addiction started at home. His parents had prescriptions sitting unused in the medicine cabinet. Yaich said he was 15 when he first tried them, crushing them up at night so his parents wouldn’t hear the noise. The experiment became a habit. Then the supply started to dry up.

“One day I went to call my guy that was selling to me and he said he didn’t have pills at that time, but he had something equally as good,” said Yaich. “He said, ‘You’ll like it.’”

 What the dealer had was heroin, and he was right. Yaich started by snorting it, then quickly moved on to shooting up. From one bag, he worked himself up to two, then five. At the height of his addiction, he said, he injected up to 25 bags a day.

Yaich’s story is typical of those that Dr. Steven Matson hears from young people coming into his clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Matson, who helped Yaich recover, runs a program there that uses a fairly new medication called buprenorphine, a semi-synthetic opioid that when used correctly helps to curb cravings to assist in recovery.

When Matson started this work three years ago, the young people coming into his clinic were “fringe,” he said. Now they are as often from upscale suburbs of Columbus as from poorer, more rural areas.

“Because of the availability of these drugs now, it is not an usual story that we hear, ‘I went to a party, some friends there were doing heroin, so I shot up,’” he said. “It seems like madness that you would go to a party and never have used anything and then use heroin. But that’s what’s happening with some children.”

Matson’s program also helped Holly Yates recover. She’s been sober since Thanksgiving Day 2010. For more than a year, she’s held a job as a stylist at a local hair salon. She saved up to buy herself a silver Honda Accord. In the back seat are two car seats for her young nephews, who her older brothers now trust her to babysit.

But things can be lonely in Lancaster, where she says nearly everyone her age uses drugs, and many are hooked on heroin.

“It’s just hard being young and staying clean,” Yates said. “I mean this town, it’s just, like, that’s all that’s here.”

“I just want kids my age to know that you don’t have to keep using,” she added. “You can be clean, and you can have a better life.”

By Lisa Riordan Seville and Hannah Rappleye
NBC News

Comments (2)

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

If you’re trying to kick your addiction to painkillers or some other opiate, heroin, oxy’s, or whatever, here is the Opiate Withdrawal Timeline you can use to follow your symptoms and gauge your time to physical recovery. The opiate withdrawal timeline is a general timeline and some people may experience a different or longer timeline, depending on how long you have used and especially if you are coming off of either Methadone or Suboxone/Subutex.

Methadone and Suboxone(buprenorphine) both have a half life longer than regular opiates, as they are “Partial” opiates that are used to block opiate receptor cells int he brain. So the withdrawal symptoms will last longer and can be a bit harder or more severe than a regular opiate. The good news is that if you taper down to as low as you can get before jumping off, your withdrawal will be less severe and won’t last as long.

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline – The First Stage

The first part of the Opiate Withdrawal Timeline usually starts within the first 12 hours of your last opiate intake and it is also known as Acute Withdrawal.

  • The first symptoms usually begin within 12 hours of your last opiate intake or use but within 24-36 hours of last opiate use.

  • The initial withdrawal symptoms peak at about day number Three and have been known to last up to 5 days, usually tapering after the 72 hour mark

  • The main symptoms of First Stage Acute Withdrawal are:

  • The first initial symptom many addicted encounter is Sneezing and Runny Nose with Watery Eyes.
  • Irritability and Depression/Extreme Depression

  • Insomnia – Inability to get any sleep

  • Nausea and/or Vomiting

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Diarrhea
  • These Flu-like physical symptoms usually subside after seven to ten days but everyone is different. For some it may be a little longer, for others it will be less. However, the magic number seems to be 72 hours. 72 Hours seems to be the hump everyone needs to get over then it starts gettign better from there on out.

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline – The Second Stage

The second stage of the opiate withdrawal timeline can usually last for about Two Weeks. During this time the natural levels of endorphins, that the brain stopped making and were depleted of during long-term painkiller or opiate use, begin to stabilize during this period and the brain starts to make them again. This part of the opiate withdrawal timeline is critical as many people return to opiate abuse because they want to be happy again. This is due to the depression associated with this stage of withdrawal and the brain not making enough endorphins. If you exercise during this time, it will help the brain produce natural endorphins and normalize.

  • The major symptoms during the second stage are:
  • Insomnia
  • Goose bumps
  • Chills
  • Dilated pupils
  • Leg cramps
  • After the initial first acute withdrawal symptoms, a person may start to feel much better and feel as if they are starting to get their life back.

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline – The Third Stage

This third stage can last the longest but it is usually the least severe stage of the opiate withdrawal timeline. In this stage we experience PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome). It can take anywhere from one week to two months or more.  Some people don’t even experience this stage of the withdrawal and the person feels back to normal and goes on with life as if nothing ever happened. However, if a person does experience this stage, once  finished, they usually feels back to their normal selves again

  • The symptoms of this stage are mainly psychological, including but not limited to:
  • Depression and/or Anxiety (Depending on how long you used/abused opiates for, the brain could take a while to normalize, but have no fear, you will be happy again)
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia

This is the Opiate withdrawal Timeline as seen by many an addict. It helps to have support throughout all stages of withdrawal and recovery. Support in the form of loved ones being understanding. Typically loved ones who have never been addicted or gone through opiate withdrawal will never understand what you are going through, so it may be in your best interest to check out a 12 step program.

Read the real life Opiate Withdrawal Timeline of a recovering addict in this post:

A Week In The Life Of A Recovering Pill Addict


Comments (201)

A Week In The Life Of A Recovering Pill Addict

Matt posted in the comment section of the post entitled ” How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?”. It was such a great comment that I felt everyone should read it and see what it’s like when you go through a  withdrawal. It can be done, you probably won’t die, you might feel like you wish you were dead but in the end everything will be ok.

I’d like to thank Matt for sharing his story…

Contributed by Matt, one of our readers.

After reading just about every single post here, I really felt I should contribute just in case my own information helps someone out there in the way that your information has helped me. So, first and foremost, THANK you ALL for everything that you’ve shared!

Back in September of 2007, I hurt my back pulling something out of the kitchen cupboard. I went to the doctor for it, remembering how much I loved Percocets back when I had my wisdom teeth extracted, and used my existing scoliosis as a tool to eventually convince the doctor to prescribe me Percocets monthly. I basically used charisma and lies to get it done. I never even considered the possibility of getting addicted. I just wanted to get high.

Over the following months, well… you know how it goes. You’re quickly buying off of people, doing whatever you can to not run out. I can honestly say that from September of 2007 to Sunday, August 28th (5 days ago), I never went through a day without some form of oxycodone. This is mostly due to my prescription increasing to 60mg OxyContin twice per day, with 120 10/325 Percocets monthly for breakthrough “pain.” This, combined with what I bought off the street, was enough to never run out, ever. My habit topped out at 240mg of oxycodone (in its various forms) per day.

Well, this last refill cycle, I decided to take a stand. I was tired of sitting alone on weekend nights just getting high and watching TV, sick of counting pills, sick of trying to think of excuses when I’d have sex without being able to finish (on the rare occasions where I had a sex drive at all!), sick of just about maxing out my credit cards because I was using cash to buy, sick of having no motivation to be active in any way, sick of declining plans if I didn’t have as many as I thought I’d need to get through those plans, sick of being constipated all the time (sometimes to the point of actual bleeding), sick of feeling like a zombie and not actually feeling real emotions anymore. What a horrible way to live! It’s not even living. It’s auto-pilot in a haze. It’s nothing. It’s brain death. It’s a vapid, soulless void with no love, no repercussions, no rewards, no compassion, no hope. Just a rinse/repeat life cycle that sucks you dry.

So, this past Sunday the 28th, I took my very last pill at 10:00pm, with my boss’s knowledge of what was going on and his blessing to be out on Monday and Tuesday only. I had to be back Wednesday. The type of job I have makes it VERY difficult to miss work, so this was a big deal. I had to make the best of it. I was armed with four .5 mg pills of Xanax, five sublingual strips of the 8mg/2mg Suboxone, and a wonderfully supportive woman who has never taken a pill in her life.


Monday the 29th: The worst day of my life. I had to make it to 10:00pm to pass the 24 hour zone and take my first Suboxone. I literally screamed into my pillow for 19 hours. Some of you talk about exercising, taking a walk, occupying yourself. I am amazed and happy for you! For me, there was NO way this was possible. I could barely even roll over in bed, let alone stand up on my own two feet. Aside from the restless legs, I could swear I could individually feel each cell in my bone marrow gnashing its little teeth and wailing. It was inSANE. Every few hours, I would take one of the .5 mg Xanax pills which would afford me about 30 minutes of sleep each. That’s it. Then it was back to hell again, until finally, 10:00pm rolled around and I took 4mg of Suboxone. Within 30 minutes, I was out like a light, and didn’t wake up until 4:30am, feeling “fine.” (read: medicated – the Suboxone is a drug, too, let’s not forget it!).

Tuesday the 30th: I basically laid around all day on the couch watching TV and feeling extremely lethargic. My energy level was probably at like 20%. In the evening, I took an 8 block walk, which was about my limit. I was asleep by 7:30pm, woke up at 11:30pm, fell asleep at 2:30am, and woke up at 6:00am on Wednesday. I don’t remember much else, but I can tell you that I did not take any Suboxone at all. This Tuesday was my first day opioid-free in 4 years.

Wednesday the 31st: I took 2mg of Suboxone at 7:30am because the heebie-jeebies were getting really intense now, and I HAD to go to work, participate in meetings, etc. I was “fine” all day. No real issues to report here. It’s incredible how far such a small amount of Suboxone (drugs! let’s be real) can go. Went to my first NA meeting, ever, at 7pm. Nice experience. Not sure I’ll keep going, though. But SUCH nice and understanding people. Fell asleep at 10:00pm, woke up at 4:00am. Not feeling great, but not feeling even close to Tuesday, let alone Demon Monday.

Thursday the 1st: I decided to NOT take Suboxone when I woke up, to see how long I could go. Pitter-pattered around from 4:00am until I got to work at 8:00am, and by the time I sat at my desk, I was so exhausted that I literally could not remove the foil top from the yogurt I brought in to eat. I had to use my teeth, because my arms were SO weak. How pathetic is that? But it’s completely true. I couldn’t even hold my head up. As soon as I realized my eyes were tearing and I was noticeably sneezing and everyone was basically looking at me dying, I took another 2mg of Suboxone because I knew I would not make it through the day at work. Then, of course, I was “fine.” After work, my girlfriend came over. This was the first time I had sex off of the oxycodone and, let me tell you, it was the best sex I had in 4 years. Did I last? NO. Haha. Suddenly, I actually have a sex drive and can feel sensations again! She was completely understanding, so we went at it two more times before bed. If there was any point during my recovery process where I was even more than 100% certain I was doing the right thing, it was then, and that’s why I’m mentioning it. Fell asleep at midnight (due to our activities), woke up at 4:00am (again, it seems 4:00am is a magic number for a lot of us!), and tossed and turned the rest of the way.

Friday the 2nd (today) – I did the same thing as yesterday, and the same thing happened at my work desk. I was falling apart, and did another 2mg of Suboxone. Got through the day “fine” (drugged on the Subs). Got home, and had enough energy to actually do my laundry. Now I’m sitting here at 9:37pm feeling alright, but I know it’s the Subs.

What will I do now? Well, no more Suboxone. This is luckily a three-day weekend (Labor Day), so from now onward, I take nothing other than potassium, Immodium, one-a-day multi vitamins, eat fruit, take showers, etc. But no more Suboxone. I only used it to make it through work. I’d ask “What should I expect?” but, guess what? It doesn’t really matter. It’s not like it’s going to change anything. I’m not going back to the pills. I’m not going back to that empty, hollow, lifeless “life.” If tomorrow will be like Monday again, then so be it. I will scream into my pillow until my throat goes raw, and I will be thankful for being able to feel it.

And until then, I will be looking forward to living my new life. A real life. The one where I crave sex, and feel emotions, and rely on nothing to make me happy but day-to-day experiences, conversations with strangers, a joke told over a delicious plate of food, maybe even just the food itself.

I can’t wait, and neither can you.

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

Continuing the timeline:

Saturday the 3rd (yesterday) – Day 6. This was the first day of not using Suboxone. I woke up around 6:00am, walked 10 blocks to a coffee shop, and sat around for awhile trying to keep myself outside and active. I ended up going home after 2 1/2 hours, though, because people were talking to me and it was very difficult to focus. On top of that, the restless legs were getting the better of me, and they’re SO darned uncomfortable. I’ve been eating bananas and taking potassium supplements, and I guess they help, but the restless legs are still an issue, and it’s what causes me to sleep so little. When I got home from the coffee shop, I literally watched movies on my couch for 12 hours, finally going to bed at 11:00pm, though I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30am, and I only slept 3 hours.

Sunday the 4th (today) – Day 7. Woke up, had sex with my girlfriend, did my normal potassium / Immodium / Naproxen / multi-vitamin regimen, walked around the block to get myself moving, ate a banana, and treated myself to an hour long massage with focus on the legs to help with their restlessness. Afterwards, I went to a little cafe and ate a vegetable bagel sandwich. I didn’t much feel like hanging out, though, due to focus, so it’s 1:54pm and I’m home now. Probably going to relax and watch movies again. My energy level is extrEMEly low, and it makes me so lethargic, enough so that it’s just really hard for me to do anything at all. Even taking a shower, while feeling good, is a particularly taxing thing to do.

Even though this is Day 7 without various forms of oxycodone, it’s only Day 2 without Suboxone. I’m hoping that I make it over the hump soon. While my determination is unwavering, and while there’s no chance I’ll ever go back to the old life, I’m frankly sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

OK! Hi! I’m in MUCH better spirits today. The timeline:

Sunday the 4th part 2: After posting the above, I ended up taking a long hot bath/shower combo. Afterwards, I had a text on my phone inviting me to a Labor Day BBQ with some friends. I hadn’t been social for 7 days now, just wallowing on the couch feeling terrible, so I agreed to go. Drove the 45 minutes, hung out for only 2 hours, and went right back home. I just couldn’t handle the social situation yet. My brain was too foggy, my legs were going crazy and I felt like everyone might be staring, and just the act of moving my body felt like I was stuck in jello. I went home and went to bed early, like 9pm. I slept a full 6 hours!

Monday the 5th: Again, that jello feeling, just terrible still. I walked 10 blocks in the morning to a coffee shop, hung out for an hour, and walked the 10 blocks back. It’s funny, you know… getting yourself to the point where you start walking is darn near impossible, but once you actually start moving, it feels good. Still, my energy levels at this point were so low that afterwards, I collapsed on my couch, again, drifting in and out of that inconsequential, nourishment-less twilight-type sleep. Last night, I slept a total of 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Total.

Tuesday the 6th (today): This Day 9 is my turning point, I think. Unless the nasties return later or tomorrow! But it’s 7:34pm now. I haven’t had any form of oxycodone in 9 days, and no Suboxone for 4 days, and I actually had some energy today! I worked hard the whole day at my job and not once did I feel like I needed to lay down. I’ve eaten three meals, and even if I still have the runs, my appetite is awakening. So is my sexual appetite, although I really need to work on my endurance because I’m not used to all of those sensations.

I just wanted to make this Good News Update for everyone who may be reading out there, afraid of the process. Yes, of course it’s hard. Yes, you do have to accept that you are going to feel unwell for awhile. There’s an end, though! I know that I still have a ways to go to get to 100%, but let me tell you, 75% feels AMAZING.

Thanks again Matt for the contribution to the community..would love to hear comments…


Larry C.

Comments (46)

Addicted to Painkillers from Back Pain, Herniated Disks and More

Painkiller addiction caused from back pain, herniated disks and Sciatica.

People are always commenting on the blog posts about getting off the painkillers, but what do they do about their back issues they have, that caused the painkiller addiction in the first place?

This is what I did and still do today…

I became addicted to painkillers primarily because of a back pain from an injury I had a few years back. The pain was intense and I tried to deal without taking anything for the pain. After several years of trying to tough it out with the back pain I decided I would try some pain medication. It worked great for a little while, gave me back my mobility and life for a short period of time, but it only covered up the symptoms and didn’t fix the problem.

I had tried physical therapy to no avail, swimming which worked great temporarily and chiropractic. None of them had any long lasting effect on me and I eventually started taking more and more of the painkiller I was prescribed until I was hopelessly addicted.  Eventually I couldn’t do it any longer. The lies, the working my doctors to get more, the going to street dealers for whatever I could get. I finally decided to get help and stop.

One thing had to be dealt with so I wouldn’t go back, and that was the back pain. I had heard on the radio, and see on the web this site called The Healthy Back Institute. I got their free book, which explained a lot but really didn’t give me anything to work with except to buy their program. I was skeptical at first but I kept reading their site and the blog and the more I read the more I learned. I learned that digestive enzymes help with inflammation, and so I went to my local Trader Joes and bought some digestive enzymes for like $3. I ate about 6 of them and my back pain started to go away in about 10-15 minutes after that.

Great so I get some temporary relief from digestive enzymes but I needed lasting relief. I decided to buy their program Lose the Back Pain System which was only $79 for the downloadable version. That was THE BEST INVESTMENT I’ve made for my back EVER! Within 30 minutes of getting their program and watching the videos, I was doing a set of stretches that gave me almost instant relief from the pain that had been plaguing me for years.

I had some questions and they asked me to send them some pictures of my body, standing in front, side and back views. I was then sent a specific set of stretches custom for me, and I have been virtually pain free ever since! These guys are GOOD. I mean real good! They are personable, helpful and will even talk to you on the phone.

I know that sometimes I start to slack and I can feel the problems starting to come back, so I do my stretching routine which takes maybe 15 minutes a day. Almost all back problems can be cured with some form of stretching. These guys have pinpointed and targeted ever know form of back pain to give everyone relief. Low back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, sciatica and herniated disks, they can help with it all. If you’re coming off painkillers and wondering what to do about your back pain that caused all this trouble, check these guys out, I am serious, they can help you.

There’s a free trial AND a 100% money back guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose. Nothing!

Check out The Healthy Back Institute Today!

PS. my back issues were from a tilted hip issue. I used to be very active and then took a desk job. Sitting at a desk all day caused my muscles to tighten in certain areas and that caused my hips to be tilted forward. Once I started the stretches they gave me I was pain free. I’m still doing the stretches and I’m still pain free after 2+ years.

Leave a Comment

The Thomas Recipe Alternative, Larry’s Recipe for Opiate Withdrawal

I am detailing what I call the “Larry Recipe”, an alternative to the Thomas Recipe for opiate withdrawal. I used this for withdrawing off Suboxone and what anyone can use for Withdrawing off Opiates. This is the alternative to the Thomas Recipe, because I cannot advocate the use of the Thomas Recipe because it is using other drugs and sometimes self medication can lead to death by overdose. The only time to use the Thomas Recipe is ONLY if it is supervised by a Medical Professional.

I will not include the original Thomas Recipe because it uses benzodiazepines(Valium type drugs), which can lead to overdose and death if not taken correctly. But I will explain the difference between the Thomas Recipe and My Alternative, as well as explaining how mine works as well. It does basically the same thing as the Thomas Recipe except it comes in the natural form of the same type of drugs.

The Larry Recipe is the best, natural way to withdraw off of opiates I know of. I will also include links to places to purchase the ingredients for when you are ready to withdraw.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I prescribe anything for anyone. Use at your own risk and discretion. This is what I used when I was coming off the Suboxone. It REALLY helped a lot, and didn’t include having to use other drugs, especially if I couldn’t get any from a doctor. Which means I wasn’t out hustling for more drugs illegally.

First the ingredients, then the formula:

  • Gaia Melissa Supreme Herbal Tincture – A Lemon Balm tincture used for “Nervousness and to Soothe Excitability, Promotes Calmness During Times of Excess Energy, Promotes Healthy Focus and Attention”. This tincture is so good it really mellows a person out and really calms the nerves and mind. So well in fact I feel like I was on an actual drug. If I could recommend only one thing for withdrawal, it would be this! You can get Gaia Melissa HERE.
    • Melissa  Supreme Supports a healthy nervous system and nerve tissue
    • Gentle Calming Action -calms occasional nervous irritability, sensitivity, and excitement; relaxing muscle and nerve agitation; and calms the mind
    • Supports normal mental functions such as concentration, memory and alertness, along with having a relaxing affect
    • You can get Gaia Melissa HERE.
  • Valerian Root Tincture – Positive results to support a healthy nervous system,  a normal restful nights sleep, and reduce stress. An alternative for benzodiazepines, Valerian is used for sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety, and as a muscle relaxant. Get Valerian HERE.
  • Glutamine – An amino Acid used for for intestine disorders and diarrhea, helps brain function, and muscle functions. I used the powder, it is tasteless, and is cheaper than getting capsules. Get Glutamine HERE.
  • 5-HTP – An amino acid used for depression, anxiety, insomnia sleep aid. Get 5-HTP HERE
  • Vitamin B Complex(Especially B6) – Supplementation often helps depressed people feel better, and their mood improves significantly. Get b-Complex HERE
  • Vitamin and Mineral Complex – Vitamins and minerals help the body to let go of toxins held by fat, and help to flush the system, get one with potassium and magnesium if you can. If you can’t find one with potassium and magnesium, get them separately. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer. Potassium is an electrolyte needed to help with body hydration. The body needs both vitamins and minerals. It may be better to get a vitamin complex and then a mineral complex separately. Complete Vitamin and Mineral Complex HERE
  • Postassium – Being an electrolyte, this will help with restless leg syndrome, which is a type of muscle spasm and is usually a deficiency of potassium and hydration. Get Potassium HERE
  • Coconut Water – The clear liquid inside young coconuts. A natural sports drink because of its high potassium and mineral content, a natural refreshing drink full of electrolytes. (available at Henry’s and other health food stores) Get Coconut Water HERE
  • Immodium – for diarrhea, if needed, I stay away from this but many will find it helpful. It’s a mild, partial opioid from what I understand, but you can’t get high from it, it works on the receptors that stop diarrhea. Get Immodium HERE

Start taking the vitamins right away, even before you start your detox. Especially the potassium. make sure to drink plenty of water, good water if you can afford it and/or coconut water.

Also start your detox with 10-20 drops of Melissa in a 1/2 cup of water, several times a day as needed, helps with anxiety, jitters and depression, may also help with sleep.

Valerian Root will help some with anxiety and sleep, suggest this at bedtime, also through out the day as needed but not when you intend to drive or use machinery.

Glutamine powder or capsules to help with diarrhea and to help with achy muscles and foggy brain. Great muscle food and brain food. Take this daily, several times a day.

5-HTP in the morning and late afternoon, helps the depression and sleep.

Vitamins and b-complex in the morning and evening if you can stomach it, or when you can keep things down.

Potassium once or twice a day.

Coconut water throughout the day to help flush the system and stay hydrated. You will need to stay hydrated if you are puking or have bad diarrhea.

Good luck with your withdrawal and please let me know how this works for you if you use it.


Comments (305)

Painkillers Bring Ohio County To It’s Knees

In Portsmouth Ohio, coal used to be king, now it’s Oxycontin and Oxycodone. The fifth-most-prescribed pain medication in the world, “oxy,” or “OC,” is a favorite of addicts, who crush and snort it or dilute it with water and inject it for a heroin-like rush. The drug and its cousin oxycodone are the cause of a prescription-drug-fueled epidemic that has brought Scioto County to its knees.

The county has seen a 360 percent increase in accidental drug-overdose deaths and has the highest hepatitis C rate in Ohio, a rate that has nearly quadrupled in the past five years, thanks to junkies who are shooting up.

Sixty-four Scioto County babies born in 2009 came into the world with drugs in their system — that’s nearly one in 10 births. And swamped drug treatment centers say they are turning away thousands of locals who need help for prescription-drug addiction.

This story is really sad, but you can read the rest of it HERE.

Comments (1)

Perry Moore, Chronicles of Narnia Producer, Dead from Overdose on Oxycontin

Perry Moore, The “Chronicles of Narnia” producer, was found dead in his SoHo apartment on Thursday. It is said he battled chronic back and neck pain and that pain sometimes interfered with his work. “He had a lot of chronic pain. It was always an issue we were dealing with on set,” said Mike Ryan, friend and Greyshack Films President, a producing partner on Perry Moore’s recent indie flick “Lake City.”

Moore’s father said his son had scheduled back surgery for the spring. “I hate to say he inherited it from me, but I’ve had several back surgeries,” Bill Moore, 69, told The News as he boarded a flight to New York City. The devastated father said his son’s initial autopsy was inconclusive, so formal cause of death is pending toxicology results. “I have no clue what happened. The examiner said he was in good condition,” he said. Sources said it appeared Moore died from an accidental overdose of the painkiller OxyContin.

Leave a Comment

Suboxone Better Than Methadone for Opiate Withdrawal For Some Addicts

Addiction experts say the Manitoba government should pay for a medication that potentially could save lives and help young Manitobans hooked on powerful narcotics such as OxyContin curb their drug abuse.

Dr. Lindy Lee, director of Health Sciences Centre’s addiction unit, said Suboxone is a far better option than methadone to treat opiate addiction in teens and young adults, as it comes with fewer side-effects, it’s easier to wean them off and there’s a lower risk of overdose and accidental death if doses are diverted.

Like methadone, Suboxone is a synthetic opiate that is taken daily to reduce cravings and curb symptoms of withdrawal.

Methadone comes in a liquid form, and addicts start on a very low dose that is closely monitored and increased over several months until cravings subside. Some methadone patients sell doses illegally: a small amount can be lethal to someone who has never taken it before.

By comparison, Suboxone is a pill taken orally, and the average addict reaches his or her optimal dose within two to three weeks.

Read more the complete story here.

Leave a Comment

How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?

How long will the withdrawal from painkillers last? Whether it’s withdrawal from Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percodan, Codiene or any other painkiller or heroin, that’s kind of a loaded question.

The main physical withdrawal effects, such as the pain, sweats, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea usually last only about 5 days to a week. The other part, the longer term withdrawal or PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) can last from several weeks to several years.

This part is sometimes what keeps people going back to the drug. After the initial withdrawal or detox, then you have residual detox and the brain trying to function normally, but it just can’t. At least not yet, and it can take months or years for a persons brain chemistry to get back to normal.

It is this period of time that can be the most difficultfor many to STAY OFF of the drugs, because it is here where the nagging and gnawing little voices start talking. I am not talking hallucinations, but I am talking depression and anxiety and the want to just be happy again.

What happens when a person is addicted to pain killers is their brain stops making endorphins, the bodys natural pain killers and the thing that keeps us from getting depressed. When a person starts taking pain meds for an extended length of time, their brain stops making endorphins because opiates look just like endorphins to the brain and the brain stops making them.

After so long the brain stops making them and the pain killer is now depended upon for endorphins or the imitation endorphins. Clinically the opiate dependance is spelled out like this:

“Opiate addiction is recognized as a central nervous system disorder caused by continuous opiate use. Extended opiate abuse leads to the nerve cells in the brain to stop functioning as they normally would and stop producing natural endorphins. Because the body is receiving opiates and is no longer producing endorphins, the nerve cells start to degenerate and cause an opiate addiction.”

So what happens is the brain doesn’t make endorphins anymore, the person who was addicted may be depressed and have anxiety for a period of time after getting off the painkillers and after the physical withdrawal is over.

It is during this period of time the person occupy themselves with something constructive. The person will most likely not want to do anything much, but once they start they start to feel better. It forces the brain to start making it’s own endorphins. Physical exercise can help to jump start the endorphin making process.

It is also of great importance for the person to get SUPPORT in the form of either a 12 step program(Highly Recommended), or through some form of group counseling. There is power in numbers and being a part of a group really helps immensely.

Many people feel they don’t belong in a group with other drug addicts, but the fact is, they do, they were once addicted or are currently addicted to drugs. They may feel they are not like the other people., but they are, in that they were addicted.

I also want to make one thing VERY clear, Just because you or someone you love is addicted to painkillers, doesn’t mean they have a moral problem. Opiate addiction is NOT a moral issue, it’s a medical one, and one not to be trifled with. Give them a break and support them emotionally, and get them the help they need.

I’d also Suggest reading this post: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

Comments (1,059)

How to get treatment for Painkiller Addiction

I wrote a short article on how to get treatment for Painkiller Addiction at

If anyone is interested it’s here:

I hope everythign is good with everyone, Thanks to all the people who have been emailing me this past week. I am glad to hear things are going good.

Larry C.

Leave a Comment